Canadian Music Competition 2017 / Evaluation Committee

Historical Information

The information contained on this page is related to an older edition of the competition. It is made available for archival purposes only. For the most current information, please go to Canadian Music Competition 2021.

First Round

National Final

Caron Allen

Strings, Winds

Caron Allen graduated from Queens University School of Music as a double performance major in cello and flute. After receiving her Bachelor of Music she travelled to Vienna and performed in the Kursalon orchestra as a flautist. After travelling throughout Europe she relocated to Kingston, earned her Bachelor of Education and founded two string programs. As a cellist she studied with Julian Trzycynski, Daniel Domb, and played in the Kingston Symphony, while continuing to teach strings and vocal music in the school system.

Upon moving to Mississauga, she founded two more string programs in the Peel District School Board, in addition to teaching choral and band music. Caron has performed as a professional freelance cellist in orchestras across Ontario and in 2011 she embarked on a Yangtze Triangle tour of China as a cellist with Ontario Festival Symphony Orchestra. At present Caron lives in Mississauga, Ontario and continues to conduct the “Philharmonia”, a division of the Halton Mississauga Youth Orchestra. Her orchestras, concert bands and jazz bands have earned gold standings at both the Provincial and National levels over the span of her teaching career. In addition to teaching cello and flute in her studio, Caron is sought after as a clinician and adjudicator across Canada.

Jacques Boucher


Jacques Boucher is considered one of the driving forces for the organ in Canada. Indeed, he has produced more than 1500 recitals dedicated to this pipe instrument, putting to contribution a hundred Quebec organists. In addition, he has also been musical director for over two hundred records.

From 1991 to 1995, he holds the function of Président de la commission musique de la Communauté des Radios publiques de langue française, which regroups Belgium, Canada, France and Switzerland. From 1998 to 2001, he was Executive and Artistic Director for Jeunesses musicales du Canada. In 2006, he is appointed, for a four-year mandate, dean of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal.

As a concert performer, M. Boucher has been invited to give recitals in Canada, United States, Bermuda, Ecuador, Mexico and Europe. In August 1996, he performed in the Chartres cathedral and afterwards, has joined the jury for the Concours international d’orgue de Chartres. In February 1997, he played on the great organ of the Olivier-Messiaen hall of Radio-France for the “Une heure d’orgue à Radio-France” series. In May 2005, he was inaugurating the 39th Festival Internacional de Organo de Morelia in Mexico, playing with l’Orquesta Sinfonica de Michoacan.

Nathalie Camus


Born in Montréal, Nathalie Camus has studied at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and the St-Louis Conservatory of Music, in Missouri, under the supervision of Taras Gabora. She played for renowned violinists such as Henryk Szerying, Isaac Stern and Franco Gulli. She also took chamber music classes with Sacha Schneider (Budapest Quartet) and Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet).

After being a supernumerary for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the McGill Chamber Orchestra, Nathalie Camus became a member of the Detroit Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and then the Violons du Roy.

Other than being Concertmaster for the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Nathalie Camus founded the Quatuor Alcan in 1989. With this quartet, she travelled across North America, Europe and Asia and has recorded a dozen of compact discs under the ATMA and ANALEKTA labels.

A sought after educator, she taught violin at the Conservatoire de musique de Saguenay. She has been invited to teach in various institutions such as Victoria University, Bishop University, the Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute, the Domaine Forget de Ste-Irénée, the Camp musical des Laurentides and at CAMMAC.

Sophie Dansereau


Born in Sorel-Tracy, Québec, Sophie Dansereau is currently assistant-principal bassoon and contrabassoon for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has also been heard as the principal bassoon and contrabassoon in several orchestras around the world, including the National Art Centre Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia and the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. Sophie received several top prizes in Canadian and international competitions. She has been featured as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Vancouver Symphony and was heard as a soloist and chamber player across Canada on the CBC radio and Radio-Canada.

Sophie is an active chamber music bassoonist and soloist. She has the privilege to count several works written especially for her and the group she founded, the Ad Mare Wind quintet. She counts numerous performances featuring Canadian composers including Jocelyn Morlock’s Nightsong (for bassoon and harp) and Christopher Kovarik’s Quintets no.1, 2, 3 (for wind quintet). Parallel to her performing career, Sophie is on the faculty of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music and the Vancouver Academy of Music. A demanded clinician, she also serves on the faculty of Douglas College, the West Coast Amateur Music Society, and teaches in her personal studio.

