Artist Bios

Joseph Petrič

Soloist, chamber artist and author, Canadian accordionist Joseph Petrič made his international debuts at Washington’s Kennedy Centre and London’s St. John’s Smith Square.

Joseph PetricThe first accordionist laureate of the BBCRadio3 auditions, he was awarded the designation Friend of Canadian Music by the Canadian Music Centre 2005. He has appeared in Seiji Ozawa Hall, Agora Festival IRCAM, Golder’s Green Hippodrome, Tel Aviv Opera, Hohenems Schubertiade, Berlin Philharmonie, Bunka Kaikan Hall Tokyo, and Wigmore Hall, and received critical notice in the London Independent, Washington Post, Berliner Tage, and New York Times.

His extensive discography of 32 titles and many of his 260 commissions (including 13 concertos) have been broadcast on CBC TV, SRC TV, EU TV-5, Japan’s NHK, PBR USA, BBCRadio 3, French, Norwegian, Swedish and Serbian nation radio systems.

Joseph Petrič teaches in his private studio, and gives masterclasses in  Scandanavia, the UK, Holland, Germany, Slovenija, France and Poland. A published author, his book The Concert Accordion -Contemporary Perspectives was launched by Augmus Press 2017. For more information visit

Lynn Kuo, Violin

Canadian violinist Lynn Kuo is Assistant Concertmaster of the National Ballet of Canada and is Founder/CEO of Violin with Dr. Lynn, serving as an online educator for violinists motivated to become stronger, more fearless performers. Having launched her Summer Violin Bootcamp in June 2020 during pandemic, Lynn is quickly becoming a respected educator in the online space appearing on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Lynn KuoLynn performs as a concert violinist, and guest concertmaster of Canadian orchestras that have included the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Opera Hamilton, Ontario Philharmonic, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Mandle Philharmonic, and various orchestras in the city of Toronto. In addition to performing regularly with the Canadian Opera Company and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Lynn also serves as an adjudicator, guest artist, and lecturer at festivals and universities, and was Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin at Memorial University of Newfoundland for the Winter semester of 2020.

As a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, Lynn has performed across Canada, United States, Wales, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. She has performed with the Tainan Symphony Orchestra, 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 guest soloist with Hungary's gypsy orchestra, Rajkó Band.

In demand as an interpreter of new music, Lynn has given numerous world premieres in North America, Europe, and Asia 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.

Lynn's performances have been broadcast on Canadian, Serbian, and Hungarian radio and television and can be heard on the NAXOS label (Works of Nino Rota) and on her self-produced CD with pianist Marianna Humetska: LOVE: Innocence, Passion, Obsession, available on iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby, and Amazon.

Having completed studies with Lorand Fenyves, Mayumi Seiler, Erika Raum, and post-doctoral studies with Burton Kaplan and Nathan Cole, 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. When not playing the violin, Lynn can be spotted on social media posting violin tutorials or perfecting her karate kicks or salsa dancing turn patterns.
Updated 11/12/20

Dave Young

DAVID (DAVE) YOUNG (bassist) was born on January 29, 1940 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He began studying the guitar and violin when he was 10 years old, but a turn of events at his first gig (a university dance band) compelled him to pick up the bass. Educated as both a jazz and a classical player, Young’s elegant performances with the late guitarist Lenny Breau are legendary. He was a member of the Lenny Breau Quartet in live performance and recording for five years from 1961 to 1966. Dave Young’s professional relationship with jazz giant Oscar Peterson spanned three decades during which he played in the Oscar Peterson Trio in appearances all over the world up until Peterson’s death.

Dave YoungYoung is equally comfortable with symphonic work and acoustic jazz. As classical artist, he was the principal Double Bassist for a number of years with the Edmonton and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras as well as with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. As a jazz artist, he has collaborated with the genre’s brightest luminaries including Oscar Peterson, Clark Terry, Zoot Sims, Joe Williams, Oliver Jones, Lenny Breau, Rob McConnell, Phil Dwyer, Michel Lambert, John Hicks, Mulgrew Miller, Tommy Flanagan, Ellis Marsalis, Barry Harris, Kenny Barron, Cyrus Chestnut, Cedar Walton, Peter Appleyard, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Kenny Burrell, Hank Jones, Nat Adderly, Gary Burton, Barney Kessel, Ed Bickert, Ranee Lee, Marcus Belgrave, Don Thompson, and James Moody.

Young regularly tours with clarinetist James Campbell and pianist Gene Di Novi in a program of “Classical Fusion” that melds the classical and jazz worlds. He also performs a “dueling basses” repertoire of classical works with Toronto Symphony bassist Joel Quarrington, often billed as the "Two Bass Hit". Perhaps one of the versatile Dave Young’s most loved and popular musical combinations is his own Quintet, an ensemble firmly rooted in the be-bop tradition, and focusing on the material of Horace Silver and Charles Mingus. In the fall of 2009, Dave released, Mean What You Say ,an independently release album produced by bassist Robert Occhipinti and featuring Robi Botos,Frank Botos, and Kevin Turcotte.

In 2009, Dave performed as part of a 16-piece orchestra accompanying award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp’s latest Broadway-bound dance work: “Come Fly With Me” – The Music of Frank Sinatra.

In 2011, Young released Aspects of Oscar with his quintet featuring Dave Young, Kevin Turcotte, Reg Schwager, Robi Botos and Terry Clarke. The album was nominiated for a JUNO Award. In 2012, the Dave Young / Terry Promane Octet released their recording Octet Volume One, which was nominated for JUNO Award.

As an educator, Dave Young has taught at numerous music seminars and jazz clinics and is currently a faculty member of The University of Toronto. In 2003, Young was in residence at the Music Department of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, conducting bass master classes and performing.

Kevin Turcotte

KEVIN MICHAEL TURCOTTE (trumpeter, flugelhornist) was born on January 22, 1964 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, but raised in Sudbury, Ontario. He is recognized as one of Canada's major trumpet talents with an impressive list of recording and touring credentials. The more than 175 CD's he has played on range in style from folk legend Bruce Cockburn to opera star Measha Bruegergossman to Jazz great Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass to the unique and chamber music-like Quinsin Nachoff. Kevin's touring has taken him to places like the former Soviet Union with the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, Chile with the Dave Young Quartet, Mexico with vocalist Elizabeth Sheppard, Brazil with the David Braid Sextet and Italy with the Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra featuring clarinetist Don Byron.

kevin turcotteHe has garnered at least 20 Juno nominations bringing home the coveted prize 5 times. He is an integral part of Juno-nominated recordings by the pianoless quartet Time Warp, modern banjoist Jayme Stone, Andrew Downing’s Great Uncles of the Revolution (who also won the Grand Prix du Jazz at the Montreal Jazz Festival), the Barry Elmes Quintet featuring Ed Bickert, Rich Brown’s original and funky Abeng, Barry Romberg’s Random Access, the Sicilian Jazz Project and Shine On-The Universe of John Lennon. As a busy sideman, Kevin has traveled across this vast country dozens of times with many of these bands and others to play the Canadian Jazz festival circuit with occasional forays into the U.S. and Europe. He has been a featured soloist in pops concerts with symphony orchestras throughout Ontario. He has performed arrangements of Miles Davis' music with the Intrada Brass Band as well as the Miles Davis part for a live version of the Miles Ahead album with the Toronto Jazz Orchestra. In addition to that Kevin has enjoyed some pretty unique performances over the years including playing the music of South Indian mridangam master Trichy Sankaran and Dutch composer Martin Altena while a member of the Hemispheres New Music Ensemble. Also in 2004 he and drummer Jean Martin created and improvised a 60 minute set of duo music for their own episode of the TVO film series "Duos:The Jazz Sessions" which was documented live by filmmaker Daniel K. Berman at the Du Maurier Theatre Centre in Toronto.

