Canadian saxophonist Wallace Halladay captures the qualities of the modern virtuoso, being at home in numerous styles, from the traditional to jazz and beyond. A specialist in the performance of contemporary music, Wallace has commissioned and premiered numerous works for saxophone. In addition to performances of concerti by Ibert, Schmitt, Glazunov, Denisov, Husa, Muldowney, Kancheli, Yoshimatsu, Scelsi and Donatoni, he has worked with composers Michael Colgrass, Mauricio Kagel, Erik Ross and Scott Good on the Canadian premieres of their concerti, and with Philippe Leroux in 2011 on the North American premiere of his saxophone concerto in Montreal. Wallace also inaugurated the Intersections Series with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in an entire concert of music for saxophone and orchestra entitled “The Story of the Saxophone”. Wallace made his debut as soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: the Globe and Mail called him “phenomenal” and “so riveting…that not much can compete against it.”
Wallace recorded the two saxophone Sequenzas of Luciano Berio and the Colgrass concerto for NAXOS Records. He has been presented by and performed with new music groups across the Canada and the USA and is the Artistic Director of Toronto New Music Projects, which has presented portrait concerts of Scelsi, Donatoni, Gubaidulina, Wolpe, and partnering to bring Philippe Leroux, Vinko Globokar, and Salvatore Sciarrino to Toronto. He can also be heard with the Toronto Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, and National Ballet Orchestras.
Wallace holds a a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, and studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam Arno Bornkamp. He has previously taught at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Eastman School of Music, and is presently Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, where he directs the Contemporary Music Ennsemble, and is Chair of the Woodwind Department.
Wallace was the 2009 winner of the Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. Awarded for outstanding musicianship, Wallace remains the only woodwind player to receive the prize in its 30 year history, and he joins such luminary Canadian laureates as Jon Kimura Parker, James Ehnes, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Wallace is a Conn-Selmer Artist and plays Selmer (Paris) saxophones.