Jacques Després and Andrew Wan: Moving On – curious arts

After playing all of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano over the past three seasons, Jacques Després and Andrew Wan are moving on to play assorted sonatas from Mozart, Grieg, Debussy and Strauss on Friday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. in Convocation Hall.

There is no doubt, audiences are going to be dazzled by the talent onstage at Moving On. Both Després and Wan are first prize winners of the prestigious Montreal Symphony competition and graduates of the Juilliard School. I caught up with University of Alberta Music professor Jacques Després to find out how he first met Andrew Wan and to learn more about their upcoming concert together.

Dr. Jacques Després

Dr. Jacques Després

Andrew Wan

Andrew Wan

How did you first meet Andrew Wan?

He was a student here, in 2000 or 2001, before he moved on to complete his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School.

In one word, describe Andrew as a violinist.


In 2008, Andrew was named concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO), making him one of the youngest leaders of a major symphony. His relationship with Edmonton audiences remains a close one, as he was raised here.

Now that you have played all of Beethoven’s sonatas over the past three years, you are moving on to play other pieces — hence the title of this year’s concert.

It is a standard program with pieces we just really love to play.

Tell me about each of the pieces you have selected to play at Moving On

Sonata for violin and piano in E minor, K. 304 (1778)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The Mozart is very striking and stark. It is a tragic and sombre sonata.

Sonata no. 3 for violin and piano in C minor, Op. 45 (1886)
Edvard Grieg

This a wonderful, romantic piece. It is more light.

Sonate pour violon et piano in G minor, L. 140 (1917)
Claude Debussy

It is quite an exceptional and spectacular work — very mature. It was written when World War I was raging and while Debussy was dying of cancer.

Sonata for violin and piano in E-flat major, Op. 18 (1887-1888)
Richard Strauss

The final work is the big piece. It is a huge technical challenge for the performers. It is not an easy one, but it is a beautiful movement.

Presenter: University of Alberta Department of Music
Event Title:Moving On
Performed by: University of Alberta pianist Jacques Després and Montreal Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Andrew Wan
Date: Friday, Sept. 25 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: https://uofa.ualberta.ca/events/moving-on

Photo credits: Image of Jacques Després by University of Alberta marketing and communications. Image of Andrew Wan supplied by the artist.

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