Vera Alekseeva first studied violin at the Perm Music School in Perm Russia, then at Moscow Gnessin High State College and finally at the M. Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory where she received a Diploma of Orchestra Artist, Artist of Chamber Ensemble and Teacher, as well as Diploma of Quartet Performance Artist. She was assistant concertmaster of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic and both principal second violin and resident soloist in the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, "The Seasons.” Vera has toured extensively throughout Europe as a soloist and chamber musician, was a member of the State Bolshoi Theatre of Russia Orchestra, and is currently a member of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra.
Colin Bruce Anthes is a St. Catharines actor, writer, director, producer, and educator. He has a diploma in Theatre Performance from Humber College, a combined honours degree in Dramatic Art/Psychology with a minor in Philosophy, and a master’s in Philosophy from Brock University. Colin serves as Artistic Director of the ensemble creation company Twitches & Itches Theatre, and the contemporary Canadian play company the Essential Collective Theatre. He has played lead roles with over a dozen theatre and film companies, works with many Niagara theatre and arts organizations, and is a core collaborator with Stolen Theatre Collective. Colin teaches performance at Brock University and Centennial College. He has received the Humber Theatre Award, Theatre Ontario’s International Training Scholarship, a St. Catharines Arts Award, and was recently inducted into Stamford Collegiate’s Arts Wall of Fame.
Guy’s first appearance on the professional stage was at the Crest Theatre in Toronto in 1958 when he played thirteen-year-old Howard in Inherit the Wind. Recently, Guy appeared as Hans Blix in the Mirvish presentation of Studio 180’s production of David Hare’s Stuff Happens. He also appeared in Factory Theatre’s production of Missing and at Rochester’s Geva Theatre Center in numerous roles including Dr. Gibbs in Our Town, Noel in the North American premiere of That Was Then by Irish writer Gerard Stembridge, Jack in The Weir, in Hibernatus Interruptus, a festival of new plays (2003) and as Christmas Present or Mr Fezziwig in five productions of A Christmas Carol. He has performed at most major theatres in Canada, as well as in the United States and England. Favourite productions include the Neil Munro directed Saint Joan (Theatre Calgary); Jacob Two-Two’s First Spy Case (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People); Between Pancho Villa and a Naked Woman and The House of Blue Leaves (Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius); The Stillborn Lover (Theatre Passe Muraille) andThree in the Back Two in the Head (Tarragon Theatre and the National Arts Centre). Television series credits include Leo and Me with Michael J. Fox, Love and Hate: The Colin Thatcher Story, and Lt Murphy in the teenage detective series Daring and Grace on CBC/YTV. Guy is also heard as Mr. Bear in the animated series Rupert the Bear. Other television credits include Direction Canada (in German) for German television and Mountain Men for BBC-TV, which was also released as a feature film. His creative talents also extend into the fields of writing and directing. He has been active in new play development, as a guest director and artist-in-residence, and has written articles on contemporary theatre. After early university studies in modern languages, he received an MA (Drama) from Essex University (UK) in 1988. Guy permanently resides with his wife and two children in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Caitlin Boyle, a viola performer and pedagogue, began her musical training at the Hamilton Suzuki School when she was three years old. Since that time she has received subsequent training at the New England Conservatory, The Glenn Gould School, McGill University, and most recently at the University of Toronto where she researched nonverbal communication in chamber music for her doctoral thesis. A JUNO-nominated performing artist, Ms. Boyle concertized extensively for thirteen years with the Cecilia String Quartet. She has won several international awards including Banff, Bordeaux, and Osaka String Quartet Competitions. This coming season (2019/2020) she will be joining the Isabel Quartet, quartet-in-residence at Queens University. Currently a member of Sinfonia Toronto and the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, she has also performed and toured with orchestras such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Schleswig-Holstein Orchestral Academy, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Her passion for music education has led her to teach at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, Mooredale Youth Orchestras, Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, Taylor Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Festival of the Sound Music Scores Program, Toronto District School Board, Central Okanagan School District, in addition to teaching students across the US, Spain, UK, Italy, and the UAE. Fall 2019 Ms. Boyle accepted a one-year position at the University of Western Ontario where she will be teaching the viola class as well as a course on the business of music.
