Over the last ten years the ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory) has become one of Canada's pre-eminent cultural ambassadors, raising international appreciation of the Royal Conservatory and Canada's rich musical life. Its members are all senior faculty of The Glenn Gould School with guest artists drawn from its most exceptional students and graduates. The ARC Ensemble has performed throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia, and its first two CDs, On the Threshold of Hope and Right Through the Bone (devoted respectively to the music of Mieczyslaw Weinberg and Julius Röntgen) were both nominated for Grammy Awards in the "Best Chamber Music Recording" category.
The ARC Ensemble has collaborated with a range of artists: the pianist Leon Fleisher, the novelist Yann Martel, actors Saul Rubinek and R.H.Thompson, and composers Omar Daniel and Vincent Ho. It is playing a leading role in unearthing repertoire ignored due to political changes or shifts in musical fashion, and its work has received unanimous acclaim from the world's cultural press. Its concerts and recordings are meticulously researched and assembled with rich supporting materials and are often augmented by lectures on their musical, political and social context, or included as part of larger-themed festivals.
The acclaimed "Music in Exile" series, which explores the music of composers forced to flee Europe during the 1930s, has been presented to huge critical acclaim in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Budapest, and Toronto. The ensemble's recordings enjoy regular airplay on networks around the world and its concerts have been broadcast on CBC Radio, National Public Radio in the US and on public radio throughout Europe.
The ARC Ensemble's third recording, Two Roads to Exile (RCA Red Seal), a CD devoted to works by Adolf Busch and Walter Braunfels, received praise from reviewers across North America. The release was accompanied by a short film, Honour Bound – The Exile of Adolf Busch, which chronicles the events that led to Busch's self-imposed exile from Germany in 1933. The graphic illustrations are accompanied by Busch's ravishing String Sextet. ARC's next CD is dedicated to the chamber music of another émigré, the Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim. It will include his Quintet for clarinet and strings and his unpublished Piano Quartet, last heard in !932. The recording will be released on the Chandos label in June 2013.
Highlights of the ARC Ensemble's 2012 - 2013 season include performances at London's Wigmore Hall and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, as well as concerts in Canada, notably in Vancouver, where it will premiere a Piano Quintet by the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, and as part of the Stratford Festival.
James Conlon, Music Director of the Los Angeles Opera and the Ravinia Festival, and a major force in the resuscitation of lost twentieth century repertoire, is the ARC Ensemble's Honorary Chairman. The ARC Ensemble's Artistc Director is Simon Wynberg.
> Member Biographies