Sunday, Mar 14, 2021 at 4:00pm
Paul Riley, Visual Artist
Jeff Nelson, horn
Caleb Hudson, trumpet
Brandon Ridenour, trumpet
Achilles Liarmakopoulos, trombone
Chuck Daellenbach, tuba
With an international reputation as one of the most popular brass ensembles today, Canadian Brass has truly earned the distinction of “the world’s most famous brass group.
Friends Chuck Daellenbach and Gene Watts first came together in 1970 to form a brass quintet — a chamber music setting not entirely new, but never before having garnered the success and storied career Canadian Brass would achieve over the next 40 years. Initially, Gene took on the role of developing new repertoire while Chuck was the moving force in marketing, publishing and managing the business. Three empty chairs were quickly filled and together, the group’s imagination and consummate musicianship elevated the art of the brass quintet to what it is today. Here was not only an opportunity to explore the possibilities of an all-brass chamber group but a challenge to bring the sound and the excitement of brass music to new audiences.
Masters of concert presentations, Canadian Brass has developed a uniquely engaging stage presence and rapport with audiences. Each of their concerts will show the full range from trademark Baroque and Dixieland tunes to new compositions and arrangements created especially for them – from formal classical presentation to music served up with lively dialogue and theatrical effects. The hallmark of any Canadian Brass performance is entertainment, spontaneity, virtuosity and, most of all, fun – but never at the expense of the music: Whatever the style, the music is central and performed with utmost dedication, skill and excellence.
With a discography of over 130 albums and an extensive world-wide touring schedule, Canadian Brass is an important pioneer in bringing brass music to mass audiences everywhere. They have sold well over 2 million albums worldwide, with 1.2 million sold in the Nielsen Soundscan era alone (since 1991). They continue to score Billboard chart positions — like with their rousing recording of patriotic songs and marches, Stars & Stripes: Canadian Brass Salute America, which spent 8 weeks in the Top 25 on the Billboard Classical Chart, peaking at #2! Touring legends with an enthusiastic fan base, the Canadian Brass play to packed houses everywhere throughout the USA, Canada, Japan and Europe. They have also toured Australia, the Middle East, the Soviet Union and South America. They were the first brass ensemble from the West to perform in the People’s Republic of China (where they returned for a 5-city tour to great acclaim in the spring of 2010 and several visits after this, including an appearance on Hunan TV for Chinese New Year) as well as the first brass group to take the main stage at the venerable Carnegie Hall. On numerous occasions Canadian Brass has been invited by the Canadian Government to play for visiting heads of states, becoming one of Canada’s greatest resources and musical ambassadors.
Millions of television viewers have had Canadian Brass in their homes with appearances on The Tonight Show, Today and Entertainment Tonight and recently to more than 1/2 a billion viewers for Chinese New Year on China’s most popular station. They have appeared as guest artists on Evening at Pops with John Williams and the Boston Pops, Beverly Sills’ Music Around the World, numerous PBS specials, including a celebrated appearance on Sesame Street, and are frequent guests of many major symphony orchestras. Canadian Brass were the featured artists on the soundtrack to the 1988 film The Couch Trip, starring Dan Aykroyd and Walter Matthau. Consummate artists, the quintet has also created unique and interactive videos that have gained an international audience including a series of DVDs featuring the brass in concert and teaching. They are on the cutting edge of technology offering their fans multimedia airplay, downloads and youtube videos and streaming opportunities as well as digital applications with iPhone and other smartphone carriers. You can find them twittering and on Facebook with their fanbase growing daily!
The varied Canadian Brass repertoire features brass standards as well as a wide-ranging library of original arrangements. These include the works of Renaissance and Baroque masters, Classical works, marches, holiday favourites, ragtime, Dixieland, Latin, jazz, big band, Broadway and Christian music as well as popular songs and standards. Having started with a very limited base, Canadian Brass has created their own musical world by transcribing, arranging and commissioning more than 600 works, including critically acclaimed compositions from Michael Kamen, Luther Henderson, Bramwell Tovey, Don Gillis and more. They have transformed a previously neglected group of instruments with a limited repertoire into a versatile and vital ensemble that can play everything from Gabrieli to Gershwin! Canadian Brass is especially noted for their famous Holiday Concerts at Christmas time and was at the forefront of re-establishing Scott Joplin with today’s audiences through their research, arrangements and recordings of his “rags” and other works.
Education plays a key role in the story of Canadian Brass and each member is uniquely attuned to training the next generation of players. On their travels around the world, they often pause for masterclasses and are more than happy to work with students and young audiences. Canadian Brass is currently Ensemble in Residence at the University of Toronto after having been Chamber Quintet-in-Residence for many years at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and has created an innovative brass summer course at the Eastman School of Music. Their support of education is also clearly viewed in their outreach and interaction with El Sistema, the acclaimed global music education program in Venezuela.
