|Sonya Nanos, Toronto, ON (Cello)
Canadian cellist Sonya Nanos charms audiences with her impassioned, imaginative playing. She has been featured in the Walleye and Chronicle Journal and broadcast nationally on CBC Radio. She has recorded Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and the complete symphonies of Brahms for Analekta and StudiOF, an album of Canadian works with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Gryphon Trio (JUNO nominated 2019), and she can be heard as a soloist with the Lynn Philharmonia playing Paul Reale’s string orchestra music.
As an active chamber musician and recitalist, Sonya has performed around the world, including concerts in Loja and Vilcabamba, Ecuador, the Melbourne Conservatorium in Australia, Suk Hall and Dvořák Hall in Prague, and the Lumina and Consortium Aurora Borealis series in Thunder Bay. After several years with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Sonya is happy to return home to southwestern Ontario as a member of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared with the Orlando Philharmonic, Orchestra London (now London Symphonia), Orchestre de la Francophonie and the National Academy Orchestra. She has also performed as a backing musician with touring orchestras for Michael Buble and Andrea Bocelli.
Sonya is a sought-after teacher, having taught at the Festival Internacional de Musica Loja in Ecuador, Lakehead University in Ontario, and adjudicator of the Ontario Music Festival Association’s Provincial competition. She is committed to inspiring students of any age or background to find joy and community through music.
Sonya holds a Master of Music from Lynn University, an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School, and a Bachelor of Music from McGill University. She has attended festivals including Meadowmount and Domaine Forget, and she has completed two Banff creative artist residencies. Her teachers include David Cole, Tom Wiebe, John Kadz, David Hetherington, and Matt Haimovitz.
|Yuel Yawney, Vancouver, BC (Violin and Viola)
Yuel Yawney has performed extensively in Canada, the United States and the Czech Republic, where he completed his advanced training at the Prague Academy with Joseph Suk. He also studied at the Harid Conservatory in Florida and at Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Texas. Frequently appearing as soloist and chamber musician, he has been heard at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, the Banff Summer Festival, Domaine Forget and the Scotia Festival.
|Meijane Quong, Vancouver, BC (Junior Piano)
Dr. Meijane Quong (DMA, Oregon; MMus, McGill; Licentiate Diploma, McGill; BMus, Alberta; AMus, Western Board) has held teaching positions at the University of PEI, University of Oregon and McGill. While on faculty at the University of PEI, Dr. Quong performed solo and duo recitals for CBC (Halifax) and NPR (US). She has performed concertos, solo and duo recitals in Quebec, Ontario, the Maritimes, BC, Yukon, Oregon and North Carolina and has given master classes at the Central Vancouver Island Community Music School, and at Elizabeth Cith State University, NC.
Dr. Quong is on faculty at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is active as an adjudicator and performer.
|Peteris Zarins, Toronto, ON (Intermediate and Senior Piano)
Peteris Zarins is a pianist, educator, author, and composer.
He is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music (A.R.C.T. -Performer, A.R.C.T. – Teacher), The University of Toronto (Bachelor of Music in Performance) and The University of Michigan (Master of Music in Performance, minors in Pedagogy and Music History). His principla teachers were Gerald Rutledge, Patricia Parr and Benning Dexter, though he considers composer Talivaldis Kenins, clarinetist Avrahm Galper, vocalists Jean McPhail and Roxolana Roslak, and historian/author Richard Crawford as personal mentors.
Performances as a soloist and collaborative pianist have included concerts at the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, the Orford Centre in Quebec, Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto, Weill Auditorium in New York City, Chicago Symphony Hall and last autumn, a national broadcast in Latvia. He has toured for Jeunesses Musicales, and performed with members of the Latvian National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vienna, Swedish, Santa Fe, Houston Operas, as well as members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Riga Philharmonic, C.O.C. and Esprit Orchestras.
Mr. Zarins has presented workshops throughout Canada, the United States , Korea and Bermuda individually and on behalf of the Royal Conservatory and The Frederick Harris Music Company. He has been a featured lecturer and panelist at several C.F.M.T.A. and M.T.N.A. conferences including the Collaborative Conference in Toronto as well as Albuquerque, Austin, Denver, Milwaukee and New York City, B.C.M.T.A. and the Alberta Music Conference. Festival adjudications include the Calgary Summer Arts, Winnipeg, Windsor, Sunderland, Port Colborne, Oshawa, Orillia, Niagara, Mississauga, Markham, Kingston, Brockville, Barrie, Brantford and Brantford Contemporary Showcase, Victoria, O.R.M.T.A. and R.C.S. scholarships.
