Performance Testimonials

“Pianist Catherine Wilson with her group Ensemble Vivant opened the Orillia Concert Association’s 66th season on Sept 30, 2012 to an enthusiastic audience. The members of this wonderful group include Catherine Wilson, piano/artistic director; Erica Beston, violin; Sybil Shanahan, cello; Norman Hathaway, viola; and Don Thompson, vibes and bass. Ensemble Vivant presented a program that connected the music of Bach to the Latin music of Piazzolla and others, as well as music by Charlie Chaplin, Don Thompson himself, and more. The program began with the Little Fugue in G Minor by Bach and ended with Fugata by Piazzolla. It was an exciting approach to programming that really worked with the audience as evidenced by the standing ovation at the conclusion. If you have a chance, don’t miss Catherine Wilson with her Ensemble Vivant.”
– Stan Passfield, President Orillia Concert Association

“I’ve been a professional musician for the past 50 years and during that time I’ve worked with some of the greatest musicians in the world from Glenn Gould to Oscar Peterson. I’ve played with some of the greatest musicians that ever lived. The passion and beauty of Catherine Wilson ’s piano playing is overwhelming. She is a beautifully gifted pianist and musician with a depth of feeling that separates her from the rest and makes her a real standout in the Toronto music community. She is an inspiration to everyone who knows her. I am honored to be part of her music and honored to join Canada’s world class Ensemble Vivant.”
– Don Thompson, O.C., musician, composer, arranger

“The warmth and precision of Ensemble Vivant’s performance of the music of Leroy Anderson charmed the Imperial Theatre’s audience … GREAT PERFORMERS! GREAT SHOW!”
– Ralph MacLean, Imperial Theatre, Saint John, NB

“Led by renowned pianist Catherine Wilson, the musicians of Ensemble Vivant are world class performers with a rare artistry of exceptional depth, sensitivity and musicality. They possess a magnetic and exciting stage presence combined with a warm intelligence that never fails to win the hearts of their audiences. Their concert wowed us last year and we had to have them back for a concert at the Arts and Letters Club so that an even broader audience can enjoy their musicality.”
– Arts and Letter Club, Toronto

“Dear Ms. Wilson:
Your program at Carnegie Hall was simply an unforgettable, sparkling  and energetic performance of the Leroy Anderson Piano Concerto with the New York Pops.  It was a magical evening thanks to your beautiful soul, which shines through in your  exquisite playing.    You enthralled an entirely sold-out Carnegie Hall. Thank you Catherine.   ”
– Mary C. Thornton (Famous People Players, Toronto)

“Magical Evening with Ensemble Vivant
Thank you for a splendid concert this past Friday at the St. Lawrence Centre with Ensemble Vivant.   Both a visually and acoustically memorable event enjoyed by everyone in the sold-out hall.   The eclectic variety of pieces and styles spanning from classical, jazz to contemporary were brilliantly performed.   I was moved, often to tears by so many of the works performed.   Rick Wilkins Divertissement, was one of the many highlights for me that evening.   I am able to continue enjoying this magical event as I listen to Ensemble Vivant’s Audience Favourites CD. Thank you again. ”
– Elizabeth Krasnic (Collingwood, Ontario)

“Catherine, watching you play was as beautiful and intense as listening to you play.    You move into the music, your soul moves with it and you take the rest of us with you.   Thank you!”
– Peggy Boccia (Toronto, Canada)

“My dearest Catherine – You are JOY!!!!!!!
I cannot thank you enough for your magical piano playing and what that did for my mother.    You are not just a pretty face, you are a beautiful person with a heart that is made from pure gold and kindness.   Your soul is music that stirs the imagination and brings us all to our knees in gratitude.  ”
– Diane Dupuy (President & Founder, Famous People Players, Toronto, Canada)

“Hello Catherine,
A friend treated me to your concert in Toronto recently.  What a treat it was in every way.   I really found myself restored and better equipped to release my worries about the future and stay in the present.   Please let me know when you record John Burke’s Mysterium.  The depth you and your Ensemble Vivant bring to every piece you play is profound.    Thank you again for bringing joy and pleasure to so many people’s lives and may you continue to do so for many years to come.  ”
– Leigh Davidson (Toronto, Canada)

“My wife and I recently had the great pleasure of hearing  pianist Catherine Wilson perform at the Palm Court Orchestra’s ‘Blue Tango’ concert in Victoria, B.C.   Catherine is a Canadian treasure- her pianistic artistry is exquisite – and we are delighted to now have in our possession four of her wonderful CDs including The Music of Leroy Anderson and her music video, Catherine Wilson and Friends.”
– Brian and Asha Atwell (Victoria, B.C.)

Bravo!  Ensemble Vivant’s recent Toronto concert was fabulous.     I loved the unique mixture of styles, the energy and the passion, intensity and soulfulness.   You are a sparkling presence!
– Julia Walden (Toronto)

“BRAVO!   How wonderful to be so exceptionally talented and gifted at what you so obviously love to do.   Thank you Ensemble Vivant for creating the most enthralling evening of beautifully performed music.   The trio plays with all the passion in the world.  I must also say how gorgeous you looked, but more than anything else, it is your extraordinary talent – your extraordinary musical gifts  that captivated everyone in the sold-out hall – and you spoke so well – very charming and sweet.    The 3 of you are exceptional.   I purchased your Classical Potpourri and I can’t stop listening to your solo of Chopin’s Etude, Op. 10, No. 3,  as well as Satie’s Les Trio Gymnopedies.  I also love the Puccini, the quintet’s riveting version of Maple Leaf Rag, as well as your magnificent composition, Knollwood Place.   I can’t wait for your next Toronto concert.     With warmest heartfelt wishes,  a devoted fan,”
– Kimberly Gibson (Toronto)

