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UPCOMING EVENTS

Bringing art music to exciting & unexpected venues

Schubert and the Fleet Foxes

Jesse Plessis, piano

Wednesday, July 3, 7 pm

Community Room, Casa, Lethbridge

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In this meeting of classical and folk music, pianist and composer Jesse Plessis performs music by Franz Schubert, György Kurtág, and his own transcriptions of songs by American singer-songwriter Robin Pecknold (of The Fleet Foxes).

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Jesse is Centric MusicFest’s founding artistic director and we’re excited to have him back performing for Centric’s 10th Anniversary! Fun Fact: It’s his first time back performing in the festival since passing the torch to Ryan Kolodziej.

Music in the Country

CMF String Quartet

Thursday, July 4, 7 pm

The Venue of New Hope, 100043 Range Rd 22 #3, Diamond City

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CMF String Quartet

Alina Khvatova, first violin

Vladmir Rufino, second violin

Fabiola Amorim, viola

Christine Bootland, cello

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At the heart of the Centric MusicFest String Quartet’s purpose is the promotion of collaboration, transcending geographical and artistic boundaries. By uniting musicians from different communities, we inspire a powerful exchange of ideas, techniques, and creative visions. This unique ensemble will vary every year, bringing together two local and two visiting artists. The members of the 2024 quartet are musicians Alina Khvatova, first violin (Lethbridge); Vladimir Rufino, second violin (Calgary/Brazil); Fabiola Amorim, viola (Calgary/Brazil); and Christine Bootland, cello (Lethbridge/Medicine Hat).

Music in the Garden

CMF String Quartet

Friday, July 5, 7 pm

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge

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Alina Khvatova, first violin

Vladimir Rufino, second violin

Fabiola Amorim, viola

Christine Bootland, cello

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The Centric MusicFest String Quartet returns to the splendour of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. Enjoy curated acoustics and crystal-clear sound through our specially prepared wireless headphones as you relax in one of Lethbridge’s iconic outdoor locales.

Goldberg Variations by Candlelight

Sarah Hagen, piano

Saturday, July 6, 7 pm

Community Room, Casa, Lethbridge

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Sarah Hagen brings this classic programme featuring Bach’s formidable Goldberg Variations as part of the celebration of the recent release of her recording of the masterwork.

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Cherished by many, the Goldberg Variations are emblematic of keyboard virtuosity, rich expression, and hardcore classical interpretation. Sarah will offer a short introduction to this marvellous and intense piece before playing the full work.

“Canadian pianist Sarah Hagen’s Goldberg Variations are dramatically different. Naysayers and refusniks beware: her approach combines unfettered joy, wide awake with wonder, requisite pedagogy, and the ability to make the instrument bend to her will. The epic scope of the work is stated right out of the gate, with an extensive exploration of the Aria that opens the way to the variable tempi, harmonic adventure with unlimited changes in registration and emotion. Hagen’s performance combines vivid precision of touch with perfect articulation of line, making her Goldberg Variations something to absolutely die for.” – Whole Note Magazine

Rising Stars & Final Bows

Primo Music Assoc. Scholarship Winner: Jeran Lynnes, marimba

CMF String Quartet

With Ryan Kolodziej, piano

Sunday, July 7, 2 pm

Community Room, Casa, Lethbridge

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Concert features the Primo Music Association (parent organization of Centric MusicFest) scholarship winner of the Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival; Matriakii, a composition by local composer Sonny-Ray Day Rider for viola and piano; and the Schumann Piano Quintet in E-flat major.

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Primo Music Assoc. Scholarship Winner: Jeran Lynnes, marimba

CMF String Quartet

With Ryan Kolodziej, piano

Alina Khvatova, first violin

Vladimir Rufino, second violin

Fabiola Amorim, viola

Christine Bootland, cello

Centric MusicFest in Festival Square

Centric MusicFest at Festival Square

TBA

Weekdays daily, July 3-5, 12 pm & Saturday, July 6, 11 am

Festival Square, Downtown Lethbridge

FREE CONCERTS!

Join us for a selection of local musicians performing live on stage in the heart of Downtown.

Perform with us! Applications open until May 30, 2024

Centric MusicFest at Festival Square ARTIST CALL!

Are you a local musician or group that performs family-friendly, classical, or art music on traditional instruments suitable for an outdoor performance?
 
Centric MusicFest is now accepting submissions for Centric MusicFest at Festival Square! Daily performances at 12 pm from July 3 – 5, and at 11 am on July 6th at Festival Square.
 
 
🎼 60 minute program
🎼 Acoustic instruments preferred (such as brass, woodwinds, strings, percussion, guitar, etc). Electric piano can be provided
🎼 Must provide own equipment and instruments
🎼 Sound technicians will be on site
🎼 $300 honorarium per performance
 
 

ARE YOU INTERESTED?

 
🎼 Please send a biography, sample recording (audio or video), artist photo(s), and a program proposal to centric.festival@gmail.com

2024 ARTIST LINEUP

Jesse Plessis, piano

Jesse Plessis is a Canadian pianist and composer, and is a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia.  His teachers include Doug Lyon, Arne Sahlen, Allen Reiser, Deanna Oye, Megumi Masaki, Paul Stewart, Norma Fisher, Edith Fischer, Arlan N. Schultz, Patrick Carrabre, Jarred Dunn, and Philippe Leroux. He performs regularly across Canada, he has been heard on stages across England and Europe, and most recent concerto performances include Bela Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Orchestre 21.

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His compositions have been commissioned and performed across Canada by prominent soloists, chamber groups, and orchestras, and broadcast on CBC Radio. In 2020 he developed focal dystonia, a neuromuscular condition which disabled his right hand. While working on recovery, he continues to perform, but is concentrating more on composition and research, and entered doctoral studies in composition at McGill University supported by the Schulich Excellence Fellowship.

www.jesseplessis.com

Pianist and composer Jesse Plessis was born in Sparwood, British Columbia, and he is a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia.  His teachers include Arne Sahlen, Allen Reiser, Deanna Oye, Megumi Masaki, Paul Stewart, Norma Fisher, Edith Fischer, Arlan N. Schultz, Patrick Carrabre, Jarred Dunn, and Philippe Leroux. He performs regularly across Canada, he has been heard on stages in England, Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, and most recent concerto performances include Bela Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Orchestre 21, led by Paolo Bellomia. His compositions have been performed by Canadian artists and ensembles including the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Brittany Rae, Jonathon Adams and Lucas Harris, Continuum Contemporary Music’s HATCH! ensemble, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Land’s End Ensemble. Upcoming projects include a song cycle on poetry by Flora Aurima Devatine, a song cycle based on poetry by Liz Howard, a piano trio for the Fibonacci Trio, and a concerto for piano left-hand.

He holds a doctorate in piano performance from the Université de Montréal, and in 2020 he developed a rare neuromuscular condition called focal dystonia which completely disabled his right hand. While he is recovering from focal dystonia, he decided to focus more time and energy on writing music, and entered doctoral studies in composition at McGill University supported by the Schulich Excellence Fellowship.

He also enjoys running, surfing, kung-fu, and yoga whenever he can.

Sarah Hagen, piano

Awarded as Artist of the Year by both Ontario Contact (2017) and the BC Touring Council (2015), and mentioned by The Guardian (Charlottetown) as the Best Classical Performance of 2014, pianist Sarah Hagen’s interpretations have been described as “outstandingly inventive” [University of Waterloo Gazette], ”played flawlessly” [ReviewVancouver]. Her extensive touring has taken her across Canada, to Sweden, France, Germany and Italy, and twice to New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

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Sarah released an album of Goldberg Variations in 2021. Her third album, Women of Note, highlights two forgotten female composers of the 18th century, and garnered the 2021 Music PEI Instrumental Recording of the Year as well as two ECMA nominations. Sarah’s debut solo album, Glass House Dancing, was nominated for Classical Recording of the Year at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards. Her second album, Devoted: Music of Robert & Clara Schumann, features solo piano works and Clara Schumann’s Romances, Opus 22 with violinist Martin Chalifour, concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to writing wine reviews for her blog, “ARTIST WINES! – Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets,” Sarah tours a one woman musical comedy show called “Perk up, pianist!” of which the Edmonton Journal wrote, “Her comic timing is as solid as her musical meter.”

