Musical Magic: opening concert

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Date(s) - Saturday, November 3, 2018
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts


Special guest Sheng Cai performs Brahms Piano Concerto #2, in memory of the late Peter Longworth. Followed by The Nutcracker Act II.

About Sheng Cai:
Award-winning pianist Sheng Cai has embraced the keyboard tradition of the great romantic virtuosos. His performances have touched audiences and won the praise of critics on three continents. “Young Pianist Impresses at Debut” and “…a young man with real talent… from a clear, singing tone to a subtle sense of rubato to a judicious choice of tempi… some of the same qualities embodied in Pollini’s approach.” [Toronto Star, Chopin Piano Concerto #1]. Honored with a number of prizes and awards, Sheng Cai has been described as a pianist “…with great confidence… lucidity, breath, color and power”. [Birmingham News].

Sheng Cai made his debut with the Toronto Symphony at just fifteen years old and has since been guest soloist with numerous orchestras including the Toronto, Quebec, Windsor, Fort Collins and Shanghai Symphonies, the Calgary and Ontario Philharmonics, and the Jalisco Philharmonic of Mexico. In Canada, Sheng Cai has been invited to perform with the Sudbury, Kingston and Kamloops Symphonies, and with the Winnipeg Symphony Chamber Players. He has worked with conductors David Lockington, Keith Lockhart, Yoav Talmi, Glen Fast, Robert Franz, Bruce Dunn, Guoyong Zhang, Wes Kenny, Marco Parisotto and Eckart Preu, among others.

A riveting recitalist, Sheng Cai has performed at Steinway Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Cleveland Playhouse, the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, and in distinguished venues in Stratford, Elora, Montréal and Winnipeg. In China, he inaugurated the Ningbo Concert Hall, giving both recitals and concerto performances. As a chamber musician, Sheng Cai has collaborated with a number of fine artists and ensembles, including the Enso Quartet.

Many of Sheng Cai’s performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio, and he has recorded a CD for the Canadian Broadcasting Company. He has recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio, and for Concertino Praga International Competition in the Czech Republic — these recordings were released under the CBC label. In addition, he was invited to take part in the filming of Ophra Yerushalmi’s Franz Liszt DVD.

Sheng Cai was top-prize winner at competitions throughout his teenage years, including First Prize at the TD National Piano Competition, the Canadian Music competition, the Toronto Music Competition, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra Piano Competition and the Toronto Symphony Piano Competition. He was the youngest finalist and special prize winner at the Bosendorfer International Piano Competition, and the youngest finalist at Hilton Head International Piano Competition.

Born in China, Sheng studied at Shanghai Conservatory of Music and was a prize winner of the National Competition in 1998. The following year, his family immigrated to Canada, where he began his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Sheng Cai earned his Bachelor of Music Degree under full scholarship at New England Conservatory in Boston. His teachers included Anton Kuerti, Russell Sherman and Hungkuan Chen.