Pianist Charles Foreman made his debut in 1972 with the Chicago Civic Orchestra conducted by David Gilbert, playing the Brahms B-flat Concerto. Since then, he has won prizes in Canadian and U.S. piano competitions, received two Canada Council grants for study and performance in Europe, performed over 30 times with orchestras in North America (including eight repeat engagements with the Calgary Philharmonic), under conductors such as Edmond Agopian, Mario Bernardi, Rolf Bertsch, Boris Brott, Stephen Franse, Stewart Grant, Arpad Joo, and Gerhardt Zimmermann, and played over 750 solo and chamber recitals in Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S. He has been equally praised for his superb musicianship, his formidable technique, his vast repertoire, and his imaginative programming. He has premiered works by composers as diverse as Istvan Anhalt, George Crumb, Stewart Grant, Oskar Morawetz, Violet Archer, Gerhard Wuensch, and William Jordan. His multi-faceted career has included professional broadcasting, professional acting, musical direction, and arts administration.
Born near Chicago, he was a scholarship student of Rudolph Reuter at the American Conservatory. His undergraduate degree, awarded with high distinction, is from Indiana University, where he studied piano with Abbey Simon and Joseph Battista and conducting with Julius Herford and Fiora Contino. He also holds the Artist Diploma and Master of Music degrees from the University of Toronto, where he studied with Anton Kuerti and Katharina Wolpe. Foreman has done postgraduate work with William Aide, and also at the Juilliard School with Abbey Simon.
Professor of piano at the University of Calgary from 1973 – 2009, Foreman also served at various times as Assistant Dean of Fine Arts and as Head of the Performance Area, and he held key roles in establishing the Department of Music’s innovative master classes and in founding the University’s Celebration Series. He founded the University’s Collegium Musicum (now the Early Music Ensemble) in 1977 and the New Music Ensemble in 1982. His close ties with virtually every arts organization in Alberta as well as many national and international institutions have made him sought-after as a giver of master classes and workshops, and as an adjudicator, most recently as one of the panel of five jurors from across Canada for the finals of the Canadian Music Competitions in Gatineau, Québec in June, 2017, and as one of two Senior Piano Adjudicators at the Vancouver Kiwanis Festival in 2018. His students continue to win prizes in local, regional, national and international competitions. Foreman was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2002, and, since 2008, is a faculty member of the Mount Royal University Conservatory. He was appointed Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Calgary in May, 2010, and was named Senior Piano Professor at the Morin Music Studio in 2014. In the fall of 2016, he was Visiting Professor at Ambrose University, as the sabbatical replacement for Dr. Edwin Gnandt.
As a chamber musician, Charles Foreman has performed repeatedly with artists such as Edmond Agopian, Robert Aitken, Allison Angelo, Donald Bell, Jeremy Brown, James Campbell, Karen Cargill, Jonathan Crow, Stephen Dann, Yegor Dyachkov, Anthony Elliott, Lea Foli, Phil Hansen, Andrea Hill, John Lowry, Phyllis Mailing, Lorna McGhee, Jason Nedecky, János Négyesy, Wendy Nielsen, Päivikki Nykter, Per Øien, Anita Dusevic Oliva, Carol Plantamura, Gerald Stanick, Olivier Thouin, Kathleen van Mourik, Carol Wincenc, and Tanya Dusevic Witek. In 1982, he won the Canada Music Council Award for best recorded chamber music with Aitken and Øien. He was a founding member of the Shawnigan Trio from 1990 to 1998, concertizing extensively in Germany to rave reviews, and making two recordings for Antes Edition.
Indeed, Foreman’s discography is continually growing, and includes four solo albums and five duo albums (with violinist Edmond Agopian, baritone Donald Bell, saxophonist Jeremy Brown, pianist Kathleen van Mourik, and flautist Tanya Dusevic Witek). In addition, Foreman has appeared as both artist and host on radio and television stations in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
He began a cycle of the complete works of Chopin for solo piano in the fall of 2006, and became the first Canadian pianist ever to complete that cycle in March, 2009. In 2001, Foreman concluded his “Sounds of a Century” project, ten recitals of twentieth-century piano music, one for each decade. He completed his – and Calgary’s – first cycle of the thirty-two Beethoven piano sonatas in 2005, to sold-out houses and standing ovations. He is also currently Secretary of the International Festival of Song and Chamber Music Society as well as Artistic Co-Director of the Mountain View International Festival of Song, Canada’s first summer music workshop and festival to focus primarily on art song, and of the Mountain View Connection, Calgary’s only concert series dedicated to presenting young professional classical musicians in recital. Foreman recently repeated his nine-concert Beethoven cycle of the 32 solo piano sonatas, beginning on February 28, 2015 and concluding on May 28, 2016, for the benefit of Mountain View.