gallery 345

Gallery 345
345 Sorauren Avenue
Toronto ON M6R 2G5

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THE BRIAN DICKINSON TRIO: Brian Dickinson, piano, Jim Vivian, bass, Ethan Ardelli, drums

Friday May 1 at 8 pm
Tickets $20/$10 Students

Brian Dickinson

Brian Dickinson has been a fixture on the Canadian jazz scene for over thirty years. He has performed nationally and internationally with artists including Lee Konitz, Jerry Bergonzi, Michael and Randy Brecker, Pat LaBarbera, Kirk MacDonald, Kenny Wheeler and John Abercrombie.

He is a multiple Juno award winner and was nominated in 2013 for his quartet release “Other Places” and in 2014 for his latest recording “Fishs Eddy”, a trio offering featuring the bass work of George Mraz.

This Gallery 345 event will feature Brian in a trio setting with Jim Vivian (bass) and Ethan Ardelli (drums).

Jim Vivian

Jim Vivian has been at the forefront of music making in Canada for over 20 years, and has performed and/or recorded with most of the well known jazz artists working in the country today. Originally from Newfoundland, he moved from St. John’s to Toronto in 1979 to pursue classical bass studies with Thomas Monohan,, Stuart Knussen, and Thorveld Fredin. During the early 1980’s he began to focus more on jazz and improvised music, studying with Dave Holland at the Banff centre, and later in New York with Holland and Marc Johnson.

Jim has long-standing associations with many musicians in Toronto and across the country such as Mike Murley, Jeff Johnston, Don Thompson, Geoff Young, Brian Dickinson, Ted Warren, Steve Amirault, John MacLeod, and Barry Romberg, to name a few. He appears on numerous recordings, over twenty-five of which have been nominated for Juno awards in as many years. He has also performed and recorded with many internationally esteemed artists such as John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, Mick Goodrick, David Liebman, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, and Norma Winstone.

An experienced teacher, Jim is presently on faculty at the University of Toronto, York University, and the Humber College Community School.

Ethan Ardelli

Ethan Ardelli is currently a freelance musician in the Toronto music scene. Ethan graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music Jazz Program in 2006.

In October 2005, Ethan played on Jane Bunnett’s CD “Radio Guantanemo” which featured jazz legends Dewey Redman and Howard Johnson. This album won the Juno for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year in 2006.

Also in 2006, Ethan received the Grand Prix de Jazz at the Montreal International Jazz Festival as part of the David Virelles Quintet. Ethan is currently a member of the Darren Sigesmund Sextet, Nancy Walker Quartet, the Brian Dickinson Trio and William Carn's "Run Stop Run", to name a few. Ethan is featured on Nancy Walker’s record “New Heiroglyphics”, David Virelles' "Motion" and Darren Sigesmund's Juno nominated record "Strands II".

Millar Piano Duo: “Pairing Up” – Music for piano duet

Sunday, May 3, 2015 @ 7:30pm
$20 regular / $15 students and seniors

Millar Piano Duo: “Pairing Up” – Music for piano duet

Bringing to their performances a masterful sense of ensemble and charming personal chemistry, the Millar Piano Duo make their much-anticipated Toronto recital debut with a diverse program of original works and transcriptions for piano four hands:

G. Rossini: Overture to The Barber of Seville (1816) (arr. R. Kleinmichel)

F. Schubert:  Allegro in A minor “Lebensstürme”, D.947 (1828)

G. Fauré: Sicilienne, Op. 78 (1898) (arr. G.Millar)

F. Poulenc:  Sonata for Piano Four Hands (1918, rev. 1939)
Prélude – Rustique – Final


Christopher Kies: Ragtime Reflections (2007, rev. 2013)

S. Barber: Souvenirs, Op. 28 (1954)
Waltz – Schottische – Pas de Deux– Two-Step – Hesitation-Tango – Galop

Lisa Raposa Millar

New England native Lisa Raposa Millar is featured in a new audio recording of 19th and 20th century Brazilian art song with soprano Jenni Cook, anticipated for release in late 2015. Currently freelancing in Toronto, Millar is a member of the piano accompanying staff at The Glenn Gould School and is listed in the Music Arts Management ArtsTie Directory of Teaching Artists.
Millar has appeared as a piano soloist and collaborator in Music on the Hill (RI), the Women in Music Festival (Eastman School of Music) and, with the Millar Piano Duo, on the Sunday Rendez-vous concert series at the Pointe-Claire Cultural Centre (QC). Acclaimed musicians with whom she has performed include opera singer Diane Alexander, internationally-renowned tuba soloist James Gourlay, and Shanghai Baroque Chamber Orchestra violinist Hyungi Kim.

Lisa Raposa Millar earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music where she was a recipient of the Excellence in Accompanying Award. In 2010, she was honoured with The Virginia Pleasants Accompanist Award (Category One Winner) at the 34th Annual Competition for Singers hosted by Civic Morning Musicals of Syracuse.

