Les Barocudas have established themselves as a daring, youthful ensemble whose presence on the early music scene is as formidable as it is eccentric. The Montreal-based trio, whose members include Marie Nadeau-Tremblay (violin), Ryan Gallagher (viola da gamba), and Nathan Mondry (harpsichord), has charmed North American audiences with their refreshingly unconventional approach to early music interpretation. Since its inception in 2015, the group has toured Canada and the United States as both performers and pedagogues; in addition to recent showcases in New York City and Detroit (among others), the ensemble has been invited to give masterclasses at the State University of New York in Fredonia, NY. Relentlessly creative, Les Barocudas are also known for their theatrical music video productions which have attracted a substantial online following. They released their début album, Les Barocudas, in 2017.
Marie Nadeau-Tremblay, violin
Ryan Gallagher, viola di gamba
Nathan Mondry, harpsichord
Grégoire Blanc is a young French musician and engineer, known for his work involving the theremin - this very unusual musical instrument invented in the 1920s by the brilliant Russian scientist, Лев Термен.
His musical journey began with the cello as he was 5 years old, and he never stopped developing his musicianship since then. The revelation came during a physics lesson in high school : the theremin was mentioned as the very first electronic musical instrument in history, which immediately raised his curiosity. Determined to learn how to play, he started on his own and published a few videos over the web after having acquired a good level.
Meeting other classical theremin players and taking part into various ensembles as a chamber musician was the clue to rapid progress. With its characteristic sound and its astonishing expressivity, the theremin has a huge potential, from classical music to contemporary creations, film soundtracks, etc. Grégoire Blanc is renowned as a promising artist, and is regularly invited to perform in various contexts : orchestral performances, classical concerts, lectures, studio recordings, all around the world, from Canada to Kazakhstan.
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.
After he finished studying biology at Université de Moncton in 1990, Birding Guide Alain Clavette decided to settle nearby. For over six years he acted as a Park Interpreter for Parks Canada at three National Parks in the maritimes. He has also followed his passion for birds as a reporter and consultant in both English and French-speaking media and by leading walks and organized tours
all around the east coast. Alain has worked on several award-winning bird documentaries. For the past eight years he has hosted a weekly birding podcast on CBC Radio - New Brunswick. He also
organizes the Great Pelagic Bonanza, an annual event to observe seabirds off Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy.
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.
ALLEN HARRINGTON is an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music where he teaches saxophone, bassoon, and chamber music. As “an extremely fluid player of superb artistry” (Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal), Allen has amazed and delighted audiences with his “honest sound, …radio-active resonance,” (Halifax Chronicle Herald) “considerable virtuosity,” “mellifluous tone,” (Winnipeg Free Press) “fluid and delicate legato, clear phrasing, great agility, and excellent sense of rhythm” (Le Soleil, Québec City). A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he holds degrees from the University of Saskatchewan (B.Mus.) and Northwestern University (M.Mus.)
As an active soloist, recitalist, adjudicator, chamber and orchestral musician, Allen maintains a busy schedule outside of his University teaching career. He has appeared as a soloist with more than a dozen orchestras in Canada, Europe, and South America. He has given countless recitals across Canada and toured with the organizations Debut Atlantic, Prairie Debut, and Home Routes Classical. Over the years he has also frequently been heard on CBC radio.
Allen has had great success at music competitions at the national and international level. He won the Grand Award of the National Music Festival of Canada in 1999, making him only the second saxophonist ever to accomplish that feat. In 2000, he placed first in woodwinds at the Canadian Music Competition finals, and first in chamber music at the National Music Festival. In 2004, he was awarded the Grand Prize at the international Stepping Stone Competition. In 2006 he became the first Canadian and only the second North American ever to reach the final round of the International Adolphe Sax Competition in Dinant, Belgium. He finished in fourth place from a field of 144 of the finest saxophonists in the world under the age of 31, at this largest and most prestigious saxophone competition in the world.
