Welcome

Parmela Attariwala – violinist/violist, composer and ethnomusicologist – has been described as “one of Canada’s most original and compelling artists”. She traverses genres from Mozart to the avant-garde, from fiddle to rock, from free improvisation to non-Western crossovers with virtuousic fluidity, and is equally comfortable performing acoustically in a concert hall or plugged-in in a club.
 
The creative process inspires all that Parmela does, whether it is performing composed music, creating or improvising her own music, mentoring young musicians, or undertaking academic researching on the arts in Canada.  She has been deeply influenced by dance—working extensively with choreographers as a composer, musician and movement artist—and by small-scale works for instruments and voices. In 1995, Parmela created the Attar Project as a vehicle to perform and create with musicians and artists from non-Western and non-classical forms.
 
Parmela has released three critically acclaimed recordings that defy the boundaries of genre:  Beauty Enthralled (1997), featuring tabla player Ravi Naimpally and ghazal singer Kiran Ahluwalia; Sapphire Skies (2003), which features her own compositions; and The Road Ahead … (2010), a collection of commissioned works for violin and tabla, performed with Montreal-based tabla player, Shawn Mativetsky

As an academic, Parmela has undertaken research on: multiculturalism, democracy and arts funding; improvisation in classical Western music pedagogy; and devotional poetry and music in medieval India.  In October 2018,. Parmela and equity consultant Soraya Peerbaye released, "Re-sounding the Orchestra: Relationships between Canadian orchestras, Indigenous peoples, and people of colour", a research paper  on equity and diversity commissioned by Orchestras Canada and funded by the Canada Council's "Leadership for Change" program.

Following 25 years in Toronto, Parmela is now based in Vancouver, B.C.

Two decades in

Hard to believe that we're two decades into the second millennium.  And twenty-five years since I landed in Toronto, intending only to kill the length of time necessary to renew my visa to the UK ... and perhaps make a…

Read more

Ghosts of the Woolly Mammoths Roar

I can't quite believe that 2017 has come and gone! I spent a wonderful semester in Brandon last winter, experiencing (and enjoying!) what it was like to have a singular workplace, from which to pursue a multi-faceted job of lecturing…

Read more

Omnivorous Listening Blog

I am back in Toronto after a wonderful winter semester sojourn at Brandon University. And really, the winter wasn't so bad. It was actually a relief to go through a winter of sunny, cold days and clean air instead of…

Read more

Hello, Brandon!

Winter 2017 finds me in beautiful, snowy Brandon, Manitoba as the Stanley Knowles Distinguished Visiting Professor in Public Policy. What can I say? It's my dream gig: thinking about and conducting research on policy, social justice, equity and music, plus…Read more

Spring, nature and movement

Spring has finally arrived in Toronto. After a mild winter, I'd been looking forwards to a long, lovely spring; but no. Winter decided to show up after all: in April!

Under the superficial layer of snow and frozen grass, life…Read more

Recognition for "Under Milk Wood, an opera"

The highlight of 2014 for me was performing in the premiere of Under Milk Wood, an opera. John Metcalfe composed the music to text based upon Dylan Thomas' radio play of the same name. Under Milk Wood has been nominated…Read more

Previous events

"Gandhari" with Brandy Leary (Anandam DanceTheatre)

Collective Space, 221 Sterling Rd., unit 5, Toronto

"Gandhari" is a new work - commissioned by Brandy Leary (www.anandam.ca) - choreographed by Gitanjali Kolanad, and for which I have created a new partially-improvised sonic backdrop on viola. "Gandhari" is loosely based upon the myth from the Mahabharata.

Venue note: To find Collective Space, approach 221 Sterling from the east side of the building and look for the awning with "Raw Space" etched in it.

$25, $20 (students, arts workers) Age limit: All ages

"Gandhari" with Brandy Leary (Anandam DanceTheatre)

Collective Space, 221 Sterling Rd., unit 5, Toronto

"Gandhari" is a new work - commissioned by Brandy Leary (www.anandam.ca) - choreographed by Gitanjali Kolanad, and for which I have created a new partially-improvised sonic backdrop on viola. "Gandhari" is loosely based upon the myth from the Mahabharata.

Venue note: To find Collective Space, approach 221 Sterling from the east side of the building and look for the awning with "Raw Space" etched in it.

$25, $20 (students, arts workers) Age limit: All ages

"Gandhari" with Brandy Leary (Anandam DanceTheatre)

Collective Space, 221 Sterling Rd., unit 5, Toronto

"Gandhari" is a new work - commissioned by Brandy Leary (www.anandam.ca) - choreographed by Gitanjali Kolanad, and for which I have created a new partially-improvised sonic backdrop on viola. "Gandhari" is loosely based upon the myth from the Mahabharata.

Venue note: To find Collective Space, approach 221 Sterling from the east side of the building and look for the awning with "Raw Space" etched in it.

$25, $20 (students, arts workers) Age limit: All ages

Jun14

Wintergarten Orchestra

C'est What, 67 Front Street East, Toronto

Bill Beecroft's 20's-era big band featuring the voices of Ted Atherton and Tanya Wills. The best of T.O.'s brass plus a couple of violins, playing the charts of Bill Bridges in Toronto's amazing live-music venue, C'est What.

Bonus: In addition to great food and beer, C'est What is one of the best live sound venues for acoustic instruments in the city.

$20 Age limit: All ages

Jun2

Esprit Orchestra - China-ASEAN Music Festival

Guangxi Concert Hall, Nanning, China

The second of Esprit's China Tour 2015 concerts, with works by: Alexina Louie, Dang Huru Phuc, Jorg Widmann, Yi Chen, Wenchen Qin, Chenjun Zhong

Mar29

Esprit Orchestra

Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street, Toronto

Esprit's last concert of the 2014/15 season, "The Last Paradise" featuring works by Marc-André Dalbavie, Xiaogang Ye, and my former bandmates from "The Human Remains"--Andrew Staniland and Scott Good.

Age limit: All ages

Mar18

Faculty Concert (Regent Park School of Music)

Paintbox Bistro, 555 Dundas Street East, Toronto

featuring: Joseph Apong, Parmela Attariwala, William Beauvais, Alejandro Cespedes, Tanya Charles, Jason Doell, Tim Francom, Brad Kukko, Richard Marsella, Paul Matthew, Greg Miller, Lisa Miller, Zorana Sadiq, Erez Sussman.

Music by: Bartok, Brouwer, Poulenc, traditional and David Bowie

free! Age limit: All ages

Join our mailing list for the latest news