April 13, 2024
Kerson Leong, violin
Gordon Gerrard, conductor
CAITLIN-SMITH Burnt Umber
SIBELIUS Violin Concerto
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3
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Kerson Leong, violin
Kerson Leong has been described as “not just one of Canada’s greatest violinists but one of the greatest violinists, period” (Toronto Star). Forging a unique path since his First Prize win at the International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition in 2010, he continues to win over colleagues and audiences alike with “a mixture of spontaneity and mastery, elegance, fantasy, intensity that makes his sound recognizable from the first notes” (Le Monde).
His recent album for Alpha Classics featuring the complete sonatas for solo violin by Eugène Ysaÿe was awarded the Diapason d’Or Découverte and the Choc de Classica, with Classica proclaiming him “more than a discovery, a veritable revelation” and Gramophone declaring that “his recording could be a happy first choice for any discerning listener”.
His 22/23 season includes solo performances with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Brussels Phiharmonic, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain, Les Violons du Roy and Symphony Nova Scotia among others, as well as a tour of Sweden with the Camerata Nordica. Highlights from past seasons include solo performances with such ensembles as the Royal, Oslo, Kansai, and Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, the Singapore, Montreal, Vancouver, Stavanger, and Wuppertal Symphony Orchestras, a recital tour of the Midwestern United States, and recording John Rutter’s Visions with the composer himself and the Aurora Chamber Orchestra, after giving its world premiere in London, UK.
As a sought-after soloist, he was hand-picked by Yannick Nézet-Séguin to be his artist-in-residence with the Orchestre Métropolitain during the 18/19 season and has performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Wigmore Hall, the Auditorium du Louvre and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. As a passionate chamber musician, he has performed at such international festivals and concert series as the Verbier Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Flâneries musicales de Reims, and Bergen International Festival among others.
Passionate about pedagogy and music outreach, he has been invited to give masterclasses and teach at various festivals and universities including the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University, and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Fostering a significant audience away from the concert hall as well, he is cementing his noteworthy role in reaching young people, aspiring musicians, and potential music lovers alike with his art in creative and engaging ways on social media. He is an associate artist of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, where he was mentored by Augustin Dumay.
He has always been keen on making connections between music and other fields. Ever since his dad started introducing him to physics concepts about string resonance, they have strongly influenced his playing and philosophy on sound production. Together with his dad, he has given lectures about this subject in places such as the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Barratt-Due Music Institute in Oslo, and various universities in California.
Kerson performs on the ‘ex Bohrer, Baumgartner’ Guarneri del Gesu courtesy of Canimex Inc, Drummondville (Quebec), Canada.
Gordon Gerrard, conductor
Conductor Gordon Gerrard is among the exciting new generation of music directors demonstrating new visions for orchestral leadership in Canada. Currently in his sixth season leading the Regina Symphony Orchestra, Gordon has distinguished himself as a leader in innovative and inclusionary programming. Trained first as a pianist and subsequently as a specialist in operatic repertoire, he brings a fresh perspective to the podium that endears him to audiences and musicians alike. After an international search, Gordon was appointed Music Director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra where he has taken bold steps reimagining the orchestra’s programming, including its Forward Currents Festival dedicated to social change and community engagement.
He has held the posts of Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Resident Conductor of Calgary Opera. He has returned to Calgary Opera to lead productions of La Bohème, Roméo et Juliette, Die Fledermaus, Lakmé and the Canadian premiere of Mark Adamo’s Little Women, which was recorded for national broadcast on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. Gordon made his debut with Edmonton Opera leading the western Canadian premiere of Rossini’s Le Comte Ory.
Gordon has made appearances with many of Canada’s leading orchestras, including Toronto, Québec, Kitchener-Waterloo and Victoria. He has worked regularly with the National Ballet of Canada, and in 2016, he made his European debut at Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsburg in Germany.
Gordon is a passionate and gifted educator. He demonstrates his commitment to education through his regular work with the young artists at Calgary Opera, the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and has spent many seasons working with students at the Banff Centre, Opera Nuova (Edmonton), UBC Opera (Vancouver), Opera McGill (Montréal) and the Glenn Gould School (Toronto).