Friday, July 21, 7 pm at The Barn (pre-concert chat at 6 pm)
Rashaan Allwood is a keyboard player and performer of great versatility. He is a pianist, organist, and harpsichord and actively performs in a variety of solo, collaborative, and chamber settings. Rashaan recieved the first prize for the organ category in the Canadian National OSM Manulife competition in 2016 and second prize in the Wadden Sea International Organ Competition in 2017.
A passionate recitalist, Rashaan has performed at venues such the Canadian Opera Company Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, the Mississauga Performing Arts Centre, the North York Performing Arts Centre, and the OLG Main Stage at the Beaches Jazz Festival.
Rashaan uses cohesive programming, lecture recitals, and multimedia performances to engage audiences. Each recital is an opportunity for research and the exploration of the music’s traditions and history. His 2015-16 recital season featured topics such as, French piano techniques in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (April 2015), French organ composition techniques between the two Great Wars of the twentieth century (French Connection, April 2016), nineteenth- and twentieth-century adaptions of birdsong in piano music (Birds of Spring, April 2016), as well as sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Stylus Phantasticus and its implications in Lutheran hymnody (Stylus Phantasticus, April 2016).
The 2015-16 season also featured other creative research projects for Rashaan such as the use of classical composition techniques in jazz. This culminated in the composition and recording of a jazz suite, which uses both serial techniques and classical forms. His study of improvisation in jazz sparked an exploration of historical improvisation, which will be featured in Rashaan’s upcoming 2016-17 recital season.
Rashaan believes that studying both piano and organ helps him produce insights into interpreting technical and musical aspects of repertoire. Many of the great keyboard virtuosos were masters of both instruments, including Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Franck, and Messiaen. Together, piano and organ, have been featured in many of Rashaan’s recitals, including an all-Franck recital featuring works for organ and piano, and several all-Messiaen recitals featuring the composer’s organ works and both solo piano and collaborative works.
Rashaan is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he studied piano performance with Professor James Parker and organ with Professor Kevin Komsaruk. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Organ and Church Music at McGill University and studying with Professor Hans-Ola Ericsson.