Gregory Millar

Originally from Lachine, Quebec,pianist Gregory Millar performs widely as a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist and orchestral player.  He regularly appears on the Westwood Concerts series in Yorkville and as one half of the Millar Piano Duo.  He is also active as a teacher, arranger, music engraver and translator.

Millar has a keen interest in the music of Canadian composers both present and past.  Last June he presented a recital of the 13 Preludes for Piano by Jean Coulthard at the Conference of the Canadian University Music Society in Victoria, BC, and previously gave the premiere performances of Book of Saints by Toronto composer Colin Eatock.

Gregory was the first graduate of the University of Toronto’s Collaborative Piano Master’s degree program, and has worked with prominent artists including violinist Mark Fewer (St. Lawrence Quartet), hornist Bernhard Scully (Canadian Brass), oboist Philippe Magnan (Quebec Symphony), and soprano Julia Bullock.  He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY in 2010.

Across the Atlantic: A Finnish Canadian Accordion Experiment: Matti Pulkki and Friends

Monday May 4, 2015 at 8 pm
$20/$10 Students

Matti Pulkki, accordionMatti Pulkki, accordion
Michael Bridge, accordion
Branko Džinović, accordion
Sara Constant, flute
John Nicholson, saxophone

Reflecting his recent experiences in Toronto, accordionist Matti Pulkki is presenting new prospects in the solo accordion repertoire composed in the North at both ends of the ocean. This concert is produced in collaboration with the prominent accordion studio of Joseph Macerollo and two emerging stars of classical and jazz woodwinds. The concert features two exciting premieres: a solo accordion piece by Montreal-based composer Gabriel Dufour-Laperrière and an accordion-saxophone duo by Sang Jun Lim from Toronto. The program will also have solo accordion works by Jukka Tiensuu, Tomi Räisänen, Petri Makkonen, Lothar Klein and Finnish folk songs newly arranged for flute and accordion by Matti Murto.

Matti Pulkki (b. 1991) became the newest member of professor Joseph Macerollo’s accordion studio at the University of Toronto after arriving in Canada in the fall of 2014. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and the highest grade in accordion performance from the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. Later in 2015, he will continue to pursue his Master’s degree back in Helsinki with professor Matti Rantanen. Over the years Matti Pulkki has performed in many concerts internationally as a soloist and with different chamber ensembles. In his concert programs he’s known for creating dialogue and fusion with music from different backgrounds and styles. Matti Pulkki is interested in crossing the artificial boundaries between arts and artists and exploring the great blue ocean beyond his comfort zone.

Odes to Impermanence: An Evening of Piano Improvisation

Thursday May 7 2015 @ 8 pm
$15/$10 Students

Pianists Marilyn Lerner, Avesta Nakei, Philip Fournier & Casey Sokol

Marilyn Lerner

Marilyn LernerExhilarating jazz pianist/improviser Marilyn Lerner performs to acclaim internationally, from her native Montreal to Havana, from Jerusalem to Amsterdam and the Ukraine. Her groundbreaking recordings have garnered recognition, including "Best Western Jazz Recording 2004" for her "Special Angel" duo with legendary guitarist Sonny Greenwich.

Lerner's work spans the worlds of jazz, creative improvisation, klezmer and 20th century classical music. She composes for film, theatre, radio and television. She produced "Birds Are Returning", the first contemporary Canadian jazz recording to come out of Cuba, playing her compositions with greats Dafnis Prieto, Yosvanny Terryand Jane Bunnett.

Along with her innovative solo piano work, Lerner tours with The Queen Mab Trio (clarinettist Lori Freedman and Dutch violist Ig Henneman) across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Their fall 2006 European tour included the prestigious Wels XX Music Unlimited Festival in Austria. Marilyn also performs with Sonny Greenwich,the Mad Satie Trio (Andrew Downing, David Occhipinti), Nick Frasier and Matt Brubeck, Lou Grassi and Ken Filiano, and in the Jewish scene with Adrienne Cooper, Frank London, Alicia Svigals, From Both Ends of the Earth, and David Wall. She has appeared with Steve Lacy, Tito Puente, Michael Vatcher andGerry Hemingway.

Lerner's original music has garnered the Montreal International Jazz Festival award for best composition. Her audio art collages have been broadcast internationally. A recent commission by CBC in honour of composer Dmitri Shostakovitch's 100th birthday entitled"Meditations on Mitya" was performed by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and in November 2006.
A prolific recording artist, her most recent work includes the independently produced "Romanian Fantasy", a solo recording of improvisations on traditional Eastern European Jewish music recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio at CBC Toronto, "Thin Air" (WIG)the Queen Mab Trio's new release based on Hector Berloiz' Queen Mab Scherzo, "Luminance" (Ambiences Magnetiques), solo improvised piano music using different microphone techniques,"Special Angel" (C.B.C. records), duo with jazz guitar legend Sonny Greenwich, and, with singer David Wall, "Still Soft Voiced Heart"(Traditional Crossroads), original settings of contemporary Yiddish poetry.

