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Halifax Violinist Releases Single from New Recording, Into the Stone

For Immediate Release
July 23, 2019

(Dartmouth,NS) Halifax Violinist Releases Single from New Recording, Into the Stone

Halifax violinist Gillian Smith has released her first single from her debut album, Into the Stone, featuring music for solo violin by Canadian composers.  The featured piece is Dance II from Ana Sokolovic’Cinque Danze per violino solo.  Other featured composers on the upcoming album include Kati AgócsAlice Ping Yee HoVeronika Krausas and Chantale Laplante.  The album is supported by The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), and is on the Leaf Music label. You can hear the single, which is available now on digital music services including iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify, here:

The album launch for Into the Stone will take place on Wednesday, September 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library featuring performances by Gillian Smith with special guest, Jennifer King (piano).  Admission is free.

Gillian Smith will launch Into the Stone in Toronto at the Glenn Gould Studio on Saturday, October 5 with special guest Emily Rho, piano.

A dynamic and intuitive performer, Gillian Smith enjoys a varied and exciting performance career as a violinist. Deeply committed to performing music by contemporary composers, she has recorded two CDs with members of the Acadia New Music Society on the Centrediscs label: Live Wired, which features the music of Derek Charke, Jérôme Blais, and Anthony Genge, and In Sonorous Falling Tones, which features the music of Derek Charke and which was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Classical Recording of the Year in 2018.  She can also be heard on a recording of the chamber music of Carmen Braden that will be released on November 2019.

Gillian Smith has appeared at such series and festivals as the Acadia Performing Arts Series, the East Coast Music Awards, Inner Space Concerts, the Music Room Chamber Players, Open Waters Festival, Shattering the Silence Festival, and Sunday Music in the Garden Room.  She has also performed and recorded as an orchestral musician with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony, and Symphony Nova Scotia.

A dedicated teacher, Gillian Smith serves as an instructor of violin and viola at the Acadia University School of Music and as head of the upper strings department at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts.  Her students have won top prizes and awards in regional and national competitions.

Gillian Smith holds degrees in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music (B.Mus.), the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (M.Mus.), and the University of Minnesota (D.M.A).  Her teachers have included Jorja Fleezanis, Camilla Wicks, Peter Salaff, and Philippe Djokic.

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Note to editors:  For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please contact Peggy Walt,, (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell).

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Saint John String Quartet launches new album called “Canadian Hits: Unplugged”


Saint John String Quartet Releases New Album, Canadian Hits: Unplugged

The Saint John String Quartet continues to make their mark on the Canadian music scene with the release of their new album, Canadian Hits: Unplugged. This album represents a step outside of a string quartet’s norm with 16 pop hits from Canadian icons, including Leonard Cohen, the Arkells, Joni Mitchell and The Tragically Hip.

“Each arrangement is completely different with a number of elements that will surprise listeners. The recordings are fun, fresh and innovative takes on Canadian pop songs,” says Sonja Adams, cellist with the quartet.

The Saint John String Quartet brings a new dimension to the listening experience of old favorites like “If You Could Read My Mind” by Gordon Lightfoot, Stan Rogers’ “Northwest Passage” or Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night” as well as newer songs like the award-winning “Francis” by Quebec artist Coeur de pirate and the bluesy “Spring to Come” by First Nations duo Digging Roots.

The dazzling arrangements were created exclusively for the group by Toronto-based tunesmith Rebecca Pellett, who has orchestrated for the likes of David Myles, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and several IMAX and Hollywood film productions. Fredericton-born producer/engineer and owner of Halifax-based Leaf Music, Jeremy VanSlyke, recorded the album over four days, supported by the pristine acoustics of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Rothesay. The album cover art features “Laurel” by Saint John artist Deanna Musgrave along with graphic design by local singer-songwriter Jessica Rhaye.

This is the sixth recording release by the Quartet, and follows in the inventive direction of the group’s previous offerings. For more than 30 years, the Quartet has stood among Canada’s leading chamber music ensembles. The stylistic and energetic troupe is highly sought after for special collaborations within different musical genres – a reflection of their versatility and flexibility.

In July, Quartet violinists David Adams and Danielle Sametz, along with violist Christopher Buckley and cellist Sonja Adams will be promoting the new album on an Atlantic tour. Canadian Hits: Unplugged will be available in stores and on major streaming platforms starting July 5, 2019.


