An innovative artist, queer classical pianist Darren Creech “shows his belief in a new potential for the classical concert stage” (CBC Music), and his playing has been heralded as “remarkably fresh and enticing” (Musical Toronto) and “full of ease, very convincing” (Yannick Nézet-Séguin). Engaging his audience through an emotional and immersive combination of queer theatre, captivating costumes, and glittery hair, he was the Keynote Performer at McGill University’s Music Graduate Symposium and was awarded the Best Artist Prize at Toronto’s Nuit Rose.
His multidisciplinary approach to the classical stage subverts expectations and takes his diverse audiences on an emotional journey. His unique solo performances have been described as “both unexpected and unforgettable” (Throbbing Rose Collective) and “tour-de-forces, propelled by a powerful narrative” (Musical Toronto), as Darren designs the lighting, composes poetic interludes and styles his many wardrobe changes. As a collaborative artist and performer, he has worked with visual artist Erwin Olaf, accompanying “Waiting,” a film installation with a live piano score at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, as well as with FAWN Chamber Creative as pianist and co-creator of three new opéra-ballets.
Darren connects communities and organizations through his work. His McGill Keynote Performance was video broadcast live on CBC Music, and Steinway Piano Gallery Toronto sponsored his award-winning performance at the queer art festival Nuit Rose. His partnership with the world’s first queer orchestra, Toronto’s Counterpoint Community Orchestra was called a “perfect fit” (Canadian Mennonite) in their Toronto première performance of Victor Davies’ celebrated “Mennonite Piano Concerto.”
An advocate of contemporary music, Darren frequently collaborates with innovative composers, having also premièred works by Sarah Kirkland Snider, Wally Gunn and Norbert Palej, and was a guest artist at the Toronto Creative Music Lab. He gave the world-première performance and recording of James O’Callaghan’s JUNO-nominated “Isomorphia,” and toured it across the country with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
In addition to his work as a performer, Darren is also in demand as a panelist and workshop presenter to all ages, regularly sharing his experience and perspectives of carving his own path in the classical music world.
Having grown up in Senegal, West Africa, Darren draws on his cross-cultural background to inform his unconventional approach to the stage. He holds a Master of Music in piano performance from Université de Montréal and an Honours Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University. He currently lives in Toronto.