Darren Hicks joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of the 2018/19 season as Associate Principal Bassoon. Prior to his appointment to the Toronto Symphony, Mr. Hicks was a Fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, for three seasons. At the New World Symphony, Mr. Hicks was able to marry his zeal for performance and sharing his passion for classical music through lecture recitals and one-on-one audience member conversations. He was a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra (Verbier, Switzerland) from 2013 to 2015, where he worked with world-renowned conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Daniel Harding. He has also been privileged to perform with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), working with conductors Trevor Pinnock, Pinchas Zukerman, and Alexander Shelley.
In 2016, Mr. Hicks was named to the CBC’s “Hot 30 under 30” list of classical musicians. In 2014/15 Mr. Hicks was a participant in the Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program at The Glenn Gould School (Toronto), a fellowship program made possible by the Rebanks Family and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. Other recent accolades include the Dean’s Prize at Yale University’s 2014 Commencement, the Thomas Daniel Nyfenger Prize (awarded to the student displaying the highest level of excellence in woodwind playing) from the Yale School of Music, and the 2012 National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Prize.
Having begun his bassoon studies at the age of 12 in his hometown of Middleton, Nova Scotia, Mr. Hicks pursued his passion for music at Yale University and the University of Ottawa, where he studied with principal teachers Frank Morelli and Christopher Millard (bassoon), Joan Panetti (musicianship), and David Shifrin (chamber music).
Darren plays on a bassoon made in Canada by Bell Bassoons Ltd.
Frédéric Lacroix has performed in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist. He is a frequent collaborator with members of the NAC Orchestra both in chamber music and recitals, having first performed in the Music for a Sunday Afternoon concert series in 2015. This past September, he curated, as fortepianist (and composer), the late-night concerts of the NAC Orchestra’s Beethoven Festival.
Following the University of Ottawa’s purchase of a fortepiano, he has devoted part of his time to the study and performance of music on period keyboard instruments, for which he was recognized as the Westfield Center Performing Scholar for 2008–2009. He has presented numerous concerts in Canada and the United States as harpsichordist and fortepianist.
Intrigued by the seemingly infinite diversity of new music, Lacroix has enjoyed collaborating with composers and performers in the premiere of a number of Canadian and American works. Also active as a composer, his song cycle, Nova Scotia Tartan (2004), is featured on Hail, a disc dedicated to Canadian Art Song.
Frédéric Lacroix teaches piano and composition at the University of Ottawa. He recently completed his doctorate degree in keyboard performance practice with Malcolm Bilson at Cornell University.