LSM Newswire

Friday, October 9, 2009

North Toronto Institute of Music's Mary Kenedi produces Monster Concert extravaganza - Massey Hall, Saturday, October 31, 2009, at 3 p.m.

North Toronto Institute of Music’s Mary Kenedi produces Monster Concert extravaganza.
Massey Hall, Saturday, October 31, 2009, at 3 p.m.
Tickets $45.00 to $25.00 – Call 416-872-4255 or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office

Friday, October 2, 2009 – If there is one thing that North Toronto Institute of Music’s founder, Mary Kenedi knows something about, it is that you never give up on a dream. The tireless concert pianist, recording artist and educator has embarked on realizing a very personal aspiration – one that involves 10 Steinway grand pianos, 50 pianists and one of the world’s most famous concert halls. At 3:00pm on Saturday, October 31st the dream becomes reality when Mary Kenedi along with NTIM faculty and students present a Halloween-themed Monster Concert at Massey Hall in support of SickKids Foundation.

“I wanted to do something special to inspire my students,” explains Kenedi, “and having taken part in the RCM’s Massey Hall Monster Concert almost 20-years ago, I knew that this experience would be something these children would remember for a lifetime. My hope is that this event could possibly even change someone’s life, be it through inspiration or through the funds we will raise for the SickKids Foundation”.

Kenedi’s infectious enthusiasm for the fundraiser has helped her land some impressive support with Luba Goy, star of the much-loved CBC comedy series Royal Canadian Air Farce signing on to host; and Maestro William Shokhoff conducting. Shokhoff, who is widely known for his 8-year stint as conductor of the house orchestra for the long-running Toronto production of the Phantom of the Opera, is no stranger to the monster concert model, having famously conducted a classical fundraiser in the White House at the personal request of former first-lady Rosalyn Carter.

The NTIM Monster Concert promises an impressive evening of music featuring popular works by Gottschalk, Rossini, Liszt, Saint-Saens and Bizet along with a few surprises for music fans of every age. It continues the long-standing fundraising tradition begun in the 1830s by the composer Czerny and features multiple pianists performing solos, duets and ensemble works.

The first known Monster Concert held in Toronto took place in 1931 and was orchestrated by influential pianist and teacher Mona Bates to raise funds for the underprivileged. The ensemble was comprised of the best-known Bates pupils and was conducted by Bates herself. Mary Kenedi, a noted student of Mona Bates’ famed Jarvis Street music school, is dedicating the concert to the memory of her mentor. The October 31st tribute also marks the 120th Anniversary of Bates’ birth in Burlington, Ontario.

Tickets for the North Toronto Institute of Music’s Monster Concert are $45.00 to $25.00 and are available in person at the Roy Thomson Hall box office, 60 Simcoe St., by calling 416.872.4255 or online at

North Toronto Institute of Music’s Monster Concert is sponsored in-part by Remenyi House of Music with media sponsorship provided by Classical FM. For more information about Mary Kenedi and the North Toronto Institute of Music or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities please visit or call 416-488-2588.


Mary Kenedi founded the North Toronto Institute of Music in 1995 as a welcoming environment for students of all ages to explore their creativity and develop an outlet for self-expression. Based on the understanding that an enhanced musical literacy provides an elevated appreciation of the art form, Mary strives to impart to her students the same passion for music that has fuelled her own compelling musical journey.


As a refugee of the Hungarian Revolution, Mary Kenedi credits her own mother’s strength and resilience for inspiring her to surmount obstacles in both her performance and teaching careers. Whether launching her own teaching academy or embarking on remarkable projects, such as single-handedly staging the upcoming Monster Concert at Massey Hall, Mary Kenedi does so with a survivor’s instinct. This extraordinary talent and drive has earned Mary a renowned reputation as an interpreter of the music of fellow Hungarians, Béla Bartók and Zoltan Kodály, as well as a respected interpreter of contemporary Canadian music. She last appeared at Massey Hall as an ensemble performer during the Royal Conservatory of Music’s 1990 Monster Concert and made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1983. She holds a Licentiate Diploma, Bachelor of Music in Performance and Master of Music in Music Education from the University of Toronto, and a Diploma from the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary. In addition to her 30+ years experience teaching at such noted establishments as the Royal Conservatory and McMaster University, Kenedi maintains a busy international performance and recording schedule in solo and concerto appearances.


Mary Kenedi’s most recent recording, A Voice Not Stilled, produced by her own record label Echiquier Records, showcases the incredible spirit of another remarkable woman. The title recording is based on themes by Gabriella Kolliner, a fellow Hungarian who perished in Auschwitz. Gabriella’s nephew, Peter Kolliner first documented his Aunt’s childhood melodies upon hearing them as remembered by his father. Peter went on to commission composer Michael Easton to create a musical canvas for these deeply cherished family treasures. The stunning result, A Voice Not Stilled (2000) Sinfonia Concertante for piano and orchestra debuted in Peter’s native Australia.

Mutual acquaintance would later unite Peter Kolliner with Kenedi, who was instrumental in orchestrating the European and Hungarian premiere. Peter Kolliner traveled to Europe to meet Kenedi for the first time, and to hear her perform the piece with The North Czech Philharmonic, under the direction of conductor Charles Olivieri-Munroe. This stunning live performance of is captured on this breathtaking new disc. For more information or to purchase copies of the CD please visit



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