Soloists

Yo-Yo Ma
Cello - Guest Soloist

Yo-Yo Ma has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the Sonning Prize (2006), and the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008). Appointed a CultureConnect Ambassador by the United States Department of State in 2002, Yo-Yo Ma has met with, trained and mentored thousands of students worldwide including Lithuania, Korea, Lebanon, Azerbaijan and China. He has performed with and conducted master classes for members of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Secretary General Kofi Annan named him a U.N. Messenger of Peace and in 2007 Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon extended his appointment.

 

Joshua Bell
Violin - Guest Soloist

Joshua Bell has captured the public’s attention like no other classical violinist of his time. Bell has recorded more than 35 CDs since his first recording at age18, resulting in a richly varied catalogue of recordings. He received a Mercury Prize and Grammy Award for the Maw Violin Concerto. He received the Gramophone Award for his recording of the Barber and Walton Violin Concertos and Bloch’s Baal Shem. And he received the Echo Klassik Award for his Sibelius/Goldmark concerto recording. He has collaborated with numerous artists and on film scores including the Oscar-winning soundtrack for The Red Violin. Recordings within the past year include Vivaldi: The Four Seasons and the film soundtracks to Defiance and Angels & Demons.

 

Plácido Domingo
Tenor - Guest Soloist

Maestro Domingo’s vocal repertoire - 124 different roles - includes almost all important parts in the Italian and French operas. Being constantly challenged by new roles, his ever expanding foray into the German repertoire consists of Wagner's "Parsifal", "Lohengrin" and Siegmund in "Die Walkьre", in addition to recorded performances of “Meistersinger", "Tannhäuser" and “The Flying Dutchman", of Richard Strauss, "Die Frau ohne Schatten", of Weber's "Oberon" and of Beethoven’s “Fidelio”. He has also recorded four others, giving Domingo more roles than any other tenor. He is also admired for his acting ability, his musicality and musical intellect, and the number and variety of opera roles that he has mastered.

 

Paquito D'Rivera
Clarinet & Saxophone - Guest Soloist

Paquito D'Rivera's first recognition as a solo artist by The Recording Academy (GRAMMYs) came in 1996 with the highly acclaimed recording Portraits of Cuba. Since then, Mr. D'Rivera has received much recognition as an artist and composer. D’Rivera is a recipient of the National Medal for the Arts, presented at the White House by President George W. Bush in 2005 and was named one of the 2005 NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters. In both 2004 and 2006, the Jazz Journalists Association honored Mr. D’Rivera as the Clarinetist of the Year. In March 2007 he was honored with the Living Jazz Legend Award in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

 

Gabriela Montero
Piano - Guest Soloist

Gabriela Montero’s recent engagements include acclaimed performances with the New York Philharmonic debut with Lorin Maazel, LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Rotterdam Philharmonic and with the UBS Verbier Chamber Orchestra at the Tuscan Sun Festival with Antonio Pappano and in recital at the Edinburgh Festival, Verbier Festival, Wigmore Hall, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Koln Philharmonie, Tonhalle Dusseldorf, Istanbul International Festival, Kennedy Centre Washington DC, National Arts Centre Ottawa, Orchard Hall Tokyo and at the 'Progetto Martha Argerich' Festival in Lugano where she is invited annually.

 

Nelson Freire
Piano - Guest Soloist

One of the best kept secrets in the world of the piano, Brazilian pianist Nelon Freire has recently given performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in St. Petersburg, at Prague Spring, with the Orchestre National de France and leading orchestras in Baltimore, Boston, Montreal, New York and Utah. He has toured under Riccardo Chailly with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, with Tonhalle Orchester Zurich and NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo. Nelson Freire has recorded for Sony/CBS, Teldec, Philips and Deutsche Grammophone.

