Artists (2010)

Natalie Alcorn

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Natalie Alcorn was born and raised in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia where she began her musical training at the age of three. Before attending university Natalie was a finalist in the National Music Festival of Canada.  She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Horn Performance from McGill University in Montreal as a student of both Denys Derome and John Zirbel.  At McGill, she acted as principal horn of the Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Alexis Hauser. In the summer of 2007 and 2009 Natalie was invited to participate in the Banff Centre master classes and festival orchestra, where she studied with Eric Ruske, Frøydis Ree Wekre, Gabe Radford and William VerMeulen.

In 2008, Natalie moved to Boston where she has just recently completed a Masters degree at New England Conservatory as a student of James Sommerville. In Boston, she played with the Nova Brass Quintet- with whom she toured and performed extensive educational outreach concerts for varying audiences, and played frequently with the Boston Philharmonic under Benjamin Zander.  Natalie is also a founding member of Discovery Ensemble, a chamber orchestra specializing in educational outreach programs, and just this summer was invited to participate in Scotiafest where she performed with the orchestra, in chamber works and as a soloist.

Carmen Bruno

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Carmen Bruno began studying cello at the Conservatoire de Gatineau with Anne Contant.  She has also studied with Margaret Tobolowska and Carole Sirois and will pursue post secondary cello studies next year.   Every summer Carmen participates in summer music programmes including Morningside Music Bridge in Calgary, Alberta, The  Young Artist programme in Ottawa, Ontario, Le Domaine Forget in Saint Irenee, Quebec as well as The Orford Arts Centre in Magog, Quebec.   Carmen has participated in master classes with Richard Aaron, Denise Djokic, Amanda Forsyth, Hans Jorgen-Jensen  and others.

Last summer Carmen was delighted to have been invited to perform at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and was recently invited to perform with the Ottawa Youth Orchestra. 

Carmen also enjoys community volunteer work with the elderly and mentoring cello students of the Orkidstra programme whose lessons are funded by the Leading Note Foundation.  She has participated in a social justice programme that took  her to The Dominican Republic in 2009.  

Yolanda Bruno

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Yolanda Bruno began studying the violin when five years old, entered the Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau the following year where she studied with Joan Milkson and continued her studies with David Stewart and Elaine Klimasko.

Since the age of 11, Yolanda has performed with orchestras in the Ottawa area including the Thirteen Strings Chamber Ensemble, the McGill Orchestra, and with Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Twice winner at the Canadian Music Competition, Yolanda has also been a finalist in the Stulberg International String Comeptition and the Montreal Symphony's Standard Life Competition.   Yolanda has attended the National Arts Centre’s Young Artist Program, Morningside Music Bridge, the Banff Centre of the Arts, the Orford Arts Centre and Le Domaine Forget in Canada as well as the Encore Summer Institute in Ohio and the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy. She has completed her third year at the Schulich School of Music where she studies as a recipient of the Lloyd-Carr Harris String Scholarship with Jonathan Crow.

Hilda Cowie

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Double bassist Hilda Cowie, a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, began studying the bass with her mother at age 14. She was a member of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra the following year and the National Youth Orchestra the year after that. At the National Youth Orchestra, Hilda studied with Joel Quarrington (now the NAC Orchestra’s principal double bass) who would soon become her teacher at the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

In 2001 Hilda’s professional career began with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. She has also played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and completed Wagner’s Ring Cycle in 2006 with the Canadian Opera Company. Hilda has been principal bass of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, and spent a year in Winnipeg as principal bass of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. She has performed chamber music at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Quintet and Montreal’s La Pieta.

Hilda is currently living in Ottawa, and is a regular additional musician of the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Shasta Ellenbogen

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Shasta Ellenbogen is a former student of NACO violists Nancy Sturdevant and Jethro Marks, and later attended the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, where she studied with Nobuko Imai, Rivka Golani, Sven Arne Tepl, and Isabel Charisius.

In 2007, she was a finalist in the Landor Records competition, winner of the Prinses Christina Concours, and won the Vic Pomer prize in the NACO Orchestra's Bursary Competition.

In 2008, she was a recipient of the Canada Council Grant for emerging artists. Shasta taught at the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, India in 2008 and has now returned to Canada to further pursue her career.

Maghan McPhee

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Soprano Maghan McPhee’s voice has been described as “brilliant with warm lyricism”. (Times Argus).

View Maghan's bio …


Yannick-Muriel Noah

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Fresh from her resounding success as Madama Butterfly with the Canadian Opera Company, Ensemble Studio graduate soprano Yannick-Muriel Noah will sing her first Aida in Klagenfurt in 2010, where she made a stellar Austrian début as La Wally. With the COC, selected credits include the title role in Tosca, Mona in Swoon and the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute school tour. She premiered the title role of the new opera Sante in the UK at the Aldeburgh Summer Music Festival.

