A Coquitlam cello prodigy will have in the crowd for his solo on Sunday the person who nurtured his love for music: His mother.
Tate Zawadiuk said his mom will be at Massey Theatre for the Mother's Day show to see her 16-year-old boy play Antonin Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B-Minor, Opus 104, with the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra (NWSO) - an ensemble that both she and her other son, Luke, used to play with as violinists years ago.
"It's good that she'll be there because I can show her I've come a long way," Zawadiuk told The Tri-City News last Friday.
Zawadiuk said the instrument "was picked for me" at the age of three. And he has become something of a sensation over the past few years, scooping awards and contests across Canada as well as gaining attention from professionals.
At 12, Zawadiuk won top marks at the Burnaby Clef concerto competition, a prize that allowed him to make his debut as a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
The principal cellist with the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, Zawadiuk has scored wins at the Canadian Music Competition for strings.
Besides his guest appearance with the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra three years ago, when he performed Haydn's Cello Concerto in C-major, Zawadiuk has also been featured as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic.
While the Grade 11 student does his academic studies online, he trains with two of the country's leading chamber musicians: Ariel Barnes (formerly with the Borealis String Quartet) and John Kadz, a cello instructor in the Conservatory at Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary and at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. Zawadiuk, who has a scholarship with MRU, flies every month to Calgary to work with Kadz.
"Tate is passionate about his cello," Kadz said. "This season alone, he has prepared two complete cello concertos that test the finest cellists. Along with the Dvorak, Tate recently performed the complete Shostakovich cello concerto for the Vancouver Music Festival and was chosen as Vancouver's string representative to the BC provincial music festival.
"Tate is a tremendously charismatic young performer. He has that rare quality of catching and holding the attention of an audience with his beautiful sound, solid technical control and amazing energy.
"In my opinion, his talent is huge," Kadz said.
As for his pursuits after Grade 12, Zawadiuk said, "I want to get a scholarship to study at an American university. I want to be a solo performer."
Admission to the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra Mother's Day's concert, featuring Tate Zawadiuk, on Sunday is by donation at the door on the day of the show.