Karin Aurell is a flutist living in Sackville, New Brunswick. She is an active chamber music and orchestra performer, and teaches flute in the music department at Mount Allison University. Karin is originally from Sweden, where she played principal flute with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
(SON). With this orchestra, she performed all across Europe, and recorded extensively on the BIS and CPO labels. She has worked with such distinguished conductors as Franz Welser-Most, Manfred Honeck, Daniel Harding, Leif Segerstam and Okko Kamu.
Since moving to New Brunswick, Karin has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia, Symphony New Brunswick and in the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra. Her main performance focus, however, is chamber music. She is a member of Trio Arkaède together with violinist Isabelle Fournier and pianist
Julien LeBlanc. She was also part of New Brunswick new music collective Motion Ensemble. She is a founding member of woodwind quintet Ventus Machina, and this group, now in its 10th season, continues to keep her very busy. When Karin is not performing or teaching, she enjoys time outdoors, hiking and cross country skiing.
Former principal bassoonist of both l'Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières (2003-2007) and the Niagara Symphony (2007-2012), Patrick Bolduc is now the principal bassoonist of Symphony New Brunswick, and a founding member of the Ventus Machina woodwind quintet. After studying at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, he continued his studies in Toronto, at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory.
Mr. Bolduc has performed throughout Canada, the United States, Japan, and France. He has played as a freelance musician with l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, l'Orchestre de la francophonie canadienne, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, among others. A native of Québec, Patrick now lives and works in New Brunswick, where he spends his time performing with Ventus Machina and Symphony New Brunswick, serving as bassoon faculty at Mount Allison University, caring for his active young family, and operating as the sole proprietor of his independent sports sales agency.
Montreal-based mezzo-soprano Florence Bourget holds a master’s degree (with honours) from Université de Montréal, and is a recent alum of the Atelier lyrique of Opéra de Montréal. She has performed roles such as Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito, Mozart), Wellgunde (Das Rheingold, Wagner), Mrs. Grose (The Turn of the Screw, Britten) and Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti). Her experience also includes contemporary repertoire such as Angel 2 in George
Benjamin’s Written on Skin at Opéra de Montréal, and the world premiere of Laurence Jobidon's L’hiver attend beaucoup de moi, a 100% female-led production. In addition to the operatic stage, Florence is frequently seen on the concert and oratorio stages with prestigious organisations including the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Montréal, Québec and Laval Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre de chambre I Musici, the Arion baroque ensemble, Festival Classica, the Grands Ballets Canadiens and the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal. She is currently taking part in ATMA Classic's recording of the complete Jules Massenet melodies.
Étienne Chénard received a “Prix avec distinction” in viola at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in 2016, where he studied with François Paradis, Catherine Dallaire, and Élise Lavoie.
Étienne studied violin, viola and chamber music at Domaine Forget Academy and the Orford Arts Center, working with Anne Robert, Helmut Lipksy, Mark Fewer, David Gilham, Mimi Zweig, Jocelyne Bastien, the Arthur-Leblanc String Quartet, Vera Beth and Kenneth Slowik. He participated in masterclasses with Christian Tetzlaff, Antoine Tamestit, Roberto Diaz, Paul Silverthorne, Jean Sulem, and Miguel da Silva.
Étienne has been Assistant Principal Viola of Symphony Nova Scotia since 2018. He occupied the same chair at both l'Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke and l'Orchestre symphonique de l’Estuaire. He's a regular substitute with l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec and les Violons du Roy.
Étienne performs on a mid-18th century Milanese viola and a bow by François Lotte. Both are generously loaned by Canimex.
Jaeyoung Chong is a trained and established cellist, and a profound musician passionate in many artistic mediums such as improvisation, creative live performance, composition, electroacoustic technology and music production. Born in South Korea, Jaeyoung started cello at the age of 8 and quickly reached an advanced level. He finished his Bachelor's in Music Performance at the University of Ottawa with Paul Marleyn, and received a full scholarship to do his Master's degree at Rice University, in Houston, under the tutelage of Desmond Hoebig. Throughout his performance studies, composition and improvisation were a big part of his life; he is currently experimenting with music production.
His recent projects include “New Modern”, a recital program consisting of his own works accompanied by backing tracks, which he produced to promote creative recital programming. His creative experiences and performances range from experimental and classical to contemporary pop, and he is currently experimenting with new music and contemporary techniques on the cello.
