A Talented Foursome

 

An Alberta boy whose music lessons began with a $5 accordion, an Iranian who immigrated to
Canada as a child, and a young man who was inspired by his high school music teacher in
Summerside, PEI, all converged upon Beth Silver’s Ontario, more particularly the University of
Toronto, and out of the synergy arose Ladom Ensemble.

This remarkable foursome represents a serious array of talents and a most unserious commitment
to musical fun. As diverse as their origins is their embrace of the mosaic that makes up a
Canadian musical experience.

Michael Bridge, who plays both an acoustic and a digital accordion, is working on a doctorate of
Musical Arts at U of T. Among the many awards he has won is the Career Development Award
from the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, joining such illustrious laureates as Charles
Richard-Hamelin and James Ehnes. His duo with clarinetist Kornal Wolak travels and performs
extensively and has a program to mentor young musicians.

Cellist Beth Silver has acquired an instrument with a remarkable history. Built in the late
eighteenth or early nineteenth century and restored in the 1930’s with the involvement of a
leading female luthier, it was owned by a family of Hungarian nobility. Gabor Bacsi escaped
from the Nazis strapping himself to the undercarriage of a train and sent for his cello after he
reached Vienna. After his death in 1946, the instrument was stored in a closet unplayed until
Beth was invited to examine it during the pandemic. Beth’s musical journey has meandered from
fiddle music to classical to interactive contemporary music. She is recognized as North
America’s leading Klezmer fiddle-style cellist.

Pianist Pouya Hamidi is also the primary composer and arranger for Ladom Ensemble. While
writing for a wide range of styles from classical to electronic, he maintains a strong connection
to his Persian heritage. As if that is not enough, he also enjoys a thriving career as a sound
engineer. His work has been nominated for a Juno Award, and he engineered the album for
which the Gryphon Trio won a Juno.

With a passion for sounds and touch, it seems Adam Campbell was destined to be a
percussionist. He has been a member of TorQ Percussion Quartet since 2007. Having earned a
Masters of Music from U of T, he also composes and is committed to teaching music. Adam is
also an in-house percussionist and a producer at a recording studio.

There is much more to say about each of these marvellously-gifted musicians, but this is enough
to highlight both their serious musicianship and their mastery of their instruments. When these
are combined with the joy and the creativity that bursts from the ensemble, the result is magic on
the stage.

Ladom Ensemble will present a program that displays all the diversity reflected in their
backgrounds when they perform for The Valley Concert Society on Thursday, November 18, at
7:30 p.m. in the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.

 

The COVID protocols that worked so well in our first concert, presenting a vaccine passport and
ID, wearing a mask, and spaced seating continue to be in effect.
Tickets are available online at www.valleyconcertsociety.com at $28 for adults including seniors
and $15 for seniors. Call 604-289-3377 for more information.

John Wiebe
President
The Valley Concert Society