David began his studies on the violin at the age of seven. His family having relocated numerous times allowed David to experience instruction from a number of teachers in various methods. David’s introduction to orchestral playing was with the Niagara Youth Orchestra in St. Catharines. After high school David earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Northwestern College in Roseville Minnesota. During his time in Minneapolis David was able to tour internationally as Concert master of the Continental Singers and Orchestra and of the Communique Singers and Orchestra. While in Minneapolis David studied with Roger Frisch, Associate Concert Master of the Minnesota Orchestra. Upon returning to St. Catharines David studied with Deryck Aird of the Bradley Institute of Music and at that time, Concert Master of the Niagara Symphony. David has been a member of the Niagara Symphony Association since 1989 and has also worked for the District School Board of Niagara as a secondary school music educator since 1989. He currently teaches music at Centennial High in Welland. David and his wife Deborah met while preparing a faculty recital for the Laura Secord Music Department where David began teaching. Since then they have formed the chamber ensemble now known as Glissandi; together with their friend and colleague Douglas Miller, principal flute with the Niagara Symphony. The past twelve years have been very full as the demand for their particular style of chamber music has increased. Performances and audiences have varied greatly providing many rich experiences. One of those was a concert tour of Southern England in the spring of 1997. Upon returning from that tour Glissandi set out to record their first CD entitled Serenity. He enjoys both teaching and performing and is looking forward to much more of the same. David and his wife Deborah have three children: Matthew, Nicholas, and Jessica.
Deborah Braun (harpist) is a native of St. Catharines and began her harp studies locally with Doris Scharing. She subsequently studied with Eilene Malone of the Eastman School of Music, Suzanne Thomas of the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Elaine Pamphilon of Cambridge, England. In additional to extensive solo and ensemble playing, she is harpist with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra and Glissandi.
Principal cellist of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Gordon Cleland has performed across North America. He has appeared as soloist with the Niagara Symphony (Schumann Concerto in A minor and Vivaldi Double Concerto in G minor with cellist Gisela Depkat) and for the Debut Series in Montreal. He has extensive experience as a chamber musician, notably as a member of Trio Surgite with Erika Reiman on piano and fellow Niagara Symphony member Vera Alekseeva on violin. He is a regularly featured artist for the Encore! Series at Brock University. Gordon has broadcast frequently for CBC FM Radio and has performed on TV5, the international French television network. His strong interest in contemporary and Canadian music is reflected in the repertoire he performs. In addition to his activities as a performer Gordon has made a strong commitment to music education. He teaches cello at Brock University and is an instructor with Suzuki Niagara and the Niagara Youth Orchestra. He has been a featured performer for the Concertino Program of Jeunesses musicales, whose artists are carefully chosen for their pedagogical skills and their ability to communicate with young people. Gordon has adjudicated music festivals across Canada and runs a private studio in the Niagara region. Gordon started his musical training in London, Ontario and completed his studies with a Master of Music degree from Boston University. His principal teachers were George Neikrug, Walter Joachim and Gisela Depkat.
