On Saturday, March 25, acclaimed pianist Janina Fialkowska took to the stage with the PSO. Janina, who spent the first year of her life in Peterborough and maintains personal ties to the city, was guest artist at A Life’s Work, sponsored by Bryston, the PSO’s fourth concert in its 50th anniversary season celebrating ‘the journey’. A Life’s Work honoured the personal journey of musicians, and fittingly, Janina was able to come to the city in an extension of her international 65th Birthday Tour.
Montreal-born with Polish ties, Janina played Polish composer Chopin’s Piano Concerto no. 1. Her talent brought the full Showplace crowd to its feet for an extended ovation. Later at the concert reception in the Nexicom Studio, Janina was moved by the audience members who stopped to speak with her about how much they appreciated the performance. Several people were brought to tears and found it difficult to express in words the emotion of the experience.
Beethoven’s powerful Egmont Overture and Schubert’s lyrically graceful Symphony no. 4, were also performed at A Life’s Work. The latter is a special favourite of Maestro Newnham, who first conducted it as a student in Poland almost 25 years ago.
Audience members at A Life’s Work also had a chance to see and hear violinist Louise Pauls perform. Louise is a PSO Concertmaster candidate.
Manitoba-born and a graduate of Brandon University, studying with Francis Chaplin, Louise has gone on to a varied and eclectic career encompassing chamber groups, orchestral groups, and dance and theatre groups. She has also played on stage with many icons of rock and pop.
Some of Louise’s favourite experiences playing with chamber groups include I Musici de Montreal, Toronto Amadeus, Toronto Chamber Players, and presently with new music group Esprit Orchestra and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. She has had the opportunity to make recordings with all of these groups.
Orchestras have been a big part of Louise’s career, starting with a Dutch orchestra in Delft, going on to the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet touring orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada, then Hamilton Symphony and now Esprit Orchestra. Touring has been a wonderful bonus to her orchestra experience, taking Louise to Europe, North America, China and Thailand.
Louise has explored theatre work, with 30 seasons at Stratford Festival, as well as leading groups for six seasons at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Rainbow Stage.
Her session work in Toronto has included films such as Pirate’s Passage, Being Julia, Small Planet, and others.
Louise has enjoyed the fun of playing on stage with artists including James Ehnes, David Oistrakh, Ofra Harnoy, Dmitri Shostakovich, Barbara Streisand, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Roger Hodgson of Supertramp, Rod Stewart, Guido Basso and Diana Krall.