The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves.”


David Acomba - Anton & The Piano

David Acomba is an award-winning television and film director specializing in music, comedy and drama. His television programs have been featured on CBC, CTV, BBC, Channel 4, CBS, ABC, Showtime and HBO. Musical feature film credits include George Harrison on Tour and Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave. He also directed the 2002 CBC documentary A Marriage in Music featuring Anton Kuerti and Kristine Bogyo. David's television work has earned him many awards, including the CBC Anik Award, Best Director at Saskatchewan's Yorkton Film Festival, the Golden Gate Award for Best Entertainment Program, an International Emmy nomination, and several Ace nominations. His films have been invited to the Toronto, Los Angeles and London film festivals, and he has been honoured as Best Director at the Canadian Film Awards.

Anton Kuerti

2008 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Classical Music)

Classical Pianist, Composer

One of the truly great pianists of our time, Anton Kuerti has performed in recital and with leading orchestras and conductors across Canada and in nearly 40 other countries. His vast repertoire includes some 50 piano concertos; he has recorded all the Beethoven concertos and sonatas and all the Schubert sonatas. Thanks to his extensive touring and deliberately modest fees, he has brought great music to Canadians in 140 communities large and small, and has given benefit performances for numerous charitable organizations, including Oxfam, SOS Children’s Villages, and WaterCan.

Anton Kuerti was born in Vienna, grew up in the United States, moved to Canada in 1965 and became a Canadian citizen in 1984. At the age of 11 he performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra, and he won the prestigious Leventritt Award while still a student. He was strongly influenced by Arthur Loesser, whom he recalls as “my best teacher ever. Through him I learned a more joyful and exhilarating appreciation of a large range of music. The joy he experienced while playing was palpable, and he communicated this enthusiasm very effectively to his students.”

His compositions include a Concertino for Piano, Violin and Flute; a symphony, Epomeo; a trio for clarinet, cello and piano; a piano concerto; Piano Man Suite and Six Arrows for piano; Magog, a poem for cello and piano; two string quartets; and solo sonatas for violin and flute.

Mr. Kuerti is a visiting professor at McGill University and the University of Ottawa, and a frequent guest teacher at the Banff Centre; he taught at the University of Toronto, 1965–1989. In 1980 he founded (and directed until 1985) the Festival of the Sound, an acclaimed summer music festival in Parry Sound, Ontario.

Awards and honours include Officer of the Order of Canada (1998); Banff Centre National Arts Award (2007);biennial Schumann Prize of the International Schumann Gesellschaft (2007); Juno Award (1976) for his recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas; honorary doctorates from several universities including McGill, York, Dalhousie, and the University of Western Ontario. In 2002, Mr. Kuerti and his late wife, cellist Kristine Bogyo, were profiled in a CBC TV documentary, A Marriage in Music.