The core group of the Rebelheart Collective consists of highly trained professional musicians. The group is flexible in size depending on the project. Other members include high-level student and graduates who want to work on building careers as a professional orchestral musician and community activist. They combine classical repertoire with new music, engaging with composers and collaborators from varied backgrounds.
For the season finale, Executive & Artistic Director Clark Bryan will join the Rebelheart Collective for Dvořák’s Piano Quintet Op. 81 entitled “Dumka.”
“Dumka” which is a form that Dvořák famously used in his Dumky piano trio and features a melancholy theme on the piano separated by fast, happy interludes. It follows the pattern ABACABA where A, in F♯ minor, is the slow elegiac refrain on piano with variations, B is a bright D major section on violins and C is a quick and vigorous section derived from the opening refrain. Each time the Dumka (A) section returns its texture is enriched.
Whether a question of the choice of thematic material, the superb instrumentation or the flawless structure of the individual movements, the quintet is, in all respects, an exemplary achievement of Dvorak’s proficiency as a mature composer. Here, he effectively incorporates nuances of Slavonic music, particularly in the melancholic dumka in the second movement and in the virtuoso stylisation of the furiant, a Czech folk dance, in the third movement. Even so, this is not a work that could be described as exclusively “Slav”. At the peak of his career, Dvorak skilfully combines folk (or “national”) elements with “Pan-European” principles, thus achieving his own distinctive, convincing synthesis. A major part of the quintet was written at Dvorak’s summer residence in Vysoka, and it seems as though the idyllic atmosphere of this environment was projected into the music itself: this is a serene work radiating with prevailing optimism which, in the final two movements, intensifies to an expression of spontaneous joy.
As an award winning concert pianist, Clark Bryan has performed internationally, recorded 14 CD’s and has been featured on radio and television. As a teacher, Mr. Bryan has taught thousands of students, adjudicated 65 festivals coast to coast in Canada, given dozens of workshops and written a book “Gateways to Learning and Memory”.
The founder of The Aeolian Performing Arts Centre, Clark believes that everyone should have universal access to music, art and culture. Because of this belief, he launched El Sistema Aeolian in 2011. This free, intensive music program has offered more than 200 children and youth an opportunity to experience the joy of a rich musical experience. Recent programs Mr. Bryan co-founded and launched under the Aeolian umbrella include Pride Men’s Chorus London and Rebelheart Collective.
Mr. Bryan is engaged in community activism and speaks regularly at events, on radio and television and has given a TED talk about the power and joy of music study.