The Hogtown Brass Quintet is a Toronto-based chamber ensemble dedicated to pushing the boundaries of the traditional brass ensemble. Formed in 2013, HBQ is a collaboration among five accomplished and diverse musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds, ranging from Classical to pop to jazz.
Already gaining attention with their unique arrangements, collaborations with vocalists and instrumentalists, along with their affinity for non-traditional performance spaces, the mandate of the HBQ is to
bring brass chamber music to new audiences and to reinvigorate the classic brass ensemble.
HBQ is committed to presenting unique concert experiences, as well as entertaining and informative educational programs. Equally dedicated to performance and education, HBQ is experienced in presenting music to people of all ages in a variety of settings including workshops, masterclasses, and residencies.
In June 2017, HBQ will be be a featured performer at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Later in 2017, HBQ will be releasing a Christmas-themed album featuring arrangements by an all-Canadian roster of composers including RJ Satchithananthan, Christian Overton, and Terry Promane.
In October 2016, they released their premiere EP, "Introducing...", featuring brand new arrangements and original compositions for brass quintet in a variety of styles and genres - from Baroque to Latin dance to funk - just a little taste of what HBQ is all about.
The Jane St. Trio is a Toronto based piano trio formed over some margaritas on Jane Street in early 2016. The members of the trio are all graduates of the University of Toronto and perform extensively around the GTA.
Rebecca MacLeod, violin
Sarah Steeves, cello
Talisa Blackman, piano
Cellist Roberta Janzen hails from Winnipeg and performs as a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held for eleven years. Ms. Janzen has been prominent in the Canadian classical music scene performing frequently as a chamber musician and solo recitalist as well as with numerous chamber orchestras. She previously held a position with the Canadian Opera Company orchestra and was acting principal cellist with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy. She has performed on numerous contemporary music series including Soundstreams, Continuum, and at the Music Gallery.
Roberta is passionate about chamber music and she frequently collaborates with many prominent Toronto musicians appearing in concert on the Five Small Concert Series, the Hart House, the Syrinx Series, Music Mondays, the Arts and Letters Club,
the Heliconian Club, and with the newly formed Lark Ensemble at the Corkin Gallery. As well she has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Cathedral Bluffs Orchestra and the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra where she performed the Brahms Double Concerto with Canadian Opera Company concertmaster Marie Berard.
Roberta has been on the faculty of the Young Artists Performing Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music and has taught at Wilfred Laurier University and at Music at Port MIlford summer festival. She has also given masterclasses at University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario and the University of Winnipeg. She studied with Timothy Eddy, Bryan Epperson, George Neikrug, Laurence Lesser, William Pleeth and Eugene Lehner. Roberta has a Bachelor of Music "summa cum laude" from Boston University, a Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory where she graduated with "distinction in performance" and was the winner of the concerto competition performing the Elgar concerto in Jordan Hall, Boston. As well she holds a Doctorate of Music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has appeared at numerous summer festivals including Tanglewood, Ravinia, the Rutgers Summerfest and the Banff Centre.
Born in early 2015 on the Philosopher's Walk in downtown Toronto, the Odin String Quartet unites graduates from the Royal Conservatory of Music's Glenn Gould School and the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music. 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.
VC2 are an innovative cello duo that bridge the gap between Ludwig Van and Van Halen. Comprised of multi-genre cellists Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt, the Toronto-based duo seeks to present programmes that are both artistically challenging and easily accessible to the casual concertgoer. They have performed in venues ranging from intimate pubs to Roy Thompson Hall and are constantly searching for new ways and spaces to bring art music to a wide variety of audiences. - VC2
Check out more of the awesome stuff VC2 does on their facebook and soundcloud.
Interro Quartet combines passionate performances with a curiosity to explore new sounds and venues in chamber music. The group’s repertoire includes works of classical music giants, as well as new compositions by emerging and established Canadian composers. Featuring award-winning graduates of University of Toronto, the Interro Quartet includes violinists Adam Despinic and Steve Koh, violist Maxime Despax, and cellist Sebastian Ostertag.
The mission of the Interro Quartet is not only to make quartet music accessible to those who seek it but also to broaden the spectrum of audiences through diverse programming. To complement this mission, members
of the Interro Quartet are also avid educators and clinicians, dedicated to supporting education programs that encourage new ways for artists and listeners to share, experience, and incorporate chamber music into their daily lives.Interro Quartet’s 2017 summer season includes performances in Toronto, Hamilton, Owen Sound, and Gatineau, Quebec.
The Blythwood Winds is one of Toronto's most sought-after wind ensembles. Founded in 2010, the quintet performs at many of Toronto's musical and cultural venues including the Canadian Music Centre, the Music Gallery, the Toronto Music Garden, and The Art Gallery of Ontario. The Blythwood Winds is deeply committed to the performance of Canadian music. The quintet performed a concert at the Music Gallery in 2015, featuring world premieres by Toronto based composers, including former Toronto Symphony Orchestra Affiliate composer Kevin Lau. This past year, they hosted Hogtown Roundup 2: Toronto Graffiti at Toronto’s Heliconian Hall, premiering new commissioned music by Jason Doell, Elisha Denburg, and Bekah Simms.
