Aaron Chan is a tenor and bass trombonist originally from Toronto, Canada and currently based in Miami, FL. His love for music began at age 6, when he started learning piano by his older sister. After picking up the trombone in elementary school, he started taking the instrument seriously in high school when a local trombone teacher played a recording of Joseph Alessi (NY Philharmonic) playing a trombone arrangement of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma.
He has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Montreal, Miami, South Florida, and McGill Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Griffin Brass Band and the Sheraton Cadwell Jazz Orchestra. During his summers, Aaron has been a participant of the Domaine Forget Music Academy, Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA), Third Coast Trombone Retreat, Southeast Trombone Symposium, and the Miami Music Festival, under their Opera Fellowship program.
He has obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degree at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music with a Graduate Excellence Fellowship and has completed his Professional Performer’s Certificate at Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, studying with Dan Satterwhite. This Fall, Aaron will pursue his Doctorate in Musical Arts at the University of Miami Frost School of Music as a Henry Mancini Institute Fellow.
Outside of music, Aaron enjoys playing video games, playing party games with friends, and photography.
Originally from Cali, Colombia, Adriana got immersed in the music world at the age of four playing the recorder and singing in a children’s choir. She began violin at the age of eight and basic music training at nine at the Antonio Maria Valencia Conservatory. Then at the University Foundation Juan N. Corpas. She moved to Canada in 2007 and studied privately with Professor Ralph Aldrich.
Adriana has a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto (2012) and a Chamber Music Diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University (2014). Adriana’s passion for the viola led her to study privately with Professor Sharon Wei. In 2017, she graduated from McGill University with a Master’s degree in Viola Performance under the tutelage of Professor Steven Dann. She has also studied privately with Professor Neal Gripp. Adriana has played with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, London Symphonia, Orchestre Classique de Montréal, Pronto Musica, Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra and has led the viola sections of Oakville Chamber Orchestra, Burlington Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia Ancaster. This is the forth summer she is part of the National Academy Orchestra. She has also participated in the Orford Academy Orchestra, Scotia Festival of Music, Bathurst Chamber Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival and AEDO Accademia Europea Dell’Opera in Italy.
Adriana is an opera lover and aspires to play in a professional opera company.
Antonio Urrutia-Mendoza, Oboe and English Horn, is a Colombian born, Miami and Montreal based classical musician. The South Florida Classical Review has described his playing as “expressive and suspended,… layering a thunderous effect”. An avid free-lancer, Urrutia frequently performs with groups such as The Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Symphony, The South Florida Symphony, and was recently a finalist and substitute musician with The New World Symphony.
Antonio has just received his Masters of Music in Orchestral Oboe at the McGill University Schulich School of Music, studying with Theodore Baskin. He also completed his Bachelors of Music in Instrumental Performance from the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, Class of 2019; The premiere fellowship quintet of the Frost School of Music. He studied privately with Robert Weiner. Mr. Urrutia is currently Principal oboe of the McGill Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Alexis Hauser. Recent performances include the solo part in Ravels’ oboe tour de force “Le Tombeau de Couperin”, the Berlioz “Romeo et Juliette”, and Beethovens’ Symphony No.6 “Pastoral”. Recently, Urrutia has also led the oboe section in the McGill Opera Theatre, particularly a recent digital edition of Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw”. During his time at Frost, Urrutia performed in the Frost Symphony Orchestra, as well as performing and recording with the internationally recognized and award-winning jazz-fusion ensemble; the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. He performed chamber music and toured with the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, as well as serving as principal oboe of the New Music group Ensemble Ibis.
Antonio is so excited to spend the summer as part of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada! Most recently, he participated in the Brevard Music Festival, where he performed as Principal oboe and solo English Horn with world renowned conductors such as Joann Falleta, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, and Keith Lockhart. Antonio has also appeared in the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and has performed at the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival with the Stamps Woodwind Quintet. Urrutia’s extended private study includes Robert Stephenson, principal of the Utah Symphony, Emily Brebach, solo English Horn of the Atlanta Symphony, and Eric Ohlsson of Florida State University. He has also participated in a plethora of Masterclasses, which include Eugene Izotov, Humbert Lucarelli, Mary Lynch, Nancy Ambrose King, and many more.
