Denise looks at the camera with a slight smile gracing her face. She is very colour coordinated, wearing a dark blue shirt, blue scarf, and has blue glasses on.

Denise Ball

Mentor, Music Alive

Denise Ball has spent her professional career telling compelling musical stories.

Whether she’s producing a record with one of Canada’s leading orchestras or star soloists, or working on a bio with an emerging performer on the cusp of a major career, she’s devoted to bringing powerful musical narratives to life.

Denise began as a fairly decent violinist, then turned to journalism before joining CBC Radio in 1985 as the junior classical music producer in Regina. She worked all over the country before settling in Vancouver in 2000 to oversee the CBC Radio Orchestra. As the head of one of most adventurous and ambitious orchestras in Canada, she programmed and recorded innovative concerts and studio sessions, commissioned the works of dozens of outstanding Canadian composers and captured performances by our finest soloists.

Along the way, Denise picked up awards: In 2008 the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Music. A Grammy, for her recording with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and violinist James Ehnes. A couple of Junos and a Western Canadian Music Award. A Prix Italia for best radio series on music. And in 2018, she was named a Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music, joining the likes of Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Oscar Peterson, and David Foster.

Beginning in 2007, Denise oversaw weekend classical programming on CBC Music, working with hosts Bill Richardson, Ben Heppner and Paolo Pietropaolo to make the public airwaves a place of joy and discovery for listeners and a creative hothouse for musicians.

Since retiring from the CBC in 2020, she’s recorded orchestras and ensembles across the country, produced podcasts and pursued a “side hustle” – writing break-the-mold bios for musicians, both emerging and established, that tell their stories with an individual artistic voice.

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