Samuel Baron Prize
2003, Borys Medicky, harpsichord
Despite a childhood interest in music, which led me to obtain the ARCT Diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), I studied physics and astronomy after high school and received my undergraduate degree in those subjects. With graduate school all lined up, a serendipitous visit to the Boston Early Music Festival in the summer of 1993 convinced me to abandon further studies in physics and devote myself instead to a serious study of early music and the harpsichord.
I studied with Michael Jarvis in Hamilton, Ontario and with Arthur Haas at the Eastman School of Music and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and I learned Baroque performance practice with renowned lutenist Paul O’Dette. In 2003, I received my doctoral degree from Stony Brook and was awarded the Samuel Baron Prize, given to an outstanding graduate. Several years of residence in New York City followed, after which I returned to my home town of Toronto. Since returning, I have performed with all the major early music ensembles in southern Ontario, along with many other classical music groups. I have assisted the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute for many years as an accompanist and coach, as well as being responsible for the tuning and maintenance of the workshop’s harpsichords. Since 2006 I have been the artistic director of Nota Bene Baroque in Kitchener, Ontario. I also serve as organist for the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist in Toronto.
I have a wide-ranging interest in all aspects of early music. My scholarly interest in historical dance and its influence on instrumental music led me to study French Baroque dance for several years with noted dancer and teacher Elaine Biagi Turner. I also acted as music director for the Toronto-based Baroque dance group La Belle Danse. After attending workshops with renowned lutenist and opera director Stephen Stubbs, I co-founded and continue to co-direct (with lutenist Lucas Harris) the Toronto Continuo Collective, an all-continuo ensemble dedicated to fostering an increased interest in the stylish basso continuo accompaniment of seventeenth-century vocal and instrumental music. Interest in Baroque opera has also brought me opportunities to work with Opera Atelier in Toronto, both as repetiteur and as part of the house orchestra.
In recent years, I have been increasingly busy as a harpsichord technician, tuning and maintaining instruments for institutions and private clients alike. My expertise in instrument care led me to construct my own Italian-style harpsichord based on a museum drawing, an ambitious project that I successfully concluded in November 2009. Intimate acquaintance with the mechanics of the harpsichord, together with my performing activities, have earned me a well-rounded reputation as a soloist and sensitive accompanist with a deep understanding of every aspect of my chosen instrument.