by Emily Carr
Emily Carr String Quartet
Emily Carr is one of Canada's greatest and most loved artists. Feeling
a spiritual connection with her subjects, Emily Carr painted both the
landscape and native villages of Western Canada in a unique and modern
style that was rejected during its time of production. After years of
travel throughout the forests of British Columbia, failing health caused
her to remain close to home where she wrote seven books based on her life.
Today Emily Carr is highly regarded throughout the world and considered
a national icon in Canada.
Violinist, Müge Büyükçelen was born in 1975, in Istanbul, Turkey. She began violin studies at the age of nine. Between 1986 and 1991 she studied at the Istanbul State Conservatory, winning the “Best Young Musician” award. In 1991 she studied in Switzerland with Nicolai Chumacenko, Professor Sandra Goldberg and Ayla Erduran (a student of David Oistrakh and Zino Francescatti).
In 1995 she obtained a Bachelor of Music at Bikent University with a High Honours Diploma, finishing in 1999 by receiving her Master of Music degree in Music Performance. A former member of the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Müge won first prize at “the Violin Competition of the Turkish Cultural Ministry” and also first prize for the best interpreter of Turkish composers.
She spent the year 2000 in France, teaching at the Toulouse National Conservatory while studying with Burkhard Godhoff at the Centre Education de Music Superieur. In 2001, Müge came to Canada and became one of the founding members of the Hermes String Quartet in residence at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. In 2002, she won the first prize in the senior strings category in the British Columbia Fine Arts Festival. In the fall of 2003, Müge received an associate teaching diploma from the Victoria Conservatory of Music.
Müge is currently a member of the Victoria Symphony and she is an instructor at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and Brentwood College. She performs frequently with the Galiano Ensemble, Victoria Bach Ensemble and the Aventa Ensemble.Top
Cory Balzer began playing the violin and piano at the age of five in his hometown of Calgary, Alberta. Since his early days studying violin with Dr. Lise Elson at the Mount Royal College, he has gone on to perform in recitals and concerts throughout Canada, US, Australia, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. He has performed in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House to Sidney BC.
Following completion of a Bachelor of Music Performance degree at McGill University, Cory played for two seasons in Les Jeunes Virtuoses de Montreal. As a member of the Cartier String Quartet, he was a winner in the Debut Young Concert Artists Series and performed on CBC and Radio Canada on several occasions. Cory continued his studies with Kenneth Goldsmith at Rice University in Houston, Texas where he earned a Master of Music degree.
In 1997 Cory moved to Victoria to join the Victoria Symphony. He spent the 2000 and 2001 seasons playing with the Trius quartet at the Shaw Theatre Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake ON. The quartet performed bi-weekly concerts in addition to being heard in various plays and musicals for Shaw Festival. The quartet also embarked on a Rocky Mountain Tour bringing music to many smaller towns in Alberta and BC. Cory has also played at the Charlottetown Festival and has participated in festivals at the Banff Centre, Stanford University, Snowbird (Utah) and Meadowmount School of Music.
Cory has been a member of the Galiano Ensemble since 2001 and a founding member of the Emily Carr String Quartet since 2006.Top
Originally from Victoria, B.C., violist Mieka Michaux enjoys an active career as an orchestral and chamber musician performing in many ensembles on both modern and baroque viola and violin.
Mieka centers her career around her performing schedule with the Victoria Symphony with whom she has been a core member of the viola section since 2001.
Mieka joined the Aventa Ensemble in 2004 and has performed a wide variety of contemporary music and premieres with this group. In 2009, they toured internationally introducing Canadian new music to audiences in New York City, Munich and Copenhagen.
She has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Vancouver Island Symphony, Sidney Classical Orchestra, and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra.
She is also a core member of the Galiano Chamber Ensemble and has played baroque viola and violin with both Island Baroque and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra.
Mieka holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria, B.C. and a Master of Music from Rice University in Houston, Texas. Mieka has also attended the Music Academy of the West, the Banff Centre for the Arts, Orford Centre for the Arts, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and Fiddleworks on Saltspring Island. Her principal teachers include Joanna Hood, Karen Ritscher, and Karen Tuttle.Top
Cellist, Alasdair Money grew up in Victoria and studied with James Hunter for many years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He graduated in 1991 from the Associate in Musical Arts Diploma program and went on to complete a Bachelor of Music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. While there, he studied with Lawrence Lesser. After graduating from NEC in 1995, Alasdair went to England to study in London with Raphael Wallfisch at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he received a post-graduate diploma in cello performance .
Alasdair has attended such festivals as Banff and Orford in Canada and the Dartington, Evian and Verbier music festivals in England and in Europe. While back in Canada, Alasdair works with the Victoria and Vancouver Island symphonies, the Galiano and Aventa ensembles and has played with the Vancouver Symphony orchestra. He also completed a Master of Music degree in cello performance at the University of Victoria where he studied with Pamela Highbaugh-Aloni and Paula Kiffner.
The Emily Carr String Quartet has quickly established itself as one of BC's finest music ensembles. Renowned for its passionate and inspiring performances, critics rave "some of the most intensely driven and eloquently passionate playing I have heard in sometime." "It was a musical experience unlikely soon to be forgotten." "Music in Victoria"
Formed in 2006 by members of the Victoria Symphony in Victoria BC, the Emily Carr String Quartet has gone on to give performances in the US, Europe and Asia. They have collaborated with artists such as William Preucil, Jamie Parker, Arthur Rowe, the Alcan Quartet and the Tin Alley Quartet. The ECSQ has been featured on CBC radio's "North by Northwest" and their CD "Hidden Treasure" was nominated for the 2012 classical recording of the year at the Western Canadian music awards.
The Emily Carr String Quartet has performed for the "Music in the Morning" concert series in Vancouver, the Ankara Music Festival, the Hornby Festival and the Victoria Summer Music Festival. The ECSQ has studied with members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Stanford University and have worked with Henk Guittart and Kolja Lessing while attending a winter residency at the Banff Centre in March 2009.
As well as putting on their own concerts, the ECSQ perform for various concert promoters and presenters. Recent performances of note include the Victoria Symphony's "Emily Carr Project", which took place in October 2011. The Emily Carr string quartet were featured soloists with the Victoria Symphony in the premiere of Tobin Stokes' "Stories from Klee Wyck". In November 2012, the quartet was invited to play a concert for the Cage 100 festival. The festival celebrated the 100th anniversary of John Cage and was a joint venture between the Victoria Symphony, the University of Victoria, Open Space and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
Constantly searching for a more diverse concert experience, the ECSQ launched a very successful concert series at the Emily Carr House entitled "Musical Bouquets for Emily". The concerts featured readings from Emily Carr's journals that complimented the music that was being performed. Due to its success, the ECSQ was awarded a grant from the city to remount the series as part of Victoria's 150th anniversary in the summer of 2012.
In addition to the ECSQ's concert schedule, the quartet has participated in Artsway, a program that books artists to perform in care facilities throughout the province of BC. The quartet has also presented Concerts for Kids, bringing string quartet music to elementary schools around Victoria.
The Emily Carr String Quartet is inspired by Emily Carr's diverse body of artwork. It represents to them not only an artist's experience of life in Victoria, B.C. but also the spirit of the west coast of Canada. For the honour of bearing Emily Carr's name, the quartet thanks Emily Carr House, Victoria, B.C.