Lerner conducts workshops on improvisation and on Jewish music throughout North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union. Current projects include both a recording and performances of"Shake My Heart Like a Copper Bell", Lerner's contemporary Yiddish song cycle on the poetry of Anna Margolin, scored for piano, cello, clarinet and singer Adrienne Cooper, for which she received a Hadassah-Brandeis research award, ongoing collaborations with poet Patrick Friesen, a new trio project with cellist Matt Brubeck and drummer Nick Fraser and numerous solo concerts.

Casey Sokol

Casey SokolCasey Sokol is a pianist and an inveterate musical explorer. He has performed classical and contemporary chamber music and improvised music in a variety of styles, collaborating with such groups as the York Winds, Canadian Contemporary Music Collective (CCMC), and Sound Pressure. He has toured extensively as a soloist and ensemble player in Europe and North America. Venues have included the Pro Musica Nova Festival, Bremen; O Kanada Festival, Berlin; Avignon Festival; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival; Expo ’86 in Vancouver; and others in Europe, the USA, and Japan.

Casey has also directed and composed extensively for dance and theatre productions and has produced a number of large-scale musical presentations. His creative collaborations include the conception and production of Cagewake, a music-circus with 150 performers marking the passing of the composer John Cage, and an adaptation of the medieval mystery play, The Clown of God, with New York director Andre Serban. He produced and co-directed the North American premiere of The Great Learning, Cornelius Cardew’s epic setting of the text by Confucius. With Tokyo’s UNO Man Butoh Company, he composed and produced a multimedia performance of a multi-lingual Renga (a poetic collaboration based on a medieval Japanese tradition).

Casey’s performances, improvisations and arrangements have been recorded on twelve LPs and an equal number of CDs, and have been broadcast widely on Canadian, European, American and Japanese radio and television. He is a founding member of Toronto’s Music Gallery. He has been teaching piano, improvisation and musicianship in York University’s Music Department since 1971. In 2001 he received an OCUFA Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Philip Fournier

Philip FournierPhilip Fournier is Organist & Music Director of the Toronto Oratory, Director of the Chant Schola & Oratory Children’s Choir. His area of expertise on the organ is J.S. Bach and the North German Baroque masters. He also specializes in Gregorian Chant, which he studied at Solesmes with Dom Saulnier. He plays continuo and solo harpsichord and organ with various local groups, and is active as a composer. Piano, however, is where it all started, and piano has remained important. Most of Fournier's projects involving piano can be heard at Several live recordings of choral events at the Oratory can be heard at

Avesta Nakei

Avesta was born in 1986 in Esfahan, Iran, a city of immense cultural heritage. He first studied violin under his uncle Ali Kayvani and later learned piano from his cousin Pejman Kayvani (a gifted pianist and composer, currently residing in Koln, Germany). He took  lessons on Setar and Iranian classical music from Ali Kayvani and later in Canada, from Ahmad Ashraf-abadi. He then studied piano and approaches to improvisation under Casey Sokol, Steve Koven, and Brian Katz. He also studied metrical rhythm of South India under Trichy Sankaran.

"Vanishing Point" John MacMurchy - Music and Photography

Friday May 8, 2015 @ 8 pm

This show will feature original music and photographic images that compliment each other in a selection of duos, trios and quartets. Joining John will be Dan Ionescu - guitar, Mark Kieswetter - piano, Ross MacIntyre - bass, and Alan Hetherington - percussion.

John has an abiding passion for photography which has always been a counterweight to his musical endeavours. He worked as a press photographer on a small town weekly during the nineteen seventies and it is during this time that he developed an interest in photographing people from the inside out. He seeks to show the person behind the face.

You may notice a stark contrast between his landscapes and cityscapes. Like many people raised in a small town, John is often at odds with the big city and the photographs tend to concentrate on the grittier side of urban life. In the country he finds relief in the open spaces and quiet and this is reflected in his rural images. Time is also a recurring theme as it is the artist’s mortal enemy.

Above all, however, John is an artist in love with beauty. The magnificence of the natural world, the sublime beauty of the dance, the promise of youth, the myriad expressions of the human experience, and music, which describes the indescribable, all hold a fascination for the artist.

John MacMurchy - Clarinet and Photography
Mark Kieswetter - piano

Ross MacIntyre - bass

Alan Hetherington - percussionFrom top left:
John MacMurchy, Mark Kieswetter - piano,
Ross MacIntyre - bass, Dan Ionescu - guitar,
and Alan Hetherington - percussion.

What is Now?

