Appassionato members Henry Baker (15) on piano, Emily Kunyk (15) is 1 violin, Emily Baker (20) is 2 violin, Anton Baker (18) is viola and Adam Kunyk (13) is cello. The string quintet opens the NOCCA April 8 performance in Vernon. (Submitted Photo)

Appassionato members Henry Baker (15) on piano, Emily Kunyk (15) is 1 violin, Emily Baker (20) is 2 violin, Anton Baker (18) is viola and Adam Kunyk (13) is cello. The string quintet opens the NOCCA April 8 performance in Vernon. (Submitted Photo)

Keyboard gymnastics at play in Vernon

Bergmann Duo with Sarah Hagen grace Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre stage April 8

Paul Maynes

Special to The Morning Star

The North Okanagan Community Concert Association presents the Bergmann Duo with Sarah Hagen performing on the NOCCA Steinway at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, Monday April 8 at 7:30 p.m. Come and enjoy one unique evening of entertainment featuring one piano, three talented pianists performing compositions for one to six hands from the classics to Broadway and everything in between.

A trio of long-time friends, Sarah Hagen of Morning Melodies and the Bergmann Duo of Elizabeth and Marcel, decided a few years ago to have a different kind of fun and see how one piano could manage their collective talents. With musical careers, teaching and domiciles not always coinciding, practice times as a trio were a challenge and performances were even rarer.

NOCCA presents these three amazing pianists fulfilling one of their “magical” evenings of piano wizardry featuring compositions for one to six hands. The program features composers such as Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Grainger as well as avant-gardist Mauricio Kagel and, to keep things current, Marcel Bergmann.

NOCCA presented the Bergmann Duo in April of 2015, and the audience was delighted and amazed with their unique combination of warmth, humour and virtuosity. They have performed and received accolades from around the globe and we will hear again how the musical world is their oyster. Not only have they won numerous international competitions, but they have continued to promote the musical talent of other artists through their teaching posts both past and present. The Duo serve as Directors of the Langley Community Music School and are Associate Music Directors of White Rock Concerts.

See: Concert Review: Bergmann Duo shows that four hands are better than two

Sarah Hagen is one extremely talented young lady who many of us know from her “Morning Melodies” presentations in the Marie Fleming Hall at the Performing Arts Centre. She also performed with her friend, tenor Benjamin Butterfield, on NOCCA’s stage in February of 2017. In January 2018, she hosted NOCCA’s youth concert NOYSE and presented her solo production of “Perk Up, Pianist”. Sarah’s quest for inspiration has taken her around the world, and will continue to do so as her inspiration is “everything”. Her sensitive interpretations of the classics to experimentation in musical theatre are indicative of her multiple talents.

One interesting side note to the Bergmann Duo and Sarah playing here in Vernon is that they were all “instrumental” in the selection of NOCCA’s Steinway. Sarah played the piano in the workshop in White Rock before restoration began in order to give NOCCA a performer’s opinion as to its pedigree. Elizabeth and Marcel played the piano in White Rock after the restoration was complete to confirm that the instrument was up to standard, and as we who have heard it well know, the work was done to perfection.

With backgrounds as varied and as richly talented, trying to describe the upcoming concert comes to two words: “Fabulously eclectic.”

To quote Marcel and Elizabeth, be prepared for “a full evening of brain work” and “an experience in the negotiation of keyboard gymnastics.”

Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for youth (18 & under) available at TicketSeller: 250-549-7469.


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The Bergmann Duo of Elizabeth and Marcel are joined by Sarah Hagen at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre April 8. (Submitted Photo)

The Bergmann Duo of Elizabeth and Marcel are joined by Sarah Hagen at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre April 8. (Submitted Photo)

Keyboard gymnastics at play in Vernon