Home Routes Classical

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Home Routes Classical is a new idea born of old roots. The classical music home concert was first popularized in the 19th Century when the development and mass production of the piano meant that everyone could have a piano at home. During the 1820's, the great Austrian song composer Franz Schubert would try out his new songs at a patron's home in the company of friends, food, and wine, everyone infused by the famous Viennese spirit of "gemuetlichkeit". Chopin did the same in his many piano soirees in 1840's Paris. In addition, the huge 19th Century proliferation of sheet-music publication meant that all the latest popular hits could be enjoyed by friends and family in the parlour after dinner. 

Home Routes Classical now brings world class artists physically into the familiar surroundings of your parlour. Artists like nothing better than sharing their art with listeners. At close quarters the experience takes on a new intimacy with performers just a few feet away.

Let the "gemuetlichkeit" commence!

- Artistic Director Mel Braun

2013-14 Concert Series Program

Flin Flon, MB - The Pas, MB - Howden, MB - Baldur, MB

Estevan, SK - McCreary, MB - Balmoral, MB - Steinbach, MB

September, 2013
Hank Knox - QC

Hailed internationally for his "colorful, kinetic performances" (All Music Guide) which "abound in vitality" (Early Music America), Hank Knox performs on harpsichord in concert halls, churches, museums, galleries and homes around the globe. A founding member of Montreal's Arion Baroque Orchestra, with whom he has toured North and South America, Europe and Japan, Knox also regularly performs, records and tours with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, le Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, and l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, among numerous other ensembles. As one of today's busiest musicians in the field of Early Music, Knox's musical collaborators have included violinists Elizabeth Wallfisch, Monica Huggett, and Stefano Montanari, lutenist Steven Stubbs, baritone Max van Egmond, and conductors Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock, Sir Roger Norrington, and Andrew Parrott. 

Dedicated to sharing the unique sounds of antique harpsichords, as well as fine copies of historical instruments, Knox has released a number of acclaimed recordings on rare instruments. He has released two collections of Frescobaldi keyboard works, on a 1677 Italian harpsichord, for the ATMA Classique and early-music.com labels, along with works by D'Anglebert performed on a copy of one of the few upright harpsichords in existence, made by Montreal builder Yves Beaupré. A recording of Handel opera arias and overtures in transcriptions by William Babell was recorded on three different exceptional antique instruments from the treasured Benton Fletcher collection at Fenton House in London. Knox's most recent recording features transcriptions of music by Francesco Geminiani, performed on a 1772 Kirkman harpsichord. A solo recording of works by J.S. Bach, performed on a copy of an 18th-century Flemish instrument, will be released in 2013. Hank Knox can also be heard on numerous recordings with Arion and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestras for early-music.com, ATMA, Analekta, CBC, Titanic and Collegium labels, as well as on national broadcasts for Radio-Canada and CBC. 

Hank Knox teaches harpsichord and continuo in the Early Music program at McGill University in Montreal, where he also conducts various instrumental and chamber music ensembles including the McGill Baroque Orchestra. A William Dawson Scholar in recognition of his achievements in Early Music, Knox held the post of Director of McGill's Early Music program for over 20 years and was awarded the Thomas Binkley prize for an outstanding university collegium director by Early Music America in 2008. Knox continues to direct a series of Baroque operas for Opera McGill, which have included Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Lully's Thésée, Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppeaand Il ritorno d'Ulisse, and Handel's Agrippina, Giulio Cesare, Alcina, Semele, Imeneo, Radamisto and, most recently, Rinaldo. 

Hank Knox earned a Master of Music in harpsichord performance from McGill University, where he studied with John Grew, which he followed by studies in the Netherlands, in Italy and with Kenneth Gilbert in Paris. When he is not playing or conducting, Knox may be found hurtling down a ski hill not too far from his home in Montreal.

November 2013
Andrew Erickson - MB

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Andrew Erickson is a graduate of the University of Manitoba Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music where he holds both Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees. Being Winnipeg born and raised, he studied with many local teachers including Michael Daher, Randy Haley, Ric Schulz, James Hickerson, and under Richard Tyborowski during his studies as a university student.

Andrew enjoys teaching and performing as a career, having been recommended to represent Manitoba at the National Music Festival 4 years in a row (2007-2010), and receiving numerous awards, scholarships and bursaries for his performing through the University of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Classical Guitar Society, the Winnipeg Music Festival, the Associated Manitoba Artists Festival, and the Manitoba Arts Council.

Andrew is currently employed with the Louis Riel School Division, practicing his passion of teaching classroom guitar. He also performs various recitals and concerts including annually for the WCGS, and teaches privately.

