Sunday, September 9, 3:00pm

Darke Hall

VC2 + Violin: Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt, cellists; Amy Hillis, violin

This programme celebrates chamber music for strings by featuring music by composers audiences may already know like Bach, Haydn and Beethoven who set the basis for string chamber music. Alongside these historical masters, the concert also presents trio, duo and solo works by master composers of today like Andrew Staniland and Dinuk Wijeratne who are taking chamber music for string instruments in new, exciting directions based in our own language, reflecting current perspectives. 

“…It’s a testament to the type of eagerness – the kind of warmth and energy – that they bring to their music…They also clearly care, in a very earnest way, about what they do.  And it’s an enthusiasm that’s catching.”

– The WholeNote Magazine

VC2 Cello Duo is an innovative cello duo ensemble that captivates audiences through their performances of classical masterworks, unknown gems and boundary pushing music. Comprised of cellists Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt, CBC Music calls VC2 “a tight unit, with excellent intonation and expression.” They present artistically challenging, yet accessible programs in venues ranging from intimate cabarets to Roy Thomson Hall.

As respected cellists, they have performed as part of leading music organizations including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Soundstreams, Art of Time Ensemble, Continuum Contemporary Music, New Music Concerts, Music in the Barns, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Against the Grain Theatre and others. The duo have been featured artists at Toronto Summer Music Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, The Harbourfront Centre, Indian River Festival, Ottawa New Music Creators, 21C Music Festival, Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg, New Works Calgary, Ritornello Festival, the Prairie Cello Institute and soundSCAPE Festival (Italy).

Committed to the creation of new works by living composers, especially those from their home country of Canada, VC2 commissioned five Canadian composers to create works based on the Beethoven Cello Sonatas project. In addition to their performances, VC2, with the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, recorded these works and in fall 2018, released the album Beethoven’s Cellists which CBC Radio calls a “first-rate” recording. An digital EP of the duo’s classical favourites titled Verspielt was released in May 2020.

In February 2018, VC2 embarked on a tour of the East Coast of Canada, presented by Debut Atlantic. They were also selected as Prairie Debut touring artists for the 2019/20 season. Recent engagements include being featured artists in the 2020 Toronto Summer Music Festival, the 2021 edition of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s 21C Festival and Prince Edward County’s BigLake Arts Festival. Most recently, VC2 released their second album titled I and Thou on Leaf Music.