Recent Wins from the Keyboard Division

Nicole Linaksita (BMus’16) was chosen as one of six semi-finalists (out of twenty-eight accepted to the competition from across Canada) at the prestigious Stepping Stones Competition in Québec, and won a $1,000 scholarship. Nicole was also chosen to represent Vancouver at the BCRMTA Provincial competition in September 2016. Nicole is a student of Corey Hamm.

Susan Xia (BMus Piano Performance 2nd year) was runner up at the Musicians Dream Aid Competition. Susan is a student of Corey Hamm

Natalie Lo (BMus’16) won 4th prize at the 2016 Shean Piano Competition in Edmonton. She also won the prize for Best Performance of the Required Work. Natalie won first prize (senior category) in the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra Clef Concerto Competition held May 30-31, 2016. Natalie was chosen as the Senior winner at the Vancouver Kiwanis Festival, and was also Runner Up for the Provincial National Class. Natalie is a student of Corey Hamm.

Carter Johnson (BMus Piano Performance 2nd year) won 3rd prize at the 2016 Shean Piano Competition in Edmonton. Carter was also the winner at the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival, and runner-up in the Provincial Music Festival – National Class. Carter is a student of Mark Anderson.

UBC Music alumna Jocelyn Lai (BMus’13) was awarded 2nd place at the 2016 Shean Piano Competition.

Former UBC Music student Gene Emerson won first prize at the Yarilo Piano Competition. Gene will have the opportunity to play with an orchestra in the coming season.

Davy Lau was chosen as Intermediate winner at the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival

Jaeden Izik-Dzurko won first place at the Provincial Music Festival – National Class and will represent BC at the Nationals.

Gene, Davy and Jaeden are all students in Corey Hamm‘s piano studio. Jaeden also studies with Ian Parker.

Our faculty: mastering Rzewski’s De Profundis

By Michelle Keong

Watch Dr. Terence Dawson’s performance of De Profundis, March 4, 2015
at Barnett Hall, UBC School of Music.

Pianists do not often play and speak at the same time—let alone whistle, sing, play a Harpo horn, and use their body and the piano as percussion instruments. Terence Dawson decided to take on the challenge and perform Frederic Rzewski’s De Profundis as a career milestone marker.

Oscar Wilde Photo: Napoleon Sarony

Oscar Wilde
Photo: Napoleon Sarony

Rzewski’s De Profundis has been described as a melodramatic oratorio, in which the pianist recites text consisting of portions of Oscar Wilde’s letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, which was written during the author’s imprisonment in Reading Gaol “I feel overwhelming empathy when I try to simply get my head around the idea that this creative artist was denied books, denied writing material, placed in solitary confinement and sentenced to hard labour for two years,” says Dawson, chair of the keyboard division. “That in and of itself would bring an ordinary man to their knees.”

Eight sections of rhythmically notated recitation are preceded by eight preludes, with the pianist directed to perform simultaneously as speaker, singer, whistler and percussionist. At approximately 30 minutes in length, this performance is no small feat.

“It took patience. And it took a lot of experimentation to figure out what I needed to do to absorb the physicality of playing as well as the emotional demands of the piece,” says Dawson, who read Wilde’s work (De Profundis) in its entirety, as well as biographies and critical works in order to explore more fully what the prolific author went through during those desolate years in prison.

After six weeks of practicing up to seven hours a day, Dawson felt comfortable with the idea of scheduling a date for his first performance of De Profundis.



Dr. Terence Dawson Photo: Joshua McVeity

Dr. Terence Dawson
Photo: Joshua McVeity

“I don’t think I’ve ever put as many hours into a piece to just to figure out how to actually physically play it. You would think that after 50 years, you would know how to practice,” says Dawson. “Learning De Profundis was a different experience because of the writing itself. Rzewski demands it all; variety and drama magnified by the intensity generated by Wilde’s words. The fusion of the music and speech takes the pianist and audience to a new plane.”

Dawson first performed De Profundis at UBC in March, 2015 after returning from a year-long sabbatical. Now he is taking this work on tour, with invitations from universities and colleges from coast to coast including Mount Allison University, and closer to home at Douglas College, Capilano University, and the Universities of Victoria, Calgary and Lethbridge. An encore performance at UBC on October 29thwas preceded by a panel discussion with faculty colleagues focusing on the words of Wilde, the music of Rzewski and the fusion of the two.

“I’ve also found that despite spending countless hours immersed in De Profundis, it still feels fresh every time I play it because the words are so heartfelt,” says Dawson, who was inspired to tackle the work after hearing a performance by New York-based pianist Lisa Moore in 2000. “I think of it as a piece that demonstrates the resilience and the power of the human spirit.”

Awards and Announcements Digest: Fall 2015

News from our Alumni: Bogdan Dulu

October 7, 2015
Pianist Bogdan Dulu (DMA ’15) will be touring Eastern Canada in the 2016-2017 season as a newly signed Jeunesses Musicales Canada artist. More information

Gene Ramsbottom honoured at Funds for the Arts on the North Shore

October 30, 2015
Fund for the Arts on the North Shore honours clarinetest and UBC Music Sessional Lecturer Gene Ramsbottom this year at their 2015 Tribute to the Arts awards on Friday November 6 at the Griffin Arts Projects Gallery. More information

Laura Widgett

Laura Widgett

UBC Opera at Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions!

November 2, 2015
‪UBC was well represented at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (@MONCAuditions)! Congrats to our UBC Opera student Geoff Schellenberg and alumna Laura Widgett, who now move on to Seattle!

Carter Johnson

Carter Johnson

UBC Music Students Carter Johnson and Nicole Linaksita compete at OSM Competition

November 9, 2015
UBC Music Students Carter Johnson and Nicole Linaksita will compete in the finals for the 2015 Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) Manulife Competition for PIANO & PERCUSSION | Piano Class A category. The 2015 OSM Manulife Competition will be held from November 17 to 21, in Montreal.