A MESSAGE FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Welcome to another season of great, live performances at Leith Summer Festival. A stellar lineup of the finest Canadian musicians is on offer in our beautiful, intimate venue. To be up close to the best of the best is an experience you won't forget. I'm so pleased to be welcoming back a number of our Leith Festival favourites as well as some exciting new performers who are looking forward to sharing their passion and talents with us all.
Bohemians in Brooklyn is a juicy cabaret by CBC radio host and musical bon vivant Tom Allen, based around a group of artists (including W.H Auden, Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee) who lived in February House in Brooklyn, NY in the early 1940's Joining Tom are harpist Lori Gemmell, singer/songwriter/pianist Bryce Kulak and Leith Festival favourite, the multi-talented vocalist Patricia O'Callaghan.
Speaking of the best of the best, to have Susan Hoeppner, Wallace Halladay and Larry Larson featured as the distinguished virtuosi of their respective instruments is nothing short of world class artistry on parade. Joining Susan is the internationally lauded marimba/percussionist Beverley Johnston. Pianist Peter Tiefenbach will join forces with Wallace, Canada's foremost saxophone virtuoso, and I have the good fortune to team up with the brilliant and stylish trumpeter, Larry Larson, in an eclectic and fun programme
Then, well....in the midst of it all, Canada's foremost chamber music ensemble and absolute Leith Festival favourites, the Gryphon Trio, will grace our stage with their supreme artistry.
It's a perfect season of music at Leith Summer Festival 2013. Thanks to the wonderful musicians and all who volunteer their time to create these magical evenings. And thanks to our warm and enthusiastic audiences for your support.
Enjoy the Leith Summer Festival experience!
Pianist Robert Kortgaard was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and grew up in Calgary, Alberta. He completed his Bachelor and Master's degrees at the Juilliard School in New York City. As a recipient of arts awards from the Canada Council, he furthered his musical studies in Italy and England.
Mr. Kortgaard has performed as a soloist with major Canadian orchestras and has given recitals throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in England, Finland, Portugal, Italy, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, China and Japan. He is a favorite collaborator of many of Canada's finest instrumental soloists, vocalists and chamber groups. His performances are frequently heard on CBC Radio, and he has recorded for the Centrediscs, Marquis Classics/EMI, CBC Records, Teldec and ATMA Classique labels.
Mr. Kortgaard is Artistic Director of the Indian River Festival on Prince Edward Island (recently nominated "Event of the Year" by the East Coast Music Awards), and the Leith Summer Music Festival in Ontario. He was musician-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick from l993-l998, and has given piano masterclasses at Universities and festivals in Canada, Indonesia and China.
Mr. Kortgaard has performed with sopranos Isabel Bayrakdarian, Sumi Jo, Jane Archibald and Measha Brueggergosman, mezzo soprano Susan Platts, violinist Joshua Bell, and with Peter Tiefenbach and prima ballerina Veronica Tennant on a production entitled "Invitation to the Dance". He has recorded French and German Cabaret programmes with mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell for CBC Records. His CD with soprano Wendy Nielsen was nominated for both Juno and East Coast Music Awards. Recent engagements include tours with flutist Susan Hoeppner, cabaret artist Patricia O'Callaghan. baritone Brett Polegato, renowned music theatre actress/singer Rebecca Caine and several performances of duo piano repertoire with Peter Tiefenbach. A CD of the music of Olivier Messiaen, recorded with soprano Suzie LeBlanc, was released on the ATMA Classiques label and has received an Opus Award for best recording of contemporary music.