2021-22

Viðarneistí

Vioarneisti | Cathy Wood (clarinet) / Victoria Sparks (marimba) - Prairie Debut 2021-22

Viðarneistí

CathY Wood | Clarinet
Victoria Sparks | Marimba

clarinet and sheet music for Vidarneisti

Imagine a concert program blending the adventurous spirit of Nordic explorers with the shimmering allure of the Northern Lights, and you’ll have an inkling of what you might hear in the collaboration of clarinet and marimba duo Catherine Wood and Victoria Sparks.

The two come together as Viðarneistí (pronounced vee-thar-nest-ee). The Icelandic term for “wood spark” is an apt description for what happens when the rich, sultry tone of the clarinet meets the percussive punch of marimba. The recognition of their shared Icelandic heritage serves as a springboard for Wood and Sparks, as they delve into themes from their Nordic roots.

Viðarneistí invites audiences to experience this fascinating and unusual musical combination, as these warm and personable artists innovate from a variety of styles and genres.

Accomplished performers, adjudicators and university faculty members Catherine Wood and Victoria Sparks have shared their remarkable blend of Icelandic-Canadian music both nationally and internationally. As Viðarneistí, the two have been featured at events including Clarinfest, an International Clarinet Association event hosted in Belgium, at the Núna Iceland Canada Art Convergence, and for the 100th Anniversary Gala for the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers.

The unique combination of clarinet and marimba has sparked a series of commissions specifically written for the duo, beginning with an inaugural project by composer Fjóla Evans. Since then, Viðarneistí  has premiered works by Canadian composers including Sid Robinovitch, Kenley Kristofferson and Chris Byman. Upcoming debuts will include new music by Glen Buhr and singer/songwriter Heitha Forsyth.

“The way that it seems to work in the Icelandic community – as soon as you find out that someone else is Icelandic, first you check and see if you are related, and second you decide that of course you have to be the best of friends.”

Victoria Wood on the Viðarneistí partnership

BIOGRAPHIES

Catherine Wood | Clarinet

An avid chamber musician, Catherine Wood has performed throughout North America, Asia, and Europe, and premiered many works at festivals, including the Winnipeg New Music Festival and the Dark Music Days Festival in Reykjavik. As a proponent of the piccolo clarinets, Catherine has commissioned works and performed piccolo clarinet recitals across the globe.

A sought-after clinician and adjudicator, Dr. Wood has worked extensively with students in Canada and has served on international competition juries.

Catherine performs with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra as well as with Viðarneisti. She is on faculty at Brandon University and serves as the National Chair of Canada and the Continental Chair of North America for the International Clarinet Association. Catherine is a Buffet Crampon performing artist.

Victoria Sparks | Marimba & Percussion

Percussionist Victoria Sparks appears regularly with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, is Principal Timpani/Percussion with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and works with other Manitoban arts organizations, including the Groundswell New Music Series, Brandon Chamber Players, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Winnipeg Singers. In 2018 Victoria was appointed percussion instructor at the University of Manitoba, where she also directs the percussion ensemble.

Victoria is also the founder and director of the MBA Prairie Percussion Workshop, an annual education and performance event for percussion students. She is honoured to be part of the Yamaha Artist family.

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CONTACT

Po Yeh, Executive Director
403.862.2954

Box 15106, Aspen Woods RPO
Calgary, AB   T3H 0N8