Dominic Desautels


Regarded as one of Canada’s prominent clarinetists, Dominic Desautels enjoys an active career in Canada and beyond.

He began playing the clarinet at age 15, has made his debut as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at age 21, and has since been featured with several other orchestras here and abroad. In high demand as a chamber musician, he is a guest artist at Scotia Festival, and toured across Canada in 40 recitals for Jeunesses Musicales Canada, and across South America as co-artistic director of The Parcival Project. The winner of several competitions, he notably became the first clarinetist to win a top prize at the prestigious Stepping Stone Competition, at its 33rd edition in 2010.

Studies include the Glenn Gould School under Joaquin Valdepeñas, then with Jean-François Normand at the Université de Montréal. Upon graduation, he became the principal clarinetist of the Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais, one of the top orchestras in Brazil, from 2008 until 2012, then being appointed principal at Symphony Nova Scotia. Dominic Desautels also has served as acting principal clarinetist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company.

Simon Docking


Simon Docking studied piano in Australia with Ransford Elsley, and holds a doctorate in piano performance from SUNY Stony Brook, where he worked with Gilbert Kalish. Upon graduation, he was awarded New York State’s Thayer Fellowship for the Arts. In 2011, Simon received an Established Artist Recognition Award from the province of Nova Scotia. Simon is on the faculty of the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in Halifax. As an accompanist and coach he has worked at the Univeristy of Toronto, the Glenn Gould School, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the Dalhousie University and the Acadia University.

He has appeared for Toronto’s Soundstreams, the Winnipeg New Music Festival, the Scotia Festival of Music, Symphony Nova Scotia, Acadia University’s Shattering the Silence, Australia’s Aurora Festival, the new music group Stroma in New Zealand, and MATA Festival in New York. Active as a chamber musician, Simon has been a founding member of several ensembles, including the Toronto-based group Toca Loca, which has been presented by nearly every new music series in Canada from St John’s to Vancouver, as well as appearances in New York, California and at the C3 Festival at Berlin’s legendary Berghain. Simon is on the faculty of the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in Halifax.

Katherine Dowling


Praised by the New York Times for her “crystalline performances, gestural expressiveness, and careful attention to color”, and by the Boston Globe for her “effortless incisiveness”, award-winning pianist Katherine Dowling has performed across North America and the United Kingdom. Equally compelling as a solo, collaborative, and ensemble performer, she holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University.

Recent engagements include her solo debut with the Britten-Pears Festival Orchestra under the baton of Oliver Knussen at the Aldeburgh Festival, a cross-Canada tour with violinist Joshua Peters under the auspices of the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, regular performances as a member of California-based ensemble Son à Trois, solo recitals at live@CIRMMT (Montréal) and Gallery 345’s ‘Art of the Piano’ series (Toronto), and appearances at the Ottawa, Regina, and Silicon Valley chamber music festivals. Upcoming projects include her Dutch debut at the Orlando Festival. Dr. Dowling is further familiar to audiences as a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, as a New Fromm Fellow, as a Britten-Pears Young Artist, and through extensive involvement at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

She credits her teacher Gil Kalish, as well as Henri-Paul Sicsic and Janice Elliott-Denike, as the major influence in her musical life.

Robin Doyon


A native of East Angus, Québec, Robin Doyon was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in September 2008. Since that appointment, he has appeared as soloist with the ESO, as well as the Red Deer Symphony and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble. He received his Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Classical Interpretation at the Université de Montréal with Jean-Luc Gagnon. He has studied with many masters of the trumpet, including Allen Vizzutti, Jens Lindemann, and James Thompson. In 2002, he was Laureate of the National Music Festival, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra Competition, and the Radio-Canada Young Artists Competition. Mr. Doyon has also been the recipient of numerous other prizes, including the 2007 Prix avec Grande distinction from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.

He has been a member of the Grand Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and is a regular performer with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Laval, Longueuil, and the Metropolitan orchestras. He also performed with the Contemporary Ensemble of Montréal and the Contemporary Music Society of Québec. Robin currently teaches at the University of Alberta.

