Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts
-William Littler, Toronto Star
Founded in 2014, Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to defining Niagara-on-the-Lake as an international destination for world-class music and intimate, innovative performances of the highest calibre.
Bravo Niagara! presents world-renowned Canadian and international artists, as well as rising young stars, in intimate venues ranging from modern wineries to historic buildings in Niagara-on-the-Lake. At Bravo Niagara!’s annual Spring into Music @ Stratus series, the Stratus Vineyards Press Alley transforms from a working winery into an intimate, industrial chic concert space with a 9-ft concert grand taking centre stage. These intimate venues create an interactive experience between artist and audience and bring new energy to the conventional concert experience.
Past artists include some of the greatest classical artists to the top names in jazz, including James Ehnes, Mari Kodama, Valentina Lisitsa, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Wycliffe Gordon, Molly Johnson, and more.
Set in Canada’s Prettiest Town, Bravo Niagara! performances create a “Symphony of the Senses” that combine music, wine, culinary and visual arts with Niagara-on-the-Lake’s natural beauty, historic riches, and awe-inspiring wonders. Bravo Niagara! believes that “the sum is greater than the parts,” and thus the synthesis of these art forms has the potential to create extraordinary multi-sensory concert experiences.
The Folks Behind It All
Mother-daughter team Christine Mori and Alexis Spieldenner founded Bravo Niagara! in 2014.
Artistic Director Christine Mori began her musical studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music with Boris Berlin. She studied with André Watts at Tanglewood and attended the Aspen Music Festival & School, Mozarteum Salzburg, and later The Juilliard School.
Upon graduation from Juilliard, Christine began her career with the Florida Orchestra where she performed as pianist for 30 years with artists ranging from Isaac Stern to Bobby McFerrin. Bravo Niagara! begins a new chapter in Christine’s musical career that reconnects her with her Canadian roots. She is excited to bring her experience and love of music to the community of Niagara-on-the-Lake and hopes her innovative approach to the concert-going experience will attract new audiences and ensure a life-long appreciate of the arts.
As the “musician’s kid,” Alexis Spieldenner spent much of her childhood growing up backstage. A Duke University alumna (’13), Alexis graduated with High Distinction in International Comparative Studies. She also worked alongside the Vice Provost for the Arts on various music and social entrepreneurship initiatives, performed as harpist for the Duke Symphony Orchestra, and worked for KidZNotes, an El Sistema-inspired organization that provides classical music education for children at risk.
Jon Kimura Parker
April 7, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
St. Mark’s Anglican Church
Renowned Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker performs an intimate solo recital. Known for his passionate artistry and engaging stage presence, pianist Jon Kimura Parker’s brilliant and versatile career has taken him from Carnegie Hall and Berlin’s Philharmonie to the Beijing Concert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. A true Canadian ambassador of music, Mr. Parker has given command performances for Queen Elizabeth II, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Japan. He is an Officer of The Order of Canada, our country’s highest civilian honour. For tickets and more information, visit www.bravoniagara.org.
Program: “Passion and Pictures” featuring works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and William Hirtz’s sensational Wizard of Oz Fantasy
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Coco Ma, Followed by Master Class with Jon Kimura Parker
April 8, 2017, 1 p.m.
St. Mark’s Anglican Church
Since 2009, 16-year-old Canadian pianist Coco Ma has performed in prestigious concert halls in Canada, America, Germany, and China, such as Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, and Koerner Hall. She was one of only 12 students worldwide – and the only Canadian – to be chosen to study with international star Lang Lang at The Lang Lang Foundation’s inaugural Junior Music Camp in Munich. Coco has shared the stage with internationally acclaimed artists including Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, and James Ehnes. She is a student at The Juilliard School in the studio of Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. For tickets and more information, visit www.bravoniagara.org.
Program: Mozart, Chopin, Ravel, Scriabin, Kapustin
Tickets: $20; FREE for all students and April 7th Jon Kimura Parker concert ticket holders
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Justin Kauflin and Alfredo Rodriguez
May 6, 2017, 8 p.m.
Witness the Stratus Vineyards Press Alley transform from a working winery into an industrial chic jazz club for this highly-anticipated double bill performance featuring internationally-acclaimed jazz pianist Justin Kauflin and Grammy-nominated Cuban jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez. Both artists are signed by the legendary producer Quincy Jones.
New York-based jazz pianist, composer and producer Justin Kauflin is most notably known by his appearance in the award-winning documentary “Keep On Keepin’ On” based on his mentorship by legendary trumpeter, Clark Terry. Born with a rare degenerative eye disease and totally blind by age 11, Justin adjusted by learning braille, cane mobility and focusing on music. He began performing jazz professionally by age 15. Through his friendship with Clark Terry, Justin met, and subsequently was signed by, Quincy Jones. For tickets and more information, visit www.bravoniagara.org.
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May 28, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Bravo Niagara! Presents Trio Dushkin featuring Dennis Kim, concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; renowned pianist David Fung; and Roman Mekinulov, principal cellist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Hailed as one of the most successful concertmasters of today, Dennis Kim has served as concertmaster of the Hong Kong, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestras, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland, as well as guest concertmaster of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, and the KBS orchestra in Seoul. Dennis was recently appointed to the faculty of The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School and The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists. He plays the 1701 ex-Dushkin Stradivarius, on permanent loan from a generous donor. For tickets and more information, visit www.bravoniagara.org.