Cheryl Duvall About
Over the past decade, Toronto-based pianist Cheryl Duvall has established herself as one of Canada’s foremost contemporary music interpreters. Her voracious eclecticism has led to her immersion in a wide variety of compositional aesthetics and collaborative endeavours and imparted versatility, a lucid sense of contour, and an evocative sonic and emotional presence.
Alongside violinist Ilana Waniuk she co-founded the “adventurous and smartly programmed” (Musicworks Magazine) chamber group Thin Edge New Music Collective. Since their inception in spring of 2012 they’ve commissioned over 70 works, including pieces by acclaimed Canadians Linda Catlin Smith, Michael Oesterle, Remy Siu, and Sabrina Schroeder. They’ve also spearheaded ambitious and imaginative multidisciplinary initiatives including Balancing On The Edge, which blended paradigm-shattering circus performance and vivid contemporary repertoire. Over the years, they’ve joined forces with leading creative performers such as Charlotte Mundy, Jason Sharp (Constellation Records), and Montréal’s lauded Ensemble Paramirabo, with whom they recorded the CD Raging Against The Machine. They’ve also worked directly with a cast of celebrated composers—Elliott Sharp, Barbara Monk Feldman and Sarah Hennies (who composed Lake for the group when they presented her acclaimed film/ chamber work Contralto). In addition to touring across Canada, they’ve positioned themselves as ambassadors for Canadian work abroad, with tours and residencies in Greece, Germany, Japan, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina. They’ve also given Canadian premieres for works by Sean McCann, Samuel Andreyev, Miya Masaoka, Alex Mincek, and Jo Kondo.
Duvall maintains a vigorous pace even outside of sharing TENMC’s leadership. In 2016 her formidable skill and commitment was recognized with a nomination for the KM Hunter Award. Recently, she’s embarked on a commissioning project to gather solo works from a diverse selection of Canadian composers. The project encompasses the open-ended hush of Wandelweiser member Daniel Brandes, Kotoka Suzuki’s vibrant cascades of colour, the dexterous texture of James O’Callaghan, Emilie Lebel’s immersive introspection, and Anna Höstman, whose piano music is the subject of her debut solo recording, Harbour (Redshift Records).
Her expertise in concert music’s present moment is routinely sought after—she’s been a guest speaker at various universities, the Music Gallery, Soundstreams, the Canadian Music Centre, INTERsection Festival, a was a resident artist at Wilfrid Laurier University 40th Anniversary and New Music Festival.
She has performed with stalwart choreographer Peggy Baker, noted cellist Paul Pulford (formerly of the Penderecki Quartet), and music-directed contemporary-oriented vocal music productions by Loose Tea Music Theatre and Essential Opera, the latter of which was featured at Kitchener’s Open Ears Festival. In 2012 she was part of an ensemble gathered by film music mainstay Darren Fung to record his score for an NFB-produced short.She was also a member of wayward chamber band Bespoken, who garnered praise for their 2013 recording and was invited by members of exploratory Toronto punk outfit Fucked Up to perform at their Long Winter festival.
Duvall also regularly performs outside of contemporary music spheres, notably with American violinist Andrew Sords, and accompanying the renowned Oakville Choir for Children and Youth, with whom she has toured, recorded and competed internationally (with gold standings). She operates a full private teaching studio, is a member of the College of Examiners with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and adjudicates piano competitions across Canada.
She holds an Honours Bachelor of Music (Piano Performance and Theory) and Diploma of Chamber Music from Wilfrid Laurier University, and also graduated from University of Toronto with a Master’s of Piano Performance and Pedagogy.
Recommended by Alex Ross (The Rest Is Noise):
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