Louise Forand-Samson


Louise Forand-Samson’s name is inseparable from the musical life of Québec City and the whole province. She was artistic director for le Club musical de Québec for over 40 years. A trained pianist, Ms. Forand-Samson has taught at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec for almost 25 years. She received numerous grants and prizes and did numerous tours across Québec, Canada and Europe.

She has organized numerous masterclasses in association with le Conservatoire de musique de Québec andthe Faculté de musique de l’Université Laval. As a member of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Conseil Québécois de la musique, she regularly participates in conferences in the United States and Europe. In 2006, the Prix de la Fondation de l’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec is attributed to Louise Forand-Samson to recognize the excellence of her contribution to the development of classical musical in greater Québec City. On June 3rd 2010, Québec’s Prime minister, Jean Charest, admitted Louise Forand-Samson to the rank of Officer of l’Ordre national du Québec, Québec’s most prestigious distinction.

Charles Foreman


Charles Foreman made his debut in 1972 with the Chicago Civic Orchestra conducted by David Gilbert, playing the Brahms B-flat Concerto. Since then, he has won prizes in Canadian and U.S. piano competitions, received two Canada Council for the Arts grants for study and performance in Europe, performed over 30 times with orchestras in North America (including eight repeat engagements with the Calgary Philharmonic), under conductors such as Edmond Agopian, Mario Bernardi, Rolf Bertsch, Boris Brott, Stephen Franse, Stewart Grant, Arpad Joo, and Gerhardt Zimmermann, and played over 700 solo and chamber recitals in Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S. He has been equally praised for his superb musicianship, his formidable technique, his vast repertoire, and his imaginative programming. He has premiered works by composers as diverse as Istvan Anhalt, George Crumb, Stewart Grant, Oskar Morawetz, Violet Archer, Gerhard Wuensch, and William Jordan.

He began a cycle of the complete works of Chopin for solo piano in the fall of 2006, and became the first Canadian pianist ever to complete the cycle in March, 2009. In 2001, Foreman concluded his two-year “Sounds of a Century” project, ten recitals of twentieth-century piano music, one for each decade. He completed his, and Calgary’s, first cycle of the thirty-two Beethoven piano sonatas in 2005, to sold-out houses and standing ovations. Charles recently repeated his nine-concert Beethoven cycle for the benefit of the International Festival of Song and Chamber Music Society.

Corey Gemmell


Corey Lyle Gemmell, violinist, is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. He has distinguished himself as a soloist and chamber musician with performances in Canada, Germany, the United States and China. Concerto appearances include performances of such works as Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and Beethoven Triple Concerto.

Mr. Gemmell is concertmaster of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Hamilton Orchestra and the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also performed in this role with the Boris Brott National Academy Orchestra, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Orchestra, and Esprit Orchestra. He performs frequently with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.

Corey Gemmell was concertmaster for the fall CBC television production of Over the Rainbow with Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber. He has performed as concertmaster for a number of musicals including recent productions of Beauty and the Beast, the Hugh Jackman Show and Next to Normal and has worked with such pop icons as Hugh Jackman and Chantal Kreviazuk. He is also active in commercial studio work in Toronto and has recorded for numerous movies and commercials.

Much in demand as a teacher, Mr. Gemmell’s students have distinguished themselves at provincial and national competitions. He is presently on faculty at the Western University, the National Music Camp of Canada and is a member of the Royal College of Examiners.

Kristine Gray


A native of Calgary, Kristine Gray began her musical studies at an early age studying classical guitar and saxophone. Kristine obtained her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Calgary, under the direction of Dr. Jeremy Brown. Kristine also received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary and her Masters of Music in Saxophone Performance from The Boston Conservatory. In 2015, Kristine completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance through Boston University, under the direction of Kenneth Radnofsky. She has been an educator in Calgary, Toronto and Boston as well as having an active private studio. In the fall of 2005, she completed a twelve-week Music and Sound Residency at the Banff Centre for Performing Arts and Creativity.

An active performer and advocate of new music, Kristine has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Red Deer Symphony, throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Thailand and Scotland. She has adjudicated music festivals from Terrace, British Columbia to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Kristine has been the saxophone instructor at the University of Lethbridge and currently she is on faculty at Mount Royal University Conservatory, the Calgary Board of Education and Strathcona Tweedsmuir School.

