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Review by David Richards
Toronto ON April 4 2017
Pianist Tussah Heera
Pianist Tussah Heera shines in a lunchtime concert at Yorkminster Park Church
Pianist Tussah Heera gave an uplifting performance of music by Haydn, Schubert/Liszt and Bach/Busoni at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church today. The Lunchtime Chamber Music Recital Program is a weekly noonhour concert series that is free for anyone who can find their way to the mid-town church for forty-five minutes.
Heera’s program began with Josef Haydn’s Sonata in E flat major, Hob.XVI:52, a cheerfully exuberant work that sparkled in this pianist’s hands. The work was a display-piece of classical virtuosity and Tussah performed with exemplary style. Next came Selections from 12 Lieder von Franz Schubert S.558, arranged by Franz Liszt. Tussah made the musical line sing and found the passion in this music. It was a sublime performance with a real expression of romanticism. Finally, she gave a powerful performance of J.S. Bach’s Chaconne in D minor, BWV 1004 arranged by Ferruccio Busoni. This is a tour-de-force regardless of whether played on violin as originally composed, on guitar, on two pianos, or in this arrangement for solo piano. The glorious sound of Bach filled the church. This was an incredibly moving and powerful performance. Heera is an artist of rare musical insight.
Tussah Heera at age 20, is in her final year of the Performance Diploma/Bachelor of Music program at the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School. She began her musical studies in London, England at the Royal Academy of Music at age five. At age eight, she relocated to Las Vegas and for the past four years has been studying in Toronto. During her time at Glenn Gould, she has embraced opportunities to perform which included a solo recital at the Four Seasons Centre. Last night, she presented her graduating recital at Mazzolini Hall.
Heera is one of many students at The Glenn Gould School who are emerging as the next generation of leading musicians. Their performances this winter in recitals and masterclasses, opera and orchestral performances have been stellar. There have been prize winners in prestigious international competitions. Although they may be on the cusp of great careers, these young artists need performances such as today’s to help them grow as musicians. Opportunities exist for music lovers to invite these students to perform in community or private functions. Alternatively, there are the free recitals and affordable orchestral and operatic performances in Koerner Hall.
On Friday April 8th, the Royal Conservatory Orchestra will perform at Koerner Hall. Bramwell Tovey will be on the podium in a program that will include Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 and Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 with violinist Jennifer Murphy.