Artists (2014)

Carson Becke


Photo - Carson Becke

Carson Becke (b. 1989) has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, including performances in Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Latvia, and Trinidad and Tobago.  For the past five years he has been artist in residence and then artistic director of  Festival Pontiac Enchante, a concert series in Luskville, Quebec.

Carson was born 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 Jonathan 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 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 International 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.  Most recently, he won an award from the Royal Overseas League Competition for the best Canadian competitor.

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, and has also been heard 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.

Currently, Carson is reading for his Master’s degree in Music Performance at the University of Oxford, with the generous support of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation of Canada.

Recent Reviews

Becke plays Bach
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Tait Becke


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Violinist Tait Becke (b. 1992) is a native of Ottawa, Canada. He holds a Bachelor degree in Violin Performance from the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he studied with Jack Liebeck, after studying with Igor Petrushevski for three years. 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 the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, Schloss Gartow, Germany, and with the Phoenix Trio in Wiez, Austria. He is an active orchestral musician, having participated in many of the Royal Academy’s projects with conductors including Christian Thielemann and Sir Mark Edler. He also performs as a regular duo partner with his brother Carson Becke.

He plays a 2003 Cormier violin.

Nathaniel Anderson-Frank


Photo - Nathaniel Anderson-Frank

A native of Toronto now living in the United Kingdom, Nathaniel received his Masters of Music degree with the highest honours from the Royal Academy of Music as a full-scholarship pupil of Maurice Hasson. He also holds a Bachelor of Music degree with academic honours from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Kantor.

In 2013 Nathaniel joined the Piatti Quartet as first violinist. He has already appeared with the group in concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Conway Hall, and numerous other venues across the U.K. This completes a busy schedule of chamber music, including debuts this season at the Purcell Room in London (with the Minerva Trio) and the Marianischer Saal in Lucerne (with the Azalea Ensemble).

An experienced orchestral musician, Nathaniel is the No. 4 chair of the Philharmonia Orchestra first violin section. He has led the Orchestra on occasion, and is also a regular leader of the Orion Symphony and Paradisal Players. Other recent work includes international tours with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the Aurora Orchestra. As a committed educator, Nathaniel has coached and mentored young musicians at the iCulture Orchestra (Poland), the Royal Academy of Music, the Aberdeen Youth Orchestra, and the National Music Camp of Canada.

Highlights of recent seasons include solo and chamber music concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Dartington Summer Music Festival, the Brighton Festival Fringe, and the Toronto Centre for the Arts. He is also a regular guest at the Festival Pontiac Enchanté in Quebec. Past performances have been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, SDR radio (Germany) and PBS television (USA). He has also held multi- year Fellowships at both the Aspen Music Festival and the Perlman Music Program, and was the 2010 String Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music. His career has been further supported by Canada's Sylva Gelber Music Foundation.

Nathaniel plays a violin by G. Cappa, Saluzzo, 1682, generously made available to him on long-term loan by a consortium of investors.

Wallis Giunta


Photo - Wallis Giunta

Hailed by The New York Times for her “chocolaty and penetrating mezzo-soprano voice”, Ottawa-native Wallis Giunta is a 2013 graduate of both the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and The Juilliard School’s Artist Diploma in Opera Studies. She has been praised by OPERA NEWS for her “delectably rich, silver-toned mezzo-soprano, with a beautiful sense of line and effortless rapid runs”, and her jump-in last season as Mozart’s Sesto for the Canadian Opera Company (COC) was celebrated as “a triumph…remarkable in its combination of intelligence and beauty”. She began the 2013/14 season with her Taipei Symphony Orchestra debut as Annio in La Clemenza di Tito, followed by a return to the Metropolitan Opera for Rigoletto. At the top of 2014 she heads home to the COC for Dorabella in Atom Egoyan’s new production of Cosí fan tutte, and makes her debut NAXOS recording in a new work by American composer, William Perry, with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin. This season she also debuts with the Toronto and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras, and performs concerts and recitals in Toronto, New York, Ottawa, Regina, and Boston, along with her acclaimed programme of Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins in Miami, with pianist Ken Noda.
Miss Giunta had a whirlwind 2012/13 season, while still completing her studies, making her Metropolitan Opera debut as the Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, debuting the role of Annio in La Clemenza di Tito with the COC, presenting her Seven Deadly Sins recital for the first time at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall, and performing Dorabella in the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist production of Cosí fan tutte, to rave reviews. She also made debuts with L’Opéra de Montréal, the Edmonton, Seville and Nuremberg Symphonies, the Stuttgart Festivalorchester, and the orchestras of the National Arts Centre (Ottawa) and Munich Radio. This past June, she made her Paris debut with Le Théâtre du Châtelet as Tiffany in John Adams’s rare opera I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, followed by a July recital of Barber, Wolf and Respighi with the Miró Quartet, for the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival.