About Saint John String Quartet

For more than 30 years, the Saint John String Quartet has stood among Canada’s leading chamber music ensembles. Renowned for its flexibility, the Quartet is equally comfortable collaborating with blues artists and rock superstars, and performing Classical masterworks on its own.

The Quartet performs more than 125 concerts annually and serves as musicians-in-residence for both Symphony New Brunswick and the University of New Brunswick. It has performed for numerous heads of state and at prestigious venues the world over, including many countries in the Far East, Europe, and South America.

With many recordings to its credit, it has earned a Juno nomination for Classical Composition of the Year, and won an East Coast Music Award for Best Classical Album of the Year and a Music NB award for Best Album of the Year. Its albums feature new and innovative works to underappreciated classical gems.

The Saint John String Quartet has been recognized for many groundbreaking achievements, including its leadership and contributions to musical development in New Brunswick.

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Platti’s Flute Sonatas played by Alexa Raine-Wright coming May 10

Montreal, April 23rd, 2019. Leaf Music is proud to announce that the album Platti Flute Sonatas Op. 3, dedicated to the works composed by the Italian Composer Giovanni Benedetto Platti, will be available in stores as of May 10th. These rare pieces are performed by Alexa Raine-Wright (baroque flute), accompanied by Camille Paquette-Roy (baroque cello), Sylvain Bergeron (archlute and baroque guitar) and Rona Nadler (harpsichord).

“Italian composer Giovanni Benedetto Platti (1697–1763) spent his early years in Venice under the tutelage of Francesco Gasparini, as well as Ospedale della Pietà composer Antonio Vivaldi (though evidence of their encounter is scant). In 1722, he moved to Würzburg, Germany where he spent the rest of his life working as a composer, instrumentalist, and tenor. In a commemorative note written to Padre Martini in 1764, Florentine musician Domenico Palafuti remembered Platti as “the Paduan master…who composed celebrated sonatas for the hammer cembalo [most likely Cristofori’s famous fortepiano] that he got to know in Siena, as well as church music and chamber music.” Indeed, it was for his keyboard music that Platti first came to widespread attention, upon the publication of his VI. Sonates pour le clavessin sur le goût italien in 1742. The historical emphasis placed on these pieces, however, has cast a shadow over the composer’s other works, many of which are deserving of our attention. In particular, his Sei sonate a flauto traversiere solo con violoncello overo cembalo, Op. 3, feature an impressive palette of affects. As Platti’s flute sonatas make clear, the composer had one foot planted firmly in the Baroque, and the other foot pointed toward the Classical style. One can only hope that time is the only hurdle that stands between these important works and the wider audience of performers, scholars, and listeners they deserve…” Andrew Schartmann.

Sonata No. 1 in D major

[1] I. Adagio

[2] II. Allegro

[3] III. Andantino: Cantabile

[4] IV. Tempo di Minuet

Sonata No. 2 in G major

[5] I. Grave

[6] II. Allegro

[7] III. Largo

[8] IV. Allegro molto

Sonata No. 3 in E minor

[9] I. Allegro mà non molto

[10] II. Larghetto

[11] III. Minuet – Trio alternat: Amoroso

[12] IV. Giga

Sonata No. 4 in A major

[13] I. Grave e cantabile

[14] II. Allegro

[15] III. Larghetto

[16] IV. Allegro moderato

Sonata No. 5 in C major

[17] I. Pastorale: Allegro

[18] II. Non tanto adagio

[19] III. Allegro assai: Alla breve

Sonata No. 6 in G major

[20] I. Siciliana: Adagio

[21] II. Allegro

[22] III. Non tanto adagio mà cantabile

[23] IV. Arietta con Variazioni: Non tanto allegro

Alexa Raine-Wright will launch this album in collaboration with Leaf Music, in Montreal on le Thursday, May 2nd at 5:30 PM, salle Joseph-Rouleau (Jeunesses Musicales Canada), 305, avenue du Mont-Royal Est, Montreal.

Producer and Recording Engineer: Jeremy VanSlyke

Assistant Recording Engineer: Ben B. Creelman

Editing: Jeremy VanSlyke, Ben B. Creelman

Église Saint-Augustin, Mirabel (Québec), Canada – May 2018

Graphic design: © Kimberly Reine Design Studio

Photos: © Elizabeth Delage

Special thanks: Jonathan Addleman, Hank Knox, Claire Guimond



Alexa Raine-Wright:

Information and interviews: IXION Communications, 514 495-8176,

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This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.

