LSM Newswire

Monday, October 19, 2009

York Artists offer a Contemporary Take on an Ancient Tale with A Compendium of Scenes from VirgilĮĮ

, October 14, 2009: York Universitys Music Department celebrates the heroic genesis of a new era with The Aeneid: A Compendium of Scenes from Virgil, an original cycle of musical tableaux based on the famed Latin epic. ĮĮA dynamic mix of opera, oratorio, cantata, dance and digital media, this contemporary retelling of an ancient tale unfolds November 11 in York Us Tribute Communities Recital Hall.ĮĮThe founding myth of classical Roman culture, The Aeneid was the final work of the poet Virgil, who dedicated it to Romes first emperor, Caesar Augustus. The story follows the warrior-hero Aeneas and his fellow Trojans as they sail to find a second home after the fall of Troy. Fraught with divine intervention, their journey encompasses momentous battles, love affairs, suffering and sacrifice. It culminates in a final battle in Italy where Aeneas emerges victorious, setting the stage for a glorious new epoch leading to the founding of Rome.

ĮĮBringing Virgils myth-history to life are professional musicians, performers, academics and students in York Us Music Department and Faculty of Fine Arts, joined by leading guest artists. ĮĮMusic Professor Michael Coghlan conceived the project, composed the music and scripted the (English and Latin) texts, devising a distinctive musical setting for each of the twelve dramatic scenes.ĮĮ

Featured performers include York U faculty members, mezzo soprano Catherine Robbin, multi-instrumentalist Rob Simms, choral conductor Lisette Canton, Bill Thomas, conductor of the York U Wind Symphony, clarinetist Patricia Wait and flamenco guitarist Roger Scannura. Guest artists include the award-winning Mississauga Children's Choir, internationally renowned trumpeter Guido Basso, bass/baritones Daniel Lichti and Peter Wall, and York U alumna, soprano Leigh Anne Martin.

ĮĮCoghlan, the director of Yorks Graduate Program in Music, has extensive professional credits as a composer, performer, conductor, record producer and music director. He has worked in a wide range of musical genres and techniques, from medieval and classical to jazz, popular, world and contemporary music, with dozens of published scores and recorded compositions. His most recent compositions are two pieces, Peregrine Riffs and Lucky Cube 343, commissioned for the Royal Canadian College of Organists 100th anniversary this year. A specialist in digital music production, he is known nationally for his work in the development and use of contemporary music technologies in artistic and pedagogical practices.ĮĮ

The Aeneid: A Compendium of Scenes from Virgil is a YU50 event, created in celebration of York Universitys 50th anniversary.ĮĮ

When: Wed. November 11 at 7:30pm ĮWhere: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. Admission: $15 | $5 students & seniors ĮBox Office: 416.736.5888 |ĮĮĮ

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T&T Legend Desmond Waithe delivers the 2009 Lise Waxer Memorial Lecture at York U: Steelpan and Calypso Trinidad and Tobagos Troubadours

Toronto, October 13, 2009: Caribbean music icon Desmond Waithe will be the featured speaker for the 2009 Lise Waxer Memorial Lecture in the Department of Music at York University on October 23. His talk on Steelpan and Calypso Trinidad and Tobagos Troubadours will be framed by vintage calypso music performed live by a guest quintet comprising keyboards, bass, pan, percussion and quarto.

Waithes lecture will cover the history of steelpan and calypso, from the pans tamboo-bamboo roots in the 1920s and 30s, through the evolution of the instruments using oil drums in the 40s, to calypsos important role in spreading news about current events, fighting the censorship of the British government and pushing the boundaries of free speech.

A native of Trinidad, Waithe is an internationally recognized expert in calypso and pan music. His career spans well over four decades of composing, arranging, teaching and promoting steelpan music. Currently on faculty with the University of Trinidad and Tobago, he is also a regional coordinator for T&Ts Ministry of Education, developing curriculum for pan in the classroom. As a musical director, he leads the champion Exocubs Junior Steel Orchestra and the Renegades Steel Orchestra, who recently performed to standing ovations at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with T&Ts finest opera singers in celebration of the 47th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

I have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Desmond Waithe for over four decades as friend and as a mentor said Lindy Burgess, who directs the Caribbean ensemble in Yorks world music program. Hes an extremely talented, accomplished musician who has travelled the globe promoting the music of Trinidad and Tobago. Along the way he has amassed numerous awards and accolades for his contributions. His visit to York University will have a lasting impact on those privileged to hear him.

