World-Class Musicians to Inaugurate New Bella Concert Hall

Director Paul Dornian announces stellar line-ups for Opening Festival and Wyatt Series
Conservatory Director Paul Dornian announces stellar line-ups for Opening Festival and Wyatt Series

Two marquee series, comprising seven events in 2015-16,  will showcase the breathtaking acoustics and intimate ambiance of Calgary’s newest concert venue, the Bella Concert Hall at Mount Royal University.

The announcement was made by Conservatory Director Paul Dornian at a launch party for Conservatory sponsors, supporters and media on May 1.

The Opening Festival for the Bella Concert Hall features four outstanding concerts between September 19 and October 3, 2015.

The 2015-16 Wyatt Concert Series line-up was also revealed. The Wyatt season will feature four concerts by young, edgy superstars. The September 30 concert by superstar pianist Yuja Wang is a crossover event for both series.

Former Academy student Natalie Wiebe
Academy alumna Natalie Wiebe

The launch party featured a presentation by Academy for Gifted Youth alumna Natalie Wiebe, violin. Natalie told of being inspired by the Academy’s abundant performing opportunities and access to international faculty. She welcomes the Bella Concert Hall as an impressive new platform for future musicians, facilitating even greater collaboration possibilities between students and visiting artists.

“Young guest artists help students realize their dreams and build an invaluable rapport with young musicians.” Natalie said.


Karen Drummond of United Active Living
Karen Drummond of United Active Living

Opening Festival sponsor Karen Drummond of United Active Living spoke about the importance of the arts to the health and happiness of the residents of this leading-edge seniors’ facility. The partnership between United Active Living and Mount Royal includes guest lecturers, nursing practicums and music appreciation. The residents will enjoy attending events in the new venue.

“Our residents enjoy regular music programming at Mount Royal,” Karen said.




Passion Palette Trio
Passion Palette Trio

The Passion Palette Trio — Isabella Perron, violin, Mari Coetzee, cello, and Anastasia Kulikova, piano, current students of the Academy for Gifted Youth — gave a stirring performance of Antonin Dvorak’s Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor to crown the event.

Opening Festival

“Bella Voce” Opera Gala – Sat., Sept. 19, 8 p.m. 
With the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Robert Mincuk
Presented with Calgary Opera and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
Featuring international stars Sally Dibblee, Andrea Hill and Gordon Gietz

“Luminous Night” Choral Showcase – Sun., Sept. 27, 3 p.m.
A 250+-voice choral extravaganza with massed choirs led by Jean-Louis Bleau

Yuja Wang, piano – Wed., Sept. 30 , 7:30 p.m. 
This stylish and charismatic pianist has been called the most important pianist of her generation. She is an alumna of the Conservatory

Yuja & Friends – Sat., Oct. 3, 8 p.m.
An all-Brahms concert with pianist Yuja Wang and Ning Feng, violin, Teng Li, viola, and Tao Ni, cello

Presenting sponsor: United Active Living Community.

Complete information at

 Wyatt Concert Series

Super Stars – Sat., Jul. 18, 7 p.m.
Noah Bendix-Balgley, one of the world’s great violinists, with guest artists Shanshan Yao, Wei Yu, Teng Li and Franklin Cohen
Co-presented with Morningside Music Bridge

Yuja Wang, – Piano – Wed., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.
(also part of the Opening Gala – see description above)

Igudesman & Joo – Sat., Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m. 
Comedy duo from New York make classical music accessible

James Ehnes, Violin – Fri., May 13, 7:30 p.m.
Canadian violinist with a stellar international career

Hal Wyatt with Dean Charles Webber
Hal Wyatt with Dean Charles Webber

The Wyatt Artist in Residence Program and Concert Series honours Hal Wyatt and his late wife, Marnie, who are long-time friends and supporters of the Mount Royal University Conservatory. Dean Webber expressed appreciation for the Wyatts’ long-term support.



Concert tickets for the two series start at $60 and are available through (as of May 12) or 403.440.7770 now.

 by Karen McCarthy
– photos by Mitsue Kudo