“A two year residency that allows composers to work closely with Alexander Shelley and the National Arts Centre Orchestra is such an invaluable and exciting opportunity. Having meaningful access to musicians, the artistic direction, and the entire NAC team offers an immediate, rich, and personal approach to expanding, learning, and challenging myself as a composer for which I am immensely grateful.”
Keiko Devaux (b. 1982) is a contemporary music composer based in Montreal.
Her works have been performed in Canada, France, Germany, and Italy by various ensembles including Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble musica assoluta, Ensemble Arkea, Quartetto Prometeo, and Ensemble Wapiti among others. She composes regularly for diverse ensembles, as well as collaborating with choreographers and filmmakers.
Her approach embraces a love of electroacoustic sounds and methodology by manipulating and distorting acoustic sound with digital tools, and then transcribing or re-translating these interpretations back into musical notation and the acoustic realm. Her interests include emotional experience and affect, auto-organizational phenomena in nature and living beings, as well as “genre-blurring” by layering and juxtaposing contrasting melodic/harmonic skeletal elements of highly contrasting sonic sources. The distortion of the temporal, frequency, and timbral attributes allows the blurring between traditional tonal sounds and more electroacoustic-inspired “noise” gestures.
She has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Jan V. Matejcek Award for New Classical Music (2019), the Rotary Club Siena Award for distinction in her master courses with Salvatore Sciarrino (2018), the OUM composition prize (2016 and 2018), and the Jury and Public prizes of the Accès Arkea competition (2017). Her composition Ebb, premiered by the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, was nominated as Création de l’année for the 2017-2018 Opus awards, and her work Ombra was a finalist for the Prix du CALQ - Œuvre de la relève à Montréal in the same year. In 2019, she won the inaugural Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music, at $50,000, the largest of its kind in Canada and one of the largest in the world.
From 2016 to 2018, she was the composer in residence with Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. She is an associate composer with the Canadian Music Centre, president of the board of directors of Codes d’accès, and past organizer of the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab.
Originally from British Columbia, she began her musical career in piano performance studies as well as composing, touring, and recording several albums in independent rock bands. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Écriture) and a Master of Music in instrumental composition from the Université de Montréal. She has also studied with Maestro Salvatore Sciarrino at L'Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy (2017-19). She is currently completing her doctorate in music composition and creation at Université de Montréal under the direction of Ana Sokolović and Pierre Michaud.
When Quebec composer Claude Vivier was murdered in his Paris apartment at the age of 34, he was already highly regarded as one of Canada’s most important composers. Since that time Vivier’s reputation has taken on almost mythic proportions, and his music continues to be performed with a regularity seldom seen in contemporary composers. Following the announcement of Vivier’s death, critic and musicologist Harry Halbreich wrote in Harmonie-Panorama Musique that “his music really resembles no other, and he puts himself right on the fringe of all trends. His music, of a direct and disruptive expression, could bewilder only those hard-hearted people who are unfit to categorize this independent man of genius. Claude Vivier found what so many others have sought for, and still seek: the secret of a truly new simplicity.”
Vivier studied in Montreal, then in Holland, France and Germany. A deep affection for Asian cultures led him to an extended stay in Bali, whose music influenced his own. A fascination with plainchant deriving from his Catholic upbringing and an abiding concern with death and immortality also colored his music. At the time of his own death he was writing a choral piece called Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele? (Do you believe in the immortality of the soul?)
-By Robert Markow
Principal Guest Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and Chief Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds has a dual career as a conductor and violin virtuoso and is widely recognized for his creative flair for programming. As Artistic Director of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, a title he has held for over 25 years, Storgårds earned global critical acclaim for the ensemble’s adventurous performances and award winning recordings.
Internationally, Mr. Storgårds appears with such orchestras as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Vienna Radio Symphony and the London Philharmonic, as well as all of the major Scandinavian orchestras, including the Helsinki Philharmonic where he was Chief Conductor from 2008 to 2015. In North America, he is a regular guest with the Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras, the orchestras of Toronto, Montreal, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas and the National Symphony in Washington DC, as well as with the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.
