Duo Concertante

Duo ConcertanteThe inscription over Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata reads, “in stilo molto concertante,” with the implication that the performers are two equal and dynamic voices. This notion defines Duo Concertante’s artistic relationship. The „Kreutzer“ sonata was the first piece the duo played when, in 1997, when they burst into the performance world like “two packages of musical dynamite” (Halifax Chronicle-Herald). Fifteen years later, the „quality of the ensemble playing speaks to years of successful collaboration“ (CAML) by these „expert instrumentalists“ (Audiophilia).

The Beethoven violin sonatas have remained a key element of Duo Concertante’s repertoire, and a recording of the cycle, Beethoven: Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano, was released on the Marquis Classics label as a three-CD set. Of this ECMA nominated recording, Music Toronto’s John Terauds says, “these beautiful interpretations are so good right down to the tiniest of details that they deserve to be called a reference in the contemporary performance of these 10 great pieces.“

Nancy Dahn, violin, and Timothy Steeves, piano, have received the Touring Performers Award (Contact East), as well as Memorial University’s prestigious President’s Award for Outstanding Research, and were named NLAC Artist of the Year in May 2010. Of their six acclaimed recordings, Wild Bird (Centrediscs, 2010), comprises works written especially for the duo by Canadian composers Murray Schafer, Chan Ka Nin, and Kati Agócs, and includes Schafer’s Duo for Violin and Piano, which won the 2011 Juno Award in the Classical Composition of the Year category. Duo Concertante’s 2009 recording It Takes Two features encore pieces arranged by Canadian composer Clifford Crawley and was described as “spectacular” (American Record Guide). The first three CDs—À Deux, Of Heart and Homeland, and Wild Honey—all received nominations for Best Classical Recording at the East Coast Music Awards. Released in 2012, their classical music video “Tico Tico“ aired on CTV2.

Duo Concertante have consistently revealed their passion for new music, commissioning a total of eighteen new works for violin and piano from many of Canada’s leading composers, such as Chan Ka Nin, Andrew Staniland, Kati Agócs, Kelly-Marie Murphy, Alice Ho, Omar Daniel, Clark Ross, Andrew MacDonald, Rob Teehan, David Scott, Linda Bouchard, and Jean Lesage. Wild Honey (2005) and Wild Bird (2010) consist almost entirely of new Canadian works written for the duo; in 2012-2013 the Duo gave world premières of works by Denis Gougeon, Vincent Ho, Jocelyn Morlock and Clifford Crawley.

Duo Concertante maintain a busy touring schedule, with frequent performances across North America, as well as in Europe and China. They have appeared at Wigmore Hall (London), Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall (New York City), Old First Church (San Francisco), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), Roy Thomson Hall and the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre (Toronto), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), the Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing), and the Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur (Montreal). They perform at music festivals throughout North America, including the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Indian River Festival, Colours of Music Festival, and the Huntsville Festival, and have served as artists-in-residence at the Guelph Spring Festival, the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto, and Bishop’s University.

Based at Memorial University in St. John’s, Dahn and Steeves are energetic, experienced teachers who have given hundreds of master classes and workshops across Canada, in the US, and in China. Their commitment to working with young musicians gave rise to the annual Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival, which they founded in 2000 to bring together young chamber music performers with world-class artists and ensembles for an intensive two weeks of learning and performance.

Performances in 2013-2014 include the world première of a 30-minute work by Vincent Ho at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival; performances with orchestras in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, recitals for the Indian River Festival, Colours of Music festival, Festival of the Sound, and St Cecilia Concert Association as well as concert tour in Scotland, England and Germany. They will record the complete violin and keyboard sonatas by Bach beginning in June 2014.


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 beethoven Beethoven
Gesamte Sonaten für Violine und Klavier
 wild_bird Wild Bird
R. Murray Schafer, Chan Ka Nin, Kati Agócs
 it_takes_two It Takes Two
De Abreu, Gershwin, Saint-Saëns, Khachaturian, Grieg, Gillespie, Prokofiev, Sibelius, Rodgers, Bonfá, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Puccini
 wild_honey Wild Honey
Kelly-Marie Murphy, Chan Ka Nin, Omar Daniel, Jean Lesage, Andrew Paul MacDonald
 heart_and_homeland Of Heart and Homeland
Janáček, de Falla, Shostakovich, Michael Parker, Smetana, Dvořák, Piazolla
a_deux À Deux
Beethoven (Die Kreutzersonate), Ravel, Stravinsky, Brahms


* Kanadischer Komponist

Abreu, Zequinha
Tico Tico, arr. Clifford Crawley

Bach, Johann Sebastian
Sonata in B minor, BWV 1014
Sonata in A major, BWV 1015
Sonata in E Major, BWV 1016
Sonata in C minor, BWV 1017
Sonata in F minor, BWV 1018
Sonata in G major, BWV 1019