Brian James


Originally from Washington, D.C, Briand James holds degrees from the Florida State University School of Music and the Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Brian became Solo English Horn and Second Oboe with Symphony Nova Scotia in 2005. He is often featured as a concerto soloist with the orchestra and premiered J.S. Bach’s Oboe d’amore Concerto in A Major in 2013. Prior to his appointment in Halifax Brian, performed regularly as principal oboe with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Opera Lyra Ottawa and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Toronto Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. Brian James has recorded extensively with baroque music specialist Kevin Mallon and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Ontario-based woodwind octet ‘The Festival Winds’ for Naxos and CBC, respectively.

He can often be heard in solo and chamber music recitals across the Maritimes. Brian teaches oboe at Dalhousie University and has previously held teaching positions with Wilfrid Laurier and Acadia Universities. He is a sought after reed maker and offers workshops and lessons in this unique craft.

Leslie Kinton


Leslie Kinton was born in Toronto and studied the piano with Pierre Souvairan and Boris Berlin as well as composition with Samuel Dolin. He also studied the piano in New York City with Jeaneane Dowis and Karl Ulrich Schnabel. He has a Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Schenkerian analysis; his dissertation was an exhaustive study of Dvořák’s Symphony no. 7 with two of the world’s most renowned Schenkerian theorists, David Beach and Edward Laufer.

From 1976 to the present, as a member of the Anagnoson & Kinton piano duo, Leslie Kinton has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. The duo has played with the major orchestras across Canada including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Victoria Symphony, and the C.B.C. Vancouver Orchestra; they have a discography of nine recordings. Leslie Kinton is one of Canada’s best-known and most sought-after chamber musicians and is a founding member of ARC (Artists of the Royal Conservatory), the resident chamber ensemble of The Glenn Gould School. He is an associate professor of piano performance at Western University.

Irina Krasnyanskaya


Irina Krasnyanskaya is very active on the Quebec scene both as solo pianist and chamber musician. Her broad musical activities range from the traditional classical concert to the areas of musical theater, art direction, and avant-garde music. Irina graduated with honours from the famous Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and she holds a doctorate in performance from the Université de Montréal. She has won several awards in international competitions and has given recitals in more than ten different countries.

Irina is a member of several chamber music ensembles including the Montréal Piano Duo, with which she performed throughout the country, and the Ensemble Quatrix (2 pianos-2 percussions), specializing in the contemporary repertoire. She is also the pianist for the theatre company L’Arsenal à Musique. Irina Krasnyanskaya is a lecturer at the University of Montréal and a private piano instructor. Many of her students are winners of provincial and national competitions. She is also the artistic director of the Montréal Russian Seasons, the first Canadian classical music festival entirely devoted to Russian repertoire.

Renaud Lapierre


Born in Montréal, Renaud Lapierre grew up in Saint-Lambert, Quebec in a musical family. He first began playing the violin at age five, and spent more than ten years studying music at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal with Raymond Dessaints. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree, post-graduate diploma and Master’s degree in Performance under Anne Robert and Vladimir Landsman at l’Université de Montréal.

Renaud Lapierre has performed and toured with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal throughout Canada, Japan, Korea, and Europe, where he visited twelve cities in two weeks. He has also toured in the U.S. with Les Violons du Roy, playing in Los Angeles at the Walt Disney Centre and in New York at Carnegie Hall. In 2005, Renaud Lapierre was winner of the Trois-Rivières Symphonic Orchestra Competition. Previous appointments as Concertmaster include the Orchestre de la Francophonie canadienne and Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal. He also held the position of Principal Second Violin for Symphony Nova Scotia in 2011/12 and has been First Violin for Symphony Nova Scotia for three years.

Ji Eun Lim


After her education with Gerard Kantarjian in Canada, Ji Eun achieved her Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and professional studies program under the guidance of Hyo Kang at the Juilliard School in New York. She continued her studies with legendary artists such as Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet), Donald Weilerstein (Cleveland Quartet) and Norbert Brainin (Amadeus Quartet). Following her win at The Artist’s International competition, Ji Eun Lim was awarded a debut recital at the Carnegie Weill hall the following year. She made her debut at the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center with the Juilliard Orchestra after winning the Juilliard competition. In Korea, she made her debut with Leipziger Kammer Orchester in the 2001 Seoul International Music Festival and, the same year, was the soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in the New Year’s Gala Concert. Ji Eun has appeared with numerous orchestras, toured more than 15 different countries playing recitals, chamber music concerts and international festivals.

