Testimonials

“While attending a recent concert of the Winnipeg music series Musica Speciale, I had the pleasure of hearing bassoonist Vincent Ellin for the first time in a few years.

In the past, opportunities to hear this fine musician were reserved for brief solos as part of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. While these solos may have been short in length, the quality of Ellin’s playing was always top notch, with pleasing tone and innate musicality always ringing true to the conductor’s interpretation of the score.

At the Musica Speciale concert, Ellin was showcased first in a Paganini duet with violinist John Racaru, then in Saint Saëns rarely heard Sonata for bassoon and piano. Ellin shone in both works, exuding bounce and energy, while never abandoning the flow of the music. His tone is as rich and vibrant as ever, and his natural feel for the music gave it a supple flow that seemed to go on forever.

The bassoon may be a lesser known and under-appreciated instrument, but in the hands of Vincent Ellin, it is likely to win over all listeners. It is a privilege to hear this talented player in concert. I will be watching out for his next performance and won’t want to miss it.”

Gwenda Nemerofsky
Classical Music Columnist and Reviewer
Winnipeg Free Press

 

“It has always been such a great pleasure to work with you and to make music together.”

Simon Streatfield

 

“The sweet and gentle Larghetto was a lovely way to leave the stormy first movement. There was a touching repartee between the winds and the violins, delicate and understated. The one evident void was the absence of past principal bassoon Vince Ellin. His rounded tone and superb musicality has not been adequately replaced.”

Gwenda Nemerofsky
Winnipeg Free Press

 

“I cannot say too much about this young man. He is a superior musician as well as one of the outstanding bassoon players I have had the pleasure of playing with.

During the tour he performed as soloist and solo bassoonist in my orchestra. Through a series of 48 concerts, he acquitted himself the equal, or better than anyone around today.”

Mitch Miller

 

“There was some strong solo work from the violin section first chairs, Karl Stobbe and Simon MacDonald, and Yuri Hooker and Alex Adaman”s cello duet was rich and rhythmic. Bassoonist Vince Ellin deserves recognition for his nimble solo.”

Gwenda Nemerofsky
Winnipeg Free Press

 

“The most satisfying work was the premiere of Norma Beecroft’s Collage ’78 for bassoon, piano, percussion and computer generated tape. Vincent Ellin for whom the piece was written played a challenging, articulate and eloquent defence of the bassoon as a solo instrument.”

Donald Gislason
Winnipeg Free Press

 

“While it received a technically creditable reading, the problem of two markedly different approaches intruded time and again. Vincent Ellin, bassoonist is a performer of infinite subtlety, one who employs many shades of dynamic level and tone quality. Robert Barker, on the other hand favors a bright vibrato less tone, a strong dynamic level and a sense of phrasing which doesn’t tape very much. While he was a match for the notes, he tended to over balance the bassoonist too often.”

Ira Lieberman
Richmond Times-Dispatch

 

“As the principal bassoonist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra during the last few years, Vincent Ellin has proven himself one of the orchestra’s most consistently accomplished solo artists. Last night he joined the Trio for performances of two contrasting works. The Serenade of Bernard Heiden turned out to be an interesting work of uneven inspiration. The rather melancholy first and last movements sounded the most inspired, this successful impression due in no small measure to the fine performance. Ellin’s round solid tone, always musical phrasing and consistent eloquence pleaded the work’s cause quite nobly.”

Don Anderson
Winnipeg Free Press

 

“Franz Krommer’s Quartet for Bassoon and Strings was really a concertino for bassoon, with an accompaniment of two violas and a cello. While the music itself was rather uninspired, bassoonist Vincent Ellin turned in an inspired performance. His gorgeous sound ranged from biting to whimsical.”

Pat Carrabre
Winnipeg Free Press

 

“Lussier and Ellin had none of that last night, casting a warm spell over everything they did. Ellin’s firmly grounded technique and intuitive feeling for the music were admirably complemented by the ensemble, whose color and rhythmic incisiveness complemented the soloist sympathetically.

This program allowed one to sample the lyrical possibilities of the bassoon to an equal degree. Ellin’s way with lyrical element needed just a little less subtlety and a slightly bolder manner of projection, particularly within the minor key. A small grumble in view of such excellent playing overall. The virtuoso passages were dispatched with disarming ease.”

James Manishen
Winnipeg Free Press

 

“I am very pleased to support the application of Vincent Ellin. I have known the candidate and his work for over twenty years, and his is a musician and instrumentalist of the highest calibre. He played under my conductorship as first bassoon in the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra for all of the afore-mentioned twenty years, and was always a joy to work with. Apart from being a wonderful bassoonist, he has always brought the highest professional attitudes to his work, and was highly respected by his colleagues. He was a joy to work, and it has been a privilege to be so closely associated with him. He appeared as soloist with me on many occasions both in concertos and recordings, and these performances were always events of the loftiest musical distinction. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Mr. Ellin to you in the highest possible terms.”

Simon Streatfield
Music Director Emeritus, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra

 

“I heard Vince play in Banff at the IDRS Conference a few years ago. His bassoon playing is nothing short of phenomenal and he has a sense of humor to match. I’m betting he won’t have a hard time finding a permanent post. You just don’t toss somebody out with that kind of dedication, longevity and talent.”

John Towle
IDRS Member
International Double Reed News

 

“Vincent Ellin is known to me as a chamber music colleague for more than twenty years, in Aurora Musicale, Music Inter Alia, and other Winnipeg chamber music settings. The high level of his musicianship has always been an inspiration: the singing quality of his tone, the expressive shapes in his phrasing, his informed awareness of all the other parts and the musical language of the piece. He sets a high standard, which in turn influences others in the group, often raising the performance to a level well above the initial expectations and encouraging others in the group, by example, to aim for higher standards than they might have thought possible.

In addition to his superb musicianship, Vincent has always demonstrated reliability and strict professionalism on the organizational front-particularly helpful in the chamber music realm. Further, his terrific sense of humor and strong interpersonal skills and sensitivity will make him a valuable and much appreciated colleague in any setting. He has my strongest recommendation for the position he seeks.”

Patricia Spencer
Flutist, Da Capo Chamber Players
New York City

 

“I did know about your pinched facial nerve, which is why  thought you sounded like a million bucks when I heard you play at the IDRS in Banff, and later when I came to play with you in Winnipeg. I’ve always thought you are one of the best bassoonists in the country.”

Michael Hope
Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

 

“Please pass on a message to the Principal Bassoonist of the Figaro Orchestra….fantastic playing. One of the highlights of the night!!!!”

Dr. Michelle Miller
Opera Patron
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

 

“During the performance Vincent Ellin played a number of technically challenging pieces by contemporary Canadian composers. Mr. Ellin displayed complete mastery of his instrument as he played these works. His tone is rich and warm, and his sense of rhythm was impeccable. What was most impressive was that his performance demonstrated great musicality.

Mr. Ellin appears to be at ease playing long beautifully phrased neo-romantic music as he is playing music that requires the performer to demonstrate extended techniques on his instrument, producing all manner of unconventional, yet extremely musical sounds.

I would recommend Mr. Ellin to any concert producing organization without hesitation.”

George Fenwick
Past President, New Works Calgary
Coordinator Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region

 

“A great Concerto performance !!”

From Bramwell Tovey after Vincent Ellin’s premiere of Glenn Buhr’s Bassoon Concerto, on a postcard sent to him.

 

“Vincent Ellin gave a superb performance.”

From the Winnipeg Free Press review after the same performance.

 

“Vincent Ellin is a God”.

From a Winnipeg Concert goer’s Blog.

 

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