Zvelle x Bedford Trio
I am proud to share that Zvelle is collaborating with the Bedford Trio and buying out the first concert of their new season. This is the first time we have done this. We will be inviting our loyal Zvelle customers to join us on November 14th for an evening exploring the music of cinema and film. Without the patronage of our customers we would not be in a position to do this so it gives me great joy to thank our customers and celebrate musicians at the same time. I've always believed in voting with your dollars to bring the change you want to see in the world.
Last year, I was proud to collaborate with my friend, the rising and talented violinist Alessia Disimino, to create our first music video. It was her first time performing since the pandemic, albeit in front of a tiny crew including myself.
Zvelle is collaborating with Alessia again in a new capacity with her trio, the Bedford Trio. The Bedford Trio is launching their most immersive concert experience yet. Their upcoming season includes a three-part series of concerts celebrating collaboration, connection, and the merging of different arts forms. Their first concert Silver Screen explores the music of cinema and film. We are proud to celebrate independent artists like Alessia Disimino, Jialiang Zhu and Andrew Ascenzo.
Our experiences have the ability to shape our art and affect how we see the world. I've had the privilege of hearing many classical musicians perform live over the past few years and when the pandemic hit I had deep conversations with many of them. I have always felt a kinship to musicians. I appreciate the preparation it takes to create a performance and what it feels like to put yourself out there in front of a live audience. I feel a lot of empathy for musicians who haven't been able to perform due to the pandemic. Our showroom has been locked down more often than it's been open and we've had to postpone so many events we had planned.
Get to know Alessia, Jialiang and Andrew below. Walk How You Want. - Elle
Bedford Trio: This will be the Bedford Trio's most intimate and immersive concert experience yet; our three-part series of 60-minute concerts celebrates collaboration, connection, and the merging of different arts forms. Our first concert, Silver Screen explores the music of cinema and film. Next, Immersed is an immersive digital art experience paired with contemporary Canadian compositions written for the Bedford Trio. Our final concert 1914 highlights the calm before the storm with music written in 1914 before the outbreak of World War I. We are passionate about collaborating with other artists, and as such we're so proud and excited to collaborate with Zvelle as our official shoe of the Season. Come join us at Ernest Balmer Studio in the stunning and historic Distillery District, located in the heart of downtown Toronto. Click here to purchase tickets.Elle: What's the story of the Bedford Trio?
Alessia: We met at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music in 2015. Jialiang and I were performing in my Master's violin recital, and Andrew decided to come to hear the concert. Just after, he messaged me to see our interest in forming a piano trio. Little did he know that Jialiang and I were also looking for a cellist to start a trio! Since then, we've studied together at the Faculty, performed throughout the city and internationally, and competed in multiple competitions in Europe and the United States. From day one to today, our love for chamber music, playing with each other, and sharing our passion with our audiences is the glue that holds us together - we are so grateful we all found each other and are lucky to be dear friends and colleagues.Elle: What is your chosen instrument and what drew you to this vs others?
Alessia: I began playing the violin at two and a half years old. I grew up seeing my brothers playing and my competitive instinct was to join right in! The violin is my first love - from violin concertos and chamber music and orchestral music, there is so much depth, variety, and beauty in the violin repertoire - I'll always have something to practice!
Jialiang: I play the piano. When I was little, I wasn't exposed to a lot of musical instruments. My cousin, who is six years older than me, was learning the piano at the time, and I heard her perform several times, once at her birthday party. I was sitting right next to her birthday cake. When my parents asked me "Do you want a piano as well?" I guess I must have nodded, but I might have also been nodding to the birthday cake. The next thing I remembered was having a shiny, tall upright piano in our living room. I have been very lucky to study with some excellent, loving, and caring teachers who guided my path. Each of them inspired me in a special way and helped me discover and create part of myself that informs the way I am today as a person and as a musician. I love the piano for its versatility in tone colours, texture, dynamics, and its flexibility when it comes to being solo as well as a collaborative instrument.
Andrew: My father took up the cello as a hobby at forty years old, the same year that I was born. I spent a lot of time as an infant and toddler sitting underneath his chair or on his lap as he practiced, sometimes trying to "help" him play by moving the bow. As far as I knew, the cello was just a part of life, so as soon as I could speak in somewhat coherent sentences, I told my parents that I also wanted a cello so I could play too. I received my first cello (a tiny 1/8th size instrument) for Christmas just after turning three years old and started taking lessons when I turned 4. It's been with me ever since!
