Carissa Klopoushak, violinist

Give us a little bio of yourself.

In a nutshell I was born in Saskatoon, playing music with the typical violin experience in many ways: the Suzuki Method and youth orchestra and then I played in the symphony. I stayed in Saskatchewan for my Bachelors Degree in music, and then I won the principle second job for that orchestra. I stayed there for two years: it was a very cool job with a lot of variety and experience. Then I felt I needed to expand and see different things so I moved to Montreal to play and study. I live in Montreal now but I travel a lot all over Canada. Recently at the Banff Center working on personal things, you know, that’s what residencies are for.

Has there been any recent work you’ve been doing?

Some of the traveling I’ve been doing recently goes back 3 years ago when I won Eckhardt-Grammatté National Music Competition for Canadian music that prompted a 17 cities tour. We toured with a pianist and went thru 17 different universities and performed all across the country which was really incredible. I also started subbing for the national arts center orchestra around the same time and I’ve gone on two tours with them now. The most recent thing I’ve been doing is running with another friend of mine the Ritornello Festival in Saskatchewan and so it’s in the fourth year this year. I also have a few friends in other places in the world that have started chamber music festivals, one in California and the other in B.C. which Ill be participating in during August.

Any influences musically or artistically?

Yeah absolutely… wow… it’s hard to name a few.. I’ve had to answer this before. For me instead of any major figure heads in my life or.. or people that other people would recognize by name.. there have definitely been people in my musical life.. some have been my teachers most have been my colleagues or even just friends that have had impact on my everyday musical life. There’s one in particular in the Saskatoon Orchestra that always kept me thinking about doing things differently and so I guess that kind of sums up everything for me. I definitely get a lot of energy from that and some collaborations but more specifically than that Jonathan Crow my recent teacher. Not only is he musically incredible, he is really good example of a professional musician. He really exemplifies professionalism and leads a decent life. That’s been really important for me to see.

How you describe your style?

I don’t know what to say a part of.. or let’s say what I’m most proud of is my versatility. I find that rather specializing anything in particular.. I think I found my specialty is exactly not specializing.. I like to … I like to play everything as much as I possibly can.

Could you share something meaningful that has happened recently?

Yea, definitely.. So In Banff I had a ton of meaningful experiences ok. So that was really cool. So me and a few friends went up to the top of Tunnel Mountain which is the mountain that Banff Center is situated on. You go up and in 45 minutes your on the top of the summit. The two friends of mine were just sitting there… taking in the view which was incredible and it was a sunny day.. then these two deer were umm.. you know… snacking..they were about 50 feet away from us and then one just kept getting closer, then curious and more curious and came right up to us. And was licking my friends hand for more than five minutes… so yeah it (the deer) was totally tame and was into what we were doing, chilling there and it felt like the universe was in harmony. It was great.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Well working and collaborating with people, I love that kind of thing. That’s where I always get my energy for making music.  That’s why I like making chamber music so much. The exchanging of ideas and rehearsals, sharing with one another is great.

Could you describe yourself in few words?

Communicator, expression, emotional, story teller

Any advice for other artists our there?

Yeah, always explore. No matter where you’re at and you have to listen. It seems obvious but its not. Especially if you’re a kid or if you have a student, to have them actually pay attention to what sounds there making early, it saves so much time earlier. Then you have a person whose “tuned in” into sounds there making or listening too.

What Next?

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