 

Antonio Meneses
Cello - Guest Soloist

A member of the Beaux Arts Trio since 1998, Antonio Meneses regularly performs with the world's leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (Riccardo Muti, Mariss Jansons), London Symphony Orchestra (Claudio Abbado, Andre Previn), BBC Symphony Orchestra (Andrew Davis), Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Semyon Bychkov, Herbert Blomstedt), New York Philharmonic Orchestra (Kurt Sanderling), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Neeme Jarvi), National Symphony Orchestra (Mstislav Rostropovitch), Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic (Gert Albrecht), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra.

 

Julian Rachlin
Viola - Guest Soloist

Julian Rachlin is one of the most charismatic and exciting violinists of his generation. He has performed with, and regularly returns to, Vienna Philharmonic, the London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestra Philharmonica della Scala, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia Orchestra London, San Francisco Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and NHK Symphony. Julian has performed under Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Myung-Whun Chung, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Roger Norrington, Krysztof Penderecki, André Previn, Mstislav Rostropovich, Michael Tilson Thomas, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Riccardo Muti and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

 

James Ehnes
Violin

Known for his virtuosity and probing musicianship, Canadian violinist James Ehnes has performed in over 30 countries on five continents, appearing regularly in the world’s great concert halls and with many of the most celebrated orchestras and conductors. James Ehnes has an extensive discography of over 25 recordings featuring music ranging from J.S. Bach to John Adams. His recordings have been honored with many international awards and prizes, including a Grammy, a Gramophone, and 6 Juno Awards. James Ehnes plays the "Marsick" Stradivarius of 1715.

 

Friederike Heumann
Viola de Gamba - Guest Soloist

Friederike Heumann studied Viola da Gmba at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Jordi Savall und Paolo Pandolfo. She completed her music education with a Soloist Diploma in Ancient Music. Subsequenty, she held a Fellowship at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and lived there for several years as an independent musician. She has performed all over Europe, Canada, the US and Isreal as soloist and guest of ensembles such as Concerto Vocale (René Jacobs), Les Arts Florissants (William Christie), Hesperion XXI und Le Concert des Nations (Jordi Savall), Lucerne Festival Orchestra (Claudio Abbado), Montréal Symphony Orchestra and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Kent Nagano), Bayerische Staatsoper München (Ivor Bolton), Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble and others.

 
Alisa Weilerstein
Cello


American cellist Alisa Weilerstein has attracted widespread attention worldwide for playing that combines a natural virtuosic command and technical precision with impassioned musicianship. She has appeared with all of the major orchestras throughout the United States and Europe with conductors including Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Pablo Heras-Casado, Sir Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Neeme Jarvi, Paavo Järvi, Jeffrey Kahane, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Ludovic Morlot, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher, Donald Runnicles, Yuri Temirkanov, Jaap van Zweden, Osmo Vänskä, Simone Young and David Zinman. Ms. Weilerstein’s debut album with Decca, released in the United States in November 2012, features performances of the Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor and the Elliott Carter Cello Concerto with conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin.
 

DaXun Zhang
Multi-Instrumentalist

"If the bass is finally to produce a headliner, the instrument can have no better champion than Zhang," wrote The Washington Post of double bassist DaXun Zhang, who has indeed made his mark as a soloist on this unusual instrument. Zhang has performed extensively with the Silk Road Project, including concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, and in Japan and California. He recorded the soundtrack to a 10-part documentary series with the Silk Road Project and its Artistic Director, Yo-Yo Ma, which aired in Japan on NHK Television. The CD was released as "Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon" on Sony Classical.

 

Marco Berti
Tenor - Guest Soloist

The leading international tenor Marco Berti is recognised as one of the most important artists from Italy in recent times. The colours in his voice range from the soft-toned to the penetrating, powerful and effortless top notes and his significant vocal qualities and expressiveness characterise the classic Italian heavy lyric/dramatic tenor. Marco Berti was the recipient of the 2005 Giuseppe Verdi Gold Medal and he recently made his role debut as Verdi's Ernani, opening the Verdi Festival at Teatro Regio in Parma. Last season he appeared in the Opening Gala at the Metropolitan Opera, New York in Tosca alongside Angela Gheorghiu and Bryn Terfel conducted by James Levine.

