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Violinist Takes Another Music Award:

Read the Press Release from Rhiannon's win in 2006

 

Jump to Bio (Brief) - Bio (Extended) - MP3 Sample

 

PRESS RELEASE: Fiddleheads' Rhiannon Nachbaur Wins the Okanagan Music Awards "Classical Artist of the Year" Two Consecutive Years

October 11, 2007

Violinist Rhiannon Nachbaur of Salmon Arm found herself on stage for an unexpected second time in Kelowna on October 10.

The 30-year-old owner of Fiddleheads Violin Studio brought home the 2007 Okanagan Musician Award for “Classical Artist of the Year.” Rhiannon won the Classical Award last year and the consecutive win is just as delightful as the first.

Rhiannon had played electric violin along with many other Okanagan musicians backing up singer/songwriter Rachel Warchol at the opening of the awards. Only thirty minutes later she was asked to return to the stage to receive an award, a surprise she had not anticipated.

"I am incredibly honoured to have been selected again," she said while accepting the award. "I'm speechless." The expectant mother was out of breath from the trek up to the stage and kept her thanks short and sweet.

Rhiannon didn't think she would be so lucky to win two years in a row and is still dazed from the good news. She feels incredibly validated having received the award again and is very grateful for the honour.

Her post-event thanks go out to the awards organizers, her family, friends and customers who have supported her music, business and projects and to the dedicated fans in the Shuswap/ Thompson/Okanagan who nominated her. A special appreciation goes to the awards organizers and judges panel for making this all possible.

This year's nominations ballots surpassed all expectations, receiving well over 1000 nomination forms as the voting region now includes Kamloops as well as Kelowna, Vernon, Westbank, Salmon Arm and surrounding areas. A select few finalists in each category were asked to submit an MP3 music sample for the judges' panel to review.

The panel, made up of several Okanagan and area musicians and radio station and media professionals, voted on the nominee they believed was most deserving of the award.

Rhiannon's sample featured her violin playing on Celtic harpist Caroline Mackay's album "Tidings of Light" as well as thirty seconds of a Dvorak piece played in house concert with local pianist Anita Liebich. Also included were segments of a live jam session and a fiddle tune with guitarist Les Copeland. The duo had opened for Scotland's Shooglenifty at a Folk Music Society concert last January.

Other nominess in the classical category were guitarist Manfred and violinist Melissa Wilmot.

All four Salmon Arm acts which were nominated came home with an award this year! In addition to Rhiannon's repeat "Classical Artist of the Year, the Gospel Artist/Group of the Year was Greg Sczebel and Blues Artist/Group of the Year went to The Salmon Armenians, both of which were also repeat winners.

Blu Hopkins won a well-deserved Bluegrass Artist/Group of the Year award after several previous nominations.

--

Incidentally, Rhiannon's eco-friendly violin business, Fiddleheads Violin Studio, won the "Green Award" for eco-responsible practices only a week later with the Shuswap Business Excellence Awards.

Fiddleheads has been the recipient of three Excellence awards in past years as well as other two other BC business awards.

 

 

Information Submitted to the Judges' Panel

 

 

Rhiannon Nachbaur Bio (Brief)

Rhiannon Nachbaur's classical-fiddle fusion, a la "Classical with a Twist," clearly demonstrates her musical versatility and command of style. Her concert repertoire including anything from Tangos, fiddle tunes, funky Blues and unique renditions of the classics challenge the classical listener to hear something different in the old "standards."

Rhiannon has moonlit as a symphony player in Kamloops and Dawson Creek and as a fiddler with jazz, country, celtic, rock and world beat bands where she wows audiences with her unconventional 5-string electric violin with effects. Her aptitude for improvisation and style make this more-than-classical musician a highly skilled session player who does more than just play by the notes, but writes solos and harmonies on the fly.

In the new "been there, done that" classical music scene, Rhiannon's passion for intense music along with her innovative interpretation and boundless energy on stage make her riveting performances a welcome breath of fresh air.

