Brian Finley COMPOSER, LIBRETTIST & MUSIC DIRECTOR
Co-founder and Artistic & Managing Director of the Westben Arts Festival Theatre, Brian Finley continues to pursue a multi-faceted career as a pianist, composer, stage and choral director and impresario. As a pianist, he has been guest soloist with orchestras ranging from the Dallas Symphony to the Calgary Philharmonic. He has appeared at venues including the Olympic Music Festival in Washington, Wigmore Hall in London, England and the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. He represented Canada in over ten international piano competitions including the 8th International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, winning the third Prize in the AMSA International Competition in Cincinnati as well as the Gina Bachauer Award in Dallas. In addition to performing his own arrangements for piano & orchestra, he has also arranged and performed with such singers such as Gerald Finley, Adrianne Pieczonka, Mark DuBois and Michael Burgess.
Brian’s compositions which range from solo piano music and songs to choral works and arrangements for full symphony orchestra have been heard from Victoria to Vienna, and several have been published internationally by Boosey & Hawkes in New York. Large-scale works include Requiem for a Millennium (1999), fully-staged opera-musicals including SAMSON (2001), Rapunzel (2005), Little Match Girl Messiah with Ken Tizzard (2006), The Magic Ornament with Michael Nitsch (2008), The Selfish Giant with Ken Tizzard (2010), and several others. His many recordings include a collection of solo piano music from Wigmore Hall in addition to many for the CBC, CFMX, KING-FM (Seattle) and three critically acclaimed CD’s with soprano Donna Bennett. He has also taught at U of T’s Faculty of Music and at Queen’s University School of Music.
Together with Donna, he co-founded the Westben Arts Festival Theatre in 1999, and has been its Artistic & Managing Director ever since. Having written, performed and directed much for the Westben stage, he is also the director of the Westben Festival Chorus. In 2002, Brian was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his work within his community and with his fellow Canadians.