MONTREAL - When Eric Wan wheels onto Montreal’s Place des Arts stage Tuesday, the audience will soon forget that the solo violinist is quadriplegic.
Paralyzed from the neck down, Wan will be playing violin with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Wanda Kaluzny.
The concert will mark the world stage debut of the Virtual Music Instrument that Wan helped develop as a graduate student in engineering at the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto.
A fundraiser for the Fondation Lucie-Bruneau, the event will also feature performances by violinist Adrian Anantawan, who was born without a right hand, and quadriplegic dancer France Geoffroy and her company Corpuscule Danse.
Conductor Kaluzny said her orchestra has in the past proudly showcased new finds from musical discoveries to soloists and now it’s a high-tech virtual instrument.
“It’s really exciting to be part of it – as a development, it’s huge, it’s going to change everything,” Kaluzny said.
For Wan, 33, who trained as violinist before he was paralyzed, the event will allow him to play music again with professional musicians on a formal stage – something he once believed would be impossible because of his disability.
Wan’s performance will be a six-minute