Artists (2017 Season)

Sheila Jaffé

VIOLIN, Poetry recitations

Photo - Sheila Jaffé

Canadian violinist and violist Sheila Jaffé is praised for her versatility and expression on the instrument. Between 2007 and 2010, she was concertmaster of the Orchestre de l'Université de Montréal, and has been chosen as leader of several festival orchestras including the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchester in Germany and the Orford Festival Orchestra. She has performed around the world as a chamber musician, orchestral player and soloist.

Sheila recently moved to Toronto from Berlin, Germany, where she was studying at the prestigious "Hanns Eisler" Hochschule für Musik, as well as playing with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. She has now joined the viola section of the Canadian Opera Company orchestra. Sheila plays on a Francesco Gobetti violin (1710-15) and a Raymond Schryer viola on generous loan from Canimex.

Catherine Cosbey


Photo - Catherine Cosbey

Canadian violinist Catherine Cosbey has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. As a founding member of the critically acclaimed Linden String Quartet, Ms. Cosbey is a prize-winner at the 2009 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the 2009 Coleman Competition, the 2010 Hugo Kauder Competition, and the 2011 Borcciani Competition.

With the Linden String Quartet, she has been the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music. Catherine holds degrees from Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Yale School of Music where her principal teachers were Erika Raum and Paul Kantor. Other invaluable mentors include the Cavani Quartet, Peter Salaff, and the Tokyo Quartet.

Ms. Cosbey is proud to be the Artistic Director of the Regina Chamber Music Festival.

Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh


Photo - Brenna Hardy Kavanagh

An entrepreneurial young musician, Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh’s passion for chamber music has taken her all over the world, with performances in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Romania. Two-time prizewinner in the Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition, Brenna recently made her Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival debut, as violinist of the Amarok Ensemble.

Currently a member of Orchestre Nouvelle Génération, Brenna has also been a violinist of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the University of Montreal Orchestra and The Orchestra Now, assistant concertmaster of the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, and principal second violinist of Orchestre de la Francophonie. She has participated in the prestigious Britten-Pears Orchestra, the Domaine Forget Summer Chamber Music Institute, The Banff Centre for the Arts Master Classes for Strings, and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra Academy. As founding violinist of the Toronto-based piano trio Amarok Ensemble, Brenna attended the 2015 St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar at Stanford University, where the trio was one of three ensembles featured in the seminar’s International Showcase at Bing Concert Hall.

Brenna completed the Artist Diploma Program at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2015, under the direction of Erika Raum. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree (2010, studio of Vladimir Landsman) and an artist diploma (2013, studio of Laurence Kayaleh) from the University of Montreal. Brenna plays on a 2002 violin by Ottawa luthier Guy Harrison, and a 2005 viola by Toronto luthier John Newton.

Peter Cosbey


Photo - Peter Cosbey

Peter Cosbey, a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School as a student of Bryan Epperson, began his cello study in Regina with Cameron Lowe. His orchestral experience with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and the Regina Symphony Orchestra was recently expanded with a one year term as Assistant Principal Cello of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Performances with The Cosbey Trio, Quinsin Nachoff, pianist Mariko Kamachi, and the Artists of the Royal Conservatory have been recorded for broadcasts on the CBC.

Alexander Ullman


Photo - Alexander Ullman

The British Pianist Alexander Ullman has given concerts across Europe, Asia and America, highlights including recitals at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Teatro Ghione (Rome), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen), Archive Nationales (Paris), Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Beijing NCPA and La Jolla Arts Festival (California).

In 2016 Alexander won 1st Prize in the inaugural Manhattan International Music Competition and in 2011 won 1st Prize at the Liszt Competition in Budapest. This season Alexander returns to Wigmore Hall, and makes his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Manchester Camerata.

Further afield he tours throughout Argentina and Colombia and takes part in the Montreal Chamber Music Festival and Chopin Festival in Majorca.

Alexander studied at the Purcell School for Young Musicians near London, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and the Royal College of Music where he is completing his Artist Diploma as the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow (awarded by The Philip Loubser Foundation).

Dakota Martin (Trio Corventano)


Photo - Dakota Martin

Originally from Perth, Ontario, Dakota Martin recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Orchestral Flute Performance from the Royal College of Music in London, UK. As an orchestral musician, Dakota has performed with the National Arts Center Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Kingston Symphony Orchestra, LʼOrchestre de la Francophonie, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the National Academy Orchestra of Canada. During his time in London, Dakota also had the opportunity to perform with the BBC Symphony Orchestra as part of their Pathways internship program.

In addition to his orchestral pursuits, Dakota is an avid soloist and chamber player.

A prize winner at the Canadian Music Competition National Finals, he also appeared as a soloist with the McGill Symphony Orchestra and Pronto Musica Chamber Orchestra.

Also passionate about period instrument performance, Dakota has studied baroque flute with Rachel Brown and taken part in Tafelmusikʼs Winter Institute.

