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Lynn Kuo, Violin 

Violinist Lynn Kuo has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across Canada, United States, Wales, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. As guest soloist, she has performed with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Thirteen Strings, Canadian Sinfonietta, Brandon Chamber Players, Nexus percussion ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (Bulgaria), Cantus Ensemble (Croatia), Lviv Philharmonic, Lviv Virtuosi (Ukraine), and as special guest soloist with Hungary's gypsy orchestra, Rajko Band. The 2014-15 season includes a performance of Beethoven Triple Concerto with cellist Rafael Hoekman, pianist Thomas Yee, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra; Schubert's Rondo in A major with members of the Canadian Sinfonietta; and a concert tour of China and Hong Kong with the University of Toronto New Music Ensemble.

Lynn KuoIn demand as an interpreter of new music, Lynn has given numerous world premieres in both North America and Europe of acoustic and electroacoustic solo and chamber works written by international composers. These works have been written for her and various ensembles that have included the Les AMIS Ensemble, Duo Vita, and for the Kuo-Humetska duo with Ukrainian-Canadian pianist, Marianna Humetska. In 2012, Lynn, joined by pianist Marianna Humetska ; yangqin player Anna Guo, and Ottawa's Thirteen Strings (directed by Kevin Mallon), gave the world premiere of Si Yi's  The Four Arts, a commissioned work by Alice Ping Yee Ho.

Maintaining a busy performance schedule, Lynn regularly performs for Toronto's Les AMIS Concerts and has led the Les AMIS Ensemble in five European concert tours. Lynn continues to collaborate with leading artists, having performed solo and chamber works with such artists as the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, the Penderecki String Quartet, Ensemble Vivant, Christoph Eschenbach, the Gryphon Trio, and with other eminent artists at the University of Toronto New Music Festival, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Music Biennale Zagreb Festival (Croatia), Kiev Music Fest, and Lviv 'Contrasts' Festival (Ukraine).

Lynn's performances have been broadcast on Canadian, Serbian, and Hungarian radio and television. In 2010, Lynn recorded music of Nino Rota for the NAXOS label, recording with pianist Mary Kenedi. With pianist, Marianna Humetska, Lynn also released their debut CD, LOVE: Innocence, Passion, Obsession in April 2014.

Based in Toronto, Lynn is the Assistant Concertmaster of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, in addition to performing with the Canadian Opera Company and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Lynn has also performed as guest concertmaster of orchestras that have included the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Opera Hamilton, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Lynn has also served as adjudicator, guest artist, teacher, and lecturer at Canadian festivals and universities.

Having completed studies with Lorand Fenyves, Mayumi Seiler, Erika Raum, and post-doctoral studies with Burton Kaplan, Lynn holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Toronto, having dedicated her research to the subject of holistic health and injury prevention in orchestral string musicians. Updated 12/03/14

Marianna Humetska, piano

Pianist Marianna Humetska, Co-Founder, Artistic Director, and Soloist of the "Discovering Paderewski" International Music Festival in Ukraine/Poland, is a winner of numerous prizes and diplomas in international competitions, among which include the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians and Diaghilev Competition in Moscow, "Virtuosos of the Year 2000" Competition in St. Petersburg, Dvarionas Competition in Vilnius, and the  Honens Competition in Calgary. In 2014 Marianna Humetska was awarded with the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of Poland by Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski after she performed Ignacy Jan Paderewski's Polish Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra on Paderewski's own piano at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw. Ms. Humetska is also a winner of the Galaxie Rising Stars Award of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Debut Young Artists Auditions, and the Marusia Yaworska Award from the University of Ottawa, as well as the Gaude Polonia Professional Scholarship from the Polish Minister of Culture.

Marianna HumetskaMarianna Humetska appeared in some of the world's prestigious music festivals, which have included the Kuhmo Festival (Finland), Rheingau Festival (Germany), Tibor Varga Festival (Switzerland), Music at the Institute in New York (USA), Music Biennale Zagreb (Croatia), Niagara International Music Festival (Canada), Szymanowski Quartet and Friends, Kyiv Music Fest, Festival of Contemporary Music "Contrasts", "Virtuosos", Chamber Music Sessions, and Bach-Fest (Ukraine).

Ms. Humetska has also performed in some of the world's most celebrated concert halls: the Great Hall and Rachmaninov Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Steinway Hall and St. Martin-in-the-Field Church in London, Kasinosaal in Wiesbaden, George Enescu Hall in Bucharest, Kolarac Hall in Belgrade, Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Chapelle Historique in Montreal, and the Ukrainian Institutes in New York and Chicago.