 

Ingeborg Danz
Mezzo-Soprano - Guest Soloist

German mezzo-soprano Ingeborg Danz collaboration with conductors including Riccardo Muti, Herbert Blomstedt, Claudio Abbado, Manfred Honeck, Christopher Hogwood, Philippe Herreweghe, Heinz Holliger, Helmuth Rilling, Ingo Metzmacher and Semyon Bychkov has led her to the Scala in Milan, the Lucerne and Salzburg Festival and orchestras including Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Wiener Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, DSO Berlin, NDR Hamburg, Bamberger Symphoniker, Radio-Symphony-Orchestra Stuttgart of the SWR, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

 

Alex Klein
Oboe - Guest Soloist

Alex Klein joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as principal oboe at age 30 in 1995. He has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Chicago Sinfonietta. He has recorded for Teldec, Boston Records, Newport Classics, Musical Heritage Society and Cedille Records. Klein won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental soloist with Orchestra for his recording of Richard Strauss' Oboe Concerto with Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony. Klein left the Chicago Symphony in July 2004 due to musician's focal dystonia which had begun within two years of his assuming the first chair. He currently performs as soloist and conductor, at the same time serving as a "Professor of Oboe" at his alma mater, the Oberlin Conservatory.

 

Matt Halmovitz
Cello - Guest Soloist

Haimovitz made his debut in 1984 at the age of 13, as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. At 17 he made his first recording, performing the Saint-Sans, Lalo, and Bruch concerti with James Levine and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for Deutsche Grammophon (Universal Classics). Haimovitz has since gone on to perform on the world's most esteemed stages, with such orchestras and conductors as the Berlin Philharmonic with James Levine, the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, the English Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim, the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin, and the Cleveland Orchestra with Charles Dutoit.

 

Danilo Pérez
Jazz Piano - Guest Artist

Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Pérez is a leader in a new generation of jazz musicians. An innovative and immensely talented player with a sophisticated grasp of jazz traditions, by combining distinctive Latin rhythms with his abiding love for jazz, he's earned a reputation as an artist who transcends conventional definitions of jazz. A dynamic force intent upon moving the music several steps forward, Danilo Pérez has already left a remarkably fresh imprint on contemporary music. Danilo is a Cultural Ambassador for the Nation of Panama.

 

Ildar Abdrazakov
Tenor - Guest Soloist

Ildar Abdrazakov made his debut at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1988 in the role of Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, and has since appeared there as Conte Rodolfo in La Sonnambula, as Leporello in Don Giovanni (conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Johannes Schaaf), as Calatrava in La Forza del Destino with Gergiev, and as Raimondo in a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor. In 2001 Mr. Abdrazakov made his debut at Teatro alla Scala Milan in La Sonnambula, appeared as Oroveso in Norma for the Verdi Festival in Parma, in Il Trovatore at the Opera Theatre in Rome, in Rossini's Stabat Mater at the Opera Festival in Pesaro, in Don Carlo in Tokyo, and in Semiramide in Peru.

 

Wendy Sutter
Cello - Guest Soloist

Wendy Sutter is one of the leading cellists of her generation. Holding an unrivaled mastery of the classical repertoire, Sutter's stunning performances provide a heartfelt intensity, garnering overwhelming praise from critics, and adoration from audiences around the world. She has performed with many leading international ensembles, and in recent years her reputation as soloist has continued to grow, giving major performances with the Shanghai Symphony, the La Jolla Symphony, the Shenzhen Symphony, and the Seattle Symphony. Sutter plays on “the Ex Vatican Strad,” a viola da gamba built in Cremona in 1620 by the great luthier Nicolò Amati and adapted to cello by the master, Antonio Stradivari.

