Jennifer Waring (ON) (2014-present)

Message from the new president: October, 2016

The experience of mounting collaborative projects like l’Oreille fine, SHIFT, and more recently, Gaudeamus: Deconstructed and Reconstructed, has only strengthened my conviction that pooling resources is beneficial, and that personal contact, creating opportunities for artistic collaboration and exchange, is critical to a vibrant new music practice. These are important ideas behind CNMN’s FORUMs: collaborating locally to mount events; getting people together to share ideas, ultimately making new things happen. I strive to lend my experience and energy to this effort. Within that effort I have a particular interest in making sure that young creators find a place in established structures (in my time at Continuum, the organization consistently provided emerging composers with opportunities), and in creating international links. 

One of the founders of Toronto-based Continuum, Jennifer Waring was for many years its artistic director. Under her leadership the group commissioned over 150 new works, toured Canada and Europe, and recorded four CDs. Interdisciplinary projects became a focus with projects featuring dance, film, installation, and as well architecture, philosophy and science. l’Oreille Fine (2005), conceived with Mark Kingwell, was a festival of concerts and a symposium of philosophers, poets, critics and a psychologist dealing with the subject of contemporary expression in a classical art form. SHIFT was the result of a year-long Metcalf Foundation-funded residency with Gaudeamus in Amsterdam. This bi-national festival of Canadian and Dutch music, film and literature (2008-09) involved roughly 40 Canadian and 40 Dutch artists, and multiple presenters including Harbourfront Authors Festival, Images Festival, Impakt (Utrecht), Gaudeamus, Asko|Schönberg, Ives Ensemble, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Dutch and Canadian radio boaodcasters. SHIFT created a model that Dutch organizers continue to use in bi-lateral festivals.

With the Toronto Symphony Orchestra she mounted the audience engagement project Music by the Masses, where audience members and the general public were invited to compose pieces under the guidance of professional composers for performance by trios of symphony musicians. Renamed Composing for a Change, the project has had successful runs with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Music Toronto.

A flutist by training, Jennifer studied in Ottawa, London and Paris, and holds a Master’s degree in performance from the University of Toronto. She was on faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music for 22 years.