The Ezra Duo
Photo © Alice H Photography
Formed at The Glenn Gould School in 2016, The Ezra Duo (Jacob Clewell, viola and Sasha Bult-Ito, piano) quickly established itself as a performing ensemble of the highest caliber. The duo found themselves racking up a string of early local performances, including visits to the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, the Prime Chamber Music Society in Mississauga, and in Mazzoleni Hall and Temerty Theatre at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Ezra gave their first performance in Toronto's Koerner Hall in the spring of 2017, performing Hindemith's Op. 11 No. 4 in a prelude concert for the Royal Conservatory Orchestra.
Ezra has gone on to perform coast to coast in Canada: in the east on the Scotia Festival of Music's Young Artist recital series, in the west in recital in Vancouver, British Columbia, and more centrally in Ontario as guest artists on the North Bay Symphony's chamber series, and on Toronto's Nine Sparrows Chamber Series and Concerts@100. In November 2017 they appeared in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York, and in April 2018 performed as guests at a G7 Summit event held at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. In 2019 Ezra toured with their "Women in Music" and "Art of the Duo" programs to Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario. They have also participated in outreach events at Toronto's Baycrest Hospital and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, as well as appeared on the Toronto Public Library's mid-day "Orchardviewers" series. Ezra has presented masterclasses at the University of Tulsa, Berry College, Albuquerque Youth Symphony, and elsewhere, and are individually dedicated teachers.
The duo are first prize winners of The Great Composers Competition: The Art of Chamber Music and The Music of America, Golden Classical Music Awards, Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, and IMKA Music Competition, earning invitations to perform in New York, Vienna, and Sarajevo. In March 2018 they competed in the Città di Pinerolo e Torino – Città Metropolitana International Chamber Music Competition in Turin, Italy. In June 2019 Ezra premiered a new sonata written for them by Canadian composer Ronald Beckett, as winners of Arcady Ensemble's Emerging Artist competition.
Currently, Ezra is ensemble-in-residence at the Emerald Coast Chamber Music Festival and Institute, where Sasha and Jacob are co-Artistic Directors. In the 2021-2022 season, Ezra's programming features colorful duo works from Julius Röntgen, Bohuslav Martinu, Robert Schumann, and a set of short pieces by Florence Price, William Grant Still, and others. This season also debuts Ezra Electrified, an entirely online recital series livestreamed to Twitch, where the duo performs a mix of genres on electric instruments.
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