The Eybler Quartet came together in 2004 to explore the works of the first century and a half of the string quartet, with a healthy attention to lesser known composers such as their namesake, Joseph Leopold Edler von Eybler. The group plays on instruments appropriate to the period of the music it performs. The Toronto-based ensemble’s live performances have consistently garnered praise as “glowing and committed”, “spirited” and “lively and energizing”. Their recording with clarinetist Jane Booth won praise from Gramophone for being “totally engaging performances that breathe life into Backofen’s music”; their Haydn Op. 33 garnered this praise in Early Music America: “The Eybler Quartet’s rendition of Op. 33 by Joseph Haydn… is simply a treasure. The sound of the strings is warm but not overly vibrated or assertive; the articulation is clear but not didactic; the tempos are beautifully chosen, the ensemble perfect, and the intonation absolutely pure. This is music-making that reflects the deeply human and attractive qualities found in Haydn the composer…” Violinist Julia Wedman and violist Patrick G. Jordan, are both members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Violinist Aisslinn Nosky is a former member of Tafelmusik and currently Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society and Principal Guest Conductor of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. Aisslinn and Julia are also members of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble. Cellist Margaret Gay, Artistic Director of the Gallery Players of Niagara, is much in demand as both a modern and period instrument player; she is also a founding member of the innovative and genre-bending Ensemble Polaris. The Eybler Quartet harnesses a unique combination of talents and skills: razor-sharp ensemble skills, technical prowess, expertise in period instrument performance and an unquenchable passion for the repertoire. In 2018 the group released its’ 5th CD, Beethoven Op. 18 nos. 1-3. The group’s four other recordings feature world premieres of Eybler’s Opus 1, world premieres of Backofen quintets coupled with Mozart’s clarinet quintet featuring Jane Booth, Haydn's six quartets Op. 33, complete on 2 CDs and the world premiere of Johann Baptist Vanhal’s Op. 6 quartets.
After completing a Bachelor of Music degree at Boston University School for the Arts, Margaret Gay accepted an invitation to the Banff Centre for Fine Arts, where she completed the winter programme. From there she moved to Toronto, where she earned a Master’s degree at the University of Toronto and began a remarkably active freelance career performing on both modern and period ‘cello. Margaret performs regularly with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, Opera Atelier, Mississauga Sinfonia, Baroque Music Beside The Grange, the Eybler Quartet, and Ensemble Polaris, a group exploring the traditional music of various Nordic countries. She is the Artistic Director of The Gallery Players of Niagara, an organization based in the Niagara Region that presents chamber music. She was for many years a member of Modern Quartet, a string quartet dedicated to the performance of new works, the Burdocks, a foursome specializing in works of the 20th century, and Critical Band. In the summers she has performed at the Carmel Bach Festival, Stratford, Elora, Parry Sound, Grand River Baroque, and Lameque Baroque Music festivals, as well as teaching ‘cello and coaching chamber music at the Toronto Board of Education Music Camp, and the University of New Brunswick Summer Music Camp. Margaret can be heard on numerous CD’s, including a recent release from Analekta of Joseph Leopold Eybler's string quartets Op. 1, Ensemble Polaris, Not Much Is Worse Than A Troll, a Hungaroton disc of 17th century English theatre music, Ah! How Sweet It Is To Love, O Bali, from New Music Concerts, and, A Curious Collection for the Common Flute.
Lucas Harris studied the lute at the Civica scuola di musica di Milano and then at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. H has been playing lute with Tafelmusik since 1999, and has made many contributions to Toronto’s thriving music scene, including the creation of the Toronto Continuo Collective, the Vesuvius Ensemble, and the Lute Legends Ensemble. He is on faculty at the Tafelmusik Summer and Winter Institutes, Oberlin's Baroque Performance Institute, and the Vancouver Early Music's Baroque Vocal Programme. In 2014 Lucas completed graduate studies in choral conducting and was chosen as the Artistic Director of the Toronto Chamber Choir. He has also directed projects for the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Les voix baroques, and the Toronto Consort.
Originally from St. Catharines and now living in Montreal, Mezzo-Soprano Kristin Hoff made her debut at Carnegie Hall, singing Elliot Carter’s Syringa with Maestro James Levine conducting the Met Chamber Ensemble. She has performed as a soloist with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Tanglewood Symphony Orchestra, the Mark Morris Dance, Chants Libres, and Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, among many others. She has also performed as a Caramoor Vocal Rising Star, with the New York Festival of Song and with the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques du Canada. At home on the opera stage, some of Kristin’s experiences include the role of Tebaldo with Vancouver Opera, Dryade at Tanglewood and Carmen on tour with the Jeunesses Musicales. Kristin spent the fall of 2015 in Bavaria, working in opera houses in Augsburg and Nürnberg. Other recent engagements include an opera gala tour in China, as well as Canadian new music performances including the premiere of One to One to One by Luna Pearl Woolf, the premiere of White Wines by Dorothy Chang in Vancouver, and Ana Sokolovic’s Love Songs. Other season appearances include a recital in the Ponticello concert series and performing Jose Evangelista’s Visions with the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. She is co-founder of Musique 3 Femmes, an organization that seeks to support women creators and performers of opera, and recently premiered a performance of 5 new operas by female, Canadian composer and librettist teams. She can be seen this fall with Ensemble Caprice as the alto soloist in Bach's Christmas Oratorio.
