Music Adjudicators – 2021
Visual Arts – Giancarlo Piccin
Giancarlo Piccin is a highly creative and multitalented Artist and Art Director with over 30 years experience in fine art, graphic design, multimedia and marketing. Piccin was born in Toronto, Ontario, to Italian immigrants.
“As long as I can remember, I’ve been the centre of attention when it came to art. I was the student asked to design the posters and murals and yearbook covers in school. While the other students would work on Math or English assignments, I would be drawing in my notebook. For me there was no ‘choice’, it’s a part of me, it’s who I am; more than anything it is a gift that I need to share.”
Giancarlo graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design, Fine Art Program. He has extensive gallery installation experience and has worked on commissions for large corporations as well as private art collectors worldwide.
“The challenge for any contemporary artist is to see the world through new eyes. It is important to me that an artist’s work reflects his time. Whether it is through the use of contemporary themes, techniques and/or mediums. I try to gain a good understanding of the past and present art scene to try and meet this challenge in an effort to represent my generation.”
Today, Piccin continues to create work expressing his visual perspective and is represented by several private galleries throughout Ontario. Giancarlo is married to a Musical Theatre Artist and they have a son who is also a visual artist. They live in Heart Lake, Ontario and love watching movies together.
Senior Piano & Concertos – Dr. Edward Turgeon
Dr. Edward Turgeon has served as senior examiner for RCM’s College of Examiners since 1990. Academic appointments include Professor at HARID Conservatory and Director of Collaborative Arts, Director of Collaborative Arts and Keyboard Studies and Associate Professor of Music at Florida Atlantic University. He currently serves as Professor and Artistic Director of Great Lakes International Summer Music Institute at Algoma University.
Turgeon won first prizes in major international competitions for piano duos including the International Schubert Competition for piano duos (Czech Republic), and Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition (Miami). Since 2000, he has performed more than 500 concerts worldwide with his wife Anne as member of Canada’s internationally acclaimed “Duo Turgeon”, as well as with the Canadian Piano Quartet which includes pianists Anne Turgeon, Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann. His numerous recordings can be heard on Marquis, ClassXDiscs and Vanguard Classics labels.
He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Krakow Philharmony Hall, International Pianistenforum Germany, San Francisco International Music Festival, and throughout Russia, where Duo Turgeon’s four visits since 1999 include most major Russian cities from one end to the other on the Trans-Siberian Railway line! Recently, Duo Turgeon’s “Latin American Journey” recording received special citation from Instituto Piano Brasileiro. Turgeon’s other recordings have received 5-star ratings from CBC, La Scena Musicale and Wholenote magazines. As an adjudicator, Turgeon has judged festivals in Ontario, Manitboba, the provincial finals of OMFA, CMC national finals, International Liszt, Premio Brasil and Isidor Bajic International Piano Competitions as well as the Murray Dranoff International Duo Piano Competition. Dr. Turgeon has been heard on classical music radio stations around the world, including CBC Radio, National Public Radio (“Performance Today”), the BBC and the Australian Radio, as well as the PBS television documentary “Two Pianos – One Passion”. He has given world premiere performances of new works by Libby Larsen, John Corigliano, Aaron Copland as well as Juno award winning composer Derek Charke, who was commissioned by the Duo Turgeon to compose “Drift”, a work inspired by Northern Ontario scenery and weather phenomena.
Intermediate Piano – Peggy L’Hoir
Peggy L’Hoir is an experienced and innovative teacher, clinician, adjudicator, examiner, collaborative artist and composer. Peggy has been sharing her enthusiasm for music with her expansive music community for over four decades. Her network of friends and colleagues reaches far and wide, allowing her to share mentorship, friendship and encouragement with many.
While at home in Biggar, Saskatchewan, a culturally active community of 2500 people, Peggy guides a diverse class of students through piano, theory, accompanying and composition. Her goals as a teacher and mentor are to enthuse, educate and empower – enriching lives of students, families and communities, with and through music. Her teacher related activities include composing music for her students and friends. As well, Peggy is a strong believer in consistent professional development, regularly attending conventions to further her knowledge. She most recently attended the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, where she attended as a participant as well as a presenter.
