Armas Maiste is alive and well and living in Ottawa and playing piano with his friends. For the benefit of the few music lovers who don’t know Armas, we might mention that he studied music in his native Estonia, Sweden and Canada and for many years was the principal pianist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens of Montreal. He has been an assistant professor of jazz at McGill University, a faculty member at the University of Ottawa, performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and taught for many years at Humber College in Toronto. Armas continues to perform in Ottawa and beyond, and impress audiences with his masterful performances of both classical and jazz pieces. He did double duty most recently in Ottawa on Saturday September 29th at Barrhaven United Church, when he played classical pieces and gave an overview of the evolution of jazz.
The first half of the concert featured Armas Maiste’s friends and most prominently Margit Viia-Maiste who not only was one of Armas’s friends that evening, but his wife the rest of the time. Margit, in addition to conducting the Ottawa Finnish Singers and providing piano accompaniment to other performers, played Romance and Valse by Jean Sibelius. The concert could easily have been called Armas and Margit and friends.
Armas Maiste and friends perform classical music and jazz in Ottawa