Saturday May 9th, 2015 at 8 PM
Admission $20, Seniors $15, Students and Arts Workers $10

Being in the present can be interesting if we pay attention.
Being in the now can be transcendent if we know what to do.
Exploration through performance could be the difference...

This show explores "What is Now?" through performances by Toronto poets - spoken word artists Brent Peers and Tanya Neumeyer rooted in the poetry slam community and performance poet Penn Kemp from London, Ontario, alongside improvised music created by Bill Gilliam (piano), Glen Hall (Kyma X, electroacoustic sounds, saxophone, flutes, and bass clarinet) and Ambrose Pottie (percussion).

Bill Gilliam (piano)

Bill Gilliam (piano)Bill Gilliam is a Toronto based composer / pianist who improvises new music compositions blending influences of contemporary harmony and jazz idioms into his unique style of playing.
“Bill Gilliam’s experience and his output since the mid-80s has spanned formal composition, jazz and jazz-oriented improvisation as well as electro-acoustic music and music-visual media. Gilliam has aimed to bring his composer’s sense of form and continuity to the improvisational process so that each of the pieces in the recording has its own distinct character. His harmonies blend 20th century classical and jazz sounds in a convincing, comfortable modal-chromatic style” "Ensorcell" - The WholeNote CD review Sept 2012.

Bill has written music for film, dance and theatre and new music chamber ensembles as well for his jazz projects. His recordings include “Ensorcell” for solo piano, “Signposts” – a CD created in collaboration with percussionist Charlie Ringas with improvised piano, percussion and spoken word as well as “Memory Vision” DVD of Bill’s electro-acoustic music with multi-media art created by different visual artists. In addition to composing and performing solo piano Bill
continues to perform with Toronto Improvisor's Orchestra and Audiopollination and collaborate with artists using spoken word and improvisation.

Tanya Neumeyer (poet)

Tanya is a queer poet and educator. As a member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Toronto Poetry Project, Tanya performs poetry and offers workshops at festivals, conferences, events and schools across Canada. Tanya was a member of the bronze medal winning 2012 Toronto Poetry Slam team.

Brent Peers (poet)

Brent Peers (poet)Brent Peers is a lifelong Torontonian who has been active in the GTA arts scene for the better part of that life. His love of poetry is challenged only by his passion for music. A staunch proponent of DIY culture, he hopes beyond hope to see creative minds flourish and proudly represent his hometown. He himself has represented the WE FLIP TABLES! spoken word collective at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Sasktaoon in 2012 and Montréal in 2013, as well as the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam and the Verses Festival of Words in Vancouver in 2014 and 2015.

Penn Kemp (poet)

London, ON performance poet, activist and playwright Penn Kemp (M.Ed.) is presently Creative Age London's Writer-in-Residence. Penn is thrilled to receive the new League of Canadian Poets 2015 Spoken Word Award. She is the League’s 40th Life Member. She also was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for service to arts and culture. Her most recent work is From Dream Sequins, Lyricalmyrical Press, Toronto, and Jack Layton Art in Action, which she edited for Quattro Books, Toronto.

Penn has been giving creativity workshops, teaching and performing her poetry since 1966. As inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of London (2010-12), she presented poetry at many civic functions. As Writer-in-Residence for Western University for 2009-10, her project was the DVD, Luminous Entrance: a Sound Opera for Climate Change Action, Pendas Productions. Penn has published twenty-five books of poetry and drama, had six plays and ten CDs produced as well as several award-winning videopoems. Since her first book was published by Coach House Press in 1972, she has been pushing textual and aural boundaries, often in participatory performance work. Many of her recent CDs are what Penn terms "Sound Operas": poetic narratives that weave sound, imagery and music in a counterpoint of many voices.

Glen Hall (Kyma X, cataRT, electroacoustic sounds, saxophone, flutes, and bass clarinet)

Glen Hall (Kyma X, cataRT, electroacoustic sounds, saxophone, flutes, and bass clarinet)Glen Hall has an international reputation as a composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist. Hall has been an agent provocateur on the Canadian creative music scene for decades. He was the first Canadian jazz musician to independently record and release a free jazz album (“The Book of the Heart” with Joanne Brackeen, Cecil McBee and Billy Hart). He is one the very few musicians besides Miles Davis to collaborate and record with legendary composer/arranger Gil Evans (“The Mother of the Book”). His “Hallucinations: Music and Words for William S. Burroughs” featured one of the founding fathers of free jazz, trombonist Roswell Rudd. Hall played the Guelph Jazz Festival with Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo. He’s studied jazz at Berklee College of Music and composition with Gyorgy Ligeti and Mauricio Kagel in Germany, did artistic residencies in live electronics at STEIM in Amsterdam and Kyma Symbolic Sound at the Electronic Music Foundation in New York, and recently was a featured artist at the Siberian Jazz Games festival in Novosibirsk, Russia. Hall is also the founder and artistic director of the 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival.

