Violinist Lynn Kuo has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across Canada, United States, Wales, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. As guest soloist, she has performed with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Thirteen Strings, Canadian Sinfonietta, Brandon Chamber Players, Nexus percussion ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (Bulgaria), Cantus Ensemble (Croatia), Lviv Philharmonic, Lviv Virtuosi (Ukraine), and as special guest soloist with Hungary’s gypsy orchestra, Rajkó Band. The 2014-15 season includes a performance of Beethoven Triple Concerto with cellist Rafael Hoekman, pianist Thomas Yee, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra; Schubert’s Rondo in A major with members of the Canadian Sinfonietta; and a concert tour of China and Hong Kong with the University of Toronto New Music Ensemble.
In demand as an interpreter of new music, Lynn has given numerous world premieres in both North America and Europe of acoustic and electroacoustic solo and chamber works written by international composers. These works have been written for her and various ensembles that have included the Les AMIS Ensemble, Duo Vita, and for the Kuo-Humetska duo with Ukrainian-Canadian pianist, Marianna Humetska. In 2012, Lynn, joined by pianist Marianna Humetska ; yangqin player Anna Guo, and Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings (directed by Kevin Mallon), gave the world premiere of Si Yi – The Four Arts, a commissioned work by Alice Ping Yee Ho.
Maintaining a busy performance schedule, Lynn regularly performs for Toronto’s Les AMIS Concerts and has led the Les AMIS Ensemble in five European concert tours. Lynn continues to collaborate with leading artists, having performed solo and chamber works with such artists as the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, the Penderecki String Quartet, Ensemble Vivant, Christoph Eschenbach, the Gryphon Trio, and with other eminent artists at the University of Toronto New Music Festival, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Music Biennale Zagreb Festival (Croatia), Kiev Music Fest, and Lviv “Contrasts” Festival (Ukraine).
Lynn’s performances have been broadcast on Canadian, Serbian, and Hungarian radio and television. In 2010, Lynn recorded music of Nino Rota for the NAXOS label, recording with pianist Mary Kenedi. With pianist, Marianna Humetska, Lynn also released their debut CD, LOVE: Innocence, Passion, Obsession in April 2014.
Based in Toronto, Lynn is the Assistant Concertmaster of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, in addition to performing with the Canadian Opera Company and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Lynn has also performed as guest concertmaster of orchestras that have included the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Opera Hamilton, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Lynn has also served as adjudicator, guest artist, teacher, and lecturer at Canadian festivals and universities.
Having completed studies with Lorand Fenyves, Mayumi Seiler, Erika Raum, and post-doctoral studies with Burton Kaplan, Lynn holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Toronto, having dedicated her research to the subject of holistic health and injury prevention in orchestral string musicians.
Described as a “pure chamber musician” (Globe and Mail) creating “moments of pure magic” (Toronto Star), Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across five continents. Grand prize winner of the 2001 Vriendenkrans Competition in Amsterdam, Rachel is cellist of Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, the AYR Piano Trio, Artistic Director of the “5 at the First” Chamber Music Series in Hamilton, and Principal Cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Rachel has given masterclasses across North America, South Africa and in Israel and is currently Artist-in-Residence at Western University in London ON. An advocate for new Canadian music, Rachel has commissioned and premiered works including a cello concerto by Kevin Lau, as well as solo and chamber work by Vivian Fung, Andrew Downing, Nicole Lizée, Abigail Richardson-Schulte, Sarah Slean, Samy Moussa, John Burge and Omar Daniel. Rachel can be heard on the Naxos, Naxos Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, Dalia Classics and EnT-T record labels, and released a critically acclaimed album of the Bach Suites on Pipistrelle in March 2014, recorded on the 1696 Bonjour Stradivarius Cello from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. Winner in the 2015 Canada Council Instrument Bank competition, Rachel is grateful to have been awarded the 1730 Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello until August 2018.