Her performances with orchestras have included concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, London Soloists, Russian National Orchestra, Festival Orchestra of the Banff Centre, Orchestra of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Thirteen Strings (Canada), Banatul Filarmonica Timisoara (Romania), Geminiani Orchestra (Italy), Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, Lviv Virtuosos Chamber Orchestra, INSO-Lviv Symphony Orchestra, Lugansk Philharmonic Orchestra (Ukraine), Rzeszow Philharmonia (Poland).

In addition to her solo and orchestra performances, Ms. Humetska is also very much in demand as a chamber musician and collaborative artist. Marianna Humetska has collaborated with artists such as Jerzy Maksymiuk, Anna-Maria Jopek, Victoria Loukianetz, Jovan Kolundjia, Jeffrey Solow, Thomas Sanderling, Gary Kulesha, Volodymyr Sirenko, Simon Streatfield, Shauna Rolston, Lynn Kuo, Rachel Mercer, Lori Freedman, Martin Owen, Joseph Macerollo, Miriam Konzen, Joaquin Valdepenas, Mark Skazinetsky, Aviv String Quartet, Tokai String Quartet, and Penderecki Quartet, among others.

Born in Lviv, Ukraine, Ms. Humetska holds a Diploma with Honours from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto, and a Masters Degree from the Lviv Music Academy.

Marianna Humetska is currently a member of the Piano Faculty at the National Music Academy in Lviv and has a position of a soloist-in-residence of the Lviv Philharmonic Society.

Marianna Humetska, piano
Press Quotes

"The real, expressive interpreter": "Intense expressiveness is characteristic of the artist's masterly performance."
- Lauterbacher Anzeiger, Germany

"Her playing is distinguished by perfect technique, sound colors, vivacity and generosity in conveyance of feelings. Marianna Humetska startled everyone by her virtuosity, depth and temper of the performance. The viewers got a powerful charge of active energy from her art."
- Panorama, Ukraine.

"…startled by not only confident pianism, which excluded any randomness, but also by the deepness of philosophical comprehension of music, harmony of the performer's concept and preciseness of its implementation. She did not have a single sound, which was not filled with an idea, warmed by a feeling."
- On performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto #3, Music Life Magazine, Russia

A very beautiful performance of the Polish Fantasy by Paderewski. Beautiful rubato leading to the Tutti of the orchestra. Excellent Cadenza (Bravo). Lyrical fragments full of imagination and heartfelt emotion very appropriate to this music. Perfect musical form and excitement. Very attentive and precise collaboration with the Conductor and the orchestra.
- Jerzy Maksymiuk, Conductor, Poland

Marianna Humetska has a powerful pair of hands that made something magical out of Ravel's "Oiseaux Tristes". Her playing of the wild and free "Aubade of the Jesters" (also from Miroirs) [...] simply rocked.                                                                                                     - Stanley Fefferman, The Show Time Magazine, Canada     

                                                                                       

Max Christie

Clarinet

Max ChristieMax Christie is the principal clarinet of the National Ballet Orchestra and the Esprit Orchestra in Toronto, where he is also a member of the new music collective Continuum; he also performs frequently with New Music Concerts both as soloist and as an ensemble member. He is often heard on CBC Radio's Two New Hours, and has recorded the music of Michael Torke, Rudolph Komorous, Melissa Hui, Harry Somers, R. Murray Schafer, and MC Maguire. Mr. Christie has performed across North America and Europe, and has appeared as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony, the Kitchener Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic and the Esprit Orchestra. He instructs privately The Glenn Gould School and at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

Britton Riley, cello

Canadian-American cellist Britton Riley joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2015. Formerly Assistant Principal of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Riley enjoys a diverse musical career as a performer, teacher, and recording engineer. He has recorded for film and radio for Sony Pictures, CBC Radio 2, KUSC, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Live from Orchestra Hall series, and live performances have brought him to Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, among others.

Britton RileyMr. Riley has received recognition throughout North America in the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts Awards (now YoungArts), the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Concerto Competition, and the Sphinx and Hellam Competitions. He has performed at music festivals throughout North America and Europe, including the Banff Summer Music Festival, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Music by the Sea, Le Domaine Forget Chamber Music Festival, Weimarer Meisterkurse, St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the Sunflower Music Festival.