Ambrose Pottie (percussion)

Ambrose Pottie (percussion)Ambrose Pottie is musician, audio artist and graphic designer from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ambrose has recorded and/or performed with Eugene Martynec, Bob Becker, Bill Bissett, Anne Bourne, Eugene Chadbourne, Crash Vegas, Andrew Cyrille, Fred Frith, Bill Grove, Guy Klucevsek, Evan Lurie,The Polka Dogs, Mary-Margaret O'Hara, Tom Walsh, Richard Sacks and Andrew Staniland. He is currently one of the curator's of the Toronto Improvisor's Orchestra. His field recording based work has been included in the 60X60 Contemporary Music project performances in Toronto, Montreal, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Mexico City, Denver, and New York City. He lives in Toronto.

Frühling: Songs of Spring
Stephanie DeCiantis, soprano | Talisa Blackman, piano

Sunday, May 10th, 2015 at 2 pm

Soprano Stephanie DeCiantis and pianist Talisa Blackman join Richard Strauss' epic Four Last Songs with music by Rachmaninoff and Barber to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Samuel Barber
Despite and Still, Op. 41
A Last Song
My Lizard
In the Wilderness
Solitary Hotel
Despite and Still

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Ne poi, krasavitsa, pri mne, Op. 4 No. 4
Arion, Op. 34 No. 5
Son, Op. 38 No. 5
Ya ne prorok, Op. 21 No. 11
Siren, Op. 21 No. 5
Eti letniye nochi, Op. 14 No. 5

~ Intermission ~

Richard Strauss
Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs)
Beim Schlafengehen
Im Abendrot

Stephanie DeCiantis, sopranoSoprano Stephanie DeCiantis finished her Master’s degree at the University of Western Ontario; studying for a degree in Performance and Literature with mezzo-soprano Sophie Roland.  She is currently working with Wagnerian soprano Luana DeVol.

Most recently, she has performed the role of the Witch in Hansel and Gretel with the Toronto Opera Intiative and Cecilia in Essential Opera's production of Los Bohemios.  This past summer, she performed Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz with the Bel Canto Institute in Munich, Germany.
She has also performed Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohéme in Lucca, Italy; First Lady in Mozart’s Zauberflöte with AEDO Amsterdam; and Donna Elvira from Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Milan with the Accademia Europea Dell'Opera.  As well, she has played Suor Claire in Poulenc’s Dialogues des carmélites.

Earlier, Stephanie was a soloist with Orchestra London, singing from Verdi’s La Forza del Destino. She has performed excerpts as Cio-cio san in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Rusalka in Dvorak’s Rusalka, and Amelia from Verdi’s Ballo in Maschera. She has also worked closely with UWOpera; playing both the Baker’s Wife in their production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods and Gualtiero in their production of Vivaldi’s La Griselda.

Stephanie has also travelled to the United States to perform excerpts from American opera, portraying Alida in Ward’s Roman Fever and Ms. Pinkerton in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief. She has also performed excerpts as the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Adalgisa from Bellini’s Norma in Italy with La Musica Lirica.

Talisa Blackman

Talisa Blackman, pianistA native of Toronto, pianist Talisa Blackman has performed with many of the top orchestras from North America and Russia. She recently appeared as soloist with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and will continue as their young-artist-in-residence for this season. She was featured as a soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge Colorado conducted by Carl Topilow, the Georgian Bay Symphony Orchestra in Owen Sound, conducted by John Barnum, and the National Academy Orchestra in Hamilton. Talisa has been invited repeatedly to perform as a soloist and chamber musician on the Guelph Connections concert series, and will return for a performance this spring. She will also perform chamber music concerts as part of the Vetta Chamber Music series in Vancouver, and on Saltspring Island in the coming 2014/2015 season.

As an orchestral pianist, she has performed extensively with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductors Peter Oundjian, Leonard Slatkin, John Adams, Hannu Lintu and Sir Andrew Davis. She has also performed with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev.

Talisa is also an active chamber musician, with performances across the Canada and the US. She has collaborated with noted vocalists and instrumentalists, most recently with acclaimed Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, as well as celebrated Canadian baritone Russell Braun in a recital for Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. Talisa has also performed with musicians from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as Toronto Symphony Orchestra on their concert series Five Small Concerts.

Talisa began piano studies at the age of four with her mother; she continued her studies with Marina Geringas and Marietta Orlov at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and with Joela Jones and Margarita Shevchenko at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in music at the University of Western Ontario with Dr. John Hess.

