The University of Winnipeg and Virtuosi Concerts jointly announce that after 30 years, their association will have its finale on March 31, 2021 due to the economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Virtuosi Concerts appreciates the tremendous support it has received from the University of Winnipeg and its presidents through the years, which made so much of what we have achieved possible,” said Andrew Thomson, Virtuosi Concerts’ Executive Director. “We understand the difficult decisions facing the University as it grapples with the significant disruptions caused by COVID and the ongoing fiscal challenges. We are grateful to the administration, faculty, staff, and students who, for over 30 years, made it possible for Virtuosi Concerts to present transformative performances that have enriched the cultural life of our city.”
UWinnipeg is proud of its longstanding connection to Virtuosi Concerts and we wish them continued success in the future.
Dr. James Currie
Virtuosi is known for its annual series of outstanding chamber music concerts and recitals at the University’s Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, which brings nationally and internationally recognized artists and ensembles to Winnipeg each year. Some of Virtuosi’s guest artists have included: Angela Hewitt, Janina Fialkowska, Anton Kuerti, Alexander Tselyakov, Tokyo String Quartet, Ensemble Made In Canada, Jerusalem Piano Trio, Gryphon Trio, Tracy Dahl, Colin Carr, Karl Stobbe, and the winners of Calgary’s Honens International Piano Competition and Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Virtuosi Concerts origins can be linked to the efforts of a committee of University faculty led by Dr. Harry Strub, a professor in the Department of Psychology. Following a decade of producing dozens of lunchtime concerts at the University, Dr. Strub launched Skywalk Concerts & Lectures in 1990 at what is now the Millennium Library. Virtuosi Concerts began as a co-presentation with the CBC Radio in 1991. Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall opened at the University of Winnipeg in 1993 and became Virtuosi Concerts’ primary performance venue. Dr. Strub recently announced his retirement as Virtuosi’s Artistic Director, but continues to teach and is the longest-serving faculty member at The University of Winnipeg.
Virtuosi Concerts was incorporated in 1998 as a not-for-profit entity with its own board of directors. In 2015, Virtuosi launched its Young Artist Program which affords young musicians a professional concert experience at the opening of each Virtuosi performance. The Virtuosi Board recently made a public commitment to make its series more inclusive and diverse.
“The UWinnipeg community is proud of its longstanding connection to Virtuosi Concerts — and the top-quality chamber music recitals that have been enjoyed by so many on our campus over the years. The performances have enhanced the cultural landscape of our city and our downtown, and we wish Virtuosi Concerts continued success in the future,” said Dr. James Currie, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor at The University of Winnipeg.
Virtuosi Concerts will celebrate its 30th Anniversary in 2021 with a reduced season featuring Manitoba artists in free online concerts and looks forward to celebrating Harry Strub’s lasting commitment to Virtuosi, when it is safe to do so. In the coming months, Virtuosi will work to become self-supporting and/or affiliated with another organization to ensure many more years of outstanding chamber music concerts and recitals.