Listen to an MP3 Sample

 

Bio for use in Event Program

Rhiannon Nachbaur's classical-fiddle fusion, a la "Classical with a Twist," clearly demonstrates her musical versatility and command of style. Her unique renditions of the classics challenge the classical listener to hear something different in the old "standards." Rhiannon's aptitude for improvisation and style make this more-than-classical musician a highly skilled session player who does more than just play by the notes, but writes solos and harmonies on the fly. In the new "been there, done that" classical music scene, Rhiannon's passion for intense music along with her innovative interpretation and boundless energy on stage make her riveting performances a welcome breath of fresh air.

 

Rhiannon Nachbaur Bio (Extended)

"I could play anything. I'm self-taught so I have no restrictions." - Jon Anderson

Click Here for More Photos

 

There's something to be said for drawing outside the lines. As an adolescent self-taught violinist and violist Rhiannon Nachbaur kept her ears open to sounds and techniques outside the conservative classical norm. A child of the 70's who teethed on everything from Beethoven to Led Zeppelin, Rhiannon cannot possibly limit herself to one path as a musician and has developed a style all her own.

Rhiannon started out playing in numerous youth orchestras, sometimes as concertmaster, and racked up festival certificates and music awards including the 1995 Bank of America Achievement Award in the Field of Music. The violin, classical in nature, had kept her playing music by "dead guys with wigs," but after graduating with a Diploma in Violin Performance from a jazz and contemporary music college she discovered a happy balance between old and new.

Rhiannon (30) has since proven she isn't a conventional, "by the notes" violinist. She's played sold-out concerts with pianists Anna Hostman (residence composer for the Victoria Symphony) and Anita Liebich featuring her own intense classical-fiddle-gypsy fusion, a la "Classical with a Twist," which clearly demonstrates her musical versatility and command of style. Her concert repertoire ranges from stark, modern composition, Old-Time fiddle, exotic Tango, funky Blues and unique renditions of the classics which challenge the classical listener to hear something different in the old "standards."

Rhiannon's aptitude for improvisation and style make this classical violinist a skilled session player who does more than just play by the notes, but writes solos and harmonies on the fly. Her melodic classical-style improvisation has been featured on various albums, live and completely off the cuff with jazz guitarist Les Copeland [listen to MP3], and countless times nationally on CBC Radio in 2004 on a spoken word collaboration with James Murray.

Rhiannon has played first violin with a few BC (and California) orchestras including the Kamloops Symphony and Dawson Creek Opera Company where she was Assistant Concertmaster in 1999. And though Rhiannon still plays classical by day, she has moonlit as a fiddler with jazz, country, disco, celtic, rock and world beat bands and wows audiences with her unconventional 5-string electric violin with effects.

In the new "been there, done that" classical music scene, Rhiannon's passion for intense music along with her innovative interpretation and boundless energy on stage make her riveting performances a welcome breath of fresh air.

Rhiannon operates multi-award-winning Fiddleheads Violin Studio [www.fiddleheads.ca] and is Founding President of the Shuswap Violin Society who's membership includes fiddling icon Natalie MacMaster and classical virtuoso Susanne Hou [www.violinsociety.ca]. She is also string orchestra arranger for School District #83 and classical music columnist with "BC Musician" and "Music Teacher" magazines. She is a wife and mother and is pregnant with her second child.

Listen to an MP3 Sample

 

MP3 Sample

Click to Listen, Right Click to Save

 

Contents

0:00 - Celtic/Light Classical

"Tidings of Light" and "Remover of Difficulties" (excerpts). From Caroline Mackay's "Tidings of Light" [2002].

1:16 - Romantic Era Classical

Sonatina in G, Op. 100, 1st Mvt by Antonín Dvorák (excerpt). Featuring Anita Liebich, piano. Recorded live in concert [2006].

1:40 - Gypsy Improv Jazz

Segments of a jam featuring Les Copeland, guitar. Raw, off the cuff improv as opener for Scotland's "Shooglenifty" [2007].

2:28 - Fiddle

"Growling Old Man and Woman," old-time fiddle. Recorded with Les Copeland live in concert [2007].

Enjoy!

 

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