Emma Banfield, violin, recently finished a Doctorate of Music at Northwestern University under Blair Milton and is currently performing and teaching throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. She received her Masters degrees in Violin Performance and Chamber Music from the University of Michigan where she studied with Aaron Berofsky. Emma completed her undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied with Jerzy Kaplanek of the Penderecki String Quartet and Annalee Patipatanakoon of the Gryphon Trio. She has also been privileged to work with Yehonaton Berick, Logan Skelton, Levon Ambartsumian, Almita Vamos, the Vermeer Quartet, the Pacifica String Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet among others. Emma has been the recipient of numerous awards including a three year SSHRC grant, the Weber Graduate Performance Scholarship and the William M. Spencer Award. Emma has performed with the Saint John String Quartet and performs regularly as the violinist of the San Agustin Duo. She is also a member of the Blue Spruce String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Ben Bolt-Martin, cello, is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University (‘96) in orchestral performance, studying with Paul Pulford of the Penderecki Quartet and also of the University of Western Ontario (2004), studying with Tom Wiebe. He also studied at the graduate level at University of Wisonconsin, Milwaukee’s Institute of Chamber Music with Wolfgang Laufer of the Fine Arts quartet. Ben has played cello with the Stratford Festival since 2001. He is also principal cello with the Georgian Bay Symphony and plays with the Georgian Bay String Quartet. Ben lives in Waterloo with his wife Liz and three cats.
Ian Carruthers, viola, completed an undergraduate degree in viola performance at Wilfrid Laurier University where he studied with Christine Vlajk. He remained in Waterloo for the next two years, studying composition and performing throughout Waterloo, and southwestern Ontario. Groups he has performed with include Arcady, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra (as principal violist), the Georgian Bay Symphony Chamber Series, the London Singers and Orchestra, and several WLU ensembles. From 2000-2005 Ian was on staff at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, first as strings director, then camp director. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Theory and Composition at the University of Calgary.
Linda Choi, violin, began playing the violin at age 5. In 2003, she graduated from McGill University with a Licentiate Diploma in Violin Performance. She continued her musical education as a scholarship student at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the Professional Studies Graduate Program. She has studied with David Russell, Thomas Williams, Atis Bankas, James Buswell and Victor Danchenko. Linda plays with the Oakville Chamber ensemble.
Brandon Chui, viola, is a member of Hamilton Philharmonic, Verbier Festival Orchestras. He performs with Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestras. Has collaborated with some of today’s most prolific conductors, including Christoph von Dohnanyi, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Manfred Honeck, Paavo Jarvi, Zubin Mehta, Gianandrea Noseda, Mikhail Pletnev and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Has played to audiences in such venues as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Lucerne’s KKL, L.A.’s Walt Disney Hall and Stockholm’s Konserthuset. Brandon has been heard on the CBC (Canada), DRS2 (France), NDR (Germany), RAI3 (Italy) and RSR (Switzerland) radio networks.
Felix Deak, violincello Baroque cellist Felix Deak attended the University of Toronto under Christina Mahler and Shauna Rolston. As a founding member of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble, Felix showcases his Baroque career whilst continuing to work as a freelance musician with orchestras and chamber ensembles, including Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Arbor Oak Trio. In the summer of 2002, he will return to The Netherlands to tour with Musica ad Rhenum in a programme of early Mozart operas. Felix has recently joined the Toronto-based Celtic band, Spiritwind.
Paul Earle, principal violin, began his musical training at age thirteen. He earned his Artist Diploma in performance from the University of Western Ontario and continued studies at the Royal Conservatory. He has played for the Kitchener-Waterloo, Windsor, London, and Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestras and currently is a regular with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been soloist with the Windsor Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, and the Northern Ontario Music Festival Orchestra. Paul is, at present concertmaster of the Georgian Bay Symphony in Owen Sound. He has played on recordings for radio broadcast, and also plays electric violin for several pop groups. Paul makes his home in Guelph.
Sarah Fraser, violin, has studied in Aspen, Banff, Orford and in Italy. She is currently a member of Toronto Philharmonia, Madawaska String Quartet and on Faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Sarah frequently plays chamber and orchestral performance, including CBC broadcasts. Her freelance experience includes appearances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic, Opera Ontario and Toronto Operetta Theatre.
Lucy-Ana Gaston, violin, was recently featured as an up-and-coming young artist in the Toronto International Chamber Music Festival, held at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. A recipient of the TD Canada Trust scholarship grant, Lucy-Ana also received top prize at the Contemporary Showcase Festival in Toronto. In 2002, she performed at Hamilton Place accompanied by Symphony Hamilton as the winner of their Young Artists’ Competition. Other solos include Bach, Vivaldi, Saint-Saens, and Mozart concerti with the Chamber Players, Symphony Hamilton, and the Oakville Chamber Orchestra. Having performed at the Holocaust Education Week, she subsequently recorded a collection of Jewish music at the Glenn Gould Studio. She has appeared on other CDs such as Arcady’s “A Beckett Miscellany”. A Western Scholar, Lucy-Ana is currently completing her violin performance degree on scholarship at the University of Western Ontario with Annette-Barbara Vogel. She is concertmaster of the UWO symphony orchestra and regularly performs with Orchestra London. As a chamber musician, Lucy-Ana plays with the Cavatina Duo, Chiaroscuro Quartet, Duo Acorde, Arcady, and has been a member of Symphony Hamilton, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra, and the National Academy Orchestra. She previously studied with Mikhail Brat and has her ARCT performance diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Megan Jones was born in Deep River, Ontario in 1977 and took to the violin after a few lessons. Throughout her childhood Ms. Jones had an important connection to music whether it was playing in the Deep River Symphony Orchestra with her brother Matthew or singing in local school musicals. Upon graduating from high school Ms. Jones moved to Montreal where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of McGill in the year 2000, graduating with high distinction. During her time at McGill she also took private vocal lessons with Winton Purdy and Ranee Lee. Ms. Jones currently plays as a substitute violin with the Kitchener Waterloo, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and several other symphonies across Ontario. She has been an Associate Mentor for several years with the National Academy Orchestra under maestro Boris Brott, an organization she feels strongly about, and is now the orchestra manager and librarian for the Brott Music Festival. Ms. Jones began teaching at the International Music Academy in Mississauga, in 2003 and purchased the Academy from the original owner, Lois Wells-Bernard, in 2008. She teaches piano, violin, voice and all levels of theory at the Academy as well as maintaining the school and its 9 other teachers. The past few years Ms. Jones has performed several solo concertos with the Deep River Symphony Orchestra and the Timmins Symphony. In 2010 Ms. Jones teamed up with violinist Stephen Sitarski to perform several duo concertante with both the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra and the Timmins Symphony Orchestra. This year Ms. Jones was fortunate enough to play in the opera Salome with the Canadian Opera Company.
