Tokai performs Wednesday

Belle Hatfield
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Hear! Here! hosts award-winning string quartet at Holy Trinity Church

Tokai String Quartet

Praised for their “emotional investment” and “decisive” interpretations (Toronto Star) along with their “intense” and “hot-blooded” performances (Globe and Mail), the Tokai String Quartet has been entertaining audiences since they emerged on the scene as prize winners at the Banff International String Quartet competition in 2007. That year the group toured with Debut Atlantic and they’ll be back again in March, this time as part of the encore series for established musicians.

The Hear Here Society will host the quartet in concert at Holy Trinity Church, in Yarmouth, on Wednesday March 20, at 7 p.m. The quartet will also entertain students at Meadowfields Community School, part of the Debut goes to school program.

 Society co-chair Virginia Stoddard said the society has been planning this concert for more than a year. The costs of hosting a nationally-recognized chamber music ensemble are more than ticket sales alone can generate.

“We want to keep ticket prices low enough that anyone with an interest can attend,” she said, adding that many of the society’s patrons are seniors on fixed incomes.

The society has received a generous grant from Arts Nova Scotia, without which Stoddard said the group would not have been able to hold down the cost of tickets.

“We are very grateful for the continuing support we receive, both from the province and the community,” said Stoddard.

Advance tickets are $20, and $25 at the door. The society also has a sponsorship fund for students. For tickets, or to apply for one of the student sponsorships, call Cecil Day at 649-2996.

Yarmouth audiences will enjoy a program of works by Beethoven, Hugo Wolf and Maurice Ravel. The quartet will also perform a new piece by Canadian composer Katarina Curcin, The World on A String, which was written for the quartet, and is being premiered on this Debut Atlantic tour.

The group has received numerous honours and awards, including the Felix Galimir Award as well as the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Award.

 The Tokai String Quartet has been ensemble-in-residence for a number of institutions including Queen’s University, the Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute, and Music at Port Milford.

 On their Debut Atlantic Encore tour, the Tokai String Quartet will perform six concerts and seven educational activities ranging from university master classes to elementary school concerts, as part of the Debut Goes to School! program. Their Mount Allison concert at Brunton Auditorium in Sackville NB on March 9 will be recorded by Radio-Canada, Espace Musique.

Debut Atlantic is one of Canada’s oldest musical touring organizations. In its first season in 1979 it featured then-emerging and still-unknown artists, pianist Jon Kimura Parker, tenor Ben Heppner, and Canada’s Baroque orchestra Tafelmusik. In the years since it has consistently delivered emerging Canadian musicians to Atlantic Canadian audiences.

Full details on Debut Atlantic’s current and upcoming seasons can be found at



Organizations: Holy Trinity Church, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail Banff International String Quartet Hear Here Society Meadowfields Community School The World on A String Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute Radio-Canada

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Canada, Queen Port Milford Sackville NB

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