After receiving degrees in Cello Performance and Music Industry from the University of Southern California, Mr. Riley went on to earn Master of Music and Doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan. During this time, he performed regularly with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and served as teaching assistant to Richard Aaron. Following his graduation, he was named a Rebanks Fellow at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, he has coached young musicians at The Royal Conservatory of Music, Mount Royal University, Calgary Youth Orchestras, and the Alberta Youth Orchestra Symposium at the Banff Centre. He has a strong interest in collaborating with artists of various disciplines, particularly dancers and photographers.

Among his many interests, Britton enjoys travelling, nature, golf, college football, cooking, hiking, and photography.

Jeanie Chung

Pianist Jeanie Chung enjoys an active and varied performing career. She has given solo recitals, concerto performances and chamber music concerts throughout North America, Central America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Jeanie ChungRecent and long term collaborations include projects with Barry Shiffman, Andres Diaz, Colin Carr, Rachel Mercer, Ian Swensen, Yehonatan Berick; Robert Langevin, Susan Hoeppner, Frank Morelli, Shalom Bard, YaoGuang Zhai; William Vermeulen, Michael Sachs; Alexander Dobson; Laurence Lemieux, Margie Gillis, and Ted Robinson.

Following her studies at The Glenn Gould School and The Taylor Academy for Young Artists at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, she attended the Juilliard School where she obtained Bachelor of Music, Masters of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Her principal teachers have been Boris Lysenko, Leon Fleisher, John Perry, and Herbert Stessin.

Ms. Chung was the recipient of the Career Development Award from the Women's Musical Club of Toronto and numerous grants from the Canada Council and Chalmers Fund.

She is a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory of Music's Taylor Academy for Young Artists and at the Banff Centre.

The AYR Trio

Since their first performance as a trio in 2010, the AYR Trio has relished opportunities to explore the great repertoire for piano trio together. Longtime collaborators in other ensembles including Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, Eight Strings and at numerous festivals, the trio's voice is a meeting of friends. The trio brings this varied history, mutual respect and companionship into their musical collaboration to create harmonious and dynamic interpretations of the music they play, old and new.

Angela Park

Angela Park has established herself as one of Canada's most sought-after pianists. Praised for her "stunningly beautiful pianism" (Grace Welsh Prize, Chicago), "beautiful tone and sensitivity" (American Record Guide), and for performing "with such brilliant clarity it took your breath away" (Chapala, Mexico), Angela's versatility as both soloist and chamber musician has led to acclaimed angela parkperformances across Canada, as well as in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Mexico. Angela has performed for such notable series as Montreal's Pro Musica, Ottawa Chamberfest, Parry Sound's Festival of the Sound, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Lyrica Baroque, Winnipeg Virtuosi, Debut Atlantic and Prairie Debut Tours, CBC Onstage, Orchestra London Canada, Sinfonia Toronto, Stratford Symphony, and the Northern Lights Music Festival in Mexico. She is a founding member of the award-winning Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo,  the Seiler Piano Trio, and the AYR Trio. Angela has recorded solo albums, as well as collaborative discs with cellist Rachel Mercer, oboist Linda Strommen, bassoonist Kathleen McLean, and Ensemble Made In Canada, for labels including NAXOS Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, and Enharmonic Records. In 2010 Angela earned her DMA in Performance from the Université de Montréal. From 2011-2014, Angela was Visiting Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano-Woodwinds at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. She is Artist-in-Residence at Western University with Ensemble Made In Canada, and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
www.angelapark.com

Yehonatan Berick

berickPrizewinner at the 1993 Naumburg competition and a recipient of the 1996-97 Prix Opus, Yehonatan Berick is in high demand internationally as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. Performances as soloist include Quebec, Winnipeg, Windsor, Ann Arbor, Jerusalem and Haifa Symphonies, and the Israeli, Cincinnati, Montreal and Manitoba Chamber Orchestras, Thirteen Strings and Ensemble Appassionata. Recital offerings include the complete Paganini Caprices, and the complete Solo Sonatas and Partitas by Bach. Collaborators include Menahem Pressler, Louis Lortie, Michael Tree, Kim Kashkashian, David Soyer, Peter Wiley, Stephen Isserlis and James Campbell among others, and festivals include Marlboro, Ravinia, Seattle, Ottawa, Great Lakes, and Music@Menlo. He tours extensively worldwide, and is featured in the world's most important venues, including Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall. On CD, Berick has recorded for the Acoma, Albany, Centaur, Equilibrium, XXI-21, Gasparo, Summit, and Helicon labels. On video, he can be seen on a BluRay dvd Paganini: 24 Caprices. Berick serves as Professor of Violin and Head of String Sector at the University of Ottawa, and his students hold leading positions in major orchestras, ensembles, and music schools worldwide. Yehonatan Berick is currently plays a 1761 violin by Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, generously on loan from the University of Ottawa, as well as violin by Honoré Derazey Père from 1852, and a viola by Stanley Kiernoziak from 2003.
www.yehonatanberick.com

