Stepping Stone 2017 / Adjudicators

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 Stepping Stone 2020.

Annick-Patricia Carrière

A graduate from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal in musical composition and analysis, Annick-Patricia Carrière held the position of Communications and Marketing Director at Montréal’s Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM). She then founded the Agence Station bleue with her business partner Gabriel Paré in the year 2000. In the past 12 years, Ms. Carrière has been devoting her personal and business efforts to the development of her agency’s artists, both nationally and internationally. She is also responsible for the company’s strategic planning and development of new artistic projects.

Under her brilliant leadership, Agence Station bleue has been awarded many honours. Among them was the 2009 Prix Rideau de la tournée. That same year, Agence Station bleue was presented with a Certificate of Honour awarded by the China Shanghai International Arts Festival. In 2010, Agence Station bleue was named Canadian Agency of the Year by the British Columbia Touring Council and by the Atlantic Presenters Association in 2011. Personally, Ms. Carrière was nominated Agent of the Year by the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) in 2010 and 2011.

Susan Hoeppner

Canadian flutist Susan Hoeppner is highly regarded for her deeply lyrical, colourful phrasing, dazzling virtuosity and a “no holds barred” approach in her performances. She is an established international soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, and her appearances include numerous venues spanning the continents of North America, South America, throughout Europe, Japan and China. Ms. Hoeppner has performed as guest soloist with many orchestras around the world and has been invited to perform at numerous Canadian Embassies including London, Belgrade, Tokyo, Mexico and has inspired renowned Canadian composers Christos Hatzis and Gary Kulesha to write pieces for her. A JUNO nominee, Susan’s numerous recordings are available on various labels. Her most recent “Canadian Flute Masterpieces” 2016 recording is released on Centrediscs/Naxos.

A graduate of The Juilliard School, she has become an esteemed mentor. Ms. Hoeppner is a member of faculty at the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School, and the University of Toronto. Each summer she gives classes at Le Domaine Forget in Canada and Campus Internazionale della Musica d’Arte (CIMA) in Udine, Italy. Susan Hoeppner has been appointed a Wm.S.Haynes Artist by the world-renowned Boston-based flute company. As their Canadian Artist, she represents them in performances throughout the world.

Shannon Mercer

Recognized for the luminosity and effortless agility of her voice, as well as her commanding stage presence and profound acting ability, Canadian soprano Shannon Mercer maintains a busy and challenging performance calendar of opera, concert, and recital engagements throughout North America and Europe. She embraces a range of repertoire from early to contemporary music, from Francesca Caccini and Monteverdi to John Beckwith and Ana Sokolović.Shannon’s current season features a new production All But Gone: A Beckett Rhapsody with the Necessary Angel Theatre Company and Canadian Stage, and a return to Pax Christi Chorale for a concert featuring Parry’s Ode on the Nativity and Palestrina’s Hodie Christus Natus Est.

She sustains an active recording presence, capturing some rarely performed works. Her discography includes Trobairitz, a disc containing songs set to poems by female troubadours in the South of France, two recordings of Bach’s St. John Passion, the Juno-Award winning Gloria: Vivaldi’s Angels, Vivaldi — The Return of the Angels, Salsa Baroque, O Viva Rosa, Bach and the Liturgical Year, Wales The Land of Song, and others. She appears on DVD in Alexina Louie’s comic operas Burnt Toast and Mulroney: The Opera, and in Monty Python funny-man Eric Idle’s hit Not the Messiah.

Katarzyna Musiał

Polish-Canadian pianist Katarzyna Musiał, regarded as “a major talent, blessed with an astounding technique and an interpretive panache” by Chicago Classical Review, has performed as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Ms. Musiał has been characterized by the Beijing Press as a pianist who “has entranced her audience with her brilliant musical skills.”

In addition to having won First Prize at the 2011 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition (New York), Ms. Musiał was also a prize winner at the Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition of Contemporary Chamber Music (Cracow), the Kay Meek Competition (Vancouver), as well as a recipient of the Alban Berg Prize for outstanding merit (Vienna) and the Philip Cohen Award for outstanding performance musicianship (Montréal). She is also a laureate of the Vicacité program of the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec

Recent highlights include a Carnegie Hall debut, performances at the Vancouver Olympic Games, International Beethoven Festival (Chicago), Tempietto Festival Musicale della Nazioni (Rome) and Music in the Mountains Festival (California). Other major engagements have included a seven-city tour of China in spring 2013, as well as concerto performances with the New York Camerata, Chicago Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Sinfonietta, Orchestre Symphonique de L’Isle and the McGill Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Musiał is also a Founder and Artistic Director of the Stella Musica Festival which promotes women in music.

Ms. Musiał is a Steinway & Sons Artist.

Gwen Thompson-Robinow

Gwen Thompson-Robinow, Canadian violinist and member of the Order of Canada, has enjoyed a more than fifty- year career as performer, educator, teacher, and coach. She has nurtured young musicians in her role as professor of violin at Western University, the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Academy of Music, the University of Manitoba, the University of Victoria, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. She has performed, taught and mentored at summer festivals and string and chamber music workshops across Canada and in the United States. She has acted as concertmaster of Orchestra London, the CBC Chamber Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Victoria Symphony, as well as leading the Baroque Strings of Vancouver. She has recorded for CBC radio and television, both as soloist and chamber player.

Since moving to Esquimalt B.C. Ms. Thompson-Robinow has continued performing, giving master classes and workshops, as well as mentoring a select number of talented violinists. Still active in the community as a board member of the Township Community Arts Council, she presents a series of six house concerts, “Township Classics” at the Wardroom, CFB Esquimalt from September through February.

Ms. Thompson-Robinow’s book, “The Embodied Violinist: Teaching Violin with Passion and Practicality”, will be available at the end of July. The book presents a distillation of violinistic techniques and musical philosophies, which she inherited from her teachers and mentors, focused and refined through her own experience.