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A Message from UofT Professor Mario Ostrowski

University of Toronto, Clinical Sciences Division

I would like to congratulate the two of you for the recent Off Centre Music Salon of Tears and Laughter
that you and your company of amazing musicians had performed. For me, this Salon was one of the most
interesting, intensely emotional, educational and extremely enjoyable Salons that I attended, although, all the Salons have been of the utmost highest standard. What impressed me and many of my friends who had attended was the stark contrasts in the programming that you demonstrated between the first and second parts of the program. The works of Shostakovich, many of which we have never had the
opportunity to hear before, were performed eloquently so that we could feel the mood and terror that
prevailed in the Soviet Union at the time. Contrasting the almost naïve performance of the Kabelevsky by
the excellent young pianist William Leathers with the at times politically subversive and terrifying Seven
Romances really demonstrated the arch of possibilities demonstrated by the Russian school. These
performances plus the informative and enjoyable narration by Dr. Beckwith made for an unforgettable and educational experience…

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