Memories of Mozart, Schubert, Mahler and Strauss

In a style reminiscent of European salons of the Romantic era – complete with fabulous frocks – Le Salon de Chant offers some of the most luminously beautiful music ever penned, in a series of midday and evening concerts starting today and running until Thursday at York University.

Right: Last year’s performers of Le Salon de Chant

These six classical vocal concerts will feature English and French art songs, German lieder and opera repertoire. The material will be sung by students who  trained in the York University studios of Professor Catherine Robbin, and part-time instructors and professional musicians Norma Burrowes, Stephanie Bogle, Christine Stelmacovich, Karen Rymal, and Canadian tenor Benjamin Butterfield. The performers will be accompanied on the piano by musicians Raisa Nakhmanovich and Susan Black, who are also part-time instructors in the Department of Music.

The talented young artists who will be performing at Le Salon de Chant recently swept the awards at the 2004 Newmarket Voice Festival competition, taking top honours for their lovely and lyrical voices. First-year music students Hillary Coote and Nicole Stellino, and second-year student Vania Chan were double winners, picking up scholarships and trophies, while first-year students Matthew Chapman and Allison Hunwicks, and second-year student Stephanie Ferracane were presented with scholarships.

Written and directed by internationally renowned Canadian mezzo Catherine Robbin, who heads York’s classical vocal performance program, Le Salon de Chant will be presented in an intimate, salon-type setting with cabaret tables and a wine bar for the evening performances.

Right: Catherine Robbin

Robbin has created a wide-ranging program that includes pieces by Mozart, Schubert, Mahler, Clara Schumann, Strauss, Fauré, Quilter and Vaughan Williams – engaging works that allow these young performers to showcase their passion and vocal powers in interpreting the beauty of both the poetry and the music.

The concerts will take place today through Thursday, March 1-3, with two performances daily at 12:30pm and 7:30pm in York’s McLaughlin Performance Hall, 050 McLaughlin College, Keele campus. Midday performances are free and evening performances are $10, $5 for students and seniors. For more information, call ext. 55186.