 

José Franch Ballester
Clarinet - Guest Soloist

A native of Moncofa (Valencia, Spain) Jose Franch-Ballester, is one of the most promising clarinetists of his generation. In 2008 he received the highly coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 2007 he was one of a handful of participants selected for a Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop with Emmanuel Ax and Richard Stoltzman, and one of the year's "most prominent emerging soloists", as selected by the American Symphony League Magazine. As First Prize winner in both the 2004 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York and the Astral Artists 2004 National Audition in Philadelphia, he has joined the roster of both organizations and performed countless concerts throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.

 

Horacio Lavandera
Piano - Guest Soloist

Horacio Lavandera has performed as a soloist with prestigious orchestras, including the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Filarmonica della Scala, Orquesta de la Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, London Chamber Pleyers, Orquestra do Norte of Portugal, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Ciudad de Oviedo, Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Argentina, Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, among others. He has also been under the baton of outstanding Maestros, such as Charles Dutoit, Antonio Pappano, Benjamin Zander, Christopher Wilkins, George Pehlivanian, Anton Nanut, Martin Sieghart, Arthur Fagen, Terje Mikkelsen, David Murphy, among others.

 

Jeanette Sorrell
Organ - Guest Soloist

Ms. Sorrell has received critical acclaim for guest engagements with Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Oberlin Conservatory Opera Theatre, the Akron Symphony (in 2005 and 2007), the Arizona Opera, the Windsor Symphony in Canada, the Magnolia Baroque Festival in North Carolina, the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, and the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra. Upcoming conducting engagements include the annual “Mozart Birthday Concert” at the Cleveland Institute of Music in January.

 

Jorge Federico Osorio
Piano - Guest Soloist

Recognized as one of the preeminent pianists of our time, Jorge Federico Osorio has been internationally acclaimed for his superb musicianship and absolute command of the instrument. He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre Nationale de France, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow State Orchestra and Warsaw Philharmonic, under the batons of such internationally acclaimed conductors as Bernard Haitnik, Lorin Maazel, Klaus Tennstedt, Eduardo Mata, Lukas Foss, Enrique Batiz, and Luis Herrera de la Fuente.

 

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán

A household name in Mexico; Mariachi Vargas is the most famous Mariachi ensemble in history. Founded in 1898 in the Mexican state of Jalisco, Mariachi Vargas has preserved and promoted Mexico’s quintessential sound, appearing in more than 200 films and with over 50 albums. Mariachi Vargas has been commissioned by Houston Grand Opera for the first-ever Mariachi opera, To Cross the Face of the Moon/Cruzar la Cara de la Luna.

 

Ilya Gringolts
Violin - Guest Soloist

Russian violinist Ilya Gringolts has performed all over Europe, Asia, North America and Australia as well as South Africa and Israel with leading orchestras such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, BBC Scottish Symphony, Royal Scottish Orchestra Berlin, Sao Paulo Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

 

Philippe Quint
Violin - Guest Soloist

Two-time Grammy-nominated Russian violinist Philippe Quint combines lyricism, poetry, and virtuosity. Critically acclaimed recordings include the World Premiere of John Corigliano Red Violin Caprices, Ned Rorem Concerto, Leonard Bernstein Serenade, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold Violin Concerto. Quint performs on the 1708 "Ruby" Antonio Stradivari violin.

 

Jue Wang
Piano - Guest Soloist

Protégé of legendary American pianist Byron Janis, 26-year-old Shanghai-born Wang was gold medalist at the XVI International Santander International Piano Competition of Spain. From his Wigmore Hall début: ―Jue Wang is the most exciting young pianist yet to emerge from China.