Artists in Residence at the University of Western Ontario, Ensemble Made In Canada was winner of CBC Galaxie Rising Stars Award, and named among “80 Women to Watch” in the 80th-anniversary edition of Chatelaine Magazine. The piano quartet tours regularly across Canada and the United States and has performed for schools, seniors’ residences, universities, the Canadian Music Centre, CONTACT (for young entrepeneurs), give talks on the music business from a performer’s perspective, and regularly workshop with a range of composers from student to professional. Their multiple commissions include John Burge’s JUNO-nominated piano quartet (on Centrediscs) and are currently promoting “The Mosaïque Project”, a cross-Canada tour in 2018-19 including a 14-composer commission.
Since 2006, Rachel also appears in recital with pianist Angela Park as the Mercer-Park Duo. The duo performs across Canada, presenting the duo repertoire alongside new Canadian works. Their debut disc was released in July 2011 and the duo received Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council and FACTOR support to record all-Canadian music by composers of their generation, released on Naxos Canadian Classics in 2014. They were joined in 2010 by violinist Yehonatan Berick to form the AYR Trio.
The 2016-17 season included two Atlantic tours; a 9 day tour with EMIC covering three provinces, and a 2 week tour with NACO in April/May. In February, Rachel was featured soloist in the Schumann Cello concerto with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra. Chamber concerts include 4 appearances in her series 5 at the First in Hamilton, the NACO opening festival with Angela Hewitt, the AYR Piano Trio at the Coast Recital Society, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Series, the Art of Time Ensemble in Toronto, the WolfGANG Sessions in Ottawa, and numerous solo and chamber concerts as part of university series and the Health Arts Society of Ontario. On April 2, 2017 Rachel was a co-presenter of Cello Extravaganza IV, an all-cello concert ranging from solo to 40-piece cello choir in Hamilton ON, as a benefit for Blooms for Africa and a scholarship for young string players.
The 17-18 season includes the Brahms Double concerto with Yehonatan Berick and the Oakville Symphony, BC and Ontario premieres of Humanoid (for cello and electronics) by Vivian Fung, co-commissioned by Rachel, a solo recital of all-Canadian music for cello and electronics at the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto, four “5 at the First” Chamber Music Series concerts including a world premiere commission by Abigail Richardson-Schulte inspired by the Mozart Divertimento, and summer festivals including the Montreal International Chamber Music Festival, Festival of the Sound and Chamberfest.
As a member of the Aviv String Quartet from 2002-2010, Rachel played in halls such as the Auditorium du Louvre, Zurich Tonhalle, Wigmore Hall, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, the Library of Congress in Washington DC, Baxter Hall in Cape Town, St Lawrence Centre in Toronto, and at festivals such as Montpellier, Aix-en-Provence, Lockenhaus, Davos, Colmar, Oslo and Ottawa. The quartet released cds on Naxos and Dalia Classics and celebrated its 10th anniversary with a complete Shostakovich cycle at the 2007 Verbier Festival. Collaborations included performances with Jorg Widmann, Boris Berman, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, James Tocco, Boris Petrushansky, Elisso Virssaladze and Anton Dressler. The quartet also gave masterclasses, coaching and outreach performances in the United States, Israel, South Africa and Canada, including at the University of Toronto.
Born in Edmonton, Rachel began cello studies at the age of three with Diana Nuttall. She spent formative years with Kristl Armstrong at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where she made her solo debut with the Vancouver Academy Chamber Orchestra at the age of 12. After moving to Ontario, Rachel attended the Royal Conservatory of Music and received the Gold Medal for her Associate Diploma, studying with Susan Gagnon and David Hetherington. She received a BM from the University of Toronto with Shauna Rolston, an MM with honours from the New England Conservatory with Laurence Lesser, and a solo diploma from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Dmitri Ferschtman. Rachel attended Orford, Banff, Holland Music Sessions, Ravinia, Prussia Cove, Scotiafest, Proquartet, the Juilliard Quartet Seminar and the Verbier Academy, for masterclasses with Boris Pergamenschikow, Frans Helmerson, Lynn Harrell, Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot, Gregor Horsch, Harro Ruijsenaars, Valentin Berlinsky, Valentin Erben, Henry Meyer and Walter Levin.