Kevin has many ongoing and strong musical relationships with musicians like MIke Murley, William Carn, Kirk Macdonald, Dave Young and Michael Occhipinti but he has also had the honour and privilege of playing in bands led by Canadian icons Claude Ranger, Phil Nimmons, Pat Labarbera, Doug Riley and Don Thompson. He has played with a variety of American artists such as Brian Blade, Sam Rivers, Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez, Tito Puente, Warren Vache and Carla Bley. In 2007, at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, Kevin participated in an international Chet Baker tribute concert with 10 former Baker sidemen including players like Herb Geller, Hal Galper and Curtis Fuller. As it turned out, 10 years later, he was asked to play the trumpet parts on the soundtrack for a feature film about the life of Chet Baker. “Born to be Blue”, starring American actor Ethan Hawke as Chet, was released in 2016 to rave reviews. It comes as no surprise that Kevin has been recognized multiple times by Jazz Report Magazine and the National Jazz Awards as Jazz Trumpeter of the Year for his many accomplishments.

Kevin studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts Summer Jazz Workshop when Dave Holland was director, spent a year at Humber College working with Ron Collier and Paul Read and later received a music education degree from the University of Toronto. He joined the faculty of the new U of T jazz program upon graduating in the early 1990’s. He also teaches every summer during the jazz week of the Interprovincial Music Camp. Kevin is presently the Jazz Brass Instructor at York University in Toronto.

Brian Dickinson

brian dickinsonBrian Dickinson has been a mainstay on the Canadian jazz scene for over thirty-five years. His skills as a jazz pianist, composer and arranger have been heard on well over sixty recordings including over ten of his own releases as leader.

As a sideman, Brian has performed and recorded with many of the greatest international players including: Jerry Bergonzi, Randy Brecker, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie, Pat LaBarbera, Kirk MacDonald, Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza, Dave Liebman, George Garzone, Donny McCaslin, Seamus Blake, Ron McClure, Bob Mintzer, Phil Nimmons, Rob McConnell, Mike Murley, Tom Harrell, Lee Konitz, the Woody Herman Band, Cab Calloway, Nick Brignola, Sonny Greenwich, Eddie Daniels, Don Thompson, Jane Bunnett, and Dewey Redman.

In July, 2015 Brian will be recording with a new group “The Rhythm Method”, comprised of Kelly Jefferson and Luis Deniz (saxophones), Neil Swainson (bass) and Ted Warren (drums). The original music from this session will be featured in a new publication also titled “The Rhythm Method”.

As well as touring Canada extensively, Brian has also toured the US, Europe and Asia.

Kaili Maimets

Flutist, Kaili Maimets, is in demand as an orchestral performer, chamber musician, and soloist.   She is currently Acting Second Flute and Piccolo of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada (NACO) for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons, was Second Flute & Piccolo of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony from 2016-2019 and was Principal Flute position of London Symphonia (formerly Orchestra London) from 2012-2019. She has also performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the National Ballet of Canada.

Kaili MaimetsAs a soloist, Kaili performed the Vivaldi Piccolo Concerto in C in November 2018 with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.  In April 2018 she was featured as soloist at the NACO Family Adventures concerts in Ottawa. In 2017 she toured Southern Ontario performing Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto with the Toronto Concert Orchestra.  As Principal Flute of Orchestra London she performed Mozart’s Flute Concerto in D, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no.4 and Frank Martin Concerto for Seven Winds.

The past season chamber music highlights include recitals with harpist Angela Schwarzkopf with the Mississauga Chamber Society.  On the Canadian tour celebrating Canada’s 150th with NACO, she performed Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major (November 2017) in Whitehorse.  In January 2018, she performed Francaix Woodwind Quintet and Martinu Nonet at the National Art Gallery’s Music for a Sunday Afternoon.

Kaili is also passionate about performing new music.  In addition to regularly collaborating with her brother, composer Riho Esko Maimets, she has performed with Continuum New Music Ensemble in Toronto.  Kaili participates with the NACO WolfGANG Sessions, at the World New Music Festival in Vancouver in November 2017.  She will also be performing in the Stockholm WolfGANG session in May 2019.

Kaili's principal teachers have been Nora Shulman, Denis Bluteau and Camille Watts.  She has a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance from McGill University, Bachelor of Music from University of Toronto, and A.R.C.T. from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada from whom she received the Gold Medal for Woodwinds in 2007. Kaili is grateful for her orchestral and chamber training experiences with National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Banff Festival Orchestra, Scotia Festival of Music, and Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Kaili is passionate about teaching flutists of all ages and levels.  Her students have been accepted to the prestigious Curtis Institute Young Artist Summer Program, and many local youth ensembles. Her students have consistently been winners of the Kiwanis Music Festivals Provincially and at local levels in Toronto and London (Ontario).  Her students have also been medal winners in the Royal Conservatory examinations, and finalists at the Canadian Music Competition.

Kaili was inspired to learn the flute after being taken to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Children’s Saturday morning cushion concerts. She then began her studies with Professor of Flute, Peg Albrecht, whose creativity and imagination inspired her to pursue music professionally.


VC2 is an innovative cello duo committed to captivating audiences through its performances of classical masterworks, unknown gems, and boundary pushing music. Comprised of cellists Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt, the Toronto-based duo presents artistically challenging yet accessible programs and have performed in venues ranging from intimate cabarets to Roy Thomson Hall.
The pair met in 2008 while attending the University of Toronto where they both studied under Shauna Rolston. They both chose to continue their studies at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University where they completed their Master’s Degrees with Matt Haimovitz. In 2015 they both found themselves back in Toronto and their musical partnership was born.

VC2Respected individuals, both Messrs. Holt and Arulanandam wear many musical hats. Collectively, they have performed as part of leading arts organizations including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Soundstreams, Art of Time Ensemble, Continuum Contemporary Music, New Music Concerts, Music in the Barns, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Caution Tape Sound Collective, Contact Contemporary Music, and Tapestry Opera. The duo has been featured artists at Ottawa Chamberfest, Ottawa New Music Creators, Koerner Hall’s 21C Music Festival, Ritornello Festival, and the Prairie Cello Institute.

The promotion and performance of works by current composers is a priority to VC2. They strongly believe in the support and creation of new works by living composers, especially those from their home country of Canada. To this end, VC2 commissioned five Canadian composers to create works based on the Beethoven Cello Sonatas. They have premiered these works through performances in the 2016 and 2017 seasons and culminated in the recording of the album, Beethoven’s Cellists, which was released in September 2018. The recording was made possible by the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council. Future commissions and collaborations are in the works for VC2.

Bryan and Amahl seek to redefine chamber music making with this duo VC2. Their unique brand of cello-fueled music adds a new sonority to the traditional presentation of cello performances. In February 2018, VC2 embarked on a tour of the East Coast of Canada, presented by Debut Atlantic. The duo also spent time this past summer at the soundSCAPE performance and composition exchange in Maccagno, Italy and brought home a number of new works by emerging international composers. VC2 is thrilled to be one of Prairie Debut’s 2019-20 Touring Artists.

Maria Soulis - Mezzo-soprano

Toronto-born mezzo-soprano Maria Soulis enjoys an exciting career in both Canada and Europe. She began her European career as a principal artist with the Regensburg Opera in Germany, later performing the roles of Carmen, Rosina, Orfeo, Dido, Olga and Nicklausse in theatres throughout Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.

maria soulisHer voice has been praised internationally by reviewers as “warm and powerful” and “gorgeous, dusky toned” as well as “full of warmth and drama” with “a ruby red timbre”.

As a concert singer in Europe, Maria has performed Mozart's Requiem, Gustav Mahler's Rückert Lieder, Das Lied von der Erde, Symphony No. 8 and Kindertotenlieder. In Canada, she has sung repertoire ranging from Bach's Weihnachts-Oratorium and Handel's Messiah, to Dvorak's Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Elgar’s Sea Pictures.

An avid recitalist, Maria has an extensive song repertoire that spans the English, French, Spanish and German languages.

Recent highlights include the role of Clara in the world premiere of Oksana G with Tapestry Opera and the Mayor’s Wife in Pacific Opera’s Jenufa, directed by Atom Egoyan. Upcoming engagements include Puccini’s Il Trittico with Pacific Opera, Marcellina in Against the Grain’s production of Figaro’s Wedding, and an evening of Gilbert & Sullivan favourites with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Maria can be heard on the Juno-nominated Naxos CD “Vivaldi – Sacred
Music” with Kevin Mallon and the Aradia Ensemble.

