Aradia was the daughter of Apollo’s twin sisters, who was sent by the gods to teach humankind to order the music of the natural world into song.
Aradia Ensemble is a not-for-profit music group that specializes in the performance of Baroque music and also performs classical chamber, orchestral and vocal repertoire on period instruments. Aradia endeavours to advance an appreciation and greater public understanding of these repertoires through an annual concert series, tours and recordings.
Aradia is committed to developing and presenting fresh approaches to baroque music by engaging young musicians and embracing creative partnerships that highlight the baroque style through juxtapositions and complementarities with a range of art forms.
The Aradia Ensemble was formed in 1996 as a musicians’ collective, becoming fully professional in 1999. Aradia has worked tirelessly to develop new talent and interest in Baroque music. Under the dynamic leadership of music director Kevin Mallon, Aradia presents a regular concert series in Toronto, and has toured extensively across Ontario, Canada and internationally (New Zealand, the USA, Ireland and Italy). From 2010-2014, Aradia was Orchestra in Residence for COSI (The Centre for Opera Studies in Italy) in Sulmona, Italy. Aradia performed in Newfoundland (2011) and performed with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in Nova Scotia in 2014.
Aradia has a long history of involvement with education and outreach activities. The ensemble is the mentor group for The Kingsway Conservatory Strings founded by Aradia violinist Elyssa Lefurgey Smith, which often performs alongside Aradia.
Aradia has a major recording contract with Naxos records, with over 50 CDs, some of which have won or been nominated for international prizes, including a JUNO nomination in 2009. This has helped the ensemble gain a strong presence in the Canadian musical landscape, as Aradia receives significant airtime on CBC and other classical music stations. Aradia has benefitted from positive reviews that stand as markers of the ensemble’s artistic excellence. Aradia’s most recent recording, a 3CD set of Handel concerti grossi opus 6 to be released in April 2013, has garnered interest in the international press (BBC Music Magazine feature, Gramophone magazine review etc.) Aradia has recently negotiated an ambitious recording program with Naxos for the coming years.