Since Antoine Joubert finished his doctorate with pianist Dang Thai Son at the University of Montreal in 2011 after accelerating through the Masters degree, he has performed actively as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist in Europe and North America. He studied with several great masters, receiving his initial formation from the pianist and pedagogue Michel Franck in Quebec City. Antoine Joubert has been a finalist and winner of several national and international prizes, including first prize at the CCC Music Festival in Toronto (2012), the finals of the international Open Piano Competition in London, Great Britain (2012), and first prize and gold medal at the Festival du Royaume (2011). Among his other distinctions, he was awarded the Claire-Charbonneau-Clerk at the Prix d’Europe (2009) and the second prize in the SOCAN young composers competition (2005). Between 2011 and 2016, he founded and then coordinated the concert series for alumni at the University of Laval (SéDUL). Dr. Joubert also has a passion for pedagogy; he is an experienced piano professor and dedicates himself to his students, using research to support his personal musical vision. He regularly gives master classes at the university and collegiate level and teaches piano at the collegiate level (Québec) at l’École de musique Vincent-d’Indy.
Patrick Jordan, a native of West Texas, studied with Susan Schoenfeld before moving to Boston in 1981 to study with Walter Trampler. Mr. Jordan holds a Bachelor's degree from the New England Conservatory and an Artist's Diploma in Chamber Music from the Longy School, where he began several years' study with Eugene Lehner. Now a resident of Toronto, Mr. Jordan is a member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra with which he tours throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, Asia and Europe. He is also the Artistic Administrator and violist with the Gallery Players of Niagara. He has been a member of the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra since 1997 and has appeared with the New York Collegium as well as the American Classical Soloists. While living in Boston, he performed regularly with D.C. Hall's Band (a recreation of a 19th-century dance and concert band),the van Swieten Quartet, a period instrument string quartet, and the Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra. He was a member of the Boston Quartet, a modern instrument string quartet, and the Really Eclectic String Quartet (RESQ), a group that explored popular dance and lyrical music from many cultures. From 1988 to 1993 he was Lecturer in Violin and Viola at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA; he is currently on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He has recorded for Sony, Sony Classical, Dorian, Newport Classic, NorthStar, Analekta and Northeastern.
Hong Kong born, Toronto-based baritone Keith Lam was described as “a suave, fine grained baritone” by the Boston Globe. He was mostly recently seen as the bass soloist in Bach's Magnificat with Tafelmusik Chamber Orchestra and Choir. Last season, he performed the role of Major Thomas Lyons in Stephanie Martin and Paul Ciufo's new opera Llandovery Castle with the Bicycle Opera Project. In addition, he joined the company of Soundstream's staged production of Claude Vivier's Musik für das Ende in collaboration with the Crow's Theatre which will also have its revival in May of 2020. Among other career highlights include touring across Ontario with the Bicycle Opera Project, performing the role of the Boss in the new a cappella opera Sweat written by Juliet Palmer and Anna Chatterton; stepping in last minute to fill in the role of Melisso in the Glenn Gould School’s production of Handel’s Alcina at Koerner Hall; and portraying the role Javan in Leslie Uyeda’s opera When the Sun Comes Out, which had its Toronto premiere during World Pride 2014. He was the audience prizewinner at the Classical Music Consort Handel Competition, finalist at the 2013 Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra Competition, and placed third in the 2014 NYCO Mozart Vocal Competition. Keith has made appearances with companies such as Canadian Opera Company, Opera Atelier, Against the Grain Theatre, and Theatre of Early Music. He is an alumnus of the Aspen Opera Theater, Banff Centre's Opera as Theatre program, Opera NUOVA, Highlands Opera Studio, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Institute.
