Toronto Star: Canada’s music sounding sweet in Italy these days
By: William Littler Music Columnist, Published on Fri Nov 29 2013 (Excerpted below)
Together with New York, Toronto has been called one of the largest Italian cities outside Italy. Walk along stretches of College and St. Clair W. and you will understand why...
… the symbolic apex of Canadianism was witnessed in Rome, where the Accademia Filarmonica Romana hosted a Canada Day celebration in July as part of its annual Festival of Nations.
Ann Summers Dossena of Toronto’s International Resource Centre for Performing Artists organized the festivities in the Accademia’s historic home and gardens in central Rome. It was only the latest of a series of projects through which the part-time Italian resident has fostered relations between the two countries, including a Canadian festival mounted in L’ Aquila several years ago.
For Canada Day, she brought together a number of classical musicians, including the Borealis String Quartet from Vancouver, violinist Guillaume Tardif from Edmonton, Toronto clarinetist Kornel Wolak and Montreal soprano Jana Miller with pianist Jordan de Souza. Several Canadian compositions were featured, most of them receiving first performances in Italy.
Jazz was also represented by the Dominic Mancuso Group from Vaughan, together with a photographic exhibition and a CBC film of the late Toronto pianist Glenn Gould, introduced by your humble servant.
Maestro Cappelletto, director of the Accademia, expressed frank surprise at the high standard of the Canadian participants, a reaction not at all uncommon in Italy, where art and artists are concerned. Decades ago, when Summers Dossena helped organize the first Italian tour of Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, the director of the prestigious Florence May Festival looked at her and said, “You mean there are orchestras in Canada?”
Perhaps ironically, the Canadian government has done little to promote Canadian cultural activity in Italy (by way of contrast, there is an active Italian Cultural Institute on Huron St. in midtown Toronto). Having cut back support for Canadian artists touring abroad, the government has largely left it to the private sector to fly the Maple Leaf.
But the Maple Leaf is flying and Summers Dossena continues to champion exchange between her two countries of residence.
In fact, she has organized a “welcome home” concert Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. at Lula Lounge on Dundas St. W., reuniting some of the musicians, including Miller, Tardif, Wolak and the Dominic Mancuso Group.
Even with only intermittent and partial government support Canadian artists are appearing successfully on the international stage; witness the National Ballet’s welcome return to London, recent tours to China by the NAC Orchestra and Toronto’s Soundstreams, and the forthcoming European tour of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
While attending Canada Day, Canada’s outgoing ambassador, James Fox, confessed to his own surprise when faced with a list of Canadian artists now performing in Italy. It may just be time for our leaders in government to recognize their value.
Clarinetist Kornel Wolak recently returned from outstanding performances with orchestra in Ecuador, appeared in the Wolak/Donnelly Duo in Orillia and took off to perform in Poland for the next week. He returns to perform with Orchesta London, and with the Ontario Philharmonic in February.. Full information and contact are at: at: www.kornelwolak.com.
Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico has just launched a cd of Brazilian Tangos which marks her 31st cd . She will soon perform again with the Toronto Dance Theatre in their Eastern tour in live performances of 'Rivers' by Anne Southam. Full informaton and contact are at: www.petrowskaquilico.com
Artist Manager Ann Summers Dossena devotes herself to new challenges
Retiring from full career management and development of performing artists, I will continue to work in the arts as consultant, mentor, producer, presenter, and as Founding Director of the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists. Read full press release.
After years of renting spaces, we must establish a much needed physical Centre where artists can come together from across Canada to share ideas, get help with auditions, be mentored, gain confidence, and to continue programs Encounters With Employers, and Career Moves workshops. Please visit IRCPA.net for more details.
The National Opera Center in New York was created by the Opera America companies by pooling their resources. A campaign for space and funds for the Toronto Centre has begun. I sincerely hope everyone will join with me and the Board of Directors of the IRCPA to establish a Centre which would be open to all disciplines as well as the opera community.
A fundraising event is scheduled for Tuesday, December 3rd, at the Lula Music and Arts Centre. The two concerts the IRCPA presented in Rome in July to celebrate Canadian Day will be performed by most of the 13 artists who made their debuts there. Please see the details at www.ircpa.net.
Clarinetist Kornel Wolak performs widely in Canada, tours native Poland, and made Rome debut on July 5th!
“Control and a smooth, elegant expressivity are what make Wolak shine”
Kornel Wolak, one of Canada’s leading solo clarinetists, has been crossing the country this winter and spring, with performances in B.C., large and small prairie centres, Toronto, and elsewhere. Then it’s off to Europe for concerts in his native Poland. On July 5, he makes his Rome debut at Canadian Day, part of Le Nazioni, The Festival of Nations.
The week-long Festival is hosted by the Accademia Filarmonica Romana, in its elegant building and grounds in central Rome. There, Wolak performed with fellow Canadian artists in three works. With Vancouver’s Borealis String Quartet, he will be featured in Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. He will join Montreal-based soprano Jana Miller and conductor/pianist Jordan de Souza in Schubert’s The Shepherd on the Rock and the European premiere of Ashes of Soldiers by Colin Eatock
As the first North American country invited to Le Nazioni, Canada presents its culture in a week that also features the cultures of Norway, Brazil and Morocco. Canada’s participation is organized by the Toronto-based International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, with IRCPA Director Ann Summers Dossena as producer. Information is posted at ircpa.net and will appear shortly at www.filarmonicaromana.org.
Canada’s Music & Musicians Featured in Rome during Canadian Day, July 5, 2013
Each summer, Rome’s Accademia Filarmonica Romana invites countries to present their music and culture in a week-long Festival of one-day events, called I Nazione Festival of Nations. This year, for the first time, Canada will be hosted, Friday, July 5 in the Accademia’s elegant and historic home and gardens in central Rome.
Other countries invited to present their music and culture from July 1 to 4 are Norway, Brazil and Morocco .
Canadian Day will include two concerts, featuring artists from across the country: the Borealis String Quartet from Vancouver, violinist Guillaume Tardif of Edmonton; clarinetist Kornel Wolak of Toronto; and Montreal soprano Jana Miller and conductor/pianist Jordan de Souza. Complementing the classical music will be jazz, performed by two Ontario combos – the Mario Romano Jazz Quartet from Markham, and the Dominic Mancuso Quintet from Vaughan.
Films about Canadian icon Glenn Gould, courtesy of the Gould Estate and the Gould Foundation will be shown. Music critic William Littler, columnist with the Toronto Star, will speak about Gould’s legend and legacy. A special room, opening into the gardens, will serve as a video room, where the public can view DVDs of major Canadian artists and attractions.
Canada’s participation is being organized by the charitable, Toronto-based International Resource Centre for Performing Artists and produced by IRCPA Director Ann Summers Dossena.
For more information and to contribute, please visit:
Kornel Wolak's CLARINET EXTRAVAGANZA in Oshawa and Port Perry March 2nd & 3rd
Members of the Wolak Clarinet Extravaganza Trio include: Kornel Wolak, clarinet, Michael Bridge, accordion/piano, and Michael Savona, guitar.
They will be heard in Oshawa's Regent Theatre on March 2nd and in Port Perry on March 3rd. They will be accompanied by the Ontario Philharmonic String Quartet, comprised of principal string players of the orchestra.
World Premiere Centrediscs CD Set Launch January 22 at the Gould
Ann Summers International