John Abberger, one of North America’s leading performers on historical oboes, is principal oboist with Tafelmusik. He has performed extensively in North America, Europe and the Far East, and appears regularly with other prominent period-instrument ensembles, including the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Washington Bach Consort, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Voltaire, the Handel and Haydn Society, and Boston Baroque. He is also the artistic director of the Toronto Bach Festival, an organization dedicated to exploring the music of J.S. Bach and its context with historically accurate performing forces. His recording of the Concerto for Oboe by Alessandro Marcello with Tafelmusik was glowingly reviewed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the best there is” and “alone worth the price of the disc, even if you have other versions.” In addition to many recordings with Tafelmusik and other period instrument ensembles, he has directed, recorded, and produced two discs for the ANALEKTA label, both devoted to the instrumental music of J.S. Bach. Mr. Abberger serves on the faculty at the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, and the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. A native of Orlando, Florida, he received his training at the Juilliard School, and Louisiana State University. In addition, he holds a Performers Certificate in Early Music from New York University.
Born in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Canada), Jonathon Adams is a Two-Spirit, nêhiyaw michif (Cree-Métis) baritone. In concert, they have appeared as a soloist with Philippe Herreweghe, Sigiswald Kuijken, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Helmut Rilling, Václav Luks, Ensemble BachPlus, Vox Luminis, il Gardellino, and B’Rock Orchestra at Opera-Ballet Flanders. Future solo engagements include a recording with il Gardellino, concerts with Les Voix Humaines, Ensemble Caprice, Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, L’Harmonie des Saisons, Vancouver Early Music and Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and a world premiere of Adams’ performance piece nipahimiw / the plaint with Susie Napper and Catalina Vicens at the Art Gallery of Ontario (June 2021). Jonathon is a featured soloist in the film “MESSIAH / COMPLEX” produced by Against the Grain Theatre and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. During 2020 and 2021 Jonathon holds a fellowship with the Netherlands Bach Society and will appear in concert with them throughout the Netherlands and at the Leipzig Bach Festival. They are a core member of Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, appearing regularly with this ensemble around the world. Recent career highlights include a solo début at the Bruges Concertgebouw in Purcell’s Ode to St. Cecilia, Bach cantatas at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, and concerts with Amsterdam Baroque in China, Japan, and at the Château de Versailles. Jonathon is based in Canada and The Netherlands. They have attended The Royal Academy of Music (London), the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and The Victoria Conservatory of Music where they studied with Nancy Argenta. They also studied privately with Dame Emma Kirkby, and Edith Wiens. At the Dutch National Opera Academy Jonathon studied with Rosemary Joshua and Olivier Lallouette. As a student, Jonathon sang the role of Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas under Richard Egarr. Jonathon is a Britten-Pears Young Artist, participating in creative dialogues and mentorship schemes with world leaders in the arts at Snape Maltings, UK. They have attended the American Bach Soloists Academy (San Francisco), singing various cantatas of Bach and the Hohe Messe under Jeffrey Thomas.
In three decades of work at the Shaw Festival, Guy played in over 4000 performances. Recent work on stage includes King Charles III (Studio 180, Toronto); Agatha Christie’s comedy thriller Spider’s Web (Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton); the world premiere of Norm Foster’s The Writer (Foster Festival, St. Catharines); and The New Canadian Curling Club (Thousand Islands Playhouse, Gananoque, 2019; Western Canada Theatre Company, Kamloops and Vernon, British Columbia, 2020). On television he has been seen in Murdoch Mysteries, The Firm and Warehouse 13. Guy is also heard as the voice of Mr. Bear on Rupert the Bear. While working at the Stratford Festival, Guy received a Guthrie Award, and he has also received a Newton Award and a Paul Reynolds Award at the Shaw Festival. He has been an artist-in-residence at universities across Canada, and frequently teaches with colleague Sharry Flett, specializing in “Victorian Costumes and Customs.”
