On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, the Kenneth G. Mills Foundation sponsored a concert of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble at Koerner Hall in Toronto. In his introduction the head of Performance at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School thanked the Foundation for its support of this event in front of an audience filled with expectancy of what was to come.
The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble comprises some of the principal players of the renowned chamber orchestra founded by Sir Neville Marriner and is directed by leader Tomo Keller (violin). The rest of the ensemble is made up of Harvey De Souza (violin), Robert Smissen (viola), Stephen Orton (cello), Lynda Houghton (bass), James Burke (clarinet), Julie Price (bassoon), and Stephen Stirling (horn).
As part of an extensive North American tour, Toronto was the ensemble’s second stop, and its members were full of pep and seemed to be enjoying their lyrical performance.
The programme included Serenata in vano by Carl Nielsen, Octet by Jean Françaix, and Septet in E flat Major, op. 20, by Beethoven. The musical conversations between the strings and the wind instruments were a particular delight, especially those between the first violin and the clarinet. In one instance the sighing of the strings seemed to be accompanied by a gentle breeze, perhaps the sound of the horn. The dexterity and clarity of the performances was extraordinary, and the audience was captivated by the flowing lines, leaping notes, and full-blown sounds.
The Kenneth G. Mills Foundation was thrilled to sponsor this concert and looks forward to building on its relationship with the Royal Conservatory of Music. We are currently fund-raising for the Kenneth G. Mills Scholarship at the Glenn Gould School with the goal of reaching $50,000 by May 2019. This is the minimum requirement to assure that the scholarship will continue on a yearly basis in perpetuity. It will enable young musicians to benefit from the faculty and facilities of the RCM and to realize their dreams of devoting their lives to music. To contribute to this goal, click here.
“My expectation for the young performers is that they achieve, via their music, a re-connection with the Soul of universal significance. With this music achieved, may a harmonic basis of life be established by the young musicians—and mature musicians—so that men and women will once again have access to the intuitive prompting to live in the realm of Wonder and its unconditional Love exemplified in the constant newness in the act of performance.”
Kenneth G. Mills, The Candy Maker’s Son, p. 627