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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Amici Chamber Ensemble


Amici Chamber Ensemble

Venue: Mazzoleni Concert Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor St. W

Box Office: 416-408-0208


Phone: 416-871-4275


Office Address: P.O. Box 47512 Don Mills 946 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto ON, M3C 3S7

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Amici Chamber Ensemble celebrates 30 years as one of Canada’s finest and most distinguished chamber music ensembles. 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 Chamber Ensemble’s annual concert series has featured world-renowned musicians as frequent guests, including James Ehnes, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Lara St. John, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Russell Braun, Michael Schade, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Andre Laplante, Jonathan Crow 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.


The Folks Behind It All

Joaquin Valdepeñas is 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, assistant principal cellist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, teaches cello and chamber music at the Glenn Gould School. 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.



2017/18 Season

Inspired by Canada

November 12th, 3pm

Join Amici as we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with a live performance and album release of our newest recording project — Inspired by Canada — Notre Pays!

Featuring Canadian soprano Mireille Asselin performing an eclectic mix of musical gems which capture the spirit of our great country, including hits by the best ambassadors of Canadian song such as Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Claude Léveillée, in new arrangements by Serouj Kradjian. Experience Cohen’s Hallelujah like you’ve never heard it before!


  • Leonard Cohen  Hallelujah
  • Joni Mitchell  A Case of You
  • Claude Léveillée  Les Vieux Pianos
  • Gilles Vignault  Mon Pays
  • Ralph Vaughan-Williams  49th Parallel: Prelude
  • Scott Joplin/ Serouj Kradjian  Maple Leaf Forever Rag
  • Ernest Seitz  The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
  • Serouj Kradjian Chants du Québec
  • Antoine Gérin-Lajoie  Canadien Errant

— — — — —

Inspired by Strauss

January 28, 3PM

Richard Strauss was mostly known for his operatic and orchestral masterpieces.  Amici explores his masterful yet lesser known chamber music works: his Piano Quartet, the Duett Concertino (in its new chamber version), and Lieder favourites like “Morgen” and “Zueignung”, in new arrangements and featuring Canadian soprano Sasha Djihanian.


  • Duett Concertino
  • Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 13
  • Lieder
  • Die Nacht
  • Morgen
  • Traum durch die Dämmerung
  • Zueignung

— — — — —

Inspired by Levant

February 25, 3PM

Amici presents the remount of our Juno Award-winning recording, Levant. Take a musical journey with us through the Middle East as we explore the fascinating and mystifying sounds and colours of Levant, the “region of the rising sun”. This program features violinist Lara St. John in an eclectic selection of works by composers whose paths might not have crossed had it not been for their source of inspiration: the cradle of ancient civilizations.


  • Rabih Abou-Khalil  Arabian Waltz
  • Aleksandr Glazunov  Rêverie orientale
  • Osvaldo Golijov  Levante
  • George Gurdjieff  Armenian Song, Sayyid Song & Dance No. 29, Sayyid Song and Dance No. 10
  • John Farah  Ah ya Zayn
  • Sergey Prokofiev  Overture on Hebrew Themes, for clarinet, string quartet & piano, Op. 34
  • Marko Tajcevic  Seven Balkan Dances
  • Gayane Tchebodarian  Piano Trio
  • Solhi al-Wadi  Trio for piano, violin and cello

— — — — —

A Legacy of Inspiration

April 27, 8PM

Koerner Hall

Amici has been making music for 30 wonderful years and we celebrate this auspicious occasion by partnering with The Royal Conservatory of Music to present our final concert showcasing three B’s; Beethoven, Brahms and Bernstein, in Koerner Hall. We are joined by award-winning students from the Glenn Gould School, some of our favourite instrumental colleagues, dear friend Yehonatan Berick and internationally renowned soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian.


  • Ludwig van Beethoven  Rondino
  • Johannes Brahms  Clarinet Quintet
  • Leonard Bernstein  Arias and Barcarolles, Candide, West Side Story
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