Musical Chairs Chamber Music Festival
Bringing together musicians from institutions across four continents, the 2021-2022 Musical Chairs Chamber Music Festival presents workshops, concerts, and masterclasses featuring top-level students and distinguished professionals.
- Catherine Thornhill Steele Visiting Artists
- Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (Australia)
- Mozarteum University Salzburg (Austria)
- Schulich School of Music (Canada)
- Sibelius Academy (Finland)
- Norwegian Academy of Music (Norway)
- Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Singapore)
- Geneva Haute école de musique (Switzerland)
- Guildhall School of Music and Drama (United Kingdom)
- USC Thornton School of Music (United States)
James Campbell has been called “Canada’s pre-eminent clarinetist and wind soloist”,by the Toronto Star and “one of the half dozen top clarinetists in the world” by Fanfare Magazine. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician in over 35 countries with over 60 orchestras including the Boston Pops, Montreal Symphony and the London Symphony. He has collaborated with Glenn Gould and Aaron Copland and toured with over 35 string quartets, including the Guarneri, Amadeus(when he replaced an ailing Benny Goodman on a tour of California) and Vermeer. Of his over 50 recordings, the BBC and The Times of London rated his recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet with the Allegri Quartet as the best available. A Juno Award winner, he has been named Canada’s Artist of the Year, awarded the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medal, an Honourary Doctor of Laws, and the Order of Canada. James Campbell has been Artistic Director of the Festival of the Sound since 1985 and was Professor of Music at the famed Jacobs School of Music, of Indiana University 1988-2019. He is a Conn-Selmer Artist.
Appointed principal viola of l’orchestre symphonique de Montréal in 1990, Neal Gripp has been described by William Primrose as a “true virtuoso”. His solo performances with orchestra include concerts in Alice Tully Hall in New York, Place des Arts in Montreal, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and at the Aspen Music Festival where he has collaborated with Kent Nagano, Charles Dutoit, John Nelson, Gunther Herbig and Bramwell Tovey among others. He has recorded Berlioz’s Harold en Italie with l’orchestre symphonique de Montréal for CBC Television and Glenn Buhr’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for CBC Records. Neal Gripp made his debut in New York’s Town Hall followed by solo recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall and the Centre Culturel Canadien in Paris. An active chamber musician, he has created and directed chamber music series in collaboration with CBC/Radio Canada, the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. His recording with the OSM Chamber Soloists received a Prix Opus for best classical recording, solo or chamber. Neal Gripp holds a doctorate degree from the Juilliard School and has taught at McGill University, the University of Montreal, the New World Symphony in Miami and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
As a composer, he has written works for orchestra and string quartet. His Passacaglia was premiered by Kent Nagano and l’orchestre symphonique de Montréal in 2014 and subsequently recorded by Emmanuel Villaume and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
Michele Walsh graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1974. She was a national winner of the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition in 1974 and was subsequently offered solo engagements with the Adelaide and Canberra Symphony Orchestras. In 1975-76, she was leader of the Australian Youth Orchestra, most notably in that orchestra's highly acclaimed tour of the US during the 1976 bicentennial celebrations. Grants from the Australia Council and the South Australia Arts Council enabled further study in London with the distinguished violinist Szymon Goldberg. During this time, Michele performed extensively throughout the UK, Austria and France. In 1977 she returned to Australia and joined the Queensland Symphony Orchestra where she was appointed associate concertmaster. In 1989 she was appointed lecturer in violin at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and Head of the String Department. Michele plays 1st violin in the Brisbane Festival String Quartet which regularly performs in Queensland and New South Wales, and is guest violinist in the University of Queensland Music Department's resident contemporary music ensemble Perihelion.
Theonie Wang commenced playing the violin at age 3 raised in a family of musicians. Theonie is a second year student at the Queensland Conservatorium and has been under the tutelage of Michele Walsh since 2018. Theonie is apart of a String Quartet which was founded in 2021 at the Queensland Griffith Conservatorium. This String Quartet undertook a masterclass with the Australian String Quartet earlier this year. Theonie is also a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra and has been accepted into several of the programs this year. Theonie was also awarded first prize for the 2020 Young Instrumentalists Prize, allowing her to perform as a soloist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in 2021.
Théonie Wang has immensely enjoyed her membership in the Tarilindy Quartet (a 2nd year ensemble of friends) where the group was announced a finalist in the 4MBS chamber music prize. Later this year, Miriam is greatly excited to participate in the Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp in Melbourne and having been invited by Artistic Director Alex Raineri, make her debut performance in the 2022 Young Artist series of the Brisbane Music Festival.
Miriam Niessl was born into a large musical family blessed by the joy of music. From the young age of 4, she commenced her studies under Suzuki tutelage and after being awarded her AMusA at 13 continued her studies with Dr Brendan Joyce. Through the Queensland Symphony Orchestra's 'Young Instrumentalist Prize', Miriam was awarded a year’s loan of an A.E Smith Violin and the highly memorable opportunity to perform a duet with the Concertmaster, Warwick Adeny. This is Miriam’s nineth year in the Queensland Youth Orchestras where she is Associate Concertmaster of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under Simon Hewett’s Baton. In 2021, Miriam commenced her studies at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University where she now studies under the repute Michele Walsh. Her tertiary studies are supported by the Sir Samuel Griffith Scholarship due to secondary schooling academic achievement. Last year, Miriam competed in several competitions including the Basil Jones Sonata Prize and the Matilda Jane Aplin Prize where she was awarded as a finalist and joint prize winner alongside
Angelina Kim is currently 19, studying at the Queensland Conservatorium under the tutelage of Michele Walsh. She began the viola at the age of 10 and some of her highlights include performing Forsyth and Bartok Viola Concerto with St Peter’s Symphony Orchestra in 2018 and 2020 respectively. Besides practicing, Angelina enjoys reading.
Cindy Masterman is currently undertaking her third year at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, under the tutelage of Hungarian teacher, soloist and chamber musician György Déri. Prior to her return to Australia, Cindy began her bachelor degree as a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar recipient. Cindy studied under the guidance of James Tennant at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. In 2021, she was awarded first prize in the Piatti prize competition, and finalist of the Bach prize and Basil Jones sonata prize. Awarded with distinction, Cindy received her LMusA in 2019.
As a long-standing member of the Queensland Youth Orchestra’s, Cindy joined in 2014 and performed under John Curro AM MBE’s baton from 2018-2019 in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Cindy has also attended Australian Youth Orchestra Camps over the past four years which she attended National Camp in Melbourne earlier this year. Cindy aspires to pursue a diverse career in collaborative music which was fuelled by her enjoyment in the Tarilindy String quartet.
Leonhard Roczek was born in Salzburg in 1983 and studied cello with Clemens Hagen (Hagen Quartett) and Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartett). In early years, he won several cello competitions and was awarded the Thyll-Duerr Scholarship in Switzerland. Leonhard is a founder member of the Minetti Quartett, with whom he performs about 60 concerts a year all over the world and has recorded many highly acclaimed CDs in the last 19 years. He has given master classes for violoncello and chamber music in Austria, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Canada, Mexico and in the USA. Since 2014, he has been teacher for chamber music at the University Mozarteum Salzburg, where he recently was appointed Head of Department for String Instruments. Leonhard performs on a Giovanni Tononi cello (Bologna, 1681), by courtesy of the Austrian National Bank.
Marta Peño was born in 1994 in Madrid (Spain), where she began at age 4 his musical studies with Sergio Castro and Anna Baget. She continued her violin career with Keiko Wataya and in the Hochschule Luzern (Switzerland) with Daniel Dodds, obtaining a Soloist Master Diplom and playing a final concert as a soloist in the KKL Luzern with the Festival Strings Lucerne.
Her passion for chamber music leads her into an activity of several concerts, playing in festivals and halls in Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Germany or Italy, like the Bilbao Musica Musika Festival, Salzburg Sommerakademie or Lucca Boccherini Festival. She received chamber music and string quartet masterclasses from Heime Müller, Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartett), Kuss Quartett, Cuarteto Quiroga, Isabel Chairisius or Helmut Lachenmann.
Since the beginning of 2018, she is a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, playing in the Musikverein in Viena, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and other european halls and learning from different conductors like Lorenzo Viotti or Jonathan Nott.
She plays regularly with the Festival Strings Lucerne under the leadership of its concertmaster Daniel Dodds.
I was born in Venezuela but we moved to Madrid (Spain) when I was 7. I started my musical training there with professor Carlos Lopez Villalta. When I decided to be a professional violinist moved to Zaragoza to do my bachelor with my beloved Jordan Tejedor Saralegui. I graduated there with honors and spent the most beautiful years of my life. After that I moved to Zwolle (The Netherlands) to do a violin interpretation Master with Sarah Kapistin. But Cuarteto Iberia knocked my door and here I am, studying in the Mozarteum.
I started learning music when I was 4 years old. I learned the piano and then at the age of 7 I started studying viola in Madrid. When I finished my Professional Degree, I studied for three years at Reina Sofia School in Madrid. Then I moved to London, where I finished my Bachelor Degree at the Royal Academy of Music and then I went to Salzburg for my Master’s Degree in solo performance. After living in all those different places and having completed my instrumental formation, I decided to focus on chamber music, that has always been my biggest passion, and I started with my string quartet an specialized Master in Chamber Music at Mozarteum University, in Salzburg, the same place I had already done my first Master.
Arnold Rodriguez was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1993. He was drawn to music from an early age due to the musical tradition of his home. At the age of five years he began to play violoncello. Arnold has studied in Madrid, München, Oviedo and Salzburg. Arnold Rodriguez has a broad chamber music career. He has been invited to numerous chamber music festivals such as the “Stanford Chamber Music Festival” (UK), the “Austin Chamber Music Festival” (USA) or the “Festival Luigi Boccherini” (IT).
Between 2010 and 2017 he was part of the Sarasvati String Quartet. From 2017 he plays with the Cuarteto Iberia, of which he is a founding member. He has received many awards as a chamber musician such as the 1st prize in Concurso Adolfo Salazar and in October 2014 she wins the first prize in Rotary International Chamber Music Competition in Madrid, which involves a series of concerts in Tuscany. His mentors and professors have been Tokyo String Quartet, Cuarteto Casals, Artemis Quartett, Cuarteto Quiroga, Emerson String Quartet, Vogler Quartett and Kuss Quartet. He has also been a student of Gerhard Schulz, Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartet), Stephan Schilli or Ferenc Rados among others.
Arnold Rodriguez has played with orchestras like Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA) or the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife (OST). He has played under the batons of distinguished conductors including Victor Pablo Perez, Perry So, Rossen Milanov, or John Holloway among others.
He performs regularly in Germany, Austria, UK, Italy, Spain and USA. Apart from his concert activity, he continues his work as a pedagogue giving lessons to young chamber music ensembles and cellists. From 2012 he has been sponsored for chamber music by Jeunesses Musicales International.
German violinist Axel Strauss, equally passionate about teaching and performing, joined the faculty of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in 2012. Prior to moving to Montreal he served as Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Axel Strauss won the international Naumburg Violin Award in New York in 1998.
Later that same year he made his American debut at the Library of Congress in Washington DC and his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall. Since then he has given recitals in major US cities, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 2007 he was the violinist in the world premiere of "Two Awakenings and a Double Lullaby" – written for him by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis.
Mr. Strauss has performed as soloist with orchestras in Budapest, Hamburg, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Bucharest, San Francisco and Cincinnati, among others. He has collaborated with conductors such as Maxim Shostakovitch, Rico Saccani, Joseph Silverstein, and Alasdair Neale. Mr. Strauss has also served as guest concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic as well as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Strauss frequently performs at various music festivals in the US. Festival visits abroad have taken him to Germany, India, Korea and Japan. His chamber music partners have included Menahem Pressler, Kim Kashkashian, Joel Krosnick, Robert Mann and Bernhard Greenhouse.
Since his European debut in Hamburg in 1988, Axel Strauss has been heard on concert stages throughout Europe. He has given concerts in Moscow, Vilnius, Berlin, Bremen, Leipzig and Nuremberg. Concert tours have taken him to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Romania. He has also toured South America and performed in Japan with the Philharmonic Violins Berlin.
At the age of seventeen he won the silver medal at the Enescu Competition in Romania and has been recognized with many other awards, including top prizes in the Bach, Wieniawski and Kocian competitions. Mr. Strauss studied at the Music Academies of Lübeck and Rostock with Petru Munteanu. In 1996 he began working with the late Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School and became her teaching assistant in 1998. He has also worked with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Felix Galimir, and Ruggiero Ricci, and at the Marlboro Music Festival with Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida and Andras Schiff.
An artist deeply dedicated to the range of violin and chamber music repertoire, violinist Violaine Melançon is Associate Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, and serves on the violin and chamber music faculties of the Peabody Conservatory. She was for thirty years the founding violinist of the Peabody Trio which was ensemble-in-residence at the Peabody Conservatory from 1987 to 2016. After winning the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1989, the Peabody Trio established itself as an important presence in the chamber music world as vivid interpreters of the classics of the repertoire, advocates for new music, and dedicated teachers and mentors to a generation of young musicians. As a member of the Peabody Trio, Ms. Melançon gave a New York debut in 1990 at Alice Tully Hall and has performed in the most important chamber music series in North America, including New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, Denver, Vancouver, Montreal, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Indianapolis, Dallas, Honolulu, Memphis, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Portland, St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia. With them, Ms. Melançon toured internationally, frequently performing in England, making repeat appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall, and in Japan and Israel.
Andrew Wan was named concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) in 2008. As soloist, he has performed worldwide under conductors such as Payare, Vengerov, Petrenko, Labadie, Rizzi, Oundjian, and DePreist, and has appeared in recitals with artists such as the Juilliard Quartet, Repin, Trifonov, Pressler, Widmann, Ax, Ehnes, and Shaham. His discography includes Grammy-nominated and Juno, Felix and Opus award-winning releases on the Onyx, Bridge, and Naxos labels with the Mr. Wan graduated from The Juilliard School with a Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees, and is currently a member of the New Orford String Quartet, Artistic Director of the Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival and for the 2017-18 season was Artistic Partner of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Associate Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, he was the recipient of the Part-Time Teaching Award at the Schulich School in 2019. He has sat as guest concertmaster for the Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis, National Arts Centre, Toronto and Vancouver Symphony orchestras.
Andrew Wan performs on a 1744 Michel'Angelo Bergonzi violin, and gratefully acknowledges its loan from the David Sela Collection. He also enjoys the use of an 1860 Dominique Peccatte bow from Canimex.
Violinist Jinjoo Cho is an artist model of the 21st-century. Since her concert debut at age 7, she has been numerously recognized as the winner of world’s most prestigious competitions such as the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Montreal International Musical Competition, Buenos Aires International Violin Competition, Alice Schoenfeld International String Competition, and a laureate of 2011 Isang Yun International Music Competition. As a charismatic female solo artist, a vibrant and engaging chamber musician, a devoted teacher, an innovative artistic director, and a published writer, Jinjoo is redefining what it means to be a consummate classical artist in the modern society.
A passionate teacher, Jinjoo is on the violin faculty at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University and has previously taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin Conservatory. She is also the Founder/Artistic Director of ENCORE Chamber Music, an intensive summer training program for talented young performers in Cleveland, and regularly gives master classes worldwide.
Since her Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1985, Elizabeth Dolin is recognized as one of Canada’s finest cellists, in demand throughout Canada and the United States. She has collaborated as soloist with such conductors as Mario Bernardi, Yannick Nezet-Séguin and Siimon Streatfield. Referring to her recording of Mendelssohn with Bernadene Blaha on the Analekta label, The Strad writes that she « performs these works with technical finesse and just the right level of delicacy that Mendelssohn … demands. Highly recommended »
Her recording of the Rachmaninoff and Debussy sonatas, as well as the complete works of Mendelssohn for cello and piano, both for Analekta, were nominated for Best Album of the Year by l’ADISQ in 2002 and 2004 and received rave reviews.
Ms. Dolin is Assistant Professor of Cello at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Professor of Cello at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and is on faculty at Domaine Forget.
Elizabeth Dolin plays on a François Lotte bow, graciously provided to her by the company CANIMEX INC. from Drummondville (Quebec), Canada.
A legendary pianist and a teacher, György Sebök described Kyoko Hashimoto's “extraordinary musical talent” as “one of the finest of her generation”.
Kyoko Hashimoto was born in Tokyo and began to study the piano at the age of three. After graduating from the Toho-Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, she studied at the International Menuhin Music Academy, Indiana University and the Juilliard School. She received full scholarships from the Menuhin Academy and the Juilliard School. Among her teachers were György Sebök, Menahem Pressler, György Janzer, William Masselos, György Sandor, Felix Galimir, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados.
She has been regularly performing throughout the world in more than 30 countries, including many major cities and halls such as the Wigmore Hall in London, the Lincoln Center and the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, etc. She has been invited to many important festivals including the Prague Spring Festival, the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Pacific Music Festival and the Saito Kinen Festival.
A musician with a fiercely inquisitive mind, impeccable technique and an intensely poetic vision, Ilya Poletaev is an artist equally at home on the modern piano or on historical keyboards: harpsichord, fortepiano, and chamber organ. Hailed as “one of the most significant pianists of his generation” by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, he launched his career after capturing First Prize at the prestigious International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig in 2010 -- the only Canadian ever to win that competition.
On the modern piano, he has appeared with the Toronto Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Hartford Symphony, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Samara Philharmonic, Sinfonia Toronto, Orchestra Filarmonica di Cluj, collaborating with such conductors as David Robertson, Peter Oundjian, Bernhard Gueller, Rossen Milanov, Nurhan Arman, John Holloway and Leo Kraemer.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Poletaev is the founding member of the Trio de Montreal (Axel Strauss, violin, and Yegor Dyachkov, cello) and Trio Séléné (Mingzhe Wang, clarinet, and Elizabeth Lara, cello). Mr. Poletaev has also appeared alongside such vocal artists as Susan Graham, Miah Persson, James Taylor, Thomas Cooley, and Dominique Labelle; cellists Gary Hoffmann and Joshua Roman; violinists Donald Weilerstein, Colin Jacobsen, Mark Steinberg, Stephen Copes, and members of the St. Lawrence, Juilliard, and Alcan string quartets; flautist Ransom Wilson, and many others.
A dedicated teacher, Mr. Poletaev is currently Associate Professor of Piano at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal. He is also Assistant Director at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s Choral Week. He previously served on the faculty of Yale University as a Lecturer in Early Music. He has given numerous master classes and talks on performance practice in many of the world’s most prestigious music schools, including the San Francisco Conservatory, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Buchman-Mehta Music Academy in Tel-Aviv, Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, Royal Conservatory in Toronto, and the Conservatorio di Milano. His students have been the recipients of many distinguished prizes and scholarships.
Pianist Stéphane Lemelin is well-known to audiences throughout Canada and regularly tours in the United States, Europe and Asia as soloist and chamber musician.
His repertory is vast, with a predilection for the German Classical and Romantic literature and a particular affinity for French music, as evidenced by his more than twenty-five recordings, which include works by Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Poulenc and Roussel. Stéphane Lemelin is director of the French music series “Découvertes 1890-1939” on the Atma Classique label, dedicated to the rediscovery of neglected early twentieth-century French repertoire and for which he has recorded works by Samazeuilh, Ropartz, Migot, Dupont, Dubois, Rhené-Bâton, Rosenthal, Alder, Lekeu and others.
Stéphane Lemelin studied with Yvonne Hubert in Montreal, Karl-Ulrich Schnabel in New York, and received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Peabody Conservatory as a student of Leon Fleisher. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University, where his teachers were Boris Berman and Claude Frank. He taught at the University of Alberta for more than ten years and at University of Ottawa from 2001 to 2013. While there, he served as Director of the School of Music from 2007 to 2012. He has been appointed Professor of Piano and Chair of the Department of Performance at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University starting May 2014. A dedicated pedagogue, he has been invited to give master classes around the world. Stéphane Lemelin was a member of Trio Hochelaga from 2003 to 2012 and is the founder and Artistic Director of the Prince Edward County Music Festival.
I am a Florida native who survived their very first winter in Montreal this past year. I have played clarinet since I was 12 and to collaborate and explore new possibilities with other musicians. In my spare time, I work as a barista, enjoy baking and plants, and love exploring the amazing places that Quebec has to offer.
JuEun Lee is a young violinist from Seoul, South Korea. In 2017, her string quartet won the Bronze Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Competition. In 2020, her previous string quartet, the Elless Quartet, won the Grand Prize and First Prize at the Coltman Chamber Competition. More recently, She won Second Prize at the Mary Lane Memorial Violin Competition in Columbus, Ohio in 2021. Lee is currently a graduate student at McGill Schulich School of Music, where she studies with Jinjoo Cho. Previously, she studied with Jaime Laredo and Jan Sloman at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and with Margaret Batjer at the Colburn Music Academy.
Vietnamese-American violinist Kiarra Saito-Beckman has just completed her Graduate Diploma in Performance at McGill University under the tutelage of Jinjoo Cho. She has performed extensively in the United States and abroad. Kiarra has appeared as a guest soloist with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Arlington, Garland Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra, and an orchestra composed of members of the Oregon Symphony and the Oregon Ballet Theater Orchestra. She has participated in numerous competitions, most notably as a quarterfinalist in the 2019 Sendai International Music Competition, a prizewinner in the 2017 Cooper International Violin Competition, and a semifinalist in the 2016 Stulberg International String Competition. Previously, she earned her Master of Music degree at McGill University studying with Jinjoo Cho and her Bachelor of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Jaime Laredo and Jan Mark Sloman.
Dabin Zoey Yang was born in Seoul, South Korea, and began her musical journey at the age of 6. She and her family moved to Toronto, Ontario in 2016 where she attended the Taylor Academy for Young Artists, studying under Jonathan Crow and Barry Shiffman. She has recently graduated with her Bachelor's studies at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, under the tutelage of Professor Andrew Wan, concertmaster of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Dabin is a designated Schulich Scholar and was also awarded the prestigious Lloyd Carr-Harris Scholarship at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music.
Violinist Julia Mirzoev has been featured on CBC’s “Top 30 Classical Musicians Under 30”, CBC radio 94.1, and classical 96.3 FM. Her awards include top prizes at the Klein international competition, the OSM competition, and grand prize at the Canadian Music Competition. Julia has also performed solo with the Scarborough Philharmonic, Sinfonia Toronto, the Canadian Sinfonietta, the University of Toronto Symphony, Orchestra Toronto, and the Toronto Symphony. As a chamber musician, Julia has been a winner of the Yale Chamber Music competition, and has been invited to the Sarasota, Manchester, Toronto, Perlman, Colorado College, and Yellow Barn Music chamber music festivals. She previously completed her Bachelor’s degree studying with Jonathan Crow at the University of Toronto, and her Master’s degree at the Yale School of Music studying with Ani Kavafian, where she was awarded the Broadus Erle graduating prize. Winner of the Golden Violin award, Julia has just graduated her Artist Diploma at the Schulich school of music, studying with Andrew Wan.
Based in Montréal, Québec, Jérôme Chiasson began his violin studies at the age of five. From 2010 to 2020, he studied at the Conservatory of Music in Québec City with Julie Cossette. He was awarded several prizes and distinctions, most notably at the Concours de musique de la Capitale, at Secondaire en Spectacle and at the Canadian Music Competition in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. He has attended many music festivals and masterclasses which gave him the opportunity to work with world-renowned violinists such as Midori, Ilya Kaler, Paul Kantor, Pavel Vernikov, Andrew Wan, Kevork Mardirossian, Mimi Zweig, Régis Pasquier and Raymond Dessaints.
At the age of fifteen, Jérôme was one of sixteen candidates invited for the first season of “Virtuose”, a Canadian television show featuring promising young musicians. After being semifinalist, he made guest appearances at the Maison Symphonique, the Palais Montcalm, the Bell Centre and the 31st Gala des Prix Gémeaux, and appeared as well in two albums.
Currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University under the tutelage of Violaine Melançon, Jérôme has been honored by the Golden Key International Society for his academic excellence. He plays on an 1890 Enrico Marchetti violin and a Joseph Alfred Lamy bow, graciously loaned by Canimex Inc
Violinist Bailey Wantuch has performed and taught music around the world, most recently in Kenya, Mexico, and Chile. She is currently pursuing a D.Mus. in Performance Studies at McGill University, where she studies with Violaine Melançon. Wantuch’s dissertation research is on the composer Nikolai Roslavets and his involvement with the early-Soviet avant-garde art movement Suprematism.
Wantuch is a former graduate of McGill, the Global Leaders Program, and Northwestern University, where she studied with Blair Milton.
23-year-old violinist Jeanel Liang, from Calgary Alberta, is currently pursuing her master’s degree from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University under the direction of Axel Strauss. Jeanel completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Victoria, where she studied under the first violinist of the Lafayette String Quartet, Ann Elliott-Goldschmid and coached with all members of the quartet. Other significant mentors include Naoko Tanaka, Laurie Smukler, Gwen Krosnick, Renata Arado, Doris Lederer, and Molly Carr. In 2019, Jeanel won first prize at the Canadian Music Competition, and she was also the winner of several local concerto competitions that led her to perform as a soloist with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Victoria Symphony Orchestra. During the summers, she has been a fellow at festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival and School and Kneisel Hall. Outside of music, Jeanel enjoys travelling, food, and learning new languages.
Artur Chakhmakhchyan made his orchestral solo debut with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015. He has performed as a concert soloist with orchestras in Toronto, several solo program recitals at venues around the city, and played in masterclasses for renowned violinists such as James Ehnes, Noah Bendix-Balgley, and Ilya Kaler. Artur has been interviewed by HotDocs Festival 2021, the Strad Magazine, and is a current scholar of the Armenian General Benevolent Union’s Performing Arts Fellowship. Artur is a current Master’s student at McGill University, studying under the tutelage of Axel Strauss.
Justin Li started playing the violin at age 11 with violinist Lim Kek Han. Ever since then, he served as principal 2nd violin of the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster at Chautauqua Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, and Concertmaster of the IU Chamber Orchestra. Justin was a contracted violinist at the Richmond Symphony Orchestra (IN), and the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra.
As a frequent performer, he had the opportunity to perform as a soloist in various orchestras at Indiana University, Cleveland, Illinois and in Hong Kong. His festival appearance includes the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Chautauqua Music Festival, Indiana University Music Festival, and Orford Musique. This august Justin will be participating in MISQA with his quartet.
Justin is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree at McGill University under the tutelage of Axel Strauss, and holds a Bachelor Degree in Violin Performance at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Simin Ganatra and Grigory Kalinovsky.
Astrid Nakamura, violin (Toronto, Canada), is currently completing her B.M. at McGill University in Montreal with Axel Strauss.
As an orchestral musician, Astrid has enjoyed performing with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, European Union Youth Orchestra, and more under the batons of conductors such as Sascha Goetzel, Rafael Payare, Marin Alsop, and Jonathan Darlington. Astrid has also appeared as a soloist with ensembles such as the Etobicoke Philharmonic and Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, most recently performing Prokofiev's second violin concerto with the McGill Symphony Orchestra in 2021.
In regards to chamber music, Astrid has enjoyed working with members of the Takács Quartet, Quatuor Ébène, Artemis Quartet, and Alban Berg Quartett. She is also committed to regularly premiering works by student composers, and playing modern music as a member of McGill’s Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Astrid is also pursuing a minor in art history at McGill, with a focus on intersectional feminism and decolonization.
Sam Parrini, 21, from Greenville, SC, is finishing his fourth and final year at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, where he has been studying with Axel Strauss. In the fall, he will begin his studies at the Juilliard School, where he will study with Laurie Smukler. He was most recently named the winner of the 2021-2022 McGill Concerto Competition in addition to winning 3rd prize in McGill’s Golden Violin Competition, and he looks forward to returning to Montreal this upcoming year to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the McGill Symphony Orchestra.
Chinese-born violinist Ouyang Zhixin made his first solo recital at Wu Han Conservatory at eleven. Among one of the top students at Lin Yaoji training center, he was admitted as the first place in China Conservatory attached middle school. He has won several majority competitions in China, including sixth place in CCTV violin competition, second place in Hongkong international youth violin competition and Thomas-Copper Cup competition China region. 2021, he graduated as a recipient of Outstanding Achievement in Violin from McGill under Violaine Melancon’s studio. He is serving principle and concertmaster in MGSO since 2019. Now he is pursuing master degree under Axel Strauss’s studio.
Winner of several competitions, Wilhelm is currently studying viola with Prof. André Roy, in addition to having studied the violin with Prof. Axel Strauss at McGill University. He also participated in master classes by artists such as Yura Lee, Michel Michalakakos, Grigory Kalinovsky, Andrew Wan, Ian Svensen, Yehonatan Berick, and the Gryphon Trio. In September 2022, he will start his Master's in Viola Performance at Yale University in the class of Ettore Causa. As an ensemble player, Wilhelm has performed with ensembles such as the OSM, Les Violons du Roy and I Musici.
Wilhelm is a prizewinner of many competitions, including the Canadian Music Competition (ex-aequo First Prize) and the OSJS Concerto Competition and has performed as a soloist with the Sherbrooke Youth Symphony Orchestra during their 2018-2019 season. He has participated in many summer festivals, such as the Young Artists Program of the National Arts Center and the Orford Music Academy. In 2020, he received the Huguette Dubois scholarship as part of the Programme de Soutien à la Pratique Artistique de la Ville de Drummondville.
Wilhelm Magner studied for 7 years with Mrs. Natalia Kononova, concertmaster of the Drummondville Symphony Orchestra. Wilhelm plays on a viola by MIchèle Ashley, a violin by Claude Augustin Miremont, 1860-70, a Joseph Kun bow, and a Lamy bow generously loaned by CANIMEX INC. from Drummondville.
David Montreuil started his first violin lesson at the age of eight years old in Montreal. During his first year of bachelor in violin performance at McGill University, he developed an interest in viola and decided to complete the rest of his degree in viola performance in the studio of André Roy. David has been part of many music programs such as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Orford Musique, Manchester Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and has worked with renown teachers such as Helen Callus, Ara Gregorian, Mark Fewer, Denise Lupien, James Dunham, Sylvia Rosenberg, Marina Thibeault, Stéphane Lemelin and Alexis Gerlach.
During the fall of 2018, he and his colleagues formed the Lorne String Quartet under the tutelage of André Roy. They won the McGill Chamber Music Competition that same year. David is the recipient of a Lloyd Carr-Harris Scholarship at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University as well as the Macleannan String Graduate Award and a Student Excellence Fellowship from the same institution.
My name is Matthieu Girardet and I am an undergraduate violist studying at the Schulich School of Music. I have taught a few students over the past 4 years and hope to someday do a combination of teaching with orchestra/string quartet. Having taken lessons with renowned faculty members from Juilliard, Curtis Institute of Music, the New England Conservatory, McGill University, and the Paris Conservatory, I am working to making musical connections worldwide. Some of my proudest accomplishments include being accepted into the McGill String Quartet Academy in 2021 and 2022, winning 1st place in the 2018/2019 Concerto Competition at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
Crystal Kim is an avid performer who had been/is part of musical communities in the United States and Canada. She is currently pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Performance after receiving her Master's degree, both under the tutelage of Elizabeth Dolin. She is a recipient of a Schulich Scholarship at McGill, as well as the Premier Artist's Award and Dean's Scholarship at Indiana University. She has won many accolades, including first prize at the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition and the American Protege Competition, where she performed her Carnegie Hall debut. She has also performed at many festivals, including the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland, the Domaine Forget festival, and the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival in Leavenworth, Washington.
Aside from performing, Crystal also has a passion for teaching students in the local community. One of her ongoing projects is creating a percussion-cello duo with percussionist Manuel Lopez and showcasing the interesting sound created with the ensemble, featuring different instrumentations of percussion instruments at a time. When not practicing or playing, she enjoys cooking Korean food, reading a good book by Haruki Murakami, writing poetry, and biking throughout the various parks and trails in Montreal.
Solina received her Bachelor of Music at McGill University in 2021. She is a recipient of the Schulich Scholarship. Solina recently completed her Graduate Diploma at the Schulich School of Music and will be continuing her studies with Professor Brian Manker pursuing a Master’s in Music this coming fall.
Ms. Lee is currently a member of the 8PM Piano Trio. Formed in September 2021, the trio was awarded the grand prize at the 2021 McGill Chamber Music Competition, where they have been awarded a residency at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. The trio recently performed at the Chappelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montréal.
This July, Solina will be participating at Toronto Summer Music as a Chamber Music Institute Fellow.
I am a first year Master’s student from Idaho, USA.
Amelia Smerz’s first performance was at age 12 with the West Suburban Youth Orchestra. Since then, she has performed in concert with Yo Yo Ma, ICE Ensemble, Time for Three, Third Coast Percussion Ensemble, Ben Folds and Second City. She was awarded as a winner of DePauw University’s Concerto Competition four years in a row, and was also awarded as a winner of Brevard Music Festival’s Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto Competition in 2019. Amelia is a current Associate Member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and is pursuing a Graduate Performance Diploma with Elizabeth Dolin at Schulich School of Music.
An avid chamber musician and soloist, Joshua Morris recently received his Master’s degree and Graduate Diploma in Cello Performance at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, where he is studying for his Doctoral degree with Brian Manker.
Morris is the cellist of the Milton String Quartet, with whom he has won the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Association Grand Prize and Senior String Division Gold Medal, the 2016 McGill Chamber Music Competition, and participated in the McGill International String Quartet Academy in 2016 and 2017.
In 2016, Morris was named winner of the Schulich School of Music’s Golden Violin Competition, and Jeunesses Musicales’ Peter Mendell Award. Highlights of 2017 include performances of Schumann’s Cello Concerto as soloist with the McGill Symphony Orchestra, and an all-Russian program of cello & piano works performed at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto with duo partner Karnsiri Laothamatas. In addition to his work with the Milton String Quartet, Morris has collaborated with numerous other performing artists such as Jinjoo Cho, Phillip Chiu, and Axel Strauss. He is a native of Saint Albans, Vermont.
McKinley James is a cellist studying at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. She has also played with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, Middlebury College Orchestra, McGill Symphony Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory Symphony, and soloed with the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra.
She is a founding member of the band Night Tree. The group, all students at NEC, were named the Conservatory’s WildCard Honors Ensemble for 2016-2017. Awards for this title included a sponsorship from NEC, a headlining performance at the historic Jordan Hall, and a year of working with Winifred Horan, fiddler and co-founder of Irish super-band, SOLAS. As acoustic sextet Night Tree, Brian O’Donovan, Senior DJ at Boston’s own radio station, WGBH, calls them “One of the most exciting roots-based music groups to emerge from the New England Conservatory in many years. Their individual chops and adventurous approach make Night Tree a band to watch for.” Together they have toured throughout the US, opened for Solas in Portsmouth Music Hall, and played in Jordan Hall, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Public Library, and Rockwood Music Hall. They released their debut album in 2017 and toured in Europe in 2018. She has also toured in China with her piano trio. She studied with Yeesun Kim at the New England Conservatory for her Bachelor’s Degree.
Amos Friesen was thrust into music when he began performing regularly in the Friesen Family Band at age six, while recording three albums and touring across Canada. In 2015 Amos performed Georg Monn’s Cello Concerto in G minor with the Amati string quartet, and won the position of principal cellist for the Saskatchewan Honor Orchestra and the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra. A year later Amos was hired as the substitute cellist for the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, performing in concert with the likes of Jonathan Crow and Tanya Tagaq. Amos played in a piano trio with his siblings (also students of music at top Canadian institutions) for six years, and his string quartet at McGill has been coached by Andre Roy. In August 2022, Amos’s quartet will participate in the McGill International String Quartet Academy where they will be coached by members of the Alban Berg Quartet and Quator Ebene.
Salué par la critique pour sa “sonorité riche et ample”, le violoncelliste franco-canadien Elie Boissinot s’est produit en soliste avec plusieurs orchestres montréalais ainsi qu’en récital au Canada, aux Etats-Unis et en France.
Elie a remporté le grand prix du Violon d’Or 2018, la bourse pour jeune artiste de la fondation Hnatyshyn, un premier prix au Concours de Musique du Canada (Cordes, 19 ans), ainsi que les compétitions de Concerto et de Musique de Chambre de McGill. Il a occupé les premières chaises des orchestres Pronto Musica, du McGill Symphony Orchestra et de l’Orchestre Philharmonique et Chœur des Mélomanes, dont il assure la co-direction artistique de 2015 à 2019.
Elie joue sur un instrument et archet généreusement prêtés par Canimex Inc. de Drummonville, QC.
Hailed by critics for his « rich and generous sound », Elie Boissinot is the recipient of several awards, recently winning the 2018 Golden Violin Prize, the Developing Artist Grant from the Hnatyshyn Foundation as well as the Lloyd Carr-Harris String Scholarship at McGill University. He won several concerto competitions and received first prizes from, among others, the Canadian Music Competition, the McGill Chamber Music Competition and the Festival de Musique Classique de Montreal.
In recent years, Elie has performed recitals at the Maison Symphonique (OSM pre- concert), at the Chapelle du Bon Pasteur, at the Canadian Opéra Company in Toronto, at the Aspen festival in Colorado, and at the MISQA festival with the Lorne Quartet. Elie plays on a instrument and bow generously loaned by Canimex Inc. of Drummondville, QC.
Zachariah Reff was born in Columbus Ohio and began his cello journey at the age of 5. After enrolling in a chamber music program in high school, Zachariah realized that he wanted to play music for the rest of his life. He received a bachelors degree from the Oberlin Conservatory studying under Amir Eldan before coming to McGill University to study with Brian Manker for his Masters degree. Zachariah now leads a diverse musical life based in Montreal where he performs as an orchestral, chamber, and solo musician in genres ranging from classical to pop to free improvisation.
Tong Wang is Canadian pianist-writer leading innovative initiatives across areas of performance, research, community engagement, and social entrepreneurship. Her projects explore the role of art in relation to science, technology, identity, culture, health, and social-political issues. She aims to share the power of art to reach across time, languages, borders, and cultures to connect people and kindle a shared understanding. tong-wang.com
Mai Miyagaki began playing the piano at the age of 3 in South Bend, Indiana. As she navigated through her childhood in the U.S. and Japan, music became an important means of communication. She returned to the U.S. in 2013 to study with Robert Shannon at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she found her love for ensemble playing. Mai performed with Oberlin Sinfonietta and Oberlin Percussion Group, and frequently appeared in masterclasses and showcases. In addition to her piano studies, Mai majored in sociology at Oberlin as a double degree student, which prompted her to look at issues of race and immigration in relation to music. Upon graduation, she received the Faculty Award in piano accompanying and the C. Starr Prize in sociology.
Mai is currently studying with Kyoko Hashimoto and Michael McMahon for her doctoral studies in collaborative piano at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. At McGill, she has participated in masterclasses with Jeremy Denk, Pedja Muzijevic, Ilmo Ranta, and Enrico Elisi, and was chosen as a finalist for the school’s chamber music and piano concerto competitions. Additionally, Mai has enjoyed many unique and meaningful opportunities at McGill, including the Musical Chairs Chamber Music Festival in 2020 (and upcoming in 2022), as well as Opera McGill’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (live performance with piano) in 2022. Mai is grateful to the Fonds de recherche du Québec Société et culture (FRQSC) for their support for her doctoral research, which focuses on the dynamics of race and gender in the field of collaborative piano.
Toronto native Chris Soong began his piano studies at the age of five with Professor Nancy Hou and received his ARCT in Piano Performance with Honours (09’). Soong completed his Bachelor (16’) and Master of Music (18’) degrees in Piano Performance at the University of Toronto, having studied with Professors Boris Lysenko and the late Marietta Orlov. Under the tutelage of Professor Kyoko Hashimoto, Soong received a Graduate Diploma in Collaborative Piano Performance Degree (21’) from McGill University and will enter his second year of the Doctor of Music program this fall.
Pianist Itamar Prag is currently pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Piano Performance in the class of Dr. Ilya Poletaev at the Schulich School of Music.
Born in Israel, Prag began his piano studies under the guidance of Mrs. Hana Shalgi, attended Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts and later the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University in the class of Prof. Arie Vardi.
Prag enjoys a vibrant performance schedule as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras under the batons of Alexis Hauser, Lahav Shani, Frederic Chaslin, Yoel Levi, Omer Wellber and more.
Alex was born in 1994 in Ulan-Ude, Russia, and moved to Israel in 2000 with his family. He grew up and studied in Karmiel, where he took piano lessons with Mrs. Inna Lerner.
After a five-year pause from classical music activity, Alex took piano lessons with Dr. Michal Tal, conducting lessons with Dr. Evgeny Tsirlin. Later he applied to the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and started his piano studies with Mr. Yaron Rosenthal, studying the theoretical courses with the composition and conducting faculty. In parallel he studied piano with Mrs. Hannah Shalgi as well.
In 2018-2020 Alex received the AICF scholarship.
Alex played in opera productions of the IMVAJ international vocal masterclasses, as well as in the Jerusalem Lyric Opera Festival.
Currently he serves as the pianist of the appreciated girls choir “Ankor”, with whom he performed in Israel and abroad.
Joshua Wong started piano lessons at the age of six. He began his studies with Marilyn Engle at the University of Calgary and studied at Mount Royal University Conservatory in the Advanced Piano Performance Program. Currently, he is studying with Dr. Ilya Poletaev at McGill University and is a recipient of the Schulich Scholarship. He was the winner of the prestigious Rose Bowl in 2019, which goes to the top competitor at the annual Calgary Performing Arts Festival. His other first prize awards include the Steinway Piano Competition in 2018, the Canadian Music Competition in 2019, and the CSO Concerto Competition in 2019. Joshua was also a semi-finalist of the 2018 OSM Manulife Competition and the 2020 Hilton Head International Piano Competition. As a chamber musician, his trio at McGill won the McGill Chamber Music Competition in 2021 and their prize includes a residency at the Mozarteum University Salzburg in the summer of 2022.
Joshua has performed with the Concordia Symphony Orchestra and the Calgary Civic Orchestra. He has also performed for pianists Alessio Bax, John O’Conor, Ronan O’Hora and Roman Rabinovich, as well as for Professors Aquiles Delle Vigne, Gabriel Kwok, and Andrey Pisarev at both the 2016 and 2017 Coimbra World Piano Meetings in Portugal. He also received awards for outstanding achievement in Coimbra in both 2016 and 2017.
Pinchas Antal, (age 21) is a young pianist from Montreal, Canada, who started playing music at the late age of ten. During this time he has amassed a large repertoire, gave numerous recitals and had the opportunity to have master classes with Prof Valeri Sigalevitch, perform for Dr. Indrek Laul, and audition for Maestro Zubin Mehta. Pinchas is under the supervision of master pedagogue Ilya Poletaev and also studies with Professor Alexander Posdynakov advanced theory and composition.
Pinchas won 1st place Honors in the Crescendo International Music Competition and was invited to play in Carnegie Hall, New York. Pinchas also performed a solo piano concert in Montreal at the prestigious Chappelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur, November 11, 2015. On April 27, 2016 Pinchas Antal performed Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra in Montreal, Canada Recently, Pinchas placed 2nd at the Canadian Music Competition in the age 18-21 group and won the 2020 concerto competition at the Schulich School of Music.
Montreal-based pianist Yan-Ru Chen has performed at Brunton Hall of Mount Allison University, Memorial Hall of the University of New Brunswick, and Tanna Hall of her current school, McGill University. An avid collaborator, Yan-Ru accompanied the Fredericton High School Choir, and at McGill, she has performed with the violin sonata masterclass, song interpretation class, and the McGill Symphony Orchestra. Under the guidance of Stephen Runge, Yan-Ru placed third in the NB Provincial Music Festival (2016) and was awarded the Schulich Scholarship by McGill (2019). She is beginning her fourth year of the BMus Piano program under the instruction of Stéphane Lemelin.
A Bangkokian classical pianist who endeavours to raise the artistic standards of classical music through his performances and pedagogical philosophy.
Kirill Kozlovski is a Finnish-Belarusian pianist, harpsichordist and researcher. He holds a doctoral degree from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki for his research into the music of Dmitri Shostakovich (2017). His present research interests include Soviet music and cultural history, as well as performance practices within the Russian piano school. As a performing artist he aims at versatility and careful balance between different styles and epochs. His repertoire encompasses music from the late Renaissance to contemporary composers, although Soviet music occupies a special position. Kirill Kozlovski is a devoted collaborative pianist with a special affinity for vocal chamber music. His recordings include the complete piano music by Yuri Shaporin (Toccata Classics), songs by Richard Wagner with the soprano Jenni Lättilä and the baritone Tommi Hakala (Siba Records), and a solo-piano album, Shostakovich in Context, combining preludes and fugues by Dmitri Shostakovich with Finnish contemporary music (Pilfink Records).
Sibelius Academy Piano Trio
Essi Höglund is a rising young Finnish violinist currently studying at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. She has played as a soloist with orchestras such as the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kymi Sinfonietta, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Kammerphilharmonie Bad Nauheim, Joensuu City Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie.
In addition to the solo career she performs regularly as a chamber and orchestral musician. Recently this has included performing chamber music in many different festivals in Europe such as the Turku Music Festival, Helsinki Chamber Music Festival (young artist 2018), Greifswald Nordischer Klang –festival, Crusell Music Festival, Allegro Vivo –Festival, Helsinki Festival and Avanti! Summer Sounds –Festival. Her first album was released by Alba Records in 2020. It includes chamber music works by Finnish composer Uuno Klami. The album was critically acclaimed. She has been invited to work as a quest concertmaster and leader to the orchestras such as Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Finnish National Opera, Helsinki-, Tampere- and Turku Philharmonic Orchestras.
Essi Höglund began her studies at the age of four at The Music Institute of Kotka region with Merle Kaadu. At the age of twelve she continued her studies at the Sibelius-Academy Youth department with Professor Réka Szilvay. Other important teachers during her career include Professor Gerhard Schulz at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and Tero Latvala at the Sibelius Academy. She has attended masterclasses of Pinchas Zukerman, Ana Chumachenco, Mi-Kyung Lee, Zakhar Bron and Tanja Becken-Bender among others.
Essi Höglund has worked with many renowned artists such as Ralf Gothoni, Augustin Dumay, Andrea Lieberknecht, Marko Ylönen, Gregor Horsch and Nobuko Imai. She has been awarded with the 2nd prize in the Kuopio violin competition, which is the biggest violin competition in Finland. She has also won the 2nd prize in the Jyväskylä violin competition and the 3rd prize and the prize for the best interpretation of the compulsory piece in the Young Musician International Violin Competition in Tallinn. She has received scholarships, among others, from the Pro Musica Foundation, Wegelius foundation and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Artturi Aalto started playing the cello at the age of 7. He has performed as a soloist with Tapiola Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jan Söderblom and Erkki Lasonpalo, Tapiola Sinfonietta conducted by Pekka Kuusisto, Orchestra of Musical Society of Turku (Turun soitannollinen seura) conducted by Klaus Mäkelä and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. In 2013 he obtained 3rd prize in Tallinn Young Musician Contest and in 2018 4th prize in XIII Cello Competition in Turku. He is currently studying with Ola Karlsson and Marko Ylönen.
Ossi Tanner, even called the Poet of the Piano, is the Winner of the two major national competitions in Finland: Tampere Piano Competition 2017 and Leevi Madetoja Piano Competition 2015. During the last years, he has more and more been performing as a soloist with the leading Finnish orchestras. He has performed with e.g. the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Oulu Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Lohja City Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra.
Lahti Symphony Orchestra noted his talent quite early and invited him as its residence artist during the season 2017/2018.
Ossi Tanner has performed at almost all the leading festivals of classical music in Finland and in over ten European countries, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. He has shared the stage with many important musicians, for example the Brentano Quartet, Kerem Hasan, Hannu Lintu, Klaus Mäkelä, Sakari Oramo, Eiji Oue, and Joshua Weilerstein. He has studied at the Sibelius Academy with professors Matti Raekallio and Erik T. Tawaststjerna and at the Paris Conservatory, as well as in the Youth Piano Academy.
The Finnish clarinetist Björn Nyman is one of the leading clarinetists of his generation in the Nordic region, and a sought after chamber musician and soloist. He is principal clarinetist with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra as well as with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. Nyman was a prizewinner in two of the most prestigious international clarinet competitions: the ARD Competition in Munich in 2003 and the Carl Nielsen competition in Odense in 2005. Nyman won shared first prize at the Crusell Clarinet Competition in 2002 as well as the ConocoPhillipps Prize the same year. Björn Nyman has been a soloist with orchestras like the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Munich Chamber Orchestra. Nyman is a dedicated chamber musician and has played at many of the leading festivals in Scandinavia. At the age of 19, he was appointed his first position as principal clarinetist with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. He has also been principal clarinetist in the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under conductors such as Pierre Boulez and Claudio Abbado. Nyman is professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music and regularly gives masterclasses internationally.
The violinist Ragna Rian grew up in Trondheim, Norway. She has her Bachelor's degree in classical violin performance from the Norwegian Academy of Music, and from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. She is currently studying her Master degree in solo / chamber music at the Norwegian Academy of Music with professor Henning Kraggerud.
The violinist Ragna Rian grew up in Trondheim, Norway. She has her Bachelor's degree in classical violin performance from the Norwegian Academy of Music, and from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. She is currently studying her Master degree in solo / chamber music at the Norwegian Academy of Music with professor Henning Kraggerud.
Ragna has great experience as an orchestra and a chamber musician, and has performed in cities such as New York, Tokyo, Berlin and Vienna. She has played with the Trondheim Soloists since 2016, a versatile string orchestra which has won a Grammy, and received more Grammy nominations than any other Norwegian ensemble.
Ema Grčman is a young, enthusiastic and versatile cellist from Ljubljana, Slovenia. As a passionate chamber musician, she has performed at several renowned European music festivals. She has wide ranging musical interests and has performed across various genres, from classical and jazz to folk and contemporary music. Ema's most memorable performances include a debut in Ljubljana where she performed the famous double concerto by Johannes Brahms with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. That same year, she was selected as an academist of the Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein chamber orchestra. Her early music education took place Slovenia, followed by Bachelor Studies in Croatia in the class of Prof. Walter Dešpalj. In 2020 she graduated with distinction at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz in Austria in the class of prof. Julian Arp. Ema is currently based in Norway, where she is continuing her master studies with Prof. Torleif Thedéen and is a member of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic Orchestra and regularly plays as a substitute in the Norwegian Radio orchestra (KORK).
A Japanese-Australian pianist, Tokiwa (B mus. perf) recently graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. During her time in Australia, she has received prizes such as the 4MBS Chamber Music Prize, Basil Jones Sonata Prize, Minnie May Bussey Prize and the Ruby Cooling Prize, and performed alongside the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with esteemed artists in masterclass, such as Paul Lewis, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christian Hadland, and the Silver-Garburg Duo, among others. She is currently studying at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo under the guidance of internationally renowned pianists Christopher Park and Håvard Gimse.
At age thirteen, Yan Lim left the comforts of home in Singapore to live in Manchester, UK for ten years, attending first Chetham’s School of Music and subsequently graduating from the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music, where his tutor was Ronan O’Hora
A keen collaborative pianist and chamber musician, Yan has been part of the piano quintet “Take 5” since 2007. He is a full-time faculty member of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music as Senior Lecturer in Collaborative Piano. He is also the current Artistic Director of the Singapore International Piano Festival.
Musical Chairs 2022 represents Yan’s third visit to Montreal and he relishes the opportunity to practise speaking French, a language he has been learning for almost four years!
Zhang Jin Min graduated from Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music in 1982 and won a French government scholarship to study at the Paris Conservatoire where he obtained an advanced performance certificate and was awarded a gold medal for chamber music. From 1984 to 1985, he was the Head of the Brass and Woodwind Departments at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and at the same time, managed the China National Youth Orchestra. Following this, he received a government scholarship to pursue the Master of Music degree at the Geneva Superior Conservatory. He was a member of the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande before joining the Singapore Symphony Orchestra as Principal Bassoonist in 1987.
Zhang Jin Min was appointed a full-time associate professor in YST, National University of Singapore starting from 1 July 2017. He is also the Head of Woodwinds, and was responsible for setting up and coordinating its woodwind chamber music programme, and for coaching the wind section of the Conservatory Orchestra.
As a widely respected performer and teacher, he has played with renowned orchestras including Chamber Orchestre de Lausanne, Philharmonia Orchestra UK, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also given solo performances on Radio TV de France, the French national broadcasting network. He has been a visiting artist at major conservatories in Europe, including the Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland and Graz Academy of Music in Austria.
YST Wind Sextet
Hi! My name is Chen I-Ching. I’m from Taiwan. I’m turning 22 this year. I’m finishing my last semester in YST. And I’ll start my master study in Codarts Rotterdam in September. I play the clarinet and I also play the piano.
Luke is a horn player from Singapore who recently completed his undergraduate studies at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. His first encounter with music was when he was dragged along to join the school band with his older brother. Soon after, he fell in love with playing the horn and pretty much ended up as a band geek. Today, Luke is a lover of collaborative music, be it chamber or orchestral settings.
In his free time, Luke enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He particularly enjoys an enervating game of badminton, and as a true-blue foodie, he loves trying out new foods and going on food adventures. He also loves playing with his girlfriend’s dog, a toy poodle named Timon. (Yes, just like Timon and Pumbaa from the Lion King)
Jonah Kwek is a Singaporean Pianist pursuing a Bachelor of Music (Hons) in the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YSTCM). He majors in piano performance under the tutelage of Dr. Thomas Hecht and has been in the conservatory since the age of 15 under the YSTCM Young Artist Programme.
An avid soloist, Jonah has won competitions and taken part in masterclasses with renowned pianists such as Stephen Hough and Arnaldo Cohen. Jonah is also an active collaborative pianist, frequently performs with a piano duo/duet partner, chamber groups and various soloists.
Outside of classical music, Jonah enjoys recording and uploading (to YouTube) his renditions of popular tunes. He also greatly enjoys scouting for good food with his close friends!
FR seulement) Née à Paris, l’altiste Noémie Bialobroda se produit dans le monde entier sur des scènes telles que le Wigmore Hall à Londres, le Victoria Hall à Genève, le Musée de Tel Aviv, le Concertgebow de Rotterdam, la Salle Gaveau, la Philharmonie de Paris, le Théâtre d’Aix en Provence et le Alte Oper Francfort.
Depuis 2014, elle est l’altiste du Quatuor Aviv avec lequel elle mène une carrière internationale. En 2021 parait chez le Label Aparté un disque consacré aux deux derniers Quatuors de Franz Schubert, unanimement salué par la presse internationale.
Pédagogue engagée, elle est Professeur et Coordinatrice de la Musique de chambre à la Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève. Elle est également Professeur d’alto au Conservatoire de Musique de Genève.
Impliquée dans la création et l'interprétation de la musique contemporaine, Noémie a tissé des liens privilégiés avec les acteurs de ce répertoire. Elle collabore ainsi régulièrement avec l'Ensemble Modern de Francfort, l’Ensemble Contrechamps à Genève et l'IRCAM à Paris. Elle y crée deux pièces pour alto et électronique qui lui sont dédiés : « Caprice » du compositeur Keïta Matsumiya et « Drifting [mirages...] » de Pierre Stordeur.
En 2020, aux côtés du violoniste Sergey Ostrovsky, elle fonde et assure la direction artistique de la Geneva International String Academy, offrant à de jeunes musiciens prometteurs l’opportunité d’étudier et de jouer, le temps d’un été, avec des musiciens accomplis.
Noémie Bialobroda s’est formée auprès de Nobuko Imai à la Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève, avant d’étudier en 3ème cycle supérieur dans la classe de Jean Sulem au Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris.
Elle joue un alto de Carlo Giuseppe Testore et un archet de Benoît Rolland.
I was born in 2002 in Munich, Germany. In 2020, I entered the Geneva University of Music where I'm currently studying in the class of Sergey Ostrovsky.
I have always lived in Geneva, where I started playing the violin at the age of four and then entered the Geneva Conservatory of Music.
In 2021 I won the audition to play in the Verbier Festival with the Verbier Junior Orchestra.
Après plusieurs prix (violon, analyse, formation musicale) et perfectionnements obtenus aux conservatoires de Boulogne-Billancourt, Rueil-Malmaison et Paris, Aya Nogami décide de poursuivre ses études dans l’enseignement supérieur. Elle commence simultanément une licence de musicologie à La Sorbonne, un DNSPM en violon (bachelor of arts), ainsi qu’une formation au Diplôme d’Etat de pédagogie au Pôle Supérieur de Paris / Boulogne-Billancourt. Enrichie de ces différentes formations, elle poursuit ses études de violon en Master d’interprétation musicale à la HEM de Genève dans la classe de Sasha Rozhdestvensky et se produit au sein de divers ensembles, en orchestre (Les Siècles) et en musique de chambre.
Syméon Newell born in Geneva in December 2002 started studying viola with Laurent Rochat in Geneva's Conservatory in 2007. He then joined Máté Scüzs'class in Geneva's HEM where he's currently studying.
In parallel and as a sports passionate, he develops as a tchoukball player in National League A.
Hortense Airault est née en 1999 à Paris
Elle passe son enfance aux îles Comores où elle découvre le violoncelle. De retour à Paris, elle suit les cours d'Anaïs Moreau avant d’intégrer la classe de Guillaume François au conservatoire du XXème arrondissement puis celle de Thomas Duran au CRR de Paris. Elle poursuit actuellement ses études à la Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève dans la classe d’Ophélie Gaillard.
À l'occasion de stages et masterclasses, elle bénéficie des conseils de Johannes Moser, Miklós Perényi, Gauthier Capuçon, Rafael Rosenfel, Stephan Forck, Philippe Muller, Philippe Bary, Éric-Maria Couturier, Pauline Bartissol, et Raphaël Pidoux.
Hortense est lauréate de plusieurs concours : Lauréate du concours du Clos Vougeot en décembre 2014, elle obtient le prêt d'un violoncelle pour une durée de trois ans. En décembre 2016, elle remporte le Premier Prix du concours Violoncellenseine avec la création d’une partition composée par Nicolas Martynciow pour violoncelle et batterie.
Appréciant avant tout le partage de la musique avec ses pairs, Elle se passionne pour le quatuor à corde, étudiant dans la classe de Noémie Bialobroda et du Quatuor Voce. Son quatuor bénéficie également des conseils de Gábor Takács-Nagy, et du quatuor Jerusalem.
Elle multiplie les expériences au sein d’un orchestre et joue sous la baguette de chefs tels que Gábor Takács-Nagy, Pierre Bleuse pour l’ensemble Ulysse, Francois-Xavier Roth au sein de l’académie des Siècles (pour laquelle elle a été sélectionnée), Clement Power pour le projet contemporain OpéraLab.
La création contemporaine l’intéresse vivement : Elle est ainsi membre du projet « Opéra Lab » à Genève depuis 2020, participe à la création de l’opéra « Fosse » au centre Pompidou de Franck Krawcyk, Christian Boltanski et Sonia Wieder Atherton. Le festival ManiFeste-2021 l’invite pour jouer une pièce de Raphaël Cendo avec l’ensemble Ulysse.
Grâce à sa rencontre avec Joëlle Léandre, Hortense élargit ses horizons musicaux, et s’intéresse aux musiques actuelles. Elle est membre du groupe de rap Checler, ainsi que du Free Spirit Ensemble, ensemble d’improvisation crée par Ibrahim Maalouf. Elle participe à l’Académie de Villecroze avec Vincent Ségal et Vincent Peirani et intègre la classe de Johan Renard en Jazz et musiques improvisées. En mars 2021, elle participe aux « Ateliers du Violoncelle » à l’Atelier du Plateau, évènement autour de l’improvisation (organisé par Vincent Courtois avec Noémie Boutin et Éric-Maria Couturier). Elle y crée ainsi une pièce, ainsi que sa propre composition pour deux violoncelle et pédale de Looper.
Described by ‘Fanfare’ Magazine as ‘the finest violist since William Primrose’, Matthew enjoys a diverse performing and teaching career, equally at home as soloist or chamber musician playing both violin and viola, performing classical or contemporary repertoire or improvising. He gave a critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2008, and until 2018 was a member of Ensemble MidtVest. Matthew was violist of the Badke String Quartet when they won the 2007 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.
Matthew has recorded twenty-three solo and chamber CDs, including five for Naxos which include ‘Britten: Reflections’ with pianist Annabel Thwaite, named Chamber CD of the Month by BBC Music Magazine. Matthew is Head of Chamber Music and Professor of Viola at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and is an original faculty member of 'The Exhale'. In recent years he has premiered concertos by Tolibkhon Shakhidi, Derek Ball and Gordon Crosse.
Born in Swansea, Wales, Matthew is also a composer, mathematics graduate and teacher of the Alexander Technique and Kundalini Yoga. In the capacity of Alexander and Yoga/Meditation teacher he has worked individually with more than 1600 musicians. Matthew frequently presents workshops on empowering musicians and enhancing performance, clients of which have included world-renowned conductors and soloists, world champion athletes and orchestras including the New World Symphony, Melbourne Symphony and the European Union Youth Orchestra.
Hana Mizuta-Spencer is a British violinist. Having completed a BA in History from University College London, she went on to study for a Masters in Violin Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Professor David Takeno. She was awarded a Concert Recital Diploma in recognition of her exceptional final recital and is currently a Junior Fellow. In the summer of 2021, she was invited to the Mendelssohn on Mull chamber music festival with the Doric Quartet. She performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician, recently performing at the Wigmore Hall with Lawrence Power.
London-based violist Agnieszka Żyniewicz has established a solid reputation as a chamber and orchestral musician, both in the UK and across Europe. After performing with the National Forum of Music Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, she became a member of the elite Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and Gustav Mahler Academy, and was selected among violists from all UK conservatoires for one of only 4 places in the London Symphony Orchestra String Experience scheme. She has performed under the direction of prestigious conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Mark Elder, François-Xavier Roth, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marin Alsop, Lorenzo Viotti in major concert halls internationally.
As a chamber musician, she performs regularly with Aglica Trio (that she formed together with Carys Gittins and Lise Venderssmisen), Zephyr Quartet (formed with Hana Mizuta Spencer, Jeff Yuzhe Wu and Frederick Winterson) and C/O Chamber Orchestra based in Berlin, Germany and also in festivals such as Klangraum Festival in Köln, Germany.
In 2015 her quartet won 1st prize at the XVI International Juliusz Zarębski Music Competition in Warsaw and 1st prize at the II International Chamber Music Competition „Schloss Zell an der Pram”.
After studies at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław, where she was awarded a Rektor’s scholarship for the best students, Agnieszka moved to London and completed her postgraduate studies with Distinction at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under professor Matthew Jones receiving the distinguished Concert Recital Diploma for outstanding performance.
Frederick Winterson studied the cello under Bonian Tian and Louise Hopkins in Frankfurt and London. Currently, he studies chamber music with Evgeny Sinaiski in Essen, Germany. With his duo partner and pianist Ayaka Kubo Frederick was prizewinner of the Salieri-Zinetti competition and the Swedish International Duo Competition. He has been heavily influenced by masterclasses with David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Eberhard Feltz, Ursula Smith, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Troels Svane and Johannes Moser. Frederick is the artistic director of the chamber music festivals KLANGRAUM and Schlossfestspiele Bad Goisern. He also runs the concert series KLANGRAUM Kapellche in Cologne, Germany.
Veronika began her violin studies in Ukraine at Lviv Music Boarding School with Professor Volodymyra Shurgot. After arriving in Canada, she has completed the Young Artist Program and received her Bachelor's Degree of Music at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in the studio of Professor Atis Bankas. Today, she is a MAster's student at Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California studying with Professor Glenn Dicterow. Veronika is actively performing as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician.
Elise Haukenes is a triple-threat of boundless creative proportions. She is an award-bearing violinist, nationally-ranked gymnast, and acclaimed dancer. This young artist has been top prizewinner in several concerto competitions, invited to perform at Carnegie Hall and premier newly commissioned work at the Kennedy Center. Deeply captivated by the relationship between music and movement, Elise is passionate about telling meaningful stories and impacting audiences through interdisciplinary works. During the summer she has attended Heifetz Institute of Music, Meadowmount, and National Repertory Orchestra and currently studies under Margaret Batjer at the University of Southern California.
Jenny Sung was born in Taipei, Taiwan, where she began her musical training starting with piano at age 4 and following with viola from the age of 9. Jenny is currently a first-year master’s student at the USC Thornton School of Music, studying viola performance with Professor Yura Lee. Her primary teachers include Brian Chen at USC and Donald McInnes at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Jenny came to the United States in 2015. During her years of studying in the States, she’s been an active chamber musician, orchestral musician, and soloist. She had performed solo with the Idyllwild Orchestra as a concerto competition winner and was featured on the live radio broadcast show, NPR’s From the Top with the Idyllwild Octet in 2016. In the summer of 2018, Jenny represented USC Thornton School of Music, with her quartet, Quadraphonic, to attend Vive Le France Music Festival in France. Since 2019, Jenny has been appointed the third chair of the American Youth Symphony and had performed with AYS principal quartet several times. In 2020, Jenny was accepted into Pacific Music Festival. Jenny also had the honor of working with many influential musicians, including Kim Kashkashian, Paul Silverthorne, Phillip Ying, Vlad Bogdanas, and Michael Strauss. Passionate about teaching and fostering young musicians, Jenny has been working with students of all ages and backgrounds for three years. Recently appointed as a viola teaching artist of LA Phil, working with YOLA @HOLA.
Cellist Mairéad Flory, 22, has performed at the Augarten Palais in Vienna, Austria, the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, Belgium, and the Concert Hall, Terrace Theater, and Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She has soloed with the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic, and the US Army Orchestra. Mairead studied with Viviane Spanoghe, with Amit Peled, and recently graduated from her bachelors at Northwestern University with Hans Jorgen Jensen. She is now getting her masters at the University of Southern California with Ralph Kirshbaum and David Geringas.