Saint Crispin's Chamber Ensemble
Don Ross, clarinet; Sara Soufi Siavash, piano & Viktoria Grynenka, violin

Saturday, February 4, 2023 - 7:30 pm
St. Albert United Church 

Saint Crispin’s Chamber Ensemble is a collective of about a dozen musicians in Edmonton, from whom clarinetist Don Ross draws smaller groups. They play a wide range of literature from masterworks of the classics, to ancient, world and improvised music, though they are probably best known as a new music ensemble. Since 1994 they have commissioned over a dozen new works, appeared on seven CDs and frequent radio broadcasts, and presented over sixty concerts.

 

Saint Crispin's were featured performers in four versions of the Edmonton New Music Festival in both rESOund Festivals of New Music. They appear frequently in series concerts by the New Music Edmonton, Mile Zero Dance and the Boreal Electroacoustic Society (BEAMS). They have multiple appearances with New Music in New Places and New Works Calgary. In the summers they have performed at the Sasquatch Festival and North Country Fair, and several times at the Edmonton Fringe and the Works Festival of Art and Design. Recent Edmonton Arts Council and Explorations grants led to the large multimedia productions Glad of the World and the End of Time project and to participation in the national cross-commissioning project Six Team League. The group has recordings on the Clef Records, Arktos and Eclectra labels. They appear regularly on CBC radio, including the national shows Wednesdays at Winspear, Out of the Blue and First Night.

 

In between Saint Crispin’s productions, Don Ross keeps busy as a freelance orchestral and session player. He teaches at the University of Alberta and the Alberta College Conservatory. He is in demand as a clinician, conductor and adjudicator, and since 2003 has been an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre. He holds music degrees from the Universities of Alberta and Toronto, as well as a Master’s from Northwestern University in Chicago.

Don Ross (002).jpg
Sara Soufi Siavash (002).jpg
Viktoria Grynenko (002).jpg

Clarinetist Don Ross plays some 150 shows a year, split between classical, jazz, world and experimental music. He plays regularly with such groups as Saint Crispin’s Chamber Ensemble, the Gadjo Collective gypsy band, New Music Edmonton, the Alberta Symphony, Crescendo Orchestra, Opera Nuova, The Billie Zizi Swing Band, Mile Zero Dance and many others. He teaches clarinet at the University of Alberta, MacEwan, Concordia, King’s and MusiCamp Alberta.  His work as a composer and project leader have won multiple grants from the Canada Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Edmonton Arts Council.  He studied at the Universities of Alberta and Toronto and at Northwestern in Chicago.

Sara Soufi Siavash, an Iranian pianist is a current Master in Music student at the University of Alberta. She started learning the piano in 2004 and graduated from Tehran Music School with a music diploma and the University of Tehran with a bachelor in music. 

She has performed in many festivals such as Fajr International Festival and the Classic to Contemporary Music Festival in Iran, both as a soloist and accompanist. She is a prize winner at the National Youth Music Festival in Tehran and has lots of experience accompanying choirs, vocalists, other instruments and chamber music ensembles such as Horizonte ensemble from Germany. 

Viktoria Grynenko was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. In 2011 she received a scholarship from Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba and came to Canada to study violin performance. A recent graduate with Doctor of Music degree (University of Alberta, 2021), Grynenko’s research explores the idea of ‘metaphoric intersectionality’ between violin and dance. She organizes numerous concerts in collaboration with ballet dancers and explores rare violin repertoire related to ballet music. 

Viktoria holds the Beryl Barnes Memorial Graduate Award, Pamela Farmer Graduate Scholarship, Maria Yaworska Scholarship, Barbara Newbegin Scholarship, Stephanie Perozak Scholarship, Straus Foundation Award, Kun Scholarship,  and others. She appeared as a soloist with Oslo Symphony Orchestra (Norway) and Glier Music Institute Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine); she also performed as a soloist, chamber and orchestra musician throughout Canada, Germany, Austria and Ukraine. She has been serving as a concertmaster and Teaching Assistant for the University of Alberta Symphony Orchestra since 2017 under Petar Dundjerski.  

Passionate about education, Viktoria led numerous masterclasses for violin and chamber music students through community organisations and higher education institutions.

Grynenko’s interest in new music encouraged her to commission and premiere pieces by Canadian and American composers, such as Henry J. Ng, Valentin Bibik, Zach Bales, James Wright and others. As a dedicated supporter of El Sistema program of music education for children from low-income families, Viktoria has worked and volunteered with the program in Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Edmonton.