Featured in our Christmas Concert
Canadian mezzo-soprano Evanna Lai is at home on both the operatic and concert stage. Her 2016-17 engagements include chamber and art song recitals, as well as singing Nora in Riders to the Sea at the Beethoven Easter Festival in Poland, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Connecticut Opera, and Nancy T'ang in Nixon in China with the Amsterdam Youth Orchestra.
Ms. Lai is the recipient of a Sylva Gelber Music Foundation grant and a BC Arts Council scholarship. In 2015, she was a semi-finalist at the Belvedere International Singing Competition, as well as a finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council district auditions. Recently, she made her Carnegie Hall debut, performing Sibelius and Mahler songs, and returned this year to perform De Falla's Siete canciones populares españolas.
This summer, Ms. Lai apprenticed at Santa Fe Opera, covering the role of Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. She holds a bachelor of music from the University of British Columbia and a master of music and artist diploma from Yale University.
PIANO and ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Canadian Pianist Carson Becke has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, including performances in Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Latvia, Malta, St. Barthelemy, and Trinidad and Tobago. He has performed in venues including the Wigmore Hall, St. Martin in the Fields, St. Georges Bristol, Cadogan Hall, the Holywell Music Room, the National Arts Centre of Canada, and the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. He has also performed in the Verbier Festival, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For the past six years he has been the artistic director of Festival Pontiac Enchanté, a concert series in Luskville, Quebec.
After moving to the United Kingdom in 2005 to study at the Purcell School, Carson completed his undergraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he worked with Tatiana Sarkissova. Following studies in London, he completed an M.Phil. degree in performance and musicology at the University of Oxford, supported generously by the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation of Canada. Currently, Carson is reading for his doctorate (D.Phil.) in music at Magdalen College, University of Oxford. His research concerns the piano music of Richard Strauss. He is grateful for the support of the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Foundation towards his doctoral studies. Alongside his research on Strauss, he is working on a multi album project to record Strauss’s early piano, chamber, and vocal music. The first two of these albums will be available on iTunes in 2016. He teaches piano at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and is on faculty at the Purcell School of Music, where he teaches composition and musicianship. He is also the Graduate Musician-in-Residence at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford. He studies the piano privately with Hinrich Alpers in Berlin with the support of the University of Oxford’s Conway Scholarship program.
Hailed as a pianist with “brio and imagination” (The New York Times), possessing “natural grace and refinement” (Calgary Herald) as well as “speed, clarity, breath and musicality” (La Presse), Canadian pianist Scott MacIsaac has performed internationally as a soloist throughout North America, China, and in much of Western Europe. His most recent successes in the United Kingdom include top prizes at the Brant International Competition and the Royal Over Seas League Competition. This past May, he made his debut in Barbican Hall playing Rachmaninov’s Second Concerto with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra.
Scott has won numerous awards in many competitions—most recently being awarded the Grand Prize in the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Manulife (OSM) Competition. While a student at Yale University, he won the Prokofiev Competition and as a result made his Carnegie Hall debut. As a concerto soloist, he recently made his debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra at the Maison Symphonique. His 2016 schedule of concerts across Canada includes the season opener concert with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and concerts at the Northern Arts and Culture Centre, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
This summer, Scott joined the YOA Orchestras of the Americas on their Nordic-Baltic tour playing Mozart's Piano Concerto in A major K.488. This was followed by a solo performance at the Orford Music Festival and at Maestro Kent Nagano’s OSM Virée Classique Festival. He also made a recording for CBC Radio 2 that will be aired this November and was named one of the "30 hot Canadian Musicians under 30" in CBC Music's 2016 edition.
Scott graduated from the Yale School of Music with a Master of Music degree where he studied with Boris Berman and Peter Frankl. He currently lives in London where he is continuing his musical studies with Ronan O’Hora at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Canadian saxophonist David Zucchi has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at a wide variety of Toronto and London venues, including Cadogan Hall, the Southbank Centre, the Canadian Music Centre, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Canadian High Commission in London. He is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Royal College of Music with Kyle Horch as an Edward and Helen Hague Scholar, where he also completed a Masters of Music in Performance. Previously, David attended the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, where he studied saxophone with Wallace Halladay and composition with Alexander Rapoport. David has participated in master classes with renowned soloists Arno Bornkamp, Timothy McAllister, and Marcus Weiss, and has attended the Universitée Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France with the support of a David and Marcia Beach Summer Study Award.
With a keen interest in the performance of contemporary music, he has commissioned and premiered many works by emerging composers, and was selected to participate in the 2016 London Sinfonietta Academy. He is the winner of numerous scholarships and awards, including the David and Marcia Beach Summer Study Award (2012, 2013), the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Scholarship (2013), the William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award from the University of Toronto (2014), and most recently, the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award (2016).
Featured in our Summer Concerts
Suren Barry is well known to audiences across Canada, and his concertizing has brought him overseas as well. He has given numerous recitals at La Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur in Montreal and has also been invited to perform at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, and at the “Im Hayastan” Festival in Yerevan, Armenia.
Suren holds a Bachelor of Music from Carleton University, a Master’s in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and is currently pursuing his doctorate at the Schulich School of Music in Montreal.