Antonio Urrutia hails from Bogota Colombia and began playing Oboe in 2008. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, hiking, skiing, scuba diving, basically anything outdoors! On top of that he was a deep passion for visual art, and you can find him seeing the newest exhibition at a local art museum, or exploring galleries in all different parts of the city.
Hailing from Kingston, Ontario, Aviner Hartwick was involved in music from a young age. Encouraged by his grandfather, a Dutch organist, as a child Aviner dabbled in recorder, piano, and accordion before finally settling on the bassoon. His first teacher on that instrument, Katie Legere of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, encouraged him to pursue music and in 2013 sent him to Montreal to study with the musicians of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Since then, Aviner has studied with Martin Mangrum, Stéphane Lévesque, and Michael Sundell at both McGill University and the Conservatoire de Montréal.
Away from the bassoon, Aviner likes to spend his time watching movies, learning Japanese, and playing ping pong (he served as president of the Table Tennis Club during his time at McGill). See him back on the courts once this pandemic is over.
Hailing from Port Hope, Ontario, Ben Storm is a Toronto-based Trombonist currently working towards a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance at the University of Toronto. He has been a member of the University of Toronto (UofT) Symphony Orchestra, Ontario Pops Orchestra, Northumberland Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. An enthusiast and performer of varying styles of music, Ben has also performed with the UofT Contemporary Music Ensemble, Hannaford Youth Band, Port Hope Pops Orchestra, and the JazzFM Youth Big Band. He is a member of the Band of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in Toronto, and is also a former first trombonist with the Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa.
Ben has been awarded the B flat Band Festival Bursary, Cobourg Distinguished Civic Award for the Arts, Frank Harmantas Trombone Scholarship, and has been recognized as a President’s Scholar of Excellence in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. He has studied with Canadian trombonists Megan Hodge and Kevin Cook, and is currently a student of Vanessa Fralick.
Beginning his trombone studies in jazz, Ben continues to play and listen to jazz in his free time and is deeply musically influenced by big band trombonist Tommy Dorsey. Outside of music, he can be found indulging in Toronto’s many farmer’s markets and shawarma restaurants, or pursuing his interests in art history, movies, and anything by Tolkien.
Originally from the small town of Ucluelet, British Columbia, Brandon began his studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Chris Hall, principal tubist of the Metropolitan Opera, and is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree as an Ingeborg and Angela Kramer Endowment Fund Fellow at McGill University, studying with Sasha Johnson, principal tubist of The National Ballet of Canada. Other teachers and mentors have included Austin Howle, Derek Fenstermacher, Alain Cazes, and Warren Deck.
While in New York City, Brandon served as a fellow with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has also had the pleasure of sharing the stage with several high-level ensembles and conductors such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Billings Symphony Orchestra, among others, and looks forward to performing with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada this summer.
Brandon has either won or placed at various solo competitions across the United States. In 2018, he won top prize in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference Artist Tuba Solo Competition, later presenting an artist recital at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. During the summers, Brandon has attended the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and is currently participating in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
Brandon began playing tuba at the age of 17, and a year later, was a featured soloist with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra. In his spare time, Brandon continues his quest to find the perfect cup of coffee, loves following Blue Jays baseball, and is very much looking forward to donning Seattle Kraken apparel throughout the streets of Montreal later this year.
Camille Mireault-Lalancette began her musical training on the piano and then at 12, she discovered the viola. She has placed in the first three places on numerous occasions in the competition for soloists and small ensembles in Victoriaville, whether as a soloist or as a chamber musician. Between 2012 and 2014, the young violist joined the ranks of the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal. In 2014, she was admitted to the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal where she completed her Diploma of Collegial Studies. She subsequently obtained a Bachelor of Performance at the University of Montreal in the class of Jutta Puchhammer where she is currently completing her Masters. She also perfected at the Camp musical des Laurentides, at the Domaine Forget, at the Orford Art Center, at the Solsona International Music Academy in Spain, at the Zemtsov Masterclass week in the Netherlands as well as with the Orchestre de la Francophonie and at the Collegium Musicum Schloss Pommersfelden in Germany. She is a freelance violist and teaches privately and in Share the Warmth’s El Sistema program.
Daniel Lehmann is a trumpeter from Winnipeg. He is currently a doctoral student at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he studies with John Rommel and baroque trumpet with Kris Kwapis. He also holds a Master of Music in trumpet performance from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance from the University of Manitoba, where he studied with Paul Jeffrey and Richard Gillis.
In 2020, he was an academy intern at the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, in the Czech Republic, where he performed with the orchestra in Ostrava and on tour in Italy and Switzerland.
He has attended summer programs including Domaine Forget, PRISMA, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler. Daniel also was a member of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada in 2019 and is happy to be participating in the program again this summer.
Outside of music, Daniel enjoys cycling and reading.
Elizabeth Hendy is a Chinese-British violinist born in the UK and currently based near Atlanta, Georgia. She did her undergraduate degree in violin performance under the tutelage of Andrew Wan at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music as a recipient of the Wirth and Schulich Scholarships. She also attended the Juilliard Pre-College for four years studying with Dr. I-Hao Lee, Ann Setzer, and the late Dean Emeritus Stephen Clapp. As a soloist, past performance venues include Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Count Basie Theatre, the NYC Apollo Theater, and Dimenna Hall. In past years, she has been the winner and guest soloist for the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra Competition, the Livingston Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition, the NJ Intergenerational Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition, and the Monmouth Symphony Goldwasser Young Artist Concerto Competition. She has had the privilege of sitting concertmaster for Opera McGill and Pronto Musica with Maestro Stephen Hargreaves conducting Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito in 2019 and co-concertmaster for Boulogne’s L’amant anonyme in 2021. In 2019, her string quartet was awarded 3rd prize at the McGill Chamber Music Competition and granted a summer scholarship residency at the Orford Music Academy. Aside from music, Elizabeth takes an interest in writing, musical theatre, contemporary dance, gardening, and painting. Someday, she hopes to own a joint vegan cafe and music school run by young artists, as well as become a published author/screenwriter.
Romanian-Canadian horn player Ilinca Stafie is very excited to be a part of the National Academy Orchestra for their 2021 season.Ilinca first started horn lessons with Laurie Matiation. She later continued her education at the University of Toronto where she received both a Bachelors of Music in Performance and an Advanced Certificate in Performance, studying with Harcus Hennigar and Christopher Gongos. She began her Master of Music Performance studies at DePaul University, in Chicago with Jim Smelser in the fall of 2020, but is looking forward to being back in the Toronto music scene for fall 2021.
Ilinca has performed with the Calgary Youth Orchestra (2013 – 14), Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra (2014 – 15), Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (2016 – 17) and the National Academy Orchestra (2019 – 20). She has played in master classes for several renowned horn players such as Denise Tryon, Fergus McWilliam, Bruno Schneider and Ab Koster.
Ilinca is an avid animal lover and horseback rider. She spent many summers teaching horseback riding to children and adults in the beautiful Alberta Rocky Mountains. When she is not making music, Ilinca’s favourite guilty pleasure is reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, she admires the creativity and tenacity of drag culture and performance.
