The Sunday Magazine

Meet two young, talented musicians from the piano quartet Ensemble Made in Canada

Two musicians from the piano quartet Ensemble Made in Canada join Michael to talk about studying classical music from childhood, the laser-like focus required to succeed, and their joy in performing together as a group.
Elissa Lee, violin; Angela Park, piano; Sharon Wei, viola and Rachel Mercer, cello — members of the piano quartet "Ensemble Made in Canada." (Bo Huang)

This segment originally aired on Oct. 8, 2017.

Two members of the premier piano quartet Ensemble Made in Canada joined Michael in studio for a lively conversation, and to share selections of their music.

Angela Park began to play at the age of three, when she was so small she couldn't reach the pedals. She describes how she melds the resonance of the piano with the sounds of the three string instruments in the quartet: violin, viola and cello.

Angela Park is the pianist in the quartet "Ensemble Made in Canada." She tours Canada and the world as both a soloist and chamber musician. She earned her MMus at the University of Toronto, and her DMA in Piano Performance from the Université de Montréal. (Tony Hauser)

Violinist Elissa Lee says Mozart's works are much more challenging to perform than people imagine.

Elissa Lee is the violinist in the piano quartet, "Ensemble Made in Canada." She has a successful career as a soloist, touring frequently in Canada and Europe. Elissa joined the quartet in 2010. (Tony Hauser)

"It is the hardest thing in a way, because it is so open and so pure, and there's no room at all for any kind of error," she says.

"At the same time, if you play it perfectly it sounds sterile and boring … Mozart should sound like just a drink of water!"

The extraordinary hands of pianist Angela Park. (Photo by Bria Johnson/CBC)

While the members of Ensemble Made in Canada enjoy playing audience favourites — especially the three Bs, Beethoven, Bach and Brahms — they make a point of introducing people to Canadian composers too, such as Ontario's John Burge, whose work they have recorded. A selection from the first movement of his piano quartet is included in this interview.

For more information about Ensemble Made in Canada, click here

Click 'listen' above to hear the full segment. 

This segment is only available to listeners in Canada.