Julie Baumgartel has performed with Tafelmusik and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra across Europe, North America and Asia. Now living in Kitchener-Waterloo, she frequently performs with the K-W Symphony and Nota Bene Baroque Players. She has been featured in numerous CBC radio broadcasts and performs chamber music regularly with the Gallery Players of Niagara, with the Factory Arts Quartet as the in-residence ensemble of InnerChamber in Stratford and at the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound. From 2003-2012 she was conductor of the KWS Youth Sinfonia and has been an instructor at the Wilfrid Laurier University String Academy since 2011. She performs on a Paulo Antonio Testore violin made in Italy in 1740.
A recent transplant from Toronto to the Niagara region, James Bourne is a musician of extraordinary flexibility. Educated at the University of Western Ontario and the Royal College of Music, he holds undergraduate degrees in French language and graduate degrees in piano performance with collaborative focus. Time spent at the Banff Centre and the Tanglewood Music Center helped to develop a great love for chamber music and art song. Over the last several years, James has been privileged to work artistically with many wonderful groups, including: The Toronto Mendelssohn, Orpheus, Tallis and Tafelmusik Choirs; Opera Atelier, Tapestry New Opera, the University ofToronto and the TSO. James also has conducting/assistant conducting credits with Soundstreams/Luminato Festival, Opera Atelier and the Elora Singers. He is enjoying his new local musical collaborations and friendships very much which include singing with the Avanti Chamber Singers and the Edison Singers. James is currently coaching young orchestral musicians at Brock University and is Music Director at St. Mark’s Niagara-on-the-lake. An admirer (from the sidelines) of the Gallery Players, he is most grateful to be part of today’s concert.
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.
Nicholas Braun is a graduate of Brock University’s Bachelor of Arts Music program as well as a former student in the Mohawk College Jazz Music Program in the field of drums and percussion. Nicholas has also been writing original music for the past 10 years since the age of 15 in rock groups of various styles as well as composing his own music and performing all the instruments with the exception of a few musicians who feature on his recordings. The name of his solo project is Diz James with recordings available online and on music streaming services. Nicholas intends to continue composing and recording music and honing his craft as well as travelling and working.
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.
Glissandi, is a Niagara-based trio that has been performing together for over twenty-five years. They are featured regularly in Niagara's finest venues, and are members of the Niagara Symphony. Glissandi has recorded three CDs and each of the members is an established freelance musician of their own.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Gryphon Trio has impressed international audiences and the press with its highly refined, dynamic performances and has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios. With a repertoire that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century. The Trio tours regularly throughout North America and Europe and their 20 recordings are an encyclopedia of works for the genre. They have commissioned over 75 new works, and regularly collaborate on projects that push the boundaries of chamber music. Honours include two Juno Awards for Classical Album of the Year, and the prestigious 2013 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts from the Canada Council. Deeply committed to the education of the next generation of audiences and performers alike, the Gryphons frequently conduct masterclasses and workshops at universities and conservatories, and are Artists-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and Trinity College. Gryphon cellist Roman Borys is Artistic Director of Ottawa’s Chamberfest. Annalee Patipatanakoon and Jamie Parker serve as the festival’s Artistic Advisors in addition to their responsibilities at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, where Mr. Parker is the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance and Ms. Patipatanakoon is Associate Professor of Violin.
Michele Jacot is a musician with an active schedule of performing, conducting, teaching and concert production. Besides being in demand for her skills as a clarinetist, she is equally at home as a saxophonist and flutist, and is often featured as a soloist or ensemble performer on all of her instruments. She has played with symphony orchestras and opera companies across Ontario, as well as in theatre pit orchestras including Mirvish Productions, the Shaw Festival, and in many chamber ensembles. Michele is extremely honoured to be the Associate Conductor for Canadian musical icon, Howard Cable. She has recently appeared as guest conductor of the Sudbury Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia. In addition, Michele is a dedicated teacher and is in demand from the elementary to the post-secondary level. She maintains a busy timetable teaching privately, presenting workshops, adjudicating, and designing and leading clinics for band teachers across Canada. Michele is also the Artistic Director of Toronto’s Wychwood Clarinet Choir and is proud to be a Yamaha Canada Spotlight Artist. Born and raised in Toronto, Michele holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto and a Master of Music in Performance from Northwestern University in Chicago.
