Camerata (on tour, known as Camerata Canada). Chamber ensemble formed in Toronto in 1972 by the pianists Elyakim Taussig and Kathryn Root, the flutist Suzanne Shulman, the clarinetist James Campbell, the cellist Coenraad Bloemendal, the violinist Adele Armin, and the violist Paul Armin. Other members or frequent guests included the violist Mark Childs, the soprano Mary Lou Fallis, the harpist Erica Goodman, the violinists Moshe Hammer and Fujiko Imajishi, and the pianists Valerie Tryon and John York. Maureen Forrester, Moe Koffman's jazz quartet, Victor Martin, Benita Valente, the Toronto Dance Theatre, and Narcisco Yepes also performed with Camerata on occasion. Camerata appeared often at St Lawrence Centre and presented 1978-82 a concert series at Casa Loma, Toronto. It was the resident ensemble 1974-6 at the Shaw Festival and appeared at the Stratford Festival, the Guelph Spring Festival, and the Algoma Fall Festival, at the Orford and CBC Summer Music Festivals, at Festival Ottawa, and at Stratford Summer Music. Camerata devised special 'concert theatre' presentations, eg, Soirée-musicale (the re-creation of a 19th-century salon concert) and, for children, versions of Oscar Wilde's story The Canterville Ghost, with music commissioned from Norman Symonds, and of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, and an amalgam of Saint-Saëns, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, and a stage gorilla, entitled Camerata Zoo. These were featured at the Shaw Festival, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the PDA (during the 1976 Olympics), and the NAC. It premiered commissioned works by Art Charpentier (Encore 1972), Milton Barnes (Concerto Grosso 1973), Doug Riley (Jeu en Blanc et Noir/Under Hand and Above Board 1975), Jean Coulthard (Four Prophetic Songs 1975), Harry Freedman (Alice in Wonderland 1976), and Srul Irving Glick (Suite Hebraïque No. 5 1980). Camerata specialized also in chamber music workshops. Classes for young musicians often were co-ordinated with its playing engagements, particularly during its residences at the Shaw, Algoma, and Orford festivals and its visits to Canadian colleges and universities.
Camerata toured Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela in 1976 and made a European tour in 1977, performing in England at the Harrogate Festival in Yorkshire and the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester, and in London. On the continent it gave concerts in Rumania and in Paris. During the tour it was heard on Dutch, French and British radio. The group toured throughout Canada, performing in British Columbia in 1977 and 1979, in Newfoundland in 1978 and 1980, and in the Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in 1979. It also performed in the USA (1976, 1983), and it gave its final concert 18 Jun 1986 in Pittsburgh.