Seanne Buenafe is an experienced performer at the local right up to international level and has been turning heads and impressing audiences for years now — which is no small feat given his age. Having just turned 17, the award-winning pianist presents a benefit recital on October 17 in support of Kids Help Phone. 

“This concert is very important and significantly close to my heart as I had a friend who had taken their own life earlier this year in March,” explains Buenafe. “They were very close to me and I’m holding the recital in their honour.” 

Kids Help Phone is a national charitable organization that provides 24/7 e-mental health services to kids, teens and young adults from coast to coast to coast. 

“Especially during the pandemic, the mental health struggles teens have—and the mental health struggles we’ve all faced—have unfortunately increased,” says Buenafe. 

Taking place at St. Andrew’s United Church (255 Oak St.), this performance marks the first time Buenafe headlines a concert of his own. 

Performing solo numbers, including works by Bach, Beethoven and Canadian composer Larysa Kuzmenko, Buenafe will also be joined by his teacher, Jacqueline Ryz, in an arrangement of the dramatic and virtuosic “Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini” by Sergei Rachmaninoff. 

“It’s a behemoth of a piece,” says Buenafe. “Not only in terms of length but also content.” Based on the famous twenty-fourth and last of Niccolo Paganini’s Caprices for solo violin, Rachmaninoff’s concerto-like rhapsody features a creative and clever use of the theme through 24 variations. 

Originally set for piano and orchestra, the student/teacher duo will play an arrangement for two pianos—one they have been rehearsing “like crazy,” according to Buenafe. “Playing it is a huge accomplishment for my piano teacher and I,” he says. 

Seanne Buenafe: Solo Piano Benefit Recital for Kids Help Phone is at 3 pm on Sunday, October 17. 
Adults - $30 or Children (6-17 y.o.) - $15
Payments by cash, cheque or via etransfer to or 204-996-8573