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    Virtuosi Concerts 30th Anniversary Season!

     

About Us

Virtuosi Concerts is The University of Winnipeg’s International Recital & Chamber Music Series, presenting artists and ensembles of national and international renown. The best of our own Manitoba artists are frequently featured within the nine annual concerts of the subscription season.

The Virtuosi Concerts series was established in 1991 as a co-presentation of The University of Winnipeg and the CBC. The series is now produced by Virtuosi Concerts Inc. (VCI) in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall at The University of Winnipeg. VCI was incorporated in 1998.

“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.” (Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press)

“At the University of Winnipeg, we recognize that music and the arts greatly enrich our community. 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, President and Vice Chancellor, University of Winnipeg)

The Ashkenazy Steinway

The Steinway concert grand piano in the University of Winnipeg’s 225-seat Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall (EGH) was originally selected by John Steinway and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy. They had chosen it 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 us by pianist Antonin Kubalek and acquired in 1993, the year EGH opened. The Steinway has since been completely restored and is lovingly maintained by  technician Fred Redekop.

MUSICNET

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

Young artist program

Artistic Director Harry Strub has always been one to search out new talent to present on VCI’s Virtuosi Concerts and the Skywalk Concerts & Lectures series we produce at the Millennium Lilbrary. Occasionally, Harry invited the winner of the Winnipeg Music Festival’s Aikins Memorial Trophy for top instrumentalist to perform at the opening of a Virtuosi concert. In March 2014, Harry spotted Holly Harris’s Free Press feature article on 14 year-old cellist David Liam Roberts’ Aikins win, and was quick to invite him to perform the next week at the Virtuosi concert. The following year, he extended a similar invitation to violinist Gregory Lewis.

Executive Director Andrew Thomson, saw the audience’s enthusiastic response to David Liam’s and Gregory’s Virtuosi performances and realized the potential for making these periodic events a regular feature of every Virtuosi concert. Together, Harry and Andrew enlisted the energy and skills of Winnipeg pianist, and newly recruited VCI board member, Madeline Hildebrand, to help develop what is now the Virtuosi Young Artist Program. Launched during Virtuosi’s 25th Anniversary season, the Young Artist Program’s mandate is to provide exceptional senior music students a true performance experience on a professional concert series.

Since 2016, the Young Artist Program has developed more structure and greater rigour. Annual juried auditions are held each April in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall. Scholarships are provided to the top three audition performances, thanks to the generous support the Virtuosi audience provides through a “Pass the Hat” event, each March. Every Virtuosi Young Artist receives an honorarium, concert tickets, program and social media profile, and an interview on Classic 107 FM.

The generous support of Virtuosi Concerts subscribers and supporters made it possible to present a concert solely featuring Virtuosi Young Artists in November 2019. We hope that the Young Artist concert becomes a regular feature of Virtuosi Concerts.

Virtuosi Concerts has recognized the origins of the Young Artist Program by presenting an annual prize of a performance on the Virtuosi Concerts stage to the winner of the Winnipeg Music Festival’s Aikins Memorial Trophy.

SKYWALK CONCERTS & LECTURES

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

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Harry Strub is a professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Winnipeg. Since 1980, he has also been a concert producer at the university. He is a founder or co-founder of Virtuosi Concerts (1991), MusicNet (1994), Skywalk Concerts & Lectures (1990), Fred Douglas Place Lectures (1990), Distinguished Speakers at The Wellington (2000), and the New Classical Connection Series at The Simkin Centre (2012). In September 2011, he launched a new course at the university called Psychology and the Arts.

Virtuosi Concerts (MB) Inc. BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2018-19)

President, Board Chair: Paul McCulloch
Past President: Ian Scarth
Treasurer: Kerry Dangerfield
Board Members: Janice Freeman, Madeline Hildebrand, Peter Hildebrand, Sarah Jo Kirsch, Aleksandra Osipova, Anna Scheider, Joan Stephens, Marcello Venditti

Virtuosi Concerts (MB) Inc ADMINISTRATION CONTACT LIST

Artistic Director, Harry Strub 204-786-9327 h.strub@uwinnipeg.ca
Executive Director, Andrew S. Thomson 204-786-9958 an.thomson@uwinnipeg.ca
Concert Administrator, Sydney Clarke 204-786-9918 virtuosi.concerts@gmail.com

Virtuosi Concerts
The University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue, Room 2C04
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9
204-786-9000
Email  virtuosi.concerts@gmail.com