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Elinor Frey in Concert and Conversation with Alan Rusbridger

May 5, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm


7.30 PM Elinor Frey in conversation with Alan Rusbridger
8.00 PM Concert. Elinor Frey (5-string Baroque cello, Baroque cello). New Music for Baroque cello
Refreshments will be served
There is no need to book – please arrive in good time because spaces are limited.

In this programme, Guided By Voices, cellist Elinor Frey uses a Baroque cello and a five-string Baroque cello to bring a new sound world to contemporary Canadian music. Linda Catlin Smith’s “Ricercar” takes its title from early Italian cello music while Isaiah Ceccarelli’s “With concord of sweet sounds” explores the purities and impurities of slowly shifting chords using many open strings. Scott Godin’s “Guided By Voices” was inspired by the life and music of medieval mystic and composer, Hildegard von Bingen and in particular, a recording by the groundbreaking ensemble, Sequentia. Ken Ueno’s “Chimera” contemplates the ghost of the Baroque. Indeed, each work reveals the cello’s incredible versatility and remarkable colours. The concert will be preceded by a conversation with LMH Principal Alan Rusbridger.


New Music for Baroque cello
Elinor Frey, 5-string Baroque cello, Baroque cello

Ken Ueno (b. 1970) – Chimera (25 min) 5-string Baroque cello (2017)
I. ”Night opening its black flower”
II. “in the shadow of my sorrow”
III. “we are resurrected”
IV. “the sky will be lavender”
V. “an ocean bell sounding”
Commissioned by Elinor Frey with support from the New Music USA Project Grant

Linda Catlin Smith (b. 1956) – Ricercar (11.5 min) 4-string Baroque cello (2015)
Commissioned by Elinor Frey with support from Daniel Cooper

Isaiah Ceccarelli (b. 1978) – with concord of sweet sounds (11.5 min) 5-string Baroque cello (2015)
Commissioned by Elinor Frey

Scott Godin (b. 1970) – Guided By Voices (11:30) 5-string Baroque cello (2014-15)
Commissioned by Elinor Frey


Fascinated by the cello’s origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. Her recent release on the Belgian label Passacaille, Berlin Sonatas with Lorenzo Ghielmi on fortepiano, was nominated for a Juno award for Best Classical CD, Solo & Chamber Music and won the 2015 Québec Opus Prize for Early Music CD of the year. Her first Baroque CD, La voce del violoncello, was praised for its “careful scholarship and brilliant layering of moods and tempos” (Toronto Star) and for the “honest, reflective beauty of her music making” (Strings). Her performance of this program was the winner of the public prize at the 2013 Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe. In Summer 2017, she released Fiorè, the world premiere recording of the sonatas of Angelo Maria Fiorè and various unknown Italian arias the, performed alongside Lorenzo Ghielmi and Suzie LeBlanc.

Frey’s debut album, Dialoghi, is titled for the solo piece written for her by Steven Stucky. Her recent commissions for the Baroque cello are by Scott Godin, Linda Catlin Smith, Ken Ueno, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Maxime McKinley, and Lisa Streich. She recently performed Lutoslawski’s cello concerto and a new work by Colin Labadie with the Laurier Symphony and in April 2018 she will premiere a new concerto by Keiko Devaux with Ensemble Arkea and conductor Dina Gilbert.

Frey’s honours include a US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship where she studied baroque cello with Paolo Beschi, the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, American Musicological Society, and Canada Council for the Arts grants facilitating her work on Italian cello music. In recent seasons she has performed with Il Gardellino, Ensemble Caprice, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Les Idées heureuses, Arion, Clavecin en concert, and Theatre of Early Music, as well as with her quartet, Pallade Musica, grand prize winners of the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition and second prize winners in the 2014 International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht. Frey holds degrees from McGill, Mannes, and Juilliard.

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May 5, 2018
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


Talbot Hall, Lady Margaret Hall
Norham Gardens
Oxford, OX2 6QA United Kingdom
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01865 274300