Artists (2012)

Whitney O’Hearn


Photo - Whitney O’Hearn

Mezzo-soprano Whitney O’Hearn “has a warm and expressive voice and an amazing sense of line” (Ottawa Citizen). She is an up-and-coming Ottawa-Gatineau based vocal artist pursuing a career in opera and contemporary music. A prolific performer, Whitney seeks to make music more accessible through collaborating with composers and singing in unusual venues in a wide variety of traditional and unexpected ensembles. As a voice teacher, she shares her insights and philosophy with students from a broad spectrum of genres.

Mrs. O’Hearn has received her Bachelor of Music as well as her Masters of Music in vocal performance at the University of Ottawa School of Music, where she studied with renowned Canadian mezzo-soprano Sandra Graham. She has performed in numerous master classes and received coachings from Benita Valente, Gilbert Kalish, Donna Brown, and Russell Braun.

Whitney appeared as the title role in Bizet’s Carmen in January 2008 with the University of Ottawa School of Music opera production. She also has sung, amongst other roles, Mère Marie in Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Maurya in Vaughn Williams’ Riders to the Sea and The Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aneas, and has been a soloist with Musica Viva, Coro Vivo Ottawa, The Elgin Singers, the choir of the First Baptist Church of Ottawa, the Ottawa New Music Creators, the Kanata Symphony Orchestra, the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, Whitney was invited as a guest artist to perform Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, Stony Brook, NY, she received the Frederick-Karam Scholarship, and she was the winner of the University of Ottawa Concerto Competition, where she performed Gustav Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer. She has recently performed in the Ottawa International Chamber Festival, the Festival Pontiac Enchanté, and she appeared as Mercedes in the wildly successful Carmen on Tap over its 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons. Her upcoming performances as a soloist include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the St. Andrew’s Choir and Orchestra, Imant Raminsh’s Magnificat with The Capital Chamber Choir, and Missa Cubana with Coro Vivo Ottawa.

Whitney is currently the alto soloist at the well established St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Ottawa. She continually brings old and new music to new places and audiences in an array of varied musical projects. She hopes you’ll enjoy today’s experience.

Carson Becke

(piano, artistic director)

Photo - Carson Becke

Carson Becke has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, including performances in Canada (National Arts Centre, Four Seasons Centre), England (Wigmore Hall, St. Martin in the Fields, St. Georges Bristol, Steinway Hall, Winchester Cathedral), Scotland, Ireland (Canadian Embassy), Germany, Switzerland (Verbier Festival Academy), Poland, Latvia (National Radio) and Trinidad and Tobago. For the past three summers he has been artist in residence, and in 2010 Carson was appointed artistic director of Festival Pontiac Enchante.

Carson was born in 1989 in Ottawa, Canada, and began learning the piano at the age of five with his great grandmother, Mary Mackey. In 2005, he moved to the UK in order to study at the Purcell School of Music, where he studied piano with Ilana Davids and composition with Jonothan Cole. After graduating from the Purcell School, he studied on scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Tatiana Sarkissova. He completed his Bachelors degree (Honours) in June 2011.

Since moving to the UK, Carson has won a number of awards and prizes, including the top prize in the S.V. Rachmaninov Piano Competition (2006, Russia), 1st Prize in the BBC young composers of the year competition (2007), and the Harold Craxton Chamber Music Competition, Francis Earle, and Dorothy Bryant awards at the Royal Academy of Music. He was also the recipient of a BBC performing arts fund bursary scholarship in 2007.

As a composer, his composition “Three Nocturnes for Orchestra” has been performed by the Purcell Symphony Orchestra in the UK, and the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra in Canada, as well as broadcast on BBC Radio Three. A smaller composition, “John Keats: On Death” was recorded by members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and has been performed in the BBC Proms.

Carson lives in London, England, and is engaged in private studies with Tatiana Sarkissova.

Recent Reviews

Becke plays Bach
View the article at…

Tait Becke


Photo - Tait Becke

Tait Beck (19) calls the Pontiac home.  He  is currently studying violin at the Royal Academy of Music, with professor Igor Petrushevski. Before moving to London in 2010, he studied privately in Ottawa first with Leslie Wade, and then with Donnie Deacon, principal second violinist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Tait has performed a number of solo and chamber concerts in Canada, England and Germany, including recent performances at Schloss Gartow, Germany, and with the Phoenix Trio in Wiez, Austra. He also performs as a regular duo partner with his brother Carson Becke. Most recently, they performed together in Cambridge.

Tait plays a 2003 Cormier violin.

Hinrich Alpers


Photo - Hinrich Alpers

German pianist, Hinrich Alpers, studied with Bernd Goetzke at the Hannover Hochschule für Musik und Theater and earned his Graduate Diploma from The Juilliard School, studying with Jerome Lowenthal.

Mr. Alpers has performed in recital, as soloist with orchestra, and as collaborator in chamber music and lieder throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. He has many awards and accolades. Notably, he was recipient of the 2008 Juilliard William Petschek and Piano Debut Recital Award winner of the 2007 Banff International String Quartet Competition. In addition to winning the Beethoven Competition, Alpers was awarded both special prizes for best performance of chamber music (sonatas with cellist Misha Maisky) and best performance of the commissioned work in addition to becoming Laureate of the Honens Competition (for best ensemble performance and for best performance of a newly commissioned work). In 2007, he was named a Steinway Artist.

Mr. Alpers made his acclaimed Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall debut in March 2008. His first solo CD, recorded at The Banff Centre, was released in fall 2008 and he made his recital debuts at the Berlin Philharmonie and Munich Gasteig in spring 2009.

Mr. Alpers splits his time between Berlin and Hanover where he teaches piano at the University of Music and Drama of Hanover.

Nathan Cepelinski


Photo - Nathan Cepelinskie

Born in Ottawa, Canada, twenty-four year old saxophonist and composer Nathan Cepelinski began playing music at the age of twelve, and began performing professionally at fourteen. Since he was young, Nathan has always been noted for his high level of technical proficiency, his melodic maturity, and his deep understanding of the musical language.

Along with many honors over the course of his musical career, Nathan has received a total of five awards from the famed Downbeat Magazine, for his playing and for various compositions. As well, the American National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts selected Nathan as one of six young musicians, from an international pool of applicants, to play in the highly coveted Clifford Brown-Stan Getz Fellowship All-Star Band, a group representing the highest level of jazz talent yearly. Additionally, Musicfest Canada, the most widely-attended national music competition, awarded him the coveted Yamaha Kando Scholarship, the first-place award given to one of some 400,000 young musicians from across the country.

In May 2011, Nathan graduated from Berklee College of Music, where he pursued degrees in performance and film composing, on full-tuition scholarship.

Over the years of his musical career, Nathan is fortunate to have played and/or studied with many internationally acclaimed musicians, such as John JR Robinson (Michael Jackson, Madonna), Jimmy Cobb (Miles Davis, John Coltrane), Joe Lovano, Hal Crook, Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, Jeff Ballard, Chase Sanborn, Miguel Zenon, George Colligan, Ralph Peterson, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jim Odgren, Ed Tomassi, David Santoro, Phil Wilson, George Garzone, David Liebman, Bob Mintzer, and Barry Harris.

Pamela Cockcroft-Lasserre

Photo - Pamela Cockcroft-Lasserre

Born and raised in South Africa and Namibia, studied to be a teacher (Graaff-Reinet and Cape Town), then Fine Art at the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting (St. Martin’s Central, University of the Arts, London) graduating with Merit Distinction. Returned to Cape Town as Assistant Gallery Custodian, Lecturer in European Art History, Art Critic for the Cape Times, painting and exhibiting in group shows. Widely traveled in Southern Africa and Europe, now settled in the Gatineau Hills, Quebec, creating predominantly figure paintings and drawings, teaching at the Ottawa School of Art and exhibiting her work regularly.

Work found in private collections in South Africa, France, U.S.A and Canada

Donnie Deacon

(violin, co-artistic director)

Photo - Donnie Deacon

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Donnie Deacon studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. He continued his studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London under the tutelage of Natasha Boyarskaya and Lord Menuhin. He finished his schooling at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Jaime Laredo and Ida Kavafian.

Mr. Deacon has performed all over the world with such distinguished orchestras as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, BT Scottish Ensemble, London Soloists, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Pablo de Sarasate Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music. He has sat as principle second violin with the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 2001, the youngest player to do so in the history of the Orchestra.

Mr. Deacon plays a Giovanni Dollenz violin from 1824 on loan to him through the Zukerman Musical Instruments Foundation for the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

John Geggie

Photo - John Geggie

John Geggie is greatly in demand as a versatile musician (double bassist) and creative composer both in Canada and internationally. He has been the curator and programming director of the Geggie Series for eleven years. For over ten years, he has hosted the Late Night Jam Sessions at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. He has also toured extensively with the award-winning jazz group Chelsea Bridge and the JUNO-nominated D.D. Jackson Trio. He has also recorded or performed with a many of the top names in creative improvised music: Jon Christensen, Andy Milne, Marc Copeland, Vic Juris, Ben Monder, George Colligan, Craig Taborn, Sheila Jordan, David Murray, Andrew Cyrille, Donny McCaslin, Matt Brubeck, Ted Nash, Billy Hart, Marilyn Crispell, Myra Melford, Bill Carrothers, Cuong Vu and bassist, Mark Dresser.

Previously, he has performed at various international festivals including in Rouen and Maubeuge (France), in Molde (Norway) and throughout the United States. Geggie has also participated in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. In addition, he continues to maintain a busy concert schedule with the 13 Strings Chamber Ensemble and is involved in many recording projects. John is on faculty at the Crane School of Music, State University of New York (SUNY Potsdam) and has students at both Carleton University as well as University of Ottawa. His recordings and performances are regularly heard on CBC radio and SRC.