Bringing this world-renowned musician to York is a natural choice for the Lise Waxer Memorial Lecture, since Ms. Waxer's primary area of research was Latin American music, said Professor Michael Coghlan, Director of Yorks Graduate Program in Music which is hosting Waithes visit. We are honoured that our students will have the opportunity to learn directly from a true pioneer of T&Ts most treasured instrument.

The lecture commemorates musician, ethnomusicologist, author and educator Lise Aerinne Waxer, an alumna of Yorks music program who passed away in 2002. Waxer's work in ethnomusicology included producing and hosting one of Toronto's first world music radio programs on CIUT 89.5 FM and conducting fieldwork on salsa music in Cali, Colombia. She also authored two books: Situating Salsa: Global Markets and Local Meanings in Latin American Popular Music (Routledge 2002) and The City of Musical Memory: Salsa, Record Grooves, and Popular Culture in Cali, Colombia (Wesleyan University Press 2002), which received the 2003 Alan P. Merriam Prize and the 2003 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for popular music. At the time of her death, Waxer was a faculty member in the music department at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.

Waxer's family, friends and colleagues established the Lise Waxer Memorial Lecture at York University to celebrate her love of music of all cultures and her joy in sharing that passion with others. Previous speakers in the series include acclaimed Canadian jazz artist Jane Bunnett; York music Professor Michael Marcuzzi; T.M. Scruggs, professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Iowa; and Gage Averill, then Chair of the Music Department and director of the Program in Ethnomusicology at New York University.

The music curriculum at York University features numerous courses which expose students to a wide variety of Latin American music styles. Offerings include Caribbean steelpan; Cuban music; bossa nova workshop; ska, reggae and dancehall; Escola de Samba; Latin and Caribbean popular music; music of the Americas; and popular music of the world.

What: Desmond Waithe delivers the 2009 Lise Waxer Memorial Lecture at York U: Steelpan and Calypso Trinidad and Tobagos Troubadours
When: Friday, October 23, 7:30pm
Where: Sterling Beckwith Studio, 235 Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St
Admission: Free

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Canada Day Ensemble, York U Jazz at Noon Oct 27

Jazz at Noon with Harris Eisenstadts ensemble, Canada DayĮĮ

Harris Eisenstadt is a Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based jazz drummer and composer. He brings his Canada Day ensemble to Toronto to promote the bands eponymous debut recording.ĮĮ

This release - Eisenstadts eighth as a bandleader - documents his book of originals for Canada Day, developed at gigs around New York and beyond. Its built around the specific personalities of the band members - trumpeter Nate Wooley, saxophonist Matt Bauder, vibraphonist Chris Dingman and bassist Eivind Opsvik with whom Eisenstadt has been performing since 2005.ĮĮ

Im proudly Canadian, and happy to name my band after my country, writes Eisenstadt in the album liner notes. The band got its name when its first gig with this permanent line-up fell on July 1st. Two of the tracks, Halifax and Every Day is Canada Day, are dedicated to Canada, while the others take their inspiration from outdoor bathing, life on tour and a line from Isaac Bashevis Singers book, Shadows on the Hudson, among other things.ĮĮ

Nominated for up-and-coming artist of the year or 2009 by the international Jazz Journalists Association, "Harris Eisenstadt is strong proof that jazz is still young and growing" (L.A. Weekly). Critics have called him "a rising presence as a composer of note" (, and "vital and increasingly influential" (

ĮĮA highly versatile and prolific musician, Eisenstadts eclectic resume includes studies with some of the most respected names in both improvised music and West African drumming, and performances in genres ranging from film and theatre to poetry and dance, contemporary classical music and opera. Most active in jazz and improvised music, he has performed all over the globe and has appeared on more than 35 recordings over the past decade. His latest, Guewel (Clean Feed, 2008), was named one of the years best in publications such as, Time Out New York and the Village Voice.

