Former Weyburn pianist Meagan Milatz and violinist Amy Hillis, also known as meagan&amy, have been selected for a pan-Canadian tour offered by Debut Atlantic, Jeunesses Musicales Canada and Prairie Debut in 2019-2020.
The three classical music organizations announced in September 2017 that they were teaming up to offer an emerging artist or ensemble a tour that would span the country.
“We received over 50 applications, all worthy candidates, but meagan&amy’s proposal stood out. Their collaborative musicianship combined with their very accessible, yet audacious repertoire made an immediate impression upon the jury”, said Danièle LeBlanc, Executive and Artistic Director of Jeunesses Musicales Canada.
meagan&amy‘s concerts will explore the idea of a musical identity able to bridge all provinces and territories, presenting works by local composers as well as European classical works, as a way of considering their influence on Canadian music.
A seasoned performer, born and raised in the Weyburn area, Milatz has appeared as soloist with several Canadian orchestras including the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra, the McGill Symphony Orchestra, and most recently the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Top prize-winner at the 2014 Shean Piano Competition and the 2011 CFMTA National Piano Competition, her performance endeavours have brought her to international stages, including Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Bruges, Belgium; Gijón, Spain; and Gdańsk, Poland.
Equally passionate as a collaborative pianist, Milatz is currently based in Montreal where she collaborates frequently with Andrew Wan, concertmaster of the OSM. She received her Master’s degree from McGill University where she studied modern piano with Ilya Poletaev and fortepiano with Tom Beghin. In 2017, Milatz was a participant in the famed Kneisel Hall Young Artist Program, and is currently studying collaborative piano with Philip Chiu. She is a 2017 Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award recipient.
Hillis has “a rich, warm sound and has mastered the violin with such ease, that it is impossible to ignore her passion in performance” (Ludwig Van Montréal). Originally from Regina, Amy collaborates with musicians from around the world in order to explore new approaches to classical and contemporary music.
Amy was a 2017 artist-in-residence at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, a residency awarded by the Conseils des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. She is also the winner of the 2018 Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, the 2017 McGill Concerto Competition, the Sylva Gelber Foundation Music Award, and a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Her principal teachers have been Axel Strauss, Ian Swensen, Denise Lupien and Eduard Minevich. Amy is a member of the Montreal-based SOMA Quartet as well as first violinist and manager of the prairie-based Horizon String Quartet. She performs on the 1820 Joannes Franciscus Pressenda, on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.
“meagan&amy’s concert proposal is all the more interesting as they hail from the Prairies, have studied in Montreal, and have performed across the country, bringing a broad perspective to their programming that strives to reflect the similarities and differences of Canada’s diverse regions,” said Mhiran Faraday, Executive Director of Debut Atlantic.
Road Trip! A Pan-Canadian Partnership, will run between September 2019 and May 2020, and will offer close to forty performances, taking place across 10 provinces and territories. “We are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity to meagan&amy, especially since emerging artists very rarely get to play tours of this scope”, added Po Yeh, Executive Director of Prairie Debut.
meagan&amy share an intense passion for innovative programming and fearless music-making. Praised for their energy, sensitivity and musical maturity, they began their partnership in 2011 at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, even though both hail from Saskatchewan. Their individual strengths – Milatz’s interest in the fortepiano and Hillis’s aptitudes for contemporary music – have combined to inform the wide range of repertoire which they present.