Described by CBC Radio as “a truly original interpretive voice,” pianist Patrick Cashin is becoming known as a distinctive presence on the Canadian music scene. He designs powerful recitals centred around the best of the piano repertoire, and speaks warmly to audiences on and off stage about what makes the music great. Patrick particularly enjoys playing Mozart piano concertos, where he improvises and composes cadenzas in the style of Mozart.
Having grown up in St. John’s, Newfoundland, a small, colourful city where it is common for musicians to play in multiple genres, Patrick is able to draw from a wide array of influences. The long list of activities on his resume includes playing double bass for jazz sessions in some of St. John’s seediest bars, touring Eastern Canada as bassist in a rock band, sailing the Pacific Ocean playing ABBA songs in a cruise ship band, playing in pit orchestras for musicals, and short stints as a church organist, percussionist, and bass singer in an award-winning amateur choir. While focusing in recent years on the piano, he remains forever a musical omnivore, attending live performances in Montréal of everything from the Bach Passions to contemporary jazz and electronic music.
Patrick won several competitions in his early twenties, including the Atlantic Young Artist and Petro-Canada Young Artist Competitions, resulting in some early success playing recital tours and concertos with local orchestras. He left Newfoundland to study for two years at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, then went on to complete a Master’s and Doctorate in performance at l’Université de Montréal under the guidance of legendary piano pedagogue, Marc Durand. Patrick wrote his doctoral research paper on improvisation in the Mozart concertos and began integrating his own material into performances, appearing as guest soloist with l’Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens étudiants de Montréal, the Memorial University Orchestra, and in chamber versions of the Mozart concertos with string quartet. Over the years he has studied in master classes with many brilliant musicians of the older generation, including Ferenc Rados, Robert Levin and Leon Fleisher. Patrick works as a collaborative pianist and occasional piano teacher in Montréal, Québec.