ĮĮĮYork U Jazz at Noon with Harris Eisenstadts ensemble, Canada DayĮ

When: October 27, 12:30pmĮ

Where: Martin Family Lounge, 219 Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele Street. [Map]Į

Admission: FreeĮ Information: 416-736-2100x22926

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

York U Celebrating Haydn Aug 6-9 with Penderecki String Quartet

Celebrating Haydn - His Times and Legacy

York Universitys Department of Music is hosting an international conference and two public concerts in August in commemoration of the bicentenary of the death of the composer Joseph Haydn. The events will take place August 6-9 at Yorks Keele campus. Highlights include a performance by the Penderecki String Quartet on August 6 and a fortepiano recital by Malcolm Bilson on August 7 in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall. Both concerts take place at 8pm and tickets are available to the general public.

With a prodigious output in all of the main genres of classical music of his era, Haydn was the focus of keen interest throughout his life, and serious scholarship continues to the present day. While there is already a wealth of extant research, the Haydn anniversary offers fresh impetus for consideration of his music and its reception. The conference at York will bring together internationally renowned Haydn scholars as well as emerging scholars to share their research, which ranges from musicology, performance practice and theatre to art history, drama and literature.

Plenary speakers include James Webster, Goldwin Smith Professor of Music, Cornell University; Julian Rushton, Professor Emeritus, University of Leeds; Elaine Sisman, Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music, Columbia University; and dramaturg, choreographer and stage director Sigrid THooft (International Opera Foundation Eszterhza, Belgium).

The conference also includes two lecture-performances. Bilson will address the question: Are We Reading Notation of the 18th and 19th Centuries Correctly? and British composer Geoffrey Palmer will introduce his new string quartet, a work inspired by Haydn. The Toronto-based Windermere Quartet will perform Palmers piece, which he composed especially for this occasion.

The evening concerts by the Penderecki String Quartet and Malcom Bilson offer the public the opportunity to join in the celebration of Haydns legacy.

Founded in Poland in 1986, the Penderecki String Quartet has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of its generation. Hailed by Fanfare Magazine as "an ensemble of formidable power and keen musical sensitivity, the quartet has graced the major concert stages of four continents and has more than 20 recordings in its critically-acclaimed discography. The Penderecki String Quartets concert will feature three Haydn String Quartets: Op. 74, No.1 in C Major; Op. 76, No.5 in D Major; and Op.77, No.2 in F Major.

American pianist and musicologist Malcolm Bilson (Cornell University, Eastman School of Music) is one of the worlds foremost authorities on historical performance practice on period pianos and the music of the Haydns time. [check] Through his performances and recordings, he has played a key role in restoring the fortepiano to the concert stage and to fresh interpretations of European classical repertoire of the 18th and 19th centuries. He will perform his York recital on a copy of a 1799 Longman and Clementi fortepiano. The program will include works by Dussek, Mozart and three Haydn Sonatas: Sonata in C, Hob. 50; Sonata in D, Hob. 51; and Sonata in Eb, Hob. 52 by Haydn.

More information and a detailed schedule of all the presentations is available on the conference website.

Celebrating Haydn: His Times and Legacy is one of the special events being held this year in celebration of York University's 50th anniversary. Organized jointly by York music Professor Dorothy de Val and Professor Patricia Debly of the Department of Music, Brock University, the conference is co-sponsored by The Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, University of Alberta and supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Celebrating Haydn - His Times and Legacy

When: Conference dates August 6-9, 2009
Where: Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele Street.
Registration & Information:

Public Concerts:

Penderecki String Quartet
When: Thurs. August 6, 8pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele Street. [Map]
Admission: $20, students & seniors $15.
Box Office and Information: 416-736-5888 |

Malcolm Bilson, fortepiano
When: Fri. August 7, 8pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele Street. [Map]
Admission: $20, students & seniors $15.
Box Office and Information: 416-736-5888 |

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dorothy de Val in York U Faculty Concert Feb 10

Dorothy de Val is 'Flirting with Mr. Darcy' in the York U Faculty Concert Series

Toronto, January 28, 2009: British music specialist Dorothy de Val steps into the spotlight with her English country dance music ensemble Playford's Pleasure in Flirting with Mr. Darcy, the third performance in the Faculty Concert Series of York University's Music Department. Revisit romance with an evening of lighthearted dance music from the age of Jane Austen in York's Tribute Communities Recital Hall on February 10.