In conjunction with the Hal Leonard Corporation, the Canadian Brass have made available their extensive library of brass music for performers of all levels as well as learning tools. Since 1998 Canadian Brass has been a recording artist at Opening Day Entertainment Group (ODEG) (distributed by IDLA) releasing over 25 CDs on the imprint to date. Opening Day is owned and run by Chuck Daellenbach together with his wife, MB. Canadian Brass sheet music and recordings are available in their online store.
With four decades under their belts, Canadian Brass continues to thrill audiences around the world – and they don’t look like they are letting up anytime soon!
One of the many Canadian pig-farm-raised magician horn players in the world, Jeff Nelsen has thrilled audiences and mentored students for over twenty-five years. Having recently entered his ninth year touring and recording as solo horn with Canadian Brass, Jeff Nelsen has also performed concerti with orchestras on six continents, and in the horn sections of dozens of orchestras including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, and the Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Montreal Symphonies. One thrilling event last summer was performing in Carnegie Hall as guest principal horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra and fellow Canadian, maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Jeff is Professor of Music (horn) at the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he teaches full-time as a horn, chamber music, and performance coach. He is founder of Fearless Performance LLC, a company that focuses on training musicians and entrepreneurs to improve their mental game so they consistently perform their best. In 2011 he gave his celebrated TED Talk on Fearless Performance. A huge Broadway musical fan, Jeff played the complete run of two Broadway shows in NYC that were nominated for Tony awards – “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Sherman Brothers) and “The Pirate Queen” (Boublil and Schönberg). Jeff has toured with Michael Bolton and Barry Manilow, has recorded with Michael Buble and the pop band “Barenaked Ladies”, and has performed on dozens of movie and video game soundtracks. Jeff most enjoys performing with his wife, mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen, on recital and orchestral pops series. Jeff was President of the International Horn Society from 2014-16. Jeff performs on his Dieter Otto 180 K-JN (Nelsen Model) horn he co-designed with German horn-maker Martin Ecker, and his mouthpiece he co-designed with Scott Laskey. He publishes a collection of sheet music through his company “Perform Music” and has upcoming releases of online video courses on “Beginner Horn Fundamentals” with The Musician’s Toolkit, and on “How to teach Fearless Performance” with The Royal Conservatory in Toronto.
Aside from creating musical magic, Jeff is an enthusiastic magician, and often adds touches of illusionary arts to performances. He is a magician member of the Academy of Magical Arts at the world famous Magic Castle in Los Angeles. His most magical time is spent with his enchanting wife, mezzo-soprano Nina Nelsen and their two spellbinding sons Rhys and Blair.
Caleb Hudson is the newest member of the Canadian Brass, having graduated from the Juilliard School with both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Acclaimed by the New York Times as ‘brilliantly stylish,’ Caleb has performed as an international soloist, including a recital that was broadcast nationally on NPR’s Performance Today.
Caleb is known for his piccolo trumpet mastery of Bach’s infamous Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, having performed it around the world with ensembles including Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Israel Philharmonic Soloists, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Possessing a wide range of musical styles, his experience ranges from soloing in Carnegie Hall to performing with early music ensembles, even appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live. He is an alumnus of Interlochen Arts Academy and Ensemble Connect, a fellowship program of Carnegie Hall that promotes community outreach, and music education.
Caleb enjoys writing and arranging music for Canadian Brass, having many works performed, published, and recorded. They can be heard on two albums, Canadian Brass: Perfect Landing and Canadian Brass: Great Wall of China. In 2015, his original composition White Rose Elegy was performed as a world premiere in Lincoln Center by the Canadian Brass and New York Philharmonic Principal Brass.
Caleb is Assistant Professor of Trumpet at the prestigious University of North Texas College of Music, where he is devoted to teaching and sharing his love for music with students.
Brandon Ridenour is a stylistically diverse trumpet soloist, collaborative artist, composer and arranger. Recognized as “…heralding the trumpet of the future” (Chicago Sun Times) and for “demonstrating the trumpet’s huge potential for lyricism” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), he has combined his wide-ranging activities as soloist and chamber musician with his passion for composing and arranging, resulting in his distinctive artistic voice and vision.
At the age of twenty, Brandon became the youngest member ever to join the iconic Canadian Brass, a position he held for seven years. With the group, he played in distinguished venues around the world, performed on television, recorded ten albums, appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk, and received three Juno Award nominations. He also created a catalog of new arrangements for the ensemble, which are still performed today. Brandon rejoined Canadian Brass in 2019 and continues to create new repertoire for the group.
