Once a year, cellist Amanda Forsyth likes to perform somewhere in Canada in a place she has never been before.
Recently, she stepped down after many years as principal cellist of National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa to pursue an already renowned international career as a soloist and chamber musician.
“You have to do something once in a while, outside of the big events, or you become complacent,” explained Forsyth who is a Juno award winner. “If you don’t do that, all you remember is being in a hotel, back stage and with an orchestra. You don’t remember why you are doing it.”
Forsyth is the guest soloist for the closing concert at Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA) on Saturday, June 27. Start time is 7:30 pm in Evergreen Theatre.
Born in Johannesburg, Forsyth emigrated to Canada to live in Edmonton with her family and attended high school in Vancouver. Her father, Malcolm Forsyth, a trombonist and famous Canadian composer, enrolled her in the Suzuki program as a three-year-old. Last year PRISMA music director Arthur Arnold had planned to include a Malcolm Forsyth piece in the concert schedule but that did not happen. Now it will be included in the evening where his daughter is the soloist.
Six summers in a row, Forsyth attended Johannessen International School of the Arts in Victoria prior to studying with William Pleeth in London and attending Juilliard School in New York where she worked with teacher Harvey Shapiro. Her inspiration in music has always been English cellist Jacqueline du Pré.
“We live with this history of great cellists over our heads,” added Forsyth. Arnold, who also plays cello, agrees.
As a teacher and mentor, as well as a performer, she recognizes the importance of giving back and that has become part of her life.
“I’m so happy to have Amanda here,” said Arnold. “They don’t come much better.”