The final concert, from May 3 2018, in the 120th season of Music in the Afternoon was broadcast on CBC Radio 2 In Concert, Sunday May 27 (11 am – 3 pm, 94.1 in Toronto).

Enjoy these photos if you missed it!

Ariel Barnes joined Simon for the first work, a duo by Jean Barrière from 1740 Paris.  In an early one of several behind-the-scenes dramas, Ariel had been appointed solo cello of the Nürnberger Symphoniker soon after the program announcement: happily he was able to fly back from Germany to join us


After Simon conquered the virtuoso solo Capriccio per Siegfried Palm, a quartet played a gentler 20th-century piece by Jocelyn Morlock.

Tom Wiebe, above on the left in slightly more formal concert wear, rehearsed in the hockey sweater of his home-town Winnipeg Jets.

The audience in the sold-out hall was next enchanted by the famous Bach Chaconne, arranged for 4 cellists, including Minna Rose Chung from the University of Manitoba, second from left, and David Hetherington, far right.

The brand-new work was Coffee will be Served in the Living Room, a miniature symphonic poem for all 8 cellos, on an episode in the life of Jackson Pollock.  Commissioned composer Kelly-Marie Murphy bowed to a happy crowd

Finally, the piece without which a gang of 8 cellists will refuse to party. Shannon Mercer, 2006 CDA winner, and generous fundraiser for the WMCT, joined in for Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5.

Special thanks to Alice Kim, a former student of Simon’s and ultimate rescuer, stepping in to learn the music only a few days earlier, replacing a performer faced with a health crisis.

Karen Houston, also a former student of Simon’s, brought her class of cellists from Rosedale Heights School for the Arts, to join the full hall beside WMCT members and guests, and holders of the Cultural Access Pass from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

Diane Martello, WMCT president, with Blake Pouliot and his new official t-shirt.  After a week of concerts in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Toronto, the 2018 Career Development Winner paused on April 16 before flying off to Ottawa to performances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, for a lunch with some WMCT and WMCTF Board members, and the CDA Committee.




Here is Blake with Annette Sanger, CDA Committtee Chair, CBC Producer Alison Howard, and the cupcakes.  Blake wrote to Annette he is “beyond humbled to get the opportunity to join…an incredible and laudable group”.  Blake will be performing in Music in the Afternoon‘s 122nd Season, 2019-20.  Follow his performances until then on his website.

Yes, the cupcakes!  Individual stunners, made by Kathy Halliday, each with a spun-sugar musical motif, including “CDA” of course, a mini-instrument for Blake (complete with pegs), and the notation of the opening solo violin line in the second movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.

Kathy Halliday, far right, Blake’s parents Les and Christine Pouliot, far left, and the rest of the lucky cupcake eaters.

Stéphane Tétreault, cellist, second place winner in the live Career Development Award contest in 2015, toured Europe in late 2017 with the Orchestre metropolitaine under its artistic director and principal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.  One of the concerts, performed at the Cité de la musique in Paris, will be broadcast on CBC Radio 2 In Concert, on Sunday April 15, 11 am-3 pm. Stéphane will be heard in the Elgar Cello concerto.

Blake Pouliot,violin, is a versatile artist — a classical musician, film and television actor and keyboardist in an award-winning pop band. At age 23 he has already performed as a soloist with orchestras across North and South America, and will play again with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra April 14-15. He is the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts 2013 Michael Mesure Prize, and the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition.

On March 8, the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto named him winner of the 2018 Career Development Award.  On March 9 his debut CD of the Debussy and Ravel sonatas was released on the Canadian Analekta label.  Click here to purchase.

The $20,000 Career Development Award is a project of the WMCT in partnership with CBC Radio Music and Espace musique de Radio-Canada.

Read more about Blake Pouliot and the WMCT CDA.

Read Robert Rowat’s Radio-Canada interview, including an excerpt from Blake’s new album.  CBC Radio listeners also heard about Blake Friday March 9 on Tom Allen’s Shift and on Paolo Pietropaolo’s In Concert, Sunday March 11.

The next round of CBC Young Artist broadcasts begins this Sunday, on CBC Radio 2’s In Concert (airs between 11:00 and 3:00.)  The path to the WMCT Career Development Award begins here!

Romantic music on Valentine’s Day

The superb all-Chopin concert in Toronto on January 15, headlined by our most recent Career Development Award winner and Chopin-interpreter extraordinaire, Charles Richard-Hamelin, will be featured on CBC Radio Two's In Concert on Sunday, February 14 between 11am and 3pm. The first half of the concert showcased the talented young pianist Tony Yike Yang who, like Charles, placed in the finals of the International Chopin Competition last fall (Tony – 5th and Charles – 2nd). And, Charles' playing in the second half was absolutely magical, garnering him a standing ovation from the audience.  See the Globe and Mail review here.

Chopin UA-48027609-1

Afiara 2The Afiari String Quartet and Caroline Léonardelli concert recorded in Walter Hall on Thursday Oct. 15 will be broadcast on CBC Radio 2  (94.1 FM)  *In Concert* this Sunday, Nov. 29  at approximately 12:45 pm.

Enjoy it again.