For more than ten years, Ji Eun taught violin and chamber music at YonSei University and HanYang University in South Korea, and also at the Montpellier International Music Academy and International Sommerakademie Schloss Heiligenberg. After the recent move to Vancouver, she has been on the violin Faculty of The Vancouver Academy of Music.

Robin MacMillan


Robin MacMillan currently plays 2nd oboe and English Horn with the Winnipeg Symphony, and is a member of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Since joining the WSO in 2006, she has been a soloist in Copland’s “Quiet City”, and Sibelius’ “The Swan of Tuonela”, as well as with Musik Barock. She has also played with the Rochester Philharmonic, the National Ballet of Canada, the Windsor Symphony, and numerous Viennese orchestras.

Robin was a longtime resident of Vienna, where she had an active and varied career as a freelance oboist, playing with orchestras such as the Frauenkammerorchester, Klangforum, Vereinigte Bühnen, the Kammeroper, and the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra Project. As a soloist and chamber musician, she performed on Austrian radio (ORF), and at leading Viennese concert halls. She has toured throughout Europe and the Far East with Viennese orchestras.

She has toured in Quebec with Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, and through France, Austria and Cyprus. Robin shifted her career focus more fully to the oboe in 2004 and pursued a Doctorate in Oboe Performance at the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman on full scholarship, she taught Oboe Methods and Baroque Oboe, and was nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award. Following completion of her DMA, Robin was hired by Eastman as a Visiting Instructor for Baroque Oboe. Her principal oboe teachers were Richard Killmer (Eastman), John Ferrillo (Boston Symphony) and Shelley Heron (Detroit Symphony).

Élaine Marcil


Élaine Marcil is on for the most active violinists on the musical scene in Quebec and Canada. On top of being Concermaster for the Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke and Sinfonia de Lanaudière, she is a founding member and Concertmaster of the Quatuor Claudel-Canimex. She has given numerous recitals in Quebec and has been a soloist for the main orchestras in Quebec and Ontario.

Winner of the Concours international de Montréal in 1987 (now called Concours musical international de Montréal), Élaine Marcil has also won the First Prize of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Competition, the Virtuoses de Radio-Canada Competition, the Quebec Music Competition and the Canadian Music Competition. She has received a bursary from the Canadian Council for the Arts and studied in Paris with Pierre Amoyal and Boston with Roman Totenberg.

In 1989, Élaine founded the Quatuor Claudel, now called the Quatuor Claudel-Canimex, in which she is Concertmaster. Over the last 15 years, the Quatuor has played for Radio-Canada, CBC, PBS and Bravo. They have also played in these important Canadian festivals: Cordes du future in Ottawa, Parry Sound of Music in Ontario, Festival International de Lanaudière, Guelph Music Festival, Scotia Fest in Halifax, Festival Alexandria and the Hornby and Sarnia festivals in British Columbia. The Quatuor Claudel has its own chamber music series in Montréal and gives over 20 representations a year.

Joan Milkson


Joan Milkson has been a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since its inception. She received a bachelor and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School in New York. She studied the violin with Édouard Dethier and Ivan Galamian, as well as chamber music with Felix Galimir and the members of the Juilliard String Quartet.

She has been a member of the American Symphony Orchestra, led by Leopold Stokowski and Sergiu Comissiona. Ms. Milkson was also part of the Lyric Trio and Music-In-Maine, a project funded by the American Federal Government.

Joan Milkson has performed as soloist, with the NAC Orchestra, in works by Bach, Mozart, Sarasate and Mannino, during concerts conducted by founder Mario Bernardi or Franz-Paul Decker, Franco Mannino and Jaime Laredo.

She frequently took part in chamber music concerts at the NAC, playing violin as well as viola in various ensembles that were conducted by eminent instrumentalists such as Samuel Rhodes, Raphael Hillyer, Felix Galimir, Charles Treger, Artur Balsam and Anton Kuerti.