He is a member of the faculty of the Royal Conservatory School where he is an instructor of piano, pedagogy, and music history, Phil and Eli Taylor Academy of the Glenn Gould School where he teaches music history. He has served on Academic Council for 20 years, and been chair of the Theory Department. With Janet Lopinski and Joe Ringhofer is co-author of the three volume series Explorations in Music History, and writes weekly aricles on musical topics for the RC and the MILQ website. He has served as the Chief Examiner for Training and Development, academic program manager and regional representative for RCM Examinations, is an on-going member of the College of Examiners in both practical and theoretical subjects. Mr. Zarins holds the title of Chief Examiner, Emeritus.
|Kevin Zakreseky, Vancouver, BC (Junior Voice)
Kevin Zakresky is a conductor living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has recently been appointed conductor of the National Geographic “Symphony for Our World,” debuting the concert in San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall on Earth Day, April 22nd 2018. This season sees him conduct the NatGeo Symphony in Chicago, Cleveland, San Jose, Limerick, Monterrey, Columbus, Buffalo, Minneapolis, Madison, Ann Arbor, Edmonton and Calgary.
From 2016-18 he was conductor of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, a tour that saw him conduct orchestras throughout North America, South America and Europe.
He is the past Music Director of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and Pacifica Singers (an ensemble affiliated with the Vancouver Chamber Choir) and has recently conducted the St Louis Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Sudbury Symphony, and West Coast Symphony. In 2017 he guest conducted the Fort Worth Symphony in “rePlay: Symphony of Heroes,” a concert of favorite video game music.
Zakresky received a Doctoral degree in Choral Conducting at Yale University in February 2012; at Yale he won the prestigious Aidan Kavanagh Prize for Distinguished Intellectual Achievement and was director of the University Chapel Choir and assistant conductor of the Yale Camerata. His major teachers were Marguerite Brooks and Simon Carrington, and he coached with Helmut Riling and Stephen Layton.
From 2010 to 2012 he was assistant conductor of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, and the Founder-Director of Chor Leoni’s “MYVoice” program, a choral experience for young men in the Vancouver area.
He is a past member of the faculty of the innovative Vancouver International Song Institute, served on the faculty of the BC Choral Federation’s Choral Directorship Course, and has held teaching positions at Douglas College and Simon Fraser University, and since 2013 has taught voice and music history at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music, in addition to directing their choral ensembles.
|Rhoslyn Jones, San Francisco, CA (Intermediate and Senior Voice)
Described as a “superb singer and artistic presence,” Rhoslyn Jones has established herself as an important presence on the operatic and concert stages of the world. Hailed as “The delicious diva," Ms. Jones captivated the audience with her “unforgettably powerful voice” in her role debut in Vancouver Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro. As the Countess, Rhoslyn Jones imparted “a grace and dignity that prevent[ed] her from descending into the mould of the stereotypical wronged woman, and [allowed] her to become a relatable individual for a modern audience. Ms. Jones is a joy to watch and reason alone to see the show.” Equally passionate about her own singing and the future of singing, Jones is a champion of arts education and works to promote young singers and their training through her work on Voice Faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and as the co-founder of the Bay Area Vocal Academy.
Career highlights include multiple roles at San Francisco Opera including covering the title roles in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Tosca and appearing in Strauss’ Elektra where Ms. Jones stood out as the “compassionate Fifth Maidservant, singing in a shimmering, ringing soprano.” As Musetta in La Boheme at both Arizona Opera and Pittsburgh Opera, “her true genius vocally came through in the final scene when she reunites the near-death Mimi with Rodolfo. Her voice was powerful and nuanced, particularly in the upper register, but it was the sheer humanity she brought to the scene that earned her the audience’s resounding applause.” One of Ms. Jones’ favorite roles has been the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro which she starred in at both Vancouver Opera and Opera Santa Barbara where her voice was “full, rounded, and flooded with heartbreak.”
Other roles include Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at Vancouver Opera, Mimi in La Boheme at Pacific Opera Victoria, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Chicago Opera Theater, and the title role in Floyd’s Susannah at Arizona Opera. A busy concert singer, Ms. Jones has also appeared with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, American Philharmonic, Anchorage Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, Sacramento Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony, Silicon Valley Symphony, and Vancouver Symphony.
As a part of the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera, Ms. Jones’ voice was described as “luscious, and her soul opens forthrightly and generously to the audience.” She created the role of Julia Grant in Philip Glass’ World Premiere of Appomattox, appeared as Frasquita in Carmen, Yvette in La Rondine, and as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. She also covered the role of Roxane opposite Placido Domingo’s Cyrano de Bergerac.
Ms. Jones attended the famed Curtis Institute of Music where she received her Diploma in Opera Performance. She received her Master of Music and Bachelor of Music at The University of British Columbia. She attended the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, and was chosen to attend the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera twice before being selected for a coveted spot in the Adler Fellowship.
Ms. Jones is also a highly gifted educator who was recently appointed to the Voice Faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She was also on faculty of the Chautauqua Institution during the Summer of 2020. She has also held positions at The University of British Columbia and was the Director of the University of British Columbia Summer Vocal Workshop; a young artist training program that she ran for 7 years. Students come from all over the world to take lessons, coach, and perform in the program that has quickly grown into a major training program under her direction. She has served on the Vocal Faculty at Sonoma State University, as well as an Artist in Residence at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. Her students have been accepted into the best schools in the country and have won various major competitions under her tutelage.