Mr. Storgårds’ award winning discography includes not only recordings of works by Schumann, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, but also rarities by Holmboe and Vask, which feature him as violin soloist. Cycles of the complete symphonies of Sibelius (2014) and Nielsen (2015) with the BBC Philharmonic were released to critical acclaim by Chandos. His most recent recordings are a highly acclaimed recording on BIS of Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, completed and arranged for chamber orchestra by Michelle Castelletti, and Shostakovich’s monumental Symphony No. 11 “The Year 1905” with the BBC Philharmonic as part of an ongoing Shostakovich symphony cycle being recorded for Chandos. Additional recordings include discs of works by Nørgård, Korngold, Aho and Rautavaara, the latter receiving a Grammy nomination and a Gramophone Award in 2012.
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.
Violinist Jessica Linnebach has distinguished herself among the next generation of Canadian classical artists being lauded on concert stages nationally and around the world. Since her soloist debut at the age of seven, Jessica has appeared with major orchestras throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Jessica has been a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) since 2003 and was named their Associate Concertmaster in April 2010.
Acknowledging the importance of versatility in today’s world, Jessica has developed a reputation as one of those rare artists who has successfully built a multi-faceted career that encompasses solo, chamber and orchestral performances. A passionate chamber musician, Jessica was a founding member of the Zukerman ChamberPlayers, a string quintet led by Pinchas Zukerman. During the 8 years they performed together, they toured extensively to international acclaim appearing throughout North America, South America the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Their recording of the Mozart Viola Quintet in G minor was nominated for a Juno Award and its fifth release, Quintets by Mozart and Dvorak, is on the Altara Label. Chamber music collaborations have included some of the most illustrious artists of a generation - Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, James Ehnes, Leon Fleisher, Lynn Harrell, Yo-Yo Ma, Jon Kimura Parker, Itzhak Perlman, Gil Shaham, and Michael Tree.
In 2014, Jessica and three of her NACO colleagues formed the Ironwood String Quartet, and they are frequent performers at various chamber music series and festivals, including the WolfGANG and MFASA series, as well as the Pontiac Enchanté, Ritornello, and Classical Unbound festivals.
As her schedule permits, she is also a solo artist in demand across North America. Over the past couple of years she performed with orchestras in the United States, as well as in Canada, including the Edmonton and Thunder Bay Symphonies, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Jessica is also the Artistic Director of the ‘Classical Unbound Festival’, a chamber music festival in Prince Edward County.
Accepted to the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at the age of ten, Jessica remains one of the youngest ever Bachelor of Music graduates in the history of the school. While there, Jessica’s primary teachers were Aaron Rosand, Jaime Laredo and Ida Kavafian. At eighteen, she received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City where she studied with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec.
Jessica Linnebach plays a circa 1840 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (Guarnerius del Gésu 1737) violin. Her bows are crafted by Ron Forrester and Michael Vann.
Vancouver-born violist Jethro Marks was appointed Principal viola of the National Arts Center Orchestra in Spring 2011. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, China, Mexico, Europe, and Canada, and is a frequent collaborator with many artists and ensembles. Jethro is first violist of the Zukerman ChamberPlayers, a string ensemble led by Pinchas Zukerman that has completed highly acclaimed tours of festivals in Canada, the U.S., Europe, China, South America and New Zealand. The ensemble released its fourth CD in 2008.
One of five brothers growing up in a musical family, Jethro first studied violin with his father, who played in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. While attending Indiana University at Bloomington, he became intrigued by the rich, dark sound of the viola. He began to switch his focus and started studying with violist Atar Arad. Awards included first prize in the Kuttner Quartet Competition, first prize in the Concerto Competition, and receiving the prestigious Performers Certificate. In 1998, Jethro Marks was accepted into the Zukerman Program at the Manhattan School of Music as the only violist and he won first prize in the MSM Concerto Competition. Jethro first participated in the National Arts Centre’s Young Artists Program in 1999, returning the following summer. He returned to the NAC Summer Music Institute in 2000 and 2001 as a mentor and he made his CBC Radio debut in 2003 performing the Paganini 24th caprice on viola.
