Catherine Robbin Graces the Stage at York U in Rare Public Performance

February 6, 2008

Catherine Robbin Graces the Stage at York U in Rare Public Performance

Internationally recognized mezzo soprano Catherine Robbin headlines the Faculty Concert Series of York University’s Music Department on February 21 in a rare public performance, her first post-retirement recital. She will share the stage with her department colleagues, tenor Colin Ainsworth, and pianist Raisa Nakhmanovich in the recital, which takes place at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at York.

Catherine Robbin imageRobbin (left) will present some of her favourite repertoire. Her solo program will feature a selection of songs by Mendelssohn and Brahms, including Auf Flügeln des Gesanges, Nachtlied, Venetianisches Gondellied, Die Mainacht, Sonntag and Von ewiger Liebe, as well as Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis, and Britten’s song cycle A Charm of Lullabies. Ainsworth will join her in Britten’s canticle Abraham and Isaac and some of Britten’s folksong arrangements.

One of Canada’s best known classical singers, Catherine Robbin earned an international reputation during her 30-year career as a performing and recording artist. Noted especially for her interpretation of Baroque and Romantic repertoire, she has appeared with leading conductors and orchestras in recital, concert and opera performances across North America and Europe, with broadcasts on the BBC, CBC and Radio France.

Robbins’ discography features more than 30 CDs ranging from Vivaldi and Pergolesi cantatas to Mozart and Handel operas, on labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, Teldec, CBC, Marquis and Decca. Hailed as “…one of the most naturally beautiful voices in Canada… [with] a warmly expressive palette of subtle nuance and shading” (Music Magazine), her  honours include a Juno Award, Gramophone Record of the Year, Grand Prix de Disque and a Grammy nomination.

Robbin joined York’s Music Department in 2000, and retired from her active performance career three years later to dedicate herself to teaching full time. She currently coordinates the classical vocal performance program at York.

Colin Ainsworth imageColin Ainsworth (right), an instructor in York’s music department, has been praised for his “magnetic stage presence” (Toronto Star) and his “rock-solid technique, excellent diction, and  virile tone” (Globe and Mail). His dramatic range encompasses operas ranging from Monteverdi to MacRae and Britten. He has performed with London’s Royal Opera, the Greek National Opera, Opera Atelier and L’Opéra Français de New York among others. This season sees him performing across Canada with the Manitoba Opera, Opera Ontario, Edmonton Opera, Vancouver Opera, Winnipeg Symphony, Vancouver Bach Choir and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

Well-known accompanist and music director Raisa Nakhmanovich (below, left) teaches piano, piano accompaniment and piano pedagogy at York. She’s worked as a pianist and coach with Toronto Opera Repertoire, Opera Mississauga and Toronto Operetta Theater, and as a musical director with such companies as Opera in Concert, Summer Opera Lyric Theater, Opera Buffa, Premiere Opera Company and Creative Artist Productions among others.Raisa Nakhmanovich image

What: Catherine Robbin in concert
When: Thurs. Feb 21 at 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. [Map]
Admission: $15, students $5.
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |

This is the sixth of seven performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. The final concert will feature jazz drummer Barry Elmes.

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Media Contact:
Amy Stewart, Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University
416-736-2100 ext. 20421  |