15 October 2023
Elvira Misbakhova, viola
Meagan Milatz, piano
“Shakespeare and Viola”
St. James Church
642 Main, Hudson
October 15, 2023
Elvira Misbakhova received her Ph.D in music performance from the University of Montreal in 2005. She was the recipient of a FRQSC award, as well as the faculty’s prestigious FESP bursary of excellence. Ms. Misbakhova began her violin training at the age of seven in her native Tatarstan, Russia. She then attended the Kazan State Conservatory, where she was assistant principal violist for the La Primavera Chamber Orchestra.
In 1999, she arrived in Montreal to study with Eleonora Turovsky, becoming principal violist for the Orchestre Symphonique de l’Université de Montreal, and was winner of the orchestra’s concerto competition. She continued to acquire orchestral experience performing as principal violist for ensembles such as the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan, the Bach Academie Symphony Orchestra in Germany, and the Orchestre de la Francophonie in Quebec. As soloist, she has performed with the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Drummondville Symphony Orchestra, “Nouvelle Generation” chamber orchestra, I Musici de Montréal, the Orchestre Interculturel de Montréal with whom she premiered Boris Pigovat’s “Holocaust Requiem”. She has returned numerous times to Russia, performing with La Primavera Orchestra and the Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra, and continues to travel to give masterclasses and workshops.
Her last recording on Chandos Records got high acclaim by such magazines as “The Strad”, “Gramophone”, “Classical Source”, “The MusicWeb” and others. Ms. Misbakhova is currently principal violist of the Orchestre Métropolitain under Yannick Nezet-Seguin, an ensemble with whom she has recorded for Deutsche- Gramophone. She also holds principal position viola in chamber orchestra Nouvelle Generation and the assistant principal viola position in both the Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivieres, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil.
In 2000, she discovered her talent for improvisation and a deep passion for klezmer music. As a result of these experiences, she joined the celebrated Canadian band Kleztory, with whom she still works today. As a member of Kleztory, she performed with several Canadian orchestras, including, but not limited to, the Montreal, Laval and Quebec Symphony Orchestras, the Brussels Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre classique de Montréal and Les Violons du Roy. She is presently working on several projects in chamber music and has been a regular member of the Orchestre I Musici de Montréal since June 2022.
Elvira plays on viola by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume and the bow by Louis Bazin – the generous loan by Canimex Fondation , Drummondville.
Meagan Milatz, pianist, is quickly emerging as one of the most sought-after collaborative artists in the country. She regularly performs with top international musicians such as Andrew Wan, concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra; Stefan Dohr, Principal Horn of the Berlin Philharmonic; and cellist Matt Haimovitz. Chamber music highlights from 2022 include performances with Cho-Liang Lin, Peter Hanson, Mark Fewer, Steven Dann, Richard Lester, and tubist Øystein Baadsvik, among others. Meagan recently recorded an album with ATMA Classique for fortepiano and natural horn alongside Louis-Pierre Bergeron, to be released in December 2023.
In May 2022, she appeared in concert in Spain with Kai Gleusteen, concertmaster of the Orchestra del Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona. Her duo “meagan&amy” with violinist Amy Hillis launched onto the scene in 2019 with a 50-concert, Canada-wide tour as winners of the first-ever Pan-Canadian Partnership Recital Tour offered by Jeunesses Musicales Canada, Debut Atlantic, and Prairie Debut.
Meagan has also appeared as soloist alongside orchestras such as the Edmonton, Regina, Sherbrooke, and McGill Symphonies. She was top prize winner in the Shean Piano competition, CFMTA National Piano Competition, and Canadian Music Competition as well as a recipient of a Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award. She is grateful to her teachers and lifelong mentors Cherith Alexander, Ilya Poletaev, Tom Beghin, and Philip Chiu.