An avid chamber musician, has collaborated with some of the most illustrious artists and chamber groups of our day including Leon Fleisher, Lynn Harrell, Gary Hoffman, Jaime Laredo, Michael Tree, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman, Emanual Ax, and the Orion Quartet, and has participated in festivals around the world including the Verbier Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Festival de musique de St. Barthelemy, Banff Festival of the Arts, Lanaudière Festival, Agassiz Festival, Ravinia Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Festival, Musica Mundi in Belgium, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, and Mostly Mozart, as well as the 92nd St. Y, Jupiter and Lyric Chamber Music Societies in New York City. Jethro is frequently featured in chamber music concerts in the National Arts Centre MFASA series, as well as the Ottawa Chamber Music Festivals.
His solo debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra was in 2004 playing Harold in Italy and in 2007 he premiered the Steven Gellman Viola Concerto with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 he performed the Malcolm Forsyth concerto with cellist Amanda Forsyth. He is a frequent collaborator with Ottawa pianist Mauro Bertoli, and play numorous recitals throughout Canada. He's joining the faculty of the University of Ottawa in Sept. 2015.
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.
Bassist Hilda Cowie has always been surrounded by music. The daughter of a bassist and a trombonist, her path to a career in music was a natural one. She began studying the bass with her mother, a member of Symphony Nova Scotia, upon entering high school and continued as a student of Joel Quarrington at the University of Toronto and the RCM Glenn Gould School.
Hilda is an active member of the Canadian music scene and has performed coast to coast in various capacities. She has held positions as principal bass of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Kingston Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with major Canadian orchestras including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, Symphony Nova Scotia, and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal.
Hilda can be heard on recordings by the NAC Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Banff Centre’s Gruppo Montebello and has performed in solo recital in Ottawa, Halifax, and Toronto. She enjoys frequently performing chamber music with friends and colleagues.
Hilda has been a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 2001.
Kimball Sykes joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as principal clarinet in 1985.
Born in Vancouver, he received a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of British Columbia where he studied with Ronald deKant. In 1982 Mr. Sykes was a member of the National Youth Orchestra and was awarded the first of two Canada Council grants to study with Robert Marcellus in Chicago. He has participated in the Banff School of Fine Arts Festival, the Scotia Festival, the Orford Festival and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.
He has performed and toured with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. While in Vancouver, he was a founding member of the Vancouver Wind Trio. From 1983 to 1985 he was principal clarinet of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Sykes has performed as a soloist with the NAC Orchestra on numerous occasions. In May 2000, he gave the premiere performance of Vagues immobiles, a clarinet concerto by Alain Perron commissioned for him by the NAC, and in November 2002, he performed the Copland Clarinet Concerto, both conducted by Pinchas Zukerman. Other groups he has appeared with as soloist include Thirteen Strings, the Honolulu Symphony and the Auckland Philharmonia.
Mr. Sykes has performed numerous solo and chamber music programs for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He can be heard on the recent Chamber Players of Canada recording of Schubert’s Octet. He has also recorded the Mozart Clarinet Quintet with Pinchas Zukerman and NAC Orchestra principal musicians Donnie Deacon, Jane Logan and Amanda Forsyth which is included in the NAC Orchestra’s double Mozart CD for CBC Records which was nominated for a Juno Award in 2004.
Kimball Sykes is currently on faculty at the University of Ottawa.
Christopher Millard, one of Canada’s best known woodwind artists, joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as principal bassoon in 2004 after serving with the Vancouver Symphony and the CBC Radio Orchestra for 28 years. He is also the principal bassoon for the Grand Teton Music Festival and has made five concert tours with Valery Gergiev and the World Orchestra for Peace.
A distinguished teacher, Mr. Millard served on the faculty of Northwestern University until 2014, and continues to give masterclasses at many of the foremost music schools: Curtis Institute, New World Symphony, Manhattan School, Rice University, Indiana University, the National Orchestral Institute as well as in Canada at Domaine Forget. For 20 years, Mr. Millard was the bassoon professor for the National Youth Orchestra where he helped nurture a new generation of Canadian wind players. His students now occupy numerous positions in American and Canadian orchestras. A student of Roland Small and the legendary Sol Schoenbach at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Mr. Millard also studied with the great French flutist Marcel Moyse.
A regular guest artist and teacher at the Scotia, Banff, Orford and Ottawa Chamber Music Festivals, Mr. Millard has also appeared in concert and recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Marlboro Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the International Double Reed Society and as a soloist with numerous orchestras. He regularly performs at home and on tour with the National Arts Centre Wind Quintet, a highly acclaimed ensemble that has made a debut recording on the Naxos label.
Mr. Millard has received wide praise for his numerous recordings BIS, Naxos, Arabesque, CBC Records and Summit, including a disc in the prestigious “OrchestraPro” series. His recording of the Hétu Bassoon Concerto won a 2004 Juno Award. He is a recognized authority on the acoustics of reedmaking and a skilled woodwind technician.
Principal Horn with the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 2002, Lawrence Vine has also served as Principal Horn with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.
A much sought-after chamber musician, Lawrence has performed with Andrew Dawes, Lynn Harrell, Joseph Kalichstein, Anton Kuerti, Malcolm Lowe, Menahem Pressler, Pascal Rogé, David Schifrin, Joseph Silverstein, and Pinchas Zukerman. He regularly performs at home and on tour with the National Arts Centre Wind Quintet, a highly acclaimed ensemble that has recorded for the Naxos label.
As a soloist, he has appeared with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra. His festival credits include the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Banff Centre for Fine Arts, Cleveland’s Kent/Blossom Music, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and Ottawa's Music and Beyond Festival.
An active teacher and clinician, Lawrence is proud to teach the horn studio at the University of Ottawa's School of Music. He previously taught at the University of Manitoba, and has presented masterclasses at the Manhattan School of Music, Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory, Chicago’s Roosevelt University, Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the Universities of Colorado, Toronto, British Columbia, Calgary and Victoria. He also serves on the faculty of the NAC Summer Music Institute.
The Toronto Globe and Mail has praised his “fine, burnished playing”; the Winnipeg Free Press commended his “delicate phrasing, rounded tone, and sense of poise”; the Ottawa Citizen enthused that his “playing was assured, and his clear sound was remarkably subtle”; and the Montreal Gazette described his playing as “radiant”.
Julie Fauteux, born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, joined the NAC Orchestra in 1999 as associate principal horn. She studied at the Montreal Conservatory with James Somerville, where she finished with a “Premier Prix”.
Immediately after the end of her studies, at age 21, she was appointed principal horn of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia in Spain, and later on in the Real Filharmonica de Galicia, also as principal horn, where she remained until coming to Ottawa in 1999.
Julie has played with different orchestras as soloist, including l’Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke, and the Real Filharmonica de Galicia, and won the First Prize in the brass category at the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec music competition. She was also a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for three years.
Julie’s orchestral career also included being invited in 1998 to play some concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Mariss Jansons.
Aside from orchestral playing, Julie also enjoys chamber music and teaching. She teaches horn at the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau and in Spain taught at the Academy of the "Real Filharmonica de Galicia". She was a member of the faculty at the Banff Centre in the summer of 2006. She also takes part regularly in the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.
Since October 2017, Louis-Pierre Bergeron is the proud 4th horn of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Previously, he was 3rd horn with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, 2nd horn with Orchestre Métropolitain, and solo horn with Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières. He still collaborates frequently with Les Violons du Roy, in Québec City. In Mars 2020, he will be soloist in Ferdinand Ries’ Concerto for two horns, with Louis-Philippe Marsolais and I Musici de Montréal.
Louis-Pierre studied with John Zirbel at McGill University and at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the natural horn with Teunis van der Zwart at the Amsterdam Conservatory. An avid champion of the natural horn, he performed and recorded with prestigious early music ensembles, notably the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik and Europa Galante.
Equally active in pop music, Louis-Pierre Bergeron founded in 2015 the Montreal Horn Stars, a brass quintet for which he is also arranger. The group collaborates with artists such as Patrick Watson, Bernard Adamus, Louis-Jean Cormier and Klô Pelgag. They performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival, at Francofolies de Montréal and at Festival d’été de Québec.
Louis-Pierre gives educational concerts with his woodwind quintet Ayorama, and for senior residents of healthcare establishments with Moon Palace, the duo he forms with his partner, the NACO cellist Julia MacLaine.
As hobbies, Louis-Pierre practices hockey, cross-country skying and cyclo-touring. He collects music records and old instruments.
Following three successful seasons (1996-1999) as Acting Principal Trumpet of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Karen Donnelly was unanimously appointed Principal Trumpet in October 1999, and continues to enjoy each year with this wonderful ensemble.
