Those who live in, or visit, Bruce County know that the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre is considered one of the jewels of the County and, on Sunday September 7th, it shone with even more brilliance as the strains of classical music played by master musicians enthralled a capacity audience in its Bruce Power Theatre.
‘Sunday at the Symphony’ program with ‘Music on the Bruce’ featured world-class musicians Sarah Pratt-Parsamian, Robert Woolfrey, Shane Kim, Dominik Franken and Tanya Ell, who have set out to bring the exquisite sounds of chamber music to the Bruce, with their first stop at the Museum.
With the music of Mozart, Milhaud, Prokofiev and Handel played by the renowned artists, it was an afternoon of classical delight that brought rounds of applause from the audience.
Acclaimed violinist Sarah Pratt-Parsamian, originally from Listowel, ON, and currently based in New York, NY, is an avid chamber musician and recital artist who has performed across Canada and the United States, including the Stratford Summer Music Festival, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, the Arts and Letters Club, Heliconian Club (Toronto), the British Art Museum (New Haven, CT), Bargemusic (New York, NY), the Detroit Institute of Art (Detroit, MI), Clefworks (Montgomery, AB), and others. She is also a temporary member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and performs as a substitute with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, with whom she has traveled on tours across the United States, Europe and Asia and is a member of the New York City Opera Orchestra since 2006.
Toronto-born violinist Shane Kim has been a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2012. Prior positions include Principal violinist of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra and concertmaster appearances with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and at the Aspen, Spoleto-Charleston, and Lakes Area music festivals. Winner of the Orford String Quartet Award, he has performed chamber music at the Ravinia Festival, Taos Chamber Music Festival, and Encuentro de Musica in Santander, Spain.
Born and raised in Toronto, Robert Woolfrey studied with Joaquin Valdepeñas at the University of Toronto and at Yale University with David Shifrin, where he received a master’s degree in music. He is also an alumnus of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, where he performed as the soloist for Nielsen’s “Clarinet Concerto” and returns frequently to Miami as a coach. Robert is married to Cleveland Orchestra cellist Tanya Ell, and they have two young children. He joined the clarinet section of The Cleveland Orchestra in November 2008 and, prior to his appointment, was the Principal Clarinet of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
Cellist Tanya Ell, a chamber musician, soloist, and member of The Cleveland Orchestra, has toured the great concert halls with the orchestra, including Carnegie Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Royal Albert Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall. She received her Bachelor of Music at the Juilliard School under Aldo Parisot and spent a fruitful year under the tutelage of Shauna Rolston at the University of Toronto. While finishing her Master’s Degree with Richard Aaron at the Cleveland Institute of Music, she won a position with the Milwaukee Symphony and was appointed Acting Assistant Principal a year later.
Dominik Franken was born and raised in Germany where he studied the violin and viola with concertmaster Erich Brand and played in the German Youth Orchestra, Bonner Sinfonietta and the Brand Quartet. After immigrating to Canada in 1987, he pursued a career in farming and as an Investment Advisor. The viola however, has always been part of his life and he has played in several orchestras and as a chamber musician. Dominik retired to Myles Bay in 2019 and, in 2022, he started the Lions Head Summer Music one-week celebration of classical music.
“We are very excited that ‘Music on the Bruce’ may want to make this an annual event,” said Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre Program Coordinator Evan Vatri. “We are in discussions and the group has indicated they want to make the Museum their first stop on their summer tours. It is obvious from today’s attendance that there are those who love, and want to hear, more classical music in live performance.”
From the Museum, the quintet moved on to perform in Wiarton, Red Bay, Lion’s Head and Tobermory along the Bruce Peninsula.