Daily Archives: June 9, 2011
Sun Times staff
Maestro Bramwell Tovey recalls first meeting Mark Fewer “as a precocious little 17-year-old” violinist.
The distinguished British-born pianist, composer and conductor was a guest directing a Toronto youth orchestra then.
“I was immediately struck by his infectious, bubbly enthusiasm,” Tovey said this week from B.C., where the Juno and Grammy-winning conductor has directed the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for a dozen years.
“He was just a student then but he was clearly a phenomenal player.”
Tovey and Fewer, known to Grey-Bruce classical music enthusiasts for his artistic direction with the Sweetwater Music Festival, crossed paths several more times.
But it wasn’t until Fewer accepted a position in 2003 as VSO concert master that the two discovered a shared interest in not just minimalist and modern classical music, but also jazz.
That helped cement a continuing creative collaboration which finds the two friends sharing the stage at Meaford Hall June 18 in a fundraising concert for the Sweetwater Music Festival.
Tovey has composed several pieces for Fewer, and they’ve performed together on three continents in the four years since the violinist left the VSO. Fewer now heads the strings program at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, teaching violin, chamber music and string improvisation while alos pursuing a concert and recording career.
Among their best known collaborations is Tovey’s composition Nine Daies Wonder.