Phillip Chiu (Trio Corventano)


Photo - Phillip Chiu

Philip Chiu concertizes extensively as one of Canada’s most sought-after chamber musicians. He has appeared in recitals with leading musicians of the world stage, including James Ehnes, Raphael Wallfisch, Patrice Fontanarosa, Regis Pasquier, Matt Haimovitz, Radovan Vlatkovic, Stefan Dohr, Philippe Bernold, Alex Klein, and Eugene Isotov. He performs regularly with principal members of Canada’s leading orchestras and ensembles, including Toronto Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Jonathan Crow, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal concertmaster Andrew Wan, and Pascale Giguere of Les Violons du Roy. Along with pianist Janelle Fung, he forms one of Canada’s most exciting piano duos, the Fung-Chiu Duo.

He has toured numerous times with premier touring organizations, Jeunesses Musicales Canada, Prairie Debut, and Debut Atlantic, and will be touring again soon with Jeunesses Musicales (2014/2015, 2015/2016) and Prairie Debut (2014/15).

Dedicated to elevating the standard and art of collaborative piano, Philip is the creator and director of the new Collaborative Piano Program at the Domaine Forget International Festival and Academy. He is an acclaimed accompanist/coach based at McGill University, has been an invited professor-accompanist for the Conservatoire de musique de Montreal, and regularly accompanies at l’Universite de Montreal.

He travels regularly across Canada and the U.S. to accompany for national and international competitions. Philip is extremely grateful for the support of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts and Jeunesses Musicales in his various pursuits. He can be heard/seen on Classical 96.3 FM, Australia’s ABC Radio, CBC Radio, and Radio¬-Canada.

Thomas Beard (Trio Corventano)


Photo - Thomas Beard

From Wingham, Ontario, Thomas Beard has performed across Canada, parts of the USA and Europe in various capacities. Notable highlights include playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2009 and 2010), winner of the Stratford Concerto Competition (2011) and the McGill Chamber Music Competition (2014), and being a founding member of ensemble Verisimo.

Thomas Beard is currently pursuing Masters studies at McGill University under the tutelage of Yegor Dyachkov.

Clarisse Tonigussi


Photo - Clarisse Tonigussi

Soprano Clarisse Tonigussi recently graduated with a Masters degree in the classical voice studies program from the University of Toronto. She also received her Undergraduate degree in Voice Performance studies from the University of Toronto in 2015.

Ms. Tonigussi has performed roles such as Emmy Perth in the opera Der Vampyr, Papagena in The Magic Flute, and First Spirit in The Magic Flute with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. Her chorus appearances include Romeo et Juliette with the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute, The Mikado and The Student Prince with Toronto Operetta Theatre, and Opera York’s The Merry Widow. She was a soloist with the Barrie Lyrica Chamber Choir, is a featured soloist with the touring company Opera Luminata, and performs with the Toronto group the Hedgerow Singers.

For the 2017/2018 season, Clarisse will be touring across Canada, performing the music of Canadian women composers with the Canadian Women Composers Project.

Jenna Richards


Photo - Jenna Richards

Before completing high school, Jenna Richards had earned her ARCT diploma in both piano and violin, studying in her native Halifax. Under the tutelage of Henri-Paul Sicsic, Jenna completed her Bachelor of Performance at the University of Toronto, garnering consecutive Glenn Gould Scholarships, the Fey Hethrington Scholarship, and the Lydia Wong scholarship for excelling in instrumental collaboration as well as many Nova Scotia Talent Trust Scholarships. Jenna has represented Nova Scotia in national music competitions, and participated in various academies including the Orford Arts Academy (Quebec), Adamant Music School (Vermont), Toronto Summer Music Academy, and the Mozarteum International Academy (Salzburg, Austria).

Jenna’s passion for collaborative music has led her to perform in the Scotia Festival of Music (Halifax), Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival (St. John’s), at the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts (Toronto), Ottawa Chamberfest (Ottawa), Centre d’Arts Orford (Quebec), National Arts Centre (Ottawa), and for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s “Young People’s Concert Series”.

Marrying her love of music and arts programming, Jenna completed her Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership degree at Carleton on full scholarship to pursue a multifaceted career. Currently, Jenna works independently for the Ottawa Arts Council and the Ottawa Chamber Music Society on special projects and programming while maintaining a busy performance schedule and accompanying multiple choirs in the city.

Karim Said


Photo - Karim Said

Jordanian born pianist Karim Said launched his professional career in 2009, with London performances playing concertos under the late Sir Colin Davis with the English Chamber Orchestra and with Daniel Barenboim and the West Eastern Divan Orchestra in the BBC Proms. Recent performances include a tour of Palestine where Karim surveyed keyboard music across four centuries, in Arabic lecture-recitals and workshops. He also performed in the presence of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Jordan last October.

January 2015 saw the launch of Karim's debut album 'Echoes from an Empire' on Opus Arte, which has received critical acclaim from The Guardian and Gramophone Magazine, amongst other publications. The album explores the exciting period of musical innovation that characterized the final years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Said has regularly toured with Daniel Barenboim and the West Eastern Divan Orchestra as soloist, performing at halls including the Berlin Philharmonie, the Musikverein in Vienna, La Scala in Milan, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. and Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.

Karim completed his schooling at the Purcell School of Music in the UK, followed by undergraduate and graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Boson Mo


Photo - Boson Mo

Winner of Third Prize at the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Boson Mo was named as one of Canada’s “30 under 30 Top Classical Musicians of 2015” by CBC Radio-Canada. The only Canadian candidate at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, he was awarded the “Prix Joseph-Rouleau” at the 2010 Montreal International Violin Competition and is a recipient of Canada’s prestigious Sylva Gelber Foundation Award. Additionally, he is a two-time winner of Canada Council for the Arts’ Musical Instrument Bank loan.

Hailed by the Houston Chronicle as having “stole(n) the show…with his rousing assertion of Fauré’s Violin Sonata…” at his Da Camera of Houston début, Boson’s recent performances include those at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, the Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival and Music Mountain Chamber Music Festival. His 2016-17 season includes performances at the Center for Jewish History and Christ & St. Stephen’s Church in New York City, a re-engagement with Da Camera of Houston, while his 2017 summer will see performances at Müzewest of Vancouver, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, among others.

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Boson is completing a Doctoral degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University under Paul Kantor. Boson currently performs on a violin by Carlo Antonio Tononi (1757), graciously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Carson Becke


Photo - Carson Becke

Canadian Pianist Carson Becke has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, including performances in Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Caribbean. He is also 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 recording project featuring Strauss’s early piano, chamber, and vocal music. The first of these albums is available on iTunes (an album of Lieder with Mezzo Soprano Wallis Giunta). He teaches the piano at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and is on faculty at the Purcell School of Music, where he teaches musicianship. He is also the Graduate Musician-in-Residence at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.

​​​​​​​​The Amarok Ensemble


Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh, violin
Bryan Holt, cello
Lisa Tahara, piano

Photo - The Amarok Ensemble

Participants in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival's inaugural Career Development Residency (CDR), the Amarok Ensemble was founded in Toronto, Canada in 2014 following a highly successful private appearance organized by the late James Stewart in his spectacular Integral House. The trio is dedicated to building and maintaining a repertoire of both contemporary compositions and standards of the piano trio repertoire.

One of three ensembles chosen to perform in the 2015 St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar International Showcase in Stanford, California, the Amarok Ensemble’s past engagements have included recitals at both the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto and in the Health Arts Society of Ontario concert series.

The trio’s recent artistic advisors and collaborators have included Chris Costanza of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, Pocket Concerts director Rory McLeod, pianist Stephen Prutsman, and “What Makes it Great” author Rob Kapilow.

The Amarok Ensemble made its Ottawa Chamberfest main stage debut in July 2016 as featured artists in the festival’s Generation Next showcase concert.

Carissa Klopoushak


Photo - Carissa Klopoushak

Carissa Klopoushak has made a name for herself as a curious, creative, and versatile violinist. Described as a charismatic and engaging performer with the complete package of sensitive musicianship and effortless technique, Carissa is the laureate of the 2009 Eckhardt-Grammatté (E-Gré) National Music Competition and winner of the 2012 Canada Council of the Arts Instrument Bank Competition.

She has toured extensively across Canada, performing at Ottawa’s Chamberfest, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music, the E-Gré Winner’s tour, and for Debut Atlantic. In 2014, Carissa toured Australia and North America with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Carissa holds a Doctorate in Violin Performance from McGill University. She is a founder and Artistic Director of the Ritornello Chamber Music Festival in her hometown, Saskatoon. A proud Ukrainian-Canadian, Carissa plays and sings in a Ukrainian folk-rock band, Tyt i Tam. She resides in Ottawa, where she is a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Ironwood Quartet.

Her debut album Soundworlds was recorded on the 1869 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin (with Vuillaume model bow), generously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. She currently plays a 2009 violin by Mark Schnurr of Flesherton, Ontario.



Danika Lorèn, soprano
Jennifer Krabbe, soprano
Whitney O’Hearn, mezzo soprano
Tom King, piano

Photo - ​​​​​​​​Collectìf

Collectif is a Canadian ensemble dedicated to exploring and expanding the world of art song performance. Founded in 2015 by soprano Danika Lorèn, soprano Jennifer Krabbe, mezzo-soprano Whitney O’Hearn, and pianist Tom King, Collectif turns well known as well as obscure selections from the vast art song repertoire into original staged narratives.

In its 2015/16 season, Collectif’s main series presented a newly compiled pastiche Le Rossignol et la Rose and a staged interpretation of Schubert's Winterreise in As a Stranger. Along with their main stage shows, Collectif also hosts cabarets nights showcasing the more boisterous and bawdy sides of classical music sampling the more cheeky and irreverent selections from the last 400 years of the vocal repertoire.

This season, Collectif will have their debut at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in the Four Season’s Center for the Performing Arts premiering a brand new pastiche Fête based on Paul Verlaine's Fêtes galantes and Reynaldo Hahn's Douze Rondels.

​​​​​​​​Suren Barry


Photo - ​​​​​​​​Suren Barry

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, the Ottawa Chamberfest, Festival Pontiac Enchanté in Luskville, 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.