Sheila Henig

Sheila Henig. Pianist, soprano, b Winnipeg 19 Feb 1934, d Toronto 15 May 1979; ARCT piano, voice, 1952, Artist Diploma (Toronto) 1955. She studied piano with Jean Broadfoot and Gordon Kushner in Winnipeg and with Margaret Miller Brown at the RCMT.

Henig, Sheila

Sheila Henig. Pianist, soprano, b Winnipeg 19 Feb 1934, d Toronto 15 May 1979; ARCT piano, voice, 1952, Artist Diploma (Toronto) 1955. She studied piano with Jean Broadfoot and Gordon Kushner in Winnipeg and with Margaret Miller Brown at the RCMT. Her voice teachers were Lillian Smith Weichel and Dorothy Allan Park. In 1955 she was awarded the Eaton Graduating Scholarship by the University of Toronto. A laureate in piano at the International Competition for Musical Performers in Geneva in 1961, she also made her European debut that year in Amsterdam. She returned to Europe in 1964 and played in London at Wigmore Hall and in Greece, Spain, and Austria. In 1976 she performed in Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, and Rotterdam.

During her career Henig appeared in Canada with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, the NACO, the TS, the Halifax Symphony Orchestra, and the CBC Winnipeg and Toronto orchestras. She made her US debut in 1960 with the Houston SO. She also participated in chamber music performances at the Stratford and Charlottetown festivals. Returning to singing in 1977, she was coached by Elizabeth Benson Guy.

At Carnegie Recital Hall, 2 Mar 1978, Henig made her New York debut in the triple role of self-accompanied singer, solo pianist, and piano partner to the expatriate Soviet oboist Senia Trubashnik. Joseph Horowitz, reviewing the recital in the New York Times (5 Mar 1978), wrote: 'It was no stunt. Miss Henig left no doubt that she was a richly satisfying artist in all three capacities... [her playing was] distinguished by unusually lucid textures, as well as the necessary impetuosity and wit... [and] the sweet quivery timbre of her soprano... [was] most appealing'. In spite of the critical acclaim she received for this recital, her career did not gain momentum, and many, including William Littler (Toronto Star Dec 20, 1980) have suggested that her death may have been the result of her disappointment over the lack of recognition for her professional achievements.


Further Reading

  • Kirby, Blaik. 'Henig's reincarnation in a triple-threat act,' Toronto Globe and Mail, 14 Mar 1978

    Henig, Harry, and Thompson, Madeline. Elusive Summit (Toronto 1981)