Playford's Pleasure are inspired improvisers, putting a delightful modern spin on popular tunes of bygone times. Pianist de Val, fiddler Stephen Fuller and York music instructor, flautist Barbara Ackerman will perform songs from the era of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. The program includes pieces issued by the renowned 17th-century music publisher John Playford as well as works by Henry Purcell, Nathaniel Kynaston and a host of anonymous composers.

Playford's Pleasure will be joined on stage by The Regency Dancers, led by York graduate student, dance historian and caller Karen Millyard. The dancers will perform to the live music for several numbers including The Physical Snob (c.1800) Grimstock (1652), Shrewsbury Lasses (1765), and The Fandango (1774).

Thanks to the published instructions in dance collections and manuals of the day, English country dance is one of the earliest re-creatable social dance forms. The style is rooted in the 17th-century gentry and courts of England and France. The tunes themselves were derived from everything from ballads to operas, with a wide variety of styles spanning sweet and melodic, to melancholic, to lively and rhythmic. Though it may be more than 300 years old, the music - and the flowing, graceful social dances set to it - remain accessible and engaging to contemporary audiences. Toronto has a number of thriving clubs with monthly dances and concerts, where traditional performance mingles with the new.

"It's been said that if you can walk and you know your left from your right, you already know the basics of English country dance," said de Val. "And with the caller giving directions, dancers don't need to rely on memorization. This helps account for the art form's continuing popularity."

De Val's research into British folksong revival introduced her to Millyard and Toronto's English country dance community two years ago. She formed her trio Playford's Pleasure shortly after.

De Val studied piano in Toronto with Boris Berlin and Pierre Souvairan and graduated with distinction from the Royal College of Music performance program in London, England. Appointed to the College's internationally renowned Museum of Instruments, she began performing on the collection's fine harpsichords and early pianos. Her research on the folk music revival in England in the early 20th century includes publications on the scholar and collector Lucy Broadwood and the composer Percy Grainger. She taught at the Royal Academy of Music and at the University of Oxford before joining York's Music Department, where she is professor of musicology.

What: "Flirting with Mr. Darcy"
- Dorothy de Val headlines the York U Faculty Concert Series
When: Tues. February 10 at 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. [Map]
Admission: $15, students & seniors $5
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jazz legend Randy Weston at York University Feb 13

International Jazz Legend Randy Weston
headlines Performing Diaspora 2009
Celebrating Black History Month through Dance and Music at York University

"I try to tell stories through music, stories about our heritage, so people can get a deeper understanding of who we are." Randy Weston

Toronto, January 20, 2009: Legendary jazz artist Randy Weston takes centre stage at York University's Tribute Communities Recital Hall February 13 with a showcase performance spotlighting his consummate command of the keyboard and his visionary approach to music-making.

Co-presented by the Department of Music, Randy Weston's African Rhythms Solo Piano Concert is a highlight of Performing Diaspora 2009, the flagship program of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples at York.

Weston will also give a free, public artist's talk and Q&A on February 13 at 1:30pm preceding his concert.

With a dazzling international career spanning six decades, Weston is at the peak of his power. The composer of such iconic works as Hi-Fly, Little Niles, Berkshire Blues and African Cookbook, he is a three-time winner of Down Beat Magazine's Composer of the Year. Performance highlights in the past decade include his "Tribute to James Reese Europe" at the Harlem Stage in New York; his quartet performance with the BBC Big Band in London, England; the Pan African Dance Festival in Kigali, Rwanda; a five-night tribute at The Montreal Jazz Festival; the Montreux and Banlieues Bleues festivals; the Nobel Peace Prize Celebration in Alexandria, Egypt; and many more.

The New York City-born Weston is a longtime champion of Africanist culture an adventurous explorer and exponent of the dynamic intersection of African and American music. Initially shaped by the jazz giants of 20th century America, he subsequently sought out his roots in the "motherland", immersing himself in the cultural traditions of many African nations.

