Praised for her " full, gleaming sound " (Chicago Tribune), soprano Tracy Cantin " has it all - agility, power and dazzling coloratura " (Chicago Sun-Times). Jumping to the forefront of the Canadian music scene, Ms Cantin made a surprise mainstage debut at the Canadian Opera Company last season as the title character in Donizetti’s demanding Anna Bolena, replacing super-star soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, which garnered her rave reviews. She then went on to make her UK debut with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Bernstein’s Songfest, a program which she was scheduled to repeat with the Seattle Symphony earlier this season. Past performances include Chrysothemis from Strauss’ Elektra (Edmonton Opera, Canadian Opera Company), the title role from Donizetti’s Anna Bolena (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company), Verdi’s Requiem (Okanagan Symphony Orchestra), and Brünnhilde’s epic Immolation Scene from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony of Costa Rica). Ms Cantin looks forward to a reprise of her highly acclaimed interpretation of Anna Bolena with Edmonton Opera, a debut with Calgary Opera as Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio, as well as a special performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Originally from Summerside, PEI, Ms Cantin is a graduate of the world-renowned Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago, holds degrees from McGill University, Western University, and University of Alberta, is an alumna of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program as well as the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, and has been the grateful recipient of awards from the Luminarts Foundation of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the Sullivan Foundation, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and the Licia-Albanese Puccini Foundation.
A recent Masters graduate from Rice University, Jaeyoung Chong is an establishing cellist and a profound musician passionate in many artistic medium such as improvisation, live performance, composition, audio technology and music production.
Born in South Korea, Jaeyoung began studying at the age of 8 and quickly reached an advanced level when he moved to Canada with his family in 2005. Under the direction of Shimon Walt, a renowned cello professor at Dalhousie University, Jaeyoung has continued to develop his musical abilities leading to many awards and distinctions from local, provincial, and national levels. Summer music camps and festivals, such as Domaine Forget, NAC Pre-college program, Orford and National Youth Orchestra of Canada, are normal occurrences for young Jaeyoung and has managed to work with renowned cellists like Steve Doane, Matt Haimovitz, Blair Lofgren, Richard Aaron, Phillipe Muller, Laurence Lesser, Collin Carr.
Jaeyoung received his Bachelor in Music Performance from the University of Ottawa in 2017 under the direction of Paul Marleyn. Jaeyoung was heavily involved in the Ottawa music scene throughout his undergraduate years. He was a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, was a featured soloist with the University of Ottawa Orchestra, won over $10,000 worth of scholarships, bursaries and competitions which lead him to more performance opportunities such performing in many solo recitals and being a featured soloist with the National Arts Center Orchestra.
Remarqué pour « l’émotion de son jeu et son contrôle impeccable » (Audiophilia), le pianiste acadien Pierre-André Doucet a été nommé par CBC Radio 2 comme étant l’un des meilleurs musiciens canadiens sous l’âge de 30 ans. Il s’est souvent produit au Canada, en Allemagne, en Autriche, aux États-Unis, en Espagne, en France, ainsi qu’ailleurs en Europe en tant que pianiste inaugural de Lincoln Center Stage à bord du ms Koningsdam. Récemment, on a pu l’entendre aux ondes de NPR et CBC Radio 2, avec le Rand Symphony Orchestra en Afrique du Sud, aux côtés de la violoniste Sheng-Ching Hsu au Centre culturel de Taipei à New York, et en tournée Début Atlantique avec la violoniste Christina Bouey.
Lauréat du Concours de musique Knigge, ainsi que du Concours de musique national Eckhardt-Gramatté (avec la soprano Alexandra Smither), il s’est également mérité le troisième prix au dernier Concours de la bourse de développement de carrière du Women’s Musical Club of Toronto. De plus, M. Doucet a souvent été récompensé pour ses interprétations d’œuvres contemporaines, notamment au Prix d’Europe et au Concours de piano international d’Ibiza. M. Doucet est également un auteur reconnu ; son premier recueil de poésie et de nouvelles, Sorta comme si on était déjà là, a été publié en 2012.
Cet hiver, M. Doucet a été nommé professeur invité à l’Université de Montréal, où il a également complété ses études doctorales sous la direction de Maneli Pirzadeh. Il a aussi bénéficié de cours de maître au Franz-Schubert- Institut, au Festival de piano international de Gijón, à Songfest, à la Music Academy of the West, et au Tanglewood Music Center auprès d’artistes légendaires tels Sir Thomas Allen, Elly Ameling, Julius Drake, Marc Durand, Margo Garrett, Marilyn Horne, Graham Johnson, Warren Jones, Kiri Te Kanawa, Martin Katz, Robert MacDonald, John Perry, Dawn Upshaw et Roger Vignoles. Depuis 2012, il partage la direction artistique de l’Été musical de Barachois avec le pianiste Julien LeBlanc.
