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Q&A | 44 Questions for Edwin Huizinga

By Michael Vincent on October 21, 2014

Edwin Huizinga Photo: V. Tony Hauser

Every so often, MT poses 60 questions to a local or visiting artist in Toronto who has made our classical music community that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers. A kind of Rorschach personality test, if you will.

Guelph, Ontario-born Edwin Huizinga is a familiar face around Toronto’s classical, baroque, jazz, and indie music scene. Besides playing for period ensembles Tafelmusik, and ACRONYM, he is a member of the popular Toronto-based indierock band Wooden Sky. Edwin is also one of the founders of the Classical Revolution. What started as a project to make chamber music more accessible, it has gone on to inspired the creation of over 30 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Edwin currently resides in Toronto and is a former student of violinist, Mark Fewer.


Where did you go to school?

Oberlin Conservatory.

What did you major in as an undergraduate?

Violin performance.

What are three things about Toronto that make you want to live here?

Great Coffee. Great musicians. Great diversity and culture.

Name your favourite concert hall/venue in Toronto.

Koerner Hall.

Name your favourite concert hall anywhere.

Wigmore hall, performed there with Gustav Leonhardt and it was incredible.

Your role models?

Mark Fewer, Keith Hamm, Brendan Canning, Gavin Gardiner, Geoff Nuttall, Jeanne Lamon, Sacha Rattle, and Elizabeth Wallfisch.

Your Favourite sound?

The violin.

Your least favourite sound?

The BART transit system in San Francisco.

Your ancestry?

100% Dutch.

First thing that comes to your mind when you think about Toronto?

It’s home.

What are the three things you’d like to change about Toronto?

More bike lanes, a musical community that collaborates more, and more chamber music venues.

Name the musical equivalent to junk food.


Default drink/cocktail of choice?

Old fashioned.

Is there a local music store that could sell you anything?

Yes: The Sound Post, Long & McQuade, and any number of record stores.

Your first three record store purchases?

Sigur Rós, Sam Cooke, and Rubber Soul.

If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you?


The strangest place you’ve ever been to?


Whose musical style do you covet?


Where was the last place you traveled to for work or pleasure?

30 shows across Canada in a van with my band the Wooden Sky. I am on the road as I write these words, heading to New Brunswick. 5 more shows on the east coast to finish off our fall tour.

Shoe of choice?

Black leather hand-made Italian boots.

How do you know when you can trust someone?

It’s a feeling.

What was the luckiest moment in your life?

When my mom decided I should play violin.

What are you the most proud of?

My sister for surviving a liver transplant.

What is the best thing about your work?

Hanging out with friends doing what we love.

What is the worst thing about your work?

The disrespect that sometimes comes along with it

The talent that you wish you possessed?

The ability to fly.

What are you listening to as you answer these questions?

Spectral Dusk, an Evening Hymns album.

What musical instrument do you secretly long to play?


What sport did you give up and why?

Soccer – for more violin.

What is the game that you’re best at?

The game of chamber music.

What is the one animal that scares you the most?

The microorganisms inside your body that attack your cells, and can kill.

If you had a motto, what would it be?

Go for it! Don’t wait, don’t hesitate. Just go for it.

Have you ever fired a gun? If so, what were the circumstances?

I have fired lots of arrows, as a hobby, towards a target.

Scariest situation you’ve ever been in?

Flying through the Everglades with my girlfriend’s dad on a custom airboat built like a helicopter.

Your favourite word?


Your least favourite word?


The thing that makes you the happiest?

Being on stage.

The thing that makes you the angriest?

Pour behaviour from one human being to another human being.

Three things of no monetary value that you own and will keep dearly until you die?

A children’s book my mom gave me before she passed away, a book of songs my girlfriend wrote for me, and my Haydn quartet collection.

The first album that made you love music?

Probably the Nutcracker, danced along to that A LOT when I was a kid.

Three pieces, songs, or arias that you could listen to on repeat for an hour?

The Bach Double Violin Concerto, slow movement,  the Schubert Double Cello Quintet, first movement, the song, below my feet by Mumford and Sons.

The first three things that you do every morning?

Cuddle with my love, make a coffee, and start thinking about breakfast.

The best way to die?

I’m not ready yet.

The piece of music you want played at your funeral?

Matthäus-Passion, Aria “Mache dich, mein Herze, rein”.

Michael Vincent
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