 
Yolanda Bruno
Violin


Canadian born, Yolanda Bruno is the Grand Prize Winner of the OSM Standard Life Competition 2013. She began studying the violin at le Conservatoire de Musique et d'Art Dramatique in Quebec at the age of five. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University where she studied with Jonathan Crow as a recipient of the Lloyd Carr Harris scholarship and was recently awarded a Guildhall School of Music and Drama scholarship where she is completing her postgraduate degree with David Takeno. Her concerts in North America and Europe include solo performances with Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Center Orchestra, the McGill Symphony Orchestra, Thirteen Strings and Les Estivales de Megeve. Chamber music collaborations include performances with Philip Dukes, Chris Constanza, Menahem Pressler and Levon Chilingirian. Ms. Bruno is also the first violinist of the UK based Hieronymus Quartet.
 

Berenika
Piano - Guest Soloist

Berenika has performed as a soloist with many of the worlds most celebrated orchestras and conductors including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Heinrich Schiff, Bruno Ferandis, Erich Kunzel, and many others. She has given recitals at Wigmore Hall in London and the Allen Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center, among other world-class venues. Her recordings have been featured by Classic FM London, MDR Germany, the BBC, WXQR, NPR and the CBC. She has been presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and has performed for such luminaries as Robert Kraft, Mark Morris, Philip Glass and Steven Spielberg.

 
Vanessa Perez
Piano - Guest Soloist

Praised for a bold, passionate performing style allied to musicianship of keen sensitivity, Venezuelan Pianist Perez has been championed by iconic performers. Conductor Zubin Mehta said of the pianist: “Her level of musical perception and artistic awareness impressed me as much as her total command of the keyboard.” A frequent performer throughout the Americas, Perez has performed in the cultural capitals of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and Peru, as well as with symphony orchestras in the U.S. from Miami to Minnesota to Vermont and in recital from Manhattan to Miami to San Diego. She has performed at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Montpellier Festival in France, the Beethoven-Haus in Germany, the Wigmore Hall in England and the Gothic Hall in Belgium, as well as the famed Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
Nigel Armstrong
Violin - Guest Artist

Violinist Nigel Armstrong rose to international attention as a finalist in the 14th Tchaikovsky International Competition, where he was the highest-ranked American prizewinner (Fourth Prize) as well as winner of the award for the commissioned work by renowned composer John Corigliano. Since then he has made debuts in Chicago, on the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW series with a performance of Corigliano’s Stomp, and Los Angeles, performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto #3 with the LA Chamber Orchestra. Jeffrey Kahane has described Nigel Armstrong as “one of many violinists with technique to burn (…) but to find that depth of musicianship in a young person is very unusual.” (LA Times, January 19, 2012). Of his recent performance of Ein Heldenleben as Concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Peter Dobrin wrote "[Nigel Armstrong] played at a level so highly developed it would have brought honor to any professional orchestra." (Philadelphia Inquirer, October 16, 2012)
 

Carole Farley
Soprano - Guest Soloist

Carole Farley, a GRAMMY-nominated vocalist, made her Metropolitan Opera debut at age 19 in the title role of Lulu (the Met's first production). Farley returned to the Met for the title role in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensek by Shostakovich, the only non-Russian in the cast. Farley is a regular guest of the world's opera houses, she has performed at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera, New York City Opera, Welsh National Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and in Zurich, Paris, Torino, Lyon, Brussels, and Florence , among many others.

 

Sarah Chang
Violin - Guest Soloist

Sarah Chang is recognized as one of the world’s great violinists. Since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 8 she has performed with the greatest orchestras, conductors and accompanists internationally in a career spanning more than two decades. In 2012, she will have recorded exclusively for EMI Classics for 20 years. 
In 2006, Ms. Chang was honored as one of 20 Top Women in Newsweek Magazine’s “Women and Leadership, 20 Powerful Women Take Charge” issue.  In March 2008, Ms. Chang was honored as a Young Global Leader for 2008 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for her professional achievements, commitment to society and potential in shaping the future of the world. In 2005, Yale University dedicated a chair in Sprague Hall in Sarah Chang’s name. For the June 2004 Olympic games, she was given the honor of running with the Olympic Torch in New York, and that same month, became the youngest person ever to receive the Hollywood Bowl’s Hall of Fame award.