Faith Lau began her violin studies at the age of 5 with the North York Suzuki School of Music and has completed a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Chicago, where she studied privately with Paul Zafer. Faith is an avid chamber musician and orchestral musician; she was principal second of the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra and currently performs with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Opera Lyric Opera, and the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. A certified Suzuki teacher, Faith is passionate about teaching students of all levels. She has experience coaching sectionals in youth orchestras and has worked with students in masterclasses under David Zafer. She is currently a strings teacher with the Niagara Elementary Instrumental Program, and also teaches violin privately with Suzuki Niagara, and the Bethany School of Music and Arts. As a private violin instructor, she has studied music and special education and enjoys working with each students’ individual learning style.
Musician Penner MacKay has been living and breathing drumming for more than forty years. His work has accompanied numerous television shows (“Off the Map”), major theatrical productions (Shaw Festival), and movie soundtracks (“The Snow Walker”). In the late 70’s he was part of the Juno Award Winning group “Myles and Lenny.” In the 80’s he toured North America with singer/songwriter Dan Hill. Most recently, ‘Accordion Crimes’, on which Penner played percussion, was listed as one of CBC musicologist Jurgen Gothe’s favourite CD’s of 2006. This versatile musician has conducted workshops for all age groups from troubled teens, to university students, to senior citizens. He’s also worked with corporations like Royal LePage, using drumming as an exercise in team building and co-operation. In 1992, with the help of artist/craftsman Rod Hillier, Penner created a set of thunderous tunable drums from wine barrels. Inspired by the Japanese Taiko drummers, and given that the two men live in the winery region of Niagara, these drums made perfect sense; they are completely unique, impressive works of art that make the ground tremble. And so was born ‘The Barrelhouse Drum Company.’ Having studied all styles of drumming, Penner has been passing his extensive knowledge along to students for 20 years. In 2006, he helped to launch “Drums Along the Niagara,’ Niagara-on-the-Lake’s annual drumming festival. In 2006, he received the town’s cultural award for volunteering. Personable, dynamic, and inspiring, when it comes to performance and percussion, Penner is one of Canada’s great communicators.
Eric is a producer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist performing in the studio and in concert on: jazz, classical, finger style acoustic and electric guitar; classical and jazz chromatic and diatonic harmonicas, celtic and jazz violin and mandolin; accordion, clarinet, banjo, tablas drums and didgeridoo. He was a member of the multiple Juno award winning country vocal group “THE MERCEY BROTHERS”, performed in shows at Casino Fallsview, COUNTRY CLASSICS, Memories from the attic, SIX CHIX and HOLIDAY PARTY. Performed harmonicas in Shaw Festival Theatre’s production of FLOYD COLLINS. Canadian tour of DON MESSER’S VIOLIN with Frank Leahey. Presently on call guitarist with KITCHENER-WATERLOO SYPHONY and is a featured jazz, country and classic guitarist at various concerts in Canada. Eric keeps busy teaching the various instruments he plays at his recording studio MAHAR MUSIC STUDIO in Bolton Ontario when he’s not mountain biking or skiing.