In 2016 British bass-baritone Richard Walshe debuted for Opera Holland Park, performing the role of Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème as part of the Christine Collins’ Young Artist Programme. Recent Operatic roles also include Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Amantio di Nicolai (Gianni Schicchi) both performed for Royal Academy Opera, working with conductors Jane Glover and Peter Robinson.
Alongside his operatic endeavours, Richard has also enjoyed performances on the recital platform, performing Schumann’s Dichterliebe; Finzi’s Let us Garlands bring; Sander’s A Westcountry Trilogy and Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel. As an Oratorio soloist Richard has had a variety of performance opportunities, including: Brahms’ Requiem; Handel’s Messiah; Bach’s Cantata BWV 203 Amore Traditore; Pilate and Christus in Bach’s St Johns Passion; Zebul in Handel’s Jephtha; and Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
Richard was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in 2010, and graduated in 2014 with first class honours. He has been accepted on to the Royal Academy Opera Course starting in September 2016 where he will continue his studies with Mark Wildman and Iain Ledingham. During his time at the RAM, he has also taken part in masterclasses with Opera, Lieder and English song experts: Simon Keenlyside; Roderick Williams; Florian Boesch and Wolfgang Holzmair.
Future performances include the role of Melisso in Handel’s Alcina for Royal Academy Opera, directed by Olivia Fuchs and conducted by Iain Ledingham.
Richard is grateful for the support and solo opportunities provided by a Help Musicians UK Postgraduate Award, The Countess of Munster Trust, The Toni V Fell trust and the Josephine Baker Trust.
Featured in our Jenny Lind Concert
Karin Osbeck and Matilda Lindholm
Photo by Ewa Malmsten Nordell (FOTOF'RALLA)
Jenny Lind Scholarship Recipient 2016
Karin Osbeck, mezzosoprano, has been awarded the 2016 Jenny Lind Scholarship by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and the People's Parks and Community Centers in Stockholm. Karin took her first music lesson when she was 13 years old and has since dreamed of becoming an opera singer as she believes that opera has a very special ability to touch people.
Today, Karin studies at the University College of Opera in Stockholm, Sweden. She has previously studied at Kulturama Elementary School, a performing arts school in Stockholm, the Junior Academy in Stockholm and at Vadstena Music School in Sweden. During her years of study, Karin has sung the role of The Warrior in The Son of Heaven at the Vadstena Academy and Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro at the Old Theatre Vadstena. Karin has also been a soloist in sacred works of Buxtehude, Mozart, Rossini and Roman and others.
Matilda started playing the piano at a very young age with her grandmother. At the age of six, she started taking lessons with a music teacher. Matilda attended the Adolf Fredrik’s Music School in Stockholm, Sweden and from age ten, she took four piano exams at the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music. After her highschool graduation, Matilda continued on to Vadstena Music School in Sweden, where she developed an interest in the interpretation and chamber musical collaboration between voice and piano. Matilda currently studies her second year at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where she plays solo repertoire, chamber music with different ensembles, and accompanies singers. Matilda has also played in several master classes with famous Swedish musicians. Besides her passion for music, Matilda is also very passionate about animals. The name of her favorite horse is Carmenzita.
Featured in our Spring Concert
Canadian violist Isaac Chalk has received a rich musical training. In addition to his education as an instrumentalist, Mr. Chalk also worked extensively as a choral singer and attended the Maîtrise des Petits Chanteurs du Mont¬Royal in his earlier years. Mr. Chalk is a graduate of McGill University, where he was a recipient of many awards, including the Lloyd Carr¬Harris String Scholarship and the prestigious Golden Violin Award, the largest privately funded music scholarship in Canada. Mr. Chalk also holds a degree from the Mozarteum, in Salzburg.
In February 2011, he had his Koerner Hall debut performing Béla Bartók’s Viola Concerto with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Julian Kuerti. Mr. Chalk was named Principal Viola of les Violons du Roy in June 2013 and since then has performed with the orchestra in their regular series in Quebec City and Montreal, at the Lanaudière Festival, at the Domaine Forget International Festival and on tour in Canada, the United States and Europe. Mr. Chalk recently had his début with the orchestra in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante.
Mr. Chalk has been generously supported by the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts.
PIANO and ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
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. He has performed in venues including the Wigmore Hall, St. Martin in the Fields, St. Georges Bristol, Champs Hill, Cadogan Hall, the Holywell Music Room, the National Arts Centre of Canada, and the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. He has also performed in the Verbier Festival, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 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 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, attaining his BMus with honors in 2011. In 2013, he commenced master’s degree studies at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, graduating with an M.Phil. in performance in October 2015.
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 various performance awards from the Royal Academy of Music. He was also the recipient of a BBC performing arts fund bursary scholarship in 2007. Recently, he has won an award from the Royal Overseas League Competition for the best Canadian competitor, and two major scholarships in support of his studies from the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation of Canada.
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 D.Phil. in musicology at Magdalen College, University of Oxford. His research concerns the early music of Richard Strauss. Alongside his research on Strauss, he is working on a multi-CD project to record Strauss’s early piano, chamber, and vocal music. The first two of these CDs will be available on iTunes in early 2016. He teaches piano at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and is on faculty at the Purcell School of Music, where he teaches composition and musicianship. He is also the assistant director of music at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford. He studies the piano privately with Hinrich Alpers in Berlin with the support of the University of Oxford’s Conway Scholarship program.