 

Louis Lortie
Piano - Guest Soloist

French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has attracted critical acclaim throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States, not least for extending his interpretative voice across a broad repertoire range rather than choosing to specialize in one particular style. The London Times, describing his playing as "ever immaculate, ever imaginative", has identified the artist's "combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have".

 

Timothy Chooi
Violin - Guest Soloist

17 year old Canadian violin prodigy Timothy Chooi has won numerous prizes including the Grand Prize in the 2010 Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Standard Life Competition. He is presently studying at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. In 2010, Timothy was a Prize Winner at the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition (Senior Division) in Oslo, Norway. He has also won First Prize at the Canadian Music Competition, Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival (two time gold medalist), and the BC National Festival of the Arts.

 

Ding Yi
Tenor - Guest Soloist

Named the Three Tenors of China, Ding Yi has been an influential figure in Chinas 'music scene over the years. After his great success in the role of Calaf in Turandot in Beijing in 1996, Ding's career as an opera singer took off with ease. He frequently performed in both Southeast Asia and Australia. Opera highlights include Duke in Rigoletto (National Opera and Ballet Company, Beijing), Marco Polo (Taiwan), Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly (Singapore), Duke in Rigoletto (Opera Australia 2001), Alfredo in La Traviata (Opera Australia, 2001) and Luigi in 11 Tabarro (Opera Australia, 2001).

 

Xiaoyu Liu
Piano

Xiaoyu Liu was born in Paris and grew up in Montreal. The young pianist’s life has been a meeting place of European, Chinese and North American cultures. At the age of fifteen he won the Grand Prize at the OSM Standard Life Competition, after taking prizes at a number of national and international competitions, where he displayed his virtuosity and musicality. He has performed brilliantly as a soloist in Québec, in Italy and in the U.S., and with various orchestras, among them the Cleveland Orchestra under Jahja Ling in Severance Hall. 2013 will find him in concert with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under the direction of Jean-François Rivest and  broadcasted on Espace musique, Radio-Canada’s music network. His schedule of recitals and concerts across Canada includes collaborations with the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, the National Arts Centre, the Orford Arts Centre and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. His touring will continue in Latin America with YOA Orchestra of the Americas. At the same time, he is continuing his studies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with Richard Raymond.

 

Sam McElroy
Baritone

Born in Cork, Ireland, in 1970, Sam McElroy gained an Honours Degree at the University of London in French (with Italian, German and Russian). His education in music began at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and continued under David Pollard and at the Bastille's Centre de Formation in Paris, for which he was awarded a scholarship by the Ian Flemming Charitable trust in 1996. In 1999, Sam McElroy represented the Republic of Ireland at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. His european debut came as Lescaut Manon at Opera Monte-Carlo under Mark Minkowski in a co-production with the Teatro alla Scala. At the Bastille, Opera National de Paris, he has appeared as Kuligin Kat'a Kabanova, Vierte Knappe Parsifal and Le Mari in Offenbach's Le Mari a La Porte. At the Gothenburg Opera Tomsky Queen of Spades, at the Teatro Cagliari in Sardinia Primo Barcolo A Village Romeo and Juliet by Delius, at the Danish National Opera, Marcello La Boheme, Silvio I Pagliaci and Prince Otokar Der Freischutz, and at the Stadtstheater WiesbadenDandini La Cenerentola. Sam is an acclaimed recitalist, winning the highest praise from the distinguished mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, at the 1999 BBC Cardiff Singer of The World for his interpretation of Schubert, and recently earning critical acclaim in Denmark for his performances of Schubert's Winterreise in Copenhagen and Aarhus, and Finzi's Earth, Air and Rain with the Randers Kammerorkester.