Select Reviews:

“…the level of passion that Hagen possesses – when it comes to experiencing, interpreting and expressing art – is something quite extraordinary. It does seem to be this deep level of artistic understanding, and ability to communicate on this level – either through words or through artistic expression – that truly sets her apart as a pianist and musical artist. …it was immediately apparent that this would be a piano concert beyond the norm. …Hagen is one of the most expressive piano players that I have ever seen perform. ” – The Guardian (Charlottetown)

“If all you wanted was a marvelously handled piece of difficult piano music, it would be hard to ask for more. Hagen did much more than just hit the notes in the right spots. […] “I’ll have to admit I’m not usually a fan of such Russian works, but Hagen’s performance has made me reconsider my classical music likes and dislikes.” – Smithers Interior News

“Mozart’s D minor Fantasy K. 397, played flawlessly by Sarah Hagen” – Review Vancouver

“Hagen played “with great sensitivity and heart.” – Vernon Morning Star

“Her Bach and Haydn were outstandingly inventive” – University of Waterloo Gazette

Ryan Kolodziej, piano

Dr. Ryan Kolodziej is enjoying a varied music career that has included solo and collaborative performances, accompanying nationally acclaimed amateur and university choirs, and individual instruction and group courses at the pre-college and university level. His passion for collaboration fuels his desire to work in music education and brings him back to his home town of Lethbridge every summer as the Artistic and Executive Director of Centric MusicFest.

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He currently teaches piano at L’École de musique Vincent-d’Indy and the Conservatoire de Collège Stanislas in Outremont, Montreal. At the post-secondary level, he has taught as a chargé de cours at l’Université de Montréal, as well as a course instructor at the University of Alberta. His students have enjoyed much success including top prizes at competitions, several First Class Honours in Royal Conservatory of Music exams, and RCM gold medals.

As a pianist, Ryan has performed in Canada and Europe. He has been fortunate to receive multiple grants that supported his artistic achievements from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and a SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) research grant award for his work on Liszt/Schubert arrangements and transcriptions.

When he is not doing music related activities, Ryan enjoys gardening, hiking, and building and endlessly customizing computers or any other related technology that he can get his hands on.

Jeran Lynnes, marimba

Jeran Lynnes, a recent high school graduate living in Lethbridge, has been loving and playing music since childhood. He began with piano lessons at a young age but discovered his love for percussion six years ago. Since then, he’s had the privilege of being mentored under incredible instructors through the U of L Conservatory of Music including Joe Porter, Tate Orlita, and most recently, Adam Mason.

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His dedication to musical evolution is now leading him to pursue a Bachelor of Music at the University of Lethbridge to further fuel his passion for percussion.

Along his journey, Jeran’s talent has been recognized at the Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival, where he’s been honoured as the recipient of the Ackroyd Percussion Award, the Ray Bainborough Memorial Scholarship, and the Primo Music Association Scholarship. He has performed in a variety of settings, ranging from high school bands to the WHIP Youth Percussion Ensemble, the U of L Young Artists Music Academy, Whoop Up Days, and his personal rock band.

As Jeran continues his musical exploration, he remains dedicated to growth, always seeking to expand his skills and honing his craft. Beyond the stage, he loves spending time with friends in collaborative music-making sessions. When he’s not making music, Jeran enjoys simple pleasures like reading, driving his car, and watching movies.

2024 Festival Quartet

Centric MusicFest String Quartet

At the heart of the Centric MusicFest String Quartet’s purpose is the promotion of collaboration, transcending geographical and artistic boundaries. By uniting musicians from different communities, we inspire a powerful exchange of ideas, techniques, and creative visions.

This unique ensemble will vary every year, bringing together two local and two visiting artists. The members of the 2024 quartet are musicians Alina Khvatova, first violin (Lethbridge); Vladimir Rufino, second violin (Calgary/Brazil); Fabiola Amorim, viola (Calgary/Brazil); and Christine Bootland, cello (Lethbridge/Medicine Hat).

Pictured left, the 2023 Centric Festival Quartet, consisting of Alina Khvatova, first violin (Lethbridge); Eva Toncheva, second violin (Calgary); Gabriel Kastelic, viola (Lethbridge); and Michael H. J. van der Sloot, cello (Calgary) perform at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Alina Khvatova, violin (Lethbridge)

A Russian-Canadian violinist born to a family of pianists, Alina started her violin lessons with her grandmother Galya, a violin teacher. Soon after, she was enrolled in the F. Chopin Moscow State College of Musical Performance. After moving to Canada in 2011, Alina studied with Robert Rozek at the Vancouver Academy of Music before pursuing and finishing her Masters in Performance at McGill University.