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Charke Cormier Duo to release debut album May 4



Leaf Music is pleased to announce the release of Ex Tempore from the Charke-Cormier Duo Friday May 4. This is the debut release for the Nova Scotia ensemble. Prominent musicians and Acadia University faculty Derek Charke (flute) and Eugene Cormier (guitar) produced the album in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

The album includes Musiques Populaires Brésiliennes, a suite of six pieces by Canadian/Brazilian composer Celso Macado with titles named for popular Brazilian sweets such as Paçoca, and Algodão Doce (Cotton Candy.)

The recording also features original arrangements of Scarlatti Sonatas for flute and guitar by Eugene Cormier and published by Productions d’Oz (Québec). The album’s title track “Ex Tempore” is a brand new 6-minute work by Charke, who in addition to being a celebrated flute performer is a JUNO and East Coast Music Award-winning composer. “Ex Tempore” includes driving rhythms and pushes the sonic limits of the flute and guitar combination while also exploring the boundaries between fully-composed material and extemporaneous (or improvised) music.
The album will be available on popular music services including iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon Music. CDs will also be available from, Renaud-Bray, Barnes and Noble and other fine retailers. The Charke-Cormier duo will be hosting album launch events in Wolfville, Nova Scotia (May 12) and Halifax (May 20) to celebrate their debut recording. Visit for more details.

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About Charke-Cormier Duo

Derek Charke (flutes) and Eugene Cormier (guitar) formed the Charke-Cormier Duo several years ago culminating in a debut recital at the KC Irving Centre in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. This sonorous union of flute and guitar continues to charm audiences across the Maritimes. Their repertoire includes many of the most important works for this pairing of instruments, and creates a sonic journey for audiences from the street corners of Argentina to the halls of Europe, as well as introducing fresh new works created today. Both performers are highly accomplished musicians who are on the teaching faculty at Acadia University’s School of Music.

About Leaf Music

Leaf Music is an independent recording label based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that specializes in high quality classical music recordings by artists and composers from Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.)  Our growing catalogue of solo, orchestral and chamber music is distributed by Naxos of America to the world’s most important music retail, download and streaming providers.

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OSCAR®-winning composer Howard Shore collaborates with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra

“Sea to Sea”, the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra’s Canada 150
Celebration song to be released on iTunes December 8
OSCAR®-winning composer Howard Shore collaborates with the NBYO.
Nov 23, 2017 (Halifax, NS) – The New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO) has something extra special to celebrate this December with the release on iTunes of “Sea to Sea”, the song it commissioned by OSCAR®-winning Canadian composer Howard Shore.

“Howard Shore is one of the most celebrated composers in the world,” says Ken MacLeod, CEO of the NBYO. “We are thrilled that he created this special celebration music for the talented young musicians of the NBYO. Written for orchestra, soloist and choir, the music and lyrics celebrate our Canadian landscape and diverse culture. We are excited to share it with audiences around the world.”
Shore’s music is heard in dozens of top Hollywood films including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gangs of New York, Silence of the Lambs and the recent Academy Award-winner Spotlight. It is unprecedented for a Canadian youth orchestra to work directly with a living composer of this calibre.
“Sea to Sea” premiered in Moncton on Canada Day weekend and featured internationally renowned soprano Measha Brueggergosman along with a 120-voice choir. The outdoor event, which took place along the shores of the scenic Petitcodiac River, attracted more than 7,500 people, the largest audience ever for an NBYO performance.
In continuing its Canada 150 celebrations, the NBYO performed ‘Sea to Sea’ during its eastern Canadian tour this summer, receiving standing ovations at Kingsbrae International Residence for the Arts in St. Andrews, NB, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and at the prestigious Maison symphonique de Montréal.

During the 2017-2018 concert season, ‘Sea to Sea’ is being performed in communities across New Brunswick, including Woodstock, Caraquet, Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton. In total, the NBYO performances of “Sea to Sea” will engage more than 500 local musicians and singers and more than 20,000 audience members.
The recording ‘Sea to Sea’ will be the orchestra’s sixth release, produced by Atlantic Canadian classical label Leaf Music and distributed by Naxos of Canada.
About the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra
The mission of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra is to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential through learning and performing orchestral music. The NBYO is one of the most innovative and distinguished youth orchestras in Canada, and features some of the province’s most talented young musicians. The NBYO has performed in some of the world’s great concert halls, including Carnegie Hall in New York, The Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China and the Musikverein, the home stage of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, in Vienna, Austria. In 2011, the Orchestra was awarded first place in the category of Symphony Orchestra at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in Vienna, Austria.  It has six CD recordings and has received an East Coast Music Award for best classical recording.  In addition to performing with a high level of excellence, the Orchestra continues to commission original works, collaborate with guest conductors and performers, and tour both in New Brunswick, Canada and internationally. The NBYO’s key goals are to develop an outstanding provincial youth orchestra, expand the participation of young people, and create greater awareness and appreciation for orchestral music in New Brunswick.  For more information about the orchestra, members and upcoming events across the province, visit


Producer: Jeremy VanSlyke

Engineer: Rod Sneddon

Assistant Engineer: Ben B. Creelman

About Leaf Music
Leaf Music is an independent recording label based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that specializes in classical music recordings by artists and composers from Atlantic Canada.  Our growing catalogue of solo, orchestral and chamber music is distributed worldwide.

For more information, please contact:
Mariam Mesbah
New Brunswick Youth Orchestra
L’Orchestre des jeunes du Nouveau-Brunswick
Jeremy VanSlyke
Leaf Music

With the participation of the Government of Canada

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New album from Mark Fewer

Mark Fewer and Hank Knox’s new double album, J.S. Bach: Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord, BWV 1014-1019created in collaboration with independent label Leaf Music​, is now available for purchase.

Described as “genre-bending” by the National Post, and “intrepid” by the Globe and Mail, Juno Award-winning Mark Fewer has performed around the world to critical acclaim in virtually every role asked of a violinist, from the early baroque to the avant-garde. As one of today’s busiest musicians in the field of Early Music, Hank Knox is hailed internationally for his “colorful, kinetic performances” (AllMusic Guide) which “abound in vitality” (Early Music America). Together, this duo brings warmth and energy to these rarely-performed works: six sonatas for violin and harpsichord.

After his father’s death, CPE Bach wrote that “[the Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord]… are among the best works of my dear departed father. They still sound excellent and give me much joy, even thought they date back more than fifty years.” Interpreted now by a duo so well-suited for the eminently singable melodies, the Six Sonatas are indeed a pleasure to listen to. With the tour Bach Intime, Mark Fewer and Hank Knox will take these Six Sonatas to Midlands, ON (24-09-2017), Gatineau QC (29-10-2017), Prévost, QC (24-03-2018), and Hudson, QC (25-03-2018).

The album is now available for purchase on CD and for download on major digital music providers including NaxosAmazon, ​and iTunes​.


Media Contact:
Jeremy VanSlyke, Leaf Music Inc., Halifax, Nova Scotia
tel: 1-902-802-1526

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New album from Robert DeMaine

Praised by the New York Times as “an artist who makes one hang on every note,” Robert deMaine is the Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His playing is noted for its “beautiful singing tone, lapidary technical precision, and a persuasive identification with the idiom of the music at hand.”

DeMaine’s latest recording on the Canadian classical label ‘Leaf Music’ contains cello sonatas by Sergei Rachmaninoff (Op. 19), Edward Grieg (Op. 36) and the beautiful Élégie, Op. 24 by Gabriel Fauré. The album is a collaboration with American pianist Andrew Armstrong and was recorded at Detroit’s Symphony Hall.

The album is available July 7, 2017 for purchase on compact disc through all major classical music retailers (Catalogue LM215), and on major digital music download and streaming providers.

The album is now available for purchase on CD and for download on major digital music providers including Naxos, Amazon, ​and iTunes​.


Media Contact:
Jeremy VanSlyke, Leaf Music Inc., Halifax, Nova Scotia
tel: 1-902-802-1526


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Début album from soprano Maureen Batt




Canadian soprano Maureen Batt will be releasing her debut album LADY OF THE LAKE in collaboration with independent label Leaf Music​. Batt has joined forces with pianist Simon Docking, bass-baritone Jon Paul Décosse as well as the Halifax Camerata Singers to record two exciting song cycles based on the epic poem ‘Lady of the Lake’ by Sir Walter Scott.

Noted by Opera Canada as a “young, lovely and captivating soprano,” Batt is passionate about sharing Canadian contemporary music with the world. She is co-artistic director of Essential Opera, now in its seventh season, and has performed throughout the world in opera roles and as a recitalist.

