Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord
An inspired harpsichordist and organist of peerless elegance and expressiveness, Luc Beauséjour never lacks ideas for fascinating concert programs distinguished by refinement and authenticity. With his engaging personality and eloquence he is sought out not only for his virtuosity but also for his ease in communicating with every kind of audience.
Mr. Beauséjour leads a very active performing schedule in Canada and abroad that has taken him to France, the United States, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Bermuda, the Lanaudière International Festival, the Festival d’Ambronay and the Vancouver Early Music Festival. He was invited to perform the Goldberg Variations at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto for a CBC commemoration of the great pianist’s birthday. As soloist or musical director he has made some 30 recordings on various labels such as Analekta and Naxos. He just finished the recording of The Well Tempered Clavier – Book II (Naxos). Throughout the years, he has been performing masterpieces of the harpsichord repertoire and major chamber works with world-renowned artists such as Karina Gauvin, Shannon Mercer, Philippe Jaroussky, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, James Ehnes, Julie Boulianne and Adrian Butterfield. Luc Beauséjour is the artistic director of the Montreal concert series, Clavecin en Concert dedicated to promoting music written for the harpsichord as a solo or ensemble instrument.
Luke Bell, piano
Luke Bell was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. He started playing the piano at age 11, and participated in the local Rotary Music Festival for several years, winning several prizes. From 2009-2012 he studied with Dr. Cynthia Tormann, adjunct professor in piano at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. While in high school he performed as a soloist with the Quinte Symphony, an orchestra in the Belleville area. Luke completed his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Ottawa, studying with Stéphane Lemelin, and is now undertaking his Masters in Piano Performance at McGill University with Ilya Poletaev. Recent performances include the 2015 MUSCAN conference for Canadian composers and music researchers, a debut recital at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and a recital in New York with cellist Joshua Morris. He has also appeared at the Westben Festival Arts Theatre in Campellford, Ontario, and at the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa. He has had the opportunity to work with Juno Award-nominated composer Marjan Mozetich, and recently gave the premiere performance of Mercy, a piece written for him by Canadian composer Elissar Hanna. Luke has participated in summer music programs in Canada, the United States and France, and has participated in masterclasses with pianists including Janina Fialkowska, André Laplante, Robert McDonald and Malcolm Bilson.
Donna Brown, soprano
Donna Brown’s voice has been described as “shimmering”, “luminous”, “gemlike in its brilliance”, “crystal clear”. She has graced the stages of Paris, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Sao Paulo, Caracas, Tel Aviv, Toronto, and San Francisco. She performs an extensive repertoire, ranging from opera, recital music, and chamber music, to contemporary and even alternative music. Ms. Brown has sung with the leading orchestras and opera houses of the world, and has sung in over 100 recitals with such pianists as Stéphane Lemelin, Philippe Cassard, Roger Vignoles, Menahem Pressler, Maria Joao Pires, and Michel Dalberto. Many of her CDs have won awards – Grammy, Diapason d’Or, Gramophone. Gramophone Magazine recently voted her recording of the Villa Lobos “Bachianas Brasileiras” as best recording to date.
Isaac Chalk, viola
Canadian violist Isaac Chalk has received a rich musical training. In addition to his education as an
instrumentalist, Mr. Chalk also worked extensively as a choral singer and attended the Maîtrise des Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal in his earlier years. Mr. Chalk is a graduate of McGill University, where he was a recipient of many awards, including the Lloyd Carr-Harris String Scholarship and the prestigious Golden Violin Award, the largest privately funded music scholarship in Canada. Mr. Chalk also holds a degree from the Mozarteum†, in Salzburg. In February 2011, he had his Koerner Hall debut performing Béla Bartók’s V†iola Concerto with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Julian Kuerti. Mr. Chalk was named Principal Viola of les Violons du Roy in June 2013 and since then has performed with the orchestra in their regular series in Quebec City and Montreal, at the Lanaudière Festival, at the Domaine Forget International Festival and on tour in Canada, the United States and Europe. Mr. Chalk recently had his début with the orchestra in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. The Sylva Gelber Music Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts have generously supported Mr. Chalk.