Peggy is a Past President of the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association (SRMTA), and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association (CFMTA), having had the opportunity to serve on many committees within these associations. As well, she was an integral catalyst in the SRMTA’s Centennial Publication, “From Prairie to Pine – Piano Solos by Saskatchewan Composers” (2005) and “From Prairie to Pine – Piano Solos by Saskatchewan Composers – Volume 2” (2011). Peggy has served on the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects as well as many other local boards. In the Fall of 2019, she was honoured and humbled to be a recipient of the Saskatchewan Music Festival’s Outstanding Adjudicator Award.
Collaborative music making has seen Peggy in the Jazz Duo – Strawberry Jam, an easy listening ensemble – The Group, Musical Director of local musicals – from Fiddler on the Roof (2001) to Mamma Mia (2019), accompanying local choirs and soloists, playing duets with students and friends, and directing her local church choir. Peggy loves creating local music events featuring local/professional musicians as well as most recently, co-chairing the hosting of CNCM’s Summer Sizzle 2018.
Favorite pastimes include spending time and enjoying music with her family and friends, as well as composing, cooking, reading, gardening/preserving, crafting and fishing.
Junior/Intermediate Piano – Geoffrey Conquer
Geoffrey Conquer is one of Canada’s most versatile pianists. He was a 2016-17 Rebanks Family Fellow at the Glenn Gould School, a two-time first prize winner of the McGill Symphony Concerto Competition, the second prize winner of the 2015 Siegfried Weishaupt International Piano Competition and a laureate of the Canadian Music Competition.
Equally comfortable as a soloist and a collaborative pianist, Geoffrey toured with Lincoln Center Stage on Holland America’s MS Nieuw Statendam, played for three seasons with the Toronto Children’s Chorus and performed in recitals presented by Barrie Concerts, York Region Chamber Music and the COC Noon Hour Concert Series at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Contemporary music is another interest of his, and recently, he and mezzo-soprano Nicole Percifield digitally premiered two new art songs by Gavin Fraser as the recipients of a 2020 University of Toronto COVID Student Initiative Award and a 2020 Canada Council for the Arts Digital Originals grant. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Geoffrey performed “Half-Remembered City” with keyboard specialist Wesley Shen in Arraymusic’s Dai Fujikura’s Mini-Marathon concert, was a repetiteur for Tapestry Opera’s Shanawdithit and regularly appeared with U of T’s Percussion Ensemble and the Glenn Gould School’s New Music Ensemble.
Geoffrey is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Toronto with the support of a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He holds a M.Mus and B.Mus from McGill University along with an A.R.C.T. diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music and his principal teachers include Jamie Parker, Marina Mdivani and Svetlana Gojevic. Through master classes, he received musical guidance from Martha Argerich, Leon Fleisher, Daniel Pollack, Jacques Rouvier, John Perry and Boris Berman. Geoffrey pursued further training at The International Holland Music Sessions, Highlands Opera Studio, Cleveland Art Song Festival, The Banff Centre, Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, SongFest and the Toronto Summer Music Festival Chamber Music Institute. A passionate teacher, he is a faculty member at The Royal Conservatory’s Phil and Eli Taylor Academy, instructs group keyboard classes at the University of Toronto and maintains a private piano studio in Scarborough.
Elementary Piano – Liz Parker
Liz Parker is an experienced piano teacher specializing in teaching children. She loves working with kids to achieve great marks in the RCM exams. She combines a sense of fun (with big smiles) and instilling discipline for maximum results (her stern glare, nowadays right into the camera phone, is legendary). No slouching or flat fingers! To compensate (when there isn’t a pandemic), treats are handed out after student recitals. Currently teaching online with FaceTime, WhatsApp and Zoom, her home studio is in the Queen/Bathurst area.
Liz graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music at 15 with a Gold Medal for the top mark in Canada; she holds her Licentiate from England’s Trinity College of London; and her Bachelor of Music from the University of British Columbia. She is also a writer and photo shoot stylist for musicians. Interests away from the keyboard include pop culture, fashion, and food. She has a tomcat, Momo, which is named after the Tibetan dumpling.