Ji Soo Choi appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall in 2011. In 2013, she was the grand prize winner of the Canadian Music Competition (CMC) in the 19 to 30 year old category, and she was featured as one of the CBC’s 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30. Ji Soo is one of the winners of the 2018 Canada Council; Instrument Bank Competition, and is currently playing on c.1830-1850 Eckhardt-Gramatte Joachim Georges Chanot I Violin. She received her Bachelor and Master’s degree at the Juilliard School, from the studio of Ida Kavafian and Daniel Phillips and she received Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School studying with Erika Raum and Paul Kantor.
Canadian violinist Katelyn Emery is an exciting young artist based in both the Greater Toronto and Montreal Areas. In May 2021 Katelyn graduated with an Advanced Certificate in Performance from the University of Toronto where she studied with Jonathan Crow, concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Katelyn is a frequent performer with the Brott Music Festival Orchestra, has been a substitute violinist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 2018, and was a part of the Montreal Classical Orchestra’s mentorship program in 2017. She has spent past summers at the Music Academy of the West, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Orford Arts Centre, and Domaine Forget. Solo highlights include having the opportunity to perform the Brahms and Bruch Violin Concerti with the Burlington Symphony Orchestra as winner of both their senior and junior concerto competitions. Outside of music, she enjoys cooking, baking, cardmaking, and following the sport of artistic gymnastics.
Katelyn has obtained a Master of Music degree from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University where she studied with Andrew Wan on a Graduate Excellence Fellowship. Katelyn also completed her Bachelor of Music degree at McGill under the tutelage of Professor Axel Strauss, graduating with Outstanding Achievement in Violin as well as a minor in business management. Prior to her post-secondary studies, she completed an ARCT Performance diploma and was a student of Katharine Rapoport at the Phil and Eli Taylor Academy for Young Artists in Toronto.”
Originally from San Diego, California, violinist Kimberly Durflinger is based in Ontario where she works as a substitute violinist for the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, I Musici de Montréal, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. She has made it to the semi-finals and finals in auditions for major symphonies such as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Opera Orchestra, Quebec Symphony Orchestra, I Musici de Montréal, and the Grand Rapids Symphony.
Kimberly is also passionate about being involved with genres of music outside the realm of traditional classical music. She is a member of the rock band Vaerisa based in Toronto, can be heard on the soundtrack for an episode of Star-trek, performed punk-rock music at the House of Blues in San Diego, and recorded the theme song to the video game Renaine which will be released on the Nintendo Switch.
In her free time, Kimberly enjoys dancing Argentine Tango, baking pies, and cuddling her three chubby guinea pigs.
Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Micah Kroeker started his classical trombone studies at the Conservatoire d’Orléans (France) in 2014. Most recently, he was a semi-finalist in the 2020 Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Competition and a top-three finalist in the McGill Woodwinds/Brass/Percussion Concerto Competition (2020). He placed second in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition (2016) and twice won third place in the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra’s annual Scholarship Competition (2016, 2017). He has participated in the National Youth Band of Canada in Montreal (2018) and currently studies classical trombone performance at the Schulich School of Music, where he performs with the McGill Symphony Orchestra. He was chosen for the 2021 National Youth Orchestra of Canada and is excited for another summer with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada.
When he’s not in the practice room, you can find Micah buried in a good non-fiction book, cooking meals at the local homeless shelter, or out on the trails training for his next ultramarathon.
Michael Nunes is a composer and horn player from Sherwood Park, Alberta. He maintains a busy schedule of composition, arranging, engraving, performing, and educating with organizations located across Canada. He has studied with Gabriel Radford, Allene Hackleman, Neil Spaulding, James Rolfe, Larysa Kuzmenko, Allan Gilliland, and Jan Janovsky. His debut orchestral premiere was commissioned and performed by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 2016. He has been awarded scholarships in brass and composition by the University of Toronto and the Alberta Provincial Music Festival.
In his spare time, Michael is an avid nerd, with specific interests in computer technology, languages, recipes, philosophy, animals, and video games. His list of podcast recommendations is a mess!
