Mezzo-soprano Catherine Robbin to launch Faculty Concert Series

The 2010-2011 Faculty Concert Series offered by the Department of Music in York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts showcases the department’s resident talent and spotlights some of the outstanding artists who teach in York’s music program. All five faculty concerts take place at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall on York’s Keele campus. Tickets for the series are now available, act early to avoid disappointment.

Mezzo-soprano Catherine Robbin (right) is one of North America’s most distinguished classical singers. Since her debut in 1972, she has earned an international reputation performing with eminent conductors throughout the world, including John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Labadie and Andrew Davis. Robbin is joined by guest artists, bass-baritone Daniel Lichti and pianist Leslie De’Ath, in an evening featuring selections from Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch. Their Oct. 5 concert celebrates the launch of their CD of the same title, available on the Analekta label.

Jazz bassist, composer and arranger Al Henderson (left) is known nationally as leader of his own quintet and co-leader of the groundbreaking group, Time Warp. He has also performed as sideman with many leading jazz artists, including Jane Bunnett, Arnett Cobb, Hank Crawford, Slim Gaillard, Jimmy Knepper and Flip Phillips. The 2010 Juno nominee for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year leads an ensemble including Alex Dean (alto and tenor sax, flute, bass clarinet), Pat LaBarbera (tenor and soprano sax) and his faculty colleagues Richard Whiteman (piano), Barry Romberg (percussion) and special guest, Professor David Mott (baritone sax). This showcase concert takes place Nov. 2 and features Henderson’s own compositions.

International touring artist Sundar Viswanathan (right) is a highly versatile jazz woodwind player, vocalist and composer. In addition to his eponymous quartet, he has performed with many other groups, including Avataar, the Charles Tolliver Big Band and Ensemble Uniqua, and leading artists such as Billy Hart, Jim McNeely, Jeanne Lee, Joe Lovano, Clark Terry, Al Martino and Kenny Wheeler. On Jan. 18 Viswanathan leads an ensemble of faculty members and friends performing original compositions and arrangements from his latest recording, What a Dream I Had….

Cellist Mark Chambers (left) has appeared throughout Ontario and the United States as both a chamber musician and orchestral player. He is joined by two of his York colleagues and frequent collaborators, renowned violinist Jacques Israelievitch and pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, in a program featuring trios by Mozart and several contemporary Canadian female composers. A highlight of their Feb. 8 concert is the world premiere of Katarina Curcin’s Unorthodox Obsession, a work commissioned by the Ontario Arts Council and composed specifically for these artists.

Ron Westray (right) joined York’s Music Department in 2009 as the Oscar Peterson Chair in Jazz Performance. Perhaps best known for his work as lead trombonist in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra conducted by Wynton Marsalis and his collaborative recording, Bone Structure, with Wycliffe Gordon, he has appeared with many legendary artists including Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, Pharoah Sanders, Benny Carter, Eric Reed, Dewey Redman, Joshua Redman, Roy Haynes, Roy Hargrove and Branford Marsalis. In his March 1 concert, he leads a group of York colleagues and guest artists playing jazz standards and original compositions. The second half of the program will feature Westray’s debut performance on piano.

York University’s Music Department presents more than 100 public performances every year, spanning many different musical genres and traditions from western classical music and jazz to digital, improv, popular and world music.

York University Faculty Concert Series 2010-2011

  • Catherine Robbin with Daniel Lichti and Leslie De’Ath – Tuesday, Oct. 5
  • Al Henderson Quintet – Tuesday, Nov. 2
  • Sundar Viswanathan Ensemble – Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011
  • Mark Chambers, Jacques Israelievitch, Christina Petrowska Quilico – Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011
  • Ron Westray Ensemble – Tuesday, March 1, 2011

All concerts start at 7:30pm and take place in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building on York’s Keele campus. Single ticket admission is $15, tickets for students and seniors are $5, and the three-concert package is just $30. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the York University Box Office at 416-736-5888.