Bártók, Bela
Rhapsody no. 1
Sonata no. 1
Sonata no. 2
Rumanian Folk Dances

Beethoven, Ludwig van
Sonata in D major, op. 12, no. 1
Sonata in A major, op. 12, no. 2
Sonata in E-flat major, op. 12, no. 3
Sonata in A minor, op. 23
Sonata in F major, op.24 („Spring“)
Sonata in A major, op. 30, no. 1
Sonata in C minor, op. 30, no. 2
Sonata in G major, op. 30, no. 3
Sonata in A minor, op. 47(„Kreutzer“)
Sonata in G major, op. 96

Bonfa, Luiz
Black Orpheus, arr. Clifford Crawley

Bouchard, Linda*
Spill Out (2006)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the CBC)

Brahms, Johannes
Scherzo WoO 2
Sonata no. 1 in G major, op. 78
Sonata no. 2 in A major, op. 100
Sonata no. 3 in D minor, op. 108

Chan, Ka Nin*
Cool Mountain Water (2001)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the Laidlaw Foundation)
Late in a Slow Time (2006)
(with poetry by Carole Langille)

Chausson, Ernest
Concert, for solo violin, piano, and string quartet

Crawley, Clifford*
Comme de longs échos (2012)

Current, Brian*
Faster Still for Solo Violin, Piano, and String Quartet (2006)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the CBC)

Daniel, Omar*
Wild Honey (2001)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the Canada Council)

Debussy, Claude
Sonate pour violon et piano

Dvorak, Anton
Ballad, op.15, no.1

de Falla, Manuel
Suite populaire espagnole

Faure, Gabriel
Sonata in A major

Franck, César
Sonata in A major

Gershwin, George
Lady Be Good, arr. Clifford Crawley

Gillespie, Dizzy
Night in Tunisia, arr. Clifford Crawley

Grieg, Edvard
Solveig’s Song, arr. Clifford Crawley

Gougeon, Denis*
Chants du Coeur (2012)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante)

Hétu, Jacques*
Sonata (1996)

Ho, Alice*
Double Concerto „Capriccio Ballo“ (2005)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the CBC)
Coeur `a Coeur

Ho, Vince*
Maples and the Stream
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the Manitoba Arts Council)

Janácek, Leos
Sonata for Violin and Piano

Khachaturian, Aram
Sabre Dance, arr. Clifford Crawley

Lesage, Jean*
Portrait of a Sentimental Musician in a Distorting Mirror (2000)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the CBC)

MacDonald, Andrew*
Double Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Orchestra, op. 51 (2000)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the Canada Council)
Sonata no. 2 (1999) („The Phoenix“)

Morlock, Jocelyn*
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the Canada Council)

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Sonata in B flat major, K. 378
Sonata in G, K. 397
Sonata in B flat, K.454
Turkish March, arr. Clifford Crawley

Mozetich, Marjan*
Desire at Twilight

Mendelssohn, Felix
Concerto for Violin and Piano in D minor

Murphy, Kelly – Marie*
Dance Me to Your Beauty with a Burning Violin (2002)

Parker, Michael*
In Memoriam, op. 43 (1991)

Pärt, Arvo

Piazzolla, Astor
Le grand tango, arr. Nancy Dahn

Prokofiev, Sergey
Five Melodies, op. 35
Romeo and Juliette, arr. Clifford Crawley

Puccini, Giacomo
Hummers Chorus, arr. Clifford Crawley

Ravel, Maurice
Sonate pour violon et piano

Rodgers, Richard
It’s a Grand Night for Falling in love .., arr. Crawley

Robinovitch, Sid*
Meditation for Violin and Piano (2003)

Ross, Clark*
Three Pieces for Violin and Piano (1997)

Saint Saens, Camille
Danse macabre
Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix, arr. Clifford Crawley

Schafer, R. Murray*
Duo for Violin and Piano (2008)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the CBC, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and the Tuckamore Festival: Chamber Music in Newfoundland)
Wild Bird

Schubert, Franz
Fantasy in C Major, D 934
Sonatina No. 1 in D major, D. 384
Sonatina No. 2 in A minor, D. 385
Sonatina No. 3 in G minor, D. 408
Sonata in A major, D. 574
Rondo in B minor, D. 895

Schumann, Robert
Sonata in a minor, op. 105

Scott, David R.*
Balance (2004)
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the Manitoba Arts Council)

Shostakovich, Dmitri
Three Dances for Violin and Piano

Stanliand, Andrew*
The river within us….
(written for and commissioned by Duo Concertante with the assistance of the CBC)

Strauss, Richard
Sonata op. 18

Tchaikovsky, Piotr
Barcarolle (June), arr. Clifford Crawley