Rachel Mercer

rachel mercerDescribed as a "pure chamber musician" (Globe and Mail) creating "moments of pure magic" (Toronto Star), Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across five continents. Grand prize winner of the 2001 Vriendenkrans Competition in Amsterdam, Rachel is cellist of Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, the AYR Piano Trio, Artistic Director of the "5 at the First" Chamber Music Series in Hamilton, and Principal Cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Rachel has given masterclasses across North America, South Africa and in Israel and is currently Artist-in-Residence at Western University in London ON. An advocate for new Canadian music, Rachel has commissioned and premiered works including a cello concerto by Kevin Lau, solo work by Andrew Downing and chamber music by Abigail Richardson-Schulte, William Rowson, John Burge and Omar Daniel. Rachel can be heard on the Naxos, Naxos Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, Dalia Classics and EnT-T record labels, and released a critically acclaimed album of the Bach Suites on Pipistrelle in March 2014, recorded on the 1696 Bonjour Stradivarius Cello from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. Winner in the 2015 Canada Council Instrument Bank competition, Rachel is grateful to have been awarded the 1730 Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello for a 3 year loan.
www.rachelmercer.com

 

Nazar Dzhuryn

A native of Lviv, Ukraine, cellist Nazar Dzhuryn graduated from the Lviv Music School, where he studied with Evgeny Shpitzer, and earned his Master of Music degree at the Moscow State Conservatory under Prof. Igor Gavrysh. Upon graduation, Nazar taught at the Moscow State Conservatory as an assistant professor before moving to Chicago in 1998. Since then, he has been in high demand as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and teacher.

NazarNazar's solo recitals for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and the PianoForte Salon Series have been broadcast live on 98.7WFMT. He has appeared as a soloist with the Moscow State Symphony "Young Russia," Moscow Conservatory Symphony, Elgin Symphony Orchestra. In 2010 -2016 he appeared as a soloist with Lviv Philharmonic, National  Symphony of Ukraine in Kiev, Minsk Philharmonic, Ensemble of Soloists Classicus in Zagreb, Sinfonietta Bel Canto IL, Harper Symphony Orchestra IL, Northwest Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Woodstock Mozart Festival Orchestra IL , Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra WI and Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra ND performing Schumann Concerto, Prokofiev's Symphony  Concerto , Barber's Concerto, Dvorak's Concerto, Haydn's Concertos, Shostakovich Concerto No. 2, Saint-Saens Concerto No. 1, Brahms Double Concerto and Beethoven Triple Concerto. In addition, Nazar has given numerous solo recitals and master classes in Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, South America, South Africa, South Korea and the U.S. In 2008 he released his solo debut CD, Cello Monologue, featuring works by Reger and Kodaly. His next CD, Cello Monologue 2 was released in 2013, featuring works of Ysaye, Hindemith, Crumb, Ligeti and Laniuk.

Nazar has performed in Rush Hour Concerts at St. James Cathedral and as a guest artist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians; his chamber-music partners have included members of the orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Formerly the principal cello of the Moscow State Symphony "Young Russia" and the Moscow Conservatory Symphony, Nazar has served as the assistant principal cello of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra since 2000 and as the principal cello of the Woodstock Mozart Festival Orchestra since 2004. He participated in the Rostropovich Festival in Evian, France, and has performed as an orchestral musician under Georg Solti, Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniel Barenboim, and Helmuth Rilling.

Nazar maintains private studios in Chicago and Elgin in addition to serving on the faculties of Northeastern Illinois University and the Naperville School for the Performing Arts. He also coaches chamber ensembles for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO). Nazar's students have won prizes in numerous competitions, including the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, and the Chicago Chamber Music Competition (sponsored by Midwest Young Artists).

Erika Crinó, piano

Italian pianist Erika Crinò is very active as a chamber musician and a soloist in Europe as well as North America.

Miss Crinó is regularly heard in several venues in Toronto, among which are Heliconian Hall, York University, Gallery 345. At CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, she performed Bach's Triple Concerto with pianists Dr. Robert Silverman and Dr. Brett Kingsbury with the Koffler Chamber Orchestra directed by Jacques Israelievitch. In the same concert hall, Erika premiered TREMA by Canadian composer Michael Pepa, with the Canadian Sinfonietta conducted by Volodymyr Syvokhip, and his Yakami Variations, with the Croatian Cantus Ensemble conducted by Ivan Josip Skender.

