A native of Montreal, Stephanie Morin is an up and coming flutist on the Canadian music scene. Before her appointment as Second Flute and Piccolo with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2020, she held positions as Assistant Principal Flute with the Edmonton Symphony, and Principal Flute of the Laval and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean orchestras.
As a chamber musician, Stephanie has performed with small ensembles for the Health Arts Society of Alberta and the Lakeshore Chamber Music Society. She also enjoys teaching flutists of all ages and levels, and was an ambassador for the YONA Sistema program at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton.
Stephanie completed her music studies in Montreal, first at Marianopolis College with Carolyn Christie, then at McGill University with Denis Bluteau, and finally at the Montreal Conservatory of Music with Marie-Andrée Benny. She spent her summers at music programs such as the Music Academy of the West, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the NAC’s own Young Artists Program.
Stephanie is a prize-winner at the Canadian Music Competition, the Prix d’Europe, and the Orchestra Toronto Concerto Competition. She has also performed with ensembles such as Les Violons du Roy, the Orchestre Métropolitain, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal.
Yosuke Kawasaki currently serves as Concertmaster of the NAC Orchestra in Canada. His versatile musicianship allows him to pursue a career in orchestra, solo and chamber music. His orchestral career began with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and soon led to Mito Chamber Orchestra, Saito Kinen Orchestra and Japan Century Orchestra all of which he led as Concertmaster. His solo and chamber music career spans five continents, collaborating with artists such as Seiji Ozawa, Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma and appearing in the world's most prestigious halls such as Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and The Royal Concertgebouw.
Kawasaki's most current ensembles are Trio Ink and the Arkas String Quartet. His passion for chamber music led him to create the short lived Classical Unbound Festival in Prince Edward County, Ontario, which he served as Co-Artistic Director. Subsequently, he has been appointed Music Director to the Affinis Music Festival in Japan. He is also an artistic advisor to a brand new chamber music festival in Bulgaria called The Unbeaten Path.
As an educator Kawasaki has given masterclasses and performed side by side with students in schools across Canada. Well versed in the string quartet literature he was entrusted by Seiji Ozawa as the youngest faculty member of the Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy at the age of 26. He is currently an adjunct professor of violin at the University of Ottawa.
Mr. Kawasaki began his violin studies at the age of six with his father Masao Kawasaki and continued with Setsu Goto. At the age of ten he was accepted into The Juilliard School Pre-College Division and further continued his education and graduated from The Juilliard School in 1998 under the tutorship of Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Felix Galimir and Joel Smirnoff.
Paul Casey was born and raised in Ottawa and is an avid orchestral and chamber musician and pedagogue.
Paul is one of the newest additions to the National Arts Centre Orchestra viola section; as a soloist, Paul has performed with NACO as part of FanFair, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and has given recitals in Canada and the United States. He was the 2011 recipient of the NACO Bursary Competition's Harold Crabtree Foundation Award.
Paul obtained a MMus and BMus from Indiana University and the University of Ottawa, respectively, and most recently studied at McGill University.
Paul keeps himself busy these days with his two kids and his garden.
Described as a “pure chamber musician” (The 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 was cellist of the Aviv String Quartet from 2002-2010. An active chamber musician, she currently plays with piano quartet Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, and the AYR Piano Trio (with Yehonatan Berick, violin and Angela Park, piano). In 2010 she co-founded the “5 at the First” Chamber Music Series in Hamilton for which she is Artistic Director.
Rachel has given masterclasses across North America, South Africa and in Israel, as well as talks on topics from performance to self-management, and is 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, solo music by Vivian Fung and Andrew Downing, and chamber music by Nicole Lizée, Abigail Richardson-Schulte, Sarah Slean, Samy Moussa, and John Burge.
Her first article, on commissioning, was published in 2018 by the Association of Canadian Women Composers Journal. Rachel can be heard on the Naxos, Naxos Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, ATMA, 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. Rachel joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as Associate Principal Cello in 2016, winning the Principal Cello chair in 2017.
Frédéric Lacroix has performed in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist. He is a frequent collaborator with members of the NAC Orchestra both in chamber music and recitals, having first performed in the Music for a Sunday Afternoon concert series in 2015. This past September, he curated, as fortepianist (and composer), the late-night concerts of the NAC Orchestra’s Beethoven Festival.
Following the University of Ottawa’s purchase of a fortepiano, he has devoted part of his time to the study and performance of music on period keyboard instruments, for which he was recognized as the Westfield Center Performing Scholar for 2008–2009. He has presented numerous concerts in Canada and the United States as harpsichordist and fortepianist.
Intrigued by the seemingly infinite diversity of new music, Lacroix has enjoyed collaborating with composers and performers in the premiere of a number of Canadian and American works. Also active as a composer, his song cycle, Nova Scotia Tartan (2004), is featured on Hail, a disc dedicated to Canadian Art Song.
Frédéric Lacroix teaches piano and composition at the University of Ottawa. He recently completed his doctorate degree in keyboard performance practice with Malcolm Bilson at Cornell University.