Italian pianist Erika Crinó is very active both as a chamber musician and a soloist. Several of her performances have been featured on CBC Radio both as a soloist, as winner of the Debut Series, and in chamber music settings, collaborating with percussionist Salvador Ferreras, clarinetist Francois Houle, pianist Brett Kingsbury, and with soprano Vania Chan, winner of the special prize at the Eckhard-Gramatté Competition.
Since her move to Toronto, Erika has been regularly heard in several important venues, among which, several times at the Glenn Gould Studio, where she performed Bach’s Triple Concerto with pianists Robert Silverman and Brett Kingsbury, and the Koffler Chamber Orchestra directed by Jacques Israelievitch. At the Glenn Gould Studio she also premiered Canadian composer Michael Pepa‘s TREMA with the Canadian Sinfonietta as well as his VARIAZIONI for piano and orchestra with the Croatian Cantus Ansambl. In Toronto, Erika is also regularly heard at Heliconian Hall, at the University of Toronto, and Gallery345.
Erika’s most recent solo performances include several appearances at Teatro Marcello and Palazzo Sacchetti in Rome, La Chapelle in Montreal, George Enescu Hall in Bucharest, Guarnerius Hall in Belgrade, FUGA Series in Budapest, New Music Festival in Chisinau (Moldavia), Sala Tripcovich in Trieste, Istituto Mario Negri in Milano, Zagreb Biennale with the Pendercky String Quartet, as well as several performances of Bach’s Concerto in D Minor in Ukraine and Bulgaria and a performance of Michael Pepa’s Yakami Variations with the National Chamber Orchestra of Moldova in Chisinau. Her recent solo and chamber performance in Zagreb was attended by the Croatian President Ivo Josipovic.
Erika is currently faculty at the Kingsway Conservatory and a chamber music instructor at the University of Toronto as well as member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory. She is also very much in demand as an adjudicator for several Festivals, such as the Kiwanis Festival, UTSC Chamber Music Festival, Yip’s Music Festival, Rotary Festival.
After obtaining the Diploma in Piano with top marks at the conservatory of her own town, Trieste, and the Diploma in Chamber Music with the Trio di Trieste, Erika studied with Maestro Bruno Canino in Milan. Shortly after, she moved to Canada where she completed her Bachelor in Piano Performance at the University of Victoria with Prof. Bruce Vogt, and her Master and Doctorate in Piano Performance with Dr. Robert Silverman at the University of British Columbia.
Rivka Golani is recognized as one of the outstanding violists of modern times. Her contributions to the advancement of viola technique have already given her a place in the history of the instrument and have been a source of inspiration not only to other players but also to the many composers who have been inspired by her mastery to write for the viola. More than 350 works have so far been composed for Rivka, including over 80 concertos: a record matched by no other violist in history.
She has performed as a soloist with many of the world’s most prominent orchestras: BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Hallé Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Royal Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Jerusalem Radio Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and countless others. She also has performed as a soloist three times at the Promenade concerts in London, including the last night of the Proms. What do the critics think of Rivka Golani? James North of America’s Fanfare Magazine, in a glowing appraisal of her work, wrote that she is “… carving out a place of her own that no other performer on the instrument can reach.” The Financial Times of London clearly agrees: “Rivka Golani (is)…a supreme viola virtuoso – white-hot in delivery, kaleidoscopic in tone colours, electrifying in rhythmic attack.” For an even more effusive testimony, we might try the Boston Herald: “…riveting, intensely physical stage presence…hurtling momentum, constant risk-taking, complete technical assurance….one can only be grateful that she dedicated herself to art rather than warfare, for she would be an awesome adversary.” Finally, a tribute from Geoffrey Crankshaw of Musical Opinion, following a recital at Wigmore Hall: “No nobler music-making could be imagined than this eloquent performance…. the grand tradition brought to the service of inspired musical insight.”