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.
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.
James Mason is highly regarded as one of Canada’s most prominent oboists. He came to Canada in 1975, accepting the position of Principal Oboe with the Saskatoon Symphony and Lecturer in Woodwinds at the University of Saskatchewan. Since 1979 he has been the Principal Oboe of the KitchenerWaterloo Symphony and Canadian Chamber Ensemble. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in Germany, Holland, Spain, South America and Japan as well as the United States and Canada. Mr. Mason has many recordings to his credit and is heard regularly on CBC radio, for which he has recorded most of the standard chamber music and solo oboe repertoire, along with several new works for oboe and orchestra and oboe and strings written specifically for him. Mr. Mason has appeared as guest Principal Oboe with the Boston, Toronto and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, along with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Since 1981 he has been a regular performer at both the Elora Festival and the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, Ontario. Over the years, Mason has been a very familiar face in the musical life of southwestern Ontario. He and his wife, violinist Julie Baumgartel, were founding Artistic Directors of the Grand River Baroque Festival. Jim has also appeared as performer, audience member and heckler at INNERchamber in Stratford. He has performed and recorded on numerous occasions with the Gallery Players. He was on the faculty at Wifrid Laurier University for 37 years. In 2000, in recognition of his contribution to the arts, Mason was given the Kitchener Waterloo Arts Award for Music.
Douglas Miller is a versatile soloist who is active within various symphony orchestras, chamber music series, mega-musicals, film and television recordings. He has performed with the Toronto Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, and Kitchener Waterloo Orchestra. He is current principal flute of the Niagara Symphony and a former Instructor at Brock University. As theatre musician, he is a regular member of the pit orchestras in Toronto productions such as The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, The Wizard of OZ, 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 2004-2006 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 performs regularly at the Stratford Festival. One of his many online videos with guitarist Timothy Phelan was used for a seminar in the music curriculum at Brock University in 2021. He has performed with Diana Krall and has made videos with Idina Menzel, Jonathan Antoine, and Chantal Kreviazuk. 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 regularly performs his multimedia 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.
Mike Phelan is a drummer, percussionist, instructor, educator, conductor & an arranger of Percussion Ensemble music. He was the District School Board of Niagara’s Principal Percussion Instructor from 1989 to 2012. Mike is a Percussion Instructor with the Niagara Elementary Instrumental Music Program, the Ridley College Music Department, offers private instruction for students 10 years of age & older in his home studio & continues to work with & coach several Secondary school Percussion Ensembles. Mike also teaches an Adult Percussion Class through Niagara College, providing enough students register! Mike is a percussionist with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra & performs on a regular basis with the Town of Lincoln, Thorold, Port Colborne & the Hamilton Concert “Wind” Ensembles. As a “pit” percussionist, he performs with Garden City Productions in St. Catharines & Firehall Theatre in Niagara Falls. Over the years, Mike has been the drummer/percussionist for many popular Rock & Contemporary bands such as Starlord, Nightwinds, Jeffrey & the Juniors, Private Stock & Undun. He was the Music Director, Conductor & Arranger of The Malletheads, a very popular student Percussion Ensemble, from 2000 to 2006. The group recorded 4 CD’s in that span, highlighted by performances with the John Sherwood Trio, at the OMEA Conference in Huntsville, ON. & with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra for a Christmas Pops Concert. Since 1993, Mike has been the Principal Percussion Instructor at the Niagara Symphony Summer Music Camp. In 1996, Mike wrote & performed two pieces of music for the CD “Local Scores” recorded by the late poet/lyricist Terrance Cox & in 1999, enjoyed the experience of teaching the Percussion Techniques Course at Brock University. From 2008 to 2011, Mike was the percussionist with the World Rock Symphony Orchestra, featuring a 7-piece Rock band, a 12-voice Gospel Chorale & a 35 piece Orchestra at Fallsview Casino’s Avalon Ballroom in Niagara Falls, ON.