Douglas Miller is a versatile flutist who is active within various symphony orchestras, chamber music series, mega-musicals and records for film and television. He has performed with the Toronto Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Kitchener Waterloo Orchestra, and is current principal flute of the Niagara Symphony. As theatre musician, he has recently completed 15 months in the Toronto production of The Sound of Music and has played in many Toronto productions such as Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables. In The Lion King, and The Lord of the Rings, he played a collection of ethnic bamboo flutes, several of which he built himself. . In 2005 he toured North America with Hal Princes’ production of EVITA, celebrating the show’s 25th anniversary. He has been a member of the Shaw Festival Orchestra in various productions since 1991 and returns for their 2011 production of My Fair Lady. He is heard on the soundtracks of many films and TV series such as CBC’s Road to Avonlea and David Suzuki’s Nature of Things. Mr. Miller’s diverse education includes a Master of Music in flute from University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Music and Licentiate with Distinction in saxophone from McGill University, where he completed a year of graduate studies in recording engineering. A graduate of the Royal Conservatory’s Orchestral Training Program, he also spent a year of Advanced Studies in Music at the Banff Centre followed by private studies in Vienna. He is a founding member of The Gallery Players of Niagara and has produced three CDs with his trio Glissandi. He has recently premiered and co-produced his own orchestral show, “Flutes en Route! a showcase of ethnic flutes from around the world. He makes his home in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Joan Nicks is adjunct professor of film and popular culture, Brock University, with long experience as a film programmer, critic and juror of media and film festivals. Her writing has appeared in various edited books and journals. She is the recipient of teaching awards, research grants, and the Laura Sabina Award (2003) in recognition of women’s contributions to the arts in Niagara. Joan is co-editor of Covering Niagara: Studies in Local Popular Culture (2010), and Slippery Pastimes: Reading the Popular in Canadian Culture (2002): Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Her collaborative research on local popular culture includes blackface minstrel shows, early movie-going and theatres, and the role of newspapers in fueling fandom. She programs film series for the Niagara Falls History Museum, and is working on a history of lost movie theatres and post-WWII motel culture in the cross-border city, Niagara Falls, Ontario. She collaborates with The Gallery Players of Niagara for special silent film events with live music accompaniment. Her curated image-projections for Chorus Niagara concerts include: “A Holocaust Memoir” (2011); “A Might Cry” (2013), commissioned in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812; and “The World Remembers: the war to end all wars” (2014). She curated image-projections for the Toronto premiere of composer Larry Nickel’s Requiem for Peace performed by the Orpheus Choir and conducted by Robert Cooper (2012); and “The End of Innocence - WWI” (2014).
Aisslinn Nosky is a versatile and charismatic musician who brings passion and fervour to every project she pursues. She performs in solo and chamber music recitals across North America, Europe and Asia. Recent triumphs include performing concertos with the Calgary Philharmonic and with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, as well as giving the world premiere of "Stand Still"- a new piece for solo violin by Michael Oesterle comissioned by Aisslinn with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Highlights of the 2011/2012 season find her performing Vivaldi's Four Seasons both in Boston with the Handel and Haydn Society and at the Lameque International Baroque Festival and guest directing the Thunder Bay Symphony. She is often in demand as a leader and concertmaster and has led the Grand River Baroque Festival Players, Arion Baroque Orchestra, and Collegium Musicum Hanyang. Aisslinn has recently been named concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. Since 2005, Aisslinn has been a highly active member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
Michelle is a versatile freelance violinist in the greater Toronto area. She received her Master’s degree at the University of Toronto specializing in Baroque violin. Michelle is a member of the Elixir Baroque Ensemble and the Windermere String Quartet and performs often with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Nota Bene Baroque Players and Talisker Players. She is also a violin teacher at the Kingsway Conservatory of Music.
Canadian guitarist, conductor, composer and arranger Timothy Phelan has performed in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Cuba, Martinique, Europe and Scandinavia. He made his CBC debut recording at the age of eighteen as concerto soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and he has since been heard in solo, concerto and chamber music broadcasts over CBC Television & Radio, Radio France, Radio Caribbean, Cuban Radio & Television, and Mexican Radio. He is a regular guest soloist, conductor, teacher and lecturer at international guitar festivals in Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe. A passionate and accomplished chamber musician, Tim collaborates in several duos with celebrated musicians, including fellow Canadian guitarist Emma Rush, Niagara Symphony Principal Flutist Doug Miller, violinist Julia Wedman of Canada's revered Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and most recently, with Swedish cellist Kristin Malmborg in Aurora Polaris Cello & Guitar Duo. Tim is also a member of The Gallery Players of Niagara, performing with, among others, the Eybler String Quartet and members of Tafelmusik, and he has been involved in the performance and acclaimed recording of new transcriptions of Schumann song cycles for voice, strings and guitar, with world-renowned Canadian baritone Brett Polegato. Tim is a prolific arranger of music for solo guitar, guitar ensemble, and various chamber music combinations of guitar with other instruments. Much of his work as a composer has been dedicated to expanding the repertoire for guitar with choir, and he has collaborated with many of Canada's finest choral ensembles, even writing works for choir with symphony orchestra and guitar. Most recently, Tim has been composing new works for guitar orchestra, and conducting their premieres in Sweden, Germany and Mexico. A graduate of the University of Toronto, and a former director of the University of Toronto Guitar Orchestra, Tim currently teaches at Brock University.
