Bits & Pieces

Explore our curated collection of eclectic and uplifting bits and pieces about music, artists, and more.

Bits & Pieces – MG3

Bits & Pieces – MG3 150 150

The Montréal Guitare Trio will be at Almonte Old Town Hall on Saturday, December 4 to perform Winter’s Threshold – our traditional festive seasonal concert. Enjoy a taste of this wonderful concert lined up for you in the video below. Get your tickets now!

Bits & Pieces – MG3

Bits & Pieces – MG3 150 150

The Montréal Guitare Trio will be at Almonte Old Town Hall on Saturday, December 4 to perform Winter’s Threshold – our traditional festive seasonal concert. Here is their spirited version of Danza del Molinero (Miller’s Dance) from the Ballet “El Sombrero de Tres Picos” (Three-cornered Hat) & Danza No.1 from the opera La Vida Breve by Manuel de Falla.

Bits & Pieces – MG3

Bits & Pieces – MG3 150 150

The Montréal Guitare Trio will be at Almonte Old Town Hall on Saturday, December 4 to perform Winter’s Threshold – our traditional festive seasonal concert. Here they discuss the making of their album “DANZAS” (Analekta Label) which features Spanish music; Danza del Molinero of Manuel de Falla. This short video gives insight into the creativity and development of these wonderful musicians.

Bits & Pieces – I Gondolieri

Bits & Pieces – I Gondolieri 150 150

Tutti Bravissimi!

Perhaps you have already hauled the dusty canoe, or the rowboat or the kayak or the sailboat, out of it’s winter resting place and launched it onto a glistening lake or river. Perhaps you have been lucky enough to have travelled the ancient canals of Venice by gondola in a past life. If so, you might feel that ‘life is good’ with an oar, rudder or paddle in hand and the wind at your back, basking in the sun … or the moon. Whatever your past nautical experience, Giacchino Rossini’s I Gondolieri can still sing to the sailor in you.

Sail on, under a fast sky, beautiful is the resplendent sky. The moon is without a veil, without tempest the sea. To row, to rest upon the expanse of water, to the gondolier is given among good things the best. Sail on. No matter if the sun is brilliant, or sad appears the moon; always on the lagoon the gondolier is king.”

Bits & Pieces – Ladom Ensemble

Bits & Pieces – Ladom Ensemble 150 150

It’s time to put on your dancing shoes! At the very least, let the Ladom Ensemble (“la” as in “last”, and “dom” as in “dome”) start your toes tapping with their ‘passionate, sophisticated and wild’ version of Brahms Hungarian Dance 5. This classically trained and globally minded ensemble, of accordion, piano, cello and percussion, based in Toronto, almost made it to the Almonte stage in April 2020, and we can hardly wait for them to make that a reality. Until then, check out the Ladom ensemble, with Adam Campbell, percussion, Beth Silver, cell, Michael Bridge, accordion, and Pouva Haidi, piano, with their spirited version of Hungarian Dance 5.

Bits & Pieces – Ensemble Made In Canada

Bits & Pieces – Ensemble Made In Canada 150 150

Almonte in Concert is thrilled that Ensemble Made in Canada’s imaginative and exciting Mosaique Project is nominated for the 2021 Juno, Classical Album of the year! For two years, from it’s world premiere in Parry Sound in July of 2018 to January of 2020, Ensemble Made in Canada travelled with this  commissioned suite of piano quartets, their musical quilt celebrating Canada’s richness and diversity, to almost every corner of this country, including upstairs in the Almonte Old Town Hall! Remember how we were invited to doodle or draw on a small card, later sewed together in a visual online mosaic?

For lovers of bicycles, dawn or Newfoundland, enjoy Jonny Pippy of Couch Cove, Newfoundland.

Or, for a little eclectic fun, head west to the Bessborough Hotel in Saskatchewan.  And, of course, on Juno night, best of luck to Ensemble Made in Canada!

Bits & Pieces – Montreal Guitar Trio

Bits & Pieces – Montreal Guitar Trio 150 150

Spring officially arrived early in the morning of March 20, 2021.

Just three months prior, winter was making it’s debut in Eastern Canada, and so was a work composed by the creative and virtuoso Montreal Guitar Trio members Glen Levesque and Sebastien Dufour, called Aux Portes du l’Hiver. On December 21, 2020, an intimate video concert showcasing 6 cinematic works was unveiled in the magnificent Ste Jeanne de Chantal church near Ile Perrot, QC.

Performed by the Montreal Guitar Trio, which also includes Marc Morin, Horizons is “meant to be a break in our daily life, an invitation to escape”. This pause from the routine, reverberating in the quiet of the church, uplifts and warms the heart, no matter what the season.

In all, 23 minutes of peaceful energy. Welcome spring.

The Montreal Guitar Trio performed on the AIC Concert Stage with Don Ross on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

Bits & Pieces – Ensemble Vivant

Bits & Pieces – Ensemble Vivant 150 150

And…we’re back! Put some spring in your step with the Ensemble Vivant as they play a couple of passionate tangos by Astor Piazzolla, certain to start your hips and shoulders swaying! ‘Undertango’ live is a spirited excerpt from an April 2012 concert at the Glen Gould Theatre. On April 18, 2015, Ensemble Vivant shared their magic with our Almonte in Concert audience. (Catherine Wilson, piano, Corey Gemmell – violin, Norman Hathaway – violin, Sybil Shanahan – cello, Jim Vivian – bass)

‘Lebertango’  is from their must-have recording entitled ‘Hommage to Astor Piazzolla’. Enjoy the sparkling energy of Ensemble Vivant!

Bits & Pieces – Andrew Wan and Charles Richard-Hamelin

Bits & Pieces – Andrew Wan and Charles Richard-Hamelin 150 150

If you are pining for a concert, why not enjoy a full livestream concert from Pontiac Enchantè this Friday October 23 or Sunday October 25? Click on the link here for full details .Two excellent local pianists, Carson Becke and Suren Barry are performing an exciting programme including Arensky, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky. In the meantime, soothe your soul with the Sonata for violin and piano No. 4 in A minor, op. 23 recorded at Radio-Canada Studio 12 in Montreal on January 28, 2020. Andrew Wan (violin) and Charles Richard-Hamelin (piano) joined us to play Beethoven on Record on Sunday, February 18, 2018 in a prelude to their upcoming Beethoven recordings.

Bits & Pieces – Saguenay String Quartet

Bits & Pieces – Saguenay String Quartet 150 150

Let this rich and lively scherzo from Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Opus 44 No. 2 lift your spirits during these warm and wonderful autumn days. Here, the Quator Saguenay (formerly the Alcan String Quartet) play on four instruments by the Paris luthier and instrument restorer Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, graciously loaned by Canimex Inc. They joined forces with the Lafayette String Quartet in a memorable concert on Saturday, March 17, 2018 to play rarely heard and newly comissioned octets on the Almonte in Concert stage.

Bits & Pieces – Wolak | Donnelly duo

Bits & Pieces – Wolak | Donnelly duo 150 150

In a lighter mode, we remember the Wolak | Donnelly Duo who performed for us on Sunday, January 29, 2017. Here, pianist Chris Donnelly captivates the audience with another instrumental talent while Kornel Wolak accompanies him on the clarinet. Bach with an unusual side dish!

Bits & Pieces – Ewashko Singers

Bits & Pieces – Ewashko Singers 150 150

Let these heavenly voices soothe your soul during this short interlude betwixt the frolic of Summer and the sobriety of Fall as Labour Day heralds the new season. The Ewashko Singers brought us the Sounds of Christmas on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in our traditional Christmas concert.

Bits & Pieces – Paul Merkelo and Janelle Fung

Bits & Pieces – Paul Merkelo and Janelle Fung 150 150

What’s the buzz?  Let Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumble Bee serenade the bees busy pollinating your garden with this rendition by Paul Merkelo, trumpeter extraordinaire, accompanied by pianist Janelle Fung. He uses the trumpet technique of double tonguing expertly. They joined us at Almonte in Concert for an evening From Russia with Love on Sunday January 18 at 2:00 pm.

Bits & Pieces – Oliver Jones

Bits & Pieces – Oliver Jones 150 150

How about a little Gershwin to lighten your day?  When it is played at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2004 by the wonderful Oliver Jones, who graced our stage with the dynamic Piano Chameleons on Saturday, October 15, 2016, it is a musical feast for the soul.

Bits & Pieces – Cheng2 Duo

Bits & Pieces – Cheng2 Duo 150 150

Enjoy a replay!  Here is the second movement – Allegro (II) – from the Cello Sonata by Shostakovich which Bryan and Silvie played to a full house at Almonte in Concert on Saturday, April 13, 2019. The Sonata is also one of the many works from their latest album, Russian Legends, available on their website. This young and dynamic Canadian duo have been busy this summer despite the pandemic.  Bryan Cheng was awarded 1st prize at the 2020 Bader and Overton Canadian Cello Competition in Kingston, Ontario at the end of June.  He was, of course, accompanied by his sister, Silvie.

Bits & Pieces – Paul Marleyn and Frédéric Lacroix

Bits & Pieces – Paul Marleyn and Frédéric Lacroix 150 150

Paul Marleyn (cello) and Frédéric Lacroix (piano) play the melodic and rather haunting Minstrel’s Song by Alexandre Glazounov in Montréal. Both fine artists have graced our AIC stage, but not together as they are in this clip. Paul performed The Four Elements with Mauro Bertoli on Saturday, April 29, 2017 while Frédéric played with us twice in our 2019-2020 season on Saturday, December 21 with soprano Jaqueline Woodley and on Sunday, January 26 with violinist Jasper Wood.


Bits & Pieces – Montréal Guitar Trio

Bits & Pieces – Montréal Guitar Trio 150 150

The renowned Montréal Guitar Trio performed with us on Saturday, March 11, 2017 with Special Guest Don Ross in our 2016-17 Season. Here are the Montréal Guitar Trio & California Guitar Trio performing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Ennio Morricone, who passed away earlier this month having gifted the world with so many tuneful and popular compositions. This is followed by the Reel Matawa by Richard Forest in a performance at the Palais Montcalm in Québec City, October 23, 2009.

Bits & Pieces – Philip Chiu

Bits & Pieces – Philip Chiu 150 150

The music is hot, but this setting will cool you right down!  Pianist Philip Chiu brought us Of Church and State on Saturday, April 21, 2018 accompanied by video screenings of Québec churches.  Here, he puts himself directly into the video. Philip Chiu plays Alberto Ginastera’s Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 22: IV Ruvido ed ostinato on a mountain peak near Revelstoke, British Columbia. Find out how this amazing feat was accomplished in the second video.

Bits & Pieces – Ensemble Made in Canada

Bits & Pieces – Ensemble Made in Canada 150 150

In celebration of Canada Day (a little late, but hopefully we are still in the mood), let us remember the wonderful performance of The Mosaïque Suite, a suite of 14 piano quartets by Canadian composers each commissioned to reflect a particular region of Canada. Ensemble Made In Canada performed this unique project during our 2018-2019 Season on Saturday, March 16, 2019. Here it is performed in its entirety at Partridge Hall in St. Catharines, Ontario, and introduced by the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson. Good news:  the CD Album is now available at and can be purchased online.

Bits & Pieces – Eliane Rodrigues

Bits & Pieces – Eliane Rodrigues 150 150

And now for something completely different! While Brazilian pianist, Eliane Rodrigues has not performed on our Almonte in Concert stage, she demonstrates how the show must go on…even below the stage if necessary, as a slight problem with the piano pedal interfered with her not-to-be-missed performance at De Doelen in Rotterdam. Truly a master class!