Gregory Oh



Canadian pianist and conductor Gregory Oh has always had commitment issues, and believes firmly in keeping his options open.  He holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto, where he completed his studies with Marietta Orlov as the top graduating pianist, and the University of Michigan, where he worked with Martin Katz. 

As a soloist, he has garnered praise for his “crystal clear tone, musical structure-conscious thinking, highly sensitive art of touch” (Graz Neue Zeit – Austria) and was described as an “exceptional performer…mesmerizing…intelligence and insight…a visceral sense of tempo, excellent voicing, a wonderful pianistic palette, and a warm, honest sound.” (National Post – Canada) 

He has appeared with the UTSO, the Graz Hochschule Orchestra, the Prince George Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, the Brott Festival Orchestra and the Festival Players, and has given recitals throughout North America and Europe.  As a chamber musician, he has shared the stage with musicians like Shauna Rolston, Patrick Gallois, Alain Trudel, Jens Lindemann, James Thompson, John Marcellus, Lorand Fenyves, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Mark Fewer, Michael Colvin, Allyson McHardy, Lori Freedman, NEXUS, Beverley Johnston, Noreen Burgess and Jean MacPhail. 

He has served as music director of the San Diego Opera Ensemble, and has also worked with Florida State Opera, the University of Michigan Opera Program, Michigan Opera Works and Lyric Opera San Diego.  He has held faculty positions at the Banff Centre for the Arts, both in Music and Sound, and Theatre Arts, where he worked with the Contemporary Opera and Song Training Program.  He recently joined the music staff of the Canadian Opera Company.

He is the artistic director of the highly acclaimed new music group Toca Loca with Simon Docking and Aiyun Huang, and “is clearly on his way, through performances, commissioning and programming, to making a lasting contribution to new music in this country.” (National Post – Canada)  Toca Loca has been relentlessly branding the cattle of the new music world, and has been Provost Distinguished Visitors at USC and Ensemble-in-Residence at the Music Gallery.  Dubbed “vibrant” by Alex Ross in the New Yorker magazine, the Globe and Mail’s Robert Everett-Green raved that they “clearly believe that contemporary music should grab the listener as much as any other kind…they put on a passionate, disciplined performance that at times rocked harder than many shows I’ve heard in clubs.”

He is the conductor of Continuum Contemporary Music and has also directed CONTACT, the McGill Percussion Ensemble, the CBC Kieser Gala and Companion Star in Sweden.  No stranger to the popular scene, he has worked with Kurt Swinghammer, Andrew Downing, Andrew Craig, Quinsin Nachoff, John Gzowski and the Redemption Steel Orchestra, and as the keyboardist in uberband The Lollipop People has played Pop Montreal, NXNE, Wavelength, Galapagos, the Guelph Folk Festival and the Brampton Indie Arts Festival.  He performs regularly with cabaret performer Patricia O’Callaghan all over North America, and has also performed in the Festival of the Sound, Sound Symposium, the Colours of Music Festival, soundaXis, the Wordless Music Series at the Lincoln Center, Toronto’s Nuit Blanche Festival, Music Around Us, Two New Hours, the Music Gallery and with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Brave New Works, Esprit Orchestra, Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, la Chapelle historique de Bonpasteur, Tapestry New Opera, Soundstreams, Arraymusic, Ergo and the Soulpepper Theatre Company.  His performances are often heard on CBC Radio One and Radio Two, and seen on CBC Television, TV Ontario, BravoFACT and Bravo’s Live at the Rehearsal Hall.

Upcoming engagements include appearances at the Festival Internationale de Musique Actuelle Victoriaville, Suoni per il popolo, Cool Drummings, soundaXis and the X-Avant Festival.  With Akemi and Rachel Mercer, he has been invited to perform the entire cycle of Haydn’s Piano Trios for the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society.  As a board member and the music committee co-chair of the Toronto Arts Council, he is committed to supporting the arts through civic action and engagement.  He teaches at the University of Toronto and is the contemporary music curator at Toronto’s Music Gallery.  He spends his spare time trying to fix his bike and watching bad television.