gallery 345

Gallery 345
345 Sorauren Avenue
Toronto ON M6R 2G5

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Gateway to Song: A recital by Louis De Nil

Sunday, May 1st at 2pm
All welcome! Pay what you can.

With pianist Helen Becqué and countertenor César Aguilar.


Tenor Louis De Nil has recently completed his Masters in Voice Performance at Western University studying with Torin Chiles. Louis first obtained a Bachelors of Musicology from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, studying with Prof. Winston Purdy. He was a member of Opera McGill, playing Snout in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He also played the roles of Luiz in The Gondoliers and Lord Tolloller in Iolanthe with the McGill Savoy Society. He has completed the Young Theatre of Art Song program (2013) at VISI and Opera Nuova (2014). At Opera Nuova he played The Manta in The Lives of Lesser Things, The Captain in Candide and Le Doyen in Cendrillon. During his time at Western, Louis performed with UWOpera, singing the roles of Gonzalve in of L’heure espagnole and Bardolfo in Verdi’s Falstaff. He also performed Schubert’s Winterreise with pianist Marianna Chibotar in 2015, and later performed the work again in Toronto with pianist Melanie Cancade. He is currently looking forward to collaborating with pianist Helen Becqué for his 2016 Toronto recital “Gateway to Song”.

A native of Belgium, Helen Becqué received both her bachelor and masters degrees in Piano Performance from the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Brussels under the tutelage of Boyan Vodenitcharov. Subsequent solo studies led her to the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana where she studied with renowned performer and pedagogue Menahem Pressler. Equally passionate about vocal repertoire, Helen also completed a Masters degree at the University of Tennessee School of Music, working in the opera division as well as with instrumentalists. Helen continued her studies in vocal accompanying with Helmut Deutsch and Fritz Schwinghammer at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München receiving a ‘Meisterklasse Liedbegeleitung’ diploma in 2010.   
Currently Helen is a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, teaching Lieder and Song Interpretation classes in the Voice Studies department. Additionally, she serves as a coach and collaborative pianist for vocal students at both the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music. 

Countertenor César Aguilar just completed his Masters in Music at Western University. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, Opera and Digital Audio Arts from the University of Lethbridge, and was part of the music faculty at the University of Lethbridge Music Conservatoire for two years. He has performed with orchestras in México and in Canada, including the Lethbridge Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and in music festivals such as Escapararte and Tercera Invasión Excéntrica. His opera credits include roles in “L’Enfant et les Sortilèges”, “La Fille du Regiment”, and “Hansel and Gretel” as well as with summer institutes including TBSI and COAA.

The Art of the Piano: Simon Docking
Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jesus

Saturday May 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm
$25/$15 Students
Reserve seats at

from Simon Docking:

On Saturday May 7, 2016, I will perform Olivier Messiaen’s monumental Vingt regards sur
l’enfant Jésus
, at Gallery 345 in Toronto.

What made the 35 year old Messiaen write this epic 2 hour piano cycle in occupied Paris in 1944? His profound faith, of course, was behind all his music, but the direct impetus in this case was the request to provide music for a radio broadcast, a reading of twelve meditations on the Nativity of Jesus. Messiaen got carried away with the project and extended it to twenty pieces of music, each a reflection on Jesus’ infancy through the eyes of various characters in the story. He had also recently discovered the incredible talents of Yvonne Loriod, 20 years old at the time. Her virtuosity inspired Messiaen to create textures and colours that were completely new.

What made me want to perform this work now? Again, many things came together. As a teenager in Australia I had a wonderful piano teacher, Ransford Elsley, who had performed or premiered several of Messiaen’s works in the 1970s in Australia. He introduced me to the Vingt Regards in about 1985 and I was instantly drawn to its sound world. I knew that one day I had to play it. The opportunity to spend a few months overseas in 2015 gave me the time and focus to come to grips with its demands.

The Vingt Regards is, in a word used way too often, incredible. The variety, the length, the sheer inventiveness of this music amazes me. I can’t wait to play it for you!


Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jesus - Olivier Messiaen (1908 - 19920

·  Regard du Père ("Contemplation of the Father")
·  Regard de l'étoile ("Contemplation of the star")
·  L'échange ("The exchange")
·  Regard de la Vierge ("Contemplation of the Virgin")
·  Regard du Fils sur le Fils ("Contemplation of the Son upon the Son")
·  Par Lui tout a été fait ("Through Him everything was made")
·  Regard de la Croix ("Contemplation of the Cross")
·  Regard des hauteurs ("Contemplation of the heights")
·  Regard du temps ("Contemplation of time")
·  Regard de l'Esprit de joie ("Contemplation of the joyful Spirit")
·  Première communion de la Vierge ("The Virgin's first communion")
·  La parole toute-puissante ("The all-powerful word")
·  Noël ("Christmas")
·  Regard des Anges ("Contemplation of the Angels")
·  Le baiser de l'Enfant-Jésus ("The kiss of the Infant Jesus")
·  Regard des prophètes, des bergers et des Mages ("Contemplation of the prophets, the shepherds and the Magi")
·  Regard du silence ("Contemplation of silence")
·  Regard de l'Onction terrible ("Contemplation of the awesome Anointing")
·  Je dors, mais mon cœur veille ("I sleep, but my heart keeps watch")
·  Regard de l'Eglise d'amour ("Contemplation of the Church of love") \

Biography - Simon Docking

Australian-born pianist Simon Docking has performed both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout North America and beyond.

Simon has appeared as a soloist for Toronto’s Soundstreams, the Winnipeg New Music Festival, the Scotia Festival of Music, Australia’s Aurora Festival, the new music group Stroma in New Zealand, the MATA Festival in New York, and with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Toronto Philharmonia and the Toronto Wind Orchestra. His 2008 performance of Messiaen’s epic cycle Catalogue d’Oiseaux at the Scotia Festival was described in the Chronicle Herald as “Herculean…a tour de force”.

Simon has often been heard on CBC Radio Two’s Two New Hours, The Signal, and Concerts on Demand. Internationally his performances have been broadcast on ABC Classic FM (Australia), Swedish Radio, and Radio New Zealand.

Active as a chamber musician, Simon has been a founding member of several ensembles, including the Toronto-based group Toca Loca, with pianist Gregory Oh and percussionist Aiyun Huang. Commissioning works from many Canadian composers, Toca Loca has been presented by nearly every new music series in Canada from St John’s to Vancouver, as well as appearances in New York, California and Berlin. They have released two CDs: P*P (2009) and SHED (2010).

Simon studied in Australia with Ransford Elsley, and holds a doctorate in piano performance from SUNY Stony Brook, where he worked with Gilbert Kalish, and upon graduation was awarded New York State’s Thayer Fellowship for the Arts. In October 2011 Simon received an Established Artist Recognition Award from the province of Nova Scotia.

Enliven the Ma
Continuum Contemporary Music and Okeanos

Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30pm
$25 (cash only at the door)
Reserve seats at

Pre-concert film 7:30 pm

Ma - the tension between silence and sound - is explored in this concert featuring members of Okeanos, a UK-based ensemble specializing in the performance of contemporary music on traditional Japanese instruments. Featured are masterworks from the late 20th century, traditional works and a premiere by Max de Wardener.

A newly created pre-concert film by artist Rebecca Salter (Royal Academy) follows her research in Japan with master woodblock print artists; branching tradition with modern conceptualizations

The Japan Foundation is lending the gallery a brilliant collection of contemporary Japanese graphic design artworks.


