Tag Archives: Erhu

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RON KORB PERFORMS @ STEINWAY PIANO GALLERY

What a great way for flautist/composer Ron Korb to end the month of July – with a special performance at the renowned Steinway Piano Gallery in Markham (just north of Toronto). Ron was joined on stage by the award-winning pianist/composer (and Steinway artist) Chris Donnelly, and accompanied on Chinese erhu by Xiaoqiu Lin.20150731_201616 20150731_191942If you’ve never been to the Steinway location in Markham, it’s definitely worth a quick trip to see some of the most extraordinary instruments, ranging from family-friendly uprights to concert grand pianos. Join me for a virtual stroll thru their showroom…..

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World-renowned musician Aidan Mason tickles the ivories

World-renowned musician Aidan Mason tickles the ivories

Piano consultant Janice Brisco (r) chats with guests

Piano consultant Janice Brisco (r) chats with guests

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20150731_185734Ron and Chris had a wonderful rehearsal in the afternoon (below), and they were so well taken care of by the Steinway team. Wish all venues had such accommodating crews.

DSC04679As the concert drew to a close, both Ron and Chris were presented with a special performance citation from the City of Markham by Regional Councillor (and BIG Ron Korb fan!) Nirmala Armstrong (below left) – joining them on stage is Steinway General Manager Alex Thomson (below right)

DSC04735Ron’s beautiful wife, Jade, handled videotaping duties (below) as well as being responsible for the stunning photography in Ron’s latest CD, Asia Beauty. She also handled all the CD sales last night…phew! That woman needs a vacation!

20150731_201650We then adjourned to the gallery for a reception, CD sales and a meet-n-greet with the stars…oh what a rush!

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full houseLovely to see some of the Canadian music icons and fellow artists who came out to support Ron and Chris. Below Liona Boyd…need I say more? Wow!20150731_204243And keyboardist and producer Lance Anderson played a few tunes while Nightingale Music founder, Caron Nightingale looked on (below). 20150731_210102

Lance soon drew a crowd including photographer David who I caught mid-shot!

Lance soon drew a crowd including photographer David who I snapped mid-shot!

Here's Aidan Mason again, with partner Margot Glatt

Here’s Aidan Mason again, with partner Margot Glatt

Sculptor/painter Olga Nabatova showed her stripes along with her friend, classical pianist  Helen Marinow

Sculptor/painter Olga Nabatova showed her stripes along with her friend, classical pianist Helen Marinow

Here are two friends and fans of Ron's - musician Wen Zhao (who played on Ron's Asia Beauty CD) with Grace Lau of Aqua Event Mgmn't

Here are two friends and fans of Ron’s – at left musician Wen Zhao (who played on Ron’s Asia Beauty CD) with Grace Lau of Aqua Event Mgmn’t on the right.

We all love Ron's super fan John Ota

We all love Ron’s super fan John Ota (above)

And here is Ron sandwiched between two fabulous ladies – Margaret Nightingale (left) & Caron on the right.

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More fans showed their love for our 2 stars of the night

More fans showed their love for our 2 stars of the night

Charming and knowledgeable piano consultant Phyllis Zhong (ctr) was joined by 2 friends

Charming and knowledgeable piano consultant Phyllis Zhong (ctr) was joined by 2 friends

But it was Phyllis's shoes that caught my attention. Painful? Yes. But worth it? You betcha!

But it was Phyllis’s shoes that caught my attention. Painful? Yes. But worth it? You betcha!

Here's Helen Li, VP of the new posh glossy magazine "Pure Luxury".

Here’s Helen Li, VP of the new posh glossy magazine “Pure Luxury”.

Alex worked hard all night with his staff, to make everyone feel welcome. Bravo, good show, Alex!

Alex worked hard all night with his staff to make everyone feel welcome. Bravo, Alex, good show!

And here's the "jewel in the crown" - the handcrafted Macassar Ebony Steinway grand, worth a cool qtr million! Everyone wanted to touch it, play it...and so they did!

And here’s the “jewel in the crown” – the handcrafted Macassar Ebony Steinway grand, worth a cool qtr million! Everyone wanted to touch it, play it…and so they did!

