Cello and Bass, Chamber Orchestra
Performance Dipl. RCM (Toronto)
A native of Winnipeg, cellist Vernon Regehr is an active recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician, conductor and teacher. Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe remarked of a Tanglewood Music Festival performance of Elliott Carter’s first string quartet, “…an extraordinary event…performed with outstanding aplomb and degree of understanding, and deservedly won one of the summer’s sturdiest ovations.” Regehr has performed as soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony, Newfoundland Sinfonia, Memorial University Chamber Orchestra and the Cantata Singers of Ottawa. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Shanghai, Penderecki, Fitzwilliam and Lafayette string quartets, Andrew Burashko, Mark Fewer, Suzie Leblanc, and Leon Fleisher. In a recent performance at the Groundswell New Music Festival commemorating Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday, the Winnipeg Free Press said his performance of the cello sonata “…showed a clear understanding of the work, while handling its hefty technical demands with finesse.”
Regehr has made festival appearances with the First Avenue Chamber Players of New York City, at the International Festival of Ensembles in St. Petersburg, Russia, University of Victoria, Artspring, SoundaXis New Music Festival, Hilton Beach, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Music in the Barns and the Chamber Music Societies of Quebec and Kitchener-Waterloo. As a member of the faculty at the Tuckamore chamber music festival in St. John’s Newfoundland he has performed numerous commissioned works for national radio broadcast. He is a founding member of the Spectrolite Ensemble, a clarinet trio with Sean Rice and Patrick Cashin, and of Ora Ensemble, which specializes in the fusion of new music, visual art and performance theatre. Full Spectrum, his first solo record recently released on the Centrediscs label, features previously unrecorded Canadian works for unaccompanied cello written in the past decade. John Terauds writes “…it is beautifully varied, highly textured writing that Regehr executes with elegant ease, as he does every other one of the very difficult pieces on this album.” Lamentations, by Clark Ross, was awarded the 2014 ECMA for Composition of the Year.
Regehr completed his undergraduate training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he studied with Kim Scholes, Shauna Rolston and Thomas Wiebe. Regehr earned both his Masters and Doctoral degrees at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he studied with Timothy Eddy. He was the recipient of the Ina Gordon Fellowship for two seasons at the Tanglewood Music Centre, and also performed at the Taos School of Music, Banff Centre for the Arts, Colorado College Conservatory, and the Oberlin Conservatory Summer Festival in Casalmaggiore, Italy.
While living in New York, Regehr taught cello in East Harlem with the renowned music school Opus 118, which was featured in the major motion picture Music of the Heart, starring Meryl Streep. He also appeared in Atom Egoyan’s 1997 film Sarabande, which was the fourth of six films from the Inspired by Bach series featuring Yo-Yo Ma.
For many years Regehr served on the performance and teaching faculty of the Kinhaven Music Festival in Vermont, and has taught at numerous other festivals. He has given master classes at the Universities of Toronto, Montréal and Ottawa, the Glenn Gould School, Wilfred Laurier University, the Winnipeg Violoncello Society, and the Maritime Conservatory in Halifax. During a recent sabbatical leave from the University, where he teaches cello, bass and conducts the chamber orchestra, he served as a member of the teaching faculty at the McGill Conservatory of Music in Montréal. His wife, Amy Henderson, is a choral conductor.