With live music performances on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more artists are
posting their music online. The same is happening to competitions. I would like to share
with you one competition that has two points of connection with The Valley Concert
Society, one looking back and the other looking forward.
The Bader and Overton Canadian Cello Competition is being held this week at Queens
University in Kingston, Ontario. All the performances are being performed and judged
online. A great deal of effort has gone into ensuring that each competitor has access to
high quality venues and equipment for the event.
Eight cellists are competing in the semi-final rounds, four on Wednesday and four others
on Thursday. The finals will be held on Saturday. These events will be streamed live
beginning at 9:00 a.m. PDT each day. Detailed information can be found at this link:
One of the competitors is Bryan Cheng. Many of you will remember his wonderfully
expressive and richly communicative performance on our stage in February of last year.
Bryan and his sister Sylvie, who comprise the Cheng 2 Duo, are making a name for
themselves in Canadian music circles. Sylvie will accompany Bryan in the competition
this week. Several of Abbotsford’s fine young cellists remember their experience of the
master class at which Bryan was the clinician last year.
Another competitor is Tate Zawadiuk, a native of Coquitlam. Tate is a member of the
Viano String Quartet which won first prize at the Banff International String Quartet
Competition last year. The Valley Concert Society has been invited to be a part of the
tour which is created for the competition winner. The Viano String Quartet is scheduled
to perform in Abbotsford on April 22, if the season is able to proceed. They are quartet-
in-residence at Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles. When I met Tate this spring, he
told me that he has performed with Mission native Paul Williamson, another student at
Both Bryan and Tate make their semi-final appearances on Thursday. Besides the prizes
awarded by the distinguished judges, there is a Bader Family Audience Prize which will
be awarded based on an online audience vote. If you are able to take in the competition,
you will have an opportunity to participate in that vote.
I wish Bryan and Tate along with the other six fine young cellists all the very best in this
The Valley Concert Society