A bright new beginning for Teo Milea (concert notes, May 2017)

For his sole live appearance in Toronto in 2017, pianist Teo Milea took a leap of faith, and…

… and it paid off!

The Romanian pianist (who calls Toronto home since 2015) had a fantastic 2016 playing his solo piano music; it would’ve been a natural thing to capitalize on it and keep going solo. Instead, he dedicated 2017 to piano & flute music that he composed in the months before leaving his home country for Canada.

“A New Beginning” was played only once on stage, in Romania, before Teo took the six compositions on a Canadian tour with stops in Waterloo (May) 7), Toronto (13 May) and Montreal (27 May, tickets here).  He enrolled accomplished flutist Terry Lim  to test the new material on the road, as the duo played to a full house last night at the Al Green theatre (it was great to see  the Neighbourhood Arts Network and the SOCAN Foundation supporting the Toronto concert).

“My music is easy to the ear, extremely cinematic, it is a universe where fairy-tales are told through the voice of music.” (Teo Milea)

A New Beginning comes with all the traits that we enjoy in Milea’s universe (patient build-ups, space between sounds, emotional roller-coasters, romanticism, drama & tranquility), with the welcome addition and beauty that flute music conveys. Lim is a talented raconteur, equally during delicate passages (as in I Remember You, or the title track) or when caugh in rapid-fire unisons (The 1st Waltz).  The main narrator is the flute, but there is interplay for good balance all over the program.

Teo stood up from his piano a few times, as he usually does, to talk about his music, send thanks to all the mothers in the room (to which he dedicated the brilliant concert closing, Smile), or to bring on stage his award-winning, 12-year old piano student Matthew Alexandru Poru (who stunned everybody with his impeccable rendition of the Sonatina in D Major op 36 no 6 Muzio Clementi first movement). It is during these spoken passages when his effervescent humor bubbles out, and that’s just as enjoyable as his music.

You can still catch A New Beginning in Montreal at the end of May, as after that Teo will tour Europe for the summer.

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