In 2007, Ms. Noah competed in the prestigious Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition, where she won various prizes including the 2nd Prize Opera, the 3rd Prize Operetta, the Audience Prize and the Teatro alla Scala Prize. At the Marmande International Singing Competition, she won the Opéra Grand Prix, the 2nd Prize Operetta, and the Audience Prize. She was awarded the Theodor Uppman Award by the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation and won the First Prize at the 8th Brian Law Opera Scholarship Competition.

Ms. Noah is the recipient of the top Canadian award from the George London Foundation Awards Competition, the Lys Symonette Award from the Lotte Lenya Competition, the 1st Prize Advanced Division from the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition as well as their first-ever Audience Favourite Award. At the 2009 Concours Musical International de Montréal, she won the 2nd Prize as well as the COVC Jean A. Chalmers Award for Best Canadian Artist. A native of Madagascar, Ms. Noah holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with a Minor in Italian from Carleton University..

Whitney O’Hearn

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Whitney is an up-and-coming vocal artist and a recent graduate of the Masters of Music program at the University of Ottawa School of Music.  She studies with renowned Canadian mezzo-soprano Sandra Graham.

In January 2007, she made her operatic debut with the uOttawa School of Music opera production as Mère Marie in Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmélites.

This past January she appeared as the title role in Bizet’s Carmen, also with the uOttawa School of Music opera production.  She has sung with Ottawa Pocket Opera as Maurya in Vaughn Williams’ Riders to the Sea, The Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aneas, and The Announcer in Moore’s Gallantry.  She has been a soloist with CAMMAC, The Musica Viva Singers, Coro Vivo, The Elgin Singers, the choir of the First Baptist Church of Ottawa, the Kanata Symphony Orchestra and the University of Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

In March 2009, Whitney was invited as a guest artist to perform Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, Stony Brook, NY.  She was the winner of the 2009 uOttawa Concerto Competition.  She is pursuing a career in opera and contemporary music.

Vienna Piano Trio

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Wolfgang Redik, violin
Matthias Gredler, violoncello
Stefan Mendl, piano

View Vienna Piano Trio's bio …

Corey Arnold

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Corey Arnold is curious… about many things. He loves to learn and explore ways to make better music with his own voice and hands and to improve the performances of himself and others.

View Corey's bio …


Carson Becke

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Carson Becke (21) was born in Ottawa, Canada, and began studying the piano at the age of five with his great-grandmother, Mary Mackey. In 2005, he moved to London, England to study at the Purcell School of Music, where his teacher was Ilana Davids. Upon graduating from the Purcell School, he entered the Royal Academy of Music (September 2007) where he now studies with Tatiana Sarkissova. This coming September, Carson will be entering the final year of his Undergraduate Studies.

Carson has performed chamber and solo recitals in Canada, England, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and Trinidad & Tobago. He was the winner of the Sergei Rachmaninov piano competition in Novgorod, Russia (2006), and also the BBC young composer of the year competition (2007). In the coming months, Carson will be performing in Germany (Uelzen), Latvia (Riga), and at home in Ottawa (Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms in a version for two pianos and chorus, with Jean Desmarais and the Ottawa Choral Society), as well as performing a number of solo recitals in the UK. In June 2011, Carson will be performing at the National Arts Centre, performing a pre-concert recital before the Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s 9th symphony.

Tait Becke

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Tait Becke is 18 years old and is currently studying violin with Donnie Deacon, principal second violinist of the National Arts Center Orchestra. He began his studies as a Suzuki violin student of Leslie Wade in Ottawa. He has been playing for 15 years and was recently accepted into the Royal Academy of Music of the University of London as a student of Igor Petrushevski. He spent 3 summers at the summer string academy of Indiana University under the direction of famed Suzuki pedagogue Mimi Zweig. Tait has won many local competitions, scholarships, and will be looking to continuing to learn the art of playing a violin.


Donnie Deacon

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Donnie Deacon joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as principal second violin in September 2001, having just turned 22 the same week…

View Donnie's bio …


Jean Desmarais

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International performing artist and pedagogue, pianist Jean Desmarais earned his Masters degree and Premier Prix in Piano and Chamber Music at the Conservatoire in Montreal and continued his studies in Paris, Berlin and in the USA. He studied with Monique Collet-Samyn, Anisia Campos, Monique Deschaussées (Paris), Johanna Stieler (Berlin) and Dalton Baldwin (USA).

View Jean's bio …


Patrick Graham

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Clarinetist Patrick Graham joined the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2009 at the age of 24.

A native of Ottawa, Canada, Patrick began his clarinet studies with Peter Smith of the National Arts Center Orchestra. He completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Ottawa where he studied with Kimball Sykes, Principal Clarinet of the National Arts Center Orchestra. Patrick earned his Master of Music degree at Northwestern University in Chicago where he studied with Steve Cohen and Lawrie Bloom of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Patrick has been heard on Chicago’s WFMT Radio. As a recitalist he has played many solo and chamber recitals in both the United States and Canada. He is frequently heard with The Florida Orchestra and the Walt Disney Orchestra and has also been heard with the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

In 2006 and 2007 Patrick toured Canada with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He has also performed at the Orford Festival, the Banff Canter and the National Arts Center’s Young Artist Program.

Patrick has appeared as soloist with Northwestern University’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble and as a founding member at the new chamber music festival Pontiac Enchanté.

Roland Graham

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A gifted musician with a wide array of artistic and creative talents, Roland Graham is an accomplished pianist, organist, composer and musical impresario. He is the Organist and Director of Music at Southminster United Church in Ottawa, as well as the Artistic Director and main producer of the Verdun Classical Music Society (VCMS).

As a pianist, he has been heard on CBC radio TWO, and in recital in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. He has a special interest in interpreting the works of J. S. Bach, most recently having interpreted Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D minor with orchestra in Montreal (May, 2010).  He is currently working on various new programs for 2010/2011.

His experience in Broadway and Musicals includes playing the piano in Wicked (National Arts Centre, 2008) and A Chorus Line (National Arts Centre, 2009) and Love Conquers All (Great Canadian Thearte Company, 2009). Mr. Graham enjoys playing various popular music styles, and he draws upon a strong classical formation for his interpretive and technical approach.

Mr. Graham is also an accomplished composer, predominantly of sacred choral music, and was proud to have debuted his Canticles for the Evening Service at Canterbury Cathedral (UK), in 2004. His original jazz number, “She Walks in Beauty like the Night”, was featured as the unifying theme for a series of Jazz Concerts last August in Montreal. The song has since been recorded by the Geoff Lapp Trio.

Mr. Graham holds a Master’s in Music from the Université de Montréal where he studied Piano Interpretation with Jimmy Brière and Marc Durand.

Victor Herbiet

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Victor Herbiet studied saxophone with Peter Smith and Noël Samyn as well as composition with Steven Gellman at the University of Ottawa where he obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in saxophone performance. Victor later pursued his saxophone studies with Sébastien Tremblay in the Réseau des Conservatoires du Québec where he was awarded the “Prix de Conservatoire”.

Since 1999, Victor has been employed by the Canadian Forces bands. He is currently a member of the Central Band of the Canadian Forces based in Ottawa. With the military bands, he has played concerts throughout Canada, in the United States, France, Belgium, and in South Korea in all types of formations such as stage band, saxophone quartet, and concert band.

Victor is also active outside of the Canadian Forces mandate as a soloist, composer and teacher. He has played numerous solo recitals with nationally known pianist Jean Desmarais, played for diverse radio stations, and participated in high profile music competitions such as the 2005 Rome International Saxophone Competition and the 2006 Adolph Sax International Competition in Belgium. He is one of the winners of the 2005 Espace Musique radio competition. Victor has been playing in concerts for the Ottawa Chamber Music Society and International Chamber Music Festival since 2004 and since 2009, participates enthusiastically to the development of the Festival Pontiac Enchanté.

Victor Herbiet publishes his music with Gérard Billaudot in Pairs and teaches saxophone at the University of Ottawa..

Frédéric Lacroix

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Frédéric Lacroix has performed in the United States, Canada and Taiwan, including performances with the Albany and Ottawa Symphony Orchestras, Cornell Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Fusions, and the Society of New Music. He has made regular radio appearances on the Canadian CBC and SRC or the American NPR. He has enjoyed collaborating with composers and performers in the premiere of a number of Canadian and American works, and as a composer, he has been privileged to have his works performed in the United States and Canada. One of Frédéric’s song cycles, Nova Scotia Tartan (2004), is featured on Hail, a disc dedicated to Canadian Art Song. During the summer, he has had the privilege to participate in various festivals, including the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and the Agassiz International Chamber Music Festival.

Much in demand as collaborative artist, teacher, adjudicator and composer, he currently teaches at the University of Ottawa. A graduate of l’Université de Montréal and the University of Ottawa, where he studied with Marc Durand, Cynthia Floyd and Andrew Tunis, he is currently working on his Doctorate degree at Cornell University where he is studying keyboard performance practice with Malcolm Bilson. For his work in the field of early music, Frederic has been named the Westfield Center Performing Scholar for the 2008-2009 season.

