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 Stepping Stone 2019.
Swiss flutist Christian Delafontaine is the Music Director of the Orchestre d’Yverdon-les-Bains, and principal flute for both the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Festival Strings Lucerne. He enjoys performing in recital in unique groupings, such as in duos with accordion, organ, or harp, as well as in chamber trios and quartets. However, his preferred form is the flute-piano duo. He has given many concerts both in Switzerland and abroad (France, Germany, Italy, England, China, Japan, and Canada). He teaches flute at the Conservatoire de Musique du Nord Vaudois and in private. Through various educational exchanges, he has travelled around the world to teach at institutions in the United States, Canada, and Russia. Christian Delafontaine has released five CDs, which include quartets by Mozart, sonatas by C.P.E. Bach recorded with a trio, and works by Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Russian composers.
An international concert performer and professor at Université de Montréal, Laurence Kayaleh has appeared as a guest soloist with such distinguished orchestras as Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Orchestre Lamoureux (Paris), the Russian National Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington), Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the major orchestras of Cleveland, St. Louis, Caracas, Basel, and Mexico City. She has worked with such conductors as Slatkin, Pletnev, Dutoit, Kogan, Venzago, Nowak, and Wakasugi. Le Figaro’s world-renowned critic Pierre Petit used the phrase “Archet Royal” to describe her golden tone. She has performed at the Bolshoi Theatre and Tchaikovsky Hall (Moscow), Salle Pleyel and Salle Gaveau (Paris), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Victoria Hall (Geneva), Teatro Verdi (Milano), Teatro Teresa Carreño (Caracas), Place des Arts (Montréal), The John F. Kennedy Center (Washington), and The Tsu Center for The Performing Arts (Japan). As a guest of major festivals— Lucerne, Blossom, Cervantino, Divonne, Ottawa, Parry Sound, Abbey Bach Festival—, she has appeared in concert with Viktor Pikayzen, Ida Haendel, and Igor Oïstrakh. Ms. Kayaleh has recorded the complete works for violin and piano by Medtner and Honegger for NAXOS. A new recording of Catoire’s complete violin and piano works will be released by NAXOS in July 2016. Canadian composer François-Hugues Leclair dedicated his piece for violin and piano—Le Retour des Oies—to her. She plays a magnificent Guarneri constructed by the Venetian master in 1742, which belonged to the eminent violinist and pedagogue Carl Flesch.
JoAnn Kulesza is currently the Interim Chair and the Music Director of the Opera Department at the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, MD). Ms. Kulesza began her career at the Hochschule Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, as a coach/ accompanist in opera and Lied. Professionally, she has worked as a rehearsal accompanist, chorus master, and assistant conductor for Washington National Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, Compania Lirica Nacional (Costa Rica), and young artist programs at the Baltimore and Pittsburgh operas. Since adding conducting to her busy schedule of activities, she has led a number of productions and world premieres. She worked with Maestro Loren Maazel as his assistant at Castleton, conducted Don Giovanni at Opera Omaha, and La traviata for the Lowveld Chamber Music Society in Nelspruit, South Africa. Ms. Kulesza is very much in demand as a clinician and educator, and has led master classes and guest residencies at various institutions in the United States. A former member of the faculty of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, and a guest faculty member at Musica Nelle Marche (Urbino, Italy) and Prague Summer Nights, she is now Head of Opera at the Musiktheater Bavaria in Oberaudorf, Germany. She feeds her love of choral music as the conductor of the Arundel Vocal Arts Society and as music director at Eastport United Methodist Church (Annapolis). Ms. Kulesza is a recipient of the JHU Alumni Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Andrew Kwan is the director of Andrew Kwan Artists Management Inc. (AKAM). Founded in 1991, AKAM specializes in career development and management for many of Canada’s most established classical musicians. Mr. Kwan was named the 2014 CAPACOA Agent of the Year, 2013 Ontario Contact Agent of the Year, and 2011 BC Touring Council Agent of the Year. His roster includes such artists as Anagnoson & Kinton, Martin Beaver, Jane Coop, Lucille Chung, the Gryphon Trio, and Philip Chiu, to name but a few. Mr. Kwan has been an advisor for arts councils at every level of government, and is often invited to sit on the jury for grant programs and music competitions. He is currently on the board of Prairie Debut and Axis Music, and is Chair of the Advisory Committee for Centennial College’s Music Industry and Arts Program (Toronto). He is also on faculty at The Glenn Gould School, and a graduate lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, teaching career development, communication, and the business of music. Mr. Kwan holds a B.A. in Economics, as well as a Non-Profit Management & Leadership Diploma, both from York University. In music, he holds an ARCT in piano performance from The Royal Conservatory, and both a Licentiate (LTCL) and Fellowship (FTCL) from Trinity College, London, England.
Pianist Roger Lord, from Moncton, NB, was a First Prize winner at the Canadian National Festival of Music and at the Canadian Music Competition. He has performed as a soloist with several orchestras on four continents, with engagements taking him to some of the world’s great cities, including Paris, Oslo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Santiago, Cairo, Tunis, Melbourne, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, and others. In 2013, he was one of the international guest artists in Beijing for the Chinese New Year TV Gala, broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers. He has released an awardwinning CD of music by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, as well as a CD of Chinese music for piano, which was recorded in Beijing. Mr. Lord has been on several juries for various music competitions in Canada, Texas, Malaysia, and Australia. He studied at Université de Moncton, McGill University, and Université de Montréal, as well as in Paris and Strasbourg, France. He also attended special summer sessions of the Moscow Piano Institute at the Gnessin Music Academy in Russia. He holds a Doctorate in Music and is currently a Professor of Piano at Université de Moncton.