He cites as a defining moment the 1977 Nigerian festival which brought together artists from 60 cultures. "At the end," Weston said, "we all realized that our music was different but the same, because if you take out the African elements of bossa nova, samba, jazz, blues, you have nothing. To me, it's Mother Africa's way of surviving in the new world." []

With over 40 CDs in his discography and a long list of accolades and awards to his name, Weston continues to tour internationally. He comes to York fresh from engagements in Austria, Hungary and Morocco. Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa infused with the soul of jazz, his boundary-breaking music continues to inform and inspire.

Performing Diaspora 2009 is a celebration of Africanist dance and music at York University and the neighbouring community of University Heights (also known as Black Creek) at Jane and Finch. Throughout February, performances, workshops, artist talks, school visits and community events serve as a catalyst to bring university and community together to celebrate and engage with African and African Diasporic arts and culture.

The Performing Diaspora concert series is produced and presented by the Tubman Institute in partnership with the Faculty of Fine Arts, supported by Winters College Student Council, York University, and Music Africa. The series also features a solo concert by world music icon Ballak Sissoko Feb. 5 and Rights/Rites of Passage, a West African Drum & Dance Showcase with Malinke masters Billy Nankouma Konat & Sani Abu Feb. 28.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

York U World Music Fest Nov 6-7

Tour the Globe with York Us World Music Festival

Toronto: Take a sonic trip around the globe with York Universitys World Music Festival, two full days of concerts November 6 and 7. Performances take place in the informal, club-like setting of the Martin Family Lounge and the Sterling Beckwith Studio in the Accolade East Building at Yorks Keele campus. Admission is free and no passport is required!

This whirlwind tour of musical cultures and traditions from five continents ranges from West African drums and classical Chinese orchestra to steelpan, flamenco and Klezmer music.

The rotating concert schedule features performances by rising young artists, directed by leading lights of Toronto's world music scene. Produced by Matt Vander Woude and Rob Simms, the lineup highlights some of the 20+ international cultures represented in York's world music program.

Event Details

Locations: Martin Family Lounge (MFL), 219 Accolade East Building &
Sterling Beckwith Studio (SBS), 235 Accolade East Building
Admission: Free
Info: 416.736.2100 x 22926

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, November 6, 2008 10am - 8:30pm

10am SBS West African Drums (Mande) directed by Isaac Akrong
12noon MFL Klezmer Ensemble directed by Brian Katz
1pm SBS West African Drum& Dance (Ghana) dir. by Kwasi Dunyo, Larry Graves
2:30pm MFL Escola de Samba directed by Rick Lazar
4pm SBS Cuban Music dir. by Paul Ormandy, Ruben Esguerra, Steve Mancuso
5:30pm MFL West African Drums (Mande) directed by Anna Melnikoff
7pm SBS Middle Eastern Ensemble directed by Bassam Shahouk

Friday, November 7, 2008 10am - 9:30pm

10am SBS Caribbean Ensemble directed by Gareth and Lindy Burgess
11:30am MFL African-American Piano directed by Catherine Wilson
12:45pm SBS Chinese Orchestra directed by Kim Chow-Morris
2pm MFL Korean Drums directed by Charles Hong
2:45pm SBS Japanese Music Ensemble directed by Linda Caplan
4:15pm MFL Flamenco Guitars directed by Roger Scannura
6pm SBS World Music Chorus directed by Judith Cohen
7pm MFL Balkan Music Ensemble directed by Irene Markoff

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

York U Music: Choral Concerts in November

York U's Classical Choirs Celebrate the Human Voice

in Three November Concerts

Toronto: York Universitys Department of Music will celebrate the human voice in three choral concerts featuring four classical choirs, directed by Lisette Canton. The concerts take place in Yorks Tribute Communities Recital Hall November 11, 15 and 24.

The York U Chamber Choir, accompanied by pianist Mlisande Sinsoulier, will present a varied program spanning four historical periods and five languages on November 11 at 7:30pm. The repertoire will include works by Byrd, Faur, Hensel, Haydn, Lauridsen, Palestrina, Willan and others. Canton will share the baton with graduate students Cheryl Bowen and Jacklin Falconer for this Masters recital.