A virtuoso whose enthusiasm is genuinely contagious, Canadian pianist Julien LeBlanc is renowned for his great musical sensibility and his talent as a communicator. Based in Montreal, Julien is a well sought-after soloist, chamber player and accompanist. In 2015, he launched his first solo album “Mélancolies” which is dedicated a program of works by Dutilleux, Franck and Poulenc. The album was really well received: “LeBlanc proved a more than able interpreter, playing with warmth, clarity and flowing lyricism, all with a natural rhythmic sense. » (Ruthland Herald) . « He handles every twist and turn with brio, his phrasing is analytical, and his brilliant technique puts him in a class of his own….His interpretation is always true, played with care, and packed with warmth. » (La Scena Musicale) He has also recorded two albums as a member of Trio Arkaède.
Since 2012, Julien has been acting as co-artistic director of the summer concert series Barachois Summer Music in New-Brunswick. He has taken part in many concert tours across Canada with violinist Marc Djokic as well as soprano Miriam Khalil and Mezzo Lauren Segal for Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and Debut Atlantic. He is a part-time teacher at the University of Ottawa and works as a vocal coach and accompanist both at McGill University and Université de Montréal. He has given master classes in several universities across Canada and his frequently asked to sit on juries for music competitions. Julien LeBlanc is presently acting as Chair of the Board of Directors for Debut Atlantic.
J. David D. Gonder
J. Thomas D. Gonder, born in Cayuga, Ontario in 1971, exhibited musical gifts at an extremely early age. He spent most of his life in London, Ontario, his family having relocated there in 1981. Immediately becoming involved in the musical life of St. Paul's Cathedral, he spent many years there as a chorister, Organ Scholar, Assistant Organist, and Organist and Master of the Choristers. Thomas quickly rose to the forefront of the Canadian Organ scene as one of its brightest young performers shortly after his public debut at the age of 15 under the tutelage of D. Mervyn Games. His teachers, mentors and greatest influences also include David Palmer, Ian Sadler, William S.J. McArton, Catherine Crozier, Simon Preston, Gerald Bales, Naji Hakim and David Briggs.
Thomas has developed a wide-ranging career as organist, accompanist, church musician and composer. Naji Hakim (Paris, France) has described him as "a deeply feeling and emotional player", Simon Preston (Great Britain), "an amazing talent", and the esteemed Canadian musician Gerald Bales, OC, (1919 - 2002) proclaimed him the foremost interpreter of his organ works. Thomas has earned himself a reputation as an exciting, virtuoso performer of distinction in command of a vast repertoire, most notably with the French Romantic and Post-Romantic repertoire, having performed the complete Organ Symphonies of Louis Vierné in 1997 and 2014. Thomas is internationally recognized as a leading interpreter of the organ works of Naji Hakim, the most prolific composer of organ music in the world today. Thomas has premiered much of Mr. Hakim’s work in Canada. In 1995 he gave the Canadian Premiere of 'Vexilla Regis Prodeunt' at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, Calgary, Alberta. 1997 saw the World Premiere of Gerald Bales' 'Impromptu-Toccata' at the closing concert of the Royal Canadian College of Organists National Convention. Thomas has also had numerous works composed for him and recent years have seen two world premieres of works by Parisian composer, Nicolas Chevereau and Elegie Canadienne by David Briggs. Thomas is currently the Organist and Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton.
Bermudian-Canadian trumpeter Matthew Ross moved to New Brunswick in August 2020 and is currently the Trumpet Teaching Artist at the Sistema New Brunswick Moncton Centre.
Before moving to Moncton, Matthew performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra for their 2019/20 Season, playing the position of Assistant Principal Trumpet.
Matthew completed his Master’s degree at the Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with Charles Geyer and Barbara Butler. He received his B.Mus in trumpet performance at the University of Toronto and his Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School, studying with Anita McAlister and Andrew McCandless.
Matthew has also performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Symphony New Brunswick, Hannaford Street Silver Band, Weston Silver Band, Hogtown Brass Quintet, East Coast Brass and Soundstreams.
When he is not playing trumpet, Matthew enjoys hosting brunch and baking quiche.
Canadian violinist Katya Poplyansky completed her Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School, with Paul Kantor and Barry Shiffman, in 2018. She received her Masters at the Guildhall School with David Takeno, and her Bachelors at the Curtis Institute, with Shmuel Ashkenasi, Victor Danchenko, Ida Kavafian, and Joseph Silverstein. From 2018 to 2019, she was a fellow as part of the Rebanks Family Fellowship Program in Toronto. Among other festivals, Katya participated in Hvide Sande Masterclasses, Toronto Summer Music Festival, and IMS Prussia Cove. She received second prizes at the Isabel Bader Competition and Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, as well as the Award for Best Performance of a Commissioned Work at Eckhardt-Gramatté. Most recently she took part in the 2020 Haydn Quartet Academy at The Smithsonian. She is excited to return to her birthplace: Moncton.