Biography

Elaine Lau is a Toronto-based pianist and toy pianist. Versatile as both a soloist and collaborative artist, she has performed as keyboardist and soloist with numerous orchestras, and broadcast on CBC Radio 2, National Public Radio (United States) and Rondo Classic (Finland). Equally at home with the standard canon, Elaine also has an avid interest in the contemporary repertoire for toy, solo and duo piano, and is active in the premiering of new works for these mediums. She has worked with many composers, including George Crumb, Linda Catlin Smith and WL Altman.  Elaine has been a featured solo recitalist at the Canadian Opera Company’s Piano Virtuoso Series, Arts and Letters Series, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and as a featured recitalist for the Canadian Music Centre’s 13th Street Winery Piano Series, during which she presented a program of water-inspired music.

As duo pianist with Joseph Ferretti, Elaine has performed across North America, including concerts at the Banff Centre, the Royal Conservatory of Music, McMaster University, Mount Allison University and at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Festival.  The duo has premiered many works and in 2006, held an artist residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts.  As recording artists, they participated in “Soliloquies,” a disc of music by Jack Behrens released by Capstone Records.

In 2009, Elaine and Joseph co-founded junctQín keyboard collective with pianist Stephanie Chua. The ensemble’s devotion to performing new music has led to over 25 premières, as well as performances in Colours of Music Festival, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Open Ears Festival, the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre (Canadian Opera Company) and many others.  Other highlights with junctQín included the Hart House Sunday Concert Series, the International Electroacoustic Symposium, and portrait concerts of works by Austrian composer/improviser Karlheinz Essl and Tomi Räisänen (Finland).  Elaine has also introduced to Canadian audiences to new works by composers Matthew Hindson (Australia), Moritz Eggert (Germany), Gaël Tissot (France) and Victor Trescolí Sanz.

Elaine was coach and repetiteur for the Opera Theatre of Lucca (Italy) and collaborative pianist/instructor for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts (USA).  In addition to performing, Elaine remains dedicated to teaching, is nationally active as an adjudicator, is a Senior Examiner for RCM and served as a senior teacher advisor for the Music Education in the Digital Age (MEDA) Project.  Since 2003, she has been teaching piano and chamber music at Wilfrid Laurier University; she has also served on the faculty of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Elaine holds graduate degrees in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff, and the Glenn Gould School.  Elaine began her piano studies with Shireen Moos; influential teachers include Peter Longworth, Valerie Tryon, June Caskey, Gwen Beamish, Golda Vainberg-Tatz and Karl Ulrich Schnabel.