Canadian guitarist, conductor, composer and arranger Timothy Phelan has performed in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Cuba, Martinique, Europe, Scandinavia and China. 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 Radio Jalisco, Mexico. He is a regular guest soloist, conductor, teacher and lecturer at international guitar festivals in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Europe and China. 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 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, including a commission for Chorus Niagara & The Niagara Symphony. For the past decade, 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 has been on faculty at Brock University for the past decade.
Brett Polegato's artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics: “his is a serious and seductive voice” says The Globe and Mail, and The New York Times has praised him for his “burnished, well-focused voice” which he uses with “considerable intelligence and nuance.” He appears regularly on the world's most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andris Nelsons, Robert Haitink, Seiji Osawa, Jeffrey Tate, Marc Minkowski, and Martyn Brabbins. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 - Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano. Brett's 2013/2014 season started with a role debut: he sang his first Ford in Falstaff for Pacific Opera Victoria. In November, he traveled to Winnipeg to perform Doctor Malatesta in Don Pasquale for Manitoba Opera and in December, he appeared with Symphony Nova Scotia in performances of Handel's Messiah. After January concerts with the Eybler Quartet of a new transcription of Schumann's Dichterliebe in both Toronto and St. Catharines, he travels to Atlanta for February concerts and a recording of Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem with the Atlanta Symphony and conductor, Robert Spano. In March, he revisits one of his signature roles: the title role in Don Giovanni for Vancouver Opera, then follows that with another role debut: Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, in Don Carlo also for Vancouver Opera. He concludes his busy season in Buenos Aires in June, where he will appear as Gowan Stevens in a new opera by Oscar Stasnoy entitled “Requiem” for Teatro Colòn.
Anna Ronai has performed at major venues in Europe, North America and China, including the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York, Gläserner Saal, Musikverein, and Schubert Saal, Konzerthaus in Vienna. Anna has collaborated with distinguished singers as Brigitte Fassbaender, Michelle Breedt, Bernarda Fink, Robert Holl, and Members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Anna is a graduate of the Music University of the Arts Vienna, where she earned two Masters degrees, one in Piano Performance and the other in Collaborative Piano. She maintained positions at the Vienna and Innsbruck Conservatories, and a faculty position for piano, piano chamber music at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna. She has played for master-classes with esteemed artists including Brigitte Fassbaender, Christa Ludwig, Thomas Hampson and Linda Watson. Anna has appeared and placed in several major Lied Duo competitions such as the Robert Schumann Duo Competition in Zwickau, Germany, the East & West Artists International Auditions in New York, and Schubert und die Moderne in Graz, Austria. In 2009 Anna moved to Canada, and is a Vocal / Opera Coach at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. In Fall 2020 Anna joined Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo as the piano instructor, where she has also been an instrumental accompanist since 2019. She is an active performer at concerts and recitals across Ontario and abroad. Performances with the Trio d’Argento include “Music Toronto” (the world-premiere of ”Manidoog” by native composer Barbara Croall). Recent collaboration with Vienna based Flutist Ulrike Anton and the “Exil.arte” Institute in Vienna included several concerts in Europe and at the Holocaust Education week in Toronto .
Clarinettist Peter Shackleton joined the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2011 as Musician in Residence. He holds the Principal Clarinet chair with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, is a member of Music in Common, and performs with Tafelmusik on historical clarinet. In 1993 he was awarded First Prize at the 27th CBC Radio Competition, and has since performed as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik. He has served as Principal Clarinettist of Orchestra London Canada and has performed with Les Violons du Roy and the Milwaukee Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Stratford Festival Orchestras.
