Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream: Orchestral Instruments, Saxophone
Area Head - Woodwinds
Mus.Bac.Perf. (Toronto), M.Mus. (New England Conservatory), D.M.A. (Eastman School of Music)Email
Canadian saxophonist Wallace Halladay captures the qualities of the modern virtuoso, being at home in numerous styles, from the traditional to jazz and beyond. A specialist in the performance of contemporary music, Wallace has commissioned and premiered numerous works for saxophone. In addition to performances of concerti by Ibert, Schmitt, Glazunov, Denisov, Husa, Muldowney, Kancheli, Yoshimatsu, Scelsi and Donatoni, he has worked with composers Michael Colgrass, Mauricio Kagel, Erik Ross and Scott Good on the Canadian premieres of their concerti, and with Philippe Leroux in 2011 on the North American premiere of his saxophone concerto in Montreal. Wallace also inaugurated the Intersections Series with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in an entire concert of music for saxophone and orchestra entitled “The Story of the Saxophone.” In March 2009, Wallace made his debut as soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: the Globe and Mail called him “phenomenal” and “so riveting…that not much can compete against it.”
Wallace recorded the two saxophone Sequenzas of Luciano Berio and the Colgrass concerto for NAXOS Records. He has been presented by and performed with new music groups across the Canada and the USA and is the Artistic Director of Toronto New Music Projects, which has presented portrait concerts of Scelsi, Donatoni, Gubaidulina, Wolpe, and partnering to bring Philippe Leroux, Vinko Globokar, and Salvatore Sciarrino to Toronto. Wallace produced the Canadian premiere of Sciarrino’s opera, The Killing Flower (Luci mei traditrici). He can also be heard with the Toronto Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, and National Ballet Orchestras.
Wallace holds a Bachelor’s degree in Performance and Composition from the University of Toronto, a Master’s from New England Conservatory in Boston, and a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. Wallace also studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with internationally acclaimed virtuoso Arno Bornkamp with a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. He has previously taught at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Eastman School of Music, and is presently Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Toronto, where he is Chair of the Woodwind Department, Director of the Contemporary Music Ensemble, and was the inaugural winner of the faculty’s Teaching Award.
Wallace was the 2009 winner of the Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. Awarded for outstanding musicianship, Wallace remains the only woodwind player to receive the prize in its 30 year history, and he joins such luminary Canadian laureates as Jon Kimura Parker, James Ehnes, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
As a performer, Wallace takes pride in the symbiosis and chemistry that come with working with great composers; he has worked intimately with Mauricio Kagel, Helmut Lachenmann, Vinko Globokar, Magnus Lindberg, Oliver Knussen, Marco Stroppa, Philippe Leroux, and Salvatore Sciarrino. As a passionate teacher, Wallace insists that the saxophone is only a vessel through which the body and mind reveal genuine artistry and complex musicality. He lives in Toronto’s Harbord Village with his wife, acclaimed new music soprano Xin Wang, and their three beautifully boisterous young children – Sophia, Alban, and Adelaide.
Wallace is a Conn-Selmer Artist and plays Selmer (Paris) saxophones.