Presenting classical music in an innovative salon style atmosphere

Held on Sunday afternoons at Toronto’s Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, Off Centre seeks to inspire, educate and entertain by drawing connections between music, history, literature, art, design, and theatre.

Announcing our upcoming, 28th Celebration Season!
We hope you’ll join us for the following concerts in 2022-2023:

 

November 6, 2022.
Laughing Musically


Artists:Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano
Ernesto Ramirez, tenor
Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Inna Perkis, piano
Boris Zarankin, piano
Dr. Julia Zarankin, host

January 15, 2023.
How do I love thee?
Let me count the players:
Chamber Music Opulence


Artists:Sheila Jaffé, violin
Aaron Schwebel, violin
Keith Hamm, viola
Leana Rutt, cello
Inna Perkis, piano
Boris Zarankin, piano
Dr. Julia Zarankin, host

May 7, 2023.
Flying First Class –
New York > Vienna
Jimmy Roberts wishes HBD to Johannes Brahms


Artists:Steven Dann, viola
Andrea Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Peter McGillivray, baritone
Jimmy Roberts, composer, pianist,
Inna Perkis, piano
Boris Zarankin, piano

“Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time.”

 

-Jean-Michel Basquiat

Dear friends,

At the end of WWI, as the devastation of the Spanish Flu began to wane, a feverish, champagne-fueled, decade-long party erupted all over the world. While we cannot compare our hope for a slow and safe return to normalcy to those roaring 1920s, we do feel a certain explosive bubbling-over of creative energy all around us.

This year, we will be embracing laughter first  - for fun, of course, but also for the healing power of its release – with works by Poulenc, Shostakovich, Saint-Saëns and Gavrilin. Next, we will delve into the very heart of chamber music- exploring every possible combination of players (or almost!). As always, we invite you to eavesdrop on these sometimes-intimate-sometimes-raucous conversations between friends, which will include Brahms’ op. 34 Piano Quintet (with our Rosebud quartet-in-residence) and a Canadian premiere of Ukrainian composer Valentin Bibik’s “Little Concerto for Piano Trio”. We end our season on a first-class flight from New York to Vienna, with a little help from brilliant Off Centre friend, composer-pianist Jimmy Roberts… and it’s a birthday party! For Johannes Brahms, no less, who will be turning 190. No jetlag! Only toe-tapping Zigeunermelodien and tunes to hum!

Off Centre Music Salon began as an attempt to find the magical, inclusive atmosphere of the Viennese and Parisian Salons of the 19th Century. At a time when the concert hall experience had become almost clinical in its austerity, we felt the need, more than ever, to go back to a time when music was intimately shared, concerts told a story and created personal connections for audience and performer alike. Over time we have broadened our mandate beyond the music of the 19th Century. We feel a need to protect and foster a sustainable musical future. This has led to the formation of our Artist-in-Residence initiative.

We have spent so long in the quiet of our homes and now, after the silence, we need NOISE and CONNECTION. Of course COVID remains among us and there is still fear and caution, but there is room now to refill our depleted reserves with music and joy, to “decorate” this important time together.

Boris & Inna
Founders and Artistic Directors

From Glenn Gould to Oscar Peterson
to Boris Zarankin, a piano is a very individual choice


From William Littler at Toronto Star
Pianos are more individual than is sometimes realized. When I was on the jury of the Sydney International Piano Competition in Australia, I noticed that the contestants were offered a choice of four different pianos. Although most initially chose Steinway, by the final round some switched allegiance to Yamaha. Steinway had neglected to send a technician to maintain its piano in tip-top condition.

Boris Zarankin’s 1879 Bechstein from Berlin was by no means in tip-top condition when the Toronto pianist bought it in Seattle many years ago. But after submitting it to a thorough restoration, he found it to be an ideal agent for his recording of Shostakovich’s “24 Preludes.”


Read the full article at Toronto Star

Upcoming Performances


Click here for a list of our upcoming performances.

November 6, 2022


Laughing Musically


Come laugh with us! Not just for fun but for the magical release it brings. From satire to jokes to pure silliness, we will be splitting sides with works by Shostakovich, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns and Fauré.

Artists: Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano | Elina Kelebeev, piano | Ernesto Ramirez, tenor | Ilana Zarankin, soprano | Inna Perkis, piano | Boris Zarankin, piano | Dr. Julia Zarankin, host

Current Season Artists

For a complete list of our 2022 artists click here.