Kevin Lau

Described as a "self-assured voice" (Barczablog) with a "masterful control over his idiom" (Classical Music Sentinel), Kevin Lau has established himself as one of Canada's leading young composers. Awarded the 2017 Victor Martyn Lynn-Staunton Award by the Canada Council for Outstanding Achievement, Kevin's music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles across North America, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Niagara Symphony Orchestra, the Hannaford Street Silver Band, Ensemble Made in Canada, and the Houston-based River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.

Kevin LauIn 2016 he composed the score for the National Ballet of Canada's original full-length ballet Le Petit Prince, featuring choreography by NBOC Principal Dancer and Choreographic Associate Guillaume Côté. His second ballet score, Dark Angels, was commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra for its Encount3rs project in 2017, and was described as "riveting" (Ottawa Citizen) and "extraordinarily accomplished" (Artsfile). His most recent work, an opera (Bound) commissioned by Against the Grain Theatre, was hailed by the Globe and Mail as "a brilliant creation."

Kevin's discography includes the JUNO-nominated "Spin Cycle" (Centrediscs), featuring the Afiara String Quartet and DJ Skratch Bastid; "Encount3rs" (Analekta) featuring the NACO; "Solo Seven" (ATMA Classique) featuring violinist Marc Djokic; "The Sounds of Our Time" (Naxos) featuring cellist Rachel Mercer, and "Premieres" (Cambria Records) featuring violinist Conrad Chow.
In addition to composing concert music, Kevin is also active as a film composer, arranger, and pianist. He has written the scores to over a dozen films, including Charles Officer's feature documentary Invisible Essence: The Little Prince (2018), and has created arrangements for artists such as Sarah Slean, Suzie McNeil, Christos Hatzis, and groups such as the Art of Time Ensemble.
Born in Hong Kong, Kevin moved to Toronto at the age of 7. In 2012 he received his doctorate in music composition from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Christos Hatzis, and has guest-lectured at UofT for the past four years. He served as Composer in Residence for the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra (2010-12), the Banff Centre (2012), and was artistic director of the Sneak Peek Orchestra (with conductor and co-founder Victor Cheng) until 2014. He served as the RBC Affiliate Composer for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 2012-15, and was composer in residence of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra from 2018-19.

William Beauvais

William Beauvais has been composing, recording, performing and improvising for over 40 years. He has written music for harpist Sharlene Wallace, baritone Doug MacNaughton and the Montreal Guitar Trio. He has received support from the Toronto Arts Council FACTOR and York University. His music has been heard in Denmark, Australia, Chile, and Argentina, and is published by Les Productions D'OZ.

BEAUVAIS WilliamHis CDs are distributed by Naxos and include Old Wood-New Seeds, Unspoken Dreams: rumi stories, Invisible Cities, A Bridge Beyond (with guitarist Stephen Wingfield), Bridges, and Traces. He has also recorded CDs with the Evergreen Club Gamelan, and composers Michael Hynes and Gerald Berg.

As a performer William has worked with New Music Concerts, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble and Tapestry New Opera, giving first performances of music by George Crumb, Elliott Carter, Chris Paul Harman and Michael Pepa. He was a featured touring artist with Jeunesse Musicales and has performed over a hundred school concerts with the Toronto Symphony Education program.
William's collaborators include Eugene Martynec [composer], Ariel Balevi [storyteller] Terrill MacGuire [choreographer], and Steve McCabe [poet]. He has also written artsongs with texts by Gwendolyn MacEwen, Richard Truhlar, and Robert Priest.

Andras Weber

Andras WeberAndrás Weber received his musical training in Budapest, Hungary. His teachers included Emese Molnar, Ferenc Wilheim and Endre Lengyel. His mentor, Janos Starker, has been a major influence in his work. He has been principal cellist with orchestras in: Hungary- Vasas Symphony, National Theatre Chamber Orchestra; in Mexico City – Orchesta Mexicana de la Juventud and Canada – OJQ, National Chamber Orchestra, Brantford Symphony. He has given concerts in North America, Europe and Korea. He was the winner of DEBUT in Montreal where The Gazette called him a "generously gifted" musician who plays with a "nicely coloured and singing tone."

Mr. Weber has recorded in Hungary and Canada. He was the founding artistic director of the concert series 'Music Alive!', teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and King’s Christian Collegiate in Oakville. He is the principal cellist of Sinfonia Toronto “premier” chamber orchestra and Canadian Sinfonietta. He is the founding member of the Toronto Piano Trio and was a member of the famed Arthur LeBlanc quartet. He is presently directing the “King’s Concert Series” in Oakville.  

Bernadene Blaha, piano

Bernadene Blaha's “brilliant command of the piano”, whether featured as recitalist, concerto soloist or chamber musician, has been heralded in performances throughout North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Mexico. Piano and Keyboard magazine has reviewed her as, “a pianist of integrity, with lovely sonorities and total clarity of line.” Highlights of this season include return engagements at the Piatigorsky Cello Festival, Newport Music Festival, Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, Worcester Chamber Music Society as well as performances in Canada, France and Italy.

Bernadene BlahaOriginally from Canada, Ms. Blaha first came to international attention as a prizewinner in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition; the Young Keyboard Artists International Piano Competition, Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Masterplayers International Competition, Lugano, Switzerland; and the 11th Annual International Piano Competition, New York City. This latter award resulted in two highly acclaimed recital appearances, at Carnegie Recital Hall and the Lincoln Center Library. Soon afterward, Ms. Blaha was featured in the opening orchestra concert and a solo recital at the XXIX International Chopin Festival in Marianske Lazne, Czechoslovakia, followed by performances at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and Disney Hall in Los Angeles.

Ms. Blaha is a founding member of the piano trio Latitude 41, formed in 2009 with violinist Livia Sohn and cellist Luigi Piovano. Their debut CD of Schubert's monumental "Trio in E flat Major" and "Notturno" was released in 2011 on the Eloquentia label to rave reviews. The group followed this success with a recording of the Saint-Saëns Trios and has a forthcoming CD featuring the Brahms Trios. Ms. Blaha’s discography also includes recordings for the CBC, Centaur and Analekta labels.

Also in demand as a teacher, adjudicator and clinician, Ms. Blaha has received the National Arts Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award. She has been invited to serve on the jury of the Gina Bachauer International Artist Piano Competition, Virginia Waring International Competition and the 2015 International E-Competition.

Currently residing in Los Angeles, Ms. Blaha has been a member of the Keyboard Faculty at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California since 1993 where she is a Professor. (

Ensemble Made In Canada

Ensemble Made In Canada is a JUNO award-winning ensemble comprising of violinist Elissa Lee, violist Sharon Wei, cellist Trey Lee, and pianist Angela Park. While the ensemble is considered Canada's premier piano quartet, each member has been forging outstanding individual career as well.

EMICMembers have appeared at prestigious festivals such as Marlboro, Ravinia, Orford, Verbier, Prussia Cove, Pablo Casals and Evian and have performed in the most prestigious concert halls in the world.

EMIC was formed in 2008 and it has been Ensemble-in-Residence at Western University since 2014.

It has performed for Music Toronto, Winnipeg Virtuosi, Montreal Pro Musica, SUNY New Paltz, Stratford Music Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, Parry Sound Festival of the Sound, Jeffery Chamber Music Series, Women's Musical Club of Toronto, Kawartha Concerts, Les AMIS Concerts, including multiple work cycles for the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society.

Awarded the 2006 CBC Galaxie Stars Award from the Banff Centre for the Arts, EMIC was also featured in 2008 Chatelaine Magazine's 80th anniversary issue as "Women to Watch". Most recently, EMIC won a JUNO award for "Best Classical Album" of the year in 2021, for their album MOSAÏQUE. Consequently, they travelled and performed in all ten provinces and three territories, reaching new audiences in large cities and remote communities alike.

The group is grateful for support from FACTOR, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council.

