River Run Centre Presents a CBC Weekend
by Anna Contini


Kiran Ahluwalia to perform at River Run January 26.
If you enjoy experiencing music from around the world then you won’t want to miss the special CBC Weekend to be presented at River Run Centre January 26 to 28Å 2001. The three-concert package will feature Canadian musicians performing classical and traditional music from their own traditions and cultures. Each concert will be recorded for CBC Radio Two Classics and Beyond with host Keith Horner.

The series opens on Friday, January 26, with Love Songs of Northern India and Pakistan. Kiran Ahluwalia sings ghazals, a musical genre that is believed to have originated in Persia and travelled to India in the 14th century. Ahluwalia sings poetic melodies in the Urdu language and focuses on ghazals about love,upassion and human experience. She is accompanied by Roaya Bidaye on the harmonium and Suresh Ramoatar on the tabla.

The second concert on Saturday, January 27, is entitled Midnight Sun. It showcases the group Ensemble Polaris and features traditional Nordic melodies. The ensemble is made up of seven instrumentalists who play violin, Celtic harp, mandolin, button accordion, cello, hurdy-gurdy, bodhran, psaltery, zarb, recorders and clarinet. Ancient songs, laments and dances have been reworked for modern ears resulting in a tantalizing collection of spiritual melodies.

The series wraps up on Sunday afternoon, January 28, with the Dunhuang Chamber Ensemble. This concert features virtuoso traditional Chinese chamber music performed by a Toronto-based family quartet that has performed across Canada and the United States. Founded in 1997, the group is known for its outstanding instrumental virtuosity and creative new forms and styles.

zrganizer and CBC personality Keith Horner is excited about coming to Guelph to host the series. In addition to producing Music Around Usü an Ontario regional music program, he also makes a point of getting out to record in towns throughout Ontario. He cites Guelph as an ideal venue for several reasons. Not only is it a community of classical music lovers with an annual spring festival,Âbut it also boasts an excellent performance facility. An added benefit is that it is within easy commuting distance from Toronto. Last year Horner also hosted a CBC series at River Run Centre.

Once again, Horner will be on hand to host the three concerts that will all take place in the Co-operators Hall. He will provide introductions, give commentary and pose questions to the various performers. “It is also a chance for me to gauge response from the audience in a very visceral way,” says Horner, “because I can see and talk to them, something I can’t do when I am in the studio.”

The upcoming Weekend Series is a testament to the fact that traditional, classical music of many cultures is alive and well in Canada today. Each of the diverse concerts explores how Canadian musicians respond creatively to the traditional music of a certain culture. The result is a highly stimulating and out-of-the-ordinary concert series. It is indeed a perfect opportunity for individuals who wish to expand their classical music repertoire.

 Tickets for the series are $35 weekend pass, $15 per concert, $5 eyeGO high school students. For more information, call the River Run Box Office (519) 763-3000.