 

20150731_20560620150731_203648If you would like to learn more about Ron, please visit his website: www.ronkorb.com and if you would like to visit the Steinway Piano Gallery, check out their website at: www.steinwaytoronto.ca

A wonderful concert...thank you to Chris, Ron and Xiaoqiu

A wonderful concert…thank you to Chris, Ron and Xiaoqiu

 

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RON KORB DEBUTS “ASIA BEAUTY” CD WITH STANDING-ROOM-ONLY TORONTO CONCERT

Despite the heavy downpour, the Musideum in downtown Toronto held a packed audience as award-winning flautist and composer RON KORB unveiled his latest album, ASIA BEAUTY, accompanied by Lou Pomanti on piano and Linlin Wang on erhu.

Cover-2015(less green)With a stunning 36pg full-colour book of photographs attached, the 19 track (+ 2 bonus tracks) CD channels Ron’s experiences and inspirations from previous tours of China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan. His beautiful wife, Jade, took the photos which accompany Ron’s story behind each tune.

Asia Beauty 2The enthusiastic crowd of fans and media jammed into the humid and steamy performance space seemed entranced by each note. Everyone seemed to be taping the performance (below) which was also webcast around the world. Many favourable comments from excited fans in the US and Japan were received the next day.

20150707_202638 20150707_201138 20150707_212411After the concert, fans wanted photos with Ron (below) including Singaporean actor and singer Laurance Tan, jazz flautist Bill McBirnie (middle pic) and of course, the obligatory “band photo” (bottom pic) featuring Linlin Wang and Lou Pomanti flanking Ron.

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20150707_215231….and members of Flute Street (Toronto’s Professional Flute Choir) filmmaker Patrick Jenkins and Hong Kong designer Rita Ip (below with Ron)

20150707_193748 Rita Ip_RonIf you missed the concert last night, check out Ron’s website for CD purchase info or downloads: http://ronkorb.com/

20150707_193412Ron composed and produced the entire album, ably assisted by Gary Honess of Kuhl Muzik studio where most of the tunes were recorded and mixed, plus Ron Searles (Glenn Gould Studio at CBC), Paul Intson, Jeremy Darby (The Canterbury Music Company) and Phil Demetro of Lacquer Channel Mastering. Album design by Carolyn Quan. Financial assistance from FACTOR Canada. Thank you to Roger (sound) and Donald (Musideum) for making the concert possible.

 

 

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AWARD-WINNING FLAUTIST & COMPOSER RON KORB RELEASES NEW ALBUM “ASIA BEAUTY” JULY 7th IN TORONTO

I’ve been aware of Toronto’s internationally acclaimed flautist and composer RON KORB and his music for many years, having attended one of his concerts back in the late 90’s – I remember being completely mesmerized by his flute playing; I never knew there were so many different types of flute or the vastly dissimilar sounds and tones each emits.

DSC00144g-1-sDSC07049Famous for playing a wide variety indigenous woodwinds from around the world, Ron’s critically praised music has been released in twenty countries around the world, and he’s toured extensively throughout Europe, North and Central America, Australia, South Asia, mainland China and Japan, performing for many heads of state and royalty. His compositions evoke imagery of the diverse cultural traditions and experiences he’s encountered on his travels.

Several months ago, I reconnected with Ron during a taping of the Rogers Daytime Toronto tv show and we started chatting in the green room about the release of his upcoming new CD, Asia Beauty. On Tuesday July 7th, Ron will be performing at Musideum, 401 Richmond St West (at Spadina) accompanied by renowned pianist Lou Pomanti with Linlin Wang on the Chinese Erhu, as he introduces Asia Beauty to world, classical and new age music fans. Tickets are $20 and available on Ron’s website: http://ronkorb.com/asia-beauty-tickets

Cover-2015(less green)His past albums have run the gamut of Celtic themes, a salute to the European masters, Native American, Japanese, mystical and even a Christmas album, all original works using a multitude of wind instruments accompanied by indigenous and traditional musical instruments. I asked Ron about his latest album and he shared his inspirations and the story behind the new album:
This album is the result of my travels through China over the past 13 years.  The music is inspired by the dramatic landscapes, ancient history, the people and their stories, the arts and culture and their dynamic present-time where, in cities like Shanghai, entire communities are changing rapidly. More specifically, as you flip through the album booklet you can see the background inspiration for each song. All the pieces have a unique story that reflects something about Asian culture.