Denis Lawlor

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Baritione Denis Lawlor has been heard in both opera and concert in Canada, USA and Germany. He has performed many roles including the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Mr Lawlor has studied with Ingemar Korjus at Ottawa University.


Thaddeus Morden

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Thaddeus Morden, born and raised in Ottawa, has been the acting principal cellist of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra this year, and freelances in other orchestras around the city including the NACO, Gatineau Symphony, and Kingston Symphony. Thaddeus is currently working on an Aritsts Diploma with Matt Haimovitz at McGill University, where he also received his Bachelor's degree in Music. In the past Thaddeus has been the recipient of 1st prize at the NACO Bursaries, and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra. He previously studied with Amanda Forsyth and Donald Whitton in Ottawa. Thaddeus is a founding member of the Pontiac Enchanté Festival.

Ross Murray

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Ross Murray has been a freelance percussionist/drummer, since 1980. His interest in traditional musical styles, of various cultures, has led him to a unique style that encompasses his diverse tastes. He has worked extensively as an accompanist, collaborating with bands, composers, choreographers, and film makers from around the globe. Some recent highlights include performing at both the Vancouver and Beijing Olympics. Ross has played on recordings and/or live with Great Big Sea, Etta James, Bo Diddley, East Village Opera Co. ,Percy Sledge and Mighty Popo to name a few. On weekends he loves to disco with the Hammerheads.

Dillon Parmer

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Audiences always welcome tenor Dillon Parmer for a voice that “breathes warmth and lyricism.” Critics praise his performances as “particularly rewarding,” “finely honed,” and “outstanding.” Mr. Parmer has been heard on CBC radio and television and has appeared as a guest soloist with Opera Lyra Ottawa, I Musici de Montreal, the Nathanial Dett Chorale, L’orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières, Timmins Symphony Orchestra, L’orchestra symphonique du nouveau monde. Mr. Parmer is a versatile oratorio singer with a repertoire spanning over forty major concert roles. Whether in Bach's Mass in B Minor or Britten’s Saint Nicolas, Handel’s Messiah or Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten, Mozart's Requiem or Mendelssohn's Elijah, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony or Rossini’s Stabat Mater, he is equally at ease. Mr. Parmer's operatic work spans over thirty roles ranging from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and Die Zauberflöte, through Donizetti’s Betly and Rita, Offenbach’s La Périchole and Barbe-bleue, to Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites and Moore’s Gallantry. An avid supporter of the avant garde, Mr. Parmer has premiered many new compositions, including the Canadian première of Smith Moore’s Nobel Prize-nominated Scenes from the Life of a Martyr (Toronto Center for Performing Arts), as well as the world première of Anthony Davis’s 9/11 commemorative Restful Mourning (Piccolo Spoleto). Recent engagements include Bach’s Saint John Passion, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Laertes in Opera Lyra's production of Thomas’ Hamlet, Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Uriel in Haydn's Creation. In 2010, Mr. Parmer made his main stage debut with Opera Lyra Ottawa as Malcolm in Verdi’s Macbeth.

Mitchell Gibbens-Schneider

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Mitchell began playing the violin under the tutelage of Leslie Wade at the age of three. From the age of ten to sixteen, he studied with Paule Prefontaine. Currently, Mitchell is enrolled at the Purcell School of Music in London, England, where he studies with Igor Petrushevski, who is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music. Mitchell has taken part in numerous musical competitions including the Canadian Music Competition, where he was a three time national finalist, the Kiwanis Music Festival, where he won the Edythe Young Brown Memorial Trophy twice, and, most notably, the National Music Festival, where the trio Mitchell was performing in with Daniel Parker and Silvie Cheng won first prize in the chamber music category.

Nicolas Tremblay

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Born in the eastern townships, Nicolas Tremblay was at age 18 a member of the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra. He went on to study at McGill University with Emilio Iacurto (MSO) and completed his Bachelor’s degree at Sherbrooke University with André Moisan (MSO) and Simon Aldrich. He then obtained his Masters degree at the Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was the recipient of two bursaries while studying with renowned canadian soloist James Campbell. Nicolas has performed in numerous formations in Canada and the US and recorded for the CBC and Radio-Canada. He has also played with the NAC Orchestra, the Camerata Ensemble, the Estrie Chamber Orchestra, the Chicoutimi Symphony, the McGill Symphony, the Ottawa Symphony and is a founding member of the Prism ensemble. Nicolas teaches at Carleton University and is also musical and artistic director of the Outaouais youth symphony.