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 in the United States and Rondo Classic in 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, such as George Crumb, Canadians Linda Catlin Smith and WL Altman. Elaine has been a featured solo recitalist at the Canadian Opera Company’s Piano Virtuoso concert series, Arts and Letters Series, and at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario. In 2014, Elaine was a featured recitalist for the Canadian Music Centre and 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 a disc of music by Jack Behrens released in 2009 by Capstone Records entitled “Soliloquies.” Lau and Ferretti have also given the Canadian premieres of duo piano works written by Gao Ping, a Chinese composer now residing in New Zealand, and of German composer Moritz Eggert.
As a founding member of junctQín, a keyboard collective of three devoted to performing new music, Elaine has performed at the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Gallery 345, spOtlight Festival, and at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre of the Canadian Opera Company. Other highlights with junctQín included the Hart House Sunday Concert Series, the International Electroacoustic Symposium, and a portrait concert of works by Austrian composer/improviser Karlheinz Essl, co-presented by the Music Gallery in 2012. She has also given premieres of works by US composer Jack Behrens, such as the world premiere of “No Wrong Notes,” and the Canadian premiere of Moritz Eggert’s “One Man Band II.” Elaine has also introduced to Canadian audiences to new works by composers Matthew Hindson (Australia) and Tomi Räisänen (Finland).
Elaine was coach and repetiteur for the Opera Theatre of Lucca (Italy) and from 2005-2008, collaborative pianist/instructor for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts (USA). In addition to performing, Elaine remains dedicated to teaching: she has taught at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (USA), is nationally active as an adjudicator, is a Senior Examiner for RCM and serves as a senior teacher advisor for the Music Education in the Digital Age (MEDA) Project. She currently teaches piano and chamber music at Wilfrid Laurier University, a post she has held since 2003, and has 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 of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Elaine began her piano studies at the age of four with Shireen Moos; influential teachers include Peter Longworth, Valerie Tryon, June Caskey, Gwen Beamish, Golda Vainberg-Tatz and Karl Ulrich Schnabel.