A Letter of Introduction to my new Canadian Music Centre family:
I grew up in what was then a very rural area. We had a lot of fun running wild in the woods, but culturally it was a desert. Thankfully the gift of weekly violin lessons in Vancouver opened up a world of music and creativity to me.
Playing in the Vancouver Youth Orchestra and attending Courtenay Youth Music Camp in the summers then introduced me to other talented musicians, both young and aspiring, like myself at the time, as well as the great professionals that came to teach and coach us: Bob Creech, Boyd Hood, Stan McCartney, Ray Stills, Taras Gabora, the Purcell String Quartet and many others.
It was also at Courtenay that I first met Harry Freedman and his daughter Lori, Irving Guttman, Raffi Armenian and Harry Somers. It was also where I first heard a work by Fred Schipitsky. Later, studying violin at the University of Victoria, I won the Murray and Frances Adaskin Scholarship. I met them both, and he was so lovely to me I’ve always remembered his kindness. Imagine my delight to learn the piano in our performance space was his!
UVic was a hotbed of compositional creativity at the time. David MacIntyre, Rodney Sharman, Owen Underhill, and Christopher Butterfield (with whom I created a Victoria Chamber Orchestra) were all studying there. I was concertmaster of the New Music Ensemble and the UVic Orchestra for two years, and throughout that time we performed many works by those young composers in addition to works by the professors teaching at the school, such as Martin Bartlett and Rudolf Komorous. At UBC, I was a Special Assistant to Wallace Berry for two years.
And since then, I’ve had the privilege over the years of meeting other members of the CMC family both in New York — Alexina Louie, Alexander Brott and Alex Pauk — and since being home in Vancouver — Bramwell Tovey, Jaap Hamburger, and David Gordon Duke.
The Canadian Music Centre is a uniquely talented and creative family and I’m thrilled to be included. I hope you’ll make a point of stopping by and introducing yourselves over the coming months, and please let me know how I can be helpful. I look forward to building on Colin Miles’ and Bob Baker’s legacy and to building an ever brighter future for the CMC in BC!