The 74 young singers in the combined York U Concert and Chamber Choirs will lift their voices on November 15 at 7:30pm in a concert featuring guest organist Patricia Wright and faculty soloists, mezzo-soprano Catherine Robbin, baritone Michael Donovan and cellist Mark Chambers. On the program are works by Maurice Durufl (1902-1986), a French composer known for his perfectionism, whose organ and choral music is especially highly regarded.

Durufls Requiem, his largest and most important work, is one of the most beloved pieces in the choral repertoire. Written in 1947 in memory of his father, it is based on Gregorian chants from the Mass for the Dead and modeled on Faurs Requiem, using the identical Latin text. In his Requiem, Durufl adopted a restrained approach, concentrating on rest and peace. He scored the work for choir, mezzo-soprano and baritone, and composed three different instrumental settings for it: organ alone (with cello solo), organ and chamber orchestra, and full orchestra. The strength of Durufls composition lies in his ability to fuse disparate elements: plainsong in cantus firmus style, liturgical modality, subtle counterpoint and sensuous harmonies.

Durufls Quatre Motets sur des thmes grgoriens (Ubi caritas, Tota pulchra es, Tu es Petrus and Tantum ergo) are short, intimate works of great beauty, likewise based on plainsong models composed in a polyphonic context.

The choirs will reprise their Durufl concert downtown the following night, November 16 at 7:30pm at Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. East.

York U Womens Chorus and Mens Choir unite November 24 for a concert of classical masterworks selected to showcase their talents separately and together. Accompanied by pianist Mlisande Sinsoulier, the choirs will perform works by Brahms, Certon, Faur, Galuppi, Saint-Sans, Susa, Raminsh, Schubert, Walker, Whalum and more. Concert time is 7:30pm.

Based in Yorks flourishing classical vocal performance program, these young singers come to Cantons choirs from the studios of Catherine Robbin, Stephanie Bogle, Norma Burrowes, Michael Donovan, Janet Obermeyer and Karen Rymal.

Canton joined the music faculty at York in 2004 as a professor of conducting and choral music. A celebrated choral and orchestral conductor and vocal coach, she has recorded for CBC radio and television, and has guest-conducted for numerous ensembles in Canada and the US. She is the founding artistic director of the internationally-acclaimed Ottawa Bach Choir, which she has led on two European tours (2005 and 2007). The choir won rave reviews with invitational concerts at the historic Thomaskirche in Leipzig as well as in Stuttgart, Bayreuth, Vienna, Prague and Salzburg, and is slated for return engagements next spring. The choir can be heard at Roy Thomson Hall in the Choir and Organ Series on November 20, 2008 at 12 pm.

Event Details

What: York U Chamber Choir
When: Tuesday, November 11, 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St.
Admission: Free
Info: 416.736.2100 ext. 22926

What: York U Concert & Chamber Choirs
When: Saturday, November 15, 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St.
Admission: $15, students $5.
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |

What: York U Concert & Chamber Choirs concert reprise
When: Sunday, November 16, 7:30pm
Where: Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. East.
Admission: $15, students $5.
Box Office: Tickets at the door

What: York U Womens Choir & Mens Chorus
When: Monday, November 24, 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St.
Admission: Free
Info: 416.736.2100 ext. 22926

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Catherine Robbin Graces the Stage at York in a Rare Public Performance (Feb 21)

Toronto, February 6, 2008: Internationally recognized mezzo soprano Catherine Robbin headlines the Faculty Concert Series of York Universitys Music Department on February 21 in a rare public performance, her first post-retirement recital. She will share the stage with her department colleagues, tenor Colin Ainsworth, and pianist Raisa Nakhmanovich in the recital, which takes place at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at York.

Robbin will present some of her favourite repertoire. Her program will feature a selection of songs by Mendelssohn and Brahms, including Auf Flgeln des Gesanges, Nachtlied, Venetianisches Gondellied,, Die Mainacht, Sonntag and Von ewiger Liebe, as well as Debussys Chansons de Bilitis. Ainsworth will join her in Benjamin Brittens canticle Abraham and Isaac and as well as some of Brittens folksong arrangements. Robbin will perform Brittens song cycle A Charm of Lullabies solo.