Aura Basil Athanasiadis JP
Ahania I Yoshio HachimuraJP
Ahania II Yoshio HachimuraJP
Dart Howard SkemptonUK
Fushi Howard SkemptonUK
picture the light * Max de WardenerUK
Chosi Traditional
Etanraku Traditional

* Premiered by Continuum


Mitsuki Dazai (koto)
Robin Thompson (sho)
Jinny Shaw (sho)
Anthony Thompson (clarinet)
Diane Leung (viola)
Ryan Scott (marimba)

The Odin Quartet
String Quartet Through the Ages

Friday May 27, 2016 at 8 pm
$25/$15 Students

Reserve seats at



Born in early 2015 on the Philosopher's Walk in downtown Toronto, the Odin String Quartet unites students from the Royal Conservatory of Music's Glenn Gould School and the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music. The ensemble represents the diversity and the promise of youth in Canada: violinist Alex Toskov is an international student from Belgrade, Serbia; Tanya Charles, also a violinist, grew up in Hamilton, Ontario with roots in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Laurence Schaufele, one of many in family of musicians, is a violist from Bow Island, Alberta; and Samuel Bisson, cellist and composer, hails from Ottawa, Ontario. In June 2015 Odin quartet was selected to be one of the few quartets to participate in Luminato Festival’s epic production of R Murray Schafer’s 1980 oratorio Apocalypsis. Quartet maintains a close relationship with the award-winning Toronto based Afiara Quartet, who they have collaborated with at a music camp in Westport ON, and shared stage at the Gardiner Museum in July 2015.

The name of the quartet, after the wise, one-eyed Norse god, reflects the influence on the members of mythology and subsequent interpretations in music and poetry of the romantic era. The Odin String Quartet aims to promote modern Canadian compositions, particularly those of Samuel Bisson, alongside works of the classical music literature. They believe that an understanding of the history of classical music is essential to the creation of new and meaningful modern music.

Recently, Odin has been performing recitals in the Toronto area and working on their first solo recording project that will be released in the summer of 2016.

Burning Bridge String Quartet
Michael Westwood, clarinet

Sunday, May 29 at 8 pm
$20/$15 Seniors and Students


Rebekah Wolkstein violin
Drew Jurecka violin
Shannon Knights viola
Amy Laing cello
Michael Westwood clarinet

"Know The Now”
Christopher Simmons: solo piano

Saturday June 4th, 2016 at 8 pm
$20; $10 Students

Christopher's compositions capture and reveal several genres of music that is influenced by classical, contemporary, new age and jazz. The music maintains a noble stylistic consistency that provides a solid foundation for highly active interplay, heartfelt expression and creative, dynamic improvisation.

Program – “Know The Now”

Photo by George Onuska


Christopher Simmons started his music education in Hamilton, ON, Canada. He was the principal pianist in both the Mohawk College and McMaster University big bands. While attending college, he was hired as an assistant jazz piano instructor and immediately after graduating; he performed the Toronto circuit for several years as a sideman in several groups. He then went onto lead his own jazz fusion group resulting in live and syndicated performances on Radio and National Television across Canada. He was awarded Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts for piano composition. This enabled Christopher to study with Jim McNeely; pianist, composer, arranger for the multiple Grammy Award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra in New York City as well as pianist/composer Richie Beirach.

Throughout Christopher’s career; he has performed and recorded with some of the most acclaimed blues, gospel and jazz musicians of our generation; some of which include; Harrison Kennedy, Karl Dixon, Donny McCaslin, Bocle Bros, Chris Wood, Gene Calderazzo, Jay Anderson, Jeff Hirshfield, Rufus Cappadocia, Paul DeLong, Ted Quinlan and Robert Bonisolo. Some of Christopher’s performance highlights in New York City include; Musical Director/Pianist at the centennial birthday tribute to the late Duke Ellington (1899­1974); at the Triad Off Broadway Theater. The tribute featured several special guests including Duke’s only sibling; his sister, the late Ruth Ellington (1915­2004). Now living in Toronto; Christopher Simmons performs at clubs and festivals with his trio, featuring drummer Kevin Dempsey and bassist Artie Roth. He also performs solo concerts and is part of the performing artist roster of the Music Can Heal Organization.