Michael is currently a composition student in the Bachelor of Music program at the University of Toronto, studying composition with Professor Gary Kulesha, and horn with Nicholas Hartman. Michael is a member of SOCAN and the Canadian League of Composers, as well as a founding member of Green Room Sound Collective.
Violinist Raina Saunders began taking fiddle lessons at the age of 8 in her hometown, Victoria, BC. At 13 years old, she started pursuing classical violin. She went on to complete her BMus in Violin Performance at the University of Victoria and her MMus and Graduate Diploma in Violin Performance at the University of Ottawa, studying under Sharon Stanis and Yehonatan Berick. Raina has performed for distinguished teachers from around the world, including Benjamin Schmid, William van der Sloot, Andrew Dawes, Paul Katz, the Danish String Quartet, and the St. Laurence String Quartet. She has attended academies such as the Orford Academy in Quebec, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto, the Summa Cum Laude Competition in Vienna, and the chamber music program at Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax. As a winner of the Johann Strauss Foundation Scholarship Competition, she also attended the Allegro Vivo Summer Academy in Austria. In addition to performing chamber music on the NAC’s Fourth Stage and playing in the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Raina has recorded on rock, folk, and sacred albums, toured with a rock/folk band, and enjoys playing fiddle and improvised music.
Raina is also fascinated by the intersection of music and health. She recently helped to launch the Musicians’ Wellness Centre at uOttawa while completing a one-year MA in Music Pedagogy, conducting research about deaf musicians with cochlear implants. Since finishing her MA in 2020, she has been working as a freelance musician and lead Teaching Artist with OrKidstra in Ottawa.
Ryan Garbett was born and raised in Toronto where he began learning the horn at the age of 10. Ryan began his post-secondary studies at the University of Toronto, then transferred to McGill University where he received his bachelor’s degree in horn performance. In 2020, Ryan received his Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School, where he was a recipient of the Michael and Sonja Koerner Scholarship in the amount of full tuition.
Mr. Garbett has performed nationwide on some of Canada’s most revered stages and has collaborated professionally with many high calibre ensembles including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, and the Amici Chamber ensemble. Ryan was a semi-finalist at the Calgary Philharmonic National and National Arts Centre Orchestra International Third Horn Auditions. He is a three-time alumnus of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (’14, ’15, ’19) and was a recipient of their award of excellence in 2019. Ryan is very excited and honoured to be participating in the 2021 National Academy Orchestra.
In his spare time, Ryan loves playing chess, poker and ultimate frisbee, and is passionate about discovering new and unusual flavours of food and drink. When not in the orchestra, you can catch Ryan playing horn in his funk band STEINWALL at Toronto venues like The Horseshoe Tavern (Oct 2, 2021), Lee’s Palace, and the Supermarket.
Sarah Pollard is a Canadian flutist from Toronto, Ontario. She began learning the flute at the age of fourteen, and after her first experiences playing in local youth bands she was hooked! She is now attending The Glenn Gould School to pursue her Artist Diploma with full scholarship under the direction of Susan Hoeppner. Sarah previously studied with Carolyn Christie (McGill University, MMus Performance), Nora Shulman and Peg Albrecht (University of Toronto, BMus Performance). An aspiring orchestral musician, Sarah was recently accepted as a fellow with the 2021 National Academy Orchestra of Canada, the 2021 Orchestra of the Americas, and the 2021 National Repertory Orchestra, Colorado (unable to attend live due to COVID-19 travel restrictions).
Sarah has performed with numerous chamber music ensembles and contemporary music ensembles, a highlight of which was performing excerpts from Boulez’s infamous Le marteau sans maître in the 2018 Ottawa Chamberfest’s New Music Now Festival. In addition to performing Sarah has a passion for teaching flute and piano, and she has been invited to coach the flutists of the Québec Youth Wind Ensemble as well as the Durham Youth Orchestra. In masterclasses and summer music academies, Sarah has most recently had the opportunity to work with renowned flutists Emmanuel Pahud, Leone Buyse, Jeanne Baxtresser, William Bennett, Demarre McGill, Kelly Zimba, Joanna G’froerer, Henrik Heide, Agata Igras, Robert Langevin, Gwen Klassen (piccolo) and Claire Guimond (Baroque flute).
