The Aldeburgh Connection

The Aldeburgh Connection. Performing association and vocal concert series based in Toronto and named after the Aldeburgh Festival in England. The Aldeburgh Connection was founded in 1982 by Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata, who were the group's accompanists and artistic directors. 2012-2013 was announced as the final season of the series. Since its inception The Aldeburgh Connection presented many of Canada's leading singers in uniquely formatted concerts featuring art-song repertoire interspersed with narrative, based on or built around musical, historical, or literary themes. The first performance, 21 Feb 1982, was at Hart House, University of Toronto, and by 2013 it had produced well over 100 different theme programs. In 1985 it began a series of Sunday afternoon concerts in Walter Hall, University of Toronto, with afternoon tea served at intermission. In 1992 it launched its longer, more extensive solo recital series at the Glenn Gould Studio, and in 1998 began its young artist recital series. Performances were frequently broadcast nationally on the CBC, and included appearances by Catherine Robbin; Russell Braun; Michael Schade; Jean Stilwell; Gerald Finley; Benjamin Butterfield; and Mary Lou Fallis. The organization produced performances throughout Canada and in New York, Chicago, and at Glimmerglass Opera Festival, as well as at the Aldeburgh Festival. In addition it premiered commissioned works such as Harry Somers', The Owl and the Pussycat; John Beckwith's concert version of music for The Journals of Susanna Moodie; and several works by Derek Holman and John Greer. In 1991 it released The Aldeburgh Connection: 10 Years, a cassette featuring Ralls and Ubukata with, among others, guest musicians Lois Marshall; Catherine Robbin; Janet Stubbs; Mary Lou Fallis; Mark Pedrotti; Russell Braun; Michael Schade; and Glyn Evans. Other recordings included Liebeslieder and Folk Songs in 1995 (MVCD 1077); The Canticles in 1996 (ERAD 185); and The Aldeburgh Connection: 20th Anniversary Collection in 2002. Its recording, Schubert Among Friends (MAR 365), was nominated for a Juno award in 2008, and the 2009 recording, Our Own Songs (MAR 381) featured works commissioned by The Aldeburgh Connection. In 2002 The Aldeburgh Connection was the recipient of a Lieutenant Governor's Award for the Arts.