Performing tonight at the Ottawa Chamberfest, the Amarok Ensemble is comprised of three of Canada’s finest young musicians: Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh on violin, Bryan Holt on cello, and Lisa Tahara on piano. The group, formed in 2014, has performed at events as the 2015 St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar International Showcase in Stanford, CA, the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto and the Health Arts Society of Ontario concert series.
Playing as part of the Chamberfest’s “Generation Next” concert heading, the ensemble is also part of the festival’s new Career Development Residency. Amarok will first present the making of a great work and then perform it to give the audience an immersive experience. In addition to performing classics of the piano trio genre, Amarok also explores and promotes contemporary repertoire.
In this performance, recorded at the Royal Conservatory of Music, the three budding talents play Schumann’s passionate Piano Trio No. 2 in a concord that belies their youth. The “Sehr lebhaft” first movement features various traipses in atypical harmonic realms. The very lively violin-cello runs and frills come in tandem while the piano performs perfunctory contrapuntal accompaniment. This playful texture creates a levity that draws well on the performers’ youth and bodes well for their potential.