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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Standing ovation for Kai Ma and John Oliver at Typhoon Morakot Fundraising Concert

On Friday September 18, I accompanied the wonderful Taiwanese-born Ottawa counter-tenor Kai Ma in a fundraising benefit concert for the survivors of the Morakot Typhoon that devastated southern Taiwan last month. The concert was organized by the Egret Music Centre in Vancouver, and all proceeds from the tickets sales of the concert went to the relief fund.

Our program of music by Frescobaldi, Grandi, Dowland, Mozart and Beethoven was given a standing ovation. We performed an encore medley of two Taiwanese songs. At the end of the piece, I joined Kai Ma in song; I sang a few phrases in Taiwanese, then we sang in duet to close the show. It was lots of fun. I also played three guitar solos to introduce each section of the program.

I haven't performed early music in quite a while and was thrilled to revisit some "old friend" composers. Since I spend the majority of my time composing at a desk these days, it was refreshing to spend more time than usual practising my trusty Kohno No. 30 classical guitar in preparation for the concert. Kai made the task an easy one; he is an inspiring singer to accompany.

Needless to say, if any concert presenter reading this is interested in our program, we'd be glad to discuss an engagement.

I'd like to express my thanks to Cecilia Chueh, director of the Egret Music Centre, for organizing this event and inviting us to perform.