Peter Hum

Photo - Peter Hum

Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, pianist and composer Peter Hum is a mainstay of the jazz community in Canada's capital.

He recorded his 2010 debut CD, A Boy's Journey, at Venturing Hills Farm in late 2008, as well as his forthcoming, as yet unnamed CD during a late 2011 session. Peter received arts grants from the City of Ottawa for both projects, as well as an Ontario Arts Council grant in support of his second recording. Peter's music from A Boy's Journey and performances at the Montreal and Ottawa International Jazz Festivals have been broadcast by the CBC and Radio-Canada on such shows as Jazz Beat, Canada Live and Tonic.

Since the mid-1990s, the self-taught pianist has led or co-led groups that have included musicians Rob Frayne, John Geggie, Petr Cancura, Nathan Cepelinski, Vince Rimbach, Kenji Omae, Mike Essoudry, Nick Fraser and Justin Haynes. In Ottawa, he has accompanied visiting jazz musicians including Pat LaBarbera, Mike Rud, Andre Leroux, Kelly Jefferson and Johnny Scott.

In Montreal during the last half of the 1980s, Peter performed weekly at the first incarnation of the city's famed Upstairs jazz club. Peter counts such accomplished artists as Steve Amirault, John Stetch, Denzal Sinclaire, Mike Allen, Dave Robbins, Alec Walkington and Ted Warren as friends from his Montreal days. While working toward his Master's Degree in English at McGill University, Peter led a jazz sextet that won the Lowenbrau Jazz Search in 1986 and represented Quebec at the Montreal International Jazz Festival's Alcan Jazz Competition in 1987.

In the early 1980s, when Peter lived in Kingston, Ontario and studied English at Queen's University, he was fortunate to perform with Canadian jazz greats Sonny Greenwich, Phil Nimmons and Reg Schwager at their Kingston Jazz Society concerts

Outside of music, Peter has been a journalist at the Ottawa Citizen since 1990, and has covered the education, crime, city hall, courts and technology beats. He has also reported for the newspaper from Hong Kong, New York, San Franscisco, London, Amsterdam, Hanover and Eastern Slovakia. Now an assistant editor responsible for arts and life coverage, Peter blogs on jazz at

Veteran CBC radio jazz host Katie Malloch, calls A Boy's Journey "a voyage for the listener too. Hum's compositions are fresh and vital, sometimes contemplative, sometimes blessed with a joyous groove. The instrumental voices of his fine sidemen (Kenji Omae is a splendid surprise to me!) are each strongly individual, but blend with warmth and ease, too. Peter Hum's own playing is coolly lyrical... This CD is solid and satisfying."

Christopher Nupen

Photo - Christopher Nupen

Christopher Nupen began his broadcasting career in the Features Department of BBC Radio when he wrote and presented HIGH FESTIVAL IN SIENA in 1962 for the BBC Third Programme, at the invitation of Laurence Gilliam — a radio documentary of a very unusual kind about the extraordinary summer music school of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, where Nupen studied with Andrés Segovia and Alirio Diaz.

His radio programmes prompted an invitation from Huw Wheldon, Managing Director, BBC TV, to move to television where Nupen became the originator of a new kind of intimate classical music film made possible, for the first time in history, by the invention of the first lightweight, silent 16mm film cameras in the 1960s. Nupen took cameras to musicians in places where cameras had never been before and put images on the screen that had never been there before, neither in the cinema nor on television.


Daniel Parker

Photo - Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, and has now completed his second year at New England Conservatory in Boston with renowned cellist Laurence Lesser. Highlights of the past year include two solo concerts at the National Arts Centre in February, a performance of Bartok’s sixth string quartet in the conservatory’s Jordan Hall in May, and masterclasses and lessons with Ralph Kirshbaum, Frans Helmerson, and Gary Hoffman. Before his secondary education Daniel studied with Ottawa University’s cello professor Paul Marleyn, earning the grand prize at the NACO Bursaries in 2009 and the first prize at the National Music Festival for Open level Chamber music.

Karim Said


Photo - Karem Said

At twenty, Jordanian‐born pianist Karim Said gave his Barbican debut with the English Chamber Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis. A year later, his BBC Proms performance of Berg’s Chamber Concerto with Daniel Barenboim and the West Eastern Divan led to debuts at the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna’s Musikverein, Salzburg’s Mozarteum and other future engagements, including recitals at the Southbank Centre in 2013. After leaving the Purcell School of Music in 2007, he was awarded a full Scholarship to study with Prof. Tatiana Sarkissova at London’s Royal Academy of Music, and hopes to graduate in 2013 with a Masters degree.

Karim was the subject of “Karim’s Journey”, an hour long documentary film by Chirstopher Nupen, shown internationally and on BBC4. Karim Said is generously supported by the Peter Andry Scholarship from the Lynn Foundation and the Musician’s Benevolent Fund.

‘’..there was no mistaking the shape he gave to the music, the interpretative ingenuity and mischievous wit, and I came away wanting to hear more’’
Norman Lebrecht