Brandon is a winner of numerous competitions, including Concert Artists Guild, International Trumpet Guild, and the American Composers Forum. He has played with a diverse array of musicians, including Sting, James Taylor, Marvin Hamlisch, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Esperanza Spalding, John Williams, and esteemed ensembles, such as the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, International Contemporary Ensemble, the Knights, Orpheus, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
In 2019, Brandon launched Come Together, an album of reimagined Beatles music celebrating the 50th anniversary of the classic Lennon/McCartney song. Brandon has since developed this collaborative album into a larger social impact and environmentalism project, with the mission of conveying, through music, the importance of humanity coming together to take better care of our planet and each other.
Brandon began arranging both solo and collaborative music for the trumpet in order to expand the possibilities for his instrument, sometimes including a melding of musical styles and creating a new cross-genre repertoire. In addition to showcasing these works in his own recital and concerto performances, his arrangements are also featured by the ensembles Founders (a quintet featuring trumpet/piano, violin/voice, clarinet, cello and bass) and USEFULchamber, both of which Brandon is a founding member. He has recorded three previous solo albums, most recently Fantasies and Fairy Tales which features his own virtuosic arrangements of classical masterworks for trumpet and piano.
Brandon began his musical journey at age 5, studying piano with his father, pianist Rich Ridenour. He received his B.M. from the Juilliard School of Music in the studios of Mark Gould and Ray Mase.
Outside of music, Brandon has studied sketch writing and improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre company and has always been a not-so-closeted fan of comedy. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Achilles Liarmakopoulos joined the Canadian Brass in 2011. He has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia, performing and educating in the world’s most important venues and institutions.
Achilles holds degrees from the Yale University School of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory and the Philippos Nakas Conservatory in his hometown Athens, Greece. Upon completion of his studies, he won the position of principal trombone of the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra. Achilles has also performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony and the European Union Youth Orchestra, among many others.
As a recitalist, Achilles has performed in China, Panama, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Greece, USA and Canada, having been awarded honors at competitions around the globe. At the age of 18, he gave two solo performances at Walt Disney Hall as the Grand Prize Winner of the Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition judged by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has gone on to win prizes at the Christian Lindberg International Competition, the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe (YMFE) and the International Trombone Festival’s Robert Marsteller/Conn-Selmer and Larry Wiehe solo competitions, to name a few. Achilles was also awarded the Alexandros S. Onassis Foundation and the Greek State Scholarship Foundation educational scholarships.
His discography includes five solo albums – “Obvious” with French harp Soloist Coline-Marie Orliac, “Ethereal” with 20th and 21st century lyrical works from around the world, “Trombone Atrevido” dedicated to Choro music from Brazil, “Discoveries” with contemporary compositions on the ODEG label, “Tango Distinto” with Astor Piazzolla’s music on the NAXOS label – five recordings with the Canadian Brass and numerous appearances on classical, pop, Latin, and other albums.
Achilles also performs around the world with Pink Martini and he has also performed with salsa icon Ruben Blades.
He is also an adjunct trombone professor at Brooklyn College at CUNY University in NY.
Chuck Daellenbach has brought music, imagination and humour to Canadian Brass since the group was formed in 1970. Playing a key role in all of the group’s groundbreaking projects, world travels and on over 130 recordings, Chuck and his gold-plated & carbon bell tuba are the bedrock of the massive Canadian Brass repertoire – from Baroque to jazz.
Chuck comes from a long line of German and Swiss musicians and, during his upbringing in Wisconsin, his father gave him daily music lessons.
As a teenager, Chuck began studies with legendary Chicago Symphony tuba player, Arnold Jacobs, and throughout his career whenever possible would stop in to see his mentor, Mr. Jacobs. After earning a Ph.D. at the age of 25 from the Eastman School of Music, Chuck headed north to teach at the Music Faculty at the University of Toronto. His academic plans were soon derailed when he met trombonist Gene Watts. Together they formed this unique brass quintet with Chuck on tuba.
For the next 38 years Gene and Chuck guided Canadian Brass to the top of their field, through thousands of performances and fantastic opportunities including two “command” performances for the Queen of England. Chuck’s dialogue during concerts has kept audiences engaged helping to establish an appreciation for great music of all types to musicians and non-musicians alike. Possibly the most recognized tuba player in the world, Chuck has performed with many of the greatest musicians and conductors.
The definition of a multi-tasker, Chuck always has several projects in the works at once. These include a series of hundreds of brass works published by Hal Leonard (many accompanied by CDs) played by music students and professional players around the world. He runs Canadian Brass Publishing and together with his wife, MB, they manage Opening Day Entertainment Group [Odeg], the ensemble’s recording label. They reside in Toronto, Ontario, with their sons, Chris and Willis
For concert information, please contact BFAS directly at 904-270-1771 or email email@example.com
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Tuesday, Jan 19, 2021 at 4:00pm Eastern Time
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