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The Array Ensemble

WHAT THEY SAY…

“One of Canada’s finest new music groups.” — Glen Hall, Exclaim

“One of North America’s more astonishing founts of new music…” — The Village Voice

“Some of the most exciting performance works of this century…” — The Globe and Mail

“… a virtuoso display of timing and technique.” — The Toronto Star

“… leaves the audience speechless before they stand to break into applause. This ensemble is a model for all musicians — ‘contemporary’ or not.” — Bulletin de Collectif et Cie, Annecy

“… this sophisticated and refined septet of first-rate players from Toronto would compel and fascinate any pair of ears… Arraymusic’s sound was radiant.” — The Mail-Star, Halifax

“Their ensemble playing is of enviable precision…they function like a music machine, but above and beyond this they prevail and breathe life into the performance. … Arraymusic’s musicians… seduce with expansive, sensuous sounds.” — Basel (Switzerland)

“A serious ambassador of the [North] American avant garde.” — Mannheimer Morgen

I want to thank and congratulate you on a fine performance yesterday in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. It was the perfect program for that crowd and, judging by the audience response, you won over some new supporters for the contemporary cause. The combination of your artistic integrity and the warm, insightful, entertaining commentary with the obvious joy of your music making made for a really dynamic and engaging hour.” — Nina Draganic, Former Programming Director, Canadian Opera Company’s Noon-hour Series

 

ABOUT THE ARRAY ENSEMBLE

THE ARRAY ENSEMBLE has been bringing cutting edge contemporary chamber music to audiences since 1972 and in 2022|23 celebrates its 50th Anniversary! One of the founding members of Canada’s new music scene, Array’s Ensemble is foremost a virtuosic chamber group that exists to take risks and push the boundaries of musical expression.

The Array Ensemble is widely recognized for its innovative, eclectic repertoire and for consistently virtuosic performances. The Ensemble is also prized for commissioning composers young to old, new to established, from all cultures, and working with them to create the ultimate performance experience.

Array’s group has premiered hundreds of works by notable Canadian and International composers who have written for them, including Jo Kondo, Walter Zimmermann, Christian Wolff, Terry Riley, James Tenney, Claude Vivier, Gerald Barry, Raven Chacon, Dai Fujikura, Nicole Lizee (and former Artistic Directors) Linda Catlin Smith, Martin Arnold, and Allison Cameron. Arraymusic’s members have studied the rich patrimony of classical music, as well as many other traditional and emerging musics but, collectively, are fully contemporary, open and unorthodox in their approach.

Tours have included appearances at the Athens, Huddersfield, Belfast, and Vienna Modern Festivals, Festival Musiques en Scène in Lyon, New Music America, and the North American New Music Festival. Arraymusic has released 5 compact discs under its own name – Strange City/Ville Étrange, Chroma, New World, Music from Big Pictures, 25 Miniatures, Arraylive! and Array Legacy – all acclaimed for their artistic excellence and high production values; other performances are available on compilation discs.

At its heart, this ensemble is full of wit, humanity and imagination in possession of a distinctive vigour that makes it one of Canada’s true, if under-discovered, national treasures.

The Array Ensemble is:

David Schotzko – Percussionist

As a soloist, chamber musician, and curator, percussionist David Schotzko is a passionate advocate for contemporary composers, having premiered over 300 works with percussion by composers from around the globe. He was a founding member of the renowned International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in New York and Chicago and was ICE’s Program Director from 2002 to 2008.

Since moving to Toronto in 2010, David has served as Artistic Advisor for Ottawa Chamberfest, and curated programs for Arraymusic, Intersection, the University of Toronto, and more.

Colleen Cook – Clarinetist

Colleen Cook is a member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. In her work as an orchestral musician she has had the opportunity to work with many of Southern Ontario’s orchestras, including the National Ballet of Canada and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Colleen was a member of The Burdocks, a contemporary chamber group that was active in commissioning from many composers; she was also a member of Belladonna, which brought chamber music into atypical performing spaces in an effort to create a less formal listening adventure. Colleen has worked with Collaborations, which aims to combine music and other visual arts or dance to create a chamber experience for the audience. Over the years orchestral and chamber concerts in which Colleen has participated have been broadcast on radio and television.

