It’s been my longtime dream to successfully marry food and classical music. I’ve witnessed some attempts veer hard into the esoteric, others presented food and music as separate entities that happen to take place in the same space, and others just didn’t have particularly high quality versions of one or the other. There were numerous other things holding me back: my laziness, my fear of failure, my lack of knowledge of chefs and kitchens, and lack of an appropriate space that would do the project justice.
But then I got lucky. And what luck. I eventually met Sarah Fraser, who was undertaking the project of renovating her family’s farmhouse in Hinchinbrooke, QC, creating a beautifully intimate performance space and a comforting country kitchen. She had similar dreams of creating a space (and was making it happen) that combined food and music. And then I met my now-very-best-friends at Les Deux Singes de Montarvie (one of Montreal’s finest restaurants), Sean Murray Smith and Nada Abou Younes. They are incredible people who create incredible experiences for their customers. Together we have been turning dreams into reality at Le Salon Vert.
I am excited to invite you to the inaugural concert @ Le Salon Vert, Quebec’s first space dedicated to promoting classical music and visual arts, good food, nature and community.
On Oct 16th, I will be joining my friends Nada Abou Younes and Sean Murray Smith from Les Deux Singes de Montarvie (Montreal’s top restaurant on TripAdvisor, and one of the top five restaurants in Montreal according to Gault & Millau) to present an incredible event of gorgeous food and evocative music. The whole team has been working together to make sure that it will be (forgive me) an evening to remember!
You will experience a private concert (the beautifully renovated farmhouse will accommodate 30 attendees only!), with each selection of music paired with dishes inspired by the compositions. Locally-sourced ingredients, wine-pairings, private piano recital, incredible food, etc., etc..
Check out the website to read more about the project from owner/director Sarah Fraser… and then reserve your seats!
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
See you on Oct 16th!
I am honoured to share the news with you that I have been chosen as the first recipient of the Prix Goyer (Extreme Emerging Artist) – Canada’s largest prize for an emerging artist in classical music. The official announcement will be taking place this Saturday. Suffice it to say, it’s all a bit overwhelming… it is really too much to be rewarded for something that one already loves doing… but I am nonetheless excited for the possibilities that come with such an opportunity.
I’m not sure if there might be another opportunity to do this publicly, so I must be sure to thank (profusely) noncerto, Mécénat Musica, Ensemble Caprice and composer Matthias Maute for their support.
I’ll leave it at that for now. Thanks to all of you for your kind messages and well-wishes.
On March 31st, Phil Chiu received two noncerto statuettes! These were awarded in the following categories:
Fung-Chiu Duo : Best Story / Meilleure histoire 2015 – Fairy Tales
Phil Chiu: Best Overall / Meilleur en général 2015 – Noncerto RR2 Métro philharmonique
It’s my pleasure to post this performance of l’Orchestre Intemporel. The brainchild of Point d’arrêt’s Frederic-Alexandre Michaud, this orchestra came together (after months and months of planning, but with only three days of rehearsal) in October to present this stellar concert. The group is comprised of great Quebec/Canadian talent, students and pros, including students of McGill, l’Université de Montreal, and the Conservatoire de musique du Montréal, as well as members of the OSM.
Orchestras that are thrown together don’t usually pan out. It’s an obvious point that it takes considerable time and energy to produce a unified sound and for each section to find their voice. This group defied the odds and did a spectacular job. Led by Frederic-Alexandre, the ensemble produced some incredible moments of beauty (concertmaster Alex Read played chillingly beautiful solos in Scheherazade) and real excitement brewed in Mendelssohn’s Hebrides suite.
I also can’t express enough my appreciation for the orchestra’s work in preparing Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto. It was such a pleasure for me to have the chance to perform this at-times reflective, at-times rollicking piece. Also, performing a concerto is like playing chamber music with a LOT of people at once and it’s pretty baller experience.
There are a lot of great renditions of Beethoven 4 out there; Mitsuko Uchida’s is a prime example. I certainly plan to continue performing this work whenever I can and perhaps one day reach the kind of zen place that Uchida occupies. I was most definitely not zen during this performance; there were many moments of “Whoops, that was a loose definition of the right notes” and “Wow, I am going reeeeal fast here…”
Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy the performance (warts and all) as much as I enjoyed sharing it with the audience.
New year, new glasses!
I hope you had a relaxing holiday with all the fixin’s.
The new year ushers in an exciting second half to the 14-15 season, and I will be keeping you abreast of all developments right here! I’m currently in Toronto with Victor Fournelle-Blain and we’ll be performing at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre tomorrow at noon. Victor is phenomenal string player and a stalwart musician. A show not to be missed (but chances are good you’ll miss it… COC’s noon-hour series is consistently packed to the rafters)!
But this isn’t my first gig of the year – that honour belongs to the Fung-Chiu Duo’s concerts for Prairie Debut. We just completed our three-part tour of the Prairies with a final trip through Alberta. We had spectacular receptions at the Shell Theatre in Fort Saskatchewan (named so for its proximity to the Saskatchewan River… which is located in Alberta…), a super visit with the fine folks of Westlock, and a bittersweet finale at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre in Camrose.
And nice as it would be to go back into hibernation following tomorrow’s recital, there’s no time to rest: “A Tribute to Fritz Kreisler” takes off THIS Saturday! There’s still a lot of work for Ewald and I to do on the stage-presentation side of things (props to work out and moustaches to trim) but we cannot wait till we kick things off in Riviere-du-Loup this Saturday night.
Speaking of Fritz Kreisler, I’m sure you’d be interested to know that I spent my Christmas dabbling in the dark arts of graphic design. Having just recorded our Kreisler album kind-of-at-the-last-minute, it was natural that our CD production process would all unfold kind-of-at-the-last-minute. And since no reasonable professional would take such a last-minute gig over the Christmas break, I was stuck with the honour of designing our CD from scratch.
I’m not really entirely sure how it all came together, definitely not without the incredible assistance of Kerry Kavalo and Sebastian Chow, but I’m fairly proud of having learned the absolute-minimum-basics of working with a Photoshop-like program (GIMP – free for Mac!) and having designed this myself!
Thanks to the good folks over at Duplium for their unwavering support and countless hours spent emailing me and explaining patiently all of the things I did wrong.
I’ll end this post with a preview of our upcoming disc. Please enjoy :)
P.S. Check back soon for news from noncerto about my upcoming solo videos!