The recording features a rare recording of Franz Schubert’s Op. 52 song cycle Sieben Gesänge aus Walter Scotts “Fräulein am See” (Seven songs from Walter Scott’s “Lady of the Lake”) combined with a newly composed cycle by Nova Scotia composer Fiona Ryan. While the Schubert cycle includes the famous melody ‘Ave Maria,’ the work is rarely heard in its full context among six lesser-known Schubert songs.

Ryan’s work includes a ‘Prayer’ inspired partly by Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ as well as a strong influence of folk traditions. She writes: “I draw upon Scottish (and Nova Scotian) folk music traditions in my songs. Some movements are very obviously influenced by Scottish folksongs, such as ‘Soldier’s Farewell’ (which could be as much at home at a folk music session in a pub as in a concert hall) and others draw inspiration from rhythmic patterns, ornamentation, and droning sounds found in Scottish bagpipe music.”

In 2017-18, Lady of the Lake will embark on a tour of Eastern Canada, and in 2018, dates will be added throughout Canada, and abroad. For all concert dates please see: and

The album will become available for purchase on CD and for download on major digital music providers including Naxos, Amazon, ​and iTunes​ June 23, 2017.


This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government
of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement
du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.

Leaf Music recognizes the support of the Music Nova Scotia Investment Program and The Province of Nova Scotia

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New album from Infusion Baroque

On the eve of an extensive U.S. tour, early music quartet Infusion Baroque releases their debut album 1747: C.P.E. Bach in collaboration with independent label Leaf Music​.  Infusion Baroque hosts an album release event on Sunday February 26, 2017 from 2-4pm at Café Les Oubliettes in Montréal, shortly following the album’s official release.

With performances described as “dynamic and alive” and a stage presence that is “poised and elegant”, the Montréal-based ensemble seeks to draw a new audience to early music by integrating chamber music performance and other artistic media.  Winners of the Grand Prize and Audience Prize at the 2014 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition​, Infusion Baroque’s innovative programmes have featured live painting, scandalous stories from the lives of great composers, and an interactive murder mystery soirée.

The recording features five trio sonatas by C.P.E. Bach which were either written or extensively revised in 1747.  Combining early classical elegance with a wide emotional range, these sonatas are perfectly suited to Infusion Baroque’s refined, sensual, and expressive performance style.  The recording also showcases their impeccable ensemble playing and brilliant virtuosity.  Infusion Baroque has performed across Eastern Canada ​and the United States​, including appearances at the Montreal Baroque Festival, the Boston Early Music Fringe Festival, and the San Francisco Early Music Society.  In 2017 Infusion Baroque continues their U.S. tour including engagements with Early Music Now (Milwaukee), Renaissance & Baroque (Pittsburgh), Early Music in Columbus, the Houston Early Music Festival, and the Indianapolis Early Music Festival.

Infusion Baroque’s 2017-18 season includes engagements with the Early Music Guild (Seattle) and a tour of the Montréal region supported by the Conseil des Arts de Montréal.  For all concert dates please see:

The album is now available for purchase on CD and for download on major digital music providers including Naxos, Amazon, ​and iTunes​.

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New album from Ensemble La Cigale


JANUARY 6, 2017

Montreal-based Ensemble La Cigale has released their new album Up in the Morning Early.  This is the group’s second full-length album and features a collection of rarely recorded gems from Celtic countries (Ireland, Scotland and Wales) performed on period instruments.  The ensemble’s first recording Tiorba Obbligata was nominated for Québec’s prestigious Opus prize for Album of the Year: Medieval, Baroque, Renaissance in 2014.

The group is led by Baroque music specialist Madeleine Owen who plays lute and theorbo and complemented by some of Canada’s best Baroque interpreters including Marie-Laurence Primeau (viola da gamba), Sara Lackie (harp), Vincent Lauzer (recorder), and Sari Tsuji (violin.)

The album is available for purchase on CD at, and for download on major digital music providers including Amazon, iTunes, and for streaming on Apple Music, and Spotify.



About Leaf Music, Inc.

Leaf Music is an independent recording label based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that specializes in high quality classical music recordings by artists and composers from Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.)  Our growing catalogue of recordings includes solo, orchestral and chamber music titles that are distributed worldwide and have received nominations at the JUNOs, East Coast Music Awards and OPUS.  We are also recognized as a leading provider of professional audio production, post-production services, and integrated music marketing for classical music in the region.