A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Karen picked up a trumpet for the first time in her elementary school band program and she was hooked. Her formal training includes a Bachelor of Arts in Music program at the University of Regina and later a Master's of Music from McGill University.
Karen held the position of Principal Trumpet with Orchestra London (Canada) from 1994-1996, and performed with many ensembles in southwestern Ontario during her time there.
Since she burst on the Ottawa scene in 1996, Ms. Donnelly has done concerts and interviews for CBC (French and English), performances with the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet, and the large ensemble, Capital BrassWorks. In 2008, Capital Brass Works released its third album, “Gabriel’s Sister” featuring Ms. Donnelly as soloist.
Karen has been featured with professional orchestras, community amateur orchestras, and many local school bands. These include the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Kington Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, Hannaford Silver Street Band, Maple Leaf Brass Band, Parkdale Orchestra and the Regina Catholic Schools Honour Band.
Music education has always been, and continues to be, very close to Karen’s heart. Her work with the Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet and Capital BrassWorks creates opportunities for educational concerts and workshops in schools. Through the NAC Music Education programs, Karen has given master classes in Switzerland, Mexico, China, United States, United Kingdom and Canada from coast to coast. Ms. Donnelly joined the teaching staff at the University of Ottawa in 2002, and since 2009, Karen has been assisting with the Leadingnote OrKidstra program.
Born in Montreal, Donald Renshaw received his Bachelor degree in Music with distinction in trombone from McGill University in 1977 and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in New York City in 1982.
After graduating in 1977, he freelanced in both the classical and commercial fields performing a wide spectrum of musical styles from early and contemporary music with such groups as the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal under Christopher Jackson on sackbut, and the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec under Serge Garant, to performing in backup, jazz and dance big bands.
While in New York, he performed regularly at Carnegie Hall with the National Orchestra of New York. During this time, he attended summer sessions of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts. In 1983, Mr. Renshaw was invited to perform with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra as Principal Trombone. He was appointed Principal Trombone of Orchestra London Canada in 1983, a position he held for three years while teaching at the University of Western Ontario.
In 1986, Don Renshaw became Principal Trombone of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and taught trombone, tuba and Jazz Ensemble at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Hull from 1987 to 1994. He is a founding member of the Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet (now known as the NAC Brass Quintet), the Capital BrassWorks ensemble and the Ambassador Brass Trio, and teaches at the University of Ottawa.
Don and his wife Linda are proud parents of two sons, Adam and Aaron.
Born in Melfort, Saskatchewan, and raised in Regina, Colin Traquair has been second trombone with the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 1989. He also played four seasons with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, and was principal trombone with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra from 1995-2002.
Studying with Frank Crisafulli and Arnold Jacobs, he received his Master’s degree from Northwestern University in 1988 and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1985. Additionally, he studied in Berlin with Christhard Gössling, principal trombone of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Colin has performed as soloist with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and in the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and has performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Nova Scotia. He is also a co-founder of the Ottawa-based Capital BrassWorks.
A native of Toronto, Chris began playing tuba at the age of twelve at Winona Drive Senior Public School and instantly discovered a passion for performing. During his time at Winona, Chris met Chuck Daellenbach of the Canadian Brass, and performed over 50 concerts with the Winona Brass Quintet including a tour of Japan. Chuck would serve as a role model and mentor for the remainder of Chris' career and those early musical experiences with the quintet would leave an indelible imprint on him.
After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, Chris’ formal education included studies with Dennis Miller at McGill, Alain Cazes at the Montreal Conservatoire and Dan Perantoni at Indiana University. His summers were spent performing at various summer festival orchestras including the National Academy Orchestra (Hamilton Canada), National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, Colorado), National Orchestral Institute (College Park, Maryland), Verbier Festival Youth Orchestra (Switzerland) and a memorable summer in the Ceremonial Guard Band performing on Parliament Hill.
Chris’ professional orchestral tuba career began overseas in Spain, performing as Principal Tuba with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia for 2 seasons from 2001 to 2003 before returning to Canada to take up the same position with the Winnipeg Symphony in 2003. Chris served as Principal Tuba with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for 15 seasons from 2003 until 2018, when he started as Principal Tuba with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Chris has been an active teacher and enjoys sharing his passion for music. While in Europe, Chris was the Professor of Tuba at the ESMAE School of Music in Porto, Portugal and is the former Instructor of Tuba at the University of Manitoba. He is very proud of his former students who hold a variety of positions.