"His comfort with the keyboard comes through on the solo pieces, "How Insensitive" and the closing track, "Two Preludes." With its nicely developed nursery rhyme figure, it is his most engaging composition."
DAVID DUPONT ­ (Jazz Cadence Magazine).

"Chris has come up with a list of beautiful tunes, some familiar, some less known, and found his own original way of presenting them. His approach has nothing to do with "chops" or ego. Rather than show off his hands, Chris has chosen to put the music first. He makes us aware of the melody and the real feeling of the tune. Support from Artie Roth & Steve Davis couldn't be better." – DON THOMPSON, OC

foretelling: (for telling) new sounds and visions

Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 8 pm
$15; $10 Snrs, Students, Arts Workers

fortelling (Norwegian) f, m ‎(definite singular fortellinga or fortellingen, indefinite plural fortellinger, definite plural fortellingene)
1. a story or tale

fortelling: (for telling) is a recital of new art song and chamber music featuring works by Toronto composer Tyler Versluis and Norwegian-Canadian composer, Tze Yeung Ho. Tyler Versluis's new song cycle for soprano, harp and two violoncelli sets the austere poetry of Toronto poet Lindsay Mason, and is accompanied by haunting, muted images by Niagara artist, Timothy Goertzen. Tze Yeung Ho's new chamber works juxtapose the ephemeral and grotesque, filling old classical forms with new intensity.

Maeve Palmer, soprano
Wesley Shen, piano
Angela Schwarzkopf, harp
Carolina Herrera, violin
Katherine Peter, violin
Clara NguyenTran, viola
Amina Holloway, violoncello


TYLER VERSLUIS: Five Poems (by Lindsay Mason) with artwork by Timothy Goertzen
TZE YEUNG HO: shulammite (a)
TZE YEUNG HO: Klaverkvintett


Tze Yeung Ho (b. 1992) is a Norwegian-Canadian composer of Cantonese descent. Despite being a native of Oslo, Norway, he spent most of his formative years in Toronto, Canada. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he has studied intensively with an array of Canadian composers. He currently pursues a master's in composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Tyler Versluis is active as a composer, writer and conductor of new music. Tyler is currently new music correspondent for Musical Toronto and is enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, studying composition with Gary Kulesha.


Wednesday & Thursay June 8 & 9, 2016 at 8 pm
$20/$10 Students 
Buy tickets  at
Or reserve seats at (cash only at the door)

Music - Michael Donovan
Projection Design - Lukas Pearse

Michael Donovan - baritone
Monique De Margerie - piano
Paul Pulford - cello
Nicholas Donovan - drums
Ian Graham - Sound


Michael Donovan, composer and singer

Michael Donovan’s experience as a musician encompasses a wide range of musical styles and forms of expression.

As a boy, he studied piano and pursued extensive studies in classical and jazz saxophone at the Conservatoire du Québec. As a teenager, he composed original music for the avant-garde bands with which he performed. He then went on to pursue vocal studies at McGill University, followed by graduate studies in opera at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, Germany, with legendary mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender. Donovan was also a student of renowned Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who is acknowledged as the 20th century’s greatest master of lieder.  As Fischer-Dieskau’s hand-picked private student at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, Donovan was immersed in the historic continuum of Romantic art song interpretation.
Donovan has enjoyed a successful career as a performer of opera, oratorio, art song, chamber music, jazz, new music and improvisational music in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France and the U.S. He has appeared in leading roles with the Bern State Opera, Stuttgart State Opera, Munich State Opera, Opera Vancouver and the Edmonton Opera. He has been a soloist with the Quebec Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony and Symphony Nova-Scotia as well as with many concert and new music presenters, including Numus (Waterloo), Queen of Puddings (Toronto), BradyWorks (Montreal), Array Music (Toronto), New Music Concerts (Toronto) and, most recently, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne in Montreal.

Donovan is also in demand as an educator. He teaches at Wilfrid-Laurier University, York University and at The Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. He has given master classes at York University, Brandon University, the Glenn Gould School, Chadron State College (Nebraska) and Concordia University. He is also an active adjudicator and consultant for music schools and festivals.

As a composer, Donovan has written numerous settings of poems by living Canadian, German, French and Japanese poets. He has also written chamber music and film music.

Donovan’s PhD in musicology, which was nominated for the York University Thesis Award, is an inquiry into the deep-ecological significance of the poetic settings of Franz Schubert.

Lukas Pearse, video projection artist

Lukas Pearse is a Bassist/ Media Artist/ Composer / Sound Editor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

An award-winning film composer and member of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, Lukas  is an acoustic, electric and digital musician and sound artist with professional experience in a wide array of genres and creative forms.

Rooted in visual art as firmly as in music, Lukas Pearse also provides both improvised and composed live visuals for music, modern dance, fine art and theatrical events.

With extensive teaching experience, Lukas Pearse is also a passionate educator both privately and through the artist-run Centre for Art Tapes and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Monique de Margerie, piano

As a chamber musician, Monique de Margerie has enjoyed a busy career on three continents, including recent tours in Cambodia with her husband, bassoonist Fraser Jackson, and in Japan with violinist Hibiki Kobayashi.

After graduating from Germany's Hochschule für Musik in Munich with a graduate degree in performance, she began her European career touring  throughout Germany with Maestro Helmut Rilling and the Gachinger Kantorei.

Since then she has worked as a collaborative pianist and teacher at the Conservatoire Americain Konig in Paris, at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, and was, most recently, a member of the faculty at Laval University in Quebec City.   

She is frequently invited to adjudicate and teach throughout Canada; since relocating to Toronto in 2011, Monique de Margerie pursues an active career as a private piano teacher and collaborative pianist.

Paul Pulford, cello

Paul Pulford maintains a busy schedule as a conductor, chamber musician and soloist.  As resident conductor and soloist for the NUMUS Ensemble, he recently performed John Taverner’s Svyati for Cello and Choir and conducted the Canadian premier of the chamber orchestra version of Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra and the Schoenberg arrangement of Das Lied von der Erde by Gustav Mahler. This past season he also performed the cello solo in Oskar Morawetz’ Cello Concerto, In Memoriam, Martin Luther King.

As a conductor, Pulford has worked with Symphony New Brunswick and the Fredericton Chamber Orchestra and has appeared as a guest with the KW Symphony, Canadian Chamber Ensemble, Mississauga Symphony, the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, and the Georgian Symphony. In 2005 he conducted the premier performances of Tim Brady’s opera The Salome Dancer, and in early 2014 conducted the first workshop performances of Tim’s new opera, The Record Player.  Pulford has been the Principal Conductor of the Wilfrid Laurier Symphony since 1989 and during his tenure the orchestra has developed into a mature ensemble, regularly performing the major works by Brahms, Mahler, Stravinsky, Strauss, Hindemith, etc.  The Laurier Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in 1994, has recorded for the Eclectra Label with soloists Darren Lowe and Suzanne Beaubien.

Pulford maintains a passionate commitment to New Music through his involvement with Blue Rider Ensemble (he was a founding member in 1989) and the NUMUS New Music Ensemble in Waterloo.  Blue Rider specializes in 20th and 21st century works for Instrumental Theatre and has recorded a highly acclaimed CD of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. The BRE is currently involved in a four-year project to create a new work based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which is funded by a major SSHRC grant.  He has been a member of the Penderecki String Quartet, the Orford String Quartet and the Galliard Ensemble.

Pulford has recorded over 30 CDs, including the complete works for Cello and Fortepiano by Beethoven (ebs label) and Brahms (DoReMi label) with fortepianist Boyd McDonald, and the complete Bartok String Quartets (Eclectra label) with the Penderecki String Quartet.  His most recent CD, The Bach Cello Suites: Volume I was released on iTunes in 2014.