Erika crinoErika has appeared in solo recitals at prestigious venues such as La Chapelle du Bon Pasteur in Montreal, the George Enescu Hall in Bucharest (Romania), the Lviv State Academy (Ukraine), Art Centre Guarnerius in Belgrade (Serbia), FUGA Budapest (Hungary), Centrum Muzyki `Gaia`in Krakow and at the International Chamber Music Festival `On the Hights` in Zakopane (Poland), Sala Tripcovich in Trieste, Istituto Mario Negri in Milano, and Palazzo Sacchetti and Teatro Marcello in Rome (Italy). In 2015, she collaborated with the Penderecki String Quartet in several performances in Canada (Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Society) and Croatia (Music Biennale Zagreb, International Festival of Contemporary Music). Her recent performance in Zagreb, at the invitation of the Canadian Embassy, to celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Canada and Croatia, was attended by the Croatian President Ivo Josipović.

Miss Crinó also appeared as guest soloist in Europe in several performances of Bach's D Minor Concerto and Michael Pepa's TREMA with the Lviv Virtuosi (Lviv, Ukraine) conducted by Irina Vakulina and in Bulgaria with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of Bulgaria conducted by Raitcho Hristov. With the National Chamber Orchestra of Moldavia, Erika performed Michael Pepa's Yakami Variations at THE DAYS OF NEW MUSIC International Festival, Edition XXV in Chisinau, Moldova, in 2016.

After obtaining the Diploma in Piano at the conservatory in her hometown of Trieste (Italy), and the Diploma in Chamber Music with the Trio di Trieste, Erika studied with Maestro Bruno Canino in Milan. Shortly after, she moved to Canada where she completed her Doctorate in Piano Performance with Dr. Robert Silverman at the University of British Columbia. Erika is currently on the faculty at the Kingsway Conservatory of Music in Toronto and is often invited as guest lecturer at the University of Toronto.

The MIR trio

Fresh into their inaugural season, the MIR trio aims to bring rare gems of music to the concert stage, in a quest to give recognition to underrepresented composers of past and present generations.  MIR trio's name symbolizes their mission and ethos:  not only does the name mean peace, but it unites the forces of three Toronto talents: Mark Skazinetsky on violin, Igor Gefter on cello, and Rachael Kerr on piano.  Combining their collective experiences in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company, their passion for both the classics and undiscovered works is bringing a breath of fresh air to the current chamber music scene. Beyond just the classics, the MIR Trio is especially excited to partner with the Jewish community of Toronto by emphasizing music by living composers specifically representing the Jewish people and culture.  You can find them on the web at http://www.mirtrio.com.

Mark Skazinetsky

Mark Skazinetsky joined the TSO in 1980 and has served as Associate Concertmaster since 2001. A native of Odessa, Ukraine, Mr. Skazinetsky earned a degree with honours in all four qualifications of performer, teacher, chamber instrumentalist, and orchestral mark skazinetskyplayer, from the State Conservatory of Odessa. At age fifteen he won first prize in the Ukrainian Competition for Young Talents and subsequently performed the Bruch G Minor Violin Concerto with the Odessa State Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1979 he immigrated to Canada and was immediately appointed Assistant Concertmaster with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Stratford's Chamber Ensemble.

Mr. Skazinetsky is an active chamber musician and can be heard frequently on CBC Radio and in recital halls throughout the country. He is a founding member of the Maple Trio and of The Moveable Feast, the latter with which he recorded a CD with flutist Susan Hoeppner. He was also among a group of musicians whom Glenn Gould chose for his last recording and conducting début, Wagner: Siegfried Idyll (Sony Classical). More recent engagements have included performances in Italy, both in recital and as soloist with the Orchestra Sinfonica della Provincia di Bari. He is currently on staff at the Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto, as well as with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Mark Skazinetsky is also actively pursuing a conducting career. Since his conducting début with a University of Toronto ensemble in Stravinsky's  L'histoire du soldat, Mr. Skazinetsky has been the Music Director and Conductor of the Huronia Symphony Orchestra and has conducted the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Toronto Festive Orchestra, Virtuosi di Toronto (at its inaugural concert), New Hamilton Orchestra for two consecutive seasons, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Northern Lights Music Festival in Ajijic, Mexico.

Igor Gefter

Internationally acclaimed cellist Igor Gefter joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2006.

