Weeks, Valerie

Valerie Weeks. Harpsichordist, b Toronto 6 Dec 1954; ARCT 1974, B MUS (Toronto) 1978.

Studies

She studied piano for 12 years at the RCMT, but in 1973 began to perform exclusively on the harpsichord. She worked under Greta Kraus (Toronto), Gustav Leonhardt (Holland), Kenneth Gilbert (France), and Jean-Claude Zehnder (Liechtenstein, Switzerland). While a student at the University of Toronto she won several prizes: the Walter Homburger scholarship (1975), and the Joan Chalmers Award (1977). On graduation, she was awarded the W.O. Forsyth scholarship, and subsequently received Canada Council grants (1979-81) for study in Europe. In 1978 she was the winner in the CBC Radio Talent Competition, subsequently representing (by taped performance) the CBC at the International Rostrum of Young Interpreters in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. In 1982 she shared second prize (with Ilton Wjuniski, Poland) at the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition.

Performance

Weeks performed regularly as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician in both North America and Europe. She has appeared with such groups as the Amadeus Ensemble, Tafelmusik, Te Deum Concerts, and Toronto Chamber Winds, and with such orchestras as the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, and Niagara Symphony Orchestra. She has been a member of the early music ensemble Musick Fyne. She has participated in the Quinte Summer Music, Music at Sharon, and Festival international de Lanaudière, served as president of the Toronto Early Music Centre (1987-8), and taught (1990-1) at workshops in Vancouver.

Weeks has been a member of the The Burney Ensemble (founded 1998), an early music group based in Vancouver. She has continued to perform on harpsichord and organ including at the Pacific Baroque Festival (2013).

Music Therapy

In 1993, Weeks began practising as an accredited music therapist. A member of the Music Therapy Association of British Columbia, she has been associated with St Paul's Hospital and Marion Hospice in Vancouver specializing in elder and palliative care.