Angela Park,  piano

Pianist 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 continued success in performances across Canada, as well as in the United States, Europe, Japan and Mexico. Angela has performed for such noted series as Montreal’s Pro Musica, Ottawa Chamberfest, Parry Sound’s Festival of the Sound, 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. Angela has recorded with oboist Linda Strommen, cellist Rachel Mercer, and with Ensemble Made In Canada, in addition to recording various projects for the Enharmonic label in Bloomington, Indiana.

angela park

Angela has won numerous awards and prizes in major competitions both at home and abroad, including the International Grace Welsh Prize for Piano in Chicago, World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Canadian National Music Festival, Honens International Piano Competition, and the Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona. She earned her MMus at the University of Toronto, and her DMA in Piano 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 has given masterclasses and educational outreach sessions for universities and communities across Canada, as well as at SUNY New Paltz, Stanford, and Indiana University in the United States. Angela currently resides in Toronto, Canada. Visit Angela Park’s website

Elissa Lee, violin

Winner of the 23rd Eckhardt-Gramatté Strings Competition, Elissa Lee has appeared as a soloist with top orchestras across Canada. She has held positions as second concertmaster in both the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the WDR Sinfonie Orchester.

Elissa LeeNow enjoying a busy freelance career, Elissa tours frequently the greatest concerts halls and festivals in Europe. She has performed as Concertmaster with the Rundfunk Orchester München, the Swedish Radio Orchestra, the KlangVerwaltung Orchestra in Munich, and Festival Strings Luzern, and in leading positions with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Luxembourg Philhamonic and the Canadian Opera Company. She has also been a guest of world renowned Chamber of Orchestra of Europe, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and has worked under the baton of Claudio Abaddo, Simon Rattle, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bernard Haitink and Daniel Harding.

As a chamber musician she has performed with Louie Lortie, Augustin Dumay, Anton Kuerti, Pascal Devoyon, Kevin Fitzgerald, Lawrence Lesser, and Shauna Rolston and has been a frequent participant of Open Chamber Music in Prussia Cove, England. Elissa Lee joined Ensemble Made In Canada in 2010, which performs concerts and tours throughout Canada and the United States.
Visit Elissa Lee’s website

Sharon Wei, viola

Sharon Wei is a dynamic and varied musician, establishing herself as one of the most respected violists on the scene today. She has appeared as soloist, chamber musician, and guest principal violist throughout North America and Europe.  She has collaborated with conductors such as James Levine, Kent Nagano, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, and Yuri Termirkanov; Sharon has also shared the stage with Lynn Harrell, Gary Hoffman, Lawrence Lesser, Peter Frankl, Joseph Silverstein, Jonathan Crow, Mark Fewer, Joel Quarrington, James Campbell, James Sommerville and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. 

In 2006, Sharon and pianist Angela Park co-founded Ensemble Made in Canada, which includes violinist Elissa Lee and cellist Rachel Mercer. Ensemble Made in Canada performs in various configurations: sonatas, duos, and quartet repertoire.  The group has commissioned and premiered works by American composer John B. Hedges and Canadian composers John Burge and Christopher Mayo.  Upcoming commissions include works by Canadian composers David Myska and Omar Daniel.  EMIC begins as Ensemble-in-Residence at Western University in London, Ontario, starting September 2014.

Independently of EMIC, Sharon’s other commissions include a work by American composer Harold Meltzer, who wrote a double concerto for Sharon and violinist Scott St. John. Sharon has given masterclasses throughout China, the US, and Canada.  She was on the faculty at Yale University and Stanford University and began her appointment as Assistant Professor of Viola at Western University in 2014.  Sharon created a course for performance majors in which students learn important off-stage initiatives such as networking, grant writing, website design, and managing finances. Rare time away from the viola is spent on Bikram yoga (done in 12 cities and counting), hiking, playing Settlers of Catan, and seeking out macaron shops. Visit Sharon Wei’s website

Rachel Mercer, cello

Rachel Mercer by Bo HuangRachel Mercer - photo by Bo HuangPrincipal Cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, 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 was cellist of the Aviv String Quartet from 2002-2010 and Ensemble Made In Canada from 2008-2020.

She currently plays with the Mercer-Park Duo and is Artistic Director of the "5 at the First" Chamber Music Series in Hamilton. Rachel regularly gives masterclasses and talks on topics from performance to self-management, and as an advocate for new Canadian music,

Rachel has commissioned over 25 works including a cello concerto by Stewart Goodyear, premiered in February 2020 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Her most recent album featured six works by Canadian women composers on the Centrediscs label. Her first article, on commissioning, was published in 2018 by the Association of Canadian Women Composers Journal. Rachel plays a 17th century cello from Northern Italy.
Visit Rachel Mercer’s website

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


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.

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.

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 Crinó is very active as a chamber musician, soloist, adjudicator, and music teacher. Several of her performances have been featured on CBC Radio both as a soloist and in collaboration with such artists as soprano Vania Chan and pianist Brett Kingsbury. Her love for collaboration lead to performances with percussionists Beverley Johnston and Salvador Ferreras, violist Rivka Golani, flutist Susan Hoeppner, violinists Joyce Lai and Lynn Kuo, clarinettists Francois Houle and Katarzyna Marczak, and the Zagreb Wind Trio.

Erika CrinoDedicated to the performance of contemporary music, Erika collaborated in particular with composer Michael Pepa, whose works she premiered in important venues in Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, and Moldavia, as well as Canada.

Erika's most recent solo performances include appearances at Palazzo Sacchetti in Rome, La Chapelle in Montreal, George Enescu Hall in Bucharest, Guarnerius Hall in Belgrade, FUGA Series in Budapest, Mew Music Festival in Chisinau (Moldavia), New Music Festival in Toronto, Sala Tripcovich and Auditorium Museo Revoltella in Trieste (Italy), Istituto Mario Negri in Milano, Teatro Savio in Messina, Auditorium San Giacomo in Forlì', Teatro Dragoni in Meldola, Sala Corelli in Ravenna, Zagreb Biennale with the Penderecki String Quartet, as well as several performances of Bach's Concerto in D Minor and Michael Pepa's Yakami Variations.

Former chamber music instructor at the University of Toronto Scarborough and member of the College of Examiner for the Royal Conservatory, Erika is currently faculty at the Conservatorio Morlacchi of Perugia.

After obtaining the Diploma in Piano with top marks at the conservatory of her own town, Trieste, and studying chamber music with the trio di Trieste and in Vienna, Erika worked with Maestro Bruno Canino in Milan. Shortly after, she moved to Canada where she completed her Bachelor in piano Performance at the University of Victoria and her Master and Doctorate in piano Performance with Dr. Robert Silverman at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Erika Crinó

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).

Richard Herriott

richard herriottRichard Herriott - pianist

British / Canadian Pianist–Composer, Richard Herriott, was born in 1963 at a British Military Hospital in Singapore.
He spent his early childhood in Suffolk as well London England and in 1967 the Herriott Family immigrated to Toronto.
In 1973, when his Family relocated to Newfoundland, he began his Musical Education with his Parents.

After winning several prizes in local Music Festivals, he made his Concert Debut for C.B.C Radio at the St. John's Newfoundland Arts and Culture Centre in 1976. From age 12 until 17, he was a regular Artist on C.B.C. Radio and Television.

In 1982, upon winning a Scholarship to study at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, he made his debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis. This engagement lead to several invitations across Canada and Europe.

Richard Herriott was awarded First Prize in Piano (1987) at the Canadian Music Competition "Tremplin International" with glowing reviews from American Violin Virtuoso Erich Friedman and Israeli Pianist Pnina Saltzman.

He moved back to his native England in 1990 and embarked upon a divided career in Dance as well as Concert activity that took him to France,  Germany,  Belorus,  Ukraine,  South East Asia,  China, Japan,  Turkey , as well as playing Concerts across the British Isles.

In 2012, Herriott made his return to Canada and has subsequently established himself as one of the World's leading Dance Accompanists. He also premiered his 1st and 2nd Piano Concerti with Orchestra Toronto.

Richard performed, receiving a standing ovation, his 1st Piano Concerto "The Newfie Bullet" in 2019 with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra under Marc David.

During the Pandemic, Herriott was able to give an al fresco performance at Symphony in the Barn and he spent a considerable amount of time on composition.

Richard Herriott is looking forward to performing in Cobourg again.

TakeFive Ensemble

Take5Formed in 2018, the TakeFive Ensemble comprises five of Canada’s most established and sought-after concert artists: acclaimed pianist Shoshana Telner and titled chair members of Toronto’s top symphony orchestras: violinists Lynn Kuo and Csaba Koczó, violist Theresa Rudolph, and cellist Emmanuelle Beaulieu Bergeron.

