NexusNexus, Toronto-based percussion ensemble, established in 1971 by Robert Becker, William Cahn, Michael Craden, Robin Engelman, Russell Hartenberger and John Wyre. These original members continue to perform together, with the exception of Michael Craden, who died in 1982. Nexus has developed an international reputation for its members' mastery of hundreds of the percussion instruments of the world's major musical traditions and cultures. They also have invented new instruments to suit specific musical requirements.
This enduring chamber ensemble has developed a broad and innovative repertoire of music - contemporary, ragtime, classical, pop - from which to select music for performance in either orchestral, chamber, choral or solo settings. Nexus's repertoire includes many pieces composed for it, often commissions, by both Canadian and internationally recognized composers. The group's members arrange and compose music for their ensemble, and are, as well, masters of improvisation.
To date Nexus has issued 20 recordings (6 LPs, 14 CDs), created and performed the soundtrack for the Academy Award-winning film The Man Who Skied Down Everest, appeared at numerous national and international festivals, and toured in Japan, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and the United States. Nexus has been invited to perform with some of the world's leading orchestras. During New York's Carnegie Hall centennial, Nexus premiered Toru Takemitsu's From me flows what you call Time - a work commissioned for them to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. To enhance their performance programs, the members have developed and present workshops and master classes at high schools, universities and colleges, and some of the members are, or have been, teachers at music faculties (eg, University of Toronto and York). In 1999 Nexus was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the international Percussive Arts Society. Founding member John Wyre left Nexus in October 2002 and was replaced by Garry Kvistad.