Ascher Duo

Ascher Duo (1970-5, Aschers Three 1975-7). Formed by the bass Kenneth Asch (b Montreal 26 Jun 1934) and his wife, the soprano Henriette Platford (b Winnipeg 23 Sep 1937). Platford was a pupil of Doris Mills Lewis and of Bernard Diamant, and Asch also was a Diamant pupil.

Ascher Duo

Ascher Duo (1970-5, Aschers Three 1975-7). Formed by the bass Kenneth Asch (b Montreal 26 Jun 1934) and his wife, the soprano Henriette Platford (b Winnipeg 23 Sep 1937). Platford was a pupil of Doris Mills Lewis and of Bernard Diamant, and Asch also was a Diamant pupil. They both studied further in Munich. Asch made his debut in 1963 at the Municipal Opera in Detmold, subsequently appearing 1963-70 with various European orchestras and opera companies, including the Bavarian State Opera, the Zurich Opera and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Platford made her debut in 1959 with the Montreal Elgar Choir in a CBC broadcast and sang in recital and in opera in Canada and Germany.

Back in Canada in 1971 the couple opened a teaching studio, the Toronto Academy of Performance, with Bernard Diamant. The duo performed in Montreal and Calgary in 1973 and at Wigmore Hall, London, in 1972, 1974, and 1975. Works written for the duo by Alexander Brott (Songs of the Central Eskimos and Indian Legends) and Oskar Morawetz (Father William) were premiered at Wigmore Hall and recorded with John Newmark at the piano (1975, RCI 391/(Brott) 7-ACM 20). In 1976 the German composer Werner Egk wrote for the duo La Tentation de St Antoine (for string quartet or orchestra and two voices).

With the addition of the soprano Burnetta Day, the duo became Aschers Three in 1975. Before it disbanded in 1977, Aschers Three broadcast on CBC radio, toured for Community Concerts and Overture Concerts, and performed with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the MSO, and the McGill Chamber Orchestra.

In 1990, Kenneth Asch worked as an arts journalist, producer, and arts manager and Henriette Asch continued teaching, both in Toronto.