Charmain Louis


Charmain Louis

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Instrument(s): Viola

Age you began playing: Violin at age 10

Year you joined the TSO: 1982

Who or what inspired you most to play your instrument? Violinist David Oistrakh

Most memorable experience performing with the TSO: My first concert, which included Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

Does your instrument have a story? My current instrument was made in 2006 by a friend that I met when I was 18 years old at Algoma Music Camp. At the time, he was a mathematician and was just learning to play the violin. He became a great instrument maker and player of improvised music.

Why are orchestras important? Orchestras can, in theory, be a good example of a group of people working tightly together while maintaining individuality.

What wisdom would you impart to students and aspiring musicians? Find a niche that is right for you as an artist.

Who are your favourite musicians in any genre? Thelonious Monk, Jascha Heifetz, Albert King, and Hermeto Pascoal.

What is your most memorable concert experience as an audience member? When I was 13 or so, I saw David Oistrakh play and conduct the TSO.

What music/piece/composer is your “guilty pleasure”? Anything by Wagner.

What do you enjoy doing most when you’re not on stage? Hiking, skiing, and exploring the countryside.

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Musician Biography

Born in Toronto, Charmain Louis joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 1982. Prior to the TSO, Ms. Louis played in the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and the orchestras of the Canadian Opera Company and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She lives with guitarist Bob Cohen.

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