Cornwall Concert Series announces 2024/25 season

June 24, 2024
Michael Bridge & Kornel Wolak (accordion and clarinet) present Scandalous Romantics
Michael Bridge & Kornel Wolak present Scandalous Romantics on Saturday, October 19th.

The Cornwall Concert Series has announced its 2024/25 season, building on a 39-year tradition of bringing world-class performances to the Aultsville Theatre stage.

The season opens on Saturday, September 14th with legendary Latin guitarist Johannes Linstead, who fuses virtuoso Spanish-style guitar with Afro-Cuban, Middle Eastern, and Latin American percussion and instrumentation. With over 500 million streams, seven top-ten US Billboard charting albums, and Canadian “Guitarist of the Year,” he has become recognized internationally as one of the best-selling guitarists in the Instrumental, Latin Jazz and World Music genres. The group consists of congas, accordion, bass and Spanish guitars, creating a rare on-stage chemistry that moves audiences to their feet.

Chances are even if you don’t know the name you’ve heard his music. Johannes’ songs have been used in some of the most popular TV shows, such as Miami Housewives, Californication, The Following with Kevin Bacon, Burn Notice, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Pawn Stars, Person of Interest, and many others. World champion figure skater Stephane Lambiel used Johannes’ song “Zabuca” as part of his choreography during the Winter Olympics, and several of Johannes’ songs were featured in the hugely popular video games Tropical 4 and 5.

Johannes states, “I use music as a way to express what words cannot say. Every note contains a part of me and all the love, joy, hope and compassion in my heart. I believe that music has the power to uplift humanity – I see it all the time at every one of my concerts.”

At the matinee performance on Saturday, October 19th, experience genius, stardom and betrayal with Michael Bridge on accordion and piano, and Kornel Wolak on clarinet, as they present Scandalous Romantics — an hilarious tabloid-take on a few of the salacious stories behind the most celebrated music stars across genres — exposing the lust, pride, and envy that fuelled some of the greatest music ever written. The performance will take you from Mozart to Whitney Houston, and Chopin to John Denver. Bridge and Wolak are known for their dazzling virtuosity, down-to-earth humour, and signature arrangements with an explosive program that brings musical giants to contemporary audiences.

The Fall concert season closes on Saturday, November 9th with a concert entitled Rhapsody in Blue, with Polish-Canadian pianist Daniel Vnukowski. Daniel is the finest exponent of the solo piano version of Gershwin’s classic, Rhapsody in Blue, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2024. Hailed as “a pianist to watch” by New York Classical Review and “a dashing pianist” by The Sunday Times, Vnukowski has performed in prestigious concert halls throughout Europe, North America, South America and Asia.

The concert season resumes resumes in the spring on Sunday, April 13th. At the peak of their art after an award-winning and critically acclaimed recording of the Beethoven and Schumann sonatas, violinist Andrew Wan (concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal) and pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin (Silver Medalist at the 2015 International Chopin Competition) will perform the three Brahms sonatas. Charles Richard-Hamelin has recorded eleven albums, all released on the Analekta label (Outhere Music). Five of these are dedicated primarily to the solo piano works of Frédéric Chopin; there are also four recordings with Andrew Wan. Charles has also recorded concertante works: both Chopin piano concertos with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Kent Nagano, and Mozart’s Piano Concertos nos. 22 and 24 with Les Violons du Roy, conducted by Jonathan Cohen. Six Félix awards (ADISQ) and a JUNO in 2022 saluted the quality of these albums, which have received widespread acclaim from critics around the world.

The season closes on Sunday, May 4th with cellist Bryan Cheng and pianist Sylvie Cheng. Rooted by a sibling bond that transcends the familial, the JUNO-nominated Cheng² Duo transfixes listeners through its impassioned expressivity and contagious joy. Critics have hailed their performances as “brilliant” (The Sunday Times, UK), “truly exhilarating” (The WholeNote, Canada), and “absolutely captivating…through a tremendous mastery of their instruments” (Pizzicato Magazine, Luxembourg). Cheng² Duo has released four critically-acclaimed albums on the Canadian label Centrediscs and the German label audite: Portrait (2023) – nominated for a 2024 JUNO Award in the category “Classical Album of the Year, Small Ensemble”, Russian Legends (2019), Violonchelo del fuego (2018), and Violoncelle français (2016). Born in Ottawa and Tokyo to Chinese parents, Bryan and Silvie are proud Canadians who also have musical bases in Berlin and New York City.

Following recent prize-winning successes at some of the world’s most prestigious international competitions, including Queen Elisabeth, Concours de Genève, and Paulo, Bryan Cheng has established himself as one of the most compelling young artists on the classical music scene.

Bryan made his sold-out Carnegie Hall recital debut at age 14, his Elbphilharmonie debut aged 20 with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (Joshua Weilerstein), and in 2022, was the first cellist to be awarded the coveted Prix Yves Paternot in recognition of the Verbier Festival Academy’s most promising and accomplished musician. He is the 2023 recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Virginia Parker Prize, the nation’s highest honour for young musicians. Bryan plays the ca. 1696 “Bonjour” Stradivari cello generously on loan from the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank, as First Laureate of their 2018 and 2023 Competitions.

Get your tickets!

Cornwall Concert Series subscriptions ($140 for five concerts) and single tickets ($40) for all performances may be purchased in advance (cash or cheque) at these locations: TD Canada Trust, 1 Ninth Street East; Jolly Tours, Eastcourt Mall; The Squire Shop, 113 Pitt Street; and the City of Cornwall Box Office locations situated at the Aquatic Centre and the Benson Centre.

About the Cornwall Concert Series

The Cornwall Concert Series serves to enrich the cultural life of Cornwall by bringing the highest calibre of musical entertainment to Cornwall at an affordable cost. All concerts are presented at Aultsville Theatre. The series is sold by subscription.

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