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Ensemble Made In Canada is rapidly gaining recognition as Canada’s premier piano quartet. Awarded the 2006 CBC Galaxie Stars Award from the Banff Centre for the Arts, EMIC was featured in 2008 Chatelaine Magazine’s 80th anniversary issue as “Women to Watch” and an ensemble that is leading the next generation of classical musicians.

The members of the group have been forging outstanding individual careers and bring together a wealth of experience having already appeared at prestigious festivals such as Marlboro, Ravinia, Orford, Verbier, Prussia Cove, Pablo Casals and Evian. EMIC has performed for Winnipeg Virtuosi, Montreal Pro Musica, SUNY New Paltz, Stratford Music Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, Parry Sound Festival of the Sound, Jeffery Chamber Music Series, Lindsay Concert Productions, Almonte in Concert, Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, Kawartha Concerts, including multiple work cycles for the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Soceity.  EMIC has provided master classes, chamber music coachings, and lectures at universities across Canada and in the United States and have also participated in outreach programs for public schools in Ontario. 

The group is grateful for support from FACTOR, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. EMIC has been Ensemble-in-Residence at Western University since 2014.​

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 park 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 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 Orchestraand the WDR Sinfonie Orchester.

Now 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 Described as a “pure chamber musician” (Globe and Mail) creating “moments of pure magic” (Toronto Star), Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across five continents.

Grand prize winner of the 2001 Vriendenkrans Competition in Amsterdam, Rachel is cellist of Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, the AYR Trio, and is Artistic Director of the “5 at the First” Chamber Music Series in Hamilton. She has appeared as guest principal cello with the Canadian Opera Company, National Arts Centre, Group of 27 and Munich Chamber orchestras, and joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as Associate Principal Cello in January 2016, winning the Principal chair in 2017. Rachel has given masterclasses across North America, South Africa and in Israel and is currently Artist-in-Residence at Western University in London ON.

An advocate for new Canadian music, Rachel has commissioned and premiered works including a cello concerto by Kevin Lau, solo work by Andrew Downing and chamber music by Abigail Richardson-Schulte, William Rowson, John Burge and Omar Daniel. Rachel can be heard on the Naxos, Naxos Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, Dalia Classics and EnT-T record labels, and released a critically acclaimed album of the Bach Suites on Pipistrelle in March 2014, recorded on the 1696 Bonjour Stradivarius Cello from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. Winner in the 2015 Canada Council Instrument Bank competition, Rachel is grateful to have been awarded the 1730 Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello until August 2018. Visit Rachel Mercer’s website

Lynn Kuo, Violin

Lynn Kuo Violinist Lynn Kuo has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across Canada, United States, Wales, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. As guest soloist, 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.

Maintaining a busy performance schedule, Lynn regularly performs for Les AMIS Concerts and has led the Les AMIS Ensemble in five European concert tours. Lynn continues to collaborate with leading artists, having performed solo and chamber works with such artists as the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, the Penderecki String Quartet, Christoph Eschenbach, the Gryphon Trio, and with other eminent artists at the University of Toronto New Music Festival, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Music Biennale Zagreb Festival (Croatia), Kiev Music Fest, and Lviv "Contrasts" Festival (Ukraine). The 2018-19 season marks the debut of the TakeFive Ensemble with titled chair members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Canadian Opera Company: Csaba Koczo, violin; Theresa Rudolph, viola; Emmanuelle Beaulieu Bergeron, cello; and Shoshana Telner, piano.

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

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

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

Marianna Humetska, piano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marianna Humetska, piano
Press Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

Max Christie

Clarinet

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

Britton Riley, cello

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

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

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

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

Jeanie Chung

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

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

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

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

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

The AYR Trio

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

Yehonatan Berick

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

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 and a soloist in Europe as well as North America.

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

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

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

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

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

TakeFive Ensemble

Formed 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).

The 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 www.ps4.ca

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 exciting 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 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.