Dear Friend -
Anne and Ed Turgeon, this Monday’s featured duo, are sending their love from Canada.
They asked our indulgence in not sending a video note because of certain reasons related to the coronavirus induced quarantine..... I hope Ed does not mind when I share his reason: “I look like Grizzly Adams, and although Anne is as beautiful and radiant as ever, I believe her sentiment is that, not having had the chance to visit a hairdresser since March prevents her from being able to agree to any kind of video, at least for now.” We all fully understand!
Rather than my inserting my words, here is the rest of Ed’s note.
We hope you are all well and managing through these difficult times. Goes without saying - we must be unified when passing through challenges like this, and to be sure, music has the power to sustain spirit and energy like nothing else these days. Up here in beautiful Sault Ste. Marie, our vast, 4 million square kilometer Algoma region has had 26 cases of COVID. All have been satisfactorily resolved by our amazing Sault area hospital front line workers. Bless their souls.
As for what we've been up to recently:
During the 2019/2020 season we played 34 concerts including those in California, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Montana Bahamas, Florida, Belarus and Poland. Then, in March 2019, everything came to a grinding halt just a few days after the conclusion of a five concert California tour.
Now......most of our concerts between March, 2020 and May, 2021 (28 in all), have been outright cancelled, so I guess you could say we are temporarily retired. We are using this down time to do administrative things like update the website and other bus measures such as making videos with the Canadian Piano Quartet and make new recordings this spring, in order to prepare for when live performing gets its mojo again. Anne teaches privately at the local university and music conservatory. Her students had a fantastic year, even with a sudden transition to teaching via ZOOM in March. I continue to Chair the music program at the university, while serving on the board of the art gallery, the symphony, and the city's cultural committee "Future Sault Ste. Marie", a group that decides, among other things, funding for arts in this region.
Our lives are very full, and we are very happy. Our children continue to flourish. And yes, a little bragging: Gabrielle is entering her third year at University of Toronto, where she is in the vocal performance program. She has already landed several professional roles. Go girl!!! Corinne is entering grade 10 in high school. She has reached the most advanced level as a cellist. Her repertoire right now includes Dvorak and Elgar cello concertos, as well as Bach Suites, etc. We are currently looking to upgrade from her present, very solid student level cello, to a professional level instrument. I suppose it’s time to take that sledgehammer and break the piggy bank.
We are often asked - how did the Dranoff change your lives? The Dranoff enabled us to meet the many wonderful folks in the Miami / Dade region, for example, the unforgettable Muriel and Irv Epstein, our host family during the 1997 competition. We connected with the incredible Loretta Dranoff and with composers such as John Corigliano; we have been sharing music with a much wider group of music lovers in so many different places. The competition introduced us to many other duo pianists with many of whom we formed friendships that have lasted a lifetime. Some of these friendships have turned into collaborations such as new ensemble, Canadian Piano Quartet. We formed this duo piano "supergroup" with Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann in late 2018, and we have already played many concerts together. As soon as COVID resolves, we have slate of concerts lined up for as early as 2021. This group has big plans....... It is SO MUCH FUN playing with those two. They are such wonderful people and incredible musicians.
All of this would not have happened without Dranoff paving the way to make all that a reality. May there be many more years of industry and projects for the Dranoff under the capable leadership of dear Carlene. We hope this most deserving organization will continue to be supported in a handsome way by individuals, corporations and different levels of government, if only for what the Dranoff manages to achieve in bringing music to communities and changing lives by helping young artists make a stronger entry, and more successful navigation through their professional lives.
Thank you, dear Anne and Ed. Stay safe.
Let me just mention that I added a treat: The Canadian Piano Quartet playing one movement of a Bach Brandenburg Concerto.
The Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation