We are thrilled to announce our first ever summer concert on Friday, July 29th at 7:30 PM! It features two very talented young musicians: Aysha Wills and Sunny Qu. This concert takes place at St. Helen’s Anglican Church (8th and Trimble). The program will include Bach on Baroque flute, Mozart, Debussy, Ravel, and Prokofiev. This recital surveys some of the greatest composers from all eras of music. The audience will enjoy a wonderful variety throughout the evening.
Aysha Wills was born in 1994 in Canada and raised in Hong Kong until she was five, when her family returned to Canada. There she commenced her flute studies under Kathleen Schoen in 1999. At age 10, she made her orchestral debut with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Her teacher was Shelley Yonge, principal flute of the ESO.
In 2008, Aysha was offered a scholarship to the Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In 2009, she won first place in the national Concours De Musique in Montreal. After graduating high school at age sixteen, Aysha spent a further year studying under Kathleen Rudolph at the RCM, before moving back to Amsterdam at seventeen to commence a double major in modern and historical flute under Profs. Marten Root and Harrie Starrevald.
In The Netherlands, Aysha has already made her mark with several performances in major early music Ensembles, including Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht (NPU) and at festivals such as Bach Festival Dordrecht. She has played and toured with the Sweelinck Baroque Orchestra and the Netherlands Student Orchestra. She is also a founding member of the Frottola Quintet, an ensemble with a fast growing reputation. She has played under the legendary conductor Ton Koopman, as well as Sigiswald Kuijken and several others. In 2014, Aysha was invited to play with De Nederlandse Bachvereniging (The Dutch Bach Society Orchestra), one of the oldest and most esteemed early music orchestras in the world, for their annual St. Matthews Passion concerts throughout the Netherlands and Belgium and was subsequently invited back for the 2015 season. In 2014 Aysha was awarded an ongoing development fellowship with the Bachvereniging.
Recently, Aysha was invited to perform at the Anne Frank House and to record a piece for a major exhibition of musical instruments at the world famous Rijksmuseum. She has also been asked to play with the Luthers Bach Ensemble in Groningen. In 2015, Aysha was awarded an $8,000 scholarship by the Winspear Foundation in Edmonton toward her master’s studies.
Aysha graduated from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in 2015 with a double bachelor’s degree in early and modern flute. She is now studying for her master’s degree in ‘Flute from a historical perspective’ and modern flute. She continues to study under Prof. Marten Root in baroque flute and with Kersten McCall, Principal Flute of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, in modern flute.
In her spare time, Aysha teaches at Leerorkest, an orchestral program for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and is currently training as a mentor for young refugees and victims of sex trafficking. She also loves football and is an avid Ajax FC supporter.
Pianist Sunny Qu was born in Qingdao, China and later raised in Vancouver, Canada. Sunny began piano lessons at an early age, and has met with success and recognition in competitions and festivals since his teenage years. Since then he has performed on three continents in such venues as the Weiner Salle in Salzburg, Austria, Duke’s Hall in London, England, and the Chan Centre in his native Vancouver, as well as being invited to perform in the Russian Embassy of Osaka, Japan on a special occasion.
Equally at home with repertoire from the Baroque period to the modern day, Sunny is known for eclectic to approach to programming innovative recitals with a link to the past. This has been cultivated by an interest in the composer and pianist Ferruccio Busoni. In addition to actively seeking out and performing Busoni’s lesser known compositions.
Sunny was the third prize winner of the 2009 Knigge Competition, as well as a past winner of the UBC Concerto Competition. He has subsequently performed with the UBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as the West Coast Symphony Orchestra. He was also the recipient of the Johann Strauss Foundation Award in 2009, and the Else Cross Brahms Prize from the Royal Academy of Music in London, England in 2013.
Sunny was a graduate of the UBC School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Sara Davis Buechner and Hamish Milne. His past teachers include renowned pedagogue Edward Parker and concert pianist Ian Parker. He was also fortunate to receive guidance during his studies from such artists as Anton Kuerti, Robert Levin, Joanna MacGregor, Pascal Devoyon, and Steven Osborne.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – Partita for solo flute in a minor, BWV 1013 (1722-23)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) – Concert for Flute in G Major, K. 313 (1777-78)
Adagio ma non troppo
Rondo (Tempo di menuetto)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) – Syrinx, L. 129 for solo flute (1913)
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) – Miroirs for solo piano (1905)
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) – Sonata for flute and piano in D Major, op. 94 (1943)
Allegro con brio