Pianist Shoshana Telner, described as an “authentic musician with a sparkling technique” (Le Droit), made her solo orchestral début with the National Arts Centre Orchestra at the age of 16 and continues to perform as soloist and chamber musician. (More details below - click here)

Violinist Lynn Kuo, Assistant Concertmaster of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, has appeared as recitalist, guest soloist, and chamber musician across North America, Europe, and Asia and has given the world premieres of numerous contemporary works composed for her and various ensembles. (More details above - click here)

Csaba Koczó

Hungarian-born violinist Csaba Koczó began his studies in Yugoslavia and then continued in Hungary at the Richter Conservatory in Gyor and the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest. After attaining his bachelor's degree with distinction at the College of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, he continued his studies in Toronto with Lorand Fenyves and Erika Raum at the Glenn Gould School and the University of Toronto, where he was the recipient of the H. Carter scholarship.

Mr. Koczó enjoys a prolific career as a chamber musician and soloist both in Canada and abroad. He has shared the stage with such illustrious musicians as Mayumi Seiler, Steven Isserlis, Scott St.John, Douglas McNabney, Yehonatan Berick and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. As a soloist, he has been featured with the Sandor Frigyes Chamber Orchestra and has also had the opportunity to perform the Beethoven Violin concerto and Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

As a founding member of the Banff Competition prizewinning and Dora award nominated Tokai String Quartet, Mr. Koczó has toured across Canada and the US and some of his performances have been broadcast on the CBC and the Hungarian National Radio. He has performed at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and the Toronto Summer Music Festival where he has worked with Ian Swensen and the Leipzig String Quartet.

Mr. Koczó has taught at the Universities of Stanford, Toronto, Kingston, Halifax and Acadia in Wolfville NS, he is a faculty member at the Royal Conservatory and spends every summer teaching and performing at Music at Port Milford in Picton, ON. In addition, Mr. Koczó was one of the founding members of the Via Salzburg Chamber Orchestra, and is currently Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, and holds a position with the Canadian National Ballet Orchestra where he has been Acting Concertmaster.

Csaba is married to violist Theresa Rudolph and a proud father of their daughter and twin boys.

Award-winning violist Theresa Rudolph is currently Assistant Principal Viola of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Viola Coach of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and was a former member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. (More details below - click here)

Cellist Emmanuelle Beaulieu Bergeron, a two-time laureate of the Canada Council for the Arts Instrument Bank Competition, is the Associate Principal Cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and member of the Tokai String Quartet.

Penderecki Quartet

Celebrating their 31st anniversary, the Penderecki String Quartet began their career as winners of the Penderecki Prize at the National Chamber Music Competition in Łódz, Poland in 1986.   Now based in Waterloo, Ontario where they have been Quartet-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University since 1991, The Penderecki String Quartet has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of their generation.  The four Penderecki musicians (now originating from Poland, Canada, and USA) bring their varied yet collective experience to create performances that demonstrate their “remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” (Toronto, Globe and Mail).

pendereckiThe PSQ’s international performing schedule has included appearances in New York (Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Hong Kong (Academy for the Arts), Los Angeles (REDCAT Hall at Disney Center), St. Petersburg (Sheremetev Palace), the Adam Festival in New Zealand, and throughout Europe in Rome, Madrid, Paris, Belgrade, Prague, Krakow, Vilnius, and Zagreb.  The PSQ has also toured extensively in Mexico, Australia, Venezuela and Brazil and from coast to coast in Canada.

Dedicated educators, the PSQ have been recent guests at Bloomington Indiana University’s String Academy, the Beijing Conservatory, University of Southern California (Los Angeles), University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and with their partner universities in Osnabrück, Germany and Lyon, France.

To this day the PSQ is a devoted champion of the music of our time, having premiered over 100 new works from composers in Canada and abroad.   Penderecki Quartet’s large discography includes over three dozen recordings including the chamber music repertoire of Beethoven and Brahms on both the Marquis and Eclectra labels, as well as the first Canadian release of the six Béla Bartók quartets.  Their disc of Marjan Mozetich’s “Lament in the Trampled Garden” won the 2010 JUNO Award for Best Composition. In October 2013, the PSQ worked with Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki on his Third Quartet (2008) and performed it at Symphony Space in New York City on the occasion of his 80th birthday.  This followed with the recording of Penderecki’s Third Quartet along with quartets of Norbert Palej on the Marquis label.

The Penderecki Quartet has performed with such eminent classical artists as Martin Beaver, Atar Arad, Antonio Lysy, Jeremy Menuhin, James Campbell and enjoy exploring new music collaborations having recently appeared with jazz saxophonist Jane Bunnett, Brazilian jazz pianist Egberto Gismonti, pipa virtuoso Ching Wong, Dancetheatre David Earle, Pentaedre Wind Quintet, actor Colin Fox, and New York turntable artist DJ Spooky.

The Penderecki Quartet continue to be active members of the Faculty of Music at Laurier University where they have built the string program to be one of the top programs in Canada, attracting an international body of students.  Their annual Quartetfest at Laurier is an intensive study seminar and concert series that has featured such ensembles as the Tokyo, Lafayette, Miro, Ying, and Ariana String Quartets.

Visit their web site at

A native of Toronto, violinist Jeremy Bell earned a B. Mus degree from the University of Toronto, and from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he received his Masters and Doctor of Music.

Dr. Bell is a recipient of numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts and is a prize winner of the Eckhardt Grammatté National competition and the Conseil Québécois’ Prix Opus. He has studied with David Zafer, George Neikrug, Joyce Robbins, Metro Kozak and with members of the Orford, Juilliard, Tokyo, and Orion string quartets. Joining the Penderecki String Quartet in 1999, Dr. Bell is Artist in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University where he teaches violin and chamber music.

Described by the Toronto Star as a violinist who “agitates in the most intelligent and persuasive manner”, Bell has performed recently with the Penderecki Quartet at Arsenale Festival in Poland, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Is Arti Festival in Lithuania, MBZ Zagreb, State Museum of Music in St. Petersburg, REDCAT/Disney Centre in Los Angeles, Roxy/NOD in Prague, Fundacion Juan March in Madrid, Jane Mallet Theatre in Toronto, Paris University 8, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Indiana University in Bloomington, Casalmaggiore Festival in Italy, Tovar Festival Venezuela, Virtuosi Festival Brazil, Adam Festival New Zealand, the Hong Kong Academy, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, the Banff Centre in Alberta, and the Chan Centre in Vancouver.

With the Penderecki String Quartet, Bell has recorded over 25 discs including the premiere Canadian recording of the Béla Bartók string quartet cycle, Marjan Mozetich’s ‘Lament in the Trampled Garden’ (winner of the 2010 JUNO Award for composition), and the complete Grieg sonatas for violin and piano. From 2000-2007, Bell was the artistic director of NUMUS Concerts where he created several multi-media events at the Perimeter Institute and with Dancetheatre David Earle. He has performed a wide range of music, performing baroque with Consortium Aurora Borealis and Les Violons du Roy, Cuban jazz with Hilario Duran, as well as collaborating with pipa virtuoso Ching Wong, NYC’s DJ Spooky, and rap star Jay-Z. In addition, Bell has performed as soloist with many orchestras in Canada, USA and Mexico, including the Toronto Symphony, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, performing concertos of Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Hatzis, Locatelli, Lutoslawski, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Päart, Prokofiev, Saint-Saens, and Schoenberg. As guest concertmaster he has appeared with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the New Zealand National Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company. Dr. Bell plays an A.S. Bernadel violin (1854).

To visit his website click here.

Cellist Katie Schlaikjer is a recognized quartet player, performer and teacher, she became a member of the Colorado Quartet in 2009 and joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut in 2010. As a former member of the Avalon Quartet, she received top prizes from the Concert Artist Guild, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and the Banff International String Quartet Competition. Katie has performed at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen, and Caramoor festivals, collaborated with Claude Frank, Roger Tapping and Peter Wiley and recorded for Albany Records.

