Robert Holliston and Friends

Robert Holliston and Friends in Concert
It’s a Celebration!

(Victoria, BC) Oct 8, 2015: It will be a special celebration as the Victoria Conservatory Robert Holliston Head of Keyboardof Music presents Robert Holliston and Friends in concert on Sunday, October 18 at 2:30pm in the Alix Goolden Performance Hall. Not only will Robert perform some of his favourite music with some of his favourite people, he will be the first to introduce the beautiful tones of the Conservatory’s newly acquired Yamaha Concert Grand Piano, a much needed addition that the VCM hopes people will consider a gift worth supporting.


The team at the VCM is planning to celebrate both Robert’s 60th birthday and the Yamaha Grand at the concert and invite people to join in by adding a message to Robert’s online card at and by donating to the purchase of this truly amazing instrument.

Robert Holliston, now Head of Keyboard at the Conservatory, began studying there in December 1972, when he was 17 years old and the VCM was housed in Craigdarroch Castle. His teachers were founders Winifred Scott Wood and Dr. Robin Wood. A celebrated performer, he has played on many instruments throughout Canada and the U.S., England, New Zealand and Australia, and he was delighted with the Yamaha Concert Grand when invited by Simon Phillips of Tom Lee Music to try the piano out at the company’s Langford-based store.

“It is a wonderful instrument with a responsive touch, beautiful tone, and lots of dynamic range and color. Faculty, students, and AGPH guests – classical, jazz, and contemporary – will appreciate the opportunity to play on such a gift,” he said.

The program for Robert’s October 18 recital features Schubert’s Fantasy in F minor, D. 940, for piano 4-hands (with Tzenka Dianova); Brahms’ Piano Trio no. 1 in B major, Op. 8 (with violinist Gwen Thompson and cellist Paula Kiffner) and a selection of German and English vocal duets with sopranos Nancy Argenta and Ingrid Attrot (the VCM’s Head of Voice).

“Robert brings such incredible energy to the stage, to the Conservatory, and in fact to the entire Victoria arts community,” said Victoria Conservatory of Music CEO, Jane Butler McGregor. “We are delighted to be celebrating with him in a way that will leave a legacy for generations.”

All your details for the Robert Holliston & Friends concert:

Where: Alix Goolden Performance Hall – 907 Pandora Ave
When: Sunday, October 18th
Time: (doors at 2pm) Concert starts at 2:30pm
Buy Tickets Online – $20 adult, $15 senior/student.
Donate to Robert’s Birthday Gift – Yamaha Concert Grand Piano at the VCM
or donate in person at 900 Johnson Street or by phone 250-386-5311.
Charitable tax receipts will be issued for gifts over $20.

About Yamaha Concert Grand (CFIII, Full Size):
The Yamaha CFIII is an instrument of rare perfection, handcrafted from the very finest materials to the highest professional standards in the Yamaha concert grand workshop in Japan.  Built in 1988, the unique piano the VCM has acquired, has never been sold since it was new, as it was used to represent Yamaha as a marquis ‘event’ piano.

About Robert Holliston
Robert Holliston studied piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music under Dr. Robin Wood and Winifred Scott Wood, and learned about chamber music and accompaniment there from Sydney Humphreys, James Hunter, Harry Cawood, Selena James, and Catherine Young. At the University of British Columbia his primary teacher was Robert Rogers. His mentors in master classes (and further private studies) included Paul Badura-Skoda, Kendall Taylor, Gyorgy Sebok, and Jane Coop (piano); Harold Brown, Martin Isepp, Gwendolyn Williams Koldofsky, Gwen Thompson, Rudolf Jansen and Elly Ameling (chamber music and accompanying). As a vocal accompanist and chamber player Robert has performed throughout Canada and the USA, England, New Zealand, and Australia, and has been heard frequently on CBC-Radio. He has recorded CDs with the popular salon ensemble Viveza, trombonist Ian McDougall, tenor Ken Lavigne, his brother Tom Holliston, Show Business Giants, and members of the Hornby Island Ensemble. Robert has collaborated with many of Canada’s leading singers, including Richard Margison, Benjamin Butterfield, Judith Forst, Nathalie Paulin, Susan Platts, Alexander Dobson, Peter Barcza, and fellow VCM faculty members; string players Eugene Fodor, Moshe Hammer, Marc Destrubé, Jonathan Crow, and Paul Marleyn; and (with Viveza) dancers Karen Kain and Evelyn Hart.

A popular public speaker, Robert has given pre-performance lectures for Pacific Opera Victoria since 1993; for many years he served as répétiteur and Chorus Master for the company and is currently POV’s Curator of Public Engagement. He also conducts classes regularly for UVic’s Continuing Studies program, and has led educational tours to Santa Fe Opera and to New York City. Still an active performer, Robert is Head of Keyboard at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where he teaches piano and music history, and acts as vocal and chamber music coach. Robert was a founding director of the VCM Opera Studio.


One response to “Robert Holliston and Friends”

  1. Feb. 16, 2019
    Robert, we really enjoyed tonights talk and musical excerpts at “La Traviata”. I especially enjoyed the background stories. Wonderful! Thank you!

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