In a musical era far, far away and a long time ago, music lifted people out of their everyday lives. A thousand years later, it’s still doing that. Early music is as relevant today as it was a thousand years ago. It is continually being refreshed and rejuvenated by successive generations of young artists who bring their unique perspectives and experiences to their interpretations. For anything to survive and thrive, it needs refreshing. That includes classical music. With this in mind, Early Music Vancouver created the EMV: The Next Generation Programme to shine a spotlight on the up-and-coming young performers and expose audiences to their talent.
We are pleased to welcome, Soprano Ai Horton, violinist Elana Cooper and cellist Jessica Korotkin as our second annual Next Generation Artists. Their talent will be showcased as part of EMV’s Summer Festival at Party like it’s 1694! Celebrating Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre on August 4 at 7:30 pm at St. James Community Square, Kitsilano and The Bach Parodies on August 2 at 1 pm at Christ Church Cathedral.
Ai, Elana and Jessica’s Statements About The Programme
“After living abroad for a few years, I am delighted to be able to return to the west coast (which is the place that I will always call ‘home’) to work with incredible musicians of Early Music Vancouver and to share in the vibrant musical storytelling of Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. To me, the vibrancy of the French Baroque is exemplified by de la Guerre’s vocal works, and I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to bring her characterizations, including that of the beguiling Semelé, to life.” – Ai
“EMV was one of the organizations that inspired me to pursue early music as a career and supported me in my early studies. It feels special to be back as a next-generation artist, making music and reconnecting with friends, colleagues, and former teachers.” – Elana
“I am excited for this opportunity to offer a new perspective on Bach— not Bach the mystique-laden untouchable genius, but Bach the composer whose music has become part of our collective consciousness, brought people together and inspired centuries of artistic innovation. I take a creative approach to historical performance by drawing on Bach’s compositional practices to create entirely new music. My greatest passion is to bridge together the old and the new by drawing on the whimsical, creative, and dramatic spirit of baroque performance and composition.” – Jessica
Meet our Second Annual Next Generation Artists
Listen to the interview on Spotify here or watch the video version below.
Originally from Victoria, BC, Japanese-Canadian soprano Ai Horton’s interest in historically informed performance practice led her to move to the Netherlands, where she is currently based. Her varied concert repertoire spans several centuries and includes English and Italian madrigals, music of the French-baroque, the works of J.S. Bach, and German Lieder. Ai regularly performs contemporary works and was a vocalist for the 2022 Young Composer’s Meeting in Apeldoorn (NL). Professional highlights include Handel’s Messiah with Bach on the Rock under the direction of the late Michael Jarvis (CAN), Rameau’s Quam Dilecta Tabernacula broadcast on Radio West (NL), Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien (NL), and a concert of Telemann’s solo cantatas with violinist Marc Destrubé, viola da gamba player Natalie Mackie, and organist Christina Hutten at Victoria’s Christ Church Cathedral (CAN).
An avid supporter of civic engagement initiatives, Ai aims to create community and belonging through shared musical experience as both a performer and an educator. Ai was a featured artist in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Opera Etc. Programs, performing in numerous “Pop-up Operas” (short performances in outdoor public spaces) and recording several virtual concerts that were distributed to senior care facilities. Ai also worked with Pacific Opera to produce “Tenebris”, a video presentation that used Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater to tell a personal story of struggles with mental health. Her current project, Laments for a Modern World, comprises a set of four songs she composed with influence from 17th-century Laments, featuring newly-commissioned texts that amplify modern-day stories of race relations, miscarriage, struggles with mental health, and displacement from one’s homeland.
Ai holds a Bachelor of Music in Secondary Music Education from the University of Victoria and is currently completing a Master of Music in Early Music Vocal Studies as an Excellence Scholar at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. Ai has been awarded numerous scholarships for her excellence in music, including several BC Arts Council scholarships and the Johann Strauss Foundation Scholarship, which enabled a period of advanced vocal study in Salzburg at the Universität Mozarteum’s Summer Academy.
Click here to listen to her sing.
Currently based in The Netherlands, Elana Cooper performs on baroque violin, baroque viola, and modern violin. She has performed with ensembles in Europe (Holland Baroque, Dutch Baroque Orchestra, MA Academy in Bruges, Saintes Jeunes Orchestre de l’Abbaye in France), Canada (Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver Opera Orchestra), and the US (Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, Oregon Bach Festival Period Orchestra). Elana holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of British Columbia, where she studied with David Gillham. She also studied baroque violin with Chloe Meyers and Marc Destrubé in Vancouver as a recipient of the Early Music Vancouver Scholarship Programme. Elana studied baroque violin as a Master’s student at the Historical Performance Institute at Indiana University with Stanley Ritchie. In June 2023, Elana will complete her Masters degree in baroque violin at Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague as a student of Kati Debretzeni. Elana is looking forward to joining the Theresia Classical Orchestra and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Academy in 2023.
Click here to listen to her play.
Montreal-based artist Jessica Korotkin is a passionate Baroque cellist, composer, and chamber musician known for her innovative and experimental approach to concert programming – often featuring original arrangements and compositions. She has performed and recorded with award-winning ensembles from Canada and the United States and has also appeared on the international stage at Bolivia’s XIII Festival Internacional de Música Renacentista y Barroca Americana as well as at Germany’s Internationale Bach Akademie Stuttgart.
Jessica combines her love for performing on gut strings with a keen enthusiasm for all genres and styles of music and is a founding member of the Ximenez Quartet, an ensemble dedicated to performing South American chamber music on period instruments. In 2019 she joined forces with The Broken Consort to create the baroque fusion album, Isle of Majesty. She recently cameoed in Canadian pop sensation Daniel Lavoie’s music video L’éternité, playing Baroque cello while dressed in period costume.
She holds degrees from the Peabody Institute and the Oberlin Conservatory. This year (2023) she graduated from McGill University with a Doctor of Music. While at McGill, Susie Napper advised her research-creation project of creating six new Bach-inspired cello suites. You can read more about this project in Early Music America’s online feature, Making a Parody of Bach, No Kidding.
Click here to listen to her play.
Previous Next Generation Artists
“I had such a blast and got so much out of it. As a young musician just starting my career as a soloist, this experience made me grow a lot. It gave me confidence and really helped me tame my stage fright. The festival people were so helpful and welcoming and the public was enthusiastic. Being in beautiful Vancouver also helped make this a magical, unforgivable experience. I strongly recommend this program to every young musician wishing to take their solo career further!” – Marie Nadeau-Tremblay
It was a privilege to be included in EMV’s inaugural Emerging Artist Series. I was so grateful for the opportunity to connect with the community of EMV and to share the music and stories I am so passionate about. EMV is doing important work by nurturing the next generations in this way. I am grateful to carry with me the beautiful experiences I had at EMV as I continue to develop my practice of radically inclusive storytelling through early music. – Ellen Torrie
Learn more about their concerts and purchase tickets.