February 2014

Mel Braun & Laura Loewen - MB


Baritone Mel Braun is a versatile performer, equally at home in oratorio, recital, and opera, always open to new collaborations. He is well-known to Canadian audiences for his many performances and broadcasts of Early Music with Tafelmusik and Opera Atelier, and for his frequent appearances across Canada in the Masterworks of Bach and Handel. These appearances include performances with the Calgary Bach Festival, Edmonton's Pro Coro, Symphony Nova Scotia, Winnipeg's Canzona, Guelph Chamber Choir, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. New Music, another of Mel's interests, has seen him premiere works with the Banff Centre, Winnipeg's Groundswell, Manitoba Opera, Winnipeg New Music Festival, Kitchener's Sound in the Land Festival, Toronto's New Music Gallery, and Saskatoon Symphony. As a recitalist, he is renowned for his creative approach to Song, whether it's singing Schumann's Liederkreis while on stage with the dancers of Winnipeg's Q Dance, staging Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch, or tracing the life of Schubert among his friends as he completed his final work, Die Winterreise. His ongoing duo partnership with pianist Laura Loewen is at the centre of many of these collaborations. When not performing as a soloist, he sings with the Emerado Trio, and with Il Primo, an all-baritone trio.

As a teacher, Mel heads up the Vocal Program at the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music, a program renowned for its collaborative and wholistic approach to training singers. He has seen many of his students go on to significant careers as performers and teachers. Among Mel's many initiatives at the Faculty are the Annual Opera Theatre School Tour, the Contemporary Opera Lab, the Professor Bach Project, and Tuesdays in Winnipeg, a venture that brings together high school age boys who love to sing. He has been awarded Merit and Outreach Awards for his efforts.

As a music director, Mel looks after the operatic ensembles at the U of M, as well as working with Winnipeg's Camerata Nova, a choir devoted to exploring new approaches to choral music making. He is much in demand as an Adjudicator and choral clinician, and also enjoys teaching many of the young rock singers that make up Winnipeg's burgeoning Indie Music scene. You'll find him wherever young singers need mentoring.

Mel has a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto and a Degree in Church Music from Canadian Mennonite Bible College. Patricia Kern, Douglas Bodle, Greta Kraus, Mary Morrison, Martin Isepp, Keith Turnbull, John Boyden, John Martens, Dorothy Lawson, and George Wiebe are some of the many teachers to whom he is grateful to for their generous guidance.


Praised for expressivity, virtuosity, and committed playing, Winnipeg collaborative pianist Laura Loewen has performed throughout North America, Europe, Asia and South America with Charles Castleman, Tracy Dahl, Wendy Nielsen, Kimberly Barber, Jasper Wood, 

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Eugene Rousseau, William Bennett and others. She performs extensively with singers, instrumentalists and chamber ensembles and is a regular recital partner of fellow University of Manitoba faculty members baritone Mel Braun, tenor Robert MacLaren, violinist Oleg Pokhanovski, and cellist Minna Rose Chung.

Dedicated to sharing her passion for ensemble playing and coaching, Dr. Loewen is a professor of Collaborative Piano and Vocal Coach at the University of Manitoba's Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music. She is on the faculties of the NUOVA opera training program in Edmonton, Contemporary Opera Lab in Winnipeg, Rio International Cello Encounter, and is a founding faculty artist of Vancouver International Song Institute. Loewen is a founding member of The Galileo Trio ("an enlightened idea" - Winnipeg Free Press) and Emerado ("true camaraderie and rapport" - Winnipeg Free Press).

Loewen also performs with saxophonist Allen Harrington. Over the last ten years, the Harrington/Loewen duo has toured North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. 

April 2014

Michael McKay - MB

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As a pianist, Michael McKay began formal studies at Acadia University in 1988, majoring in Piano Performance. There he had performed as guest soloist with the St. Andrew's Arts Festival Orchestra and the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, and placed third in the piano division of the FCMF National Music Festival. After graduating from Acadia in 1993, he went on to study at the University of Toronto, again majoring in Piano Performance, with a specialty in the music of George Crumb. After a period of work in theatre, he returned to Acadia University in 1997, where he worked as Faculty Accompanist until 2006, when he moved to Winnipeg. Notable performances during that time were an appearance as guest soloist with the Chebucto Symphony Orchestra, a cameo appearance in a CBC-broadcast concert with Janice Jackson and Sylvie Proulx, a lecture-recital of Schumann's "Carnaval", and a "liturgical recital" combining Liszt's "Via Crucis" and Emmerich's "Dolorous Passion". Michael has also performed with the bands Lochaber and Tango Extasis. After coming to Winnipeg, he did further exploration of combinations of piano and spoken word, most notably the recent recital "An Afternoon in Andalusia", which was part musical guided tour and part theatre piece. Michael also appears regularly as guest artist with the Winnipeg-based Bolero Dance Theatre.

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