The Kensington Sinfonia was founded in 1988 by John Lowry, Associate Concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic, and freelance musicians. In 1993 Edmond Agopian was appointed Music Director
of this unique professional ensemble in Calgary, and served until 2006 when the position was given to Donovan Seidle. In 2018 we welcomed Laura Reid as our fourth music director.
The Sinfonia's programs cover a wide range of chamber music and string orchestra repertoire, from the Baroque to present day. Since its inception, it has frequently commissioned works by Calgary composers, as well as presenting the Calgary premieres of many Canadian compositions. The Sinfonia has been frequently broadcast on both regional and national CBC Radio programs. Its debut recording "Views from the Americas", was recorded by CBC Radio. Having crossed the quarter-century mark, the Kensington Sinfonia continues to expand and innovate in its programming and its presentation.
The musical intimacy between players and the audience is extremely important in the Sinfonia's performances. It is with this in mind that the Sinfonia chooses to perform at the wonderfully intimate and acoustically satisfying St. Stephens Anglican Church. 2017 saw the addition of a new concert series, the Village Sessions, at the taproom in Village Brewery. These concerts pair the Kensington Sinfonia String Quartet with Alberta artists from various genres including: Astral Swans, Valiska, FOON YAP, Amy Nelson and many more.
Kensington Sinfonia strives to provide high quality, innovative classical music in Alberta with a focus on using local artists and creators. We are an audience-friendly ensemble that encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to experience classical music in a welcoming, relaxed setting. Community partnerships are important to us and we continue to seek new ways to connect with our community.
Classically trained violinist Laura Reid is a versatile and active member of Calgary's music community. She has an established place in Calgary's Classical scene, with eight years playing as a member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and countless performances and collaborative work with small ensembles in the city. Her musical efforts extend beyond standard Classical repertoire, having recorded for film scores Empyrean and Circle of Steel, albums for Cam Penner, AM Static, Rachel Fannan, Ethan Cole, The Northwest Passage, performed with Patrick Watson, Sarah Slean, Hermitess, Astral Swans and for the experimental music series Bug Incision. Not confined to performance pursuits, she teaches violin and coaches student chamber groups and cohosts the NCRA Best Classical Programming award winning radio show Unprocessed with pianist/composer Mark Limacher on CJSW 90.9FM.