As a bassoonist, Allen was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 1998. He has played bassoon and contrabassoon with the Saskatoon and Regina Symphony Orchestras, and is currently a regular extra with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He plays second bassoon for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and is a busy freelancer with other groups in and around Winnipeg.
With his duo partner Laura Loewen (piano) he has performed at three World Saxophone Congresses (Minneapolis 2003, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2006, Bangkok 2009), and many North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences. They have toured across Canada and given recitals in the United States, France, Malaysia, and Brazil. Their first CD, Metropolis, featuring Canadian works for saxophone and piano will be released in June 2014. They are committed to thoroughly exploring the existing saxophone/piano repertoire while actively commissioning new works.
Pianist Chiharu Iinuma is a much sought-after collaborative pianist and chamber musician. She performs regularly with many of today’s leading artists including Johannes Moser, Raphael Wallfisch, Philippe Muller, Marc Coppey, Christoph Schickedanz, Martin Beaver, Dale Barltrop, Ariel Barnes, Rachel Barton-Pine, Mark Fewer, James Campbell, Alan Stepansky, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Antonio Lysy, Karen Gomyo, Thomas Wiebe, Adrian Anatanwan, Penderecki String Quartet and the Arianna String Quartet. Recent concerts and tours have taken her to Germany, Sweden, Scotland, China, Taiwan, the US and Japan.
Chiharu is on the faculty at the Domaine Forget International Music Festival and Academy where she plays for the string program and teaches the Collaborative Piano Program.
Chiharu has recorded the violin sonatas of Grieg, Mendelssohn and Respighi (with David Gillham), and the Brahms sonatas for piano and violin (with Christoph Schickedanz) for Centaur Records. She is currently on a project for recording the complete sonatas of Beethoven and Mozart (with David Gillham).
Born in Saint-Georges de Beauce (Québec), David Jacques holds a Doctor’s degree in early music performance from the Université de Montréal. He began his classical guitar studies at the Cégep de Sainte-Foy, and continued at the Université Laval and the Conservatoire de musique de Québec. He has recorded more than 50 CDs on the XXI-21, ATMA, d’Oz and Analekta labels. His Pièces de guitarre de Mr Rémy Médard (Productions XX-21), Tango Boreal and Pampa Blues won the Conseil Québécois de la Musique’s 2008, 2012 and 2014 Prix Opus Disc of the Year award,. David has also published several arrangements for guitar for Les Productions d'OZ. Active in Canada as well as abroad, he has given more than 3500 concerts in 35 countries on five continents. David Jacques is currently professor of classical Guitar at the Université Laval and Cégep de Sainte-Foy. He also completed a bachelor in Business Management (B.A.A.), a bachelor in music teaching (B.A.) and is now finishing another bachelor in law at Laval University (LL.B.).
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.
Praised for expressivity, virtuosity, and committed playing, Canadian collaborative pianist Laura Loewen has appeared in concerts throughout North America and in Europe, Asia and South America. Dedicated to sharing her passion for ensemble playing and coaching, she is a professor of Collaborative Piano and the Vocal Coach at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music. She is a founding faculty artist of VISI (Vancouver International Song Institute), and is also on the faculties of the NUOVA opera training program in Edmonton, Alberta and the Contemporary Opera Lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
An extremely versatile pianist, Dr. Loewen has performed extensively with singers, instrumentalists and chamber ensembles, and is equally comfortable in traditional and contemporary idioms. She has appeared in concert with artists such as Charles Castleman, Tracy Dahl, Wendy Nielsen, Kimberly Barber, Jasper Wood, Eugene Rousseau, and William Bennett. She is a regular recital partner of fellow University of Manitoba faculty members soprano Monica Huisman, baritone Mel Braun, violinist Oleg Pokhanovski, and cellist Minna Rose Chung.
