Violinist Nancy Dahn enjoys an international career as half of the acclaimed Duo Concertante with her husband, pianist Timothy Steeves. She has appeared in hundreds of recitals in Canada, the United States and abroad at such venues as Wigmore Hall (London), Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall (New York), Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Dame Myra Hess series (Chicago), Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing), and the LACMA (Los Angeles). She regularly performs and teaches at summer festivals such as the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Indian River Festival, Domaine Forget, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Music Niagara, Colours of Music Festival, Festival of the Sound, and the Tuckamore Festival, where she serves as co-artistic director.
Her numerous Duo Concertante recordings include the complete Beethoven Sonatas and J.S. Bach Six Sonatas for Violin and Keyboard (Marquis Classics/EMI) that are frequently heard on CBC and have received rave reviews from the international press. The Duo’s disc– Wild Bird – won a JUNO award for Murray Schafer’s Duo for Violin and Piano in 2011 (Classical Composition of the Year category). Critics have described their playing as “grace and fire… fury and repose… a triumphant mass of non-stop energy” (WholeNote), “Splendid… a miracle of knowledge and poetry” (Gramophone),”spectacular” (American Record Guide) and have praised their “artistry, poetry, and impeccable technique” (La Scena Musicale). Of their 2016 Germany tour the Rheinische Post wrote: “Duo Concertante impresses with their technical brilliance, but their musicality is even more special.”
Nancy and Tim’s passion and commitment to contemporary music has acted as the catalyst for many new Canadian works. With the Duo she was commissionied over twenty five new pieces for violin and piano from many of Canada’s leading composers, such as Murray Schafer, Vincent Ho, Kati Agócs, Kelly-Marie Murphy, Omar Daniel, Andrew MacDonald, Brian Current, Linda Bouchard, and Jean Lesage. Their CDs Wild Honey and Wild Bird consist entirely of commissioned Canadian works and in April 2017 the Duo will release a new all-Canadian album – Incarnation – featuring works by Chan Ka Nin, Denis Gougeon, Alice Ho, Jocelyn Morlock and Andrew Staniland. New premieres by Alice Ho and Randolph Peters are planned for summer and fall of 2017.
As a soloist, Nancy Dahn has performed concertos by Beethoven, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bach, Mozart, Saint-Saens, Vivaldi, Piazzolla, Part, Lou Harrison, and Andrew MacDonald with orchestras in Canada and the United States. The Halifax Chronicle Herald praised her “powerful musical instincts and flawless technique” in her recent performance of the Bruch Concerto. She has also enjoys collaborating in chamber music with artists such as James Campbell, Evelyn Hart, Suzie LeBlanc, Atar Arad, and the Shanghai, Afiara and Cecelia String Quartets.
An inspiring and dedicated teacher, Nancy has given hundreds of workshops and master classes across Canada and in the U.S., Germany, and China including at the Glenn Gould Professional School, University of Toronto, Western University, Wilfred Laurier University, University of Victoria, Ithaca College, Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, UBC, University of Victoria, and Mount Royal College. Her students have been accepted for graduate studies at schools such as the Juilliard School, Rice University, the New England Conservatory, the Royal Academy of Music, McGill University, the Guildhall School, McGill University, the Peabody Conservatory, and the Glenn Gould Professional School. Many hold positions in orchestras across Canada including the Vancouver Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Winnipeg Symphony.
Nancy received her training at the New England Conservatory of Music with Masuko Ushioda, the Juilliard School with Glenn Dicterow, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received a doctorate in violin performance with Donald Weilerstein. She is also deeply indebted to her many inspirational chamber music mentors including Louis Krasner, Eugene Lehner, Joel Krosnick, Leon Fleisher, Bob McDonald, Felix Galimir, Leonard Shure, Lawrence Lesser, Patricia Zander, and David Breitman.
In 2016 Nancy was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and awarded a University Research Professorship by Memorial University.
Canadian pianist Timothy Steeves is widely known as one half of Duo Concertante, with violinist Nancy Dahn. Known for the passion, subtlety, and brilliance of their performances, Duo Concertante have worked together since 1997, developing the exceptionally unified voice that has repeatedly impressed audiences worldwide. Critics have described their playing as “grace and fire… fury and repose… a triumphant mass of non-stop energy” (WholeNote), “Splendid… a miracle of knowledge and poetry” (Gramophone),”spectacular” (American Record Guide) and have praised their “artistry, poetry, and impeccable technique” (La Scena Musicale). Of their 2016 Germany tour the Rheinische Post wrote: “Duo Concertante impresses with their technical brilliance, but their musicality is even more special.” Recipients of the Touring Performers Award (Contact East), Memorial University’s prestigious President’s Award for Outstanding Research, and ArtsNL Artists of the Year Award, Steeves and Dahn became a Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada in 2016 and were also bestowed University Research Professorships by Memorial University.
Timothy Steeves recently released his debut solo CD of works by Haydn on the Marquis Classics label and with Duo Concertante, he has created eight acclaimed commercial recordings on the ATMA, Marquis Classics, and Centrediscs labels. These include the complete Beethoven Sonatas and J.S. Bach Six Sonatas for Violin and Keyboard which are frequently heard on CBC and have received rave reviews from the international press. Of the Beethoven CD, John Terauds wrote, “these beautiful interpretations are so good right down to the tiniest of details that they deserve to be called a reference in the contemporary performance of these 10 great pieces.” The Duo’s disc– Wild Bird – won a JUNO award for Murray Schafer’s Duo for Violin and Piano in 2011 (Classical Composition of the Year category).
With the Duo, Timothy Steeves has commissioned a total of twenty five new works for violin and piano from many of Canada’s leading composers, such as Chan Ka Nin, Kati Agócs, Andrew Staniland, Kelly-Marie Murphy, Alice Ho, Omar Daniel, Clark Ross, Andrew MacDonald, David Scott, Linda Bouchard, and Jean Lesage. His tenth recording due out in May 2017 will feature works written especially for the Duo by Jocelyn Morlock, Denis Gougeon, Alice Ho, Chan Ka Nin and Andrew Stanliand.
Steeves maintains a busy touring schedule, with frequent performances across North America, as well as in Europe and China. With Duo Concertante he has appeared at Wigmore Hall (London), Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall (New York), Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), Old First Church (San Francisco), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre (Toronto), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), the Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing), and the Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur (Montreal). As a concerto soloist he has appeared with numerous orchestras across Canada. He also performs at music festivals throughout North America, including the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, the Cactus Pear Music Festival, Indian River Festival, Colours of Music Festival, Festival of the Sound, Music Niagara, and the Huntsville Festival, and has served as artist-in-residence at the Guelph Spring Festival, the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto, and Bishop’s University. For the past three summers he has served on the chamber music faculty at Domaine Forget.
A highly regarded teacher, Steeves has given hundreds of master classes and workshops across Canada including at the University of Toronto, the University of Victoria, Mount Royal College, the Maritime Conservatory, the Glenn Gould Professional School and Western University. His commitment to working with young musicians gave rise to the annual Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival, which he and Nancy Dahn founded in 2000 to bring together young chamber music performers with world-class artists and ensembles for an intensive two weeks of learning and performance. His students have gone on to further their training at many leading schools including the New England Conservatory, the Manhattan School of Music, McGill University, the University of Toronto, the Glenn Gould Professional School, and the University of Montreal.
A native of Saskatoon, Timothy Steeves studied primarily in Germany at the Musikschüles of Freiburg im Breisgau, Hannover, and Köln. In addition to his busy career teaching and performing, Timothy is also the proud father of children Clara and Sasha and enjoys astronomy and history.