“Dear Catherine,
Your artistry is exceptional.    Your sound, your touch, your musical imagination, your warmth…I could go on and on. Whether playing solo or whether it is the trio, the program and the playing is superb.   You are an artist’s artist.”
– Alec Catherwood, violinist (Petersburg, Ontario)

“What a treat it is to hear Catherine Wilson and Ensemble Vivant.   You wow us with your talent, your warmth, your sensitivity and your splendid performances of every piece you play.   You are beautiful inside and out, and this is realized in your music-making.    We loved the entire concert.   We are fans of Ensemble Vivant and we can’t wait for your next performance in Toronto and for your next recording.    Thanks to you the world is greatly enriched.   With warmth and many thanks,”
– Dalliah and Harvey Organ (Toronto)

“Dear Catherine,
While enroute to Dallas I was kept company all the way by your exquisitely beautiful music which I listen to over and over.   You are a sensational artist.”
– Duilio Dobrin, composer, conductor (Tampa, Florida)

“Hi Catherine,
Michael and I wanted to thank you for an amazing concert the other night.   The feeling in the concert hall was so warm and wonderful.   You obviously have quite a following!  What a treat to hear and watch such brilliantly talented and incredibly beautiful people perform!  The evening just sparkled!   We wanted to speak with you afterwards and buy some CDs but the enormous crowd was too dense.  I would love to buy at least 2 of your Audience Favourites CDs, among others.    Thank you again Catherine and Ensemble Vivant.  Warmest regards,”
– Susan Fox (Stratford, Ontario)

“Thank you Ensemble Vivant
It was an absolute thrill hearing Ensemble Vivant in concert.  Our audience’s reaction – two standing ovations! – has been followed up with no end of written feedback  praising the group, including unanimously exclaiming that Ensemble Vivant cannot be topped in any way.  Catherine Wilson’s piano playing was sheer heaven.  As well, when she spoke to the audience, her genuine warmth, intelligence and natural appeal echoed the beauty of her exquisite piano playing.   The program was exceptionally interesting and not at all typical for a piano trio.   This is a group with tremendous originality, passion, sensitivity and virtuosity.    They were dazzling in every way.   We thank you for the opportunity and we welcome Ensemble Vivant anytime.    ”
– Gratefully yours, the concert board of Eagle River, WI

“ENSEMBLE VIVANT was spectacular!    It was a heart-warming evening in every way.   Not only were the musical selections varied stylistically from classical to jazz styles, but the performances could not have been more communicative.  These performers have true depth and warmth – they are world class artists.  May every community have the opportunity to be enriched by an Ensemble Vivant concert.   ”
– The concert board of North Platte, NE

“The concert last night was tremendous!   Wilson and Friends were more than friends, they were extensions of each other.   In have never seen a trio be so in tune, musically and with each other –  they were like one in their absolutely superb music-making.    Thank you for giving our audience so much lasting joy. ”
– Concert board of Algona, Iowa

“What a genuine treat Catherine to meet you and hear your incredible playing with this wonderful group of musicians. Thank you so much for such a wonderful pleasure and for making our world a much more beautiful place thanks to your rare artistry.  ”
– Brian King (Ottawa)

“Dear Catherine Wilson,
I heard you perform in Newcastle, WY a couple of years ago and just loved your concert – you were just fantastic! I bought your Classical Potpourri CD and many of my friends are now wanting copies for themselves.   As well, I just love your Christmas Tidings CD – who wouldn’t – it’s  the most beautiful Christmas CD ever recorded.     May you return to perform in concert here again.   Thank you Catherine.”
– Irene Spillane (Newcastle, WY)

“Wonderful performance Ensemble Vivant!   Please come back very soon.   No words can describe the beauty you bring to your audiences – to whoever hears you – thank you so much.   Yours gratefully,”
– Joan Smith  (Barrie, Canada)

“Dear Ensemble Vivant,
Just a quick note to say a big “Thank You” for a wonderful concert.    Your Toronto concert coincided with our 23rd wedding anniversary.   This was our first Ensemble Vivant listening experience and we were so excited as we had heard great things about your performances.  But no words can adequately describe just how magical your concert was.   And it was such a thoughtful and varied program – a musical journey beautifully planned and exquisitely performed.   Your spontaneous and heartfelt commentary was much appreciated and enjoyed.   It gave us a greater understanding for the intent of the composers, and I loved how you tied together the diverse styles you perform with such love.   We are heading out today to HMV to purchase your ‘Audience Favourites’ CD, and we are looking forward to your next live Toronto performance!    Thank you again Ensemble Vivant.   ”
– Steve and Janus Lebo (Toronto, Ontario)

“Thank you for your excellent and stunningly beautiful concert tonight.   Your playing is so beautiful, so poetic, so passionate and so moving in every way.”
– Carol Davids (Barrie, Canada)

“Ensemble Vivant – Your performance was electrifying! Everyone of the group members were charming when introducing program selections.   Please come back to Perth to enchant us again and again.    With grateful thanks,”
– Harvey Jackson (Perth, Ontario)

“A wonderful program and absolutely fabulous playing – heartfelt and rich with emotion – we feel very lucky to have you back in Perth.   May you return very soon.
Thank you Ensemble Vivant. ”
– Hank and Karen Lemky, (Perth, Ontario)