In recent seasons she has performed with Fort Worth Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Toronto’s Opera Atelier, the New York Festival of Song, the festivals of Caramoor, Ravinia and Aspen, and at the Banff Centre. Her past roles include Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nancy in Albert Herring, Ernesto in Il Mondo Della Luna, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Second Lady in The Magic Flute. She is a graduate of Toronto’s Glenn Gould School (2009), and an alumnus of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio (2011). Ms. Giunta is a grateful recipient of a 2012 Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Career Development Award, as well as multiple grants from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Won-Hee Lee


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Won-Hee Lee is a Canadian Violinist/Violist currently based in Berlin, Germany.  Before moving to Berlin, she was a student at Indiana University for her undergraduate degree, where she studied with Alexander Kerr and was Concertmaster of the Indiana Chamber Orchestra in the 2009/10 concert season.  She also participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme Festival Orchestra, where she was Principal Second Violin, and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra, where she took on the roles of Concertmaster, Assistant Concertmaster, and Principal Second Violin through the 2009-11 seasons.

In 2012 she was accepted into the Deutsches Sinfonie Orchester Berlin Ferenc-Fricsay Orchesterakademie, and now works with the orchestra on a part time basis.  She also works with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, the Kammerakademie Potsdam, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada.  She has toured Europe, Asia, and North America widely.

Ella Rundle


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Cellist Ella Rundle performs as a soloist and chamber musician through out the U.K and Europe. She studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Louise Hopkins and is now completing her Masters degree at the Universität der Künste, Berlin, with Konstantin Heidrich. Ella has won prizes in several competitions including the Israeli International Music Competition (2012), and the concerto competition at the ISA festival, Vienna (2009). She is grateful to hold scholarships from the Countess of Munster, DAAD, Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, Drapers' Company and the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Most recently she was chosen for the Tillett Trust Young Artist Scheme (2013/2014) and gave her Wigmore Hall recital debut in November 2013.

Ella has performed in venues such as the Barbican, Fairfield Halls, Purcell Room, Snape Maltings and Wigmore Hall. She has also toured extensively throughout Europe including France, Denmark and Istanbul and played on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, Portuguese radio RTP and on SWR Germany. She has been invited to play in festivals such as Thy (Denmark), Aurora (Sweden), Viana (Portugal), where she has performed alongside artists including Peter Donohoe and Jean-Guihen Queyras. This year she was also given a scholarship from the English Speaking Union to attend the IMS Prussia Cove masterclasses with Ralph Kirschbaum. As a concerto soloist Ella has appeared with orchestras such as the New English Concert Orchestra, the Spirit of Europe Orchestra and the Corelli Ensemble.

'…a splendid account of Debussy's cello sonata, weaving together its disjointed eccentricities skilfully and quite briskly. Faure's Romance was eloquent and understated, and Chopin's Introduction and Polonaise Brilliante op.3 was performed with panache..' - The Strad, Wigmore Hall 2013.

A passionate chamber musician, Ella is also a member of the cello octet “Cellophony” which was established in 2007 in London. Cellophony were Park Lane Group Young Artists and they appeared at London’s Purcell Room in the opening concert of the New Year Series to critical acclaim: “Just blows you away… thrown off with terrific panache” – The Daily Telegraph. Future engagements include appearances at festivals in the Germany, Korea and the UK. They release their debut CD 'Vibrez' this February.

Christina Nilsson

Soprano, Jenny Lind Scholarship winner for 2014

Photo - Christina Nilsson

Christina Nilsson is a promising young soprano with a bright future. She won the Jenny Lind Scholarship 2014, based on her rich, charismatic and warm voice that expresses great artistry.

Christina was born and raised in the south of Sweden where she grew up on a horse farm. At the age of ten she discovered her deep passion for singing and left home at the age of 17, in order to study music in Stockholm at ”Lilla Akademien”. She continued her music studies at Vadstena Folk High School before she was accepted in 2011 at the University College of Opera in Stockholm.

Despite her young age she sang in several operas, as Geltrude in ”Enrico di Borgogna” by G. Donizetti, Despina in ”Cosi fan Tutte” by W. A. Mozart, First Lady in ”Magic Flute” by W. A. Mozart and ”Sångerskan in the opera ”Hos oss” by T. Jennefeldt.

Christina Nilsson is often sought after by conductors and sings in various concert halls including the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

Thomas Rudberg

Accompanist scholar on Jenny Lind Tour 2014

Photo of Christina and Thomas

Thomas Rudberg  was born in 1991 in Belgium and moved to Sweden in 2001. After his studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with prof. Staffan Scheja, he continues his music studies at the Edsberg Music Institute with prof. Mats Widlund.

As chamber musician and soloist he has toured in Sweden as well as other countries like Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia and the USA. He has played with orchestras such as the symphony orchestra of the Royal College of Music with whom he performed Brahms Concerto nr 1 in autumn 2011. Thomas continuously broadens his chamber music repertoire and is frequently asked as a chamber musician.

Together with violinist Yong-min Lee and cellist Erik Uusijärvi he started the Edsbacka Piano Trio in 2008.  They were invited by the “Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern” in Germany to participate in the international Rising Stars series in 2012. The trio has given concerts and competed in Sweden and Austria, Belgium and Norway.

Thomas qualified for master classes with Andrej Gavrilov, Lang Lang, Paul Badura-Skoda, Hans Leygraf amongst others. He also initiated the Avalon Music Consort together with the cellist Antonio Hallongren.