Prior to his move to Toronto, Mr. Gefter held the position of Associate Principal Cello with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. While still a student at The Juilliard School in New York, Igor was invited to play in the cello section of the New York Philharmonic; serving as an acting member and an extra cellist, this special relationship lasted for over eight years. Highly regarded for his expertise as an orchestral player, Mr. Gefter has been invited to perform with the Boston, Chicago, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. In 2009 Mr. Gefter was invited by the Seattle Symphony to serve as a guest principal cellist in the opening week of the 2009-10 season.

igor gefterMr. Gefter's numerous honors include multiple Chalmers Performing Arts Awards from the Ontario Arts Council as well as four consecutive B-Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts to study abroad.  In 1997 Igor was a recipient of the John B.C. Watkins Fellowship from the Canada Council. In 1991 Mr. Gefter won first prize in the Canadian Music Competition, which resulted in numerous recitals throughout Canada. While studying in New York, he won the Mannes Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.

An active participant in international music festivals, Mr. Gefter serves as principal cellist for the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming every summer. In the past, Igor has served as principal cellist for the "Festival of the Two Worlds" in Spoleto, Italy, the International Chamber Music Festival in Venezuela, and the International Symphony Orchestra in Israel.
Igor made his début at the age of eight as a winner of the National Young Artist Competition, the first of seven consecutive competitions that he won before the age of 13. At 14, as one of the most distinguished young cellists in Russia, he was chosen to perform at the Recital Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Mr. Gefter holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Harvey Shapiro and Aldo Parisot. He completed his post-graduate studies in the studio of Carter Brey.

Igor enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristina, his son, Daniel and his daughter, Eliana. His hobbies include reading, photography and technology. Mr. Gefter performs on a wonderful Christopher Dungey cello, made especially for him in 2013.

Rachael Kerr

Pianist Rachael Kerr will be joining the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio in the 2017-2018 season.  She has been the rehearsal pianist for several concerts in recent seasons with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, including a groundbreaking semi-staged version of Mozart's Requiem and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13, and will return for their upcoming production of Rachael KerrWeill's Seven Deadly Sins. As an orchestral pianist, she has performed with the Toronto Symphony, the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, and the Niagara Symphony. She was also recently featured in a two-piano version of Carmina Burana with the Amadeus Choir. 

This past summer, Rachael was a collaborative pianist at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and a fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival.  In previous summers, she was a two-time vocal piano fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and an opera coaching fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. 

Rachael completed her master's and doctoral studies at Northwestern University. During her time in Chicago, she was featured as a returning soloist with the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble, performed regularly with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and was a rehearsal pianist and harpsichordist for the Northwestern University Opera Theatre.  While still a student, she was concurrently a faculty member in the Music Studies department, teaching music theory courses.  Rachael has been a staff pianist with the International Trumpet Guild conference and the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg, and previously held the position of Coordinator of Collaborative Piano at Interlochen Arts Center.

Joyce Lai

Artistic Director & Concertmaster

Joyce LaiViolinist Joyce Lai enjoys a career as a soloist and chamber musician. She has been a guest artist with numerous orchestras around the world, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Szeged Symphony Orchestra of Hungary, and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong.

Joyce also performs regularly in chamber festivals such as the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival in Manitoba, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Festival, and the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival in B.C. Joyce is first violinist in the Riverdale Ensemble, a chamber group that specializes in performing rare and unique works, as well as premiering new Canadian compositions. Joyce is also an enthusiastic educator and has a private studio of students ranging from ages 3 to 73. Joyce holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Masters of Music Degree and Performer Diploma in violin performance from the Indiana University.

Vania Chan

Lyric Coloratura Soprano

Canadian lyric coloratura soprano Vania Chan received her Master of Music in Classical Voice from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from York University, Toronto, receiving a B.F.A. with Specialized Honours in Music.

Vania ChanVania had her Carnegie Hall debut in Weill Recital Hall, performing as a first prize winner in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition in New York.

She premiered the role of “The Light Moon” in the Dora Award Winning opera “The Lesson of Da Ji” by composer Alice Ping Yee Ho and librettist Marjorie Chan, presented by Toronto Masque Theatre. Vania’s voice can be heard on the CD recording of the same opera (Centre Discs, Naxos), singing the roles of “The Light Moon” and “Ming” the maid. The recording received a critic’s choice review in Opera News, New York.

Performance highlights include the role of Madame Herz in Mozart’s “The Impresario”, the goddess Diane in Rameau’s “Hippolyte et Aricie” both with VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, Princess Mi in Lehár “The Land of Smiles” with Toronto Operetta Theatre, the role of the Ad Exec in Soundstreams’ presentation of Brian Current’s “Airline Icarus: A New Opera”, the soprano role in Alice Ho’s “Venom of Love”, produced by Little Pear Garden Collective, and more recently, a leading role in Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen.”   