Michel Deschênes (M. Ed. B. Mus. in Performance) is Professor of Percussion at l'Université de Moncton. He is the founding member of the Amerythme percussion quartet, formed in 1989.
Born in Caraquet, New Brunswick, he has recorded and toured extensively across Canada, France, Belgium and Morocco. Michel is a recipient of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award. He has been heard and seen frequently on television for CBC (East Coast Music Awards), Radio-Canada and TV5. He has played on major stages across the country such as the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Canada Day in Ottawa and the Festival d’été de Québec, to name a few.
Michel is the leader of “The Escola de Samba Acadia”, a group of percussionists who play Brazilian-style street samba, available for parades or special events.
Rachel Desoer is a Canadian cellist. She studied at the Juilliard School, Oberlin College, McGill University and the Banff Centre. She graduated from Oberlin in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music degree.
Rachel was the cellist of the Cecilia String Quartet from 2010 to 2018. In this ensemble, Rachel toured extensively around the world, recorded four albums on the Analekta label, and taught chamber music at the University of Toronto.
Touring has allowed Rachel to perform at such inspiring venues as Wigmore Hall (London), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Konzerthaus Berlin and many more. The Cecilia Quartet also made educational programming a priority, and performed hundreds of presentations for schools. In 2014, the quartet created a concert series called Xenia concerts, specifically designed for children on the autism spectrum and their families. Exemplifying the quartet's commitment to the equal representation of women in music, Rachel spearheaded the commissioning of four string quartets by Canadian women composers in 2016.
Rachel continues to play recitals and concertos with orchestra regularly. She has worked in orchestras, most notably, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company. Currently, Rachel is the principal cellist of Symphony Nova Scotia.
Rachel plays the 1929 Carlo Giuseppe Oddone cello generously on loan to her from an anonymous donor.
Carole Deveau, from Moncton, New Brunswick, has always loved to incorporate the public into the creative process by offering them the opportunity to interact with her works. Since 2012, Deveau has started to take an interest in media arts following training offered by the Media Arts Section of FICFA.
Marc Djokic is a Canadian violinist and concertmaster of the Orchestre classique de Montreal. Winner of a 2020 East Music Award for Classical Recording of the Year, he is also a Prix Opus laureate and former Canada Council for the Arts Instrument Bank recipient. Djokic’s debut album “Solo Seven”, as well as his collaborative album “André Mathieu – musique de chambre”, were both released to critical acclaim and nominated for a Prix Opus. Upcoming in 2022/23, Djokic will be premiering a violin concerto by Robert Rival, jointly supported by the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council.
Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Djokic first and foremost studied with his father Philippe Djokic, one of Canada’s great soloists and a pupil of the master Ivan Galamian. He continued his studies in the USA with David Russell, Donald Weilerstein and Jaime Laredo.
From BC Contact to Jeunesses musicales and Debut Atlantic, Djokic has toured throughout Canada and internationally several times as an accomplished chamber musician. He is the Music Director of Ensembl'arts Group and long-standing artist in residence at CAMMAC.
Violinist Philippe Djokic has had a long and distinguished career as a soloist, chamber music performer and pedagogue. His success in international violin competitions led to many engagements throughout Europe and North America, appearing with several major orchestras as soloist. A former concertmaster of Symphony Nova Scotia, he recorded the Delius Violin Concerto with them for the CBC and Naxos labels, which has garnered praise from international music critics.
As professor of violin at Dalhousie University’s music department for more than forty years, he mentored many young violinists who have pursued successful careers in performance and teaching. He currently maintains an active performance career and appears in chamber music and recital performances with his wife, pianist Lynn Stodola. He also continues to give masterclasses and mentors young gifted violinists.
Renowned for his vivid soundscapes and inventive texts, pianist and writer Pierre-André Doucet is a leading voice among Canada’s newest generation of artists.
He has been hailed for “the emotion of his playing and his impeccable control” (Audiophilia), and was named by CBC Radio 2 as being one of the best Canadian classical musicians under 30. Recently, he has performed in Canada, Europe, South Africa, and the United States, as well as across Asia, Europe and the South Pacific as one of the inaugural Lincoln Center Stage artists aboard Holland America Line ships. Several of his performances have been broadcast on Radio-Canada, CBC Radio and NPR.