One of Canada's best known classical singers, Catherine Robbin earned an international reputation during her 30-year career as a performing and recording artist. Noted especially for her interpretation of Baroque and Romantic repertoire, she has appeared with leading conductors and orchestras in recital, concert and opera performances across North America and Europe, with broadcasts on the BBC, CBC and Radio France. Her discography features more than 30 CDs ranging from Vivaldi and Pergolesi cantatas to Mozart and Handel operas, on labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, Teldec, CBC, Marquis and Decca. Hailed as " of the most naturally beautiful voices in Canada.. [with] a warmly expressive palette of subtle nuance and shading" (Music Magazine), her honours include a Juno Award, Gramophone Record of the Year, Grand Prix de Disque and a Grammy nomination. She joined Yorks Music Department in 2000, and retired from her active performance career three years later to dedicate herself to teaching full time. She currently coordinates the classical vocal performance program at York. Toronto-based tenor Colin Ainsworth, an instructor in Yorks music department, has been praised for his magnetic stage presence (Toronto Star) and his rock-solid technique, excellent diction, and Ķ virile tone (Globe and Mail). His dramatic range encompasses operas ranging from Monteverdi to MacRae and Britten. He has performed with Londons Royal Opera, the Greek National Opera, Opera Atelier and LOpra Franais de New York among others. This season sees him performing across Canada with the Manitoba Opera, Opera Ontario, Edmonton Opera, Vancouver Opera, Winnipeg Symphony, Vancouver Bach Choir and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

Well known accompanist and music director Raisa Nakhmanovich teaches piano, piano accompaniment and piano pedagogy at York. Shes worked as a pianist and coach with Toronto Opera Repertoire, Opera Mississauga and Toronto Operetta Theater, and as a musical director with such companies as Opera in Concert, Summer Opera Lyric Theater, Opera Buffa, Premiere Opera Company and Creative Artist Productions among others.

What: Catherine Robbin in concert
When: Thurs. Feb 21 at 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. [Map]
Admission: $15, students $5.
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |

This is the sixth of seven performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. The final concert will feature jazz drummer Barry Elmes.


Media Contact:
Amy Stewart, Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University
416.736.2100 ext. 20421 |

--  Amy P. Stewart Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts York University 4700 Keele Street, Toronto ON Canada M3J 1P3 tel 416.736.2100 ext. 20421 fax 416.736.5447

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

York U Music: Mark Chambers Faculty Concert Series Feb 7

Diverse duets of cello and piano in Mark Chambers' Faculty Concert Series performance

Toronto, January 24, 2008: Cellist Mark Chambers headlines the Faculty Concert Series of York University's Music Department on February 7 with a wide-ranging program of duets for cello and piano, partnered by his department colleague and frequent collaborator, Christina Petrowska Quilico. The concert takes place at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at York.

The artists will showcase their versatility and musicianship in selections from the classical repertoire spanning two centuries and a variety of stylistic idioms, including romantic, popular and modern music. The diverse program features Beethoven's Sonata in A major for Cello and Piano, op. 69; Robert Schumann's romantic, lyrical Fantasy Pieces; Arvo Prt's minimalist Fratres for violoncello and piano; and Astor Piazzolla's jazz-influenced Libertango.

Chambers, who serves as associate Chair and coordinator of the department's classical music area, is a performer, conductor and early music specialist. He studied cello with Martha Gerschefski, Lubomir Georgiev and David Miller and has performed extensively throughout the United States and Ontario as both a chamber musician and orchestral player. He currently plays in a piano trio with Petrowska Quilico and his wife Heather Chambers, and is also active as a clinician and adjudicator. At York, he directs the York University Symphony Orchestra and the Baroque Ensemble.

A former Theodore Presser Foundation Fellow, Chambers' research interests include Baroque music, period instrument performance practice, the 'Tartini Tone', and scordatura, altered tunings for strings. He has authored several articles for the American String Teachers Journal and is a contributor to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He joined York's Music Department in 2005.

An internationally known pianist and recording artist. Petrowska Quilico has devoted her career to bridging the gulf between traditional and contemporary classical keyboard music. Widely recognized as a champion of Canadian and new music, she is equally at home in 19th century European romantic repertoire. She has appeared in solo recitals, chamber settings and with orchestra on four continents, and collaborates frequently in live and recorded performances with her faculty colleagues at York, where she has taught piano performance and musicology since 1987.


