Born and raised in Canada, Florence Mak quickly realized that she would not be able to fulfill her dream as an All-Star hockey player in the NHL, given that she has never put on a pair of hockey skates. As a result, she turned her focus to piano and has since appeared on stage throughout North America and Europe as a soloist, collaborator, chamber, orchestral musician, and page turner. She made her debut as the featured soloist with the New Westminster Symphony at the age of ten and when the time came, she left Vancouver and moved to Toronto to further her musical studies.
Equally passionate about music education, Florence is a founding member and Board Secretary of Lynx Project. As an art-song initiative, its mission is to expand the boundaries of the traditional recital form and broaden the audience for music and poetry. Since 2017, Lynx Project launched their Autism Advocacy Series, where they commission composers to set music to the text of individuals who are autistic and primarily non-verbal (www.lynxproject.org). She is dedicated to presenting outreach concerts and workshops throughout North America in hospitals, hospices, and educational institutions.
Knowing that she would never have the vocal range of a bass-baritone or be able to lift a tuba, Florence decided to live vicariously through others by way of musical collaborations. Recent highlights include bringing the Hundred Acre Woods to life in the Hudson Valley, tickling the ivories at National Sawdust, and strumming the keys at Casa di Riposo per Musicisti across the pond in Milan. She has worked alongside composers including Pulitzer Prize winner John Luther Adams, Christos Hatzis, Jake Heggie, and Libby Larsen. Her love of making music with others has led her to the Banff Centre in the beautiful Canadian Rockies as well as Si Parla, Si Canta on the shores of Arona, Italy, as a faculty pianist.
Florence received her doctorate in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from the Eastman School of Music and her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance at the University of Toronto. She recently held a position as a Collaborative Piano Fellow at Bard College Conservatory of Music.