Winner of the Knigge Piano Competition, as well as the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (with soprano Alexandra Smither), Mr. Doucet has also been awarded top prizes for his performances of contemporary works, namely at the Prix d’Europe, and the Ibiza International Piano Competition. Mr. Doucet is also the prize-winning author of Des dick pics sous les étoiles (2020) and Sorta comme si on était déjà là (2012), both published by Éditions Prise de parole. Additional works have been published in Ancrages, Impossible Archetypes and Voix plurielles
Mr. Doucet holds a doctoral degree from l’Université de Montréal, where he studied with Maneli Pirzadeh, and where he has also been a visiting professor. Further, he has benefited from masterclasses at the Franz-Schubert-Institut, the Gijón International Piano Festival, Songfest, the Music Academy of the West, and the Tanglewood Music Center with such luminaries as Elly Ameling, Julius Drake, Margo Garrett, Marilyn Horne, Graham Johnson, Warren Jones, Kiri Te Kanawa, Martin Katz, Robert MacDonald, Dawn Upshaw and Roger Vignoles. He is currently the Interim Executive Director of the Frye Festival, and alongside pianist Julien LeBlanc, he has been Co-Artistic Director of Barachois Summer Music since 2012.
Vancouver native Jonathan Fisher has been slowly working his way across the country, first by completing his studies at the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto, and the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and now by situating himself in the music community of Saint John, New Brunswick. Jon's diverse interests in music, both old and new, have taken him to a variety of performance settings, making him equally at home performing from the middle of a lake or in an old parking garage as he is on stage at a concert hall. He has performed with a number of orchestras, including the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the Calgary Philharmonic, and can currently be found performing regularly with Symphony New Brunswick. Jon is also active as a teacher, both privately and with the Sistema New Brunswick program, and is very proud of his many devoted students and their achievements.
Although Canadian violinist Isabelle Fournier is a very busy orchestral musician, chamber musician, soloist, teacher, adjudicator, and music director, chamber music is her true passion. She has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and has been a guest artist at many music festivals, including: the Aldeburgh Music Festival, UK; the Cambridge University International Chamber Music Series, UK; the prestigious music seminars held at Prussia Cove, UK; the Aspen Music Festival, USA; the Banff Centre for the Arts; Scotia Festival; Indian River Music Festival; New Brunswick Music Festival; and as Artist in Residence at the Music Room, in Halifax.
Isabelle also enjoys a very successful orchestral career. She has worked with world famous orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra; The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields; the City of London Sinfonia; the Britten Sinfonia; the Northern Sinfonia; the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra; the McGill Chamber Orchestra; the Festival de Lanaudière Orchestra; and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. She is currently Principal Second Violin with Symphony Nova Scotia.
Nadia Francavilla is one of Canada’s leading performers and advocates of new contemporary music. The Montreal-born violinist is an accomplished recitalist and outstanding chamber musician who has performed internationally in North America, Europe, and Japan. For over a decade, she performed and recorded with two of Canada’s leading string quartets, Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc and Quatuor Bozzini.
A graduate of McGill University, she received solid musical training under the direction of Mauricio Fuks, Raphael Druian, and Joseph Silverstein. Her orchestral background includes l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Les Violons du Roy. Also, Mrs. Francavilla was associate concertmaster for l’Orchestre classique de Montréal for more than 20 years.
Mrs. Francavilla’s driving interest in new music has led her to commission and premiere new works from Canadian and international composers. She particularly enjoys working with young composers, nurturing their innovative spark. Meanwhile, explorations of improvised works and frequent collaborations with visual and multimedia artists have shaped her study of music as performance art.
Since 2009, Mrs. Francavilla has been UNB's musician-in-residence, where she curates leading-edge concert series which challenge audiences to explore new sounds and musical experiences. She teaches classes on women in music and music in film. In addition, Mrs. Francavilla teaches violin at Mount Allison University, gives masterclasses, and is often asked to adjudicate at music festivals around the country.
Clarinetist Andrew George has found a home in Atlantic Canada’s music scene since 2013. Performing in many various roles like Principal Clarinet in Symphony New Brunswick, woodwind doubler in musical theatre and jazz band pits, and as a member of his chamber ensemble of clarinet and strings, Port City 5, Andrew is happily exploring the limitless facets of New Brunswick’s lively music world. As an educator, he has worked as clarinet sectional coach, woodwind coach, orchestra librarian, and arranger for both the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra and the Saint John Youth Orchestra, and has been the resident Clarinet Teaching Artist for Sistema New Brunswick’s Saint John Centre since his arrival in the province. With his latest studies in music education at Memorial University now complete, he is excited to seek out new opportunities to continue to shape and support the next generation of musicians and music lovers in New Brunswick.
Christie Goodwin is currently acting principal oboist and has been a core member of Symphony New Brunswick since 2011. She is a founding member of the Ventus Machina woodwind quintet, and oboist of the Niagara Winds woodwind quintet based in Southern Ontario. She held the position of principal oboist of the Niagara Symphony until 2012, and has previously held principal and section-leader positions with the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra and Korean Canadian Symphony Orchestra. Christie has been featured with orchestras both as an oboe and English horn soloist on multiple occasions, and has appeared as a freelance musician in ensembles throughout southern Ontario and the Maritimes.
James Kalyn is a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician on both clarinet and saxophone. An Associate Professor at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, Kalyn can be heard performing regularly in the region as clarinetist with Ventus Machina, on saxophone with the Brogue Quartet, and in recitals. James Kalyn is also a conductor of band, orchestra, and jazz ensembles. In recent years he has become very active as an arranger of music, bringing a lifetime of experience to the craft. His rapidly growing output includes over 40 arrangements and original compositions. Inspired by a love of the mechanical, he has also trained as an instrument repairman.
Kalyn has been a clarinetist with numerous professional orchestras. As a concert saxophonist he has performed throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Argentina, China and Japan. He has played and toured extensively with The Cleveland Orchestra and is heard on solo, ensemble and chamber music recordings. His solo recordings include 6 Standard Saxophone Sonatas, Brillance and Glazunov Concerto. Chamber music recordings include Ventus Machina’s In the Weeds (2017) and Roots (2021).
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, he is a well sought-after soloist, chamber player and accompanist.
In 2015, he launched his first solo album, “Mélancolies”, which is dedicated to works by Dutilleux, Franck and Poulenc. The album was extremely well received: “LeBlanc proved a more than able interpreter, playing with warmth, clarity and flowing lyricism, all with a natural rhythmic sense."" (Rutland Herald). La Scena Musicale said that ""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."" He has also recorded two albums as a member of Trio Arkaède, as well as a new album of French and Spanish art song with soprano Marianne Lambert, which was released in May 2020.
Since 2012, Julien has been Co-Artistic Director of Barachois Summer Music alongside Pierre-André Doucet. He has taken part in many concert tours across Canada for Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and Debut Atlantic. He is a part-time lecturer at the University of Ottawa, and has given masterclasses in several universities across Canada, in addition to his frequently being asked to sit on juries for music competitions.
Double bassist Austin Lewellen’s interests lie primarily in the creation of living music, through active collaboration with composers. He is most at home in small ensembles, though his technique has a firm grounding in the orchestral tradition of the Common Practice Era. He takes these skills both as a basis of communal understanding and as a point of departure.
Presently based in Brooklyn, New York, Austin appears regularly with the Metropolis Ensemble, New York Classical Players, The Orchestra Now, and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn. He recently moved from Houston, Texas, where he remains a member of the unconducted ensemble Kinetic. In the summers, Austin appears as principal bass of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Charleston, South Carolina, presenting
operatic, orchestral, and chamber musics both old and new.
Austin holds degrees from Oberlin College & Conservatory and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. His playing can be heard on the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble’s 2021 album Hartke, Ogonek, & Jones: Chamber Works, as well as on forthcoming releases from Tyondai Braxton with Metropolis Ensemble and Kinetic ensemble with the Houston Chamber Choir. He plays a double bass made by Gabriel Xavier Jacquet in 1860 in Mirecourt, France, and bows made by Boris Fritsch and Marcel Lapierre of Paris.
Monique Poirier is from Notre-Dame-de-Kent, NB, and is well-known in the Acadian arts and culture scene. Known as a singer, a songwriter, a public speaker, an event host, and an artistic director, she has been a part of Les Muses vocal quartet and the Ode à l'Acadie musical production, and presently works with Troiselle. Passionate about the performing arts, she is presently Interim General and Artistic Director at the Pays de la Sagouine, in Bouctouche.
