In August 2012, five musicians from all over the world came together with one common interest; to explore the possibilities of wind quintet music, and present it to the world through new and diverse mediums. This was the beginning of the Fireside Quintet. Several years later the group has changed in many ways, but still maintains their common goal of invigorating the Vancouver music scene with exciting new musical ideas.
Current members Paul Hung (flute), Kristen Cooke (oboe), Sydney Tetarenko (clarinet), Debra Loh (bassoon), and Holly Bryan (horn) hail from across the globe, including Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Taiwan, and Portland. All members are current students or alumni of the University of British Columbia, and now call Vancouver home.
The Fireside Quintet enjoys playing many favourites of the wind quintet repertoire, but also isn’t afraid to step outside the usual realm of possibilities and explore new or lesser known compositions. They have been known to play everything from Taffanel to Piazzolla to Ligeti, having something for every listener. Their variety in repertoire is mirrored in their daring approach to venues, having performed for audiences in recital halls, art galleries, and even parks.
Just as the quintet is passionate about performance art, they are also dedicated to furthering the accessibility of instrumental music and bringing music education to the public. It’s not uncommon to see members of Fireside teaching private lessons, master classes, or playing a school concert.
The Fireside Quintet is an ensemble for every generation, combining the sophistication of the concert goer with the approachability of the average person on the street, to create something fresh and modern for today’s listeners.