World famous musical duo playing on Denman Island
One of the best kept secrets in the Comox Valley’s music community has been the regular appearances in recent years of Canadian violinist Kai Gleusteen and French pianist Catherine Ordronneau at the Community Hall on Denman Island.
Earlier this year, in celebration of 10 years of musical collaboration and marriage, the world famous duo treated Denman Islanders to a series of three concerts in three days that featured all 10 sonatas for violin and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Originally from Calgary, Gleusteen is currently concertmaster of the Gran Teatre del Liceu Orchestra in Barcelona, Spain.
In addition to her career as a soloist, Catherine Ordronneau devotes much of her time to chamber music performing in the duo with Gleusteen.
Several years ago Gleusteen’s parents relocated from Calgary to Denman Island and since then he and Ordronneau have visited regularly.
They always combined their visits with concerts at the Community Hall which have been consistently well attended by Denman Islanders.
A secret no more
But now the secret is out.
From Aug. 14-17, they are presenting a chamber music festival called Kaimerata on Denman Island and for the first time a limited number of tickets for individual concerts or the entire series of four are being made available to music lovers in Courtenay and Comox.
The series is centred around the world of the French composer Maurice Ravel. Gleusteen and Ordronneau will be joined by several renowned Canadian musicians, including cellist Ariel Barnes, violinist Hiroko Kagawa, violist David Visentin, and for the series finale bassist Scott White and drummer Kelby Macnayr.
The first Presentation Concert on Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. will feature some of the best known French music including Saint-Saëns The Swan, Debussy Claire de Lune, Ravel Tzigane along with excerpts from the concerts to come. This evening offered at half price (only $12) will serve as an introduction to Ravel and his musical entourage.
The second concert, L’Affaire Ravel, on Friday, Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m. will include Ravel’s gorgeous String Quartet and his teacher, Gabriel Faure’s Piano Quartet no. 1.
The third concert, Ravel’s chef d’oeuvres, is an afternoon performance beginning at 2:30pm on Saturday, Aug. 16 and will feature his Duo for Violin and Cello and the magical Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano.
The final concert entitled Ravel Classic-Jazz is also an afternoon concert beginning at 2:30 on Sunday, Aug. 17. It will include Ravel’s Violin Sonata (with a Blues second movement), excerpts from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin and the festival finale Suite for Violin and Jazz Piano Trio by Claude Bolling.
All concerts are at the Denman Island Community Hall, a quick walk from the ferry landing. Pick-up and drop-off for walk-on passengers can be arranged in advance by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tickets for the Thursday Presentation Concert are $12. All other concerts are $22 or $65 for the entire series. Students are half price. Tickets off Denman Island are available only at Blue Heron Books in Comox. As seating is limited, tickets should be purchased before going to Denman Island.