Letter sent from the Executive Director of the Ottawa Festival
April 22, 2013
Hi Gary…. I have lost track of the number of compliments received from parents at this site. They were all extremely pleased with the adjudicator, Clark Bryan. He went out of his way to give every competitor individual attention and spent all the time necessary to help him/her improve his skills. Clark’s big welcoming smile immediately put all the children at ease. He displayed his love of both teaching and assisting children. Usually I can tell the winners from others by the facial expression when they exit the hall but not this week. Every one left with a smile. just thought I’d share. Marg
Letter from Bill Mays
May 8, 2011
Clark, we enjoyed SO MUCH your Nocturnes interpretations. Have heard about half of them so far. My wife (we played it today driving to our Pa. home) was enchanted, and said she much prefers your versions to Horowitz!
I love the time that you take, your cynamics(!), beautiful touch. The piano sounds like a 9-footer at times, in the bass-not overpowering though, just big and rich. Truly an inspired performances, and I look forward to hearing the rest, and on my big, fine speakers out in the Musik Haus.
Marion Miller on playing with Clark Bryan
james.reaney – August 13th, 2010
Ace London pianist Marion Miller sent in this fine note on sharing the bench with fellow ace, Clark Bryan. Clark’s comments are in story in Saturday’s Free Press . . . Marion’s form a delightful counterpoint.
The Brahms concert is Sunday at Aeolian Hall, 3 p.m.
Here is Marion:
“Hi, James. Marion. I love playing with Clark because it IS play. We can both take risks in the secure knowledge that the other person will catch us. We never play a piece the same way twice, even in a rehearsal. Minor irritations aside — “You’re taking up too much of the bench” or “I can’t play when you lock your elbows” — we have a great time.”
(Marion also supplied some biography . . . here it is:)
Here’s the short-form bio:
Marion Miller began piano at four, was teaching at 12 and entered the University of Western Ontario, with her ARCT performer’s certificate, at 16, graduating with a Master’s degree in music performance and the President’s Gold Medal for academic excellence. A longtime student of John-Paul Bracey, she went on to study with such musical legends as Ozan Marsh at Chautauqua, Cecile Genhart in Zurich and with Marcel Ciampi in Paris. She was the recipient of two Canada Council Arts Grants.
She has recorded several CBC concerts of chamber music and been profiled on CBC’s Arts National. In addition to many years as pianist for Orchestra London, her experience has ranged from swing orchestras and musical theatre to playing with such stars as Mitch Miller, Harry Belafonte and Jann Arden.
She has taught at the University of Western Ontario, the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music and the Kincardine Summer Music Festival.
Besides maintaining a large class of private students, ranging from young and adult beginners to university-level aspiring concert performers and other piano teachers, she is also a sought-after accompanist and adjudicator.
With collaborator Clark Bryan, she has released a recording of the Rachmaninoff suites for two pianos, and recording of works by Debussy is in progress.
See article at lfpress.com
CHRW Music Review
Benjamin A. Vazquez, U.E. –September 7, 2010
The last time CHRW inserted a local classical C.D. into its collection was 2002. Which means we were getting to be about due.
Ah, but this new C.D. seems to have been very much worth the wait. Clark Bryan, better known as the owner of Aeolean Hall, has released a magnificent collection of Chopin’s Nocturnes. Twenty-four tracks spread over two C.D.s the nocturnes are light, delicate, and heartbreaking. Mostly they feel lonely. Magnificently lonely.
Imagine a vast auditorium, covered in cobwebs, lit by the odd ray of sunlight filtering in through cracks in the roof. Imagine a magnificent plastered ceiling crumbling away as great plaster leaves chip off the columns. Imagine rusting cast-iron ornaments, and red-cushioned seat covers that release a cloud of musty smoke when you sit down on them. Imagine a piano, worn with age sitting discarded at one end of the stage, and over it, hunched, forlorn, a man making love to the keyboard. Outside, it’s true, lies the flaming pop trash of the day. As age succeeds age and Elvis and the Beetles, Billy Joel and Brittney Spears each in their turn take the light, play with it a moment, and disappear. But something always holds you here.
That’s the power of Chopin. It’s quite different from the power of the grander romantics, of course. Beethoven’s power is something much more obvious and spectacular. Wagner’s is more spectacular still. But Chopin obliges you to stay. Serene in your heartbreak… Lingering… Mourning… Happy, in the end, to see this magnificence parade before you. It’s not a spell you can quite understand until you’ve been caught in it.
It’s a spell Mr. Bryan weaves magnificently.