Vania was the winner of the “City of Brandon Award” at the 2008 Eckhardt Gramatté Vocal Competition, for her interpretation of the commissioned cycle, Jocelyn Morlock’s Involuntary Love Songs, which was broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

She made her European debut through the “Elysium Between Two Continents: International Summer Academy”, in Bernried, Germany.

She has sung with several performance companies in New York, including Gateway Classical Music Society, the New York Opera Forum, Opus Opera NY, and Opera Manhattan Repertory Theatre Inc. She also sang with the Berkshire Bach Society in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. 

In Canada, Vania has performed with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Toronto Masque Theatre, TrypTych, Halifax Summer Opera Festival, and Opera by Request. She was the soprano soloist with Chorus Hamilton, the York University Concert Choir, Tryptych Chamber Choir Ensemble, and Donway Covenant United Church Choir. Vania has been featured in young artist recitals with the Barrie Colours of Music Festival, and with Visual and Performing Arts Newmarket.

Her operatic roles include Zerbinetta (Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos), Cleopatra (Handel’s Giulio Cesare), Olympia (Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Susanna (Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro), Marie (Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment), Lucia (Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor), Gretel (Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel), Nanetta (Verdi’s Falstaff), Armida (Handel’s Rinaldo), Morgana (Handel’s Alcina) and Anne Trulove (Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress).

Brooke Dufton

Brooke DuftonBrooke DuftonDrawn to productions that challenge conventions, soprano Brooke Dufton has eagerly seized opportunities for singing in extraordinary spaces: from the tops of trees and mountains, from the bow of a canoe and from deep in the forest, at dawn or the middle of the night, in a ruined mill and an old warehouse, while swimming in Northern lakes, and from an Olympic high-dive in the dark while candles floated in the pool far below… Ms. Dufton's exploratory performances have been seen in highlight productions for Toronto's Harbourfront Festival, Kitchener's Open Ears Festival, various Nuit Blanche events, and Soundstreams, among others. Ms. Dufton is a founding member of the multidisciplinary ensemble SoundShow, which produces guerrilla art and original installation works in unique sites across Ontario.

In addition, Brooke is a frequent performer in traditional venues and has sung for organizations such as The Scotia Festival of Music, Stratford Summer Music, Toronto's New Music Concerts, Arraymusic, Opera Nova Scotia, Talisker Players, Jeunesses Musicales Canada, L'Orchestre Symphonique de l'Isle, and the Luminato Festival.

Dedicated to the promotion of new music, Ms. Dufton has a special affinity for the music of R. Murray Schafer and has performed roles in many of his operas, including The Princess of the Stars, And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon, The Enchanted Forest, The Children's Crusade, Apocalypsis, and Asterion, in addition to frequently performing his works in concert. Pieces have been written or arranged for her by established Canadian composers such as Norbert Palej, Monica Pearce, Alexander Rapoport, Gayle Young, and Emily Doolittle.

Ms. Dufton has been praised for her 'great skill' (Globe and Mail), 'strong presence' (Peterborough Examiner), and 'beautiful tone and control' (The Chronicle-Herald). Her performances have been recorded by the CBC and the CMC; she recorded Brahms' Requiem with L'Orchestre Symphonique de l'Isle; and she sings on the Wild Dogs Motion Picture Soundtrack. She has received the Stratford Festival Young Artist Award, the Richard Bradshaw Fellowship for Opera, and both the Award for Advanced Voice and the National ACNMP award in recognition of her performances of Canadian classical music.

Ms. Dufton is also keenly interested in Early music and has studied and performed with the international medieval ensemble Sequentia, and coached with Timothy McGee and Emma Kirkby. She has performed and lectured on medieval vocal music, with a particular focus on Hildegard von Bingen. In 2012 she transcribed and performed the role of Anima in Bingen's Ordo Virtutum, and was featured in a CBC interview about the production.

Brooke's early music performances have included cantatas and oratorio by Tellemann, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Bach, and Handel, Couperin's Lecons des Tenebres, and works by Merula, Monteverdi, and Luzzaschi. She has studied at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and with The Toronto Continuo Collective, with whom she later performed as Eurinda in Cavalli's Doriclea. She toured for Musique Royale with Novus in a program of music by William Byrd and his contemporaries; and performed a series of renaissance music and dance concerts touring in Newfoundland for Cupids 400.

