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Biography
Over the preceding century, the performance and enjoyment of classical and contemporary art music has become a rarified and institutionalized experience, with artists more and more removed and disengaged from their audiences, and audiences more and more limited to passive participation - but no longer!
 
Quintimacy, founded by musicologist Eleanor Johnston, composer Chad Martin and mezzo-soprano Ramona Carmelly, and pianists Joseph Ferretti and Elaine Lau in 2008, is a Toronto-based group dedicated to rebuilding a close working relationship between composer, performer and audience through intimate salon-style performance of new, rare and beautiful solo and chamber works in eclectic and unusual settings from private homes and gardens to local art galleries and more.
 
The concept of a return to an intimate salon-style of music presentation with conversation, proximity and artistic immediacy began generating a buzz among artists and music-lovers, performers and audiences, with our very warmly received debut event in November 2008. Conversation, Canapes and Cancions featured Federico Mompou’s Cancons Becquerianas, seldom heard songs by Henri Duparc, as well as witty inventive pieces for toy piano (yes, Toy Piano) by our own Chad Martin.
 
In February 2009, audience thrilled to Ravel and other Pleasures as Quintimacy was joined by special guest artists flutist Shauna Basiuk and cellist Liza McLennan for Maurice Ravel’s spectacular Chansons Madécasses, Ravel’s whimsical Mother Goose Suite for piano, and his duet La Valse (the single piano, two-pianists version by Lucien Garban), as well as Debussy's sinuous flute masterpiece Syrinx, and Villa Lobos' thrilling flute-cello duet Assobio a Jato.
 
We closed our inaugural season, with mirrored poetic expressions of love in May 2009, featuring Richard Wagner's lush and rapturous Wesendonck lieder as well as Franz Liszt’s transcription of Isolde’s Liebestod, and culminating in the premiere of a new song cycle by Quintimacy’s resident composer Chad Martin, i will open petal by petal myself, a sumptuous and witty setting of love poems by the inimitable e e cummings.
 
The following year, artistic engagements and the growth of our musical family with the birth of a lovely baby to two of our members provided happy distractions for Quintimacy! Season two was therefore brief, but exquisite, comprising one fantastic concert in January 2010, Expressionists in the Melting Pot: Vienna to America.  Quintimacy was delighted to feature guest artist, soprano Kristin Mueller-Heaslip (Winner of the 2008 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition) in a programme that traced the impact of socio-political events on music, with the evolution of the more intimate, accessible forms and performance styles of early 20th century Vienna to the strange realities of the New World after the escape or expulsion of many composers from Europe during the rise of the Nazi regime - the period which gave rise to that very separation of composers, performers, and audience which Quintimacy intends to reverse!
 
Kristin and Elaine Lau provided tour-de-force performances of Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder and his Lied der Lulu, as well as Korngold’s Drei Lieder Op. 22; Joseph Ferretti entranced us with Schoenberg’s Sechs Kleine Klavierstück Op. 19 and Scriabin’s Prelude and Nocturne for the Left Hand Alone Op.9, No.1 & 2.  As always, informative discussion of the pieces was offered during the performance and light refreshments to follow.
 
In 2010-2011, Quintimacy continues to explore this mandate, sharing eclectic gems and new masterpieces in intimate and accessible salon-style environments of camaraderie, with conversation and good company.
 
For more information or to book Quintimacy, please contact us at
416- 834-9541 or mezzodiva@sympatico.ca

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