December 5 & 6, 2015: Alexander Tselyakov & The WSO String Quintet

Alexander Tselyakov, piano

WSO String Quintet

Gwen Hoebig, Karl Stobbe, violins

Dan Scholz, viola

Leana Rutt, cello

Meredith Johnson, bass



Saturday, December 5 at 8 PM

Sunday, December 6 at 3 PM



Hummel: Piano Quintet in E flat minor, Op. 87

Chopin: Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52

Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 (Chamber Version)


Dear Friends,

ALEXANDER TSELYAKOV has been a frequent Virtuosi Concerts guest artist over the past two decades. We are delighted that he could be a part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations.

He last performed with us in a special President’s Concert (November 27, 2010) when he helped to launch the new piano in the University’s gloriously restored Convocation Hall. That recital also celebrated the 200th year of Chopin’s birth by featuring the complete Chopin Etudes. His programme was subsequently recorded in Germany, and these CDs will be available at the December concert.

Alexander has designed another unique programme for Virtuosi’s 25th Anniversary. The music of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) is seldom heard today, yet for a time, Hummel was more popular than Beethoven (1770-1827), and he had a huge impact on 19th century pianists and composers.

He lived in Vienna, studied piano with and was befriended by Mozart and Salieri, and he also toured Europe as a child prodigy, thus falling into Mozart’s fabled career trajectory.

Hummel’s Piano Quintet (1802) is quite melodious and sparkles with virtuosity. It can easily be seen as an intermediate step in the transition from the Classical style of Mozart to the Romantic manner of Chopin and Mendelssohn.

The second major work on the programme is Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor. One of the reasons it is so appealing is that the beautiful Largetto movement describes an unrequited love – by Chopin’s own admission. As far as we know, this will be the first performance in Winnipeg of the chamber version of this famous concerto.

The Hummel and the Chopin are both supported by the WSO String Quintet – the string players of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra,  led by Gwen Hoebig.

On December 2, Alexander Tselyakov performs this same programme at the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society with the Canadian Sinfonietta Chamber Musicians, thus bringing a polished production to the Virtuosi stage.

As Alexander Tselyakov has written, “The connections between the Hummel and Chopin concertos are remarkable. [But this should be] unsurprising as Chopin definitely heard Hummel on one of his tours to Poland and Russia, and Chopin kept Hummel’s piano concertos in his active repertoire.”

Mr. Tselyakov will also perform Chopin’s Ballade No. 4 in F minor.

For a taste of the flavour of the Hummel Quintet, CLICK HERE

We thank the Manitoba Arts Council for their support of these concerts.

YOUNG ARTISTS: The audience response to Virtuosi Concerts Young Artist Program has been enthusiastic.

On Saturday, December 5th, we feature Natalie Dawe, cello, accompanied by her father Edmund Dawe on piano. They will be performing Tchaikovsky’s Sentimental Waltz, No. 6, Op. 51.

On Sunday, December 6, our young artists are sopranos Allison Phipps and Geneva Halverson, with pianist Renate Rossol. They will be performing “La Regata Veneziana”  – “The Venetian Regatta” composed by Gioacchino Rossini


See you this weekend,