Beaver Creek Minimum Institution on November 9

The return to Beaver Creek Minimum after more than 2 years of forced absence was extremely successful. There was a friendly and hospitable reception by the Warden and his management team (all present throughout the event). About 35 socially distanced inmates greeted our new young performers, violinist Aaron Schwebel and cellist Drew Comstock, with several standing ovations. Only one inmate was a newcomer – the rest were our familiar audience. The performers were on a roll – they came extremely well prepared, taking the time to introduce each of the very colourful pieces they presented. Their performance was highly emotional, powerful and professional – a truly inspirational, professional and promising debut by a capable young duo! Their presentation was a breath of fresh air in the gym and filled everyone with optimism for a better future. Photos will follow as soon as CSC reviews and approves them for release.

Maestro Gidon Kremer performs to standing ovation at Bath Institution

Our Honorary President, Maestro Gidon Kremer, was met with a standing ovation by a crowd of about 90 inmates in Bath Medium Security Institution on Monday, November 1, 2021.

Kremer, who forgot his music in the suitcase in the car, noticed it only a few minutes before entering the prison gym and put some pressure on us all. Fortunately, the problem was successfully resolved, but the Event started 30 minutes late… As soon as Kremer entered the gym, a roaring ovation almost knocked him and his quintet off their feet. Maestro Kremer became extremely talkative and was in very good spirits, offering genuine warmth and love to his audience. The roaring ovation was delivered promptly and powerfully after each piece.

Following the encore, he thanked the audience for their exceptional listening and attention during the event.  “I will miss you and I am wishing you all well and hope to see you again soon,” he said to the grateful audience before leaving. It seemed to me that they were having a personal conversation, focused on their shared musical experience.

Here’s a short exchange between Kremer and an inmate during a question period:

Inmate: What is the difference between the fiddle and the violin?

Kremer: Excellent question (pauses, then grins). Well, I think that fiddler fiddles and violinist plays!

It was the Maestro’s second historic performance in a Canadian prison. Photos, taken by CSC, are being reviewed by their communications department and hopefully will reach us soon.