TORONTO: VC2 is a dynamic cello duo, featuring Toronto cellists Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt, which captivates audiences through its innovative and energetic performances of classical masterworks, unknown gems, and boundary pushing music.

From February 9-21, VC2 will perform in eight locations across Atlantic Canada. The Antigonish Performing Arts Series presents VC2 at Immaculata Hall on Friday, February 16 at 8 p.m. For more information, call 902-867-3909, or go to: people.stfx.ca/msteinit/schedule.htm.

This unique concept program focuses on Beethoven but with an unusual twist as the performance includes five new commissions by five young Canadian cellists, all based on Beethoven’s own sonatas. The duo will also bring to light some influential yet mysterious works tied to Beethoven’s life; a musically and historically rich presentation and a truly Canadian experience. One might even be tempted to say that if Be-Eh-thoven had been a Canadian he might have sounded like this.

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The Toronto-based duo presents artistically challenging, yet accessible programs and has performed in venues ranging from intimate pubs to Roy Thomson Hall.

Both Holt and Arulanandam wear many musical hats as orchestral, chamber and session musicians in the Greater Toronto Area. They have performed as part of leading arts organizations including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Canadian Opera Company Orchestra; National Ballet of Canada Orchestra Soundstreams; Art of Time Ensemble; Continuum Contemporary Music; Pocket Concerts; New Music Concerts; Music in the Barns; Thin Edge New Music Collective; Contact Contemporary Music; and Tapestry Opera. They are also both members of Matt Haimovitz’s ensemble, Uccello, and were semi-finalists in the 2015 Eckhardt-Gramatte competition. As a duo, they have been featured at Ottawa Chamberfest, Ottawa New Music Creators, 21C Music Festival, Ritornello Festival, and the Prairie Cello Institute.

Formed in 2015, the pair met in 2008 while at the University of Toronto where they both studied under Shauna Rolston. They chose to continue their studies at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University where they completed their Master’s Degrees with Matt Haimovitz. As luck would have it, following their studies, they both found themselves back in Toronto and a musical partnership was born.

The music of our time is an art form close to the heart of VC2. They strongly believe in the support and creation of new works by living composers, especially those from their home country of Canada. To this end, VC2 was pleased to embark on their most recent commissioning project where they would work with five Canadian composers to create works based on the Beethoven Cello Sonatas.

VC2 seeks to take a place at the forefront of the Canadian chamber music world, bringing their unique brand of cello-fueled music coast-to-coast. The duo recently returned from the soundSCAPE performance and composition exchange in Maccagno, Italy bringing home with them a number of new works by emerging international composers. In February 2018, VC2 will embark on a tour of Atlantic Canada, presented by Debut Atlantic.

In addition to concert engagements, VC2 will be working with young students, performing at schools throughout the region and participating in a video conference session.

Debut Atlantic wishes to recognize the partners and sponsors that come together to bring its artists to the region in communities and venues of all sizes. Touring these artists would not be possible without the generous support of sustaining partners including the Canada Council for the Arts, Arts Nova Scotia and the Province of New Brunswick. Debut would also like to thank its exclusive tour sponsor AVIS, its educational partner the Nova Scotia Department of Education and its season partners including the Halifax Regional Municipality, the Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation, Support 4 Culture, Jack and Joan Craig, Pink Larkin and Westmont Hospitality Group (Comfort Inn).

Full details on Debut Atlantic’s concert seasons and education programs can be found at: www.debutatlantic.ca.