The Ezra Duo
Photo © Alice H Photography
Formed at The Glenn Gould School in 2016, The Ezra Duo (Jacob Clewell, violin/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, 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 canonic staple Sonata Op. 11, No. 4 in a prelude concert for the Royal Conservatory Orchestra.
Ezra has gone on to perform coast to coast in Canada: on Halifax’s Inner Space Concerts, in Vancouver as guests of the Canada International Arts and Music Society, and more centrally on the North Bay Symphony's chamber series, Montreal’s Oasis Musicale, and on various series around Toronto. 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 internationally with their "Women in Music" and "Art of the Duo" programs, and in the midst of the 2020 lockdown appeared in a livestreamed celebration of composer Patricia Morehead’s 80th birthday held in Koerner Hall. The duo began traveling again in 2022 with “Colorfully Contemporary”, a program showcasing relatable contemporary classical works by living composers.
Ezra has participated in outreach events for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Toronto Public Library, and often includes visits to schools and retirement communities during touring activities. The duo has presented masterclasses at the University of Tulsa, Berry College, and for the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, and are regular visitors at Oklahoma’s Harding Fine Arts Academy, where they offer various workshops for high school performers. Currently, Ezra is ensemble-in-residence at the Emerald Coast Chamber Music Festival, where Sasha and Jacob are co-Artistic Directors, and serve as Artist Faculty at the annual Chamber Music Institute for advanced conservatory students alongside their colleagues in the Velox Quartett, violinist Nicholas Hatt and cellist Jordan Galvarino.
The duo are first prize winners of numerous international competitions, earning invitations to perform in New York, Vienna, and Sarajevo. They are laureates of the 2018 Città di Pinerolo e Torino – Città Metropolitana International Chamber Music Competition held in Turin, Italy, and were winners of the 2019 Arcady Emerging Artist Competition. In 2024 Ezra will be the featured ensemble for the Toronto Arts and Letters Club’s new composition competition, and will premier the winning works in early summer.
The duo’s eclectic upcoming activities include visits to the Mosbacher Salon Series in Colorado, recitals for a charity fundraiser in Fairbanks, Alaska, and their continued hosting of Ezra Electrified!, an online concert series livestreamed to Twitch, where the duo performs a mix of classical, rock, and music from films and video games on electric instruments. Their first album, titled A Collection of Short Stories, will be released in 2024 through Akashic Classics and distributed worldwide by Universal.
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