Aside from music, Sarah also enjoys doing yoga and pilates, and many outdoor activities including hiking, bicycling, swimming, canoeing and cross country skiing.
Oakville, Ontario native Sophie Lanthier is a freelance flautist with a devoted interest in contemporary music as both a soloist and chamber musician. A dynamic and expressive performer, she is committed to discovering and programming flute repertoire that represents the growing diversity of the contemporary flute scene, with a vested interest in flute music by female composers.
As an orchestral musician, Sophie has worked with several world-renowned conductors, including Gábor Takács-Nagy, Bramwell Tovey, Johannes Debus, Andras Keller, Tania Miller, and Leon Fleisher. She has also been featured as a soloist with the Northwestern University Baroque Music Ensemble and the Northwestern Philharmonia, under the baton of Dr. Stephen Alltop.
Sophie recently completed her Master of Music degree at Northwestern University and will begin her Doctor of Musical Arts candidacy at the University of Toronto in September 2021. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance with Honours from the University of Toronto and an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Her primary teachers include Nora Shulman, Susan Hoeppner, and John Thorne, and has studied piccolo with Alyce Johnson and Jennifer Gunn.
Outside of her formal academic studies, Sophie enjoys playing the Baroque traverso, studying with Jed Wentz and Rachel Brown through the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in 2017 and 2018. As a contemporary flautist, she toured Ontario during the summer of 2019 as a member of the Continuum Ensemble’s HATCH mentorship program for early-career musicians. This is her second season with the National Academy Orchestra, having participated in the 2020 virtual season.
When she isn’t playing the flute, Sophie loves to collect Golden Girls memorabilia, binge-watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, and bombard her friends with mediocre celebrity impersonations.
A native of China, Xueao Yang began studying the violin at the age of four. At the age of twelve, she was accepted into the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Xueao has served as guest Principal Second violin at Regina Symphony Orchestra and as Concertmaster of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra. She has also played with Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony, McGill Chamber Orchestra and National Academy Orchestra of Canada.
Xueao has attended many music festivals include Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival, Zodiac Music Festival in France, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and the prestigious Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. Xueao was a recipient of the Lloyd Carr-Harris String Scholarship, HP Robert Fung scholarship Bill&Judy Watson scholarship and Williamson Music Foundation. Xueao received her Performance Certificate in violin at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from McGill University with outstanding achievement in violin. She has studies with Kevin Lawrence, Violaine Melançon, Felicia Moye and Denise Lupien.
Besides the violin, Xueao enjoys yoga, cooking, coffee time with book and playing with her cats, Storm and Billy.
Zack Goldstein currently holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. In his four years at the University of Toronto, principal teachers included Stephen Pierre, David Bourque, and Miles Jaques. Throughout his undergraduate degree, Zack’s passion for orchestral music was developed and heightened through two seasons with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and three seasons with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.
He is a recipient of a number of awards including the University of Toronto President’s Scholarship, the Arthur Plettner Award, the Ezra Schabas Performance Award, the David and Marcia Beach Summer Study Award, and the Norman and Hinda Tobias Memorial Scholarship. He is also a 2020 Canada Council for the Arts grant recipient.
Zack has spent his last few summers participating in a number of chamber music and solo festivals around the world including the Savonlinna Music Academy in Finland, the Domaine Forget Music Academy, and the Pacific Regional International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA).
He is currently looking forward to beginning the second year of his Master of Music degree in clarinet performance this fall at the Eastman School of Music where he will continue his studies under Professor Michael Wayne.
In his spare time Zack enjoys riding his bike around Rochester in search for the perfect donut, as well as writing and watching stand-up and sketch comedy.