In 2002, Lucίa Rodriguez began her violin studies at the School of Music and Dance of Monterrey, under the tutelage of Mercedes Cisneros. In 2003-2004, she won a place in the Hamburger Jugendorchester (HJO), and she has since attended programs and performed with training orchestras such as the Rocky Ridge Music Center program, l'Orchestre de la Francophonie, the Orquesta sinfónica de la Universidad autónoma de Nuevo León in Mexico, and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas' tour of Chile.
She holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Western Ontario, where she studied with Annette-Barbara Vogel and Jaime Weisenblum, and a Master's degree from l'Université de Montréal, where she worked under the direction of Vladimir Landsman. She has also participated in masterclasses with Cuauhtémoc Rivera, Carlos Chiarappa, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Mario Hossen, Susan Kempter, Fredi Gerling and Victor Yampolsky.
Lucίa is now a Teaching Artist at Sistema New Brunswick, where she has had the opportunity to teach and coach Sistema, Moncton Youth Orchestra and New Brunswick Youth Orchestra students. She has also been an active member of Tutta Musica since 2017, and has performed on multiple occasions with Symphony New Brunswick.
Susan Sayle received her musical training in her hometown of Victoria and at McGill University, where she studied with Steven Kondaks and earned a Bachelor of Music degree (with honours) in performance. A violist in Symphony Nova Scotia since 1986, Susan was appointed Principal Viola in 1994. During her time in Halifax, Susan has made her mark as a performer playing with the Dalhousie Chamber Players, Artemis (Toronto), St. Cecilia Concert Series, Indian River Festival, Concerts aux Isle du Bic (Rimouski), Barachois Summer Music, New Brunswick Summer Music Festival, Connexions Culturelles (France) and many times as soloist with SNS.
Susan has taught at Dalhousie University and has been an adjudicator for the Charlottetown and Kings County music festivals. Over the years, Susan has been frequently broadcast on CBC Radio and can also be heard on many recordings and film scores. She spends her summers in Charlottetown, PEI, playing with the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra.
An adventurous performer, and one of the CBC’s 2017 “30 Young Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”, Canadian soprano Alexandra Smither-Lewellen is a fresh fixture on the worldwide stage. Her “sunny, cloudless top” and “silky, light, soprano” are an organic fit in staple repertoire of Mozart and Monteverdi; Ms. Smither-Lewellen’s signature rapport with new music shows her as “an extraordinarily adept soprano, one who can shriek, gurgle, cackle, mutter, gesture, and declaim as well as sing beautifully.” (The Threepenny Blog). During the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Smither-Lewellen sings Iphigenia #1 in Wayne Shorter and esperanza spalding’s new opera Iphigenia, with performances at MASSMoCA, ArtsEmerson, the Kennedy Center, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, and The Broad Stage in Los Angeles. Season highlights also include her debut with California Symphony as the soloist in Katherine Balch’s Illuminate, and a return to Ars Lyrica Houston to sing Belinda in Dido and Aeneas.
piano & organ
A native of Montreal, François Zeitouni enjoys a double career as an organist and a pianist. On both these instruments, he has played for a number of music associations, including the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and Autumn Sounds Festival at Farmleigh House (Dublin), the Forum des compositeurs (Brussels), the Festival de Lanaudière, the Fondation Arte Musica, the Société de musique de chambre de Québec, the Société du Palais Montcalm, Les Amis de l’orgue de Québec, Opus 130, Les Petits violons and Jeunesses musicales du Canada, for which he toured in 2002-2003. Much in demand as a chamber musician, he has played alongside well-known artists such as contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, violinist Olivier Thouin, pianists Olivier Godin and Julien LeBlanc, clarinetist Stéphane Fontaine and cellist Benoit Loiselle.
He has recorded the Noëls for organ by Louis-Claude d’Aquin for the XXI-21 label, as well as Gabriel Fauré’s works for violin and piano with violinist Olivier Thouin. The latter recording drew critical praise both in America and Europe, and was named ‘Recording of the Month’ in July 2010 by the prestigious Strad Magazine.
Substitute organist at the St Joseph Oratory since the age of fourteen, he has been the titular organist at the Gesù Church in Montreal since 2005. François Zeitouni received his organ, harmony, and improvisation training under Raymond Daveluy, and his piano training under Lise Boucher, Antoine Reboulot, and Maria Curcio.