Betsy MacMillan, viola da gamba, is a founding member of Ensemble Arion, formed in 1981, and has performed numerous concerts with the ensemble in Europe, Mexico, Ireland, England, Brazil, the United States, and throughout Canada. She is heard regularly on the CBC and Radio Canada networks both as a soloist as well as a chamber musician, and has made over 30 recordings on the Atma, Analekta, AVIE, Dorion, SRC, CBC, Marquis, and Titanic labels.
She has performed as a freelance musician with groups such as La Nef, Apollo’s Fire, The Toronto Consort, Les Boréades, Studio de Musique ancienne de Montréal, Ensemble Caprice, Les Voix Humaines, Les Idées heureuses, Danse Cadence, Constantinople, the Skye Consort, Tafelmusik, and the Eisenstadt Baryton Trio.
Betsy has been coaching early-music ensembles at McGill University since 1984, and has co-coordinated its Early Music Ensemble program with Valerie Kinslow since 2000. She is frequently invited to teach at various early-music and viola da gamba workshops, including CAMMAC and TEMPO, and leads a regular workshop in Halifax funded by a Circuit Rider grant from the Viola da Gamba Society of America.
After receiving a Master’s degree in performance on viola da gamba from McGill University in 1982, she was accepted as a post-graduate guest-student at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Holland, where she furthered her viol studies with Wieland Kuijken.