David Buchbinder Ensemble

Saturday May 16, 2015 at 8 pm

David Buchbinder, trumpet, fluegelhorn David Buchbinder, trumpet, fluegelhorn
Dave Restivo, piano
Michael Herring bass
Ernesto Cervini drums

"When trumpet's good, it's real good, and David Buchbinder is one fine trumpet player."
(NOW Magazine)

He's also an accomplished, award-winning composer, producer and cultural inventor who brings a spirit of intensity and inquiry to everything he does, as he and his gifted co-conspirators go for the jugular. David leads numerous music groups, composes for concert, theatre, film and television, presents large-scale performance projects, and has toured extensively in North America and Europe. He has been involved in the creation and presentation of world music and jazz since 1987 and has earned a reputation as one of its compositional and instrumental leading lights, through his eponymous Jazz ensemble (just nominated for a JUNO Award and two National Jazz Awards) the FLYING BULGAR KLEZMER BAND, (three JUNO Award nominations in five recordings), his creation of SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus and of ASHKENAZ: A Festival of New Yiddish Culture.

David has composed the scores for six feature films, the animated short Stone of Folly (awarded the Cannes Film Festival Prix du Jury), and for theatre and modern dance. Recent and current compositional projects include the score for the Canadian feature Whole New Thing, a collaboration with playwright Jason Sherman, choreographer Allen Kaeja and Soulpepper Theatre Company, and a commission to compose a CD's worth of music for jazz guitarist John Abercrombie and trumpeter John McNeil. He has been invited to perform his music at Dave Douglas' Festival of New Trumpet Music at Tonic, NYC. David has received numerous grants and resident fellowships for study, composition and performance. He was nominated for the 2002 Louis Applebaum Award for Excellence in Film and Television Composition, and is the recipient of the 2003 ASIFA Animation Society Award for Excellence in Soundtrack Composition.

His performance and creative activities have been profiled extensively in all media including National Public Radio, CBC Radio and TV, CTV (Canada AM), Radio Canada, Bravo, BBC, Suddeutsche Rundfunk, The Manchester Guardian, Svenska Dagblatt, Tageszeitung, Daily Variety, the Los Angeles Times, the Forward, the Village Voice, a cover feature in Lifestyles magazine, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, Eye Magazine, and many others.


Ton Beau String Quartet with Peter Stoll, clarinet

Friday May 22, 2015 at 8 pm
$20 / $10 Students

Maurice Ravel String Quartet in F
Johannes Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B Minor
George Gerswhin Three Preludes for Clarinet and String Quartet (arr. Stoll)

Ton Beau Quartet

Founded in 2010, the Ton Beau Quartet has presented music throughout the University of Toronto community through performances at the Art Centre, Multi-Faith Centre, and the Faculty of Music’s own New Music Festival. Beyond the university, the Ton Beau Quartet has performed at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, the Merriam School of Music and as part of the Health Arts Society of Ontario’s ArtsWay series. They have worked with members of the Ebène, Miami, Orford, Prazak, St. Lawrence, and Ying String Quartets. During the 2011 summer season, they performed at Wilfrid Laurier University’s QuartetFest, the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar at Stanford University and the Harbourfront Centre’s Summer Music in the Garden series.

Alexa Wilks, originally from Almonte, Ontario, is an active violinist in the Toronto freelance community, performing with Mayumi Seiler’s Via Salzburg ensemble and the Esprit Orchestra. Regularly collaborating with Canadian composers, Alexa premiered Kevin Lau’s Violin Concerto with the Sneak Peak Orchestra and has worked with Arsenio Giron and Steven Chatman. Alexa’s performances in the University of Toronto’s Penderecki Festival have been heard on CBC’s “The Signal” with host Laurie Brown. Under the mentorship of Annalee Patipatanakoon, Alexa is studying to attain her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto. Alexa performs on a 1760 Louis Guersan violin.

Violinist Bijan Sepanji is a multi-faceted performer with a career just as diverse as his background. Originally from Tehran, Bijan has recently performed with the Indianapolis and Windsor Symphonies, Orchestra London, National Academy Orchestra as well as the Indiana University Summer Festival Orchestra. At Indiana University he has performed alongside Canadian clarinetist James Campbell. Bijan has worked under the tutelage of Mark Kaplan, Mark Fewer, Ian Swensen, Leon Fleisher, Mayumi Seller, Erika Raum and Miriam Fried. For a second year, he is teaching at Sistema Toronto's Parkdale location.

Alex McLeod, viola, has performed in Austria, Finland, and Germany as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. An active teacher, Alex maintains studios in Mississauga and Toronto. Having studied extensively in Germany, Alex earned an Artist’s Diploma and a Masters of Music from Hochschule fuer Musik in Karlsruhe. Previously, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto. His past teachers include Johannes Luethy, Teng Li and Katharine Rapoport. Alex is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto, studying with Steve Dann.

A native of Strathmore, Alberta, cellist Sarah Steeves currently resides in Toronto performing with Sinfonia Toronto while completing her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto with Shauna Rolston. Sarah has performed in Brazil, China, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom with ensembles such as Sinfonia Toronto, the World Orchestra, and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. Her principal teachers have been Brian Manker (McGill University), Tom Mirhady (Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra), and Tanya Prochazka (University of Alberta). She teaches privately and at the Classical Music Conservatory.

