Cellist Mark Chambers spotlighted in Faculty Concert Series

York music Professor and cellist Mark Chambers has invited his department colleague and frequent collaborator, pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, to share the concert stage next Tuesday in the next performance of the Faculty Concert Series. 

The duo will showcase their versatility and musicianship in a program featuring sonatas by German composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms and American composer Samuel Barber. In selecting their program, the artists are building on repertoire they have performed together in the past. The performance will take place at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East Building on York’s Keele campus.

Right: Mark Chambers

Having presented Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas No. 3 and No. 4 several times in recitals on and off campus, Chambers and Petrowska Quilico are now continuing the cycle with a rendition of Beethoven’s fifth and last sonata for piano and cello. They are planning to record all five sonatas at a future date.

The Brahms selection is Sonata No. 2 in F major, a work Chambers describes as “one of the jewels of cello and piano literature.” The pair have already performed Brahms’ first Sonata in E minor.

Barber’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Opus 6 is one of Chambers’ favourite 20th century American sonatas. He and Petrowska Quilico chose this modern work to stand in contrast to the two other pieces of the classical and romantic period.

Left: Christina Petrowska Quilico

Chambers has appeared extensively throughout the United States and Ontario as both a chamber musician and orchestral player. A former Theodore Presser Foundation Fellow, he has studied cello with Martha Gerschefski, Lubomir Georgiev and David Miller. Chambers’ research interests include Baroque music, period instrument performance practice, the “Tartini Tone”, and scordatura – altered tunings for strings. He serves as conductor of the York University Symphony Orchestra.

One of Canada’s foremost pianists, Petrowska Quilico is widely recognized as an innovative and adventurous artist. The Toronto Star cited her Glenn Gould Studio concert of Ann Southam’s Pond Life in its “top 10 of 2009” list, and the National Arts Centre’s list of memorable 2009 events included the Canadian Music Centre’s 50th-anniversary concert in which Petrowska Quilico was a featured performer. She has appeared in solo recitals, chamber settings and with orchestras on four continents. While she is best known as an interpreter of contemporary and Canadian music, her critically acclaimed discography also includes solo CDs featuring works by Chopin, Debussy and Liszt. A professor of piano performance and musicology at York for more than two decades, she frequently collaborates in live and recorded performances with her colleagues.  

Chambers’ and Petrowska Quilico’s recital on Jan. 19 is the third of five performances in the Faculty Concert Series, spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music. Upcoming concerts will feature pianist Michael Coghlan on Feb. 2 and jazz drummer Barry Elmes on March 2. 

Tickets are $15, or $5 for students and seniors. A three-concert package is available for $30. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the York University Box Office Web site or call 416-736-5888.