The horn of plenty will be very much in evidence when David Parker stars as the featured performer in the second UPEI concert of the season entitled “A Cornucopia of Music.” Works for horn and piano by Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Dukas and Poulenc, and a solo for horn entitled Appel interstellaire by Messiaen will form part of the program. Pianist Frances Gray will perform solo in an Intermezzo and a Capriccio from the intimate romantic music of Brahms. The concluding work welcomes flutist Morgan Saulnier to join in an engaging trio for this unusual combination of instruments. The Ballade, Pastorale and Dance by Eric Ewazen makes a lot of demands on each of the performers, but shows the brilliant talent of this American composer. The concert takes place on Sunday, September 22 at 7:30 pm at UPEI’s Dr. Steel Recital Hall. Tickets are available at the door for $15 (adults) and $12 (seniors and students).
Parker is a regularly featured horn soloist and chamber musician and appears in chamber music series throughout the Maritimes including Scotia Festival of Music, Dalhousie University’s Faculty Series, the Music Room, Music at The Three Churches in Mahone Bay, University of New Brunswick’s Music on the Hill, and the Charlottetown Festival. Parker holds degrees in music from Acadia University, the University of Toronto, and Boston University. His influential teachers have included Eugene Rittich, Daniel Katzen, and Hermann Baumann. He has received generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. He was formerly a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and the Israel Sinfonietta. He has also performed with the Toronto Symphony, the Boston Lyric Opera, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Parker has been the principal hornist of Symphony Nova Scotia and instructor of horn and brass chamber music at Dalhousie University since 2000. He coaches the winds and brass of the Youth Orchestras of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and is a frequent guest teacher with Sistema New Brunswick. He performs regularly with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra on natural horn.
Gray is well known for her solo and chamber music performances, broadcasts, adjudicating, and teaching. She has recorded three solo CDs—“Poems for Piano,” “The Evocative Piano,” and “Soundscapes of Spain”—all nominated for ECMA classical music awards. She has performed throughout Canada, in the United States, England, Belgium, Russia, and Australia. She is the pianist/keyboardist with the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra, with whom she has performed many times as concerto soloist. Dr. Gray holds a music degree from McGill University and MM and DM degrees from Indiana University where she studied with Menahem Pressler, renowned pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio. Awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship, Gray spent a year at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. She also attended master class sessions at Tanglewood with the Russian duo-piano team, Victor Babin and Vitya Vronsky. She has been a long-time valued professor of piano and theory at UPEI and has frequently adjudicated county and provincial music festivals and competitions in the Atlantic Region.
Saulnier holds a masters degree in flute performance from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), and a bachelor of music from UPEI. Saulnier has performed extensively throughout Atlantic Canada, and in 2006, placed third in the woodwind category at the National Music Festival of Canada. Saulnier has appeared as soloist with various ensembles, most recently performing Ibert’s Flute Concerto with the MUN Chamber Orchestra. She has also appeared as soloist with the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra and the UPEI Wind Symphony. She is a member of PEI’s new music group, eklektikos, and the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra. Saulnier has performed in several master classes across the country, receiving guidance from Michel Debost, Susan Hoeppner, Camille Churchfield, and others. While maintaining a busy performance schedule, Saulnier is in high demand as a flute and piano instructor in Charlottetown, where she is a sessional flute instructor at UPEI.