The quartet's name is derived from Douglas Hofstadter's book Le Ton beau de Marot (1997) which focuses on the concept of translation, which has many parallels within the act of musical interpretation. The title is a pun on Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Known for his virtuoso energy on stage as well as an easy and entertaining way of speaking with the audience, Peter Stoll was a prizewinner in the International Clarinet Society Competition, and also Solo Clarinetist with the World Orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales in Berlin and Vienna, which was broadcast on live television across Europe. Peter won First Prize in Chamber Music at the National Competitive Music Festival, for whose 50th Anniversary edition he was invited back as Woodwind Adjudicator and as soloist in the Gala Celebration Concert in Winnipeg. A graduate of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, where he studied with Avrahm Galper and Ronald Chandler, he received his Master's of Music degree in Performance from Indiana University as a student of James Campbell.

Peter has been guest soloist with orchestras in Canada and the United States, and was invited to Saratov, Russia for solo performances with the Saratov Philharmonic's "Volga Wind Ensemble" and to present masterclasses at the State Conservatory.

Featured on several CD releases, including once with the Canadian Brass and several for composer John Gladwell, Peter's first solo recording "Bits 'n Pieces" was broadcast on CJRT-FM and the English and French CBC, and he has been heard in solo performance on CBC-FM's "Arts National", "Music Around Us", "Music Alive", "DiscDrive" and "The Signal". Peter was featured in a showcase performance at the Ontario Arts Council's Contact conference, and now tours extensively throughout the province presenting solo and ensemble concerts. Summer festival performances have included the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Ottawa Valley Festival, the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, and as a Mentor at the Boris Brott Music Festival's National Academy Orchestra in Hamilton, as well as the Ottawa and Vancouver Chamber Music Festivals.

A frequent performer of new music, he twice travelled to Munich, Germany with the ERGO ensemble to take part in the AdeVant Garde festival. Other tours with ERGO have included New York City, Finland and Lithuania. As a core member of the Talisker Players, Peter has performed at the Vancouver, Ottawa and Elora summer festivals, and was recently featured on their first CD recording.

Orchestral performances are as Principal Clarinetist of the Toronto Philharmonia, as well as with many other local and regional orchestras including the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, as well as with Opera York and Kerry Stratton's Grand Salon Orchestra as Solo Clarinet and Saxophonist.

Peter teaches clarinet and chamber music privately and at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. He is also a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music's National College of Examiners, and is much sought after as an adjudicator at music festivals across the country.

Recent highlights have included a duo recital with pre-eminent Canadian percussionist Beverley Johnston, solo and chamber performances for visits by world-renowned composers Kryzstof Penderecki and Chen Yi, concerto appearances with the Toronto Philharmonia and the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, as well as serving as Artist-In-Residence for the Silverthorn Symphonic Winds. Peter's website is

Mezzo Soprano Ali Garrison Sings the Songs of her Contemporaries

Friday May 29, 2015 at 8 pm
Tickets: $30 / $20 Seniors & Students
For reservations please write

Mezzo Soprano Ali Garrison

Singing the songs of seven of her contemporaries (including herself as an improvising composer), Ms. Garrison will explore the rich complexity of voices and perspectives of some of the most brilliant composers in her musical village. “We must encourage each other to create songs in response to all the myriad inspirations in our current world as we each perceive it... Life, ideas, feelings, people, Nature. That is how the collective culture that represents our time and place is born and then nurtured", says the singer.

The composers that have written pieces for Ali and this concert, include Seattle Pacific University professor, composer, gospel/jazz vocalist, and worship leader, Stephen Michael Newby; Director of Music at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, pianist and composer, Maria Isabel Ciudad-Real; American conductor and composer, Kevin McMahon; Toronto guitarist, teacher and composer ,William Beauvais; and Ryan Billington, Canadian conductor, arranger, improvisera teacher seductor and Composer, and voice faculty at St. Francis Xavier. Finally, improvisational co-composers, Downeast Maine pianist, Nancy Bennet and Ali Garrison created a song cycle which will be performed as a written transcription of the original improvisation.

Adding to the evening’s new music feast are three noteworthy performers. Concert and collaborative pianist Joy Lee, brings her passionate genius via University of Toronto's Faculty of Music and The Nathaniel Dett Chorale. Guitarist, William Beauvais and pianist Ryan Billington, will each perform with Ali on their own compositions.


Known as a powerful singer who “embodies the soul projected through her voice” and “palpably lives the sound”, American-born, Toronto-raised mezzo-soprano Alexandra “Ali” Garrison, dares to sing many styles of great music from around our dear planet. A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music Vocal Performance Program, she has performed a huge variety of operatic/theatrical roles with regional companies and is a frequent concert soloist with numerous ensembles and choirs in Canada and the U.S. She especially enjoys working in tandem with artists, improvisers and composers to foster new works and promote music for a more harmonious world. She has had many works composed specifically for her by numerous composers.

