Amici Chamber Ensemble

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About Amici Chamber Ensemble

Celebrating 36 years as one of Canada’s finest and most distinguished chamber ensembles 

Outstanding performances. Extraordinary experiences.

Artistic Directors clarinetist Joaquin Valdepeñas, cellist David Hetherington and pianist Serouj Kradjian invite some of the finest musicians to join them in innovative and eclectic programming, celebrating friendship through music.

Amici's aim is to perform the world's finest chamber music, with its most accomplished musicians, while delivering innovating programming by: 1) Performing and programming innovative repertoire, and collaborating with both top-tier Canadian and internationally renowned musicians, and other artistic disciplines. 2) Maintaining and developing the Ensemble's important role in broadening Canada's music library by regularly commissioning new works, adding to over twenty commissions to date. 3) Offering performances and recordings that cover a broad range of traditional and contemporary works, and includes commissioned works by Canadian composers. With innovation as a permanent keystone we introduce our audience to lesser-known works through accessible presentation and collaborations. 4) Ensuring the future of chamber music in Canada by engaging, collaborating with, and teaching Canada's emerging musicians, both performers and composers.

In Spring of 2009, founding member Patricia Parr (Order of Canada) retired, and the ensemble welcomed pianist, composer and arranger, Serouj Kradjian.

Amici Chamber Ensemble’s annual concert series has featured world-renowned musicians as frequent guests, including Joyce El-Khoury, Jonathan Crow, Marina Piccinini, Mireille Asselin, James Ehnes, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Lara St. John, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Russell Braun, Michael Schade, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Andre Laplante and James Sommerville. The ensemble has commissioned and premiered over twenty works by Canadian composers, among them Allan Gordon Bell, Chan Ka Nin, Brian Cherney, Malcolm Forsyth, Jacques Hétu, Alexina Louie and Jeffrey Ryan.

Alongside numerous broadcasts of their concerts on national radio, Amici Chamber Ensemble’s recordings have placed them firmly among the world’s best chamber musicians and garnered the ensemble two JUNO awards, most recently the 2013 Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble for Levant. Other prestigious honors include several JUNO award nominations, including a 2011 nomination for the ATMA Classique disc “Armenian Chamber Music”. Two recordings of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time highlight their critically acclaimed discography.

Joaquin Valdepeñas is former principal clarinetist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and is regarded as one of the most distinguished clarinetists of his generation. Active as soloist, chamber musician and conductor, Mr. Valdepeñas has performed at festivals & concert series throughout the world.

David Hetherington, was for many years assistant principal cellist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He currently teaches cello and chamber music at the Glenn Gould School and is Director of the Interprovincial Music Camp. Mr. Hetherington plays his 1695 cello made by Giovanni Grancino of Milan “with rare delicacy and clarity”.

Pianist and composer Serouj Kradjian is hailed as a “keyboard acrobat” of “crystal virtuosity” by the press. He is regularly invited to appear as soloist and chamber musician in North America and Europe. Lately, he has been gaining much praise as composer and arranger.

AMICI Team:

Co-Artistic Directors: Joaquin Valdepeñas, David Hetherington and Serouj Kradjian

Executive Director: Kaija Corlazzoli

Social Media Manager: Chara Tan 

Marketing & Website Services: ZJW Associates

Board of Directors