Natalie Kemerer, double bass, studied the Double bass at the Boston Conservatory before going to Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1993 and a Master’s in Performance in 1997, studying with Lawrence Hurst and Bruce Bransby. Since then she has been an active freelance musician in Chicago, Illinois, Indiana, Toronto, and throughout Ontario. She is currently Principal Bass for the MIssissauga Symphony. In addition, she regularly plays in symphony orchestras in the Toronto area as well as opera, chamber, and baroque groups. She has been active with Arcady for several years.
Praise Lam, violin, is a recipient of numerous awards and scholarships who is emerging as a highly active soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician both in Canada and abroad. In 2002, Praise was invited to play for the Canadian Ambassador to China and the Director of the Canada Arts Council in Beijing. Since capturing the 2003 Emerging Performing Arts Award at the Mississauga Arts Awards, Praise’s solo performances has taken her from her hometown orchestral stage with the Mississauga Philharmonic Orchestra to television appearances with Rogers Cable & CBC to Hollywood’s 20th Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage in Los Angeles, California. Praise holds an ARCT Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Music Performance degree and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto and has also spent two years of applied violin studies with Professor Lin Yaoji at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. Praise also had the opportunity to play for such esteemed musicians as Jose Luis Garcia, Mauricio Fuks, and members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Orford String Quartet, and the Prazak String Quaret. A student of Canadian composer Larysa Kuzmenko at the Royal Conservatory, Praise Lam won the Ettore Mazzoleni Memorial Composition Scholarship and the Dr. Igor Kuchivnsky Memorial Composition Scholarship for three years. She was 15 when she first held the position of student composer-in-residence and 16 when her Shadows of a Journey was premiered by the Royal Conservatory Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Simon Streatfield. Her commission at age 18 by the Mississauga Symphony to compose an orchestral work was her last official work before she decided to pursue a full-time career as a violinist.
Daniel Payne, violincello, is a native Londoner who holds an undergraduate from the University of Western Ontario in history and music, his teaching certificate, a degree in Musicology (with thesis) and has recently completed another Master’s programme in Library Information Science. Daniel began his career as a performer playing with the London Youth Orchestra and the UWO Symphony Orchestra. Since then he has played with groups including the Sarnia Clarion Orchestra, and in numerous regional string quartets and chamber ensembles. His special interest in Baroque music has led him to be an active continuo in UWO’s Early Music Studio, London’s Parnassus, Hamilton’s Te Deum Choir and Orchestra, and Arcady. Highlights in his career include three seasons at the Glenn Gould Studio with Te Deum, performing with the eminent Dutch violinist Japp Schroeder (1998, 1999), and Handel’s Messiah with Arcady (1999 to present).
Anna Redekop, violin/viola, began her musical studies early on. Her former teachers include Robert Koff, Sandra Stark, Ralph Aldrich and Rennie Regehr. She is now completing her Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. During this Program, Anna has performed in master classes for Robert Vernon, James Dunham, Desmond Hoebig, Lorand Fenyves and other world-renowned instructors and performers. Anna has performed regularly with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, the National Academy Orchestra and is currently the Principal Viola of the Scarborough Philharmonic. She is the founding Violist of the Soliani Strings, and has performed several times on CBC Radio playing chamber and orchestral works. In London, she participated in a CD recording of Handel’s Messiah with Marc Dubois, Gary Relyea, Janice Taylor, Leslie Fagan and the Concert players’ Orchestra. Teaching experience includes National and Inter-Provincial Music Camps and CAMMAC in Quebec, as well as private instruction in London and Toronto.
Laura Reid, violin began her musical studies at age 3 in the Suzuki program in Saskatoon. During her time in Saskatoon, she won various prizes in local music festivals, was a three-time national finalist at the Canadian Music Competition, and at age 11 became the youngest member of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for four years. At age 15, she went to study with Mimi Zweig at Indiana University, where she was the youngest graduate in 2003, earning a Bachelor of Music degree with highest honors in violin performance. In the fall of 2003, she began her graduate studies at the University of Toronto with Scott St. John, where she was the recipient of several scholarships, and acted as concertmaster of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra during the 2003- 2004 school year. She graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto in June 2005.
Deanna Vardy, violin/viola is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance. Deanna is an active freelance musician and has played with such orchestras as the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Niagara Symphony, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Sinfonia, and is a member of Arcady. During the summers of 1999-2001, Deanna worked for the nationally auditioned National Youth Orchestra and played in the viola section. Deanna is a founding member of the Balintore Trio, and is currently on faculty teaching private violin and viola lessons at Appleby College in Oakville.