Speech Arts – Chick Reid
￼A graduate of Queen’s University, Chick Reid is entering her 45th year as a Canadian theatre professional. Her career includes performing in regional theatres nationwide and the U.S. as well as numerous television appearances. Chick is a seasoned veteran of classical work, having played major roles for eleven seasons at the Stratford Festival of Canada (including serving as an Associate Artist to Richard Monette for two seasons), six seasons at the Shaw Festival and was a core acting member for four seasons at Theatre Plus Toronto. She will return to the Shaw Festival in 2021 to pick up where she left off in 2020!
Ms. Reid has been a member of the Ontario College of Teachers since 1991 and recently her sixteenth year teaching in the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University. She was recently honoured with the 2018 Life Member of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association in recognition of her contribution to the performing arts in Canada. Chick lives on a farm with her husband, Tom McCamus, and breeds Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.
Senior Strings (Violin and Viola) – TBA
Junior & Intermediate Strings (Violin and Viola) – Gregory Lewis
Canadian violinist Gregory Lewis has established a reputation as an artist possessing “brilliant technique and control” (Chronicle Journal) and “wonderful musical personality” (Winnipeg Free Press). Lewis has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Consortium Aurora Borealis, Colburn Academy Virtuosi, and the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra. He has performed extensively across North America and Europe as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician, at venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Maison Symphonique, Koerner Hall, and the National Arts Centre. Lewis is a prizewinner of the National Music Festival of Canada, Canadian Music Competition, American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, Yale Chamber Music Competition, and the Virtuoso e Belcanto Violin Competition.
Lewis’ festival appearances include the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, the Juilliard School Starling-DeLay Violin Symposium, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada as an Award of Excellence recipient. He has collaborated with numerous esteemed artists, including Julie Albers, Emanuel Ax, Charles Richard-Hamelin, Brian Manker, Barry Shiffman, and Benjamin Verdery. Lewis recently completed a recording of Mozart’s Piano Quintet, KV 413 alongside pianist Robert Blocker and the Statera Quartet on the Nimbus Alliance label, now available on all major streaming platforms.
A passionate educator, Lewis serves as Communications Director and Teaching Artist for the Heartbeat Music Project, a non-profit organization which offers tuition-free music education to K-12 students on the Navajo Reservation. He has taught masterclasses at the University of Manitoba, Lakehead University, and Aspen Music Festival P.A.L.S. Program, and has held teaching fellowships at Yale University and the University of Manitoba.
Lewis received his education at the Colburn School, Yale University, and the University of Manitoba, studying with Martin Beaver, Ani Kavafian, Oleg Pokhanovski, and Olga Medvedeva. To learn more, please visit www.gregorylewisviolin.com.
Cello & Double Bass – Amahl Arulanandam
With tastes ranging from baroque music to death metal, Toronto-based cellist Amahl Arulanandam is known for his musical versatility and ability to adapt to many different genres. Feeling at home in studios, small clubs and large concert-halls, Amahl hopes to convey that musical expression is beyond genres and labels.
In the “classical” realm of Toronto, Amahl is quickly becoming known as a strong advocate for the music of our time, performing with ensembles such as Soundstreams, New Music Concerts, Tapestry Opera, FAWN Chamber Creative, Caution-Tape Sound Collective, Thin-Edge New Music Collective (TENMC), Music in the Barns and Esprit Orchestra, as well as regular appearances at the 21C Music Festival. In his time with these ensembles, he has had the opportunity to work closely with leading composers such as Salvatore Sciarrino, Ana Sokolovic, Luna Pearl Woolf, Brian Current and John Rea.
As a soloist and chamber musician, Amahl has presented several recitals and performed alongside artists such as David Geringas, Robert Aitken, John Novacek, Steven Dann, Angela Cheng, Mark Fewer, James Campbell and Jeffrey Beecher. He was a featured soloist with Esprit Orchestra, performing the world premiere of Bekah Simms’ cello concerto Foreverdark, for which he was the dedicatee. He has toured the US with Matt Haimovitz’ all-cello ensemble, Uccello and been a featured artist at the Salzburg Chamber Music Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest and Sweetwater Music Festival. He was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Eckhardt-Gramatte National Music Competition, and performed Barber’s Cello Concerto with the McGill Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2014. Mr. Arulanandam is a co-founder VC2 Cello Duo alongside friend and colleague, Bryan Holt. VC2 has performed all across Canada, and recently completed a tour of the Prairies presented by Prairie Debut.
