AboutCentric MusicFest and Primo Music Association
Since its inaugural event in 2014, Centric MusicFest, has become a permanent fixture in the City of Lethbridge’s flourishing art and music scene. Building upon the success of its founder, Jesse Plessis, the annual summer classical and art music festival has grown under the stewardship of Artistic Director Ryan Kolodziej to feature a combination of local and visiting world-class Canadian and international musicians from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
Participating artists are encouraged to collaborate in at least one of several concerts to foster professional and cultural connections between local musicians and those from visiting arts communities from around the world.
Primo Music Association
The parent organization responsible for Centric MusicFest and any other music events presented outside of the summer festival season, Primo emerged from Artistic and Executive Director Ryan Kolodziej’s strong desire to promote high quality classical and art music in his home town. Under the stewardship of Melanie Gattiker, Zain Solinski, Daniel Greeve, Maxime Boutin-Caron and Whitney Griffith, Primo achieved non-profit status under the Alberta Societies Act on January 31, 2020. Melanie, Zain, Daniel, Maxime and Whitney are all proud to have served on the organisation’s inaugural board, officially elected at the first Annual General Meeting in January 2019.
Artistic & Executive Director
Dr. Kolodziej enjoys a multifaceted career as a pianist, including collaborative piano work and performances as a soloist. He is excited to be able to return to his hometown every summer and share his talents with Lethbridge’s vibrant arts community in the form of Centric MusicFest.
Dr. Kolodziej has performed in Canada and Europe. He has been fortunate to receive multiple grants that supported his artistic achievements from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA), and a SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) research grant award for his work on Liszt / Schubert arrangements and transcriptions.
As a music educator, Dr. Kolodziej currently teaches piano at L’École de musique Vincent-d’Indy and the Conservatoire de Collège Stanislas in Montreal. At the post-secondary level, he has taught as a chargé de cours (graduate teaching assistant) at l’Université de Montréal, as well as a course instructor at the University of Alberta. His students have enjoyed great success, including top prizes at competitions and several First Class Honours in Royal Conservatory of Music exams.
Board of Directors
Whitney Griffith, president
A founding board member of Primo Music Association, Whitney Griffith has a love for classical music that goes back to childhood. Whitney feels fortunate to be involved with the organisation responsible for Centric MusicFest, and is no stranger to challenging work.
While practicing medicine in the midst of a pandemic, she also became president of the PMA board in January 2021. An accomplished pianist and keen traveller, she also loves dogs. She has always owned poodles, and her current pooch, Cadbury, loves people.
Zain Solinski, vice-president
Lethbridge bred pianist Zain Solinski is a proud member of the Primo Music Association board. He recently finished his Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano under the tutelage of Dr. John Hess and Professor Marianna Chibotar-Rutkevich at Western University.
While there, he received the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship for his research project investigating and promoting the performance of Polish Art Song.
Ever eager to contribute to his hometown’s art scene, Zain is passionate about his work with PMA in planning great musical events, including the annual Centric MusicFest.
Marja Mijsbergh, treasurer
Besides Music, Marja loves her family (four children, their partners, and one grandchild), travelling (Japan 2023), hiking, and running with her (Weimaraner) running dog Luna, who loves music!
Maxime Boutin-Caron, secretary
A founding member of Primo Music Association, Maxime Boutin-Caron has worked on a number of boards of directors in various fields, including health care and real estate.
He combines his love of classical music with volunteer work by filling the role of secretary on the PMA board. He considers Lethbridge home, second only to his childhood home in Quebec’s Greater Montreal area.
Melanie Gattiker, director at large
Melanie is happy to contribute to the cause of bringing great live music to Southern Alberta by serving on the Primo Music Association board. A lifelong musician, she has tried her hand at singing, piano, tenor sax, and oboe.
While she no longer makes music, Melanie loves to travel, read, and binge-watch various tv series; a rousing debate over a great meal also never goes amiss! A founding member, she was honoured to serve as PMA’s first president while the board and our artistic & executive director, Ryan Kolodziej undertook the sizable project of achieving non-profit status, while also presenting three annual editions of Centric MusicFest, as well as some special events.
She’s happy to pass on the leadership torch, while continuing to lend her energy and extensive experience in non-profit performing arts administration wherever needed!
Jim Miller, director at large
Since its inaugural event in 2014, Centric MusicFest, has become a permanent fixture in the City of Lethbridge's flourishing art and music scene. Building upon the success of its founder, Jesse Plessis, the annual summer classical and art music festival has grown under the stewardship of Artistic Director Ryan Kolodziej to feature a combination of local and visiting world-class Canadian and international musicians from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Read more...
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