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Music profs debut fourth CD

by Jeff Green

A pair of professors from the School of Music headed to Canada’s biggest city to kick-off the release of their fourth studio album this spring.

Professor Timothy Steeves, piano, and Dr. Nancy Dahn, violin, – who perform together as the critically-acclaimed group Duo Concertante – will launch It Takes Two with a string of live performances and concerts in Toronto.

The 14-track album, released by Marquis Classics/EMI Canada, consists of some of their favourite music – from jazz tunes to opera arias and orchestral pieces – all arranged by famed composer Clifford Crawley, a professor emeritus from Queen’s University who now lives in St. John’s.

The selections were handpicked for the husband and wife team as selections to cap off their concerts.

“Most of the encore-type pieces for violin and piano are ones that show off the violin,” said Prof. Steeves. “We wanted works that gave us both a chance to shine. We started asking Cliff Crawley to arrange some favourites and they were so wonderful we thought, let's ask him to write enough for a complete CD of original arrangements.”

That CD got its Canadian launch April 8 in Toronto.

Excerpts were performed and broadcast live on Classical 96.3 FM, a private radio station owned by Canadian broadcast icon Mose Znaimer.

They’ll also perform selections on May 5 at the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

The CD was launched in St. John’s at a private reception earlier this month.

“This album feels like a very personal CD for us and, I think, also for Cliff,” said Dr. Dahn. “Cliff is a genius orchestrator – he understands these instruments so well, what they can do well, how to write for them, and he brought so much of his own personality, originality and depth to these arrangements. We are really indebted to his generous spirit, energy and talent.”

The album was recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto and received support from Memorial’s Office of Research.

Meanwhile, the musicians, who are currently on sabbatical, are heading to Europe for a two week tour and to promote the album.