Loewen and duo partner, saxophonist Allen Harrington, have been performing together for more than a decade and are acclaimed for their virtuosic, musical, and electrifying performances. Loewen is also a founding member of The Galileo Trio with Kerry duWors, violin and Mark Rudoff, cello (“an enlightened idea” – Winnipeg Free Press). and Emerado with Rosemarie van der Hooft, mezzo-soprano, and Mel Braun, baritone (“true camaraderie and rapport” – Winnipeg Free Press).
Teaching and mentoring is an important element of Dr. Loewen's career. She shares her love of ensemble playing through teaching at the University of Manitoba, and at summer festivals and masterclasses. Her work as a vocal coach with both professionals and students is characterized by her philosophy of “Passionate Diction”. Her lectures on Diction and Ensemble are a yearly event at VISI, and she has spoken about Diction at NATS events and at Podium, the bi-annual Canadian Choral Conference. Dr. Loewen's articles on “Health and the Collaborative Pianist” and Diction can be found at Sparks and Wiry Cries.
A member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientist, Dr. Loewen has received several grants and awards, including the Rh Award for Creative Work, University of Manitoba; Creative Works Grants, University of Manitoba; a Special Opportunities Grant, Manitoba Arts Council; and grants for commissioning Canadian compositions through the Canada Council for the Arts and the Manitoba Arts Council.
Dr. Loewen holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Accompanying/Coaching from the University of Minnesota, where she was a fellowship student of Margo Garrett and Karl Paulnack.
Formed in 2011, the New Brunswick-based woodwind quintet Ventus Machina quickly became a major player on Canada’s east coast classical music scene. Their flexible and dynamic style of performance - often presenting themed programs that at once engage,entertain, and educate -continues to attract and delight increasingly diverse audiences.
Ventus Machina was honoured to be awarded Classical Artist of 2018 by Music NB at their recent Festival 506. Their latest album, In the Weeds, was launched in 2017 and was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Classical Album of the Year in May 2018. In November 2019, the group was featured at the French-language music event, Francofête en Acadie.
In addition to their many performances Ventus Machina presents two summer workshops each year; the week-long Wind Masters’ Workshop for students aged 12-22, and a chamber music retreat weekend for adults. During the school year they are found actively engaging in community outreach through their own initiatives and through partnerships with Symphony New Brunswick, Resurgo Place, and multiple other artists and organizations. Individually they teach students at all levels, including at Mount Allison University and the University of Moncton.
The members of Ventus Machina are: Karin Aurell, flute; Christie Goodwin, oboe; James Kalyn, Clarinet; Jon Fisher, French horn; Patrick Bolduc, bassoon
Formé en 2011, au Nouveau-Brunswick, le quintette à vent Ventus Machina
s’est rapidement établi comme un joueur majeur de la scène musicale classique de la Côte-Est. Son genre musical polyvalent et dynamique en concert – souvent thématique, toujours engageant, divertissant et éducatif – continue de faire la joie d’un public grandissant et diversifié.
Le quintette fut choisi « Artiste classique de l’année » par Musique NB en 2018. La même année, son premier album In the Weeds fut nommé dans la catégorie « Album classique de l’année » par l’Association de la musique de la Côte-Est. En novembre dernier, il était àl’honneur à l’occasion de la Francofête en Acadie.
Ventus Machina organise chaque été deux ateliers de musique de chambre : le premier, « Les maîtres des vents », d’une duréed’une semaine, est destiné aux jeunes de 12 à 22 ans. Le second ressemble à une retraite de musique de chambre pour musiciens adultes. Durant l’année scolaire, le quintette participe également à des projets indépendants dans les écoles et dans la collectivité.
Celebrated for her “deep rich sound, exceptional virtuosity, and enthusiasm”, violist Marina Thibeault travels the world as a sought-after recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist. Marina is an ardent ambassador for new music, and seeks to champion diversity and innovation in the classical world.
Ms. Thibeault is the recipient of numerous honors, most recently "Révélations Radio-Canada 2016-2017", the Sylva Gelber Foundation award (2016), and first prize in the string category of Prix d’Europe (2015) and the McGill Concerto Competition (2015). She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with professors Michael Tree and Roberto Diaz, and a Master’s degree with André Roy at McGill University, where she will start her doctoral studies in the fall.