President of the Tassos Prassopoulos Music Foundation in New York and of the Young String Performers Foundation in Ottawa, she teaches at the Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau, in Quebec. In 1996, the Daughters of Penelope association — Ottawa Section, gave her the Salute to Women Honour for “her contribution to musical education and her remarkable contributions in the musical domain.”

David Moroz


A graduate of the Juilliard School, Winnipeg-born pianist David Moroz enjoys a career as one of Canada’s most versatile artists. He was awarded a Doctor of Music degree from the Université de Montréal, and holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the celebrated Juilliard School in New York City. He has been Artistic Director of The Winnipeg Chamber Music Society since 1987, and presently serves as Chair of the Piano Department of the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music.

In 2000, he began his long association with The Morningside Music Bridge as coordinator of the Piano Faculty, and has since visited China annually, performing, teaching and giving masterclasses at major Schools and Conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. As a soloist, he has performed in every major Canadian city, and, as a collaborative artist, he appears regularly in recital with Canada’s most distinguished musicians. Twice nominated for Manitoba’s Artist of the Year, he is a frequent guest of CBC Radio and is a veteran performer at Canada’s most important music festivals. Most recently, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Government of Canada, in recognition of his contribution to the Arts.

Julia Nolan


Julia Nolan has numerous commissioned works by Canadian composers with a special interest in those from British Columbia including: Denis Bedard, Dorothy Chang, Stephen Chatman, Keith Hamel, Alan Matheson, Alain Mayrand, John Oliver, Robert Pritchard, Jeffrey Ryan, and Fred Stride. She performs with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera, Vancouver New Music, and the Turning Point Ensemble as orchestral saxophonist in addition to performances as soloist.

Her Recent performances and guest teaching include the American Saxophone Academy (July 2016) and the University of North Texas (January & April, 2016). In April 2016, Julia Nolan performed the U.S. premiere of Jeffrey Ryan’s concerto Brazen with the Lubbock Symphony and premiered the concerto, Cool Cut by John Oliver with the Turning Point Ensemble. Julia Nolan has been a guest artist-teacher at international saxophone workshops in Taiwan and Hong Kong and performs regularly at Saxophone Congresses. Nolan served as an international judge at the 5th Adolphe Sax International Saxophone Competition (Belgium, 2010) and was the head judge at the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (ISSAC) (Georgia, US, 2012 & 2014). Dr. Nolan teaches at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the University of British Columbia.

Monique Pagé


A graduate of the Conservatoire de musique du Québec and recipient of a Premier Prix à l’unanimité du Jury, Monique Pagé has been active on the Canadian and international lyric scene for over twenty years. An engaging artist with refined musicality, she is passionate about the operatic “Grande scène” and her preferred composers are Mozart and Puccini. She is particularly fond of the early 20th century French melody and its refined poetry that deploys itself on a music that alternates between light and darkness.

Monique Pagé made her European debut at l’Opéra de Nancy et Lorraine in 1998 and has been heard in recital in Moscow as part of the Journées Du Québec, as well as in France, Greece, Lebanon and Turkey. She often sings with renowned ensembles such as Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, OSM, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, I Musici, Appassionata, McGill Chamber Orchestra, OSTR, Compagnie Chants Libres, Sinfonia de Lanaudière, Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke and on air at Radio-Canada/CBC and Radio-France. She has worked with stage directors Wajdi Mouawad, François Racine, Normand Chouinard, and Alain Gauthier, just to name a few.

In 2008, she performed as a soloist during the Fêtes of the 400e de Québec in the Eight Symphony (called Des Mille) by Gustav Mahler with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, an exceptional musical event that gathered 8 international soloists, over 200 musicians, 1100 choristers and 12 000 spectators. Her next seasons 2017-2020 are dedicated to recital in Québec, as well as Bordeaux and Paris, with works by Debussy, Mahler, Ravel, Schubert and Strauss. An assistant professor at the Faculté de Musique de l’Université de Montréal, Monique Pagé is also titular of the classical singing class at Cégep Marie-Victorin since 2006. She has been a guest professor at the Camp Musical des Laurentides since the summer of 2009.

Ian Parker


Charismatic and delightfully articulate, Canadian pianist Ian Parker captivates audiences wherever he goes. Born in Vancouver to a family of pianists, Ian Parker holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Yoheved Kaplinsky. Hehas appeared with the philharmonic orchestras from Buffalo to Calgary, as well as the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, and the symphonies of Cincinnati, Edmonton, Greenwich, Honolulu, National (Washington, D.C.), San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Spokane, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, among many others.

An enthusiastic recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Parker has performed across the United States, throughout Canada, Western Europe, and Israel. He made his Lincoln Center recital debut at the Walter Reade Theater in 2004, and since 2005, he has toured extensively with the internationally renowned Vogler Quartet. During the 2016/2017 season, he will make his debut with the Illinois Symphony performing his vibrant Gershwin repertoire.

Nathalie Paulin


Soprano Nathalie Paulin has established herself in the United States, Canada and Europe as an interpretive artist of the very first rank. An Université de Montréal alumna, she won prizes at the Montréal Symphony Competition, George London Foundation in New York, and the Canadian Music Competition. Winner of a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Opera Performance, she has collaborated with internationally renowned conductors including Jane Glover, Michael Christie, Robert Spano, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Antony Walker, Bernard Labadie, and Andrew Litton on both the concert platform and in opera. Ms. Paulin debuted for L’Opéra de Montréal as Mélisande in Pélléas et Mélisande and sang the title role in Semele for Chicago Opera Theater.

Recent and upcoming engagements include Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 for the Kingston and Ottawa Symphonies, Mozart’s Requiem for Symphony Nova Scotia, Carmina Burana for Festival de Lanaudière, and the title role in Theodora for Vancouver Early Music. She has been featured at the Wexford Festival, Bard Summerscape, Opera Lafayette in D.C. and New York, Seattle Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston. Ms. Paulin is currently a member of the Vocal Department at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

Steven Philcox


Heralded by The Globe and Mail as “a superb piano partner…gorgeously accompanied”, Steven Philcox is regarded as one of Canada’s finest collaborators and is a frequent partner of Canada’s vocal elite performing in concert halls across North America where he continues to garner the reputation as one of this country’s most expressive and colorful interpreters. Mr. Philcox was a celebrated member of the music staff of the Canadian Opera Company for 11 seasons where he served as répétiteur, conductor, and was the pianist of choice for the continuo of Handel and Mozart.

He has given masterclasses throughout Canada and is regularly invited to mentor young artists at many of Canada’s prestigious institutions and summer programs. Recent highlights include Opera on the Avalon, Toronto Summer Music, Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Centre for Operatic Studies in Italy. Steven Philcox is co-founder of the Canadian Art Song project. Inspired by a passion for Canadian music, and art song in particular, its mission is to build on the rich legacy of Canadian song through the creation of new music. Since its inception in 2011, CASP has brought together composers, writers, and performing artists in the creation of ten new works for voice and piano. Steven is currently Associate Professor and head of Collaborative Piano studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.

Brigitte Poulin


Montréal pianist Brigitte Poulin is an active and accomplished soloist, chamber musician, vocal accompanist and teacher whose repertoire covers all periods from the invention to the deconstruction of the piano. A proponent of 20th and 21st century music, Brigitte has commissioned and premiered more than fifty works for solo piano, prepared piano and various chamber ensembles. Brigitte studied at the Vienna Music Academy, the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, and has been a frequent guest at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity before obtaining a doctorate from l’Université de Montréal. She has performed in Italy, Belgium, France, Cyprus, Holland, Austria, Germany, England, USA and throughout Canada.

A founding member of Ensemble Transmission, she counts among her frequent and faithful collaborators singers Ingrid Schmithüsen and Vincent Ranallo, doublebassist Ali Yazdanfar and pianist Jean Marchand. Brigitte Poulin teaches as a part-time lecturer at both The Schulich music School of McGill University and Université de Montréal. She is regularly called upon to adjudicate Arts Councils grant proposals as well as various Canadian music competitions. She is as well a member of the Summer Academy of the Domaine Forget since 2001.

Rennie Regehr


Rennie Regehr began his professional career with the Winnipeg Symphony and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. His career has taken him throughout Canada and abroad as an orchestra musician, soloist and chamber musician.

From 1992-2006 Mr. Regehr was the Dean of the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. In that role, he developed an internationally renowned orchestral program that has trained many of Canada’s finest professional musicians and solo artists. In 2006, he joined the University of Ottawa music faculty as the Viola Professor, principal Guest Conductor of the University Orchestra, as well as the Director of the Chamber Music Program.