As the co-founder of the Bay Area Vocal Program (BAVA) Ms. Jones has built an organization that provides comprehensive vocal training for talented young singers, preparing them for college and a career in classical music. BAVA partners with world class solo artists and Bay Area arts organizations to offer professional performance experience and mentorships in all areas of the singing field.
Originally from a suburb of Vancouver in Aldergrove, BC, Rhoslyn Jones currently resides in San Francisco with her husband, stepdaughter, and beloved puppy Lincoln.
|Paolo Bertolussi, Vancouver, BC (Woodwinds)
Flutist Paolo Bortolussi is a soloist, chamber artist, and new music pioneer.
Raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada, the US and abroad. A specialist in contemporary music, Paolo is the flutist and co-director of the Nu:BC Collective, a new music and multimedia arts ensemble in residence at the University of British Columbia. To date he has premiered over one-hundred and fifty solo and chamber works, including concerti written for him by Jian-Ping Tang, Dorothy Chang, Aaron Gervais, and Jocelyn Morlock, whose concerto “Ornithomancy”, commissioned with funds from the Canada Council, was premiered by Paolo and the Vancouver Island Symphony in April 2013. In 2016, Paolo released his first solo album, Israfel – music for flute and electronics, on the Redshift label, which includes works by Keith Hamel, Larry Lake, John Oliver, and Kaija Saariaho. The album received two nominations at the 2016 Western Canadian Music Awards, including Artist of the Year.
Currently principal flutist with the Vancouver Island Symphony, Paolo has appeared as soloist multiple times with the VIS as well as the Albany (NY) Symphony, the Canada West Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with the Turning Point Ensemble, the Aventa Ensemble, the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, The Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, as well as the Vancouver and Victoria Symphony Orchestras. He is a featured soloist on Vancouver Visions, a Centredisc release of Stephen Chatman’s music as well as Mirages, a CD of chamber works by Dorothy Chang. In 2014, Beyond Shadows, The Nu:BC Collective’s first CD was released on the Redshift label, featuring music by Dorothy Chang, Marc Mellits, and specially commissioned works by Brian Cherney and Chris Paul Harman. In November, 2014, Paolo performed and recorded Dorothy Chang’s flute concerto “Flight” with the University of British Columbia Symphony under Maestro Jonathan Girard, which will be released on a CD of concerti by University of British Columbia composers. Recent events also included the world premiere of works by Gabriel Dharmoo and Edward Top on Music on Main’s “Modulus”, a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #4 on period instruments, performances and clinics in Taipei, Taiwan, a unique arrangement of Mahler’s seminal work “Kindertotenlieder” by Alfredo Santa Ana, the premiere of a new trio by Dorothy Chang, as well as the world premiere of a triple concerto by Aaron Gervais featuring Nu:BC as soloists with the Turning Point Ensemble.
A graduate of the University of Ottawa (B.Mus) and the Indiana University School of Music (M.Mus, D.M.A), he serves on the music faculties of the University of British Columbia, where he co-directs the Contemporary Players Ensemble, as well as Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Trinity Western University.
|Baltazar Juárez, Mexico City (Harp)
Baltazar Juárez was born in México City and began to study harp with his father at an early age. He studied at the National Conservatory of Mexico and went on to complete his studies with Susana Mildonian (Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, Italy) and Susann McDonald at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, where he obtained his Performer and Artist Diplomas. During his studies at Indiana University he was appointed Graduate Assistant to Professor Susann McDonald from 1998 to 2001.
Baltazar Juárez won numerous prizes in major competitions including fourth prize at the 1998 USA International Harp Competition in Bloomington, Indiana and second prize at the 1999 American Harp Society Competition in Los Angeles.
In 2006 he was invited as a Guest Artist for the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires in the Teatro Colón. He has performed concerts and recitals in North America, Latin America and Europe, and has been invited to several International Festivals including the 11th World Harp Congress in Vancouver, Canada and the RioHarpFest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He has appeared as soloist with the Young Israel Philharmonic, Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes, Orquesta de Cámara de Bellas Artes, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, among others.
He is Founder and Artistic Director of the National Harp Contest of Mexico and International Harp Festival.
In 2008 he presented his first CD “Jardin des Paons”, a harp duo with Isabelle Perrin and a new CD will be release this year of a double harp concertos with Nicolas Tulliez.
Between his commitments for this year include, presentation of the Double Harp Concerto CD (March), soloist with the National Symphony of Mexico (April), solo concert at the Zagreb Harp Festival, Zagreb, Croacia (April), recital at the RioHarpFest, Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (May), Jury member at the USA International Harp Competition, Bloomington, Indiana, USA (July), among others.
He is now the Principal Harp of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico.