A Toronto Symphony Orchestra pianist will play solo movements from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet based on Romeo and Juliet at upcoming concerts in Vancouver and West Vancouver, and on Salt Spring Island. Talisa Blackman will also perform Armenian composer Arno Babajanian’s Piano Trio in F sharp minor and German composer Johannes Brahms’s Piano Trio in B major Opus 8 with violinist Joan Blackman and cellist Zoltan Rozsnyai.
Joan Blackman is artistic director of Vetta Chamber Music Society, which is presenting these “Music of the Heart” concerts. On her husband’s side, she’s the aunt of Talisa Blackman, who’s co-artistic director of the Toronto chamber music series 3-in-the-6ix.
“She is a super musician, nimble and flexible and at the peak of her game,” Joan Blackman declares in a Vetta Chamber Music newsletter. “So it seemed the perfect thing in this set of concerts to invite her to play some solo movements from Romeo and Juliet and showcase her enormous talent and passionate piano playing.”
Joan Blackman points out that Babajanian composed his emotionally laden piece in 1952 when there was little personal expression in the Soviet post-war era.
“It is Romanticism tinged with the exotic tang of Armenian folk melodies and dance rhythms, influenced by Khachaturian and yes, Shostakovich, maybe Faure,” she states. “We hear the full gamut of human emotions from hopeful longing to desolate pining to exuberant dancing for joy.”
The first concert is at 2 p.m. on January 26 at West Point Grey United Church. That will be followed by concerts on January 27 at West Vancouver United Church and January 28 at Pyatt Hall. The final concert is on January 29 at ArtSpring on Salt Spring Island. Tickets are available through the Vetta Chamber Music website.
Blackman will also perform in Toronto
Meanwhile, for music lovers in Toronto, Talisa Blackman will perform with violinist Jeremy Potts and cellist Robin Howe in 3rd of 3: Arboreal Cycles on May 10 at Runnymede United Church. It’s part of the 3-in-the-6ix series in Bloor West Village.
This May concert will feature the world premiere of Toronto composer Fjóla Evans’s Arboreal Cycles. In addition, the musicians will play 20th-century French composer Germaine Tailleferre’s Piano Trio and 19th-century Czech composer’s Bedřich Smetana’s Piano Trio in G minor Op. 15. Tickets are available at TalisaBlackman.com.
In the past, Blackman has performed with the Moody Blues and Evanescence.