????????????????????????????? KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAsia Beauty also features a beautiful 36 page picture book containing full colour photos of both rural and urban China. I asked Ron about these gorgeous photos:
I am proud that there are no stock photos in the picture book. Most of the original photography is by my wife, Jade, with a few shots taken by myself and others, notably Dan Shao. The exotic locations in China include: Guilin, Yangshou, Suzhou, Shanghai, and the Forbidden City in Beijing. Other locations include Hanoi, Vietnam and the gorgeous bamboo forest at Xitou in Taiwan.

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DSC08816-1Ron continued by telling the story behind his original songs on the album:
Seven of the songs from Asia Beauty are the musical setting of an original story called “Dragon Flute and the House of the Five Beauties” which I wrote in my hotel in Shanghai (where Ron is pictured below) after a week-long rehearsal schedule and concert performance. I spent an extra week travelling around and each night I would add a few more pages. I was inspired to write a supernatural story set in ancient China based on historical legend and some of my own experiences. There was even interest in turning the story into a feature length animated film, however, I’m happy that it’s finally available in the liner notes of the album.

SONY DSCOriginally I was going to call the whole album “The House of the Five Beauties” but as other songs included were not part of that story, I thought of calling the album simply “Asia”. I liked adding the word “Beauty” because the essence of the music is celebrating the beauty of Asian nature and also refers to “The Beautiful Sadness” aesthetic and the characters in “House of the Five Beauties”.

IMG_3304 ?????????????????????????????I noticed on his website that Ron has performed for many international heads of state and royalty over the years so I asked him how it feels to play in front of such prestigious audiences:
Aside from the diplomatic etiquette, the performing process is really the same. Music is about relating to each other as human beings. Personally, it is just as much a privilege to play for a King or Queen as it is for all audiences.

SONY DSC And I also asked him how Chinese audiences differ from Canadian audiences:
They come from a completely different perspective when it comes to appreciating the arts. I explain some of the cultural difference in the album with the song The Beautiful Sadness. I think the Chinese audiences are brutally honest and they won’t sit through something that they find boring. However, if your music touches them they will really show it enthusiastically.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA DSC04836g 147簽名會 SONY DSCWhich brought me to another question – does Ron see opportunities for other Canadian artists to explore the HUGE Chinese/South Asian music markets?
I think there are opportunities for Canadian artists but it is not as straightforward as expanding into the USA or Europe where we share a similar media culture and musical taste. I know some musicians who have tried to make it in China and been underwhelmed by the results and reaction from audiences.  There was one North American superstar who was performing there and after a few songs the audience began to leave en masse. There was another case where the audience was talking so loudly that the group stopped playing and lectured the audience on how to pay attention.

DSC04509g-1 With such a level of expertise, knowledge and personal experience, I asked Ron how long he has studied and played the flute, and which instruments are his favourites:
I started on recorder in elementary school and began playing flute in high school. I like each type of flute for different reasons. The classical flute has good intonation and pure tone but the mechanical key system lacks some intimacy, similar to the difference between an automatic transmission and a standard car. With the wooden flute your fingers touch the wood and you feel every curve and bump of the instrument. I also love the wonderful organic tone of the Chinese bamboo flute or wooden Irish flute.

20150623_174736With all this training and years of touring, Ron must have advice he could share with music students and aspiring performers so he offered the following:
Seek out the best teachers and learn the craft as best you can. Attend as many concerts of as many different genres as possible. As you develop, discover who you are as a person and learn how to express that through the flute. Resist copying other artists’ styles and develop your own special voice.

2015-02-13 20.34.59I mentioned to Ron that his upcoming CD release concert is being held in a unique venue, Musideum (pictured below), where I believe he had previously played, even collaborating with the owner, Donald Quan on musical projects:
Yes, I‘ve played there before and I even played at Musideum’s inaugural opening concert. I have known Donald since I was 17 and in many ways, our love of World Music has developed simultaneously. Musideum was the realization of a dream that took many years to create and it has become a wonderful Aladdin’s cave of exotic instruments from around the world. It has personal significance to me and that is why it’s so appropriate to launch my Asia Beauty there.

20150507_194347 20150507_194422 20150507_220351So we’re just a week away from the official release of Asia Beauty and as space is limited, I encourage fans of World, Classical or New Age-style music in the Toronto area to get your tickets now!

Asia Beauty CD Release

Tuesday July 7 @ 8pm (doors open 7:30pm)

Musideum, 401 Richmond St. West (at Spadina)

Tickets $20 available from: http://ronkorb.com/asia-beauty-tickets

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Thank you for supporting Canadian artists.