Amahl completed his undergraduate studies in 2012 at the University of Toronto under Shauna Rolston where he received the Gabriella Dory Prize and Suba Institute Award as top graduating performance major. He received his Master’s degree from the McGill University under Matt Haimovitz where he, as part of the Strathcona Piano Trio, won the 2013 chamber music competition, and was runner up in the 2014 concerto competition. He wrapped up his studies at the Glenn Gould School where he received an Artist’s Diploma and was winner of the 2015 chamber music competition.
Non-Western Strings – Wenying Chen
Wenying Chen, an experienced and innovative guzheng performer and educator, has served as senior examiner of Chinese Musicians Association, Committee of Tianjin Conservatory of Music, Chinese ethnic wind Instrument Performance, and Chinese Orchestra Association. Graduated from Tianjin Conservatory of Music in China, Wenying is the first prize winner of the Professional guzheng group in the Chinese National Instrumental Music Competition. Her guzheng solo, “Reveries on the East of the River”, was highly praised at the National Guzheng Seminar and was recorded and broadcasted on China National Radio. She has also won the title of “Heroine Pacesetter” and “Cross-century Literary Star”.
In 2012, she served as senior instructor of Tzar’s Village Music Festival in Canada and adjudicator of Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival in Canada. In 2015, she received the award of “Education Achievement Award” by the 5th Golden Bell Music Competition for Children in China. In 2016, she received the award of “Canadian Woman of the Year”. In 2017, she was invited as the professional guzheng adjudicator for Shengshihua Zheng and participated in the Guinness World Records for Guzheng. In the same year, she was invited as a special guest to participate in the 4th Guzheng Conference in Japan and Osaka.In 2017 and 2018, she won the Excellent Education Guide Award.
Harp – Kristan Toczko
As one of Canada’s premier harpists, Kristan Toczko is recognized for her radiant tone, expressive music making and scintillating virtuosity. A first place winner of the prestigious OSM Standard Life Competition, Kristan has also been named a CBC Radio-Canada Young Artist, and featured as a soloist in national broadcast.
Performing numerous concerti, Kristan has been featured with the Vancouver Symphony, l’Orchestre Francophonie, and Bathurst Chamber Music Festival. Kristan has also been a featured artist with several festivals including the Ottawa ChamberFest, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Kincardine Summer Music Festival, Indian River Festival, and Rio Harp Festival in Brazil, and has been an invited artist at the Banff Centre numerous summers. She has also performed with several orchestras internationally, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony New Brunswick, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jalisco Philharmonia, and Beijing Symphony.
She has also participated in summer festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Orchestra of the Americas, Scotia Festival, and Lucerne Festival Academy. Kristan has performed with esteemed artists such as Measha Brueggergosman, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher, Sir Simon Rattle, and Barbara Hannigan, and has played in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the KKL Luzern Concert Hall, and Roy Thomson Hall. Kristan has also been seen sharing the stage with acclaimed artists Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling, Sarah McLachlan, and Johnny Reid.
As a chamber musician, she is a founding member of harp duo “Duo Novus.” They have held an artist residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, have commissioned several new works, and have toured internationally with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
As an advocate for her profession, Kristan joined the social media platform TikTok in fall of 2020 and within only a few months had grown her channel to over 200,000 followers. She actively works to arrange and record covers from classical to pop to video game music and create educational videos about the harp.
In 2020, Kristan was appointed the position of Northern Ontario Regional Representative to serve on the Board of Directors with the Ontario Harp Society. Kristan holds degrees from McGill University and Yale University, where she was awarded first prize in both schools’ concerto competitions. She is based in Ontario with her husband, teaching and performing throughout Canada.
Voice – Susan Eichhorn Young
Susan’s journey has led her to teach & create theatre worldwide. Her mission to help others access authenticity and support performers & artists to discover and reveal their authentic voice, has given her a platform in the private studio, as a voice consultant, collaborator, as a clinician in masterclasses & workshops, as an adjudicator, and in her online presence.
Her diverse clientele encompasses emerging artists to established & award-winning artists in theatre, music theatre, cabaret, opera, tv & film.
Located in New York City, her innovative approach has generated a thriving studio which keeps her in high demand within both the Broadway & Operatic communities. Now, due to technology, Susan is able to work & consult with singers & actors, directors & theatre companies around the globe via online platforms.