Alessia: Breaking the mold and creating new connections. This season is all about evolution and going beyond just great music - there is so much more to a meaningful and powerful concert experience. It's working with other artists like Elle, with new and emerging Canadian composers; it's about breaking the barriers of what a classical chamber concert experience is like. Digital art, an intimate venue, curated concert programming - all these details make this such a unique concert experience, for us as performers and for our audiences too.
Jialiang: After live performances being taken away for almost two years, I feel extra grateful to be able to plan and play a concert series again. The Bedford Trio has come up with three fantastic programmes that cover a variety of musical genres and idioms. We will dedicate one of the concerts to celebrate the talents of local young composers who have worked with the Bedford Trio in workshops and have written piano trio works for us. And I want to mention a special feature of this season that I am particularly excited about is collaborating with Zvelle and its charming, intelligent and visionary founder Elle! I am honoured and thrilled to work with an artist and entrepreneur who is so talented and dedicated such as Elle and to exchange our creative ideas.
Andrew: I view this concert season as an opportunity to begin to explore new and creative ways of presenting music. For too long, the tradition of classical music concerts has been stagnant and was quickly becoming irrelevant for many. The pandemic gave everyone a chance to step away from live music and re-think what is possible, and what is important when presenting a concert. My expectation is that most of the industry will return to "normal" after some time, but there is an opportunity to do something different, more creative, more engaging, more audience-friendly, and more accessible. We are just beginning to experiment with new ideas, such as shorter concerts, creating a different aesthetic vibe in our concert space, choosing a variety of music that includes recognizable pieces, core classical repertoire, and new and exciting music that has been written just for us to premiere and share with the world for the first time. We are interested in creating experiences for our audiences.
Alessia: The most difficult thing, apart from not having live performances, was not being able to meet together regularly and play music. But with that isolation, came the difficult thoughts - will music ever come back? How will the concert scene look like when this passes? Will we still be able to do our craft? These questions made me look deep into myself and recommit to finding inspiration, even in isolation. Now that things are opening up, people are looking for music and the arts to bring them hope, fun experiences, and new means of inspiration. This is what I'm excited about - the world is different post-pandemic, music is coming back, and we are all changed, I believe, for the better because of our time away from what 'normal' used to look like. I think we all appreciate what we do now to such a deeper degree.
Jialiang: I guess the word "professional" describes myself and the trio better than "elite", just like professionals in any other field. One of the most important meanings that music brings to my life is making connections with others, and that is one thing that the pandemic has taken away. Making connections doesn't only happen in live performances, but also in rehearsals with other artists, coaching students, and teaching lessons in person. In other words, it is about meeting people and creating something together at the same time and in the same space. Even though technology has improved a great deal and can do a lot to help us create collaborative projects, it is still different to be able to breathe together, sense each other's gestures, and respond instantaneously.
Andrew: Motivation. I've spent years practicing, playing gigs (some great, some not), performing, teaching, and everything revolved around the cello. The pandemic was a time to pause and reflect, maybe take a break from the instrument and explore other things. I've pivoted a lot of my career to video/audio production work in order to create some work for myself, which has been great, but after taking a break from my instrument, it was hard to find the motivation to return to it with the same dedication as before while being told that we cannot hold live events or perform for anybody. This was especially hard considering there were a number of exceptions to our lockdowns that were no more dangerous than a small live concert would have been. Now that things are easing up slowly and we have a season planned, the motivation is back and we can't wait to present these concerts!Elle: Why did you choose to partner with Zvelle?
Alessia: I always love finding others who inspire me. When Elle invited me to perform in an exclusive Zvelle event two years ago, I instantly noticed her attention to detail, craftsmanship, and vision in her design, but most importantly, I was moved by her relationship and interactions with others. Since then, we have continued to work together and kept in touch, and I'm always excited to see her launches. Zvelle is a company that believes in fostering relationships, building community, creating ethical standards in fashion, and in paving one's own way in the world. Elle's vision unites deeply with the Bedford Trio - to create something beautiful that goes beyond the surface, celebrating the people behind the art and the new relationships made because of it. I couldn't think of a better partner for our concert Season.
Click here to purchase tickets.
Zvelle shoes: V Metallic in Blue Oceano, Fuxia & Platino & Zaha in Oro Metallico.