Chris has recorded with the Winnipeg Symphony, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Real Philharmonic de Galicia, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Brass and numerous studio recordings in the US. Chris has appeared as a soloist with a variety of ensembles including the Winnipeg Symphony, the University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble and the National Youth Band of Canada. Chris gave the orchestral premiere of the Victor Davies Tuba Concerto in 2009 with the WSO and is always on the lookout to find new tuba repertoire to perform for Canadian audiences. When he is not playing tuba, Chris enjoys running, playing golf and spending time with his wife, Desiree and their two kids; Evelyn and Keenan.
Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Sean Rice has performed extensively throughout North America and around the world. His broadcasts include recitals with CBC National Radio, performances for Swiss Radio DRS, and Lucerne Festival live streams for the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial and 2019 Lucerne Festival Alumni Orchestra.
Recognized as an exciting interpreter of contemporary music, The New York Times has described Mr. Rice as a “technically precise, exuberant protagonist” in performance. Mr. Rice has performed at festivals such as Lucerne Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, New York City’s Museum of Modern Art Summergarden Series, Toronto Summer Music Festival, and Banff Music Festival. In addition to numerous New York Times reviews, Mr. Rice’s performances have received high praise from the Ottawa Citizen, Musical Toronto, and Artsfile. For a recent performance of Golijov’s Ayre at Ottawa Chamberfest, Musical Toronto wrote: “The performers were strong, especially NACO clarinetist Sean Rice, who unloaded a wailing solo that rivalled even the best Klezmer effort by Giora Feidman.”
At an early age, Mr. Rice was invited to perform a concert with the National Arts Centre Orchestra during their 2002 Atlantic Tour and subsequently, he has appeared as a soloist with ensembles including the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Axiom, The New Juilliard Ensemble, and Symphony Nova Scotia. The recipient of numerous awards, Mr. Rice received first prize at the 2006 Canadian Concerto Competition hosted by the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. Following his 2007 Montréal debut at Jeunesses Musicales, La Presse wrote: “…clarinettiste canadien Sean Rice y révéla une technique impeccable, une authentique musicalité, une sonorité tour à tour éclatante et chaleureuse, et un vrai talent de chambriste.” Continuing the 2007-08 season, Mr. Rice performed his first national tour with pianist Jean-Philippe Sylvestre for Jeunesses Musicales’ touring series. Since then, he has toured frequently throughout major cities across the United States, Europe, Malaysia, Brazil and Japan.
As an educator, Mr. Rice has served as Visiting Professor at Memorial University (2017-18) and Director of the Contemporary Music Ensemble at the University of Ottawa (2012-17). He has been invited to give masterclasses at institutions such as the Royal College of Music, Beijing Central Conservatory, University of British Columbia, and the University of West England. Additionally, Mr. Rice has adjudicated numerous competitions, including the National Music Festival Competition held by the Canadian Association of Music Festivals. Starting in the fall of 2021, Mr. Rice will join the clarinet faculty at the University of Ottawa.
As a conductor, Mr. Rice made his debut in 2012 as the Director of the Contemporary Music Ensemble at the University of Ottawa. In 2017, he led an ensemble of musicians from the National Arts Centre Orchestra and made his international conducting debut at the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival in Vancouver. Recently, Mr. Rice conducted the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra for their 2021-22 season opener – their first performance since the pandemic.
Outside the concert hall, Mr. Rice has developed a significant profile as a classical music podcaster and host. Under his tenure, the National Arts Centre NACOcast has enjoyed great success and international recognition, with ClassicFM continuing to list his podcasts among the Top 10 in the world for classical music. Mr. Rice also hosts the NAC Wolfgang Sessions – a contemporary music series that he helped design and curate for the National Arts Centre.
Sean Rice is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he received his Bachelor of Music while studying with Paul Bendzsa. Continuing his studies under the tutelage of Charles Neidich, Mr. Rice graduated with both a Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts from The Juilliard School. Currently residing in Ottawa, audiences can hear him perform regularly as a recitalist and chamber musician and as Second Clarinet/Bass Clarinet of the National Arts Centre Orchestra.