Teacher, mentor, singer, actor, writer – Susan embraces these demanding disciplines with passion, an ongoing pursuit of knowledge, humanity and a little laughter.
Her renowned blog is read worldwide, and can be found on her website: susaneichhornyoung.com
Music Theatre and Popular Voice – Marion Abbott
Marion Abbott is a proud graduate of the Musical Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College. Upon graduating, she was immediately hired to teach for the program and was later named one of the top twenty graduates of the program. She has her Grade 10 Voice and A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance from The Royal Conservatory of Music.
Marion has produced over 400 productions in Toronto and other cities. Of the many (many!) shows Marion has worked on, some of her favourites include The Scarlet Pimpernel, All Shook Up, Anne And Maud, No Safe Harbour, Ragtime, Streetcar Named Desire and Passion.
As a private teacher, Marion has taught voice, piano and acting for 30+ years to students of all ages. From festivals to recitals to performing in Disney World, Marion cherishes her memories of her time with her students dearly. Many of her former students now work in the arts full time. Marion is now in demand as an adjudicator, masterclass teacher, theatre creator and private coach.
She creates resources for Voice Teachers and Singers, including her YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/c/MarionAbbott/Videos) which has over 600 accompaniment tracks and her Endless Song Suggestions database (www.marionabbott.com/endless-song-suggestions) which has thousands of song suggestions for singers of all ages and all levels.
Marion LOVES Walt Disney and tries to get to Walt Disney World in Florida at least once a year. Her favourite rides are Splash Mountain and the Tower of Terror. Marion is married to visual artist Giancarlo Piccin and they have a son, also named Giancarlo. The three of them are addicted to movies. www.marionabbott.com Instagram: msmarionabbott
Musical Theatre – Alexis Gordon
Alexis was born and raised in London, Ontario. Selected theatre credits: Ma in North American premiere of Emma Donoghue’s Room (Grand Theatre/Mirvish); Brigadoon, Rope (Shaw Festival); Hook Up (Theatre Passe Muraille/Tapestry); Coriolanus, The Tempest, Guys & Dolls, A Little Night Music, Carousel, The Sound of Music (Stratford Festival); Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol (Grand Theatre), Sunday in the Park With George (TIFT), The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble (Factory/Obsidian); Obeah Opera (Nightwood); Starbright Christmas, Canada Sings, Godspell (Victoria Petrolia Playhouse); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood). Awards: Banks Prize for Emerging Artists (Musical Stage Co). Education: BFA Acting, University of Windsor.
Speech Arts – Chick Reid
A graduate of Queen’s University, Chick Reid is entering her 45th year as a Canadian theatre professional. Her career includes performing in regional theatres nationwide and the U.S. as well as numerous television appearances. Chick is a seasoned veteran of classical work, having played major roles for eleven seasons at the Stratford Festival of Canada (including serving as an Associate Artist to Richard Monette for two seasons), six seasons at the Shaw Festival and was a core acting member for four seasons at Theatre Plus Toronto. She will return to the Shaw Festival in 2021 to pick up where she left off in 2020!
Ms. Reid has been a member of the Ontario College of Teachers since 1991 and recently her sixteenth year teaching in the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University. She was recently honoured with the 2018 Life Member of Canadian Actors’Equity Association in recognition of her contribution to the performing arts in Canada.
Chick lives on a farm with her husband, Tom McCamus, and breeds Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.
Brass and Woodwinds – Shashi Ramu
Originally from Winnipeg, MB, Shashi Ramu celebrates his 35th year as a trombone player in 2021. A graduate of the University of Manitoba Music Education program, with time spent at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles) – Shashi has learned from some of the best teachers in the business including Terry Cravens (Bass Trombone/Pasadena Philharmonic and Former Head of Winds and Brass Studies at USC), John
Miller (former Bass trombonist, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra), John Helmer (Principal Trombone, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra), and the legendary late Bill Watrous (Jazz Trombone, USC and world renowned performer and recording artist).
