The most famous cellist in the world, Yo-Yo Ma, is a well-known musician who has numerous non-classical albums, as well as classical albums such as Japanese Melodies, Silk Road Journeys, Obrigado Brazil, Yo-Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone and Song of Joy and Peace.
In his non-classical genre, the first album he chose to record was Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio by Claude Bolling in 1984.
Remarkable Vancouver Island cellist Helena Jung presents Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio by Claude Bolling in her new genre, Crossover, as well as two great cello sonatas by Beethoven and Debussy with outstanding pianist Sean Mooney.
Bassist John Hyde and drummer James McRae are joining in to play Claude Bolling’s Suite.
Mooney is a diverse pianist who often performs around the Comox Valley. He demonstrates a high level of artistry and technical ease with the many different musical styles he presents. From classical to jazz and folk to pop, Sean presents it all with astonishing ease and a quirky smile.
Sean holds a BMus and LMus in Piano Performance from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., where, along with being a scholarship-winning student, he performed regularly at competitions and festivals.
These days, Sean accompanies, under the direction of Wendy Nixon-Stothert, the three Just In Time choirs and a newly formed Glee choir at North Island College.
He continues to play for the Celebration Singers under newly appointed director Jenn Forsland. Audiences may also catch Sean performing with Joanna Finch, Alan Jossul, James Lithgow and many other fine Comox Valley musicians.
Jung plays with the VISO (Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra) in Nanaimo and has performed numerous times on Vancouver Island North.
Helena has vigorously pursued a more eclectic repertoire. A sampling of her versatility in addition to numerous performances of the standard cello repertoire would include Liebertango by Ástor Piazzolla, Canon by Pachelbel with 4 Celli, Violin’s Zapateado by Sarasate, Korean Traditional instruments, Chaggu, Kayagum, and Cello by Stefan Hakenberg, and film music by Ennio Morricone.
Helena obtained a masters degree in cello performance at Ewha University in Seoul, Korea, and has performed with the Jeunesses Musical World Orchestra, Seoul Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gyeonggi Provincial Philharmonic Orchestra.
As well, she joined various musical programs, such as Ratzeburger Sommer Akademie Festival in Germany and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
In 2004, Helena moved to Canada and became a resident of the Comox Valley in 2006. As well as joining many community events, she has also performed with well-known pianists such as Lynn Robinson, Sarah Hagen, Dagmar Kilian, Sean Mooney, Linda Lee Thomas and Glen Montgomery. Since 2007, she has had her own recitals called Cellobration Series.
This year, she has concerts at the Brechin United Church in Nanaimo, at the Denman Island Community Hall as the opening concert of the Concert Denman Series, and the Sid Williams Theatre in the Comox Valley.
“A man told me,” Helena said, “ ‘While listening to your sound, I felt my mouth was full of rich and exquisite chocolate.’ “
These concerts will be a wonderful chance to hear her cello’s mellow, rich tone and her considerable virtuosity as well as the complete harmony of cello and piano.
“I’m ready to make all of you cello fans,” she said, referring to the name of the last movement of Claude Bolling`s music.
The Courtenay concert will be held Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Sid Williams Theatre. Tickets are available at the Sid Williams Theatre Ticket Centre through www.sidwilliamstheatre.com or 250-338-2430.
Tickets cost $25 for adults, $23 for seniors/students and $10 for children.
— Helena Jung