On November 22, 2013, join me for a Solo Recital in tribute to the creative genius of Benjamin Britten!  In the beautiful acoustics and intimate environment of Pyatt Hall in the VSO School of Music, I’ll pair Britten’s Baroque inspired Suite No. 1 with works by the eminent J.S. Bach and Pulitzer Prize Winning composer Caroline Shaw. See poster below for details…

Ones to watch in 2013 – Rising stars in the Vancouver arts scene worth keeping an eye on this year by Ariel Barnes

Cellist Ariel Barnes had a very good 2012, and indications are strong for an even better 2013. His performances ranged from an evening of all three Suites for solo cello by Benjamin Britten, in March at The Cellar, to a performance of Bossa Nova classics with guitarist Daniel Bolshoi for MusicFest Vancouver. The duo “Couloir” (Barnes and harpist Heidi Krutzen) has been “commissioning up a storm,” with four new works recorded and two more in the works.

Given his composer father and violinist mother, Barnes’ career choice seems almost pre-ordained. His imaginative interest in music from all eras, refined technique, and luscious tone have made him an indispensable part of the Vancouver music scene. Barnes’ career as a soloist and chamber player seems poised to kick into a new level of intensity over the next few months.

Watch for: Barnes starts the new year with a Prairie tour, then in late February records Areomancy, Jocelyn Morlock’s concerto for two cellos, with cellist Joseph Elsworthy. In April he’s back at The Cellar with pianist Robert Silverman and violinist David Gilham, playing Brahms – and all this on a “new” cello, a fine 18th-century Italian instrument, on loan for three years from the Canada Council’s Instrument Bank.

David Gordon Duke, Special to The Sun

Canada Council Instrument Bank Competition Winner! by Ariel Barnes

Last week I spent a surreal time in Toronto, Ontario as a participant in the Canada Council Instrument Bank Competition.  Being invited to compete with some of Canada’s finest young musicians for the use of rare and unique instruments was an honor and a great pleasure.  I am pleased to announce that I have been granted the use of the Newland Johannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello, built in 1730 in Turin, Italy.  I’m thrilled to be able to make music with this instrument that is so rich in character for the next three years! A huge thank you to the Canada Council and the team at Heinl’s for their encouragement and support!

Couloir commissions Brad Turner by Ariel Barnes

My cello/harp duo Couloir has just received support from the B.C. Arts Council to commission phenomenal jazz musician Brad Turner to compose a work for us!  Heidi and I had the pleasure of working with Brad during this past season with the Turning Point Ensemble, premiering a work of his entitled “Seven Scenes from a Childhood”.  We found this piece so inspiring that we immediately wanted to work with him again.  His composition was witty, descriptive, hypnotic and straight to the heart.  A sincere thank you to the B.C. Arts Council for supporting this endeavor!  We’re really looking forward to this project…

Brasileiras by Ariel Barnes

I was invited to join guitarist Daniel Bolshoy to play the closing concert in MusicFest Vancouver’s Guitar Day, which took place on Sunday, August 12 in Vancouver’s finest new chamber music venue, Pyatt Hall!   “Brasilieras” is a program of Brazilian music that combines both popular styles of Brazilian Jazz and Classical composition.  We first played songs by the the Bossa Nova king Antonio Carlos Jobim, which beautifully set up the Sonata for Cello and Guitar by Radames Gnattali.  Below is a photo both of them, with Tom Jobim sporting a cigar and Radames Gnattali at the piano… 

I was honored to meet Leon Bibb after the show, a great singer/songwriter with an incredible history who came to enjoy our music making.  This concert was an ear opening experience for me; introducing new styles and characters into my life.  Stay tuned for “Brasilieras” as we’ll be performing this music again and again!

Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific Chamber Music by Ariel Barnes

This morning I rehearsed two chamber music works with Martin Chalifor (violin) and Carrie Dennis (viola).  First the Brahms c minor piano quartet with Lorraine Min (piano) and then Benjamin Britten’s Phantasy for Oboe and String Trio with Roger Cole (oboe).  I had a great morning exploring some brilliant music with these fine, fine musicians!  I’m really looking forward to our performances tomorrow night!  

Interplay by Ariel Barnes

VJ Kinotropy and I are embarking on our first performance piece; a combination of solo cello music and video images manipulated in real time by Kinotropy.  As the video images are not fixed, but played live, the narrative they provide is a natural response to each musical performance.  “Thread Tone” will be part of Interplay, an evening of interdisciplinary performances held at the Moberly Arts Centre in South Vancouver.  The show happens two nights in a row on June 1st and 2nd…

Musica Mattina by Ariel Barnes

On April 2nd and 3rd I played two cello and piano recitals with pianist Sarah Hagen.  Both on Vancouver Island; one at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay and the other in the beautiful Port Theatre in Nanaimo.  Our program consisted of the Debussy Sonata, Benjamin Britten’s Solo Cello Suite No. 1, Op. 72 and Beethoven’s 5th sonata in D major from Op. 102.  In Courtenay the audience sat with me in silence for a good 3 minutes at the end of Britten’s Suite; a beautifully reverent moment at the end of an epic opus by Benjamin.  After our Beethoven Sonata the audience chimed in for a chorus of Happy Birthday for Sarah!  We then gave back with our rendition of Rachmaninov’s famous “Vocalise”.  Our performance in Nanaimo the following day was enhanced by the beautiful setting and acoustics the theatre provided.  The glass walls, gorgeous 9 foot Steinway and incredibly attentive and engaged audience made for a wonderful experience!  Thank you for having us Bruce!