Shashi has devoted his life to supporting music education – both instrumental music teachers and their students. From 2000- 2009, between Winnipeg and his current home, Toronto, Shashi served as Education Department Manager, Store Manager, Product Consultant, and Instrumental Music Buyer for Long and McQuade Music. In 2011, Shashi joined the Board of Directors of the Ontario Strings Association, where he currently serves as Chair of the OSA’s Annual Conference, now moving into its eighth year. Currently Shashi is the Institutional Sales and Marketing Director for Harknett Music in Markham, where he splits his focus between performance repertoire sales & consulting for the Ontario school market, instrument sales, and digital media & event marketing and promotion.
Currently, Shashi appears as a guest clinician and adjudicator for various high school band programs/teachers throughout the GTA – he focuses on festival and performance preparation, rehearsal techniques, and instrumental sectional coaching
Guitar & Bandura – Adam Ruzzo
Adam Ruzzo is a multifaceted artist, experiencing success in both the Classical Music and Folk Music world. He holds a Bachelor of Music
degree and a Master of Music degree in Classical Guitar Performance from the University of Toronto, as well as a first place award in the FCMF
National Music Competition. His original music for classical guitar led him to be a guest speaker for TedxAlgonquinPark and is also being featured on documentary films by Canadian Filmmaker Matt Steeves. More recently, Adam has spent a significant amount of time traveling the country writing songs inspired by Canadian places and people. His most recent six month stay was in Newfoundland learning traditional music on several
instruments, and he was a headlining singer/songwriter at the long-running ‘Folk Night’ series presented by the Folk Society of Newfoundland and
Labrador. Adam has been a long time guitar teacher and has been adjudicating exams and festivals since 2012. He currently resides in Northern Ontario where he makes his living as a musician.
Composition – Christopher Norton
Composer, arranger, and teacher, Christopher Norton is universally regarded as the leader in his field. Born in 1953, he is a New Zealand-born, now Canadian-based composer.
His long and fruitful association with Boosey & Hawkes has resulted in the world-famous Microjazz series, the Preludes for piano, 2 Concert Collections for piano and, with his wife Wendy, 30 Micromusicals.
In 2005 he wrote Connections for Piano for the RCM. The series is now owned by Christopher and published by his own company, www.80dayspublishing.com. In 2006 he wrote American Popular Piano for Novus Via Publications.
Christopher is in high demand for his unique and creative presentations, both live and on line. He offers sessions ranging from improvisation coaching for private teachers to adjudicating non-competitive piano festivals with literally thousands of student entries; from offering personal, intensive master class sessions at all levels to lectures in advanced composition. Everywhere he goes, his fresh and uplifting approach to music never fails to inspire and enlighten all who attend.
In the last 5 years, Christopher has written a series of concert works A very well received Jazz Piano Sonata, an Italian Suite for 2 Pianos, a Turkish-Anatolian Suite for 2 pianos and an Idaho Suite for solo piano are among the many new publications from 80dayspublishing.
Christopher now lives, with his wife, another published composer, in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.
Chamber & Small Ensembles – Aaron Schwebel
Canadian violinist Aaron Schwebel has performed throughout the world in various musical roles. Based in his native Toronto, Aaron currently holds the positions of Concertmaster with the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and Associate Concertmaster with the Canadian Opera Company. As a guest concertmaster, Aaron has performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Les Violons Du Roy, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Aaron is also Founder and Artistic Director of Echo Chamber Toronto, a series that intertwines chamber music and contemporary dance (www.echochambertoronto.com).
Aaron has performed as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Lanaudiere, Scarborough Philharmonic, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Kindred Spirits Orchestra, and McGill Symphony Orchestra. An active chamber music performer, he is a founding member of the Toronto-based LARK ensemble and Rosebud Quartet, and has been on faculty at Toronto Summer Music Festival, Interprovincial Music Camp, and Festival Del Lago in Ajijic, Mexico. Aaron appears regularly at summer chamber music festivals around Canada, including Music by the Sea in Bamfield, BC, Stratford Summer Music Festival, and the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival.
Aaron did his studies at McGill University and Indiana University with teachers Jonathan Crow, Yaela Hertz, Mauricio Fuks, and Andre Roy. As a student, Aaron was a member of the Roddick String Quartet, representing Canada at the 2009 London International String Quartet Competition, and the Kuttner Quartet, Indiana University’s resident string quartet. Upon graduation from McGill, Aaron was awarded the Schulich School of Music’s Golden Violin Award.