Ms Schlaikjer’s appearances with the Colorado Quartet have included Symphony Spaces’ 2010 and 2011 Wall to Wall marathon concerts, performances in San Francisco, Ohio, Virginia, Delaware, and the British Virgin Islands and two performances of the complete Bartok quartets. In 2011, she premiered J Mark Scearce’s cello concerto “Aracana” with the University of Connecticut’s Symphony Orchestra and traveled to China to play the Haydn D major cello concerto with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra. Katie has taught chamber music and cello at the New England Conservatory’s Extension Division, Bard Conservatory’s Preparatory Program, the Quartet Program (NY), Apple Hill (NH), and Soundfest (MA) music festivals and given master classes at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Delaware.

Katie received her Doctoral and Master’s degrees from Stony Brook University and her Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers have included Timothy Eddy, Laurence Lesser and Andres Diaz. Her cello was made by Paolo Castello in Genoa in 1775.

Internationally renowned violinist Jerzy Kapłanek has established himself as a chamber musician, member of the celebrated Penderecki String Quartet, soloist, dedicated teacher, adjudicator, artistic director of QuartetFest and lately as a jazz violinist

He performs throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America over 80 concerts each season. His album of works by Karol Szymanowski with pianist Stéphan Sylvestre was highly praised by The Strad magazine as “an outstanding release”. His discography with the Penderecki Quartet comprises over two dozen CD’s (Marquis, Eclectra, CBC, CMC, EMI labels), including the highly acclaimed recording of the complete string quartets of Béla Bartók.

Mr. Kaplanek has collaborated with such notable musicians as pianists David Braid, Leopoldo Erice , Vladimir Feltsman, Janina Fialkowska Francine Kay, Lev Natochenny, Jamie Parker Stéphan Sylvestre, cellists Marc Johnson, Antonio Lysy Paul Pulford, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and clarinetist James Campbell amongst others. He is frequently heard on CBC Radio and NPR. He has made solo appearances with the Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Peterborough and CBC Vancouver Symphonies and was a featured soloist at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Jerzy Kapłanek was born in Poland in 1965. His music education started at the age of six on piano and at the age of ten he began his violin studies. In 1984, he received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory in Bytom. In 1990, he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Musical Arts from the prestigious Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. There, he studied with the distinguished teachers Janusz Skramlik, Aureli Błaszczok and Stanisław Lewandowski

In 1987-88 he studied with Efim Boico and the Fine Arts Quartet at the Chamber Music Institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1989-90, he was a student of Sylvia Rosenberg in New York City and in 1990-91 he studied with Daniel Heifetz, the Guarneri String Quartet and its violinists, Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley. Pursuing his interest in performance practice, Mr. Kapłanek also worked with the pioneer of baroque violin, Jaap Schroeder.

Jerzy Kapłanek is presently an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where since 1991 he has been teaching violin and chamber music. He frequently gives master classes in Canada and abroad.
Mr. Kaplanek performs on a 2016 Samuel Zygmuntowicz violin made in New York City.

Violist Christine Vlajk has performed extensively in North and South America, Europe, much of China, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Some of the concert halls where she has performed with the Penderecki String Quartet have included Weill Concert Hall at Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y, Kennedy Center, REDCAT Hall in Los Angeles, and the Hong Kong Academy to name a few.

She has held the positions of violist of the Penderecki String Quartet and Artist-in-Residence in viola and chamber music at Laurier University since 1997. She has received Prizes at the Banff, Coleman, Yellow Springs, Carmel and Evian Chamber Music Competitions. She was granted the Friedlander Fellowship from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory and Scholarships to attend the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, The Julliard and Cleveland Quartet Seminars, all helping to pave the road for a life as a chamber musician. 

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Vlajk has Bachelor degrees in Viola Performance (B.M.) and Music Education (B.M.E.) from the University of Colorado in Boulder and a Masters degree in Viola Performance (M.M.) from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Her teachers have included Oswald Lehnert, Jerry Horner, Denes Koromzay and members of the Cleveland, Julliard, LaSalle, Takacs, and Fine Arts Quartets.

She has been guest soloist with the West Virginia Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Peterborough Symphony and the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. She has performed recitals in Canada, the United States and Germany.
She has premiered two viola concertos by Peter Grella-Mozejko and Karol Gostyniski. As an orchestral player she has held the position of principal violist of the West Virginia Symphony and was a member of the New Hampshire Music Festival. 

Dedicated to the education of young people, she has performed an extensive series of children’s concerts across the United States and Canada. She has given master classes at Lynn Conservatory, Indiana University’s String Academy, Florida State University, University of Toronto, SUNY Fredonia, the Glenn Gould Professional School and many places in Mexico, China and New Zealand. 

As a member of the Penderecki String Quartet and the Montclaire Quartet, Vlajk has recorded nearly 30 recordings for the Koch, Leonarda, Eclectra, Marquis Classics and EMI labels. When she is not performing with her quartet or teaching her wonderful students, she enjoys nature, yoga, cooking and the finer things in life.

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.

Rachel 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 Weill’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. 

Rachael KerrThis 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.

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 player, 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.

mark skazinetskyMr. 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.

Canadian Sinfonietta

Canadian SinfoniettaFounded in 1998, the Canadian Sinfonietta (CS) is a chamber orchestra led by artistic director and founder, Tak-Ng Lai in partnership with concertmaster Joyce Lai. The orchestra is comprised of 14-25 professional musicians who perform as a large ensemble at the Glenn Gould Studio (250 Front St. W) and the Tyndale Chapel (3377 Bayview Ave.), and as a small ensemble at the Heliconian Hall (35 Hazelton Ave). The mission of CS is to reintroduce live chamber music to the growing GTA communities, producing a new generation of concert-goers by presenting concerts that are traditional with a twist. The programs are innovative and often feature interdisciplinary artistic presentations, multi-cultural music, non-western instruments and highlight diverse Canadian artists. CS is a community conscious group and plays an active role through the partnership with local community organizations in promoting the appreciation of music across various cultures; mentoring young artists, and using music as a language to engage and link people of all ages and status within the community. CS believes that "chamber music is for everyone."

Tak-Ng Lai, CS founding director, and conductor.

Tak Ng LaiTak Ng Lai commenced his music education at the Canton Conservatory of Music in China. He furthered his studies in Hong Kong and completed them at the Vienna Conservatory of Music with a joint major in violin and conducting before coming to Canada in 1977 as a participant in the Conductor's Workshop at the University of Toronto. Lai currently teaches violin, viola, and conducting in the Toronto area. Lai is a past director of both the Niagara Youth Orchestra and the Mississauga Youth Orchestra. He was the first conductor of the Canadian Chamber Academy and during his early years in Canada, he served as the assistant conductor of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. For several years he served as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Canton Philharmonic and Choral Society. Maestro Lai has guest conducted in Europe, North America, and Asia with, among others, the Moscow Symphony, the Ural State Philharmonic, the Vancouver Symphony, the Windsor Symphony, the Niagara Symphony, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Taiwan Symphony, the Beijing Symphony, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of Bulgaria.

Shoshana Telner

Canadian pianist Shoshana Telner has performed across Canada and abroad. Described as an "authentic musician with a sparkling technique" (Le Droit) and "full of fire and warmth" (the New York Times), Shoshana has a passion for engaging audiences with Shoshana Telnerexciting performances. She made her solo orchestral début with the National Arts Centre Orchestra at the age of 16 and has since performed as soloist with several orchestras including the Québec Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Classical Orchestra, and the National Academy Orchestra.

Shoshana received a Bachelor's degree on full scholarship from Boston University, a Master's degree from the Juilliard School in New York, and a Doctorate in performance from McGill University. She has taught piano and coached ensembles at McGill University, the University of Ottawa, Wilfrid Laurier University, and currently teaches piano at McMaster University. She frequently gives masterclasses, adjudicates competitions, and examines for the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Shoshana has performed at numerous summer festivals including the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, the Elora Festival, the Kincardine Summer Music Festival, the Brott Music Festival, and the Blueridge Chamber Music Festival. She has been awarded honors at the International Stepping Stone Competition, the Esther Honens International Piano Competition and the Canadian Concerto Competition. Shoshana's recordings include solo works of Canadian composer Colin Mack (CanSona), the Grieg violin/piano sonatas with Jeremy Bell (Chestnut Hall Music), Mozart Sonatas and Sonatinas (The Mozart Effect) and the six Bach Keyboard Partitas (Centaur Records).

Theresa Rudolph

Award-winning violist Theresa Rudolph is an active chamber musician, recitalist, and orchestral player. She has been Assistant Principal Viola of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2011, and a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra since 2018. Theresa has performed on concert series throughout Canada, and has been featured several times on CBC Radio. In addition, she holds the position of Viola Coach of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, was a member of the XIA Quartet, and has served on the faculty of York University.

Hailing from Vancouver, Theresa was a student of Gerald Stanick. A recipient of a scholarship grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, she then obtained her Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), studying with Robert Vernon. As a member of the Brutini String Quartet, she performed in Carnegie Hall, and was a prizewinner at the prestigious Fischoff Competition. Shortly before graduating from CIM, Theresa became the youngest member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the age of 21. She also held the position of Assistant Principal Viola of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and was a member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, where she frequently performed as Principal Viola. Theresa has also performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra.

Theresa loves living in the vibrant city of Toronto. She and her husband, violinist Csaba Koczó, are enjoying the busy adventure of raising their beautiful young children—daughter Klara and twin sons Alex and Anthony.

Emily Marlow

Emily MarlowEmily Marlow is frequently in Toronto at her post playing clarinet with the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra where she enjoys playing a wide variety of repertoire that often includes the E flat and Bass clarinets. Living in Chicago she has performed with local chamber ensembles 5th House Ensemble, Quintet Attacca, C.U.B.E. and MusicNow Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Additional Toronto engagements during the 2018/19 season include performances with the Les Amis Ensemble and the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre Free Concert Series.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Emily trained at Acadia University with Stan Fisher and then furthered her studies at Depaul University in Chicago with Larry Combs, also studying with John Bruce Yeh, David McGill and Dale Clevenger.

Emily has also performed with the Oregon Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, New World Symphony and the Canadian Opera Company.

Colin Maier

Born and raised in Calgary, Colin Maier graduated from the University of Calgary in 1997 with a degree in oboe performance studying with David Sussman. Colin is currently the oboist for the internationally renowned and critically acclaimed ensemble "Quartetto Gelato" playing 50-70 international concerts a year. During that time he has been heard on national radio broadcasts, seen on the BRAVO network and received the 2010 INDIE award for best classical ensemble. He has also played with orchestras such as the Calgary Philharmonic and the National Ballet Orchestra. He has performed in orchestra pits for mega musicals across Canada. As well as being a guest lecturer/recitalist at universities across North America, Colin is currently the oboe professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

colin maierIn addition to oboe, Colin also plays clarinet, english horn, violin, 5-string banjo, acoustic/electric bass, piano, saxophone, flute, guitar and musical saw. While unable to play them all at the same time, he has recorded several pieces with layering and multi-tracking all the instruments to perform every sound on the song. A project called "The Colin Maier Orchestra". He also regularly uses these instruments to teach workshops and demonstrations to children ages 5-18.

In addition to being a musician, Colin has also worked for over 20 years as a dancer, actor, stuntman, singer, choreographer, acrobat and martial-artist. Colin had the honor of playing the devil fiddler in the flying blue canoe for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies." Colin had also been seen in; "Lord of the Rings" (Mirvish), Fire (CanStage), "Forbidden Phoenix" (LKTYP), "KA" (Cirque du Soleil), "Amadeus" (Alberta Theatre Projects), "That Dance Show" (Saltance Productions), "Cats" (Neptune Theatre), Joseph's Dreamcoat (StageWest/Drayton), "A Chorus Line" (StageWest), Sarah Brightman's World Tour, and TV's "Honey I Shrunk the Kids!".

This combination of music and theatre is quite unique and he continues to find new, exciting and ground breaking ways to combine his two passions.


Máté Hollós was born in Budapest 1954 in the family of poets and writers. He graduated from the composition faculty of the Liszt Academy Budapest in 1980. The majority of his oeuvre belongs to chamber music but he wrote also an oratorio, works for symphony and string orchestra as well as choral compositions. Mate HolosAmong the commissions he received from various countries (e.g. the United States, Canada, France and Latvia) the most outstanding is the one of an English orchestra which commissioned a piano concerto for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations (recorded for CD in the UK). His music is played all over Europe and North America. The International Society of Contemporary Music shot a portrait film on Hollós in 1986. In 1992 he received The Prize of the Audience in the Rostrum of the Hungarian Radio, he was given the Erkel Prize in 1997, the Béla Bartók–Ditta Pásztory Award in 1998, the László Lajtha Prize in 2004 and the Frigyes Juhász Prize in 2006. 

Between 1980 and ’89 he dealt with promotion of Hungarian music in the Artisjus Agency while taught foreign students at the Liszt Academy. In 1989 he established Akkord Music Publishers, the first private company of this kind after the 40 years long monopoly of the state-owned one. In 1990 he was invited for the chief editor of Hungaroton. Since establishing Hungaroton Classic Ltd. in 1993 (later called Hungaroton Records Ltd.) he worked as its managing director till 2011, since 2006 he has been the General Director and CEO of Hungaroton  PLC as well. In 1996 he was elected, in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018 re-elected for the president of the Hungarian Composers’ Union. He is a board member of Society ARTISJUS Hungarian Bureau for the Protection of Authors’ Rights, the Vice President of the Hungarian Music Council and the president of the István Vántus Society situated in the city of Szeged. He is active as a contributor of musical periodicals and made radio programmes. His series of radio dialogues with 23 collegues of his generation was printed in a book and he wrote a monograph on István Vántus that was published both in English and Hungarian. For Hollós’s 50th birthday a book was published on his career titled Gentle Songs, with a CD containing an hour of his music and almost 400 writings.

Ivana Stefanović (1948)

Studied violin and composition at the Music Academy in Belgrade and pursued advanced studies of music at the Institute de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris 1979-1981. 
IVANA STEFANOVICIn 1968, she became an Associate at Radio Television Belgrade, working on music programs.
In 1975 Music Editor of the Radio Belgrade Drama Department, 1985 Editor-in-Chief of Sound Workshop.  
1989-91, music Editor-in-Chief of Radio Belgrade One. 
1992-95 teaches applied music at the Music Academy in Belgrade, in 2000-01 at the Centre for Women's Studies.
2001-06 acts as Artistic Director of Bemus Festival.
President of the Composers Association of Serbia, 2007.
2007-2008, she serves as State Secretary for Culture in the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia.
Member of the National Council for Culture (2011-2017).
Director of Music Action Centre (from 2009).

Ivana Stefanović's pieces have been performed in Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and region and festivals as Zagreb Biennale, Helsinki Biennale, Yugoslav Composers' Tribune, Composers' Tribune in Pula, Bitef, Wings of Sound, RomaEuropa, Madrid – World Cultural Capital, Prix Italia, Music Harvest and others.
Ivana Stefanović is also involved in fringe music areas and composes for the theatre.

Most important pieces (selection):
Harmonies, string Quartet No.2, 1976. For Irene, for solo flute. Dedicated to Irena Grafenauer. 1976. Incantations, for soprano and chamber orchestra. Text from The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 1978. Interpretation of a dream, for solo flute and tape. Text by Rosa Luxemburg and Vesna Krmpotić, 1984. Lullabies, for mezzo-soprano, harpsichord and strings, without words 1988. Four nighttime notes, for solo viola and 13 strings 1992. Play Strindberg, string Quartet No.3 1993. Tree of life, for strings. 1997. Extraordinary scenes from Homer’s grave in Smyrna – New additions for Hans Christian Andersen, for flute, piano, percussions, strings and narrator. Text by H.C. Andersen, 2005. She, for flute, violoncello, piano, female voice and clock. 2008. Big stone, radiophonic work, 2017.
She holds several domestic and international awards (selection):

Knight of the profession for 2018. Stevan Mokranjac awards for 2008, and 2017. Prix Italia, for radiophonic work, 2017. The Trepetalo of Trogir – The Regional Award of Centre for Media Ranko Munitić, 2018. Golden Microphone, 2014. Award of the City of Belgrade, 2013. Vitomir Bogić Lifetime Achievement Award, 2010. Milos Crnjanski Prize, 2002 for Prose. Sterija Prize, Novi Sad, 1997. Belgrade City Parliament Cultural Fund Prizes, 1994. and 1992. First Prize at International Music Tribune, Novi Sad, 1993. SLABBESZ Prize, Austria, 1993. FEDOR Festival Prize, 1991, 1992 and 1993. October Prize for Young Artists, 1976. Jean Antoine–Triômphe varitété Prize, Monte Carlo, 1974.

