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Covid Concert Series: 2021

This 2021 live-stream concert series is still available to view!

What: The ProArts Covid Concert Series: 2021
Where: online!
When: Various Wednesdays from January 6 – June 30, 2021

The pandemic may have put a hold on in-person concerts, but it also created exciting new opportunities to share music virtually. In 2021, as well as live events, the ProArts Society continued to explore virtual music-making and are happy to make a new series of free, online events available to enjoy any time. Enjoy them again by clicking the links below!

The ProArts Live-Stream concert series 2021 were:

January 6: Jim Picken, organ

April 28: Mark Limacher, piano

May 26: A conversation with musician Frank Rackow

June 27: Peaks and Prairies Ensemble, piano quartet

June 30: Wildwood Trio, wind instruments

Artist Bios

Jim Picken – January 6, 2021
Jim Picken is an Associate Director of Music Ministry at Calgary’s Knox Presbyterian Church, where he enjoys his work with Paul Grindlay and Rev. Mark Tremblay.  
Jim is pleased to performing music on the recently enhanced organ at Knox Presbyterian. Many thanks to Steve and Chellan Miller and Hart Godden for the work of installation, and to Jason Barnsley for ongoing maintenance. And to all the people of Knox and others who donated time, money, and support to make it happen.
You can view Jim’s other organ recordings on YouTube.

Mark Limacher – April 28, 2021
Mark Limacher is a Composer-Pianist currently based in Calgary. He is a graduate of New School University in New York City, and has studied privately with composers Linda Catlin Smith (Toronto) and Laurence Crane (London, UK). In 2013 he served as apprentice to composer Bunita Marcus in Brooklyn, NY. His compositions focus on small gestures and contemplative textures, his work manifesting most frequently in the guise of solo instruments and chamber ensembles. Progenitor of the playfully sarcastic brand, Quiet-Slow-Boring, his work is often preoccupied with timbre, precarity, aphorisms and miniature forms.  As a pianist and keyboard player he has performed with a wide range of artists including Grammy-winning saxophonist Ted Nash, Juno-nominated singer Alex Pangman, and techno artist Corinthian, with whom he recorded an album in 2018, Disappearance Exhibitions.
He appears regularly with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Theater Calgary, and the Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble. Other areas of interest include Italian opera, music of the early 20th Century, Psychoanalysis, and contemporary philosophy. In 2016 he co-founded the NCRA award winning radio program Unprocessed with violinist and long-time collaborator, Laura Reid.

Frank Rackow – May 26, 2021
Frank Rackow has worked as a music educator, artistic director and performer on saxophone and clarinet. He has toured and recorded with a wide variety of jazz, folk and world music artists in Alberta and across Canada. He has provided music for theatre productions in Ottawa, Hamilton and Toronto (Harbourfront). A longtime member of the choral community,  Frank is the founding director of the Vocal Latitudes World Music community choir in Calgary and also led Calgary’s Voix Des Rocheuses francophone choir. As a saxophone and clarinet soloist, he has collaborated with the Calgary Renaissance Singers and Players on several occasions and he has worked extensively as a woodwind clinician. Frank is also the founder of the klezmer band The Black Sea, and directs the community klezmer orchestra at the Jewish Community Centre of Calgary.  He has also instructed jazz ensembles and saxophone ensembles at FACE School for the Arts in Montreal and at CAMMAC’s summer music colony in Quebec.

Peaks and Prairies Ensemble – June 27, 2021
Peaks and Prairies Ensemble is a Calgary-based artist collective standing at the forefront of post-pandemic arts recovery for Western Canada. Audiences and performers alike have sorely missed the power and connection unique to live performance during this difficult past year, and we are rising to the challenge to bring it back! The Ensemble features: Lev Nesterov, violin; Anna Stube, viola; Ina Coetzee, cello; and Christine Sul, piano.

Wildwood Trio – June 30, 2021
The Wildwood Trio, featuring Aura Pon — oboe; Natalia Peric —clarinet and Jonathan Gresl– bassoon was formed to perform the somewhat hidden repertoire of chamber music for woodwind instruments. 

The instruments in the woodwind family —flutes, clarinets, oboes and bassoons, all used to be made of wood, which gives them their name. While they can be made of plastic and other materials, most fine oboes and clarinets today are made from African Grenadilla wood, with a distinctive black colour. Bassoons are often made from maple. Instrument makers choose materials based on the tone colours that can be produced with different varieties. 

While the trio formed in 2020, all three players are veterans of the Calgary classical music scene, having performed on stage with the Calgary Philharmonic, Calgary Opera, Rocky Mountain Symphony, Red Deer Symphony and at many venues across southern Alberta.