A committed teacher with fifteen years of experience as a private vocal instructor, Ms. Dufton also adjudicates and maintains an active voice studio. She has taught and guest lectured for a number of institutions, including Laurentian University, Cambrian College, Havergal College, The Canadian Conservatory, the University of Toronto, and Mount Allison University, where she was also the director of the Opera ensembles. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto.

 

Joseph Macerollo

joseph MACEROLLOJoseph Macerollo

Joseph (Nicholas Anthony) Macerollo,. Accordionist, teacher, b Guelph, Ont, 1 Oct 1944; B MUS (Toronto) 1965, MA musicology (Toronto) 1969. He began accordion lessons at six with Nicholas Antonelli and studied briefly in 1960 with Charles Camilleri, winning many classes and awards 1957-64 at competition festivals and subsequently playing in nightclubs and for a time (1969) with Phil Nimmons. He taught at the RCMT 1969-85, collaborating on the first free-bass accordion syllabus. Also in 1969 he began teaching at Queen's University, adding duties at the University of Toronto to his teaching activities in 1972 and at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1987.

Macerollo has performed often on CBC radio and TV. In public appearances with the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, the Chamber Players of Toronto, the Hart House Orchestra, the NACO, Nexus, the Orford String Quartet, and the Purcell String Quartet, as well as in solo recitals, he has performed, and frequently premiered free-bass accordion works by Milton Barnes, Luciano Berio, Walter Buczynski, Michael Colgrass, Samuel Dolin, George Fiala, James Hiscott, Lothar Klein, Hope Lee, Alexina Louie, Phil Nimmons, Barbara Pentland, R. Murray Schafer, Timothy Sullivan, Morris Surdin, and Gerhard Wuensch. He has performed with most major Canadian orchestras, at the Guelph Spring Festival, and at the Festival of the Sound. In 1981 he co-ordinated and performed in Soundstage Canada '81, a group of Canadian musicians who toured Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Rumania as part of the festival Muzicki Biennale Zagreb. In 1987 and 1988 he performed in Peterborough, Ont, in R. Murray Schafer's The Greatest Show on Earth, part of the Patria cycle. In 1988 he organized Lumina, a multimedia event exploring the confluence of music and light as experienced in the medieval cathedral.

In 1972 Macerollo composed and performed the music for a production of Chekhov's The Three Sisters at the St Lawrence Centre. His performances for film or TV scores include "The Taming of the Canadian West" (CTV 1970), "The National Dream" (CBC 1978), The New Canadians (Neilson Films 1980), Without a Clue (1988), "Onassis: The Richest Man" (ABC-TV 1988), "The Private Capital" (CBC 1989), and Brown Bread Sandwiches (Brown Bread Sandwiches Inc 1989).

He has been vice-president 1970-4 of the Confédération internationale des accordéonistes and president 1974-7 of the Canadian Accordion Teachers' Association. While president 1972-6 of the Contemporary Showcase, he organized the first International Free-Bass Accordion Symposium (1975) as part of his sustained effort to establish the instrument in the concert field. In 1976 he founded and became first president of the Group of Six, which incorporated in 1979 and became the Classical Accordion Society of Canada, and in 1980 he became president of the Pro Arte Orchestra. He was a founding member of the Mississauga Arts Council 1981-5, chaired its grants subcommittee 1985-9, and was the 1987 Mississauga Musician of the Year. In 1989 he became president of NMC.

Richard Herriott

richard herriottRichard Herriott - pianistSingapore born British /Canadian pianist and composer Richard Herriott made his debut for CBC Radio at age 12, and at 18 debuted as a concerto soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis. He has toured internationally, performing in 16 countries. Critics and audiences have praised his unique programming, vivid imagination, supported by a strong presence, deeply philosophical musicianship and virtuosity. His repertoire ranges from Orlando Gibbons to modern works of Walter Buczynski and Philip Feeney. Herriott is also recognised as one of the world's leading dance accompanists, providing entirely original music from ballet to including contemporary dance. Herriott was company /orchestral pianist with Northern Ballet Theatre, by invitation of  NBT Artistic Director Christopher Gable. As a composer, he has had works performed all over the world and in notable venues such as the Moscow residence of Sviatoslav Richter. Herriott performs his own compositions and they have also been performed by Australian Guitarist Craig Ogden, and ELO Cellist Hugh McDowell as well as Orchestras in the UK. The 2016/17 season will see Herriott premiere his Piano Concerto "The Newfie Bullet" with Orchestra Toronto and Kevin Mallon.