Ivana Stefanović writes about music and culture. Her articles have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines.
She lived 1995-1999 in Damascus (Syria), 2001-2005 in Ankara (Turkey) and 2009-2013 Bucharest (Romania).


Berislav Šipuš was born in Zagreb on May 14, 1956. Along with studying art history at the Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences he graduated in composition in 1987 at the Zagreb Academy of Music in the class of professor Stanko Horvat. He attended gained music education under professors Gilbert Bosco from Udbina, François-Bernard Mâche and Iannis Xenakis from Paris.


Ciobanu, Ghenadie
(born 6.04.1957)

Born in Edinet, Moldova. Graduated in piano from the Gnesin Musical Pedagogical Institute (now - the Gnesin’s Academy of Music from Russia) in Moscow (1982), and in composition from the “Gavriil Musicescu” State Conservatoire in Chisinau (now – The Academy of Music, Theater and Fine arts) (1986). He has composed works of various genres: opera, musical, symphony, chamber, instrumental music, choral music as well as music for theater and films. His music has been performed at recitals and concerts in Moldova, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Israel, Denmark, Romania, Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, USA, China, Japan, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Netherland, Belgium, Canada, Guatemala, San Salvador and others. His works have been included in the programs of the different international festivals. His works  have been recorded and broadcasted by Denmark’s Radio, Copenhagen, Radio Amsterdam, Radio Romania, RAI 1Italy, Great Britain (GBEUR), Czech Republic (CZCR), Portugal (PTRTP), Switzerland (SESR), Croatia (HRHRTR) etc. His works were recorded on CDs.

ciobanuHe is founder and director of "The Days of New Music" International Festival in Chisinau, founder and artistic director of the "Ars poetica" Ensemble of contemporary music.

Ciobanu is PhD, University professor at the Department of Musicology, Composition, Jazz music of the Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts in Chisinau.

He holds national and international awards and distinctions, including the Order of the “Star of Romania” in the rank of Commander (2000); National Award of the Republic of Moldova (1998); honorary title Master of Art (1999); the honorary title Doctor Honoris Causa of the Gheorghe Dima Academy of Music in Cluj-Napoca (1997); medal “150 years since the birth of Mihai Eminescu” (Romania, 2000), Order of “Glory of Labor” (Republic of Moldova, 2010); Order “Dimitrie Cantemir”, of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (2013), Award of the Union of Composers and Musicologists of Romania (2019), Awards of the Union of Composers and Musicologists of the Republic of Moldova.

President of the Union of Composers and Musicologists of Moldova (1990 - 2012), Honorary President of UCMM (since 2012), President of the Association of Contemporary Music of Moldova (since 1993). He has produced the series of radio programs: The Studio of New Music; Continuum: Musical Interferences; Continuum: Stylistic Interferences for the Public company “Teleradio-Moldova”. During 1997 – 2001 he was Minister of Culture of The Republic of Moldova. In the periods 2010 – 2011, 2011 – 2014 he was a Member of Parliament of The Republic of Moldova. 

Olga Vlaicu - Violin

First violin, orchestra leader National Theatre of Opera and Ballet Maria Biesu,
Philosophy Doctor of Art Criticism,
Associate Professor of Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts (department of strings instruments),
Olga VlaicuMaster of Arts of the Republic of Moldova,
Winner of National and International competitions.
(1993-1998) Academy of  Music Theatre and Fine Arts, Chisinau - Specialty  violin,
(1999-2003) Post-graduate master's degree  at the Academy of  Music Theatre and Fine Arts, Chisinau - Specialty performer soloist (violin) Prof. Alexander Kaushanskii,
(2003-2007) Doctor of philosophy degree at the Academy of Music Theatre and Fine Arts, Chisinau - Specialty 17.00.02 audio-visual arts (musical arts),
(2008) A PhD thesis,
(2020) Master of Arts of the Republic of Moldova,

Author of 28 published scientific and methodical-didactic works, including special courses, "Violin", "Strings instruments teaching", "Orchestra class",
And two books:
Monograph “The works for violin and piano of republic of Moldova Composers (the second half of 20th century)”,
"Pages of history of violin performing and teaching in Moldova" (co-author Ella Vlaicu).
Tours: Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, England, Ireland, Thailand, Lebanon, China, Azerbaijan, Georgia.


Pianist Natalia Botnariuco

Pianist Natalia Bonariuc born in Chisinau in 1989, studied at the Republican High School S. Rachmaninov in the class of teacher Liudmila Volcov.
Since 2008 she has been studying at the Academy of Music in the class of the interim University lecturer Aliona-Olga Vardanean, where in 2012 she entered the Master, but in 2018 at the Doctoral school under the leadership of Svetlana Ţircunov, interim university professor.

Natalia BotnariucNatalia holds national and international awards, and is a winner of national and international competitions:
Third prize at the international competition "W.A Mozart" 18th edition Tîrgovişte, Romania (2003)
First prize at the international competition "Gianette Gaubert" Paris, France (2008)
First prize at the "E. Coca" international competition 15th edition, Chisinau, Moldova (2009)
First prize at the international competition "Виртуозы русской музыки" 2nd edition, Chisinau, Moldova 2010
Diploma and special prize for the best interpretation of the transcription of A. and M. Gotlib at the international competition "Piano-duo A. and M Gotlib" 1st edition Moscow, Russia.

She is the holder of the merit scholarship of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (2010),
She has been a participant in numerous national and international festivals such as "New Music Days" Moldova; "Danau piano fest" Germany; "Moscow meets friends" Russia; "Contemporary Music Festival" Bacau, Romania; "Historical musical ARC" Chisinau, Moldova, and others.
Natalia has also given numerous concerts in Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, Austria, and Moldova.


Ala Haiut was born on July 22, 1996 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. Currently Ala is a second-year master student of the Moldovan lyrical and dramatic tenor, soloist of the Moldavian Opera Theatre since 1971, People's Artist of the USSR (1986), ala haiutProfessor Mikhail Muntyan at the Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts, Chisinau, Moldova. In 2003, she entered the City Theater Lyceum, Chisinau, Moldova. In 2006, she entered the Odessa Secondary Specialized Music Boarding School named after Professor P. S. Stolyarsky, choir department. At the same time, she continued to study theatrical art at the Odessa Children's Theater School, which she successfully graduated from in 2013 with the junior actor qualification. In 2007, she was transferred to the specialty of bandura-vocalist. In 2014, she graduated from Stolyarsky's school with the bandura-vocalist qualification.

2020 - 1st place at the First International Virtual Competition "Odesa Music Olymp", Odesa, Ukraine

2014 - semi-finalist of the "Moldova's got Talent" project, Chisinau, Moldova.

2013 - winner of the Grand Prix at the festival-competition "Young Voices of Odessa", Odesa, Ukraine.

2013 - 1st place at the Sixth All-Ukrainian contest of performers on the bandura named after G.Khotkevych in nomination "Bandura-vocalist", Kharkiv, Ukraine.


Italian, triestino cellist, MASSIMO FAVENTO regularly Massimo Faventocollaborates with several artistic associations in Italy and abroad as an instrumentalist, a chamber musician, a musicologist, a musical editor as well as an author of texts. Active for more than 30 years, he started his studies with the legendary cellist of the Trio di Trieste, Libero Lana, and continued his work with cellists such as Alain Meunier, Michael Flaksman, and Johannes Goritzky. Massimo is coordinator of the chamber ensemble Lumen Harmonicum, which he founded and with which he has been promoting, since 1995, several projects of musical valorization. As a soloist and a chamber musician, he took part in important cultural projects, and was recognized in national and international competitions. He took part in international festivals in Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Lugano, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Moscow, Kiev, Siviglia, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Malta, Cipro, Rome, and Milan. He has recorded for the RAI (Italian Broadcast Corporation), as well as for the Radio in Slovenia and Croatia. He has a degree in Law and in Musical Bibliography. For many years, he has been a passionate advocate in musical research, with many monographic publications, essays and critical editions in his name.

Translation by Erika Crinó