Not Another Soprano Recital
Melanie Taverna & Sydney Clarke, sopranos
Ivan Jovanovic, piano

Friday June 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm
$15/Students PWYC


H. Purcell (1659-1695)

V. Bellini (1801-1835) Selections from Sei arriette

Tarentelle - G. Fauré (1845-1924)


Die Boten der Liebe - J. Brahms (1833-1897)

Cinq Mélodies de Venise - G. Fauré

Selections from Brettl-Lieder - A. Schoenberg (1874-1951)

"We are Women" from Candide - L. Bernstein (1918-1990)

Melanie Taverna, soprano

French-Canadian soprano Melanie Taverna is a versatile artist, currently residing in Toronto, Ontario. A recent graduate of The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music (The GGS), Melanie maintains a busy performance schedule. This past summer, Melanie had the pleasure of performing in Centre for Opera Studies in Italy’s production of Cavalli’s La Calisto in the role of IL DESTINO. Past credits include: PAMINA in Summer Opera Lyric Theatre’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and GRASSHOPPER in The GGS production of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. Melanie was also a chorus member in The GGS productions of Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène and Mozart’s Don Giovanni in beautiful Koerner Hall, in Toronto.

More recently, Melanie had the opportunity to perform the role of MARIE with the Choeur Classique de l’Outaouais and the Chorale De La Salle in France Levasseur-Ouimet’s grand suite Elles s’appelaient Marie in her hometown, Ottawa, Ontario. As well as performing in a variety of private events and fundraiser concerts, Melanie recently was the guest soloist at the first annual gala for the Centre d’Accueil Héritage in Toronto. Ms. Taverna enjoys performing a wide variety of repertoire and continuously cultivating her musical interests.

Sydney Clarke, soprano

Sydney Clarke is a versatile and promising new vocal talent on the classical music scene in Ontario, Canada. This soprano, a recent graduate of the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music (GGS), is a singer whose repertoire covers a vast array of genres and styles.

This summer, Sydney will have the pleasure of performing the role of SESTO in Summer Opera Lyric Theatre’s production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare.  This autumn, Sydney will be moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba to pursue her Masters in Vocal performance at the prestigious University of Manitoba, at the Desautel Faculty of Music.

This past summer, Sydney performed in Sulmona, Italy, in Center for Opera Studies in Italy’s production of Cavalli’s La Callisto in the role of ETERNITÀ. This spring, Sydney performed as a chorus member for Opera Atelier’s production of Mozart’s Lucio Silla at the beautiful Elgin Theatre. Throughout the past four years, Sydney has had the privilege of performing at Koerner Hall on numerous occasions where she was a chorus member in the GGS’s productions of Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. There, she also played the role of THE FROG in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

Sydney Clarke currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Music from Thompson Rivers University in association with the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. She currently resides in Toronto, taking private lessons with Monica Whicher. Sydney looks forward to pursuing her musical career and further expanding her musical repertoire.

CCMC at Gallery 345 

Saturday June 11, 2016 at 8pm

CCMC was born as a “collective”, to use the language of the time, in Toronto in 1974, where its shifting membership briefly coalesced into a core group of eight, and then six (Sokol, Snow, Mattes, Kubota, Dubin, Anson) who played, toured and recorded together for much of the next decade, and founded the original Music Gallery as a kind of laboratory of experimental music.  Personnel changes began again in the 80s, and today the ensemble continues in both name and spirit as a quartet (Snow, Oswald, Kamevaar, Dutton). That spirit was and is informed by a commitment to free improvisation and a determination to incite a kind of “group intelligence” capable of producing unanticipated musical artifacts.  Beyond the name, the founders are still at work;  Sokol, Kamevaar and Mattes play regularly  in a new ensemble (the “Boiler Room”), Kubota performs both as a soloist and with various collaborators, while Anson has turned to composition with mathematical tools.