As a teacher, Mr. Regehr follows a tradition of great Canadian string mentors. Himself, a student of Gerald Stanick, he continues that level of teaching and has taught some of Canadian’s outstanding violists who have gone on to study in major international graduate programs and win positions in many North American orchestras. He has adjudicated many competitions and festivals, as well as serving on numerous grant assessment committees for the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2012, he received the Canadian Viola Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Allen Reiser


Allen Reiser has performed with various orchestras in England and Canada, and recital engagements have taken him to nearly every major center in Western Canada. He is a pianist of diverse musical interests, with a particular interest in Canadian piano music and the music of Franz Liszt. Allen Reiser is active throughout Western Canada as a performer, adjudicator and master class clinician. He has presented workshops and recitals for local, provincial and national Registered Music Teachers’ Associations.

A National Gold Medalist of the Toronto Conservatory of Music, he has also been honored by Calgary’s Mount Royal University with a Distinguished Faculty/Teaching Award. His two major teaching positions have been at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, now Mount Royal University. He has been guest piano instructor at summer schools in Cranbrook, Camrose, Sundre and Victoria. Allen Reiser’s former instructors include Peter Katin (England) and Dr. Robin Wood (Canada). He currently operates a private piano studio in Calgary. His first released CD, A Canadian Piano Album, was nominated for a 2001 Prairie Music Award in the category of Outstanding Classical Recording.

Daniel Scholz


Originally from Regina, Daniel studied at the University of Regina, McGill University and at the University of British Columbia. He was a prize winner at the Lionel Tertis Viola Competition, the most prestigious event of its kind, held on the Isle of Mann. Mr. Scholz is the Principal Viola of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society, and the Rembrandt String Quartet. As a solo artist, Daniel has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Musickbarock, the Okanagan Symphony and the Vancouver Chamber Players. Daniel has also toured Europe with the Nordic Symphony of Tallinn, Estonia as Guest Principal Viola.

Highly sought after as a teacher, Mr. Scholz is an instructor at the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba as well as the conductor of the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has performed and taught at many of Canada’s major festivals and is a faculty member of the Rosamunde Summer Academy in Winnipeg and the Amici Summer Strings in Calgary. Mr. Scholz was also invited to perform and teach in Perth, Australia by the Australian String Teachers Association and the West Australian and New Zealand Viola Society.

John Thompson


John Thompson has recently retired after serving as Principal Viola in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra for forty-three seasons. During that time, he was an active performer as a soloist, chamber musician, appearing with the orchestra and visiting artists on many occasions. He has always had an enthusiasm for working with youth, as a teacher at the Mount Royal University Conservatory and the University of Calgary, as a conductor with the Calgary Youth Orchestra and the Conservatory Strings, and as a chamber music coach in the Academy programme at MRUC.

Many of his students have received honors at local, provincial and national competitions and a number of his students may be found performing with professional orchestras across North America. John is regularly invited to adjudicate across Canada and continues to be active as a violist in a variety of settings. He has been honored with an Alberta Achievement Award and a Distinguished Teaching Award from Mount Royal University for his services to young musicians.

Zaven Zakarian


A McGill University alumni, Zaven Zakarian has received a Bachelor of Music Performance degree with honors. He studied with Emilio Lacurto and Michael Dumouchel and later continued private studies with Stanley Hasty in Rochester, NY.

M. Zakarian frequently plays with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Since 1999, he has been the most sought after supernumerary clarinetist for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He played in numerous working for CBC, Radio-Canada, ATMA and many other producers.

As of right now, M. Zakarian is the Principal Clarinet for both the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières and the Orchestre des Grands Ballets Canadiens. He is also a member of the Orchestre symphonique de Laval.

As a chamber musician, M. Zakarian played with ensembles such as the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Ensemble, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec and the National Arts Centre Ensemble. Zaven Zakarian also played as a soloist with l’Orchestre métropolitain du Grand Montréal. In November 2002, his performance of Copland Concerto for clarinet with l’Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières granted him a prestigious Opus Prize for Best Concert Performance.

Zaven Zakarian is a sought after clarinet teacher in the Montréal region. He is part of the teaching staff at Vanier College since 1985.