The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) welcomed seven new musicians to the strings sections this 2018/2019 Season — four violinists, two cellists, and one bassist. Over the last few months, they’ve been introduced to Calgary audiences through the Meet the Musician series, and now that they’ve completed their first Season with the CPO, we decided to check back in to hear what stood out to some of them.

Kyle Sanborn (Assistant Principal Bass)

“I had a few different favourite moments of the season. Yefim Bronfman has been one of my favourite soloists for a long time and to perform Prokofiev’s second piano concerto was outstanding. I loved seeing Josh Jones battle through so much adversity for such a great performance on the Hikoi percussion concerto. I really loved hearing so many of my colleagues take on big solos with Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes with JoAnn Falletta. Also, Eun Sun Kim was magnificent on the podium for her concerts in May, and I loved getting to play Bach with Nicholas McGegan.”

Yefim Bronfman

Yefim Bronfman with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Kathleen de Caen (Cello)

“There were many amazing moments this year, but one of the highlights was performing Prokofiev’s second piano concerto with the legendary Yefim Bronfman. Sometimes a particularly inspiring and well executed cadenza can breathe new life into a performance, and there were a few instances where you could feel an infusion of energy into the orchestra coming off of one of his solo moments. Very exciting, inspiring, and unifying!”

Edmund Chung (First Violin)

“Eun Sun Kim was among my favourite memories of the season. She was very enjoyable to work with. Her knowledge of the score as well as her enthusiasm and positivity made the rehearsal process extremely rewarding. I also liked seeing how involved some of the kids would be at Symphony Sundays for Kids concerts, and I hope that enthusiasm continues as they get older.”

Austin Hansen (First Violin)

“The Eun Sun Kim concert featuring Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 was probably my favourite concert all season. I was absolutely touched by her musicianship and respect of the orchestra. A close second for me would have to be Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Bronfman, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. I’ve heard Bronfman perform before, but to work with someone so extraordinary was quite incredible. It also helped that we had many wonderful moments in the Mahler symphony as well!”

Brahms Double with Cohen + Choi, Diana Cohen, Arnold Choi

Erin Burkholder (Second Violin)

“My favourite concert was the Brahms Double with Cohen + Choi in March. I had been looking forward to the program all year because I was excited about the music, and I ended up having double the fun because I got to sit up in the front stand for the week. As a section player I love to take advantage of any opportunity to sit closer to the centre of the stage, where you can get a fuller acoustic picture of the orchestra. From there, instead of needing to be focused on following the section leader, I could be more involved in pure musical collaboration with my colleagues —not to mention it turned out to be one of the best seats in the house to hear the amazing soloists! I went home feeling very fortunate after each of those concerts to have the job that I do. Ultimately, the point of our being up there on that stage is to show the audience how much we love the music we perform, and on those nights in particular it felt like the easiest thing in the world.

Take a look at whats coming in 2019/2020:

Written by guest contributor Jill Girgulis

Jill Girgulis is a student at the University of Calgary and a regular contributor for as well as When she’s not busy studying for her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, she can most often be found in one of the first three rows of the Jack Singer Concert Hall.