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Nickle Family Foundation Piano Concert Series 2023



What: Nickle Family Foundation Piano Concert Series 2023
Where: Cathedral Church (corner of 7 Ave and 1 Street SE)
When:   Various Wednesdays – May 24 through to November 01, 2023
Tickets:  Free to the public


The ProArts@Noon Concert Series is pleased to announce a unique series of five piano concerts featuring diverse and emerging performing artists.

The Nickle Family Foundation awarded Calgary’s ProArts Society funding to undertake the Piano Concert series, which will feature a diverse selection of local pianists performing a variety of artistic genres.

This special series will be part of the ProArts@Noon weekly schedule of Wednesday concerts.

There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. – Johann Sebastian Bach

Now in its twenty-first season, the ProArts@Noon Concert Series is a free, noon hour concert series presented by the ProArts Society, who rent the historic Cathedral Church in the heart of Calgary’s Cultural District for their weekly concerts.

The 2023 Nickle Family Foundation Piano Concert Series:

  1. May 24 Brian Katz
  2. June 14: Jani Parsons
  3. September 06: Ethan Hill
  4. October 18: Eric Nyland
  5. November 01: Gideon Choi

Artist Biographies

Brian Katz, piano  May 24, 2023

Brian Katz is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, pianist, recording artist, improviser, composer, and music educator. As a performer and composer, he is noted for bringing classical and world music influences to modern jazz and various world music streams, and is highly regarded as a “free” music improviser, where he blends many of his influences into coherent musical statements. He holds Mus. Bach. and Mus. M. degrees (Music Education) from the University of Toronto, and Dalcroze Eurhythmics Certification—a method of education exploring the intrinsic relationships between music and movement—from Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Brian also studied jazz at Humber College in Toronto, composition and classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and various subjects at York University, Toronto.  Brian has taught music in a variety of settings—from pre-school to university— for over 30 years. His major mentors have included the innovative Canadian musician-composer, Fred Stone, guitarists Eli Kassner, Ralph Towner and Norbert Kraft, South Indian drummer Trichy Sankaran, pianist Casey Sokol and the late great composition teacher, Sam Dolin.

Jani Parsons, piano  June 14, 2023

Praised for her “combination of tenderness and vivacious energy” (San Francisco Chronical) and “sheer virtuosity” (LA Splash), Canadian pianist Jani Parsons has established herself as a musician of warmth, brilliance, versatility, and vivid expression. An active soloist and chamber musician, Jani is a founding member and executive director of Latitude 49, a mixed chamber ensemble recently in residence at Princeton University and the pianist of the Aurora Trio with violinist Timothy Steeves and cellist Max Geissler. Jani  joined the faculty at the University of Calgary as the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Piano and head of the piano program in 2021.

Ethan Hill, piano  September 06, 2023

Ethan Hill is a musician, composer and inquisitive mind. Showing an interest in music at an early age, Ethan studied piano and theory throughout his childhood while also experimenting with several other instruments. He later pursued music in post secondary, studying composition at the University of Victoria, where he also trained as a liturgical musician at St. John the Divine Anglican Church. In 2019, he relocated to Montreal to study the organ at McGill University, during which time he held an organ scholarship at Christ Church Cathedral and worked with the Quatuor Bozzini. His work in the church sparked his fascination with metaphysics, symbolism and ontology, which he continues to explore today. All of this ultimately manifests itself through his compositions, where he explores intonation theory, sound cognition as well as his curiosity for the ineffable.

Currently, he is based in Calgary, Alberta and works with several artistic groups including the Alberta Ballet, the University of Calgary and Sacred Heart Church & Columbarium, and dedicates his free time to his personal creative endeavors and research. He continues to develop his artistry through residencies such as the Banff Centre for Art and Creativity’s Evolution: Quartet 2022 and the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab.

Eric Nyland, piano  October 18, 2023

A pianist, professional actor, and music teacher, Eric Nyland holds Associate and Licentiate Piano Performance Diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Alberta. He is a Registered Music Teacher with RCM Advanced Teacher Specialization, is a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association and is the facilitator for the piano program at Cassa Musical Arts.

Eric’s major acting and piano performance mentors include Linda Kundert, Dr. Thomas Peacock, Dr. Lillian Upright, and James DeFelice. He has also studied with Joseph Fridman, Dr. Irena Kofman, Allen Reiser, and Derek Chiu. He has performed masterclasses with Dr. Ludmilla Lazar, Dr. Jennifer Snow, Roman Rabinovich, and Dr. Jacques Despres.

He has performed throughout Canada as an actor and pianist, performing through the National Music Centre’s Street Sounds series and the Pro Arts Society. In 2015, Eric appeared as soloist in Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto for the inaugural concert of the Calgary Arts Orchestra.  He is the 2013 winner of the Jack Friedenberg Memorial Scholarship for pianists. Eric has served as the musical director for the long-form theatre improvisation duo One Lions, as well as serving as accompanist for instrumentalists and singers, and is an active festival adjudicator in high demand.

In 2015 Eric was a nominee for Outstanding Actor in a Play for the Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards for his work in the world premiere of Butcher by Governor-General Award-winning playwright Nicolas Billon. In 2016 Eric served as a lead actor, pianist, and composer for Station Arts Centre’s production of Armin Wiebe’s The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz.

Gideon Choi, piano  November 1, 2023

Gideon Choi was born and raised in Calgary, receiving early piano instruction from Brian Cross.  He progressed quickly through the Royal Conservatory levels to complete his Piano Performer’s ARCT in 1997, receiving Honours with Distinction. Gideon studied jazz/contemporary piano with Bill Richards, Chris Andrew, and Torben Holm-Pedersen at MacEwan University in Edmonton.  There, he completed a Diploma of Music in 2009 being awarded the Governor General’s Bronze Medal for his graduating class.

Gideon is a professional educator with over 20 years of experience. He shares his love of learning in multiple disciplines, including music, science, and math. Over the years, Gideon has directed multiple choirs, jazz bands, and contemporary worship bands. Gideon loves exploring a broad range of musical styles, including classical, latin, and swing. He is a versatile performer and arranger known for his beautiful tone and engaging presentation of familiar songs. Gideon continues to teach piano in his home studio in NW Calgary.