The ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory) is among Canada's leading chamber ensembles. Its repertoire is varied, and since its inception, the ensemble has focused on advancing the music of neglected composers and works by well-known composers that have fallen out of the standard repertoire. The ARC Ensemble was the subject of a 2016 documentary and has created a concert and recording series -- on the Chandos label -- titled Music in Exile. In 2020, the ensemble continued this series with an album of music by Walter Kaufmann.
The ARC Ensemble was founded by artistic director Simon Wynberg in 2002 and consists of senior faculty members of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, where it is the ensemble-in-residence. The main body of the group is a piano, string quartet, and clarinet, and it is augmented with members of the student body or alumni when required for its repertoire. The ensemble has also collaborated with artists from beyond its sphere, including pianist Leon Fleisher, conductors Marc Neikrug and Alain Trudel, and composers Omar Daniel and Vincent Ho. The ARC Ensemble has performed throughout North America and Europe at important venues, such as Wigmore Hall in London and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, as well frequent guest appearances at festivals, including the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, the Stratford Festival in Canada, and the Enescu Festival in Bucharest. The ARC Ensemble was the subject of the 2016 documentary Exit: Music, which highlighted the group's work in researching and presenting the repressed and neglected music of five Jewish composers from Nazi Germany.
The ARC Ensemble has a growing recording catalog that has already found critical success. The ensemble has recorded for RCA and Chandos, issuing its first recording, On the Threshold of Hope: Mieczyslaw Weinberg Chamber Music, on RCA in 2006. The group began the Music in Exile series on Chandos in 2013, with a recording of chamber works by Paul Ben-Haim. The ensemble earned a Grammy nomination for the second recording in this series, featuring music by Jerzy Fitelberg. The ARC Ensemble returned in 2020 with the fourth volume in its Music in Exile series, this time presenting the chamber music of Walter Kaufmann.