Skip to main content

Gryphon Trio at the Four Season's Centre in Toronto.

The Gryphon Trio will take over this year as the directors of the classical-music summer programs at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

The chamber-music trio – Roman Borys on cello, Annalee Patipatanakoon on violin and James Parker on piano – have been playing together for more than 25 years. Based in Toronto, they met in the 1980s when they were summer students at, yes, the Banff Centre.

“I called Roman up and I asked him about Banff Centre; and you know what he said to me? He said, ‘You know, Howard, I’ve been waiting for this call,’” recalls Howard Jang, vice-president of arts and leadership at Banff. “And it was at that moment I started to really understand this deep connection that he and the trio has had to the Banff Centre.”

Story continues below advertisement

Since forming in 1993, the Gryphon Trio has released more than 20 recordings, commissioned more than 85 works and toured extensively on international stages. They have won two Juno Awards for classical album of the year and had nine additional nominations, including two this week. In 2013, they won the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts from the Canada Council.

“I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to take on this task while we’re still very active as performing musicians,” said Borys, in an interview from Toronto. “We’re in a great position to appreciate musicians and to create programs, in a place like Banff, that support musicians that might imagine themselves [with] a future in this great realm of what is – in bigger quotations – classical music.”

The Gryphon Trio in 1994. Members Annalee Patipatanakoon, Roman Borys and Jamie Parker met at Banff Centre as summer music students in the 1980s.

The announcement was made Thursday night in Ottawa, where Borys is artistic and executive director of Ottawa Chamberfest and Patipatanakoon and Parker are artistic advisers. They will continue to run Chamberfest and also continue their involvement with the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. In fact, these connections were among the attractions for Banff.

“If you look at our strategic plan,” says Banff’s president and CEO Janice Price, “it really is about Banff Centre getting out there to connect with the broader Canadian and national community in the arts.” The centre is an arts incubation and leadership centre, offering programs in numerous disciplines, including music.

The Gryphon Trio will take over at the end of the summer from the current co-artistic directors of the program, Claire Chase and Steven Schick, whose three-year contract ends this year. The Banff Centre will continue to offer the program Chase and Schick developed at Banff, Evolution of the String Quartet. A second program they created at Banff, Ensemble Evolution, will move to the Mannes School of Music in New York in 2020.

In 2020, the Gryphon Trio will take over fully at Banff. Classical summer music is one of Banff’s anchor programs and Borys says they plan to focus on more than musicianship; they want to help participants build successful and fulfilling careers.

“Young musicians whose training is rooted in the classical traditions … need to have a much bigger bag of tools as they head out there. We see a lot of them are terrified; they just keep pursuing higher levels of education,” said Borys.

Story continues below advertisement

“We’ve got a good sense of the pulse out there; we’ve got a good sense of what’s happening on other continents as far as our art form is concerned; we have a very good sense of the kinds of challenges that young musicians are going to face when they finally depart the safety and that warm-pool environment that some of them might still be in in postsecondary institutions.”

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies