Karen Chan, piano
Born and raised in Victoria, B.C. Karen Chan is currently pursuing her Master of Music in Piano Performance. She studied with Susan de Burgh at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, making her solo debut at age 14 as a guest of the Christ Church Cathedral Summer Music Series. She made her concerto debut with the Sidney Classical Orchestra in 2017, performing Chopin Piano Concerto no. 2. Karen completed her Bachelor of Music at the University of British Columbia, where she studied with Professor Mark Anderson. She has had the privilege of performing in masterclasses for several renowned pianists, including Angela Hewitt and Jane Coop. She is currently a student of Professor Kyoko Hashimoto at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.
Itamar Prag, piano
Pianist Itamar Prag was born in 1994, he is the student of Prof. Arie Vardi, Mrs. Hana Shalgi, Prof. Asaf Zohar, Vadim Monastyrsky and Daria Monastyrsky. Graduated from the Thelma Yellin School of Arts, studied for a year at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and finished his service at the IDF as an excelled musician. He is currently studying for a Music Doctorate degree in Piano Performance under Dr. Ilya Poletaev at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University.
Prag won international prizes in competitions, including first prize at the Pnina Salzman Piano Competition held in Israel, 2019, and the 18th International Competition for Chamber Music in France. He participated in music festivals and recitals across the U.S., in Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Spain, and Georgia. He played in master classes under the care of Richard Good, Arie Verdi, John Perry, Murray Perahia, Piotr Paleczney, Eliso Virsaladze, and Gabriel Kwok.
Strings, Harp, and Guitar Category
Justin Saulnier, violin
Justin Saulnier is a 17-year-old violinist from Orléans, Ontario. He was the recipient of the Lloyd Carr-Harris String Scholarship to attend McGill University’s Schulich School of Music and is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in violin performance with Andrew Wan.
He was concertmaster of Canada's National Youth Orchestra for their 2022 season. He is also the former concertmaster of the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra and the Ottawa Youth Orchestra. He has performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thirteen Strings, the Ottawa Pops Orchestra, and the Parkdale Orchestra.
As a soloist, Justin has received many awards, notably the first prize in the OMFA's provincial competition, the Kinsmen Club Shield Trophy, the RCM Gold Medal, and the Edythe Young Browne Trophy. He made his orchestral solo debut at age 12 with the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra, and since then has performed with the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra and the Ottawa Youth Orchestra. He was also invited to perform at the RCM Celebration of Excellence, the Chamberfest Rising Stars concert, and the Southminster Church Doors Open For Music concert series. He has performed in masterclasses for many prominent violinists such as James Ehnes, Catherine Cho, Mikhail Kopelman, Timothy Choi, and Jonathan Crow.