Harding Fine Arts Academy Foundation’s 'Ignite! Master Artists Series' to launch with Canada's The Ezra Duo
The Ezra Duo, a classical ensemble featuring violist Jacob Clewell and pianist Sasha Bult-Ito based in Toronto, Canada, will perform a free community concert at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Harding Fine Arts Academy Auditorium, 3333 N Shartel Ave.
Open to the public, the concert will be first of the Harding Fine Arts Academy Foundation’s "Ignite! Master Artists Series."
Seating is general admission; however, guests must reserve a spot to attend, according to a news release. Reservations can be made at hardingfinearts.org.
Formed at The Glenn Gould School, Ontario, in 2016, The Ezra Duo quickly established itself as a performing ensemble of the highest caliber. The duo found themselves racking up a string of early performances, including visits to the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, the Prime Chamber Music Society in Mississauga, and in Mazzoleni Hall and Temerty Theatre at the Royal Conservatory of Music. The duo gave its first performance in Toronto’s Koerner Hall in the spring of 2017, performing Paul Hindemith’s "Viola Sonata, Op. 11 No. 4" in a prelude concert for the Royal Conservatory Orchestra.
The Ezra Duo has gone on to perform coast to coast in Canada: in the east on the Scotia Festival of Music’s Young Artist recital series, in the west in recital in Vancouver, British Columbia, and more centrally in Ontario as guest artists on the North Bay Symphony’s chamber series, and on Toronto’s local Nine Sparrows Chamber Series and Concerts@100. In 2017, the pair appeared in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York, and in 2018 they performed as guests at a G7 Summit event at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The pair toured with their “Women in Music” program to Atlanta and Rome, Georgia; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico; and North Bay, Ontario.
The Ezra Duo has also participated in outreach events at Toronto’s Baycrest Hospital and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, as well as appeared on the Toronto Public Library’s mid-day “Orchardviewers” series. The pair are first-prize winners of The Great Composers Competition, Golden Classical Music Awards, Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition and IMKA Music Competition, earning invitations to perform in New York, Vienna and Sarajevo.
In March 2018, the duo competed in the Città Metropolitana International Chamber Music Competition in Turin, Italy, and in June, the performers premiered a new sonata written for them by Canadian composer Ronald Beckett, as winners of Arcady Ensemble’s Emerging Artist competition.
Highlights for the 2019-2020 season include performances in Nova Scotia and Ontario, as well as tours to the Midwestern and Southern United States featuring “Art of the Duo,” a program highlighting the virtuosity of true duo performance.
Harding Fine Arts Academy is a public charter high school founded in 2005 by John L. Belt and the academy board of directors with the vision that education was not just preparation for life, education is life itself. Community leaders and fine arts advocates had the belief that a comprehensive education requires more than book knowledge created the vision for the academy. In addition to the traditional required academic subjects, including mathematics, English, science and social studies, students may select as many as three elective classes in dance, music, theater or the visual arts. Some of Oklahoma City’s finest artists and musicians are available as instructors, advisers and artists-in-residence at the school. The academy opened with 65 ninth-graders and has grown to an enrollment of almost 400 students in ninth through 12th grades.
For more information, go to hardingfinearts.org.