Canadian Women Composers Project @ Gallery 345, Toronto [22 October]

Canadian Women Composers Project

15:00 - 17:00

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Gallery 345
345 Sorauren Avenue #3, Toronto, Ontario M6R 2G5
Canadian Women Composers Project
Clarisse Tonigussi, soprano
Narmina Efendiyeva, piano
Sunday October 22, 2017 at 3 pm
$20/$10 (cash only)

The Canadian Women Composers (CWC) Project presents soprano Clarisse Tonigussi and pianist Narmina Efendiyeva in recital, featuring the works of Canadian women composers.

The CWC Project is dedicated to bringing greater awareness to vocal music by Canadian women composers. In an hour-long recital, vocal repertoire that has been overlooked in the past can be heard, appreciated, and recognized. For the Canadian sesquicentennial, the recital is making its way around Canada, sharing the music of Canadian women songwriters as it goes.


The composers that have been chosen for the concert are Gena Branscombe, Jean Ethridge, Jean Coulthard, Carol Ann Weaver, Mary Gardiner, Ana Sokolovic, Jana Skarecky, Martha Hill Duncan, and Rebekah Cummings. The works are sung in historical order, beginning with music by Gena Branscombe and ending with a work based on Anne of Green Gables quotes composed in 2017 by Rebekah Cummings.

Not only does this project highlight Canadian women’s music, but it also showcases other Canadian female artists. The poetry has been written by Canadian female poets including Madeleine Guimont, P.K. Page, Judith Miller, Majorie Pickthall, Beatrice Redpath, and E. Pauline Johnson, a Canadian female designer, Carly Cumpson, has created the beautiful gown that is worn for each recital, and the musicians who are performing the recitals are also women. It is a celebration of women in Canada by having women perform great works by women!

Clarisse Tonigussi has always had a deep love of music. As a child she spent countless hours at the piano playing the songs that sprung into her head, and enjoyed everything that her voice and the beautiful sound of the piano had to offer. She furthered her love of music at the University of Toronto and received an Undergraduate degree in Voice Performance, graduating with Honours. She continued her studies at the University of Toronto and obtained a Masters degree in Voice Performance.

Ms. Tonigussi has performed roles such as Emmy Perth in the opera Der Vampyr, Papagena, and the First Spirit in The Magic Flute with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. Her chorus appearances include Romeo et Juliette with the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute, The Mikado and The Student Prince with Toronto Operetta Theatre, and Opera York’s The Merry Widow. She was a soloist with the Barrie Lyrica Chamber Choir, is a performer with the Toronto group the Hedgerow Singers, and is the featured soloist with the touring company Opera Luminata.This year, Clarisse is delighted to share with audiences the music of Canadian women composers in concerts across the country with The Canadian Women Composers Project.

Born in Baku (Azerbaijan) as a fourth-generation musician, Narmina Efendiyeva always knew that she would join in the family tradition. She gave her first solo concert at the age of 6 and studied at the Bülbül Specialized musical school under the guidance of Adelya Vekilova where she frequently gave solo concerts and performed with orchestra.

In 2000, Narmina graduated with a Master's degree from U. Hadjibeyov Azerbaijan State Conservatory and from 2001-2010, worked as an accompanist at the Azerbaijan State Choir. In 2011, Narmina gave her first concert in Toronto at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church and was awarded the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Prize in Accompanying at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music where she graduated with a second Master's degrees. Since then, Narmina has worked as music director and pianist for productions such as Bellinni's «I Capuleti e i Montecchi,» Mozart's «The Magic Flute,» «Madama Butterfly» by Puccini, and «Ariadne auf Naxos» by Strauss with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, as well as Borodin's «Prince Igor» with Opera in Concert. She has also played «The Saucy Señorita,» «The Mikado» by Sullivan & Gilbert, «Earnest, the Importance of Being» by Davies & Benson with Toronto Operetta Theatre, and Kurt Weill's «Street Scene» with Opera in Concert.
Recently, Narmina played Edward Grieg’s Piano concerto with the Toronto Ukrainian Orchestra and participated in Syrinx Concerts Toronto

Website info:

The CWC project was featured in the Spring/Summer publication of “The Association of Canadian Women Composers” Journal.
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