Past Concerts: Sunday, October 27 - Bach's Extraordinary Oboe
Rezonance Baroque Ensemble dares once again to bring spontaneity to concert music with another program featuring Baroque-style improvisation. Audience favourite Benjamin Stein returns on lute and theorbo!
Benjamin Stein is a multi-instrumentalist and singer based in the Toronto area. An experienced performer and teacher, Benjamin has a rare breadth of musical knowledge from widely different stylistic areas. Skilled and comfortable with both popular music and Western classical composition, his ability to improvise, shape and interpret serves him in music ranging from English lutesong and Italian monody to jazz standards, folk music and blues. Benjamin has worked as a singer or instrumentalist for Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir, Opera Atelier, Toronto Consort, Toronto Mendelssohn choir, Elora Festival Singers, Nathaniel Dett Chorale and Toronto Masque Theatre. Festival appearances include the Elora Festival and the Festival of the Sound. Benjamin received a Bachelor of Music from McGill University, with a major in voice and guitar. He received a Masters Degree in Musicology and Theory from the University of Toronto, and is currently pursuing a doctorate exploring how music theory and improvisation was taught historically.
Rezonance Baroque Ensemble will perform an unconventional historical program featuring both the music of the Ottoman Empire as well as European compositions influenced by eastern sounds. Expect exciting contributions from James Freeman on percussion, and Nicolas Royer-Artuso on oud.
James Freeman was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. On his third birthday, he received his first drum set. At the age of 7, he began to study trumpet, and played both trumpet and drums in concerts, jazz, and marching bands. James continued his musical studies at Montreals McGill University, completing both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Music. Since discovering a passion for Arabic music, he has studied with Dr. Ali Jihad Racy, Simon Shaheen, Bassam Bishara, Suleiman Warwar, and legendary Fairuz percussionist Michel Merhej. In addition to performing Arabic music with the Arabesque Dance Company Orchestra, he has performed with the New York Arabic Orchestra featuring Marcel Khalife.
Nicolas Royer-Artuso is a oud player, violinist, linguist, musicologist, and music teacher from Montreal. After studies in classical western music, jazz and electro-acoustic composition, he soon after devoted himself to maqam music, studying in Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, and Turkey. A key aspect of his musical work is the theoretical and practical use of heterophony. He has published 3 articles on the subject and has released one practical aspect (a CD) of it. He is a founding member of nü.kolektif, where he composes, co-directs, plays and acts in the theater-oriented political collective. In Istanbul, he is an active part of the citys traditional music and free improvisational scene. He is the organizer of Dogaçlafest, a festival devoted to improvised music.
All concerts: 2pm, St Barnabas Anglican Church (361 Danforth Ave)
Photo: John Young