From a young age, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser turned to orchestral music to bring light, beauty, and healing to his personal and professional life. He isn't your typical conductor — Daniel has the vision and process to disrupt the traditional ways orchestral music is experienced.
The CBC/Iron Bay Media documentary Disruptor Conductor captures what has been the biggest year of Daniel’s life, resulting in four concerts that include playing in a women's prison; conducting an Afro-fusion concert with an artist from the blockbuster film Black Panther; putting on the first orchestral drag show with “RuPaul's Drag Race” celebrity contestant, Thorgy Thor; and creating a concert for people on the autism spectrum.
Daniel earned his Bachelors in Music Performance and Education from the University of Calgary, and received his Master of Philosophy in Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. He’s been awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Jean-Marie Beaudet Prize for Orchestral Conducting and has served as Assistant Conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.
Daniel has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Hamilton Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and Eastern Sierra Symphony. The 2019/2020 season is an exciting one for Daniel; he will debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and will serve with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Centre as Cover Conductor.
Currently holding a coveted position as the Artist in Residence and Community Ambassador at Symphony Nova Scotia, Daniel has recently been appointed to the Board of Orchestras Canada and is the chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility committee.
Since 1989, almost one million young audience members have been introduced to classical music through Platypus Theatre. After more than 500 performances with more than 60 orchestras worldwide, Platypus has established itself as one of North America’s premiere music education theatre companies. Original and engaging storylines are presented in an intelligent and interactive way, with music always taking the lead role. Children laugh, sing and empathize with the characters while learning musical concepts, styles, and much more. In 2006, one of Platypus’ most beloved productions How the Gimquat Found her Song was produced for TV and went on to win several awards including Best Children’s Program at the prestigious Banff World Television Festival. In 1991, Platypus was the subject of a nationally broadcast documentary on CTV, followed by a PBS full-performance broadcast in 2000. During its 25th anniversary year, Platypus will premiere its eighth original production, Latin Beats, Heroic Feats, in partnership with four orchestras across Canada. Other Platypus Productions include Emily Saves the Orchestra, Rhythm in your Rubbish, Bach to the Future, Charlotte and the Music-Maker, Flicker of Light on a Winter’s Night, and Peter and the Wolf.
Thousands of young classical music fans have Peter to thank for introducing them to symphonic music. He co-founded the Platypus Theatre touring company in 1989 to make orchestral music accessible for youth, and more than half a million concertgoers have benefitted from his creativity. As an award-winning playwright, Peter’s writing credits include - among others - all eight Platypus productions, the television adaptation of How the Gimquat Found Her Song which won Best Children’s Program at the prestigious Banff World Television Festival in 2008. In addition to his roles in Platypus shows, he has also acted and directed with companies across Canada and the United States. When Peter isn’t busy helping the Gimquat find her song, he and his wife Sarah are helping their children, Magda and Theo, find their socks.
Born and raised in Northern Ontario, Danielle studied Music at Queen's University and graduated in 1984. She began her acting career in 1991 in Ottawa. Film and television credits include: How the Gimquat Found Her Song (2007 Award of Excellence - Accolade Television Awards, 2008 Best Children's Program - Banff World Television Festival), the Oscar-winning Affliction (dir. Paul Schrader), Stardom (dir. Denis Arcand), The War of 1812, Big Sugar (dir. Brian McKenna). Some of her favourite stage projects include: The Seagull (dir. Peter Hinton – Segal Centre for Performing Arts, The Comedy of Errors (dir. Peter Hinton - NAC/Centaur), Umloüt, MöcShplat (dir. Alain Goulem - Clowns Gone Bad) , National Capital/e Nationale (dir. Robert Lepage – NAC), as well as her own bilingual adaptation of The Anger In Ernest and Ernestine (dir. Alain Goulem - Hudson Village Theatre). Danielle has been a member of Platypus Theatre's touring company since 1997, performing theatre for young audiences with symphony orchestras across the Canada, the U.S. and South-East Asia.
Want to know who and what goes where and when and how? Wendy’s the one who has it well under control. Since 2005, Wendy has expertly juggled all of the details for Platypus Theatre productions, from monster’s heads to lighting cues. Not only does she manage the Platypus touring company’s stage, but she also works with theatres all over Eastern and Central Canada. And as often as possible, she jets off to far places to photograph the world, and has been known to skydive over the desert in Namibia or outrace a gaucho in Argentina. Her favorite part about Platypus shows is watching the kids follow every turn in the story in rapt attention. And the climax of How the Gimquat Found Her Song still makes her cry, even after all of these years. No wonder we’re wild about Wendy!