James Ehnes, Mario Romano, and Buffy Sainte-Marie New Fellows of Royal Conservatory

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Violin virtuoso James Ehnes, jazz pianist and real estate developer Mario Romano, and legendary singer-songwriterBuffy Sainte-Marie will be named Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory at the organization’s signature fundraising event, The Royal Occasion, on May 14, 2015. The Honorary Fellowship is the highest designation conferred by The Royal Conservatory.
“James Ehnes, Mario Romano, and Buffy Sainte-Marie have made outstanding international contributions not only as acclaimed performing artists, but also as educators, philanthropists, or activists. Their Honorary Fellowships are richly deserved,” says Dr. Peter Simon, President and CEO of The Royal Conservatory.
This year’s Fellows will each present an intimate performance at The Royal Occasion in breathtaking Koerner Hall.Performing alongside them are Joaquin Valdepeñas, Glenn Gould School Resident Conductor, as well as students, faculty, and alumni of The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould Schooland Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists.
James Ehnes is one of the world’s most acclaimed violin soloists, founder of the Ehnes Quartet, and artistic director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society. He appears regularly with many of the world’s most renowned orchestras and conductors. A prolific recording artist, he has released more than 35 recordings, featuring music ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Adams for which he has won numerous awards including 10 Junos, a Grammy and a Gramophone. He was a protégé of noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin, studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music, and continued at The Juilliard School. Mr. Ehnes is a Member of the Order of Canada. On May 15, James Ehnes returns to Koerner Hall to perform a recital with American pianist Andrew Armstrong.
As President of the Castlepoint Group, over the past 25 yearsMario Romano has emerged as a leader of the real estate industry. Mr. Romano is responsible for the creation of several communities, as well as more than 8000 homes across the Greater Toronto Area. His success has triggered a deep humanitarian vocation that has defined his philanthropic efforts both locally and internationally. A Royal Conservatory alumnus and successful jazz pianist, Mr. Romano has appeared on CBC Radio with Freddie Stone, Pat Labarbera, and Dave Young.
One of the most spellbinding artists of our time, Buffy Sainte-Marie has inspired people around the world for more than five decades. Known for her expansive catalogue, including protest anthems (“Universal Soldier”), open-hearted love songs (“Until It’s Time for You to Go”), incendiary powwow rock (“Starwalker”), and the juggernaut pop hit “Up Where We Belong,” Ms. Sainte-Marie’s catalogue runs the gamut of human experience while highlighting the sacred connection to the world around us. She has won countless awards, including an Oscar, a Juno, and a Golden Globe. On May 7, Buffy Sainte-Marie performs a concert in Koerner Hall with special guest Steph Cameron.
As Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory, Mr. Ehnes, Mr. Romano, and Ms. Sainte-Marie join a distinguished group that includes Bruce Cockburn, Sir Andrew Davis, Leslie Feist, David Foster, Leon Fleisher, Oscar Peterson, Bramwell Tovey, and The Tragically Hip.
The Royal Occasion is co-chaired this year by Gerrard Schmid, CEO of D+H, and Linda Mantia, EVP of RBC. Their leadership has ensured a sold-out event and an unprecedented number of guests. The evening sponsors include D+H as Presenting Sponsor, along with TELUS, RBC, Labatt, CIBC, Scotiabank, TD, and AIMIA, as well as many table sponsors.
The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music and arts education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard of excellence in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performances, and teacher education programs, The Conservatory has had a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people globally. In addition, the organization has helped to train a number of internationally celebrated artists including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, David Foster, Sarah McLachlan, Angela Hewitt, and Diana Krall. Motivated by its powerful mission to develop human potential through leadership in music and arts education, The Royal Conservatory has emerged over the last two decades as a leader in the development of arts-based programs that address a wide range of social issues. For more information, please visit www.rcmusic.ca.

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