In 2015, the group was also featured on the Junofest Classical Nominees Showcase presented by CBC Music with the Canadian Music Centre in Hamilton, Ontario.
The Blythwood Winds have a fruitful relationship with the Canadian Music Centre with performances of music by many Canadian composers. The quintet has also been involved with the CMC's OPUS Testing, a co-presentation with Musica Reflecta in which the group premiered pieces for wind quintet and narrator. The Blythwood Winds is featured on the Canadian Music Centre's digital audio archive CentreStreams, with recordings of previously unrecorded works by many CMC Associate Composers.
In addition to its dedication to presenting the works of Canadian composers, the Blythwood Winds is passionate about spreading music to all audiences, performing its own arrangements of different musical genres at many Toronto bars and restaurants. The Blythwood Winds's members are: Timothy Crouch, flute; Elizabeth Eccleston, oboe; Anthony Thompson, clarinet; Kevin Harris, bassoon; Curtis Vander Hyden, horn.
As colleagues and friends, the members of Charm of Finches have been swooping in and out of each others' lives for more than a decade. Their shared connections include hometowns, high schools, universities, training orchestras, and now Canada's professional arts landscape. The Finches are active soloists and chamber musicians in their own right; their performance history extensively covers Canada and the US, as well as Asia, and the United Kingdom, and performance venues stretching from the forests of Haliburton, Ontario to Carnegie Hall.
The Finches’ premiere performance opened the Canadian Flute Association’s 2015 Convention and featured bass, alto, C-flute and piccolo. In their inaugural 2015/2016 season they performed as featured artists at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, The Arts and Letters Club, Guelph Connections Series, and Stratford Summer Music Festival’s Bach Walk where their performance exceeded expectations attracting record breaking numbers of audience members at each show. Media coverage includes Rogers’ Daytime Toronto, the Toronto Star, and Stratford Beacon Herald and a strong social media following. As recent recipients of grants from both the SOCAN Foundation and Toronto Council of the Arts, their 2016/17 season promises to be full of unique and exciting performances.
The Finches' shared love of the flute's orchestral repertoire is reflected within their individual careers. They have had the privilege to perform and/or hold positions in ensembles such as the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony, the Niagara Symphony, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, The BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Esprit Orchestra. This passion has informed the group's repertoire which includes nuanced quintet arrangements of orchestral masterpieces. They also find mutual inspiration in contemporary music. All members have been active in the premieres and promotion of new repertoire by both emerging and established Canadian composers. The group is excited to continue this pattern in the canon of Flute Quintet Repertoire. In 2016 Charm of Finches premiered two new arrangements for Quintet arranged for and dedicated to the ensemble as well as a brand new commission by Canadian Estonian composer Riho Esko Maimets.
The groups' collective history is enriched by a diversity of training from some of the world's most prestigious flautists including, James Walker, Timothy Hutchins, Douglas Stewart, and Lorna McGhee. Charm of Finches are dedicated educators, with well-established private teaching studios, who bring their training and experience as guest artists in schools and summer music programs across the province. They hold degrees in performance from McGill University, the University of Toronto, The Royal College of Music, University of British Columbia and the University of Southern California.
A bird sings to attract a mate, establish territory, or simply because they love to sing. Charm of Finches look to make an impact on Canada’s music scene.
A native of Vancouver Island, Jeremy has been rapidly building acclaim as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician in Toronto and abroad. Recent solo engagements include a performance of Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Eastman Philharmonia and a featured guest artist performance at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. Continually seeking to improve his craft, Jeremy has participated in many internationally renowned music festivals including the Banff Center Masterclasses, Orford Summer Music Academy, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the prestigious Mozarteum Summer Music Academy.
Jeremy’s passion for the contemporary repertoire has led him to work with composers from across the United States and Canada. Highlights include the premiere of Louise, a commissioned piece for violin and guitar by Joel David Balzun, and a performance of André Previn’s Octet for Eleven at the Eastman School of Music, for which the composer was in attendance. Jeremy has also collaborated with Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Luther Adams, performing The Light That Fills the World at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and performed as the violinist for Music in the American Wild, a contemporary septet which performed ten commissioned works throughout United States National Parks in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. As an avid orchestral and chamber musician, Jeremy has performed regularly with the Rochester Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Island Symphony, the Galiano String Ensemble, and the New York City based Shattered Glass Ensemble. He also served as both Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin of the Eastman Philharmonia, the University of Victoria Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, with which he can be heard as Concertmaster on their 2009 Juno-nominated recording of Bernstein’s West Side Story. Jeremy holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Victoria. His principal teachers have been Federico Agostini, Ann Elliott-Goldschmid of the Lafayette String Quartet, and Gwen Thompson.
Jeremy performs on a 1902 Enrico Rocca violin on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.