Two thousand and sixteen has been an incredible year. So much has happened. Every year is of course a year of learning, of discovery, of love, of birth, of death. This year I learned so much. I wanted to share a few beautiful moments with you now, looking back at the last twelve months. I got an email this morning that congradulated me on having one of the top 25 violin blogs in the world. I have no idea how I got to be on this list, and I don't really know what it means, but I'm simply happy and excited that some of my adventures, shortcommings, and opportunities may get shared around the world and encourage my fellow people to continue to enjoy, create, and imagine incredible ways to make, perform, listen, and be part of the world of the Arts.
I want to give a big thank you to so many incredible people in my life that have helped me this last year to continue to become the musician I am constantly struggling to become. A big thank you to my dad, Jan Huizinga, to my sister, and her husband, to my dear friend Jennifer Toole, to my California parents Bob and Leslie, to my fairy godmother MJ, to my bandmates Gavin, Simon, Andrew, and Kip, to my duo partner and dear friend William Coulter, to strangers sending me messages along the way, encouraging me, and to all the hugs I have recieved that literally provide me with the energy to forge ahead and keep sharing the beauty of the world, with the world, to the world.
I made a little list, just for fun. It is a way for me to remember some incredible moments, and to share them with you.
In 2016 I released an album with my friend William Coulter. It is a duo album, for violin and guitar, and it explores both of our loves of folk and baroque music, and beyond! I hope to share it with as many people as I can in the next year. Have a listen if you can. I will include a link HERE.
CBC "This Is My Music"
I have my publicist Amy Gottung to thank for this incredible opportunity. Everyone in the world of running their own business, or being self employed knows how incredibly challenging it can be. Well, there is absolutely no way I could do what I do without my dear friends. I consider Amy one of these friends. Thank you Amy. I look forward to continue working with you as long as I can, until you become way to busy for little people like me :)
CBC is an incredible organization that shaped my entire life as a musician. And on December 10th 2016 I hosted a show on CBC Radio 2 called This is My Music and I shared some of my story, and love, and passion. Thank you to all of you that listened all across Canada and around the world. The link to the show is up and will remain up if you are interested in listening at any time.
Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington, DC
Early on in 2016 I was invited to be part of a concert at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. This was definitely one of the highlights of the year for me, as I got to play with some incredible colleagues, work closely with Kenneth Slowik, the Director of the Institute, and have a chance to play on some incredible Stradivarious Violins.
Wunderkammer CD Release
ACRONYM ENSEMBLE is one of the projects in my life I care very deeply for. It is a 12 piece band of my friends, and we get together and find incredible unknown baroque repertoire and record and perform it. Wunderkammer is no exception, and it is such an incredibly unique disc of many different unknown composers from the Baroque Era. One of the other reasons I love this band, is that we never say no to an idea, at least at first. Everyone in the group is always willing to give something a try. You would be so surprised, or maybe you wouldn't be, as we get older, people are less and less inclined to try anything new out at all - let's fight that movement... if we can, together!
Whole Note Cover Article and Podcast
Podcasts are becoming a very popular and very intersting form of information and story sharing I think. I felt really honoured this past year to be part of Wholenote's launch of their very own Podcast. It was so fun to sit down with the magazine and talk about my new album Fire & Grace, and also discuss things about Toronto, Canada, and my place as an artist in the world today. Also, it was a huge surprise when they put my face on the cover - thank you Wholenote, as we all know, a little recognition of your work as an Artist goes a long way sometimes.
AGO performance with Jennifer Nichols "The Mystical Soul"
Art + Music + Dance is about as mathamatical as my life gets, but these three things are something that I constantly crave to put together. Jennifer Nichols is a really great friend, and we spent a few weeks working together in preparation for our first performance at the AGO. It was an incredible project, with The Sun, by Edvard Munch as the background (the real one). Jennifer Choreographed the dance to one of my favourite baroque violin pieces. Biber's Passacaglia. We ended up performing this work three times in one evening, all three to completely packed audiences, and left the scene feeling very compelled to do more. I'm so excited to figure out what our next project is going to be! Also - if anyone has any suggestions on when we could possibly launch this one again, that would be grrrrrreat!