Pianist Erika Reiman studied at Mount Allison and McGill Universities and earned a PhD in musicology from the University of Toronto. She is the author of Schumann's Piano Cycles and the Novels of Jean Paul, published by the University of Rochester Press in 2004. In addition to her piano teaching duties at Brock University, she is active as soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician throughout Southern Ontario. In 2008, she was the soloist in the premiere performance of David Fawcett's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
Brian Solomon is of Anishinaabe and Irish descent, born in the remote community of Shebahonaning / Killarney, located in the Manitoulin District of Northern Ontario, Canada. The bedrock in the area is among the oldest on earth. There are white mountains of quartz, silica and granite. There are clean bodies of fresh water the size of seas in every direction. Animals, Plants and Humans have thrived in the region since before the iceage, and Solomon’s ancestors have been on that land a very long time. This immense fortune he was born into informs his work greatly. These were his first teachers. Solomon followed first in the tradition of visual art in the region – the surrounding lands are one of the birthplaces of Eastern Woodland Art, and many contemporary artists are drawn here to practice. He began his Visual Art practice learning from some of these artists. While working as a portrait artist in his teenage years in Sudbury Ontario, Solomon discovered theatre, traditional and contemporary dance. He moved to Toronto to train at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and later received a Masters in Performance from the Laban Centre (UK). Solomon then performed in dance and theatre for dozens of creators from across Canada, the US and Europe, earning several Dora and Gemini award nominations. As a creator his work is multidisciplinary, raw, challenging and present. He has created a community work with over 40 interpreters, solos in trees, and animated installations of landfill. Solomon’s work has toured nationally and internationally. It has been presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre and nGbK – neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst Berlin. A co-creation with German visual artist Judy Ross on their film "the Filmmaker", won best prize for experimental film at Watch Out! film festival in Macedonia. Solomon was also a recipient of a REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation. He has taught his practice in numerous shelters, friendship centres, dance and theatre companies and in universitie. Solomon is passionate about helping people relearn about their forgotten bodies, and take back the space those bodies occupy. Find out more at electricmoose.ca
Maho Sone Grazzini is a versatile harpsichord soloist and continuo accompanist. Originally from Japan, she holds degrees from Indiana University’s Early Music Institute, where she studied with Elisabeth Wright, Nigel North, and Stanley Ritchie, and from the San Francisco Conservatory, where she studied with Corey Jamason. She appears frequently with the Bloomington Bach Cantata project.
Sri Lankan tenor Asitha Tennekoon is a Graduate of Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University and Glenn Gould School of Music, and has already established himself as a singer of remarkable versatility, across a wide range of repertoire spanning centuries and genres. Asitha won the Dora Award for his starring role in Tapestry opera’s The Rocking Horse Winner, earning praise for his “ …silky, emotional presence on stage – both vocally and dramatically”. Asitha recently made his debut with Opera de Montreal in Champion, starred in the title role of Le Chanteur de Mexico with Opera Bouffe du Quebec, sang Polidoro in Scarlatti’s Erminia in New York and Washington with Opera Lafayette, and understudied the title role in Rossini’s Count Ory with Edmonton Opera. Canadian concert highlights for Asitha include Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with Ottawa Choral Society, Messiah with Elmer Iseler Singers, Bach’s Magnificat with Thirteen Strings and St. Matthew Passion with Grand Philharmonic Choir and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Asitha sang in the world premiere of Dean Burry/ Yvette Nolans’s Shanawdithit , a co-production with Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
The Vesuvius Ensemble’s mission is to contribute to the preservation and transmission of the enormous cultural legacy made up by the popular cultural traditions in the zone around Naples and southern Italy. This legacy includes the cultural and musical traditions of countryside peasants, whose rituals and songs been passed on orally and in writing over centuries. Our performances attempt to paint a portrait of Naples and its surrounding countryside in the Renaissance & Baroque periods, giving colourful details of Neapolitan life (the Moorish and Spanish influence on the city’s cultural production, the city’s special religious and secular festivities, unique musical institutions like the Conservatorii, also hardships such as the plagues and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1631). The rustic instruments used (the tammorra, chitarra battente, ciaramella, colascione, etc.) combine with Baroque continuo instruments (chitarrone, Baroque & Renaissance guitars, lutes) to create a unique accompaniment soundscape.
The Walker String Quartet is the quartet in residence at Brock University. They have performed at the Brock University Encore! Series and RBC Music@Noon Series. They have also appeared in educational programs in a number of area high schools and have been invited to perform as special guests at conferences in the area including the Tri-National Agricultural Agreement Conference for NAFTA in 2016. The quartet features Vera Alekseeva and Anna Hughes on violin, Roman Kosarev on viola and Gordon Cleland on cello.
Violinist Julia Wedman brings an "infectious vitality" to music (Victoria Times Colonist). Her playing has been described as "highly communicative", and "extraordinarily lithe and intuitive" (Globe and Mail). Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Julia completed her studies in music at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Toronto and Indiana University at Bloomington. With a life long passion for chamber music, she formed her first serious string quartet at age 15. In addition to performances with the Eybler Quartet, she is currently a member the innovative young baroque ensemble I FURIOSI, known for their imaginative and unconventional programming. She joined Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in 2005, and is regularly featured as a soloist with the group on their home series in Toronto as well as on tours in Canada, the U.S.A, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Germany, China and Korea. Julia's debut solo recording of Heinrich Biber's Mystery Sonatas (Sonoluminus) was released in the spring of 2011 and has received rave reviews. The CD was featured in the July 2011 issue of Gramophone magazine, saying "Rather exceptionally, one suspects, Wedman has approached Biber's music as a true pilgrim, interpreting key moments in the life of Christ thoughtfully, vividly and with evident personal humility and warmth. Her performances exude humanity and have about them a radiance that somehow transcends the sound of her lovely 1694 instrument."
Irish-American soprano Sinéad White is currently based in Toronto where she has performed with ensembles such as Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, Theatre of Early Music and Opera Atelier. Sinéad was recently a young artist in the Boston Early Music Festival’s Young Artist Training Program where she was supported by an Early Music America Summer Scholarship. Other recent solo performances include Handel’s Dixit Dominuswith the Theatre of Early Music, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri with Early Music Vancouver, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater as part of EMV’s Bach Festival and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Okanagan Festival Singers. Sinéad has received further training as an Art of Song fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival and studied at the Advanced Oratorio Program at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. While on the west coast, she also studied baroque repertoire with soprano, Nancy Argenta thanks to a generous scholarship from Early Music Vancouver. Sinéad was a fellow at the Sibelius Academy’s Creative Dialogues Program where she worked on contemporary repertoire with Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan. She completed an Advanced Certificate ofHistorical Performance at the University of Toronto and obtained both her Bachelor and Masters’ degrees at McGill University.
Mezzo soprano Jessica Wright has been featured as a soloist with Tafelmusik, The Toronto Consort, Theatre of Early Music, Toronto Masque Theatre, Toronto Bach Festival and The Elora Festival. Jessica is the General Manager of Aspirare Vocal Collective; a Toronto-based vocal ensemble focused on the exceptional performance of choral chamber music of the 20th and 21st centuries (www.aspirarevocal.com). Recent highlights include performances of the Monteverdi Vespers with the Toronto Consort, her role debut as the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Theatre of Early Music, as well as the Canadian premiere of Sir James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross under the composer’s direction. Jessica sings regularly with many professional choirs including Aspirare, The Elora Singers, Opera Atelier Chorus, Choir 21, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.