I arrived at age 16 to the Faculty of Music as a piano student of the great Anton Kuerti in the MusBac in Performance program and began what has been and continues to be a rich, creative, fulfilling and inspiring journey throughout my professional career.
The Faculty was much smaller then and students participated in intensive musical training involving all aspects of music making, working closely with brilliant professors, meeting and mingling with world renowned guest artists and developing life-long relationships with each other! My professors and mentors to mention only a few included John Beckwith, Gustav Ciamaga, Ezra Schabas, Arnold Walter, Lloyd Bradshaw, Oscar Morawetz, Walter Buczynski, Victor Feldbrill and Godfrey Ridout. We were fortunate to personally meet, participate in master classes and have coffee and conversation with visiting artists such as pianists Vladimir Ashkenazy and John Ogden, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and conductors Seiji Ozawa and Walter Susskind. It was a rich tapestry of learning and prepared me so well for graduate studies abroad where I continued honing my musical interests and skills.
Upon returning to Canada I initially began teaching at the Royal Conservatory of Music and a few years later was asked by former dean Ron Chandler to teach a group piano class for non-piano majors and subsequently to applied piano students at the Faculty of Music. Needless to say I embraced this opportunity to give back to my alma mater and to share my knowledge and experience with the next generations of musicians and have been doing so at the Faculty of Music for over 30 years and going strong! The support, mentorship, warm collegiality and opportunities to develop my rich and varied musical life and career have largely been made possible through this school, my wonderful musical home of which I am so proud and proud to be a part of!
-Boyanna Toyich (BMusPerf 1970)