Stereo Live CBC Recording
Looking back on my year, I was in the CBC studio a few times. Once to have a coffee with Tom Allen, and discuss some really fun projects that I hope we can continue to work on, once to host a show, and also to record the Schubert cello Quintet with some absolutely fantastic colleagues. Keith Hamm, Elinor Frey, Tom Wiebe, and Mark Destrube. These four musicians, and then myself recorded one of my favourite pieces of chamber music for CBC Radio. It was part of a series Keith Hamm and I run called Stereo Live, and it was such a great experience to perform this piece around Toronto for several different audiences and then bring it into the studio. I hope you may hear it on the air at some point this next season, although keep in mind, it is a live recording, and may not be completely flawless. I say, it keeps everything real. Fresh. and Exciting.
BEETHOVEN WITH BRUNO
Recording Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Bruno Wiel and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir is something I simply had to mention in this list. Bruno is a dear friend of mine, and his musicianship is one of old. I do not mean he is old, although he is definitely no spring chicken anymore, but his ways, and his knowledge runs deep. Like that of Gandalf the Grey. He has been a huge inspiration to me, and being able to play my heart out IN AN ORCHESTRA WHILE RECORDING is what he wants from me, and so I give it to him, and it makes for an incredible relationship.
Photography + Improvisation + Dance
A dear friend, Jennifer Toole invited me to be part of her photography exhibit early in January 2016. We brainstormed about what this collaboration would be, and I ended up getting three musicians together, and Jennifer brought in three dancers, and we talked about bringing to life some of the aspects of the Goddesses that Jennifer was capturing on film. We ended up assigning, with deep consideration of each of the artists feelings and ways, a specific Greek Goddess, and then I assigned three musicians, one of which was me, to each dancer, and as they correographed a piece with each other, I had one violin, one cello, and one voice, follow the journey, react and anticipate and provoke the dancers, and we came up with a moment during the exhibit where the Photographer came alive. These collaborations fuels my desire to be an Artist. Thank you to all invovled in that project.
THE FIRE OF APOLLO
Although my year was absolutely wildly busy and crazy, I will end this list with one last short tour that I enjoyed so much, and that was an east coast tour with Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, Apollo's Fire. Jeannette Sorrell is a big mentor for me, especially when considering what it takes to bring a small group of fine string players together and turn them into one of the hottest most saught after Baroque Orchestra's in the World. yes, Jeannette is a force. Thanks for your inspiration and I look forward to working with you again in 2017!!!
Ever since I was a little boy, growing up on ten acres with my mom, dad and sister, some goats, chickens, and my dog Robin, I always listened to CBC. My sister Linden and I would dance around the house to Tchaikovsky, the Brandenburg concertos, you name it. When I was young I figured it was the only station on the radio. In the car I would get to know so many pieces that I grew up to love, and now play, from listening to CBC. It is such an incredible journey to go from hearing the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra on the radio, to not only performing and touring with them around the world - but also recording with them! One of the pieces that I will play for you on this show is one that I recorded with Tafelmusik. Some of you might not even realize yet why I'm talking to you about CBC Radio, well, a few weeks ago I was approached to host a show called "This Is My Music". This show airs every Saturday morning at 10:00 AM on CBC Radio 2. So many of my colleagues, mentors, and heroes have hosted this show, and I am so excited to host this one tomorrow morning, December 10th, at 10:00 AM! I wanted to let as many of you know in advance as I could because, even though it is pre-recorded, I haven't even listened to it yet, so it will be an exciting moment. For those of you that are far away, and in other Countries, I believe you can stream it, or even tune in on Satelite radio. Some other people and music that I talk about and share with you are a few new tracks from my latest Album "Fire & Grace with WIlliam Coulter, also one of my favourite tracks from my band ACRONYM, an incredible piece of classical rock and roll performed by Mark Fewer, and so much more!! I'm so excited to share these couple of hours on the radio waves with all of you. Thank you so much for being on this journey with me!!!
on tour. kickin it. playin.