The Hannaford Street Silver Band
The Hannaford Street Silver Band is Canada’s award winning, professional brass ensemble and Resident Company of Toronto’s St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Since 1983, The Hannaford Street Silver Band, formed by professional musicians who love ensemble playing, has been striking up the brass ensemble tradition and stirring up critical and popular acclaim. The HSSB performs regularly in communities across Ontario and at Canada’s finest summer music festivals. The size of the ensemble ranges from 10 musicians up to a full 30-piece brass band. Its annual Toronto concert series features numerous guest conductors and the world’s finest instrumentalists.
The HSSB sponsors the Hannaford Youth Program. Young musicians between the ages of 10 and 24 perform in three vibrant ensembles: The Hannaford Junior Band, The Hannaford Community Band and the Hannaford Street Youth Band.
The HSSB maintains a vigorous commissioning program resulting in over 70 new concert works for brass by Canada’s finest composers. One of its commissions, Requiem Mass by Bramwell Tovey was awarded a 2003 JUNO Award for Best Classical Composition and has twice been awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Arts by the Province of Ontario. The HSSB has 12 commercially available recordings to its credit.
Amy Hillis, violin
Originally from Saskatchewan, Amy Hillis is quickly establishing herself as one of Canada’s most versatile and vibrant violinists. As part of her busy solo, chamber music and orchestral performance schedule, Amy performs on the 1820 Joannes Franciscus Pressenda, on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. She is the winner of the 2017 McGill Concerto Competition and will perform as soloist with the McGill Symphony Orchestra during their 2017-2018 season. Amy is also the recipient of the prestigious Sylva Gelber Foundation Music Award that is given to Canadian musicians of outstanding ability and career potential.
With funding and support from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Amy has performed for more than 30,000 young people in fifty different Canadian communities during four tours as first violinist in the Horizon String Quartet. She is concertmaster of Montreal’s Pronto Musica Chamber Orchestra and also performs with acclaimed orchestras such as the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Amy has been concertmaster of the Britten-Pears Orchestra in Aldeburgh, England and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
Amy is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music in Violin Performance at McGill University in Montréal with the esteemed violin professor, Axel Strauss. A Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) Doctoral Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funds her studies.
Laurence Kayaleh, violin
Laurence Kayaleh has performed as guest soloist with many distinguished orchestras: Zurich Tonhalle, RTBF Symphony Orchestra (Belgium), Russian National Orchestra, National Symphony (Washington), Lamoureux (Paris), Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the major orchestras of Cleveland, St. Louis, Caracas (Simon Bolivar), Basel, Mexico City, under such conductors as Slatkin, Dutoit, Kogan, Pletnev, Nowak, Wakazugi, Carewe, Turnovsky and Venzago. She gave major recitals in world centres including Paris, Montreal, Prague, Messina, Brussels, Zurich, Milano, Sofia, Dublin, Bern, Bologna, Moscow, Modena and Geneva. Le Figaro world-renowned critic, Pierre Petit, used the phrase « L’Archet Royal » to describe her golden tone. She performed at the Bolchoï and Tchaïkovsky Halls (Moscow), Théâtre du Châtelet, Pleyel and Gaveau Halls (Paris), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Victoria Hall (Geneva), Verdi Hall (Milano), Teatro Teresa Carreño (Caracas), Donizetti Theater (Bergamo), Place des Arts (Montreal), The John F. Kennedy Center (Washington), Powell Hall (St. Louis), Pollack Hall (Montreal), and at The Tsu Center for The Performing Arts (Japan). Other engagements include 20th-century chamber music concerts, recordings for the CBC-Series (Canada), and for major European radios/TVs. Guest of international music festivals – Lucerne, Blossom, Cervantino, Divonne, Ottawa, Parry Sound, Annecy, Abbey Bach Festival – she shared concerts with Viktor Pikayzen, Ida Haendel and Igor Oïstrakh. Laurence has recorded for NAXOS the complete works for violin and piano by N. Medtner, A. Honegger, and G. Catoire. Invited to conduct violin master classes in the world, Ms. Kayaleh is member of jury in international music competitions. Canadian composer, F. H. Leclair, dedicated to her his piece for violin and piano « Le Retour des Oies ». She plays a magnificent 1742 Pietro Guarneri of Venice, which belonged to the eminent violinist and pedagogue, Carl Flesch.
Stéphane Lemelin, piano
Pianist Stéphane Lemelin is well-known to audiences throughout Canada and regularly tours in the United States, Europe and Asia as soloist and chamber musician.
His repertory is vast, with a predilection for the German Classical and Romantic literature and a particular affinity for French music, as evidenced by his more than twenty-five recordings, which include works by Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Poulenc and Roussel. Stéphane Lemelin is director of the French music series “Découvertes 1890-1939” on the Atma Classique label, dedicated to the rediscovery of neglected early twentieth-century French repertoire and for which he has recorded works by Samazeuilh, Ropartz, Migot, Dupont, Dubois, Rhené-Bâton, Rosenthal, Alder, Lekeu and others. His latest recording features the complete works for violin and piano by Georgy Catoire, with violinist Laurence Kayaleh, and was released on the Naxos label in summer 2016.
Stéphane Lemelin studied with Yvonne Hubert in Montreal, Karl-Ulrich Schnabel in New York, and received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Peabody Conservatory as a student of Leon Fleisher. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University, where his teachers were Boris Berman and Claude Frank. He was a professor at the University of Alberta and the University of Ottawa, where he served as Director of the School of Music from 2007 to 2012. He is now Professor of Piano and Chair of the Department of Performance at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. A dedicated pedagogue, he has been invited to give master classes around the world. Stéphane Lemelin was a member of Trio Hochelaga from 2003 to 2012 and is the founder and Artistic Director of the Prince Edward County Classical Music Festival.
Benoît Loiselle, cello
Principal cellist of the Quebec-based chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy, Benoit Loiselle also pursues a career as a soloist and chamber musician. He is regularly invited to perform at several festivals and music centers in Canada and has performed as a soloist with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Les Violons du Roy and the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montreal. In addition to his concert activities, he has been a professor at the Domaine Forget Academy since 2008 and gives master classes throughout Quebec.
As a chamber musician, he has collaborated regularly Anthony Marwood, James Ehnes, James Dunham, Anton Kuerti, Stéphane Lemelin, the Calidore Quartet, Olivier Thouin and François Zeitouni. In 2002-2003, he participated in the Desjardins Musical Youth Tournaments of Canada, which consisted of nearly forty recitals in eastern Canada. As a founding member of the Hochelaga Trio (2000 to 2006) with Anne Robert and Richard Raymond, the ensemble created the Triple Concerto of the late Canadian composer Jacques Hétu.
Benoit Loiselle received most of his training in Montreal in the classes of Denis Brott and Antonio Lysy. Grand Laureate of the Prix d’Europe in 1999, Benoit Loiselle continued his training in Switzerland, at the International Menuhin Music Academy. He has also been a regular guest of the International Musician Seminar Prussia Cove, where he has perfected himself with Steven Doane and Boris Pergamenschikow and pianist Ferenc Rados.
With Les Violons du Roy, Benoit Loiselle has performed on all the major stages of the world and his discography includes more than 25 titles on the Virgin Classics, Naïve, Hyperion, Atma and Analekta labels. He is also a regular contributor to the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
After playing on the McConnell-Gagliano cello loaned by the Canada Council for the Arts, Benoit Loiselle now performs on a magnificent cello by French luthier Patrick Robin. He also has at his disposal a beautiful bow made by Lamy, lent generously by Canimex.
Paul Marleyn, cello
Cellist Paul Marleyn tours regularly in North America, Europe and Asia. As a frequent participant in summer festivals including the Prussia Cove, Busan, Festival of the Sound, Domaine Forget, Casalmaggiore, Leicester and Ottawa international festivals, he collaborates with artists such as Boris Berman, Miriam Fried, James Somerville, Paul Neubauer, Marc-André Hamelin, Steven Dann, Joshua Bell, and with members of the Tokyo, Vermeer, St. Lawrence and Hagen quartets. He has appeared as soloist with the London Philharmonia, Belgrade Philharmonic, European Chamber, Winnipeg Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony and Manitoba Chamber orchestras. The Artistic Director of Winnipeg’s Agassiz Chamber Music Festival since 2000, and the International Cello Festival of Canada since 2011, Paul was the cellist in Trio Hochelaga from 2006-2012. He has made several compact disc recordings on the United Records, CALA, ATMA, Signum Classics, CBC and RCA Victor labels. From 1993-7, Paul was principal cellist of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and has served at professor of cello at the University of Manitoba, and most recently at the University of Ottawa, where he now mentors an award-winning studio of young cellists.
Elizabeth McDonald, soprano
Canadian soprano Elizabeth McDonald is having a diverse career as a performer and teacher. A young artist with both the Santa Fe Opera and the Canadian Opera Company, Elizabeth understudied and performed a number of major roles including Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo, The Woman in Schoenberg’s Erwartung, Miss Jessel in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, and Jenufa in Janacek’s Jenufa. She has appeared with the National Ballet Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, and the Kingston Symphony and is a regular recitalist having been featured at Virginia Polytechnic University, Eastman School of Music, and the Universities of Toronto, Lakehead, Lethbridge, Queen’s and Carlton, and the Off Centre Music Salon. In the studio she has recorded Canadian composer Martha Hill Duncan’s Singing in the Northland with pianist Kathryn Tremills. Performances for 2016-17 include recitals at the University of Toronto, Bemidji State University, Lethbridge University, St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston, and the Quinte Society for Chamber Music. Oratorio work includes the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem.
As an active and inspiring teacher of voice, Elizabeth’s students have won major awards including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition, the Canadian Opera Company Centre Stage Competition, and the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition.
Elizabeth graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a Master of Music in Performance and Literature and was additionally awarded a Performers’ Certificate. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto and has trained at the Banff Centre for the Arts in the Dramatic Integration Program, the Britten- Pears School in Contemporary Song Literature, the Orford Arts Centre, and at the Vancouver Early Music Festival.
Elizabeth is currently on faculty at the University of Toronto. She resides full time in Prince Edward County, Ontario with her husband and two children.
Douglas McNabney, viola
Native of Toronto, violist Douglas McNabney is one of Canada’s distinguished chamber musicians. An international performing career has taken him to Holland, Belgium, France, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, Switzerland, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, in addition to his appearances throughout Canada and the U.S.A. He has recorded for, among others, BRT (Brussels), Radio Bremen, RTE (Dublin), Finnish Broadcasting (Helsinki), Sudwestdeutscher Rundfunk (Karlsruhe), Norwegian Radio (Oslo), Radio Sweden (Stockholm), NPR (USA), and the CBC. His recording on the Oxingale label of the Mozart Divertimento with Jonathan Crow and Matt Haimovitz was nominated for a Juno in 2007 and his Dorian recording of Mahler with the Smithsonian Chamber Players was nominated for a Grammy in 2008.
As one of Canada’s most active chamber musicians, he has appeared as guest artist with the leading chamber music groups and societies across Canada. His chamber music partners have included Canadians Marc-André Hamelin, Louis Lortie, André Laplante, Anton Kuerti, James Ehnes and renowned soloists Menahem Pressler, Steven Isserlis, Jamie Buswell, William Preucil, Miriam Fried, among many others.
Also renowned as an arts administrator, Douglas McNabney was Artistic Director of the Domaine Forget Music Festival and Academy from 2001 until 2005. He was Artistic Director of Toronto Summer Music Festival from 2010 until 2016 and was responsible for implementing the renowned programs for training young artists – The Chamber Music Institute and The Art of Song – that reflect his preoccupation with the education and promotion of the next generation of performing artists.
Douglas McNabney is currently Professor of Chamber Music at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University and he pursues a busy schedule of appearances as soloist and guest artist in festivals and with chamber music societies and ensembles across North America and in Europe.
The Milton String Quartet
• Roman Fraser, violin
• Maithéna Girault, violin
• Giulia Pozzi, viola
• Joshua Morris, cello
Winners of the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition Grand Prize and Senior String Division Gold Medal, the Milton String Quartet is an ensemble based in Montreal, Quebec. The quartet was formed in 2015 at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, and is currently working under the tutelage of Professor André J. Roy. The ensemble was the 2017 Fellowship String Quartet at ENCORE Chamber Music in Cleveland, OH, and was named winner of the 2016 McGill University Chamber Music Competition, earning an exchange in May 2017 with the Mozarteum Universität in Salzburg, Austria.
The quartet has enjoyed a wide variety of musical engagements in and around the city of Montreal, including recurring engagements at the Lakeshore Chamber Music Society and at the Atwater Library Lunchtime Concert Series. In May 2016, the quartet performed in Place-des-Arts’ Cinquieme Salle as part of the Opera America Conference.
Since their formation, the group has had the chance to play in masterclasses for Vladimir Balshin, Valentin Erben, Stefan Fehlandt, Sergei Lomovsky, Igor Naidin, Daniel Philips, Günter Pichler, Wolfgang Redik, Rainer Schmidt, Gerhard Schulz and the Escher Quartet. The quartet has participated in the McGill International String Quartet Academy in 2016 and 2017.
The Milton String Quartet’s fall season includes debut performances in Ontario and New Brunswick. As part of the Fischoff Grand Prize, the quartet will tour the Midwestern United States in October, and attend the Emilia Romagna Music Festival in Italy in summer 2018.
Axel Strauss, violin
The first German artist to ever win the international Naumburg Violin Award in New York, Axel Strauss made his American debut at the Library of Congress in Washington DC and his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1998. Since then he has given recitals in major North American cities, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 2007 he was the violinist in the world premiere performance and recording of “Two Awakenings” and “A Double Lullaby”, written for him by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. Axel Strauss’ discography includes the Brahms violin concerto, the three last violin concertos by Kreutzer, the complete Caprices for solo violin by Pierre Rode and the complete works for violin and piano by George Enescu. Axel Strauss has performed as soloist with orchestras in Budapest, Hamburg, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Bucharest, San Francisco and Cincinnati, among others, and has toured widely throughout the world as a recitalist and chamber musician. He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony. In 2012 Axel Strauss was appointed Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, where he also serves as Chair of the String Area. Prior to that he served as Professor of Violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Véronique Vychytil, violin
Véronique Vychytil began studying violin at the age of 4 with her father Vaclav Vychytil. A graduate of the Université de Montréal under the direction of Jean-François Rivest, she also developed with Kathleen Winkler at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
Thanks to a grant from the Quebec Arts and Letters Council, she received teaching from different professors in Germany, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. She has been a member of the World Jeunesses Musicales Orchestra with whom she has performed in several European countries.
Winner of the first prize and the Janáček Prize at the Czech and Slovak Music Competition in Montreal, she was invited to the Brno Academy of Music in the autumn of 1998. She is also a winner of national competitions such as the Canadian Music Competition.
Since July 2000, Véronique Vychytil has been a member of the Chamber Orchestra Les Violons du Roy. She also performs as a chamber musician in several festivals in Canada.