5 things to know about Andrew Wan – curious arts

Our guest violin virtuoso playing Beethoven’s Sonatas

University of Alberta pianist Jacques Després and violinist Andrew Wan have united to play all Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano over three consecutive years for the pleasure of Edmonton classical music audiences. This Friday, February 6 is the third and final concert in the annual series, featuring Beethoven’s Sonatas no. 6, no. 9 and no. 10.


Andrew Wan.

Here are 5 things to know about Andrew Wan:

1) Edmonton is Wan’s hometown.

Andrew Wan began playing the violin at the time he started kindergarten right here in our fair city and he remains a devoted Oilers fan to this day!

2) Both Andrew Wan and Jacques Després are Juilliard trained artists.

They are both first prize winners of the prestigious Montreal Symphony competition although “decades apart,” Després clarifies laughing.

Després won the MSO competition in 1978, Wan in 2007.

3) Wan was named concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in 2008, making him one of the youngest leaders of a major symphony.

He frequently serves as guest concertmaster for several North American orchestras and has appeared as artist and faculty at the Seattle Chamber, Edinburgh, Olympic, Agassiz, La Jolla, Aspen and Orford Music Festivals.

4) Wan is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician and concertmaster.

His relationship with the MSO began with performances of Elgar’s Violin Concerto, which were hailed as one of the top two musical moments of 2007 by La Presse.

As soloist, he has appeared with the orchestras of Montreal, Toronto, Newfoundland, Juilliard, Aspen, McGill Chamber and Edmonton under conductors such as Jean-Claude Casadesus, Maxim Vengerov, Peter Oundjian, James DePreist, Marc Piollet and Michael Stern.

Wan has performed extensively throughout the world, appearing in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Jordan Hall and Salle Gaveau with artists such as the Juilliard Quartet, the Sejong Soloists, the New Zealand Trio, Gil Shaham, Andres Diaz and Cho-Liang Lin.

His discography includes Grammy and Juno award-nominated releases on the Onyx, Bridge and Naxos labels with James Ehnes and the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the Metropolis Ensemble and the New Orford Quartet.

5) Wan performs on a 1744 Michel’Angelo Bergonzi violin, courtesy the David Sela Collection.

His favourite composers are Brahms, Schubert, and Ravel.

Presenter: U of A Studio Theatre
Event Title: Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Part III.
Featuring: University of Alberta pianist Jacques Després and violinist Andrew Wan
Date: Friday, February 6 at 8 p.m.
Venue: Convocation Hall, University of Alberta
Tickets: $10 student, $20 adult, $15 senior available at the door or in advance from Yeglive

For full program details see show page: http://uofa.ualberta.ca/events/beethovens-sonatas

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