Musical Chairs – YST Students in Canadian Chamber Music Festival

Four YST Conservatory students participated at a chamber music festival at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Bringing together musicians from seven institutions across four continents, the Musical Chairs Chamber Music Festival (25 Feb – 4 March) included workshops, concerts and masterclasses featuring top-level students from ConNext schools YST Conservatory, Schulich School of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Sibelius Academy, Queensland Conservatorium, Norwegian Academy of Music, as well as Beijing Central Conservatory and the Mozarteum, and renowned professionals. 

Musical Chairs was one week that I truly learned everything. It was so meaningful in a way, that we were all strangers who came together to create music. It’s not just about music making, it’s about human beings and our connections
— Luong Khanh Nhi, BMus Year 3, piano

It was a fantastic opportunity for the students, who got to experience a little bit of life at another world-class music department. Through lessons and masterclasses with professors from the various participating institutions, they were given fresh insights on the repertoire prepared; and interacting with other students from all over the globe not only offered them new perspectives on their study and career trajectories, but the networking and contacts made would be invaluable for their futures.

Lim Yan, Senior Lecturer in Collaborative Piano at YST, who was also one of the Festival’s faculty coaches, added that “the level of playing and performance was consistently high at the festival, for example in the midweek concert which showcased the students playing in their pre-formed groups from each institution. Particularly impressive was the Saturday concert which featured our four students from YST in four different chamber groups; each group consisting of members who were meeting for the first time at Musical Chairs and having just four days to prepare movements from major pieces in the repertoire for public performance. The excitement and chemistry between the players was palpable as they drew inspiration from each other and put on an outstanding concert together.”

 Arisa Ikeda (BMus Year 3, violin)performing Beethoven Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 60 at the Redpath Hall.

Arisa Ikeda (BMus Year 3, violin)performing Beethoven Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 60 at the Redpath Hall.

Despite the cold weather and jet-lag, Ho Qian Hui (BMus Year 3, viola) shared that she learned so much from watching the different chamber groups perform and it was great to be playing with other musicians from around the world including musicians from professional ensembles. Qian Hui shared "We were all discovering Faure piano quintet no. 2 for the first time, so it was really amazing to see how far we had come since the first day we read through the music (in its entire 4 movements) together".

Featured photo: Arisa Ikeda , Kim Soyoung (BMus Year 3, cello) with Luong Khanh Nhi (BMus Year 3, piano) performing Schumann Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor at the McCord Museum