Lydia Munchinsky – Cellist

Cellist Lydia Munchinsky is originally from Straffordville Ontario. She began her piano studies at the age of 4 and cello when she was 10. She completed her ARCT in performance for both piano and cello before coming to Toronto in 2000 to study cello with Simon Fryer and piano with Peter Longworth at The Glenn Gould School of Music. At the ages of 10 and 12, Lydia participated in the International Suzuki Conventions in Australia and Korea, where she performed for Dr. Suzuki and worked with Haruko Kataoka. She spent 3 months as a language exchange student in France when she was 16 and, the year after graduating high school, backpacked across Europe with her cello for 5 months, spending 3 of those months in Switzerland at the International Christian Study and Philosophy Centre l’Abri. Since completing the Performance Diploma Program at the GGS, Lydia’s eclectic performance experience has included playing for Stage West and Theatre Aquarius, Dr. Draw, and Sarah Slean. She is a member of the Venuti String Quartet, the Array Ensemble and the Canadian Folk Music Award nominated chamber-folk group Ozere. Lydia also toured extensively across North America and Korea with Quartetto Gelato, usually with her baby daughter in tow, and is featured on their most recent recording. She can often be found in a recording studio and has recorded soundtracks for films and tv scores including “Percy”, “The Breadwinner”, “The White Lie”, and “Astronaut”. Besides recording albums with Ozere and Quartetto Gelato, Lydia has also recorded with Alessia Cara, Sarah Slean, Mike Janzen, The Great Lake Swimmers, Royal Wood, and Laila Biali, to name a few. She has premiered solo cello and chamber music works by many Canadian and Austrian composers and gives recitals regularly, some of which have been recorded by CBC and CIUT radio. Lydia taught for two years with Sistema Toronto in Parkdale and currently teaches at the Toronto School for Strings and GTA Strings. She now has two children, Arya and William.

Stephen Clarke – Pianist

Stephen Clarke has performed in festivals in Europe, Canada, the U.S., South America and China, including the Donaueschinger Musiktage and the Berliner Festwochen. He has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, New Music Concerts and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

In 2011, Clarke played at the Museo Casa Scelsi in Rome at the invitation of the Fondazione Scelsi. He has commissioned and premiered works by Canadian and international composers. Stephen has been pianist with Arraymusic since 1997 and performs regularly with Esprit Orchestra, New Music Concerts, and is collaborative pianist at the University of Toronto.

His solo recordings include first recordings of works by Giacinto Scelsi and Horatiu Radulescu (Mode Records), Udo Kasemets (hatHut) and Marc Sabat (World Edition). He is currently preparing for Mode the complete piano works of Irish composer Gerald Barry.

Sheila Jaffe – Violinist

Sheila Jaffé was born into a family of musicians and was fascinated by classical music from a young age. Born in Montreal and raised in South Florida, she returned to her native Quebec at the age of thirteen to live and study with her second cousin Catherine Dallaire, concertmaster of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and professor of violin at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec. After completing high school as part of the arts intensive program at l’École Secondaire Pierre-Laporte in Montreal, Sheila completed her Bachelor’s degree in violin performance at the Université de Montréal. Over the course of her years in Montreal, it became clear that chamber music and orchestral playing were at the core of her musical passions. She co-founded the Alaya String Quartet, performed in numerous chamber music concerts in the city, and kept herself impossibly busy with every kind of ensemble she could put together. In the summers, she participated in orchestral, chamber music and masterclass festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein Orchester, Domaine Forget, International Musicians Seminar and Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, Orford Arts Centre, Aurora Music in Sweden, and several others. Sheila continued her studies in Berlin, Germany with a Master’s program at the Hanns Eisler Hochschüle für Musik, during which she also was accepted into the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Akademie for a one-year position. During this time she also co-founded the Alondra String Quartet, who were invited to the International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove as well as the Toronto Summer Music festival. The members of this quartet are now in leading orchestras around the world. In 2013, at the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival in Alberta, Canada, she co-founded the Rosebud String Quartet (RSQ), with whom she currently performs regularly. Sheila is also the violinist and violist of the Array Ensemble, specializing in new music. In 2015, Sheila joined the Canadian Opera Company as a violist while continuing to nurture her love of chamber music on the violin with her string quartet as well as other chamber ensembles and various solo performances. She has also recently been appointed as principal viola of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. Her first album, featuring works by Franck, Elgar and Britten in collaboration with Welsh pianist Huw Watkins, is due to come out in 2022.

Sheila Jaffé plays on a Francesco Gobetti (1710-15) violin and Raymond Schryer (2001) viola on generous loan from Canimex.

2021|22 Array Ensemble Guest Musicians

Amahl Arulanandam – Cellist

With interests from baroque to metal, Toronto cellist Amahl Arulanandam is known for his musical versatility and ability to adapt to many genres. At home in studios, clubs, and halls, Amahl hopes to convey that musical expression is beyond labels.

Passionate about the music of our time, Amahl has performed with ensembles such as Soundstreams, New Music Concerts, Caution Tape Sound Collective, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Music in the Barns and Esprit Orchestra. He has had the opportunity to work with leading composers such as Salvatore Sciarrino, Ana Sokolovic, Luna Pearl Woolf, and Brian Current.

Amahl has wholly embraced the bizarre sounds the cello has to offer and takes special pleasure in playing on areas of the instrument other than the strings.

Stephen Sitarski – Violinist

“Acclaimed for his musical versatility and eclectic interests, violinist and conductor Stephen Sitarski was born in Oakville, Ontario. He received his training from Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Toronto, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His most influential teachers were Lorand Fenyves and Joyce Robbins.
 
After holding the position of Associate Concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, he took the same position with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and then went on to become Concertmaster of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. He is currently Concertmaster of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in addition to Toronto’s Esprit Orchestra.
 
