LSM Newswire

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Barry Shiffman appointed to The Royal Conservatory

Dr. Peter Simon, President of The Royal Conservatory, and James Anagnoson, Dean of The Glenn Gould School, are pleased to announce that Canadian violinist, violist, and educator Barry Shiffman has been appointed Associate Dean of The Glenn Gould School and Dean of the Young Artists Performance Academy at The Royal Conservatory. He will begin his position on September 7, 2010.

I am honoured to welcome Barry Shiffman to The Royal Conservatory during this significant period in our history, says Dr. Simon. We are continuing to strengthen The Glenn Gould Schools position as one of the worlds premiere performance training centres. I am confident that Barry, as an internationally respected musician and educator, will prove to be invaluable in supporting the Conservatorys vision.

Shiffman comes to The Royal Conservatory from The Banff Centre, where he has served as Director of Music Programs and Executive Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) since 2006. He will continue on as Director of the Banff Centres summer music programs, as well as the BISQC.

Barry is the perfect person for this job, says Mr. Anagnoson. Above all, he is a very natural and nourishing teacher, in addition to his extensive experience as a performer and administrator. He has done a fantastic job with The Banff Centres music programs, and I know he will bring exactly the right energy to what we do at The Glenn Gould School.

While at The Banff Centre, Mr. Shiffman revitalized existing music programs and launched major new initiatives in chamber music, orchestral studies, popular music, and jazz. Some of his most dramatic achievements were in the field of new music; under his direction, the Music Program of The Banff Centre became one of western Canada's largest presenters of contemporary works. He increased the number of faculty residencies, attracting notable composers including John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Brett Dean, and Louis Andriessen. In the spring of 2009, he oversaw the co-production of EVOLUTION, the CBCs competition for young composers, held at The Banff Centre.

Through Mr. Shiffmanss leadership of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, it has grown to include career development, outreach, and commissioning programs, along with a program to nurture the talents of young artists. Its endowment has doubled, and Mr. Shiffman played an active and ongoing role in major gift fundraising and stewardship.

Mr. Shiffman currently serves as executive Artistic Director of Vancouver's Music in the Morning Concert Society, overseeing all programming for the celebrated concert presenter.

Beyond his achievements at The Banff Centre, Barry Shiffman has also had a rich and varied career as a performer and recording artist. Debuting with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15, he has appeared with orchestras and in recital throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. Recent appearances include his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall, and a Canadian tour as guest violist with the Gryphon Trio.

In 1989, he co-founded the St. Lawrence String Quartet through a joint program of The Royal Conservatory and the University of Toronto. During his 17 years with the quartet he appeared in over 2,000 concerts in venues around the globe, and recorded several critically acclaimed discs under an exclusive contract with EMI Classics. Passionately committed to contemporary composers, he has been involved in the premieres of hundreds of new works, both in the Quartet and beyond.

In addition to performing and recording, Mr. Shiffman is a sought-after violin and viola teacher and chamber music coach. He is the recipient of the Nadia Boulanger Prize for Excellence in the Art of Teaching awarded by the Longy School of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in 2009, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary. He served as artist-in-residence at Stanford University from 1998 to 2006 and as visiting artist at the University of Toronto from 1995 to 2006.

An alumnus of The Royal Conservatory, Mr. Shiffman has his ARCT in violin performance, and was a student in the precursor to the Young Artists Performance Academy. He studied chamber music with James Anagnoson, among others, and learned violin under Leo Wigdorchik. While at the Conservatory, he performed in a student trio that was the focus of two films by Rhombus Media. He has also studied at the University of Toronto, Juilliard School, Yale University, Hartt School of Music, and the Utrecht Conservatorium.

To return to Toronto and work in support of the next generation of musicians at the RCM fills me with excitement. The Royal Conservatory was where my life in music began. It was there that I met so many friends and colleagues that continue to enrich my life. The new building and new programs are a powerful message of possibility to any young artist. I am thrilled to join the exhilarating environment that is the new Conservatory, said Mr. Shiffman.

The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory is an internationally recognized centre for professional training in music performance at the bachelor and graduate levels. The School provides an intimate training environment, with a curriculum designed to prepare gifted young musicians for all aspects of a professional career. Founded in 1987, The Glenn Gould School was renamed to honour Canada's legendary pianist in 1997.

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