Faculty of Music

Parsons and Poole

Charles Richard-Hamelin

Featuring pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin

It has become October’s hot ticket in London: the Parsons and Poole Legacy Concert. Created by alumni to honour Margaret Parsons and Clifford Poole, the Friday concert and Saturday masterclass brings world-class musicianship to Western’s campus.

This year we are pleased to welcome pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin as the guest artist.

Parsons & Poole Legacy Concert

Date: Friday, October 27, 2017
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Paul Davenport Theatre, Talbot College
Cost: $40 general admission, $15 students/seniors
Tickets: Purchase advance tickets online, in person or by phone: 519-672-8800 via The Grand Theatre box office.

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Masterclass with Charles Richard-Hamelin with piano students from the Don Wright Faculty of Music

Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Paul Davenport Theatre, Talbot College
Admission: Free (no registration or advance purchase required)

About Charles Richard-Hamelin:

Silver medalist and laureate of the Krystian Zimerman award of the best sonata at the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, Charles Richard-Hamelin is standing out as one of the most important pianists of his generation. He also won the second prize at the Montreal International Musical Competition and the third prize and special award for the best performance of a Beethoven sonata at the Seoul International Music Competition in South Korea. In April 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Career Development Award offered by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto.

He has appeared in various prestigious festivals including the Prague Spring Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron in France, “Chopin and his Europe” Festival in Warsaw and the Lanaudière Festival in Canada. As a soloist, he has performed with various ensembles including the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, Violons du Roy, Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, OFUNAM (Mexico), Korean Symphony Orchestra and I Musici de Montréal.

Originally from Lanaudière in Québec, Charles Richard-Hamelin studied with Paul Surdulescu, Sara Laimon, Boris Berman and André Laplante. He is a graduate from McGill University, the Yale School of Music, the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and now works on a regular basis with pianist Jean Saulnier.

His first solo recording, which features late works by Chopin, was released in September 2015 on the Analekta label and received widespread acclaim from critics throughout the world (Diapason, BBC Music Magazine, Le Devoir) as well as a Felix Award (ADISQ). A second album, recorded live at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City with music by Beethoven, Enescu and Chopin, was released in the fall of 2016 and also had a very positive welcome.

Margaret Parsons and Clifford Poole

Glamorous, talented and world-famous, the husband and wife pianists were not typical professors at Western in the 1950s. Margaret Parsons and Clifford Poole balanced performance tours as a piano duo with teaching and inspiring young musicians. They also recorded their work, created educational materials and started the Gilbert & Sullivan productions still going strong in London today.

They came to London in 1948 to teach at the Western Ontario Music Conservatory, Music Teachers' College and Department of Music at Western. Already well known, the pair joined the staff two years after Alfred Rose, Gustav Mahler’s nephew. Over the next few years, the three organizations evolved, each focusing on a different level of music education. As J.R.W. Gwynne-Timothy wrote in his Western’s First Century: “The concerts of the well-known piano duo, Clifford Poole and his wife Margaret Parsons, carried far and wide the name of music at Western as public relations emissaries for the college.”

A group of alumnae who studied with Parsons and Poole created an artist-in-residence program, called the Parsons-Poole Legacy Project to carry their names into the future.  The project gives students an opportunity to study with musicians who bring the same level of acclaim and expertise as Parsons and Poole.

The benefits of the Parsons-Poole Legacy Project will go beyond the music faculty, providing opportunities for inter-disciplinary scholarship and cultural enrichment for the community. This is a fitting continuation of the kind of projects the duo undertook while in London. They composed and arranged piano music for young players, and their Parsons-Poole Festival Piano Series and Poole’s many pedagogical piano pieces remain favourites. The pair also established a community concert series and toured to many Ontario towns and cities, often with students to showcase their talents and gain experience in performing.

Past Parsons and Poole Legacy Concert Performers