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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 03 | Feb. 8, 2001

Musical couple make UBC home

Duo enjoys one less long distance relationship

by Bruce Mason staff writer

Violist David Harding and Flutist Lorna McGhee are among the most sought after musicians of their generation. They are also married and teaching at UBC where they are now able to spend time together, including onstage, while pursuing individual, international careers.

Harding, an assistant professor in Music since July 1999, is a member of Triskelion, a new Canadian string trio, and the Toronto String Quartet.

McGhee, a sessional instructor since last September, performs and records with the Mobius ensemble in Europe.

She will be a guest artist with Triskelion in the School of Music's Pacific Spirit Concert Series, Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. in the Recital Hall, 6361 Memorial Rd. Tickets -- $20 for adults, $10 for students and seniors -- are available at the door.

"We're on the road a great deal," says Harding. "In fact we met in '97 at a festival in Scotland and were engaged three months later. Our wedding -- on the northern tip of Cape Breton in 1998 -- was complete with local fiddlers."

"Then I went back to Indiana University, where I had been an associate professor since 1990. Lorna accepted a position at the University of Michigan and I put thousands of kilometres on my Toyota, mostly visiting her."

Triskelion is an ancient symbol composed of three branches radiating from a centre. The aptly named trio -- which released a highly regarded premiere recording of their arrangement of Bach's Goldberg Variations last year -- includes well-known violinist Martin Beaver and cellist Bryan Epperson, based in Baltimore and Toronto respectively.

Harding now has one less long-distance relationship.

"When David was offered the UBC job we thought long and hard," says McGhee. "I could have gone back to my old job in London, back to the treadmill and life in a huge city, where neither of us would have been our own creative boss."

Her `old job' was with the BBC Symphony. One of the world's finest flute players, McGhee was appointed co-principal flute in that orchestra at the age of 22. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music where she earned the top honour, the Queen's Commendation for Excellence.

"The first year at UBC was quite an adjustment -- I made eight trips to Europe to play with Mobius," she says. Now she also teaches privately and performs with the best local musicians as well as continuing to play and record internationally.

Harding, a product of the famed Julliard School, has been a member of the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Symphony, Chester String Quartet, and Tafelmusik.

He composed the string arrangements for rocker Tom Cochrane's Juno award-winning album Mad, Mad World and is busy with diverse recording and film projects.

"I left the Toyota back in Indiana. We have a home at the edge of the Endowment Lands and get around on mountain bikes," he says.

"The ocean and mountains remind me of my home in Scotland and we're meeting an amazing number of accomplished local artists," adds McGhee.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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