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November 23, 2019 – meagan&amy

Dear friends,

Our next concert is entitled “meagan&amy”, with pianist Meagan Milatz and violinist Amy Hillis.

While both are from Saskatchewan, they did not meet until graduate school at McGill University and formed their musical partnership in 2011.

Virtuosi Concerts was invited to participate in the first ever “Pan-Canadian Partnership” between three major concert organizations – Jeunesses Musicales, Debut Atlantic and Prairie Debut. They awarded first prize to Meagan & Amy who won this unique opportunity to perform in over 40 Canadian cities, including Winnipeg.

Their revised programme contains great melodic variety. It includes seven composers ranging from Mozart to Morlock, with works by Gershwin, Fauré and Olivier Messiaen. Also featured is a violin-piano sonata by the musical genius André Mathieu (1929-1968).  Hailed by Parisian critics as the “Canadian Mozart”, he was a child prodigy from Montreal who is only now re-gaining recognition as a great composer and virtuoso pianist. Mathieu’s music has been performed on our stage in an earlier season and received both a surprised and enthusiastic audience response.

In their solo careers, Meagan and Amy were each recipients of Canada Council’s prestigious Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award.  Amy is also the 2018 winner of the E-Gré Competition, now making her debut with Meagan on Virtuosi’s “E-Gré stage”!

Most of the music on the programme is available on youtube. Familiarizing yourself with some of the pieces will help you enjoy and appreciate the entire evening.


Young Artist Program

River Sawchyn

River Sawchyn was born in Winnipeg in 2003 and began playing the violin at the age of five. A graduate of the Suzuki program, he studied with Laurel Howard for nine years and now studies with WSO concertmaster Gwen Hoebig.  Participating in the Winnipeg Music Festival since he was eight, River has won the Swedish Musical Club Trophy, Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association Trophy, and the Beryl Ferguson Trophy—trophies that are presented to the top instrumentalist for RCM levels 7, 8 and 10. River has won the junior and intermediate instrumentalist categories in the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association Scholarship Competition. River enjoys playing in the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra, and in multiple chamber groups coached by WSO principal cellist, Yuri Hooker. While studying as a classical violinist, River is also an accomplished fiddle player. He is a three-time gold medal winner at Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur fiddle competition. River has attended the Rosamunde Summer Music Academy in Winnipeg, the VCM Summer Academy in Victoria, as well as numerous folk music camps across the country, working with some of Canada’s most acclaimed fiddlers. River enjoys performing in a wide range of venues and regularly busks at the Forks in Winnipeg with his dad Stephen.


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