What: York University Faculty Concert Series featuring Mark Chambers, cello, with Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano

When: Thurs. Feb 7 at 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. [Map]
Admission: $15, students $5.
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |

This is the fifth of seven performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. Upcoming concerts will feature Catherine Robbin and Barry Elmes.


Media Contact:
Amy Stewart, Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University
416.736.2100 ext. 20421 |

--  Amy P. Stewart Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts York University 4700 Keele Street, Toronto ON Canada M3J 1P3 tel 416.736.2100 ext. 20421 fax 416.736.5447


Friday, January 18, 2008

[Toronto] York U Music, Marcuzzi's Cuban Retrospective Jan 24

Please find below more info on Michael Marcuzzi's From Salon to Solar: A Retropective of Cuban Music Jan 24, aspart of York Univeristy Department of Music Faculty Concert Series. Live dance and a large music ensemble bring a century of Cuban music to the Tribute Community's Recital Hall in York U's Accolade East building. Photos and interviews are available upon request.

From Salon to Solar

The Michael Marcuzzi Ensemble offers a Retrospective of Cuban Music

Toronto, January 18, 2008: Michael Marcuzzi headlines the Faculty Concert Series of York University's Music Department on January 24 in a dynamic concert of Cuban music featuring a large ensemble of guest artists with a wide range of instruments, voice and live dance performance. The evening, titled "From salon to solar: A Retrospective of Cuban Music", takes place at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East building at York.

Marcuzzi's research and publications focus on Cuba's popular music and its African-derived religious traditions, and these interests have inspired the title and program of his concert.

"A 'solar' is the courtyard of the Spanish-style Cuban tenements, where a lot of improvised music like rumba would be played. 'From salon to solar' is a metaphor illustrating how this retrospective draws from both gentrified European classical music and also from more traditional and African-influenced folk music," Marcuzzi said.

The concert program will span a century of Cuban music, from the early 1900s to the present day. It includes works by composers Lecuona, Romeu and Pedro Louis Ferrer as well as original compositions by Marcuzzi. The musicians will be joined by dancers in traditional costumes: guest artist Orlando Cardoso and Melissa Noventa, a graduate student in York's Dance Department, performing rumba and Afrocuban dance.

Marcuzzi and the dancers will share the stage with guest singers Daniel Stone and Laura Lindo, as well as instructors and graduate students from York's music department. Performers include Ruben Esguerra, Glenda del Monte, Tara Fernandez, David Font-Navarette, Julie Kwan, Rick Shadrach Lazar, Steve Mancuso, Paul Ormandy, Bernardo Padrn and the 12-member York Latin Ensemble, a charanga-style group playing flute, violin, cello, bass piano and percussion.

Marcuzzi is a multi-instrumental performer, arranger, composer, ethnomusicologist and teacher with broad experience in classical, jazz, Cuban, Latin and popular music. He advanced his training through orchestral studies with trumpeters James Spragg and Barton Woomert of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; jazz studies with Kenny Wheeler, Herbie Williams, Marcus Belgrave and Donald Byrd; and percussion studies at the Escuela de Superacion Profesional, Ignacio Cervantes in Havana,, Cuba. He has played trumpet as a sideman with artists such as Cleo Laine, Sid Caesar, Al Martino, The Four Tops, The Drifters and The Temptations, and has performed with numerous musicians in Cuba and with many local Latin ensembles. His credits as arranger and composer include work with the Canadian Brass, University of Memphis Jazz Orchestra, and Toronto-based Latin ensembles Orquesta Fantasia and Pacande.


What: Michael Marcuzzi Ensemble: "From salon to solar: A Retrospective of Cuban Music"
When: Thurs. Jan. 24 at 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. [Map]
Admission: $15, students $5.
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |

This is the fourth of seven performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. Upcoming concerts will feature Mark Chambers, Catherine Robbin and Barry Elmes.


Media Contact:
Amy Stewart, Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University
416.736.2100 ext. 20421 |

--  Amy P. Stewart Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts York University 4700 Keele Street, Toronto ON Canada M3J 1P3 tel 416.736.2100 ext. 20421 fax 416.736.5447

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