Marina's first album, Toquade, was released in April 2017 on the ATMA label. Upcoming performances include her debuts with the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Appassionata Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Drummondville.
Marina plays on an 1854 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume viola, and a W.E Hill Sons bow, generously loaned by Canimex.
As one of Canada’s premier harpists, Kristan Toczko is recognized for her radiant tone, expressive music making and scintillating virtuosity. A first place winner of the prestigious OSM Standard Life Competition, Kristan has also been named a CBC Radio-Canada Young Artist, and featured as a soloist in nation-wide broadcast.
Performing numerous concerti, Kristan has been featured with the Vancouver Symphony, l'Orchestre Francophonie and Bathurst Chamber Music Festival. Kristan has also been a featured artist with several festivals including the Ottawa ChamberFest, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Kincardine Summer Music Festival, Indian River Festival and Rio Harp Festival in Brazil, and has been an invited artist at the Banff Centre numerous summers. She has also performed with several orchestras internationally, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Toronto Concert Orchestra, Symphony New Brunswick, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jalisco Philharmonia and Beijing Symphony.
She has also participated in summer festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Orchestra of the Americas, Scotia Festival and Lucerne Festival Academy. Kristan has performed with esteemed artists such as Measha Brueggergosman, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher, Sir Simon Rattle and Barbara Hannigan, and has played in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the KKL Luzern Concert Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. Kristan has also been seen sharing the stage with acclaimed artists Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, Evanescence, Sarah McLachlan and Johnny Reid.
As a chamber musician, she is a founding member of harp duo “Duo Novus.” They have held an artist residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, have commissioned several new works, and have toured internationally with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Kristan Toczko holds degrees from McGill University and Yale University, where she was awarded first prize in both schools’ concerto competitions. She is based in Ontario with her husband, teaching and performing throughout Canada.
Born in Saguenay, Quebec, Pierre Heault developed an interest for stage performance from a very young age. His passion for movement and music first oriented him toward circus art. At 15, he is admitted to the prestigious National Circus School in Montreal, graduating in 2007. His speciality is swinging trapeze.
After a many engagements internationally and locally, he settles in Montreal and undertakes undergraduate studies in music graduating from Conservatoire de musique de Montréal as a student of soprano Aline Kutan. He performed the roles of Tamino in The Magic Flute and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus during his stay. He also took part in productions of Dido & Aeneas (First sailor) and l’Enfant et les sortilèges (Petit vieillard).
Pierre Heault is now pursuing is multi-disciplinary journey as a musician, creator and circus artist. He is also perfecting is singing craft with mezzo-soprano Ariane Girard.
Praised for her colorful interpretations, soprano Catherine St-Arnaud is one of the most promising young Canadian lyrical artists.
First Prize winner in the voice category of the prestigious Prix d’Europe, she distinguishes herself in many international and national competitions. She was recently awarded 3rd prize in the voice category of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Manulife Competition, was a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions regional finalist (New England) and won 3rd prize at the Mathieu-Duguay Early Music Competition. For the third year in a row, she has been named Jeune Ambassadeur Lyrique by the L20 Theater where she was prize-winner and was awarded the Québec-Bavière Prize.
Catherine’s versatile, luminous and warm timbre have allowed her to excel in both opera and baroque music. In 2019, she made her debuts as a soloist with the Orchestre Métropolitain and with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kosice in Slovakia. She has also sung as soloist with Les Idées Heureuses, Clavecin en Concert, the Montreal Bach Festival, the Société d’Art Vocal and the Arte Musica Foundation.
In 2019-2020, Ms St-Arnaud will sing the role of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro for the Québec Opera Festival and will be going on a Canadian tour with this show next fall and during spring with the Jeunesses Musicales.
The soprano from Lanaudière has received grants from Jeunesses Musicales du Canada to accomplish various projects.