CCMC has played in Europe, the US, and Japan, as well as in Canada, and has made media appearances on CBC radio, TVO and Japanese television.  The band has released five LPs, four CDs (including a double), two K7s, and a three-record set featuring the late Larry Dubin.

In this rare “collective” appearance, the old and new CCMCs will be playing in various combinations and also as a large ensemble. We’re excited by the opportunity;  while we all walk our own artistic ways, we are still animated by mutual respect and affection, and by a sense of the territory that may be reached by collaboration.

“These people have played together for years and their familiarity and single-mindedness of purpose – completely spontaneous improvisation – allows them a control of their materials, a subtlety of interaction, and a flexibility of moods resulting from a wide palate of colours, textures, and effects. …each of the instruments is an equal voice.   This is not a band in which one can hear imitations of other bands.   At its most successful the music has an inevitability and drama which seems composed, beyond the wonderfully tense edge of invention one feels in improvised music at its best. One can hear in their music “the sound of surprise.” Art Lange, first President of the Jazz Journalists Association.

“Dynamic and Innovative Music” – The Winnipeg Tribune

“Spine tingling excitement WARM AND FRIGHTENING, excitingly fresh, filled with a spirit of exploration and surprise.” – Bob Rusch, Cadence Magazine New York

“A splendid and harmonious ensemble” – Swing Journal Tokyo

“One of the best testaments to the long term viability of entirely improvised music” – Jazz Magazine, Paris

“Wildly Brilliant” – Peter Goddard Toronto Star

“Each player has developed their own instrumental voice, nowhere here does one hear imitated or memorized licks or clichés” – Art Lange Coda Magazine

Chamber Music Society
Benefit Concert for Heart and Stroke Foundation

Sunday June 12, 2016 at 8pm
Tickets at the door $35 / $10 students

It Shoulda Been Me: A Cabaret

Thursday June 16, 2016 at 7:30 pm
$25/$20 Seniors, Students

Tickets available at: and at the door
Reserve seats at

Join Charlotte Knight as she celebrates the unconventional artistic journey from opera singer to musical theatre something-er-other… Featuring songs and stories inspired by the ups and downs of “the biz”, including several true tales of humiliating, humbling and rousing professional follies. And before you ask – YES, that is a hint. YES, there will be a more-than-predictable-even-for-Charlotte amount of Sondheim in the program. Along with songs from shows like The Light in the Piazza, Ordinary Days, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and artists ranging from Joe Inconis to Billy Joel. And last but not least, Charlotte is joined by the fabulous Jon Corkal at the piano! Expect an evening loaded with laughs, tears, fond memories, more tears and with any luck, an adequately happy ending.

Described as a “formidable coloratura soprano,” and “excellent comic actor,” Charlotte Knight is a versatile artist, equally at home in opera, operetta and musical theatre. This season, Charlotte toured with To Be Determined Theatre Co. in a musical adaptation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and performed the role of Josephine in HMS Pinafore with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 with The Gallery Players of Niagara, and the various soprano roles in The Fairy Queen with Toronto Masque Theatre. Charlotte also made her company debut with the newly formed Lyric Niagara, performing selections from the Stephen Sondheim repertory in Tell Me the Truth About Love: A Cabaret and the roles of Carrie Pipperidge and Nellie Forbush in A Few of My Favourite Things: A Rodgers & Hammerstein Tribute. Next season, Charlotte will make her UK debut in Cabaret and Industry Showcases performances with Associated Studios in London. Recent stage roles include Rona Lisa Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee with No Strings Theatre, Cecily in Benson & Davies’ Canadian operetta Earnest, The Importance of Being and Hanna in the Canadian premiere of Eduard Künneke’s Cousin from Nowhere (Der Vetter aus Dingsda) both with Toronto Operetta Theatre.

Jonathan Corkal is an actor, singer, music director, and multi-instrumentalist. Originally from Saskatoon, SK, he discovered his passion for theatre and music while taking East Asian Studies at McGill University in Montreal, QC. He is currently enrolled in the highly regarded Musical Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College and was a recent recipient of the Caldwell Foundation Award for Academic Achievement and Leadership, as well as the 2015 award for Highest Achievement in Musicianship. When he’s not performing on stage or behind an instrument, he can be found sitting at the piano trying to convert ideas into songs. Recent musical direction credits include Little Shop of Horrors, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (No Strings Theatre), BRIEFS: A Cabaret (Independent), Tick, tick…BOOM! (TNC Theatre), and Party Worth Crashing: Toronto (Bum Chic). Selected acting credits include Danny Boy: A New Musical (Theatre Paradoxe), To Be: In Concert (Kaleidoscope Theatre), Company (Players Theatre), West Side Story and Sweeney Todd (AUTS).

Fenlon & Fenlon
Liebesbotschaft/franz schubert
Rachel Fenlon, piano & vocals

Thursday, June 17, 2016 at 8 pm
$25/$20 Seniors & Students

Liebesbotschaft: A preview to the European Tour.

Liebesbotschaft is an exciting new venture of soprano on the rise, Rachel Fenlon. Fenlon, a Berlin­based classical singer, and accomplished pianist, has decided to undertake the ambitious task of accompanying herself in the songs of Franz Schubert, in an hour­long cycle of songs which lend themselves wonderfully to this style. Fenlon takes us on a new and unique journey through these timeless songs of love, loss, and salvation. She has compiled the songs of “liebesbotschaft” in such a way to be a striking poetic and harmonic expedition; accompanying herself from the piano to add a spontaneous, relevant, and impromptu feeling to songs and poems which, in their original conception, were performed in living rooms, amongst friends.

Here we have a Canadian preview of a very exciting project, which will take Fenlon back to Berlin, to London, Paris, Oslo, and more. The project has already received a welcome and generous reception in Germany, and this is a rare opportunity to see such a unique venture in its early stages.

About the artist:

Berlin­based soprano, Rachel Fenlon, is an artist on the rise. Quickly establishing herself in the operatic repertoire of Mozart, Handel, and Rossini; in the vast lied repertoire, from French and German to contemporary English works, and in demand as an oratorio soloist, Rachel enjoys a diverse and uniquely varied solo career.

Hilights on the operatic stage include Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), and Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance) with Vancouver Opera; Nannetta (Falstaff) and Queen Guinevere (Camelot) with Pacific Opera Victoria; Lisa (Das Land des Lächelns) with the Vancouver Symphony, and Mimi (La Boheme) with Bard on the Beach Festival. As an oratorio soloist, Rachel's recent projects include Rossini's Petite Messe Solonelle with Maestro Alberto

Zedda, Handel's Messiah with the Victoria and Vancouver Symphonies, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Brahms' Requiem with the Vancouver Bach Choir, Bach's Magnificat with Kitchener­Waterloo Symphony, Bach's Cantata 51 with Early Music Victoria, and Eriks Esenvald's Passion and Ressurection with the Borealis String Quartet. The passionate recitalist Rachel is, she has performed countless recitals over the past few years, exploring repertoire from Schubert and Berg, to Messiaen and Britten, and has participated as a young artist at festivals such as the Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Rossini Opera Festival, and will soon attend the Crear Programme for Singers with Sir Malcolm Martineau in Scotland.

Fenlon holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia, is an alumna of the Vancouver Opera Young Artists Program, and continues to study with her teacher, Neil Semer, in Berlin. True to her diverse artistic nature, she is also an accomplished pianist, composer, and writer. In Berlin she collaborates frequently with singers from the piano, and composes more and more often. She is currently working on a chamber opera to a libretto of her own, and an original song cycle. Fenlon premieres several of her new chamber music compositions in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia set to poetry of Award­Winning poet Sue Goyette this June, and subsequently, composing and writing will take Fenlon back to Europe this summer. Next season sees a mixture of opera roles, symphony concerts, chamber music, and composition commissions. 


More 2016 Performances coming soon.
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