TORONTO, ON…Scott St. John, one of Canada’s best-known musicians and violinist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, has been appointed Artistic Director of Piano Plus, effective immediately. Founded by pianist Janina Fialkowska in 1993, Piano Plus is the only national not-for-profit dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in small and remote communities across the country, by presenting Canada’s internationally renowned classical musicians in affordable concerts and workshops. St. John succeeds pianist Angela Cheng, who has led the organization since 2006.
Born in London, Ontario, Scott St. John is a highly sought-after soloist, teacher and a consummate chamber musician. He made his Carnegie debut in 1988 after winning First Prize in the Alexander Schneider Competition. He won the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award, and has since played an enormous variety of concerts across North America, including solo appearances with the Boston Pops, Vancouver Symphony, Toronto Symphony and Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. From 1999 - 2006, St. John served as Associate Professor of Violin at University of Toronto and in 2003 he received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since 2006, he has been a member of the prestigious St. Lawrence String Quartet, performing over 100 concerts a year with them world-wide. His solo recordings include an all-Dvorak CD, and 2 volumes of Paganini works for violin and guitar. St. John resides and teaches in the Bay Area of California and will be in Toronto this week to perform on the Music Toronto series, Thursday, March 25 at 8 pm.
“I believe strongly that every community should have access to the live concert performance, and the opportunity to experience great artistry in front of their eyes and ears - and feel thegoose bumps,” enthused Scott St. John. “Piano Plus artists are world-famous musicians who know their roots and have made commitments to play every corner of Canada. I want to help them realize that goal.”
The Piano Plus artist roster is comprised exclusively of world-class Canadian pianists, vocalists and instrumentalists with exceptional performance and teaching expertise. Motivated by a desire to give back to their country, this select group of artists waive their usual fees to ensure Piano Plus events are affordable to small communities. Over the last 12 months, James Ehnes, Janina Fialkowska, Jon Kimura Parker, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Jens Lindemann, Heather Schmidt, and David Jalbert have toured from Newfoundland to Bella Bella, BC; and Snow Lake, Manitoba to Owen Sound, ON. Currently, both Andre Laplante and Katherine Chi are touring, in New Brunswick and northern Ontario, respectively.
A cultural pioneer, Piano Plus has created a huge impact on hundreds of small and remote communities across Canada. Since 1993, more than 100,000 children, youth and adults have enjoyed Piano Plus recitals, school workshops, master classes, concerts, and individual teaching sessions. The majority of these audiences have never experienced a live classical music performance before Piano Plus visited their community. For more information about Piano Plus, or to download photos and a complete biography of Artistic Director Scott St. John, visit www.pianoplus.ca.