Ali is a proud founding alumnus and soloist with the renowned Nathaniel Dett Chorale, and as such, toured extensively, performing for such luminaries as Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel, Muhammad Ali, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Jesse Norman, Kathleen Battle, Stephen Lewis and was privileged to be Canada’s “gift” to President Obama’s 2009 Inauguration festivities. It was for this trail-blazing ensemble that she co-wrote the education series, Canaan Lan’ and was on faculty for their Youth Training Program. She currently also mentors youth singers in the Regent Park area. Ms. Garrison has been teaching voice privately for eighteen years, leading and facilitating groups in, and writing about, the following areas: voice and body work for both ensemble singers and soloists; freeing our imaginations and our sound; the intersection of creativity, art and philosophy; free musical improvisation; advocacy for the arts and social justice.

She is a member of ACTRA, and a Gemini Nominee. Currently, Ms.Garrison leads the “Why the Sea is Salty Project”, an interdisciplinary collaboration of four female artists making works for a mythic extravaganza. For her 50th birthday earlier this year, Ali decided, after singing on everyone else’s recordings for years, that it was high time to produce her own first solo EP, entitled, Ali Garrison Sings Michel Legrand: The Summer Knows, with Danny McErlain, pianist. Visit iTunes to purchase and listen to her EP.

Trio McMaster

Saturday May 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm
$20 / $10 Students


Sonia Vizante,violin

Sonia Vizante,violinSonia Vizante received her Bachelor degree at the age of 18 from the Liceul de Muzica “Dinu Lipatti” where she studied in a specialized music program for twelve years and where she also obtained her bacalaureat diploma. Four years later she graduated as national valedictorian from the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Music Performance.

Once in Canada she received her Bachelor of Education degree from Brock University, Ontario.

In 1981 she became a member of the Canadian Opera Company. The same year she took the position of principal second with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra under Raffi Armenian and in the following year the same position with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra under Boris Brott.

For six seasons, Ms. Vizante held the position of Concertmaster for the Ensemble “Sir Ernest McMillan”. She shared for ten years the position of Concertmaster for the Boris Brott Festivals along with many distinguished Canadian violinists. She also held the Associate Concertmaster position with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for seven years.

In 2005 Ms. Vizante recorded at the Glen Gould Studio in Toronto for the classical CD album entitled “Silver Lining” that features her as a soloist. The CD was also featured at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Sony Classical New York described it as “most attractive and appealing” and Sony ATV has picked up the option to represent this work for film.

In April 2006 Ms. Vizante was nominated for a Juno award for the “A Butterfly in Time” CD where her violin playing is featured.

In July 2009 she recorded on a new CD John Laing’s sonata for violin and piano, featuring at the piano the composer himself.

Besides being involved in numerous film recordings, Ms. Vizante's violin solo can be heard in movies such as "Loving Evangeline" (music composed by Ian Thomas) and the TLC's "Stigmata" (music by David Young).

Presently Ms. Vizante is performing with the National Ballet Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company.

Rebecca Morton, cello

Rebecca Morton began her cello studies at the age of six in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. She went on to study as a scholarship student at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with Vladimir Orloff and David Hetherington. She graduated with an ARCT from the Conservatory, and was awarded the Gold Medal for achieving the highest string mark in Canada. Rebecca continued her studies at the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Paul Katz and Steven Doane. The recipient of a six year scholarship, she graduated with highest distinction receiving Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees. Rebecca has won numerous scholarships and awards including semi-finalist in the 2003 Eckhardt-Gramatte String Competition. She has been heard in solo and chamber music recitals including performances with ChamberWorks!, Past Perfect, as part of the summer music series at the Toronto Music Garden and in recording with Final Fantasy. In September of 2015, Rebecca will join the cello section of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony. Rebecca enjoys teaching privately as well as at McMaster University.

Shoshana Telner, piano

Shoshana Telner, pianoCanadian pianist Shoshana Telner has performed as soloist and chamber musician across Canada and abroad. She made her solo orchestral début with the National Arts Centre Orchestra at the age of 16 and has since performed as soloist with several orchestras. In 1993 Shoshana received the Royal Conservatory gold medal (97%) for the ARCT piano performance exam. Shoshana then received a Bachelor’s degree on full scholarship from Boston University, a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School in New York, and a Doctorate in performance from McGill University. She has taught piano and coached ensembles at McGill University, the University of Ottawa, and Wilfrid Laurier University, and currently teaches piano at McMaster University. Shoshana frequently gives masterclasses, adjudicates competitions, and examines for the Royal Conservatory of Music. Shoshana’s recordings include solo works of Canadian composer Colin Mack, the complete Bach Keyboard Partitas, and the Grieg violin and piano sonatas.

More 2015 Performances coming soon.
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