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Throughout her learning journey she has performed with her parents, student orchestras, pop orchestras, and most recently, with a Lethbridge band called Wander West. Currently, she teaches violin through the University of Lethbridge Conservatory of Music at CASA, and plays with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra.

Vladimir Rufino, second violin (Calgary/Brazil)

Brazilian-Canadian violinist Vladimir Rufino has brought his love of music to stages in South America and Europe as well as Canada and the United States. He holds a Doctor of Music degree from the University of Alberta (Canada), a Master of Music degree and Artist Certificate from Azusa Pacific University (USA), and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Brazil).

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Vladimir has performed with orchestras in Brazil, the United States, and Canada, on many occasions serving as soloist, and concertmaster. His chamber music experience includes numerous international performances as part of the Quartet Quarta Dimensão, the Camerata Brasílica, the Villa-Lobos String Quartet, and the Vaughan String Quartet.

Vladimir performs regularly with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and as first violin of the Vaughan String Quartet. In addition to his performance schedule, Vladimir adjudicates for festivals and competitions in Alberta and teaches at the MacEwan University Conservatory of Music and Mount Royal University Conservatory of Music.

Fabiola Amorim, viola (Calgary/Brazil)

Violist Fabiola Amorim has graced audiences in Canada, the USA and Europe with performances that demonstrate her deep passion for music. Amorim has a Doctorate in Music from the University of Alberta (Canada), a Master’s in Music and Artist Certificate from Azusa Pacific University (USA) and a Bachelor’s degree in Music from UFPB (Brazil). Since the publication of her doctoral thesis, Amorim’s work has been a reference for researchers on Brazilian viola music.

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Amorim is a founding member of the Vaughan String Quartet, with performances in Canada, the USA and Europe. Her experience includes performances as a soloist and participation in orchestras in Brazil, USA and Canada.

Currently, Dr. Amorim is dedicated to both performance and music education, sharing her experience with students at MacEwan University and Mount Royal University. Furthermore, she continues to influence the future of classical music by acting as an adjudicator at competitions and festivals, contributing significantly to the artistic and technical development of new talents.

Christine Bootland, cello (Lethbridge/Medicine Hat)

Calgary native, Christine Bootland began her studies with Fay Johnson and later at the Mount Royal College Academy of Music with John Kadz. She completed a Bachelor of Music Performance degree at the University of British Columbia under the direction of Eric Wilson and participated in the Masters Program at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Shauna Rolston.

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She has studied with renowned artists Aldo Parisot, Janos Starker, Zara Nelsova, and Lawrence Lesser at the Banff School of Fine Arts and has performed with well-known classical musicians David Shifrin, Andrew Dawes, Kai Gleusteen and country artist Lyle Lovett.

Christine is an active extra performer in various chamber ensembles and with the Lethbridge, Red Deer and Regina Symphonies as well as the Symphony of the Kootenays and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

She has toured Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia as a member of the Armadillo String Quartet of Canada and was first prize winner in the CIBC National Chamber Music Festival Competition with the JEB string quartet. Christine has adjudicated all over Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan and her students have won numerous awards at all levels but for her, she gets immense joy from doing educational outreach performance programs wherever she is. Christine was on the faculty at Medicine Hat College from 2001-2021 as cello instructor, ensemble coach, Academy Instructor and conductor and program coordinator for both the Community and Junior Orchestras. In 2010 she was pleased to be invited to become a cello instructor at the University of Lethbridge Conservatory of Music three days a week. Her favorite thing to do in her down time is to read, experiment in her garden and go for walks.

Our Festival

Since its inaugural event in 2014, Centric MusicFest has become a permanent fixture in the City of Lethbridge's flourishing art and music scene. Building upon the success of its founder, Jesse Plessis, the annual summer classical and art music festival has grown under the stewardship of Artistic Director Ryan Kolodziej to feature a combination of local and visiting world-class Canadian and international musicians from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Read more...

 

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