About Us

OVERVIEW

Virtuosi Concerts is Winnipeg's international recital and chamber music concert series featuring diverse artists drawn from around the globe and principally those from Canada and the province of Manitoba. Virtuosi’s programing draws on compositions from the 17th century to present time, performed by soloists, duos, trios, quartets, and occasionally larger ensembles. The annual subscription series, produced by Virtuosi Concerts Inc. (VCI) has its home in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall at The University of Winnipeg.

“The Virtuosi Concerts series has become renowned for producing high-calibre programming year-after-year. It's an honour to play host to one of the premier cultural events in Winnipeg.” (Dr. Anette Trimbee, Past President and Vice Chancellor, University of Winnipeg)

“No university in Canada has come close to presenting such an array of guest artists in recital.” (Robert Silverman, pianist and former UBC Dean of Music)

“Virtuosi has provided such a consistent quality of concerts over the years that its audience trusts the organizers – believing that if VCI is putting it on, it must be worthwhile.” (Winnipeg Free Press)

VISION

VCI aspires to become the hub for diverse forms of chamber music in Manitoba, where audiences have an aesthetic encounter with chamber music in a venue that serves as a destination for both artist and audience. By presenting premier interpreters of chamber music in a salon setting, VCI desires to nurture our audience’s understanding and appreciation of chamber music in all its forms.

MISSION

To be a portal to performances of chamber music in an intimate setting that:

  • Facilitates deeply personal aesthetic experiences nourishing both audience and artist.
  • Supports young and emerging artists.
  • Sustains its members and patrons, while developing the chamber music art form.
  • Seeks community partnerships that foster learning and participation.
  • Explores progressive programming while maintaining the pillars of the classical canon.

VALUES

Virtuosi Concerts (MB) Inc. (VCI) believes that music is a universal form of human communication; that the interaction between performing artist and audience is indispensable to the mind and spirit; that the transformative power of live performance can embrace and unite individuals, communities, and cultures, thereby strengthening art and enriching society.

VIRTUOSI CONCERTS PROGRAM MANDATE

For three decades Virtuosi Concerts has presented an exceptional classical chamber music series performed by internationally acclaimed artists for a discerning audience. Our primary goal has been to present programming that nourishes the soul, offering cathartic experiences that heal, and virtuosity that excites. As Virtuosi Concerts enters the third decade of the 21st century, we recognize that the classical music landscape is changing worldwide. While we remain committed to programming that encompasses the pillars of the traditional classical canon, we are resolved to present new works and commissions, unheard voices past and present, and artists who challenge the status quo. Moreover, we will strive to bring diversity to the musicians who perform on our stage. It is our belief that diversity and inclusion, both onstage and off, will ensure the chamber music genre thrives and endures for generations to come. We invite our artists to think critically about programming that will fulfil our mandate.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Virtuosi Concerts had its origins at The University of Winnipeg and was developed through the efforts of a committee led by psychology professor Harry Strub. During this time, dozens of lunchtime concerts were produced at the university, and in 1990 Dr. Strub launched Skywalk Concerts & Lectures at what is now the Millennium Library. Virtuosi Concerts began as a co-presentation with the CBC Radio in 1991. Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall opened at the University of Winnipeg in 1993 and became Virtuosi Concerts’ primary performance venue. Virtuosi Concerts MB Inc. (VCI) was incorporated in 1998 as a not-for-profit entity. In 2015, Virtuosi Concerts established an Endowment Fund at the Winnipeg Foundation. The University of Winnipeg ended its association with VCI in 2021 owing to a financial prioritization triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Strub, VCI founder and artistic director retired during this time. Virtuosi recorded four concerts during the pandemic which were premiered online during the winter of 2021. VCI continues as an independent entity and is exploring new and creative associations. The search for VCI’s next artistic director is underway.

THE ASHKENAZY STEINWAY

The Steinway concert grand piano in the 225-seat Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall was originally selected by John Steinway and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy for the opening of Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall in 1982, and the inaugural recital with legendary pianist Claudio Arrau whose signature is inscribed inside the piano. It was later recommended to VCI by pianist Antonin Kubalek and acquired in 1993, the year EGH opened.

SKYWALK CONCERTS & LECTURES

VCI also produces the Skywalk Concerts & Lectures series at the Millennium Library as part of its community outreach and education. There are 20 concerts and 20 lectures presented annually during the lunch hour, all with free admission. The concerts feature classical, jazz, folk, Anishinaabe, and world music and provide a showcase opportunity for Manitoba musicians, including pre-professional music students. The lectures are generously offered by professors from The University of Winnipeg.

YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAM

Virtuosi Concerts Young Artist Program was launched in 2015, as part of Virtuosi's 25th Anniversary season. The program's mandate is to provide exceptional senior music students a true performance experience on a professional concert series. Performers are selected each April through juried auditions. Virtuosi Young Artists receive an honorarium, concert tickets, program and social media profile, and an interview on Classic 107 FM.

MUSICNET

Virtuosi Concerts is a co-founder of MusicNet, now comprised of 13 music organizations in Winnipeg. MusicNet produces the annual MusicNet Concert Calendar which is distributed throughout the city, and a Reader Reward Card offering discounts to the members' concerts.

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Virtuosi Concerts Founding Artistic Director was Dr. Harry Strub, a professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Winnipeg. Harry built Virtuosi Concerts into an internationally renowned concert series. He enabled many of Canada’s finest young musicians to thrive and rise to the highest levels of artistic and personal accomplishment. Dr. Strub retired as Artistic Director in September 2020. Interim Artistic Advisor, Madeline Hildebrand is a PhD candidate at Stony Brook Conservatory, Long Island, New York. Virtuosi Concerts is currently seeking a new Artistic Director to lead the organization into its fourth decade of concert presentations.

VIRTUOSI CONCERTS (MB) INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President, Board Chair: Paul McCulloch
Treasurer: Kerry Dangerfield
Secretary: Janice Freeman
Board Members: Madeline Hildebrand, Katherine Mayba, Judge Robert L Pollack, Joan Stephens, Jennifer Thiessen, Theresa Thordarson, Dr. Marcello Venditti

VIRTUOSI CONCERTS (MB) INC ADMINISTRATION

Artistic Advisor, Madeline Hildebrand 631-428-4013 maddyhildebrand@gmail.com
Executive Director, Andrew S. Thomson 204-290-4510 vcigeneralmanager@gmail.com
Social Media Director, Heather Lewis 204-293-7990 hkdlewis@gmail.com

CONTACT VIRTUOSI CONCERTS

Virtuosi Concerts
P.O. Box 2982 Station Main
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4B5
204-786-9000
Email virtuosi.concerts@gmail.com