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Ensemble Vivant

Ensemble Vivant

“Canada’s Chamber Music Treasure” John Terauds, Toronto Star

This is the highest-level chamber music-making. No matter the genre, there is magic in Ensemble Vivant’s music-making.” Rick Wilkins, C.M. (Jazz great)

Ensemble Vivant receives accolades internationally and is a favourite wherever the group performs. Since its inception over 25 years ago, Ensemble Vivant has been a pioneer in the piano chamber music world, championing exciting, innovative programming ranging from classical to Latin and other jazz styles. Ensemble Vivant’s 12 recordings are heard on radio around the world, and in 2008 Opening Day Entertainment Group repackaged the group’s entire back catalogue. Led by pianist/artistic director Catherine Wilson, Ensemble Vivant is also known for its depth of artistry, passionate, virtuosic interpretations and engaging stage presence.

Catherine Wilson, Artistic Director

“…pianist CATHERINE WILSON, the pride of Canada…” Burlington Standard Press, U.S.A.

“no matter the genre, there is magic in her music making.” Rick Wilkins, Jazz great and Order of Canada Recipient

Catherine Wilson is one of Canada’s most interesting and innovative concert pianists and recording artists. She has been repeatedly honoured for her exceptional artistry and sensitive musicality as well as for her unique, imaginative programming. Some of the greatest jazz composers of our time have written arrangements for solo piano for Catherine, as well as for her spectacular group, Ensemble Vivant. Composers such as Rick Wilkins, C.M., John Burke, Michael Coghlan, Srul Irving Glick, Aldemaro Romero, and others have written original works for Catherine and for Ensemble Vivant.

Catherine Wilson’s passionate dedication to music and her audience has included extensive research and the exciting discovery of works from the classical and jazz genres that have become obscure. She has re-introduced these newly found gems to audiences world-wide in concert and on recordings. Catherine has won the hearts of fans and critics alike with inspired, soulful and virtuosic interpretations.

Catherine as a soloist or with Ensemble Vivant continues to dazzle sold-out houses throughout North America and in Europe, and has been recording for almost 30 years.

Catherine was invited to be part of an educational classical music series that was produced and directed by New York’s Peter Rosen. The five videos that became part of this series showcase some of the styles Catherine and Ensemble Vivant perform, and include solo performances by Catherine of Chopin and Gershwin and also showcase an original composition by Catherine. These stunningly beautiful videos continue to be broadcast frequently on Classic Arts Showcase and PBS.

Opening Day Entertainment Group released Ensemble Vivant’s recording Homage to Astor Piazzolla to rave reviews. Catherine had the privilege of collaborating with Piazzolla expert Julien Labro, who wrote arrangements especially for Catherine and Ensemble Vivant of Piazzolla’s spectacular music. Of this recording Labro said “this disc is a precious contribution to the roster of existing Piazzolla recordings… destined to become a classic.” Labro’s solo piano arrangement of Piazzoll’s ‘Oblivion’, which he arranged for Catherine, caught the attention of François Paré from Radio Classique, Montréal, who wrote: “To my heart, your rendition of Oblivion is the most touching I have ever heard: Bravo!” This performance has since been realized in a performance video/art film by Robert Divito which was released internationally and has appeared on Classic Arts Showcase.

Catherine Wilson has performed for several heads of state, including Queen Elizabeth II. As a composer, she has written for many CBC Radio productions and Ensemble Vivant recordings.

Catherine is also the founder and artistic director of EUTERPE, a not-for-profit charitable musical organization whose mandate is to foster a love of great music particularly among our youth, through providing interactive, educational performances of highly developed classical and jazz programs, free of charge, to children and others who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the healing and transformative effects of great music. These performances are delivered live on acoustic instruments by artists of the highest caliber from Toronto’s classical and jazz communities.