Palenai Piano Duo

Palenai Piano Duo. Established in 1982 in Toronto by pianists Joy Innis and Adrienne Shannon, who had been active as soloists, chamber musicians, vocal accompanists, and teachers.

Palenai Piano Duo

Palenai Piano Duo. Established in 1982 in Toronto by pianists Joy Innis and Adrienne Shannon, who had been active as soloists, chamber musicians, vocal accompanists, and teachers. The name Palenai, of Greek origin and signifying unified diversity, was chosen to reflect the multifaceted nature of their work. The duo toured in Canada and England (1988), and performed with orchestras including the Calgary Philharmonic (1988), and the Edmonton and Victoria Symphony Orchestras (1986). With the Mainly Mozart Orchestra in Toronto they played the Canadian premiere of Czerny's Piano Concerto Four Hands in 1985. They have been heard on CBC radio's 'Arts National,' and on regional broadcasts in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.

During 1983 and 1984 Innis and Shannon developed a multimedia concept, 'Interarts,' in which visual projections are coordinated with musical works. Their Forest Fantasia was performed at the BC Provincial Museum in Victoria. In 1985 a 70-minute program, Prelude: Pacific Rim, commissioned by Parks Canada, was performed in the Greenpoint Theatre of Pacific Rim National Park and on tour. Under the aegis of the Pacific Rim Arts Society 1985-7 they developed a community music program in Tofino and Ucluelet, BC, and in 1986 they co-founded the Pacific Rim Summer Festival and were co-directors there until 2002. They have performed at piano duo festivals in Germany (Bad Herrenalb, 2005) and Israel (2003), lecturing on duo-piano music by Canadian women composers at the latter. They continue to present multimedia performances.

Innis and Shannon taught 1987-8 at the Mount Royal College Conservatory of Music in Calgary. They have taught also at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music, St Lawrence College (Kingston, Ont), Malaspina University College (Nanaimo, B.C.), and St Leo University (Florida), and have been in residence at the Banff School of Fine Arts.

Joy (Anne) Innis - b Calgary 7 Jan 1956; AMRC (Mount Royal College Conservatory) 1976, ARCT (Mount Royal College Conservatory) 1976, B MUS (Toronto) 1982, M MUS (Ball State, Indiana University), DA (Ball) 1996 - was a pupil of Gloria Saarinen, Pierre Souvairan, Patricia Parr and, during two summers on scholarship at the Banff School of Fine Arts, György Sebök. In Indiana she studied with Mitchell Andrews. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician and was pianist for the Contempra Vocal Ensemble in Calgary and the Foothills Opera Company. She taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1982 and privately in Victoria, BC, 1983-4. She was appointed to Queen's University in 2003.

Adrienne Shannon - b Hamilton, Ont, 24 Jul 1950; ARCT 1968, M MUS (Juilliard) 1973, DA (Ball State, Indiana) 1996 - was a pupil of Boris Berlin at the Royal Conservatory of Music and Ania Dorfmann at the Juilliard School; and of Mitchell Andrews at Ball State University. She has performed with the Toronto Symphony, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO), the Hamilton and Calgary Philharmonic orchestras, and the Edmonton, Niagara and Windsor Symphony Orchestras and has given recitals across Canada, in New York, and in Sion, Switzerland. She has performed on CBC radio and TV, RAE radio in Italy, and RIAS radio in Berlin. She placed fourth in the 1973 Munich International Competition, first in the 1975 MSO Concours, fourth in the 1976 Busoni International Piano Competition, and was a semi-finalist in the 1978 Leeds International Piano Competition. She was on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music 1974-82 and taught privately in Victoria, BC 1983-4. She was a director of the Calgary Mozart Bicentennial Festival. For a time Shannon and Jane Coop performed as a two-piano team, making their debut in 1976 at Toronto's St Lawrence Centre. That performance earned them the Floyd S. Chalmers Foundation Award. They also appeared as duo-pianists with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony and performed on CBC radio. Shannon began teaching at Queen's University in 2002 and at St Lawrence College in 2005.


Further Reading

  • Dawson, Eric. 'Pair shares music to build cultural bridge,' Calgary Herald, 26 Sep 1988