Rivka has made countless CD recordings with many distinguished orchestras including Royal Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Berne Symphony, Budapest Radio Orchestra, BBC Sinfonietta and others. A landmark among her many CDs is her world premiere recording on viola of the Elgar Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic, a set of the complete Bach Cello Suites which includes performances of Bach’s Chaconne and Chromatic Fantasy.
As artistic director of Fort MacLeod Music Festival, Alberta, Canada for seven years, she has developed a special collaborative relationship with the Canadian First Nation Blackfoot. She is the artistic director of SOWECA Music Festival in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
Born in Israel – Rivka trained at the Music Academy of Tel Aviv with the great violist and composer Oedoen Partos. At the age of 23, she became a member of the Israel Philharmonic. Rivka moved to Canada in the mid-1970s where she began her solo career: Her present home is in London, England.
She is also an inspiring teacher who draws students from all over the world to her classes at London’s Trinity Laban College of Music and Dance.
Rivka plays a viola made by the renowned maker Otto Erdesz.
Recent awards include the following:
Ambassador of Canadian Music for the Canadian Music Centre (2009)
“Musician of the year” by Artijus Music Foundation of Hungary (2011)
The Eagle Feather, a gesture of honour and appreciation for her work acknowledging the rich history of the Blakfoot First Nations people (2011)
Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Lethbridge University, Alberta, Canada, for bringing classical music to Southern Alberta (2013)
Hungarian Classical Disc of the Year, Gramofon Award, for her Hungaroton 2 CDs set “Hidden Treasure” HCD32721-22 (December 2013)
Her latest Hungaraton 2CD set – Russian Concert – (live performance, with pianist John Lenehan, HCD 32743-44) was released in July 2015
On February 19th, 2016, Rivka Golani was given the highest award -a name -by the Blackfoot First Nations People of Canada: ‘Itspankiyakii’ – ‘A woman who sings from a high place.’
Rivka is also a painter. Her works have been exhibited in Israel, Canada, UK , Germany, Austria, and USA.
Composer, Producer, Performer
Jaeger, David (Trent). Composer, producer, performer, b Green Bay, Wisc, 19 Nov 1947; B MUS (Wisconsin) 1970, M MUS (Toronto) 1972. Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and continued his studies at the University of Toronto 1970-2 with John Weinzweig and Gustav Ciamaga. He attended the Summer Electronic Music Institute in Dartmouth, NH, in the summer of 1972, working with Jon Appleton and Hubert Howe.
In the early 1970s Jaeger established a digital sound synthesis facility at the University of Toronto, one of the first in Canada. He joined the CBC in 1973 as a radio music producer for various series including ‘Music of Today’ and ‘Music Makers International, and in 1978 he created one of the world’s most celebrated new music programs, “Two New Hours”, which was heard on the national CBC Radio Two network until spring, 2007.
In 1990 his Centrediscs double-CD “Schafer: 5” (String Quartets of R. Murray Schafer with the Orford String Quartet) won two JUNO awards. In 1997 & ‘98, Point Music released his productions of the music of English composer, Gavin Bryars, featuring the Hilliard Ensemble and The Gavin Bryars Ensemble. From 1999 to 2010 he served as producer with the “Window on Somers” recording project, releasing 12 CD recordings of the works of Harry Somers. In 2010 his Centrediscs CD “Wild Bird” (music by Schafer, Agocs, & Chan) won the Canadian Composition JUNO for Schafer’s “Duo for Violin & Piano”.
From 1974 to 2002 he served as the CBC Radio coordinator of the CBC/Radio-Canada National Radio Competition for Young Composers. In the course of this project he helped to identify and then to develop several generations of emerging Canadian composers.
In 2002 David Jaeger was elected President of the International Rostrum of Composers, and was the only non-European ever to be named to this post in the 60-year history of that organization. He served as President of the IRC until 2008.
Jaeger was a founding member of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, a group which, when it was formed in 1971, was on the leading edge of live performance with electronic instruments. The ensemble has provided Jaeger with the main outlet for his compositional efforts and experiments. Many of his works include an electronic element, although a few have been written for traditional instruments (eg, Double Wind Quintet, 1975; Lyrics for Solo Marimba (1985), Aria for cello and piano, 1987; and Sonata for viola and piano, 1988). Favour (1980) for electric viola has been recorded by Rivka Golani (1983, Centrediscs CMC-0883) and Shadowbox has been recorded by accordionist Joseph Petric (1988, Centrediscs CMC-CD-3288).
Since retiring from CBC Radio Music in 2012, David Jaeger has collaborated with numerous soloists and performing ensembles on compositions and also on CD projects for several record labels. A detailed list of 195 of his well-over 200 recordings can be found at: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/david-jaeger-mn0001249431/credits
He has also written numerous articles for various publications, most notably The Wholenote, a Toronto monthly music magazine. In a series of articles that began in May 2015, he has been writing first person accounts about his experiences during his 40-year career with CBC Radio Music.
He has long been active as a mentor, including the encouragement of young producers and working with young recording engineers and, for example, Esprit Orchestra. He has also worked closely with young musicians and innovators in the creation and development of several recently emerged new music groups, such as Thin Edge New Music Collective, Music in the Barns and FAWN chamber creative.
David remains active as a composer, and the year 2017 saw world premieres of eight of his new compositions.
In 2018 He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
Toronto-born mezzo-soprano Maria Soulis enjoys an exciting career in both Canada and Europe. She began her European career as a principal artist with the Regensburg Opera in Germany, later performing the roles of Adalgisa (Norma), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Nicklausse (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Orfeo (Orfeo), and Dido (Dido and Aeneas), La Périchole (La Périchole), Mrs. Grose (The Turn of the Screw), Néris (Médée), and Dryade (Ariadne auf Naxos) in theatres throughout Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.
A familiar artist on many European stages, Ms. Soulis has sung the roles Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Olga (Eugene Onegin) with the Orquestra Gulbenkian in Lisbon, as well as Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte) in Montpellier. She enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate her Greek heritage when she appeared as soloist in Theodorakis’s ballet Zorba in Metz, Toulon and Nice.
Her voice has been praised internationally by reviewers who have described it as “warm and powerful” and “gorgeous, dusky toned” as well as “full of warmth and drama” with “a ruby red timbre”.
As a concert singer in Europe, Ms. Soulis has interpreted many of Gustav Mahler’s great orchestral song cycles: Rückert Lieder, Das Lied von der Erde, and Symphony No. 8 with the Philharmonisches Orchester Regensburg as well as Kindertotenlieder with the Mährische Philharmonie.
In Canada, Maria Soulis has appeared as a soloist in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, (Kingston Symphony and Windsor Symphony), Dvorak’s Requiem (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony), Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Chorus Niagara) and an Opera Gala with the Elora Festival. The 2012 season marked her debut with Thirteen Strings as Cornelia in Handel’s Giulio Cesare.
As a Composition graduate of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto Ms. Soulis is highly valued as an interpreter of contemporary works, notably with Tapestry Opera as Clara in The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksana G. (Gervais/ Murphy). Most recently Ms. Soulis sang several roles in a concert performance of Laura Secord: an Opera, composed by Mark Richards for Music Niagara.
An avid recitalist, Ms. Soulis has an extensive song repertoire that spans the English, French, Spanish and German languages. Her love of chamber music inspired her to form the Maria Soulis Trio, with guitarist William Beauvais and violinist/violist Julian Knight. Their inaugural programme, “From Greece to Granada – pathways in song”, was warmly received at Heliconian Hall in Toronto Performances in 2014 include St. John Passion with Thirteen Strings as well as a concert of Vivaldi’s Magnificat and sacred motets with Aradia Ensemble, to be recorded and released on CD by Naxos.