He has performed as guest concertmaster for many Canadian orchestras, and has often been featured as soloist. Composers Glenn Buhr and Kelly-Marie Murphy have both written concertos expressly for Stephen, and he has been involved in countless premieres of new works in solo, chamber, and orchestral forms.
 
A former faculty member of Canada’s National Youth Orchestra, he is currently on the faculty of Toronto’s Royal Conservatory. Himself a victim of severe depression, Stephen has become an advocate and spokesperson for musicians’ mental health issues.”

Suhashini Arulanandam – Violinist

Canadian violinist Suhashini Arulanandam is an intensely curious musical explorer with a knack for finding connections between elements that might appear unrelated. Her explorations have included improvisation in varied styles and contexts, new music, popular music genres, and folk music traditions. She has premiered works by composers such as Anna Pidgorna, Margaret Ashburner, Sally Norris, Chris Thornborrow, and Anna Hostman, and has improvised with tabla virtuoso Samir Chatterjee and Sufi rock musician Salman Ahmad. Most recently, she was invited to join Solidaridad, a newly formed Tango Orquesta, which has quickly been picked up by radio stations such as the famous La 2X4 tango radio channel in Buenos Aires, as well as Jazz FM91’a “Cafe Latino”.

Suhashini is a longtime member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Windsor Symphony Orchestra.  She is the co-founder of the violin and cello Tadioli Duo along with cellist Sybil Shanahan. She has also performed with the Esprit Orchestra, Tapestry Opera, Soundstreams, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Aradia Ensemble, Go: Organic Orchestra, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra (USA). Suhashini is also a Baroque violinist, and has attended Tafelmusik’s Summer and Winter Institutes, as well as the American Bach Soloists Academy and Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College.

Suhashini can be heard on the Centrediscs release “Hymns of Heaven and Earth”, an album of chamber music by Peter Togni, the Aradia Ensemble’s Juno-nominated album, Vivaldi: Sacred Music, Vol. IV , Sarah Slean’s “Metaphysics” album, and Rocking Horse Winner with Tapestry Opera, all which have been broadcast on CBC Radio. A committed educator,  Suhashini coaches the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra violins and has presented clinics and workshops for school strings programs in the GTA. She is a Licensure Trainee for the Association for Body Mapping Educators, and is dedicated to helping performers eliminate and prevent performance-related injuries.

https://www.instagram.com/harmonyviolinstudio/
harmonyviolinstudio.ca

Tyler Cunningham – Percussionist

A native of the D.C. Metro Area, Tyler Cunningham is a Toronto-based percussionist, researcher, and new media artist. He has performed across the US and abroad in Europe and Asia premiering over fifty solo and chamber works, and he has performed at the Lucerne Festival (Lucerne, Switzerland), Musikfest Berlin (Berlin, Germany), the Composer’s Conference (Wellesley, MA), Atlantic Music Festival (Waterville, ME), the Fluxus Fest (NYC), Continuum’s HATCH (Toronto, ON), the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Banff, AB). He has also performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble (NYC), Contemporaneous (NYC), OS Ensemble (NYC), AXIOM (NYC), Distinguished Concerts International (NYC), the Tilikum Trio (Toronto, ON), Soundstreams (Toronto, ON), PROMPTUS (NYC), and NEL2R (Toronto, ON).
 
Tyler is the co-founder of the PROMPTUS Collective, a NYC-based performance collective that focuses on researching and cultivating a trans-disciplinary practice, and Nothing Else Left to Read (NEL2R), a Toronto-based collective that focuses on devising durational, improvised work. He also is an active new-media artist, and he has shown his work at Fluxus Fest (NYC), Arts on Site (NYC), Flatpack Festival (Birmingham, UK), 7MPR Themed Dance Theatre (NYC), MISE-EN PLACE’s Open Bushwick Studios (NYC), and Ensemble Studio Theatre (NYC). Tyler received his Bachelor of Music at the Juilliard School, studying with Markus Rhoten & Greg Zuber and receiving the John Erskine Prize in Scholastic and Artistic Achievement, and his Master of Music from the University of Toronto, studying with Aiyun Huang and Beverley Johnston.

Aysel Taghi-Zada – Violinist/Violist

Aysel Taghi-Zada is a passionate violinist/violist devoted to the performance of classical and contemporary music. She has collaborated with some of the most distinguished composers and musicians from North America and Europe such as Philip Glass, Brian Current, Salvatore Sciarrino, Chris Paul Harman, Kevin Lau, Mark Fewer, Pierre Leroux, David Geringas and Pascale Beaudin. She is frequently invited to perform with contemporary ensembles such as Tapestry Opera, New Music Concerts, Freesound Ensemble, Thin Edge New Music Collective and Soundstreams Canada.
 
She is a graduate of the Artist Diploma Program at the Glenn Gould School where she studied with Barry Shiffman. While studying at McGill University with Jonathan Crow, she co-founded Ensemble Paramirabo, a group that specializes in showcasing music written by Canadian composers, and she performed on their first album Autoportrait. She is currently a violin instructor with the Columbus Cultural Centre, where her studio includes students of all ages, and she was a mentor with the Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions in 2018 and the Toronto Creative Music Lab in 2019.