William George and Chad Emry Heltzel
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Srinath Covilakam, President
Wendy Robertson, Treasurer
Charles Parkinson, Secretary
Joseph Bardsley, Member-at-Large
Jonathan Easey, Member-at-Large
Jean Hayley, Member-at-Large
Erato’s mission is to foster and develop the growing repertoire of vocal/instrumental chamber music: honouring, yet distinct from the traditions of art song, choral music, and opera. We do this by supporting the creation of new work, and presenting high-quality artistic performances in public places, thereby advancing the public’s appreciation of the arts.
Erato was founded in 2006 as an art-song chamber ensemble by tenor Will George, and soprano Catherine Laub. Both New York city transplants, the co-artistic directors established the ensemble’s reputation as a composers’ ensemble, engaging with, and supporting both local and national Canadian composers. The early goal of the ensemble, which has remained constant, was to show the public that skilled musicians could bring melodic new music to Vancouver and beyond.
In 2007, Erato incorporated as the Erato Ensemble Society, adopting the mandate of featuring vocal and instrumental repertoire equally, establishing itself as a pioneer in the creation of a genre that both honours and transcends traditional art song. Charitable status was acquired in 2013.
In its decade of concert presenting, Erato Ensemble has fostered and premiered over 80 new works, most by Canadian composers. In honour of its commitment to programming Canadian works, Erato was named an official affiliate ensemble of the Canadian Music Centre in 2016.
Erato is known for its adventurous programming and idiosyncratic combination of voice and instruments. The ensemble has also been featured with Vancouver New Music, Vancouver Pro Musica, Vancouver International Song Institute, Queer Arts Festival, Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, CMC’s New Music in New Places, In The House Festival, and The Roedde House Museum.
In 2014, Erato shifted to the sole artistic directorship of Will George, bringing Executive Director, Mike Brown on board in 2016. In recent years, Erato has been taking steps towards establishing a more sustainable organizational model: building stronger community connections through co-productions, diversifying revenue streams, and fostering a more active board of directors working towards this goal. Beginning with the 2018-19 season, Erato will come under the new artistic directorship of composer/pianist, Michael Park, in order to usher in a new era of growth and development for the organization.