It's been a busy year and I dare say Spring ain't even here yet. Well maybe just barely. It’s taking long enough...

First thing's first: this Thursday April 5 2018 at 8pm I'll be performing an exciting program with the Hart House Orchestra in Toronto featuring me and my violinist friend Arkady Yanivker from the TSO as soloists in Arthur Benjamin's "Romantic Fantasy" for violin, viola, and 'small orchestra' (the HHO is anything but 'small!' but it's ok, they're doing a great job playing sensitively and not completely burying us...) — PLUS me and the fab young cellist Emma Fisher covering the solo viola and cello parts in Strauss' seminal tone poem Don Quixote. Despite my extensive touring with the CSQ for so many years I haven't performed soloistically on my own (or at least without the Quartet, since we did do a few quartet concertos (Spohr, Mozart, Elgar, Pablo Furman) with various groups along the way) with an orchestra since my postgraduate days in London. U.K., when a violinist/conductor friend was my enabler in an ad-hoc orchestra presentation of Paul Hindemith's viola concerto Der Schwanendreher at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama... So I am really looking forward to this! If you're reading this post and just survived this run-on paragraph, consider yourself invited. Admission's free!

About one week after the HHO extravaganza (bonus trivia: the HHO is apparently the same age as me!) Arkady joins me again for a virtuosic violin-viola duo recital at The Music Room in Waterloo, 8pm April 11. We've been having fun simultaneously prepping the Benjamin double concerto and the duets we found for this KWCMSprogram, which includes: Mozart's famous Duo No.1 in G major; Sibelius' little known Duet in C Major; Bohuslav Martinu's rarely played "Duo No.2" (not one of the Three Madrigals, this is a completely separate, full-length 3-movement work); and just for laughs, Alessandro Rolla's delightful "Duo Concertant" which features a brilliant "Tema di Caraffa" at the heart of the 3-(and a bit)movement work. Sound like fun? Come out to 57 Young St. in Waterloo at 8pm on April 11 and join us for the evening!

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Loads of other fun stuff is also upcoming. The KWS pops program this week is a collaboration with Cirque de la Symphonie. Next week we’re performing the Barber violin concerto featuring our own concertmaster as soloist, along with a very cool work by Thomas Ades and Schubert’s “Great” C Major Symphony No.9.

My wife is playing a noontime chamber music concert on April 18 in K-W that I’m looking forward to, and later that same day I will be attending the final concert of the K-W Symphony Youth Orchestra Chamber Music program, for which I have been coaching a String Trio on Sunday’s since mid-Fall... and even later that same day my son’s playing French horn in his high school music program’s Spring concert.

Lots more coming in May, I’ll write about that later.

And taxes. Eventually those will get done, too. So says tradition, anyway.