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
Trevor Wagler has dedicated his life to the art of music. He is co-owner/Director of Renaissance School of the Arts, as well as a freelance French horn player (on both modern and historical instruments), conductor, organist, composer, arranger/orchestrator, music editor/copyist and clinician. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Music Composition, a Diploma in Performance, and a Diploma in Chamber Music from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as a Masters of Music Degree in horn performance from Western University. He has performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, Tafelmusik, Orchestra London / London Sinfonia, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Nota Bene Period Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony, the Stratford Festival, Drayton Entertainment and more, sharing the stage with the likes of Dianna Krall, Anne Murray, Michael Burgess and Howard Cable. Trevor has conducted the historic Waterloo Concert Band since 2006, and has spent nearly two decades conducting various ensembles for the KWS Youth Orchestra Programme. He is the regular guest conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony for their acclaimed joint performances with KW GLEE. He founded the Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Concert Band (KW YCB) in 2017. Passionate about music education, Trevor maintains an active teaching schedule at Renaissance School of the Arts, and holds part-time faculty positions at both Laurier University and the University of Waterloo (Conrad Grebel University College). In addition to his active performance and teaching schedule, Trevor is also a busy arranger/orchestrator and composer, having written more than 1000 scores for orchestras, bands, chamber ensembles and soloists around the world. Recent commissions have included orchestrating (and conducting) The K-W Symphony Presents KW Glee Live! (2015, 2017, 2019 - and hopefully again in 2022, pending the end of this pandemic!) at the Centre in the Square (Kitchener), as well as new music for the KWS, Symphony Nova Scotia, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, and the Kingston Symphony. Trevor is a member of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, the International Horn Society, the Historic Brass Society and the National Geographic Society. Trevor resides in Waterloo, Ontario with his soulmate, flutist Wendy Wagler, and three fabulous children.
The Toronto Star declared "under Warren's direction, the orchestra sounded full-bodied and alive!" and "...sounding luscious and regal, Warren accomplished his task". Daniel Warren has conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Hamilton Philharmonic, Orchestra London, the Windsor Symphony, Symphony New Brunswick, The Thunder Bay Symphony, The ERGO and Continuum ensembles and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble. Many of these performances have been heard on CBC radio. Warren served as Resident Conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony for fourteen years and, more recently, as Creative Advisor and conductor for Orchestra London Canada. For the past twelve years he has been conducting at the Westben Arts Festival Theatre in performances of opera, choral and orchestral programs. Comfortable with virtually all genres of orchestral music, Warren has conducted such notable opera singers including John Fanning, Gary Relyea, Susan Platts, Donna Bennett, Karina Gauvin, Jane Archibald, Daniel Lichti, Virginia Hatfield, Jennifer Enns Modolo, James McLean, and Mark Dubois. Other artists include Anne Murray, Barenaked Ladies, Roger Hodgson of Supertramp, Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, Neil Donell (lead singer, Chicago) Louise Pitre, Holly Cole, Denzal Sinclair, Martin Fry of ABC, Laurence Gowan of Styx, Jeans ‘n Classics and Cirque de la Symphonie. Recent Opera and Ballet engagements include conducting the world premiere of Brian Finley's opera "The Pencil Salesman", Massenet's "Cendrillon", Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro", Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” at Westben and Opera Kitchener’s "Die Zauberflöte", The Nutcracker with Ballet Jörgen and the Minnesota Ballet. Other acclaimed conducting engagements have taken Daniel Warren to the United States, Austria, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. As a conductor and as a trumpet soloist Warren has recorded both on CD and in live television broadcast. He has toured extensively with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble throughout Canada, the United States, England, France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and throughout South America. Also active as an arranger, Daniel Warren’s work was recently played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, England. His symphonic arrangements span Classical, Jazz, Broadway and Rock styles and have been performed by orchestras in Canada, the USA, England and Asia. He has arranged for such artists as Quartetto Gelato, Payadora, David Rogers, Louise Pitre, Michael Dore, Donna Bennett and Stephen Michaels Kabakos. He resides with his wonderful wife and family in their rural, owner-built home.
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 and performs with a wide collection of chamber ensembles including the Eybler Quartet, I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble and L’Harmonie des Saisons (Montreal). She joined the 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. Always interested in the latest research in period performance, Julia joined the Accordes! Ensemble in 2019 at Oxford University (UK) in their ground-breaking research into 19th Century performance practice, which culminated in a CD of music by Tchaikovsky and Fuchs.