Our Fabulous Artists, Past and Present
Our artists include graduates from many of Canada and the United States top schools including McGill, UBC, Indiana University, and others. Let our singers dazzle you. Below are our artists from this year and last year. Click on the links below for voice types.
Sopranos. Mezzos, Tenors, Baritones, Basses, Pianists
Elizabeth Lewis Celeste - Founder, Director, Soprano
Ms. Lewis Celeste excels in a variety of roles. Known for her powerful spinto/coloratura voice she has worked alongside MET singers, and some of the US and Canada’s finest directors and conductors. She is a recent Semi-finalist at the New York Oratorio Competition, 2013. A spinto with a coloratura extension, Elizabeth is a BC born soprano and graduate of McGill University (B. Music) and Indiana University (Graduate Performer’s Diploma). She is the recipient of a number of awards ranging from regional to international voice competitions including the Met Auditions (Most Promising Young Artist, Eastern Washington), New York Oratorio Competition (semi-finalist), Frederick Schorr International Voice Competition (semi-finalist), NATS (1st place Eastern Region US and Canada, Sophomore and Senior Women), and the Canadian Music Competition (finals – Quebec).
Her operatic roles include title roles in La Traviata, and La Fille du Regiment, Gilda in Rigoletto, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflötte (Magic Flute), Belinda in Dido and Aeneus, Musetta in La Boheme, Countess* and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (Marriage of Figaro), and Miss Wordsworth and Lady Billows in Albert Herring, among others. In 2000, she studied with Dame Joan Sutherland and Sir Richard Bonygne at Britten-Pears with a Canadian Aldeburgh Fellowship. She is currently on staff at Columbia College in Vancouver and founded and directs Opera di Concertisti, a vibrant Vancouver based Opera Company. She has performed with orchestras in the US and UK and Europe including the Toledo Symphony, OH and the North Czech Philharmonic. Her oratorio roles include the Messiah, Fauré Requiem, Verdi Requiem, St. Johns Passion*, Elijah*, and Jephte.
In addition to her opera repertoire, she also enjoys concert work and recitals, and has performed with the Vancouver Island Opera, Aeolus Festival, and others in recital repertoire that includes Quatre Chansons de Jeunesse by Debussy, Seven songs on the poetry of Alexandre Blok by Shostakovich, the Brentano Lieder by Strauss, the Seven Deadly Sins by Kurt Weill, and the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes.
Julie Duerichen, Soprano
Julie Duerichen, scholarship recipient of Calgary Opera and winner of the 2008 Francis Poulenc Prize, was also a 2008 laureate of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques programme in Montreal .
Julie's solo oratorio work includes several performances with the Handel Music Society and the Abbotsford Symphony, including Messiah, Vivaldi's Magnificat and Gloria, and Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio. Julie recently performed Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor with the Capilano University Singers and Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra.
Julie has sung with Calgary Opera, Burnaby Opera, Wolftrap Opera in Virginia, and Washington Opera. In Vancouver, she has appeared in over 50 performances with Opera Pro Cantanti since 2007, as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Violetta in La Traviata, Gilda in Rigoletto, Elvira in I Puritani, and others.
She holds a Master of Music Degree in Opera Performance from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Calgary, both graduating with honours. In 2005 she studied in Hanover and Cologne, Germany, and attended the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart.
TV performances include SHAW TV's Urban Rush (Vancouver), and an internationally televised concert in Washington DC with keynote speaker, Senator Orrin Hatch.
Melissa Howell - 2012, Soprano/Mezzo
La Traviata, Flora
Melissa Howell is an eclectic performer who is comfortable with a variety of styles. She began her career as a classical singer, having received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at McGill University. While living in Montreal, Melissa performed in modern and traditional opera, recital and oratorio. Since returning to Vancouver, Melissa has performed with Opera Breve, Applause! Musical Theatre, Opera Appassionata, the Opera Project and at various private functions. She has also given concerts for the University Women’s Club at Hycroft, and for the guests of the luxurious cruise ship/residence The World.
Melissa has broadened her repertoire to include well-loved jazz standards and has performed at several functions with tenor saxophonist Graham Howell, and his trio Standards in Silhouette. She currently works as an artistic director for Opera Bravissima.
Melanie Adams, Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzo-soprano Melanie Adams is a prominent member of Vancouver’s music community, as a soloist, ensemble performer, and teacher. As a soloist, her repertoire ranges from early music to world premieres by prominent Canadian composers. She has collaborated with many musical and theatrical organizations in the Lower Mainland, including the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, Fugue Theatre, Redshift Musical Society, Vancouver Pro Musica and The Opera Project. Her world premieres include, “Margot/Amelia McGillen” in Supernatural Noir; “Spirit of the Maple Tree”, Shadow Catch; and she was the soloist in Nerakhoon by Howard Shore, as part of Ottawa’s Music and Beyond Festival in 2011.
She is also a long-time member of Vancouver’s musica intima and has toured extensively with them in Canada and the United States, as well as France and Ireland. She has appeared on 6 of their 8 recordings and has been a member of the Vancouver Cantata Singers since January 2012.Melanie is also a well-known choral clinician, is on the Board of the Vancouver chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and was the first Voice Department Head of the BC Conservatory of Music. She currently is on faculty teaching voice and choir at the St. James Music Academy on the downtown Eastside, and teaches from her private studio in New Westminster.
Megan Latham, Mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Megan Latham has enjoyed the distinction of recognition in opera, oratorio, and recital, her voice having been described as “clear and honey colored” (Opera Canada). She has worked with distinguished conductors including Harry Bicket, Will Crutchfield, Richard Bradshaw, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, David Agler, Jeanne Lamon and Agnes Grossman.
A regular with the Canadian Opera Company, Ms. Latham’s assignments this past season included Giovanna in Verdi’s RIGOLETTO, Voice of the Mother in LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN and Zita in GIANNI SCHICCHI and in the 2012-2013 season include Mère Jeanne in DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES and Herodias (cover) in SALOME. She performed the role of Mrs. Grose in Britten’s TURN OF THE SCREW with Against the Grain Theatre, and was heard in concert at the Bayfield Festival of Song. In the fall of 2012, she performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Beethoven’s SYMPHONY NO. 9. Other recent highlights include the Rhombus media production of Alexina Louie’s POLITICS IS CRUEL: AN OPERA, Verdi’s REQUIEM for Regina Symphony, Secretary to Chairman Mao in COC’s NIXON IN CHINA and Eduige in Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of RODELINDA.
Other roles with the COC include Marcellina in Mozart’s LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Waltraute and Second Norn in Wagner’s GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG (cover), Genevieve in Debussy’s PELLEAS ET MELISANDE (cover), Eduige in Handel’s’ RODELINDA (cover), Isaura in Rossini’s TANCREDI, and Florence Pike in the Ensemble Studio production of Britten’s ALBERT HERRING.
As a concert artist, Ms. Latham has been the soloist for numerous works including Handel’s MESSIAH and DIXIT DOMINUS, Rossini’s PETITE MISSE SOLENNELLE, Haydn’s LORD NELSON MASS, Mozart’s KRÖNUNGSMESSE and Vivaldi’s GLORIA and BEATUS VIR. Ms. Latham has performed throughout North America, including her Carnegie Hall debut for the Marilyn Horne Foundation.
Ms. Latham appeared as Sister Sophia in the long-running Mirvish production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, following which she was heard as Marcellina in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for Vancouver Opera and in BON APPETIT with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony.
During her Master of Opera degree at the University of Toronto and her Bachelor of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia, Ms. Latham performed Dorabella in Mozart’s COSÍ FAN TUTTE, Ruggiero in Handel’s ALCINA, and Mrs. Herring in Britten’s ALBERT HERRING, and Mrs. Nolan in Menotti’s THE MEDIUM.
Evanna Chiew, Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzo-soprano Evanna Chiew is currently in the fourth year of her Bachelor of Music degree. Straight out of high school, she made her operatic debut as the Abbess in the UBC Opera Ensemble’s production of Suor Angelica. Since then, she has played Third Lady and Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte, Prince Charming in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Nancy in Albert Herring, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, and Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos. She has made concert appearances as the alto soloist for Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the UBC Symphony Orchestra, soloist for the Vancouver Bach Choir’s Sing-a-long Messiah, and soloist for the Vancouver Opera’s Voices of the Pacific Rim concert. Evanna has received a number of awards for both her musical and academic abilities. In 2009, she was the recipient of the UBC President’s Entrance Scholarship, the UBC Major Entrance Scholarship, and the Trek Scholarship for Continuing Studies. The following year, she was awarded both the Golden Leaf Scholarship and the Maurice Taylor Scholarship in Music. Last year, she received the Harry and Marjorie Anne Slim Memorial Scholarship-- an award she also received this year-- as well as a Johann Strauss Foundation scholarship for study in Austria. She is currently rehearsing for the role of Dorabella in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte with UBC, slated for this November, while frantically applying for graduate programs.
Heny Janawati, Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzi Sorprano, Heny Janawati received her bachelor degree from the University of British Columbia. Born in Bali, Indonesia, Ms Janawati immigrated to Canada in 2002 and is the first Balinese opera singer to study in North America. Her operatic roles span from Carmen (Carmen) to Jezibaba (Rusalka). Ms Janawati has participated in numerous masterclasses with renowned North American operatic figures such as Judith Forst, Wendy Nielsen, Stuart Hamilton, Perry Price and many more. In addition, she has performed for North American and European audiences. Ms. Janawati is currently enrolled in second-year of her master’s degree specializing in Opera Performance at UBC and studies under the renowned coloratura soprano Nancy Hermiston. This past summer, Ms. Janawati performed the role of La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica) with the Centre of Opera Studies in Italy (COSI).
Matt Chittick, Tenor
Originally from Ottawa, Vancouver-based tenor Matt Chittick recently finished his Masters of Music at the University of British Columbia under Prof. Roelof Oostwoud. Prior to that, he completed his Bachelor of Music at McGill University under Prof. Stefano Algieri. Currently, he is very active on both the concert and operatic stage, including many performances in Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Recent performances include: The Duke in Rigoletto (Burnaby Lyric Opera), Faust in Faust (Vancouver Island Opera), Rodolfo in La Bohème (The Opera Project), Scaramuccio and Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos (Opera NUOVA), understudy for The Prince in Rusalka (UBC Opera), and Giles Corey in The Crucible (UBC Opera). He has also been active as a soloist at Bard on the Beach with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, with the VSO in their Christmas Concert series, and in Opera NUOVA’s Vocal Arts Festival. This year, some of Matt’s upcoming engagements include: a reprise of the Duke in Rigoletto (Burnaby Lyric Opera), Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Toronto Summer Opera Workshop), and also his international debut in Lucca, Italy as Rodolfo in La Bohème (Accademia Europea Dell’Opera).
Russell Robson, Tenor
Russell has enjoyed performing in BC and is finishing the final year of a Masters Degree. Back in November, he was given the opportunity to perform Ferrando from Cosi Fan Tutte again at UBCas well as Teplice, Czech Republic back in July. Past performances include, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Marco in The Gondoliers, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, Reverend Paris in The Crucible, Slender in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Don Basilio/Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro, Cornelius Hackl in Hello Dolly and Toby in The Medium. Russell thanks the mentors past and present that have helped him on his journey as a performer in the operatic and theatrical genres.
Clinton Stoffberg, Tenor
Canadian tenor Clinton Bradley Stoffberg, based in Vancouver, was recently engaged as a participant in OperaWorks’ Two-Week Winter Intensive program in LA as well as the Oxford Lieder Festival Master Course. He received an Artist Diploma from the Vancouver Academy of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia. This spring he can be seen in various recitals and, most notably, as The Evangelist (Johannes-Passion) with Dunbar Heights United Church.
Gustavo Herrera Villasenor, Tenor
Born in Mexico City, Tenor Gustavo Herrera immigrated to Vancouver British Columbia in 2007. Gustavo is a true renaissance man in every sense of the term. Possessing a Tenor voice and passion for singing, he began to study opera at the age of 16 in Mexico City. In 1981, he performed in his first concert with the UNAM Philharmonic Orchestra at the Netzahualcoyotl Concert Hall one of the best music halls in Latin America, singing the Tenor solo role of The Fantasy in C minor for Piano, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op . 80, composed in 1808 by Ludwig van Beethoven. Gustavo has performed in Germany, France, Spain, Canada and Mexico.
His repertoire includes a versatile range of music and styles like early Italian songs, Choral music, Opera, Classic Neapolitan songs, Sacred Music, Classic Mexican songs, Popular Latin music, and Traditional Mariachi Band selections among others. Gustavo was pleased to have the opportunity to lend a helping hand to the China Town Vancouver Rotary Club and Success foundation as well in such fundraisings evenings with great success giving something back to the community that embraced him in Canada his new country. Currently Gustavo performs in private functions and community events in Vancouver BC.
Eric Scharzhoff, Tenor
Eric Schwarzhoff's brilliant lyric tenor sound and reliable musicianship have made him a singer to watch around Vancouver. Recently heard singing in UBC's recent Operas which include the roles of Thierry in Dialogues Des Carmelites, St. Brioche in The Merry Widow, Basilio and Curzio in La Nozze di Figaro, John Cheever in The Crucible, as well as a Monk in City Opera Vancouver's production of Britten's Curlew River. After having completing his Bachelor of Music at UBC, he has begun his first year in the master’s program. Eric has sung with the University Singers, and has been a featured soloist with UBC's Choral Union for Bernstein's Mass. Eric can also be heard in UBC's Early Music Ensemble where in the 2009/2010 season he gained a passion for music spanning the Medieval era to the Baroque.
Andrew Greenwood, Baritone
Recent engagements include: the role of Amonasro in Aida for the Stadttheater Hildesheim; Zuniga in Carmen and The Doctor in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa for Pacific Opera Victoria; the title role in Rigoletto for the Stadttheater Hildesheim, and the Stadttheater Wolfsburg, Germany; the roles of Prince Yamadori and The Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly for Vancouver Opera; the title roles in Macbeth, and Nabucco, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Germont in La Traviata for Vancouver’s Opera Pro Cantanti; the role of the Emperor in Der Kaiser von Atlantis for City Opera Vancouver; the role of Count Almaviva in the 2006 Okanagan Vocal Arts Festival’s production of Le nozze di Figaro; Marcello in La bohème for UBC Opera, the 2005 Okanagan Vocal Arts Festival, and for Vancouver Island Opera; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia for Vancouver Island Opera; Danilo in The Merry Widow for Burnaby Lyric Opera; and guest appearances with UBC Opera in the title roles of Falstaff and Eugene Onegin.
Additional Canadian credits include appearances with: Pacific Opera Victoria as King Alonso in Hoiby’s The Tempest, as both Morales and El Dancaïro in Carmen, Angelotti in Tosca, Monterone in Rigoletto, and Baron Douphol in La Traviata; Burnaby Lyric Opera as Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Dandini in Rossini’s Cinderella, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, and Peter in Hansel and Gretel; and UBC Opera as John Proctor in The Crucible, Smirnov in William Walton’s The Bear, and Peter in Hansel and Gretel. Andrew has also appeared with other opera companies in the Lower Mainland, such as Opera Breve, Western Concert Opera, and Modern Baroque Opera.
Also in demand as a concert and oratorio singer, Mr. Greenwood frequents such works as Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Symphony No. Nine, Dvorák’s Stabat Mater, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, the Bach Passions, as well as the Requiems of Verdi, Mozart, Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé. Some of the organizations he has sung with include: Virginia’s Opera Roanoke Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, the Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Cantata Singers, the Prince George Symphony, the Vancouver Bach Choir, Festival Vancouver, the West Coast Symphony, the Kamloops Symphony, Sinfonia of the North Shore, the Chilliwack Symphony, the Okanagan Festival Singers, the Fraser Valley Symphony, the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Vancouver Island Symphony.
Cameron Killick, Baritone
Cameron Killick began singing at the age of 16 and gained his first real experience at the UBC Summer Music institute in 2007. In September 2008 he began studying under Eric Hannan at Douglas College and joined Hannan’s Vancouver Cantata Singers the following year. In September of 2011 he transferred to the University of British Columbia and dove headlong into the world of opera. During that year he had the privilege of singing the role of the Hunter in Dovrak’s “Rusