All Concerts start at 3pm at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre,
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto


Early Bird Subscribers will receive 2 complimentary tickets to bring guests to the salon of their choice (subject to availability).

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dedicated to our very dear friend Jacques Israelievitch.

Ah LOVE.. Even though it may look like a straight line from A to B, it can often dissolve into a convoluted labyrinth. Sometimes there are triangles. Even squares. Five pointed stars too, sometimes!!! The possibilities, as you can imagine, are endless. In the complex maze of romantic relationships, whatever the particular shapes may be, it can become impossible to find a clear way out. And for some - lucky for us - the way out is through Music.

Let us raise a toast to the seemingly straight line of Richard Strauss's love life, the complex triangles that surrounded Pauline Viardot and also Gustav Mahler, the tempestuous and glorious love-labyrinths of Ludwig van Beethoven and Frederic Chopin: we thank you for the music!

Igor Gefter, cello
Joni Henson, soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano
Peter McGillivray, baritone
Maeve Palmer, soprano
Inna Perkis, piano
Mark Skazinetsky, violin
Boris Zarankin, piano
Julia Zarankin, host

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Les Annees Folles. The Roaring Twenties. Die Goldene Zwanziger.

These names alone suggest a time of joyful abandon, perpetual motion, great clamour, unhinged experimentation.. And, of course, drink. Join us for an intoxicating musical journey to a decade bursting with innovation. From the sophistication and complexity of Hindemith, Berg, Schoenberg and Paris' Les Six, to the popular melodies of Weill, Copland, Gershwin and Coward, whether shaken or stirred, on the rocks or neat, anything goes.

Allison Angelo, soprano
Joseph Macerollo, accordion
Jimmy Roberts, piano
Krisztina Szabo, mezzo soprano
James Westman, baritone

Sunday, April 10, 2016
21st ANNUAL SCHUBERTIAD: Beyond The Brook

Die Schone Mullerin, one of Schubert's most famous song cycles, tells the story of a young Wanderer who comes upon a brook. He follows it to the mill. There, of course, he falls in love with the Mullerin of the title, but his love is unrequited. In truly Romantic fashion, he obsesses and despairs and ultimately.. drowns. Or perhaps becomes one with the brook.. While we wouldn't dare change a thing about our Wanderer's journey, we just couldn't leave you without a happier ending! This year's spring-time Schubertiad goes even further, beyond the brook.. Our second young wanderer is a Shepherd - yes, you know the one: on the rock - but this time, the journey ends in the joyful anticipation of Spring and rebirth.

Jeffrey Ollarsaba, tenor
Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Boris Zarankin, piano
Inna Perkis, piano

After a very successful first season, derege returns in 2016 with much more up its sleeve. Dates and times TBD.

derange - which derives from the French word for "taken out of line," but is also associated with insanity! - is a two-concert mini-series at the intersection of Canadian Contemporary, Classical, Jazz and Folk Music, celebrating a more "out of line," interdisciplinary and creative approach to performing this repertoire.

In keeping with Off Centre's tradition of creating a dialogue between artist and concert-goer, each derange concert features an element of discussion facilitated by Torontonian artists and experts in their fields. The mini-series is curated by soprano Ilana Zarankin and drummer Nico Dann, and is co-produced by The Music Gallery.


“If Art Tatum took up classical music seriously, I'd quit my job the next day.”

TEA FOR TWO is inspired by the fabled friendship of classical piano virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz and jazz piano monster Art Tatum. The two shared a deep mutual admiration for one another, but after a round of musical show-and-tell in which they each played their own arrangements of "Tea for Two" (one improvised on the spot, the other toiled over for weeks), Horowitz vowed never to play it in public again.

Exploring this idea of "Mastery" that knows no bounds of genre or context, we will pit classical wizards against their popular/jazz/improvised-music counterparts. Featuring Jazz Pianist Chris Donnely (Myriad3) vs. Classical pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough (who will both tip their hats to that now-infamous jazz standard) as well as improvising vocalist Christine Duncan vs. indie-folk artist Alex Lukashevsky vs. classical soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon performing their takes on a handful of standard folk songs.

IN HARMONY IN HARMONY is a celebration of the human voice and of its extraordinary versatility. From Monteverdi duets and traditional Georgian trios, to untraditional vocal ensembles (think looping and distortion pedals), improvisers and songsters with the most enviable ears. Moreover, IN HARMONY gives us the rare opportunity to present one of our favourite vocal artists working today, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE yArDs fame), as the many-faceted wonder that she is! Also featuring Toronto-based vocalists Alex Samaras, Robin Dann, Felicity Williams, Ilana Zarankin and the Zari Trio.

that's all we can tell you for now. our lips are sealed in secrecy.

check back often for more details and information at:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

This is the time. The Romanoffs hold court, but the great divide between the Aristocrats and the Common Folk is growing too wide. And then it's 1917 - and the whole thing comes crumbling down. From the ashes, the great promise, the new way: Communism. And of course, the even greater disappointment that follows.

But what of the music? Did it hold a mirror up to this turbulent time, reflecting its unrest? Did it tell an otherwise unspeakable, hidden truth? Or was it an escape for the composers, living and writing in a country that they loved but that, daily, became more and more foreign to them? The lives and music of such giants as Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Tcherepnin, Rachmaninoff and Sviridov, in a time of great tragedy, great change, great hope.

Nathalie Paulin, soprano
Emilia Boteva, mezzo soprano
Ernesto Ramirez, tenor
Geoffrey Sirrett, baritone
Inna Perkis, piano
Boris Zarankin, piano

[ Below are our past concerts from the 2014/15 season ]

June 7, 2015
20th Anniversary Gala

We are thrilled to announce that we will be celebrating our 20th birthday in style, with some of Off Centre's favourite artists (and Canadian treasures!) Isabel Bayrakdarian, Russell Braun, Krisztina Szabo, Nathalie Paulin, Norine Burgess, Joni Henson, Jeffrey Hill, Elina Kelebeev, Joseph Macerollo, Carolyn Maule, Christopher Mokrzewski, Jimmy Roberts, Lauren Segal, Alexander Sevastian, James Westman, Monica Whicher and Ilana Zarankin among many others. Dr. David Goldbloom, is our Master of Ceremonies.

Season Subscription holders are given priority access to specially priced tickets for this celebratory event.

April 26, 2015
Old, Young, Eternal Vienna: from Mozart to Schoenberg
In a program that spans from Mozart to Schoenberg, we time-travel to Vienna's many heydays, when the city was at the epicenter of musical innovation. The program will include Schoenberg's epic Pierrot Lunaire with a stellar cast including violinist Steven Dann, cellist Julie Hereish, flutist Susan Hoeppner, clarinetist Yao Guang Zhai, pianist Boris Zarankin and sprecher Ilana Zarankin under the baton of Kenneth Slowik.

This concert is co-sponsored by ROGER MOORE & FLAVIA MORDEN.

Dear friends,

We are extremely excited about featuring Schoenberg's hypnotic Pierrot Lunaire and sharing it with our audience this Sunday, April 26.

Recently, we came across a fascinating video about some aspects of Schoenberg's music and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

All the best,

Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin


May 14, 2015 // special concert at The Music Gallery, 197 John Street, Toronto

The Party is a wistfully imagined meeting of our favourite and diverse composer friends on one programme. The RSVPs are still pending, but we have invited Classical composers Christopher Mayo (Toronto-born, London-based) and Shawn Jaeger (Kentucky-born, New York-based), and Jazz composers Anna Webber (Kelowna-born, New York-based) and Michael Davidson (Toronto born and based) to join us for an eclectic musical celebration featuring new and old (but not too old) works by each of these composers. We will also be featuring a piece by prolific 20th century Ukrainian composer Valentin Bibik. While some of our composer-friends will also be performing we have filled out the ranks with Daniel Fortin and Daniel Lalonde (Double Basses), David French (clarinet), Boris Zarankin (piano) and ourselves, Ilana Zarankin (voice) and Nico Dann (drums/percussion). Keeping the conversation flowing (and the proverbial wine glasses full) is host and singer Alex Samaras.


Following is the program for April 26, 2015:

Arnold Schoenberg


Pierrot Lunaire, Opus 21

Thrice 7 poems from Albert Giraud's

German translation by Otto Erich Hartleben
English translation (from German) by Andrew Porter in 1984

Part I
1. Mondestrunken (Moondrunk)
2. Columbine (Columbine)
3.Der Dandy (The Dandy)
4. Eine blasse Wäscherin (An Ethereal Washerwoman)
5. Valse de Chopin (Chopin Waltz)
6. Madonna (Madonna)
7. Der kranke Mond (The Sick Moon)

Part II
8. Nacht (Passacaglia) (Night)
9. Gebet an Pierrot (Prayer to Pierrot)
10. Raub (Theft)
11. Rote Messe (Red Mass)
12. Galgenlied (Gallows Song)
13. Enthauptung (Beheading)
14. Die Kreuze (The Crosses)

Part III
15. Heimweh (Nostalgia)
16. Gemeinheit! (Meantrick!)
17. Parodie (Parody)
18. Der Mondfleck (The Moonfleck)
19. Serenade (Serenade)
20. Heimfahrt (Journey Homeward - Barcarole)
21. O Alter Duft (O Ancient Scent)


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


From Die Zauberflöte (The magic Flute)
Piano score for 4 hands by Alexander Zemlinsky - Toronto première

From Cosi Fan Tutte

" Ah, Guarda sorella"

"Soave sia il vento"

"Ah, che tutta in un momento"

From Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)

"Sull'aria" (Letter scene)

From Don Giovanni
"La ci darem la mano"

Tom Allen, host
Norine Burgess, mezzo soprano
Lucia Cesaroni, soprano
Jesse Clark, bariton
Steven Dann, violine and viola
Julie Hereish, cello
Susan Hoeppner, flute
Elina Kelebeev, piano
Adrian Kramer, tenor
Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Maeve Palmer, soprano,
Inna Perkis, piano
Kenneth Slowik, conductor
Boris Zarankin, piano
Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Yao Guang Zhai, clarnet

October 26. 2014
20th Annual Schubertiad
Our 20th Annual tribute to the beloved Schubert – from the darkness of Winterreise to the light of the B flat Major trio – with soprano Allison Angelo, baritone Giles Tomkins, cellist Winona Zelenka, violinist Jacques Israelievitch and pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin.

This concert is sponsored by THE MARY-MARGARET WEBB FOUNDATION.

December 7, 2014
Russian Salon: St. Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad... St. Petersburg
We follow the transformations of this great city with the expert guidance of violinist Marie Bérard, soprano Ilana Zarankin, mezzo soprano Erica Iris Huang and our very own Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin at the piano, in a program that will include Stravinsky's groundbreaking L'Histoire du soldat with actor William Webster.

This concert is sponsored by ANNA AND LESLIE DAN.

March 1, 2015
On love and other difficulties
Soprano Carla Huhtanen, mezzo soprano Emilia Boteva, tenor Ryan Harper and baritone Giovanni Spanu perform the glorious music of Mozart, Brahms, Liszt, Wolf, Berlioz, Mahler, Verdi, Shchedrin and Rangström inspired by the most tempestuous relationships, with Canadian treasure Stuart Hamilton as our host. Poetry and prose reading from R.M. Rilke by distinguish Canadian actor William Webster. Piano - Inna Perkis, Boris Zarankin and Elina Kelebeev.

This concert is co-sponsored by KATALIN SCHAFER and NINA & JOHN VARGA.

Following is the 'On Love & Other Difficulties' program for March 1, 2015:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


"Con un vezzo"  from Opera La Finta Giardiniera

Giovanni Spanu, baritone
Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

Robert Schumann


From Liederkreis

Text: Eichendorff

Text:  Eichendorff

"Aus meinen Tränen spiessen"
Text: Heine

Text:  Eichendorff

"Ich grolle nicht"
Tex:t Heine

"Und Wüssten's die Blumen, die kleinen"
Text Heine

Ryan Harper, tenor
Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

Johannes Brahms


from Liebeslieder , Op.52
for Four Solo Voices and Piano Four Hands 
Numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12

Carla Huhtanen, soprano Emilia Boteva, mezzo soprano
Ryan Harper, tenor
Giovanni Spanu, baritone Boris Zarankin and Inna Perkis, piano

Franz Liszt


"Oh! Quand je dors"
Text: Victor Hugo

Carla Huhtanen, soprano
Inna Zarankin, piano

Hector Berlioz


from La damnation de Faust Margarita's Aria “D'amour l'ardente" 

Emilia Boteva, mezzo soprano
Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

Hugo Wolf


from Lieder  three Art Songs 
Text: Mörike

Giovanni Spanu, baritone Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

"Der Gärtner" (The Gardener)

Carla Huhtanen, soprano
Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

"Nimmersatte Liebe"
Text: Mörike

Carla Huhtanen, soprano
Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

Gustav Mahler 


From Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer)

"Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht" ("When My Sweetheart has her wedding") Text: Hustav Mahler

Giovanni Spanu, baritone
Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

"Ich hab'ein glühend Messer" ("I Have a Glowing Knife")
Text: Hustav Mahler

Giovanni Spanu, baritone
Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

Giuseppe Verdi


Aria from Rigoletto "La donna è mobile"

Ryan Harper, tenor
Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

Ture Rangström 

Rodion Shchedrin
(Born in 1932)


3 songs

Carla Huhtanen, soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano

Varvara's Limerics from Not only Love

Carla Huhtanen, soprano
Boris Zarankin/ Inna Perkis, piano

[ Below are concerts from past seasons ]







Sunday, October 20, 2013

In 1822, Schubert wrote in a letter to his friend Spaun, "our life together in Vienna is quite agreeable now. We hold readings at Schober's three times a week, as well as a Schubertiad". Throughout his short life, Schubert regularly attended a "reading society" where he first encountered the works of the great contemporary poets of his time. This season we delve into the song settings of two such poets: Goethe, whom Schubert idolized, and Heine, whose later poems full of deep feeling and revealing a bitter, disillusioned, cuckolded lover, appealed to Schubert in the final year of his life. Rising Canadian stars, soprano Jennifer Taverner and tenor Jeffrey Hill (in his Canadian debut!) as well as Off Centre favourite violinist Jacques Israelievitch join pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin in our 19th Annual Schubertiad.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Though scientists are still locked in disputes, it is believed that the oldest flute (primitive as it was) can be dated back to about 43,000 years ago! The human voice notwithstanding, this makes the flute the earliest known musical instrument. Jumping forward several millennia, virtouso flutist Carol Wincenc is one of the most respected and accliamed flutist performing today. Who better, then, to lead us in an exciting programme celebrating all things flute that ranges from Telemann to Poulenc and even further on to Canadian composer Harry Freedman? After a sixteen-year hiatus, Carol returns to Off Centre, along with special guests (and fellow flutists) Nora Schulman and Susan Hoeppner.

Following is the Tutti Flutti program for November 17, 2013:

Young artists
Felix Mendelssohn
On Wings of a Song, Piano Four Hands
Kailas Chari and Vikas Chari

Interview of Carol Wincenc by Stuart Hamilton on stage

Readings by Patricia Hamilton

László Zempléni
(b. 1947)

Louis Moyse

Claude Debussy

Gabriel Fauré

Johann Sebastian Bach

Francis Poulenc

Harry Freedman

Camille Saint-Saëns

André Caplet

Giocchino Rossini

Francis Poulence
  Trio for Three Flutes
Carol Wincenc, Susan Hoeppner and Nora Schulman

From Four Pieces for Three Flutes, No. 1, 3, 4
Carol Wincenc, Susan Hoeppner and Nora Schulman

Carol Wincenc

Morceau de Concours in F for Flute and Piano
Carol Wincenc and Inna Perkis

Siciliano from Sonata No. 2 in E-flat Major
Carol Wincenc and Inna Perkis

Sonata for Flute and Piano
Carol Wincenc and Boris Zarankin

Toccata for Flute and Soprano
Carol Wincenc and Ilana Zarankin

Une Flûte Invisible
Ilana Zarankin, Carol Wincenc and Inna Perkins
Text Victor Hugo

Viens! Une Flûte Invisible Soupier
Ilana Zarankin, Carol Wincenc and Inna Perkis

Overture to Opera La Gazza Ladra, Piano Four Hands
Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin

Sonata Four Hands
Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Since this is the season of revisiting old favourites, we could not possibly do without renewing our collaboration with the brilliant dancers of Opera Atelier (lead by the incomparable Jeannette Zingg). Off Centre devotees might remember the sparks that flew fifteen years ago, the last time an Atelier dancer took to the (tiny!) stage of the Arts and Letters Club, which we called home in the early years of Off Centre. Much has changed since then, but not our desire to continue integrating music and her sister arts. We are thrilled that this programme dedicated to the music of dance - from Weber's Invitation to The Dance to the waltzes of Ravel - will also feature Off Centre favourites accordionist Joseph Macerollo, baritone Olivier Laquerre and soprano Ilana Zarankin.

Elizabeth Kalashnikova, Lukas Malkowski, Cynthia Smithers, Nicholas Sullivan. Choreography: Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, costumes courtesy of Opera Atelier.

Programme Note:
Our brief history of the waltz, from 1775 to 1899, begins with lively Landler's. We work through the nineteenth century up to the elegance of the Belle Epoch, and finish with a short hommage à Fokine. Mikhail Fokine used Weber's Invitation to the Dance when he choreographed Le Spectre de la Rose for Nijinsky in 1911.

Choreographer's Biography:
Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer, Opera Atelier

Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg has choreographed and performed in 70+ productions since creating the company with Marshall Pynkoski, Co-Artistic Director and production Director, in 1985. Her training took place in Toronto, Paris, France, London, England and in Copenhagen, Denmark. In her role as choreographer and dancer, Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg has introduced modern audiences to the beauty of 17th, 18th and 19th century dance forms. Opera Atelier's productions, based in Toronto at the Elgin Theatre, have travelled to New York, Cleveland, the Houston Grand Opera, the BBC Proms in London, England, the Royal Opera House at Versailles, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Japan and Korea. She played the lead in Rhombus Media's production of Manuel De Falla's "Master Peter's Puppet Show". Also for Rhombus, Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg choreographed the dance ensembles for the Artists of Atelier Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet and the Scapino Ballet of Rotterdam, and starred opposite Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in "The Sorceress." She has revived important historical dance works by Handel, Mozart, Lully and Rameau, in collaboration with world-class conductors including Andrew Parrott, Marc Minkowski and Hervé Niquet. She has choreographed and performed for the Handel Festival in Halle, Germany and the Salzburg Festival In Austria.

This concert is sponsored by: Jackie and Horatio Kemeny, Katalin Schafer

Following is the 'Invitation to the Dance' program for March 30, 2014

Carl Maria von Weber
  Invitation to the Dance (Aufforderung zum Tanz), Op. 65, J. 260 (1819)

Choreography by Jeannette Zingg
Opera Atelier dancers
Boris Zarankin, piano

Giuseppe Verdi

George Gershwin


Camille Saint-Saëns

Frédéric Chopin

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Manuel de Falla



Franz Schubert/
Johannes Brahms

Jacques Ibert


Frédéric Chopin

Joseph Canteloube



Astor Piazzola

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Jacques Brel


"Sul fil d'un soffio etesio" (Nanetta) from Falstaff (III, ii)
Libretto by A. Boito

"By Strauss" (1936)
Lyrics by I. Gershwin

Maeve Palmer, soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano

Si vous n'avez rien à me dire (1870)
Poetry by V. Hugo
Danse macabre (1872)
Poetry by H. Cazalis

Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Elina Kelebeev, piano

Mazurka, Op. 17, No. 4 (1834)
Mazurka, Op. 24, No. 4 (1836)

Boris Zarankin, piano

"Bei Männern welche Liebe fühlen" from Die Zauberflöte (I, ii) K. 620 (1791)
Libretto by E. Schikaneder

Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Elina Kelebeev, piano

Siete canciones populares españolas (1914-1915)
Folk texts
i. El paño moruno
ii. Seguidilla murciana
iii. Asturiana
iv. Jota
v. Nana
vi. Canción
vii. Polo

Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Boris Zarankin, piano


from 20 Ländler für Pianoforte (arranged by J. Brahms), 1869
numbers 1, 2, 3, 20, 4, 8, 10

Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin, piano four hands

from Quatre chansons de Don Quichotte (1933)
i. Chanson du départ de Don Quichotte (poetry by P. de Ronsard)
iii. Chanson du Duc (poetry by A. Arnoux)
iv. Chanson de la mort de Don Quichotte (poetry by A. Arnoux)

Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Elina Kelebeev, piano

Mazurka, op. 33, no. 1 (1838)
Mazurkas, op. 63, no. 2 and no. 3 (1847)

Boris Zarankin, piano

from Chants d'Auvergne (Folk Texts)
La Delaissado (series 2, no. 4)
Lou Coucut (series 4, no. 6)

Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano


Joseph Macerollo, accordion

"La ci darem la mano" (act I, sc. ii) from Don Giovanni (1787)
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte

Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Elina Kelebeev, piano

La valse à mille temps (1959)

Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Joseph Macerollo, accordion


Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Avant-Garde. The Twelve-Tone System. Modernism. Impressionism... Romanticism?? Just as the musical world was beginning to explode with compositional ingenuity, in Russia a handful of Romantic voices seemed to develop virtually untouched by these innovations, out of synch with the times: Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nokolai Medtner as well as lesser-known composers Alexander Grechaninov and Vladimir Rebikov. Helping us set the record straight on the most misunderstood Russian composers are Off Centre veterans baritone Peter McGillivray, mezzo soprano Erica Iris Huang, newcomers mezzo soprano Michèle Bogadnowicz, tenor Ernesto Ramirez and accordionist Alexander Sevastian, and pianists Elina Kelebeev, Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin.

Following is the 'Russian Salon: Composers Born In The Wrong Century' program for May 4, 2014

Download the program >>

Historical Commentary by Dr. Julia Zarankin, host

Sergei Rachmaninoff
  Art Songs

"When yesterday we met" , Op. 26, No. 13
Poetry by Yakov Polonsky
Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo soprano
Boris Zarankin, piano

“Sorrow in Spring Time”, Op. 21, No. 13
Poetry by G. Galina
Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo soprano
Boris Zarankin, piano

“Oh, never sing to me again”, Op. 4, No. 4
Poetry by Alexandr Pushkin
Ernesto Ramirez, tenor
Boris Zarankin, piano

“ Beloved, let  us fly…”, Op. 26, No. 5
Poetry by A. Golenishev-Kutuzov
Ernesto Ramirez, tenor
Inna Perkis, piano

“ Oh, stay, my love, forsake me not!”, Op. 4, No. 1
Poetry by D. Merezhkovsky
Peter McGillivray, baritone
Inna Perkis, piano

“ Spring waters”, Op. 14, No. 11
Poetry by F. Tyutchev
Peter McGillivray, baritone
Boris Zarankin, piano

“ The Christ is ris’n!”, Op. 26, No. 6
Poetry by D. Merezhkovsky
Peter McGillivray, baritone
Boris Zarankin, piano

“Barcarolle”, Op.10
Alexander Sevastian, accordion

Nikolay Medtner


“Wie kann vergessen jemals ich die stunde” ,Op. 32, No. 5
poetry by F. Tyutchev
Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano

“Twinlight”, Op. 21, No. 3
Poetry by F. Tiutchev
Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo soprano
Boris Zarankin, piano

“Greetings”, Op.24, No. 8
Poetry by Afanasy Fet
Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano

“Dawn in the Garden”/’Shopot, Robkoe dykhanie’ , Op. 24, No. 7
Poetry by Afanasy Fet
Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano

Anton Arensky


Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano

“They loved each other"
 Poetry by M. Lermontov
Vocal quartet  (a capella)
Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo soprano
Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano
Ernesto Ramirez, tenor
Peter McGillivray, baritone

“Last night”
Poetry by A. Khomiakov
Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano
Peter McGillivray, baritone
Boris Zarankin, piano

Alexandr Glazunov


“ If you want to love”, Op. 59, No. 4
Poetry by A. Korinphsky
Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo soprano
Inna Zarankin, piano

Reinhold Gliere


“ The tears of Mankind”, Op. 26, No. 6
Poetry by F. Tiutchev
Ernesto Ramirez, tenor
Inna Perkis, piano

Peter Tchaikovsky


From ballet “Sleeping Beauty”,  arranged by Sergei Rachmaninoff Waltz

Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin, piano four hands

“Night”, Op. 88
Poetry by unknown author
Vocal quartet
Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo soprano
Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano
Ernesto Ramirez, tenor
Peter McGillivray, baritone
Boris Zarankin, piano

Lensky’s aria from “Eugene Onegin”
Peter McGillivray, baritone
Boris Zarankin, piano

Anton Rubinstein


“Mountain peaks”,
Poetry by M. Lermontov
Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo soprano
Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano
Boris Zarankin, piano

Alexander Varlamov


“Vdol’ po ulitse metelitsa metet”
Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo soprano
Peter McGillivray, baritone
Inna Perkis, piano

Igor Stravinsky


From ballet "Petrushka”  Maslenitsa
Alexander Sevastian, accordion




Sunday, April 28, 2013

Imagine Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as nothing more than a lowly harmony teacher. Imagine Ludwig van Beethoven as a gigging pianist struggling to make ends meet. These chilling scenarios would have left the world starved of some of the greatest music we know. For as long as artists have created, philanthropists have stood in the shadows behind them. The list of these complex relationships goes far beyond Tchaikovsky and Mme von Meck and Beethoven and the Lichowsky family - there is Stravinsky and Diaghilev, Ravel, Poulenc, and Mme de Polignac, and many more. Join us as we delve into these fruitful collaborations and celebrate Off Centre's own generous philanthropists, in a programme featuring bass baritone Peter McGillivray, mezzo soprano Lauren Segal, violinist Jacques Israelievitch, accordionist Joseph Macerollo and pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin.

This concert is sponsored by JACKIE AND HORATIO KEMENY & TAKETO MURATA

[ Earlier this season... ]

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It is no surprise that the first "hearty meal" of our 18th season should be devoted to our beloved Schubert! Robert Schumann once described Schubert's magical ability to create great works of "heavenly length", and indeed his final piano Sonata (in B flat major) is just that - full of expansion, musical space and breath. Pianist Boris Zarankin's interpretation of his sprawling work has been praised for its power to "cause time to slow down and [even...] stand still as his fingers indulge the composer's creative ramblings". To sweeten your palate, for dessert we offer an array of favourite lieder performed by soprano Allison Angelo and tenor Lawrence Wiliford.

This concert is sponsored by the BMO FINANCIAL GROUP

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Last season, in an unprecedented twist of fate, we set our sights on sunny Italy and ended up in "The Big Apple": New York, New York. Our inaugural American Salon left us all wanting more - especially more of composer/pianist Jimmy Roberts! This year, Jimmy is joined by Met sensation tenor John Easterlin, sopranos Sarah Halmarson and Ilana Zarankin, baritone Vasil Garvanliev and violinist Marie Berard in a programme of Sondheim, Gershwin, and Berstein, among others!

This concert is sponsored by ANNA AND LESLIE DAN & KATALIN SCHAFER

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A couple of years ago we watched composers face off in our musical heavyweight championships - it was a very exciting match to watch but we thought this year our German Salon ought to be devoted to the more peaceful relationships between our favourite composers. With the help of Canadian superstar baritone Russell Braun, Off Centre newcomer mezzo soprano Rihab Chaieb, pianists Carolyn Maule, Elina Kelebeev, Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin, we will be delving into the fruitful musical worlds born of the lasting friendships of Schumann and Brahms, Wolf and Mahler, and finally, Haydn and Mozart. Join us... "this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."I

This concert is sponsored by ROGER MOORE & CROWE SOBERMAN

Sunday, May 6, 2012

"There is no true love, save in suffering." Sounds Russian, doesn't it? These are actually the words of Miguel de Unamuno, a Spanish essayist, poet, playwright and philosopher. Though Spain and Russia are geographically and culturally very far apart , there is a virtually identical saying about Russians who are "only happy when they are unhappy." Considered side by side, how does the music of each country complement the other? Soprano Joni Henson, baritone Peter McGillivray and mezzo soprano Leigh-Anne Martin (OFF CENTRE DEBUT) help us find out!

Sunday, March 25, 2012
Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life - Inaugural American Salon!
> Please note the programme change for our next salon.

The mystery of life is indeed sweetened with the fascinatin' rhythms of Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, Kern and Barber. In true Off Centre fashion we've had to re-route our musical travel plans, and though we will not make it to sunny Italy as planned, we do still mean to journey South, in the great copmany of tenors Keith Klassen (OFF CENTRE DEBUT) and Rocco Rupolo (OFF CENTRE DEBUT), baritone Giles Tomkins, soprano Ilana Zarankin, and pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin.

Special guest: Jimmy Roberts - composer, pianist, entertainer from New York, composer of the second-longest running Off Broadway musical in theater history, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”.

View enlarged >>

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shostakovich's only Cello Sonata was composed in 1934, only two years before Lady Macbeth of Mtensk gave Soviet censors the opportunity to publicity denounced Shostakovich as an enemy of the state. Twenty five years later, while he was being hounded to join the Communist Party, Shastakovich composed the Satires song cycle, setting five dangerously satirical poems by Sasha Cherny. Again, the censors were up in arms. To save himself, he joined the Party - a questionable move that ultimately allowed Shastakovich to keep pushing the compositional "envelope". From there, our program reminds 100 years to Tchaikovsky's 1879 opera Eugene Onegin based on Pushkin's novel in verse. But who was Onegin? A careless, selfish cynic sacrificing the promise of young love and loyal friendship, or a man who could not recognize happiness because it was just too close? Uncovering the mysteries of a character who still resonates with audiences today are soprano Lindsay Barrett, mezzo soprano Erica iris Huang, tenor Ryan Harper, baritone Geoffrey Sirett (OFF CENTRE DEBUT), cellist Winona Zelenka, and our very own Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin at the piano.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Robert Schumann once described Schubert's sonatas as being of "heavenly length" and his B flat major sonata (written in the final year of his life) is truly a piece of heavenly contemplation. But Schubert also wrote intensely dense and concise lieder - those one-page wonders! - that show off a kind of 19th Century musical intensity and humour that we've come to think of as twittering. Soprano Charlene Santoni, baritone Vasil Garvanliev, and violinist Jacques Israelievitch, joining Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin in contemplation and in twittering.

Our Feb.5 Annual Schubertiad concert will also be launching Boris Zarankin's exciting new recording of Schubert Sonatas on the DOREMI label. Boris will be signinig copies of his new CD following the concert. View new album >>


Very shortly after Janacek's 1917 summer holiday in the Moravian spa-town of Luhacovice, he began setting the poems of Ozef Kalda - a railway official who had a knack for fiction writing - detailing a young farm boy's infatuation with a gypsy girl. Janacek himself was living a similar story - that summer in Luhacovice he had fallen in love - or perhaps lust? - with the young wife (he was twice her age!) of an antique dealer from Pisek. Though Kamila Stosslova did not return his affection, there are more than 700 letters that survive to chronicle the composer's unrequited affection. The Kalda settings eventually came to make up the celebrated song-cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared, considered to be one of Janacek's most sensual - even perverse - compositions. We leave this dramatic Czech 'glutton for punishment' (700 letters is a LOT of letters!) for another kind of music drama - this time, Italian "style"! We will regale you with excerpts and operatic gems from Verdi, Donizetti, Tosti and Rachmaninov.

The programme will include Rachmaninoff romances, Janacek's Diary of One Who Disappeared, Italian songs by Tosti, highlights from Verdi's Rigoletto, Donizetti's Lucia di Lamermoor and a four-hand arrangement of the ouverture from Rossini's L'Italiana in Algieri. To convey these tips on love, longing and lust, are tenor Colin Ainsworth, baritone Peter McGillivray, sopranos Rachel Cleland-Ainsworth and Lucia Cesaroni, together with pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin, soprano Sarah Halmarson and mezzo soprano Leigh-Anne Martin.

The first 50 ticket orders for this special Mother's Day concert, will receive an additional ticket, compliments of Inna and Boris.
Bring your Mom, bring a friend, the choice is yours.

* Based on a first come, first serve basis, applicable to new sales only, for the May performance only

> All Concerts start at 3pm at the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto


Have you ever wondered why it is that the most exotic countries of Europe are found along the edges of the continent? And yet, for all their richness, fullness of character and vibrancy, they are nothing alike in their music! Our Urgo-Finnic group - made up of Bartok, Arvo Part, Kodaly and Sibelius - is entranced by mysterious Asia, while the Spaniards - Albeniz, Granados and Rodrigo - embrace the Gypsy presence and the sounds of ther North African neighbours. Inviting you on this colourful journey are sopranos Joni Henson and Teiya Kasahara, baritone Olivier Laquerre, accordionist Joseph Macerollo and pianist Ricker Choi. The concert will be hosted by Julia Zarankin, who will introduce the Spanish, Hungarian, and Finnish cultures, what unites them and what makes them different. Canadian actor Fiona Byrne will be reading poems by the great Spanish poet Garcia Lorca. Fiona recently starred as Natalya in Soulpaper Theatre’s ‘A Month in the Country’, and is a regular at the Shaw Festival.

This concert is sponsored by Horatio and Jackie Kemeny.

> All Concerts start at 3pm at the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto


We've uncovered a new mystery of history! Within a three year span at the end of the first decade of the 19th Century, a "Mighty Four" was born - Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann and Liszt! We promise not to overwhelm you with these Romantic composer heavyweights - lighter fare on our teatime menu will be provided by our winded musicians, and will include Brahms' lyrical Op. 40 Horn trio. Creating this bearable lightness of being are sopranos Allison Angelo and Eve-Rachel McLeod, mezzo soprano Erica Iris Huang, violinist Marie Berard, clarinettist Katie Norman and Joan Watson on the French horn.

> All Concerts start at 3pm at the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto


To begin our 16th season, we travel to Russia and celebrate the music born out of the infamous oppression and censorship of the Communist regime. This is the Russia of composer Dmitri Shostakovich, and of the poet Alexander Blok – creators who ultimately found salvation only in their art. Our programme will feature the rarely performed Shostakovich masterpiece “Seven Romances of Alexander Blok” – a late work that exemplifies the complexity of the time: the songs are as simple and touching melodically as they are charged with intense suffering. Shostakovich reminds his listener that this is as much the time of optimistic marches, of the promise of brotherhood and paradise on earth as it is of the Gulag and of concentration camps.

To earn money and to appease the authorities, Shostakovich turned to writing music that would appeal to the masses – and appeal, it did! One melody found its way to the silver screen in the 1943 Hollywood film “Thousands Cheer” and it is no wonder: even his “popular” music is inspired. Alongside Shostakovich, we have programmed another great Soviet confectioner of melody: Isaak Dunayevski. Virtually unknown to the Western world, he was the most successful film composer of his time and his prolific output is full of memorable tunes.

The scope of the Communist totalitarian regime - and the bright Red colour that often heralded its infamous oppression and censorship - reached far beyond the geographical borders of what we now recognize as Russia and permeated the musical output of the entire Eastern Block. Off Centre celebrates the music of the Red composers - Shostakovich, Dunayevski, among others - who found salvation in their art. As we begin our 16th season "of contrasts", who but Franz Schubert could lead us out of this Red tyranny and subjugation into freedom and redemption? Join tenor Ryan Harper, baritones Vasil Garvanliev and Giles Tomkins, soprano Ilana Zarankin, violinist Jacques Israelievitch, cellist Winona Zelenka, and our very own pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin in a programme of tears and laughter.