Duo joins forces in Manitou

The dynamic Manitoba duo of pianist Madeline Hildebrand and soprano Sarah Jo Kirsch will take to the stage at the Manitou Opera House on Sunday, September 23, at 3pm, in a concert presented by the Manitou Opera House Foundation.

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The dynamic Manitoba duo of pianist Madeline Hildebrand and soprano Sarah Jo Kirsch will take to the stage at the Manitou Opera House on Sunday, September 23, at 3pm, in a concert presented by the Manitou Opera House Foundation. These two musicians perform with a virtuosity that belies their age, and each has earned accolades at the provincial and national level.
Acclaimed Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker describes Madeline Hildebrand as “an extraordinary young artist whose communicative skills convey the essence of all that she plays. Her pianism is of the highest level, and she has an instinctive understanding of beautiful sound.”
Madeline studied piano with Judith Kehler Siebert at the University of Manitoba, and graduated with a Masters of Piano Performance from the University of British Columbia following her studies with distinguished pianist Jane Coop. Her piano career has taken her coast to coast in Canada and the U.S.A, to Italy, and to Romania upon invitation of the European Cultural Arts Festival. She was awarded first prize for her solo performance with the WSO in the Women’s Musical Club’s McLellan Competition (2012), and a silver standing in Canada’s prestigious Eckhardt-Grammaté National Competition 2013.
Recent concert highlights include a solo performance of world-renowned composer Philip Glass’s music along with Glass himself at the WSO’s New Music Festival 2018, a concerto performance with the Thunder Bay Orchestra, a cross-Canada tour with Sarah Kirsch, and a premier of Pat Carrabré’s piano quintet 100,000 Lakes for the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival.
Madeline plays regularly with Manitoba’s foremost classical players in a number of established series, including the WSO Soundbytes series, and she is the pianist in Manitoba’s newly formed trio, Ensemble Exchange.
Sarah Jo Kirsch, who is self-described as an “interpreter of new and old musics”, continues to make waves as a soloist with local ensembles, and maintains a continuing presence at the WSO New Music Festival, Cluster New Music & Integrated Arts Festival, and Groundswell. Sarah “surfs the gamut of musical evolution . . . more than anything, she aspires to be a worthy muse and an evocative interpreter.” Although her primary performance genres are art song, oratorio and opera, Sarah’s diverse list of influences ranges from Tom Waits to Peter Gabriel, from Björk to Stevie Wonder.
Sarah completed her undergraduate degree in voice at the University of Colorado at Boulder College of Music and earned her Master’s Degree at the University of Manitoba. Within Winnipeg, Sarah has performed everything from concept pieces for amplified/manipulated voice to singing Larysa Kuzmenko’s A Voice of Hope and Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Outside of Manitoba, Sarah has premiered Michael Matthews’ new song cycle Solo queda el desierto with L’Orchestre de Chambre de Montréal, performed Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor at the American University of Beirut, and Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre with Calgary’s Land’s End Ensemble.
Sarah was awarded 2nd place in the 2014 Women’s Music Club’s McLellan Competition and captured 1st place in the 2014 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, after which she embarked on a national tour with Madeline Hildebrand. Maddy and Sarah have collaborated numerous other times over the years, including as part of the “Music ‘n’ Mavens” recital series.
The Manitou concert programme will include both solo piano performances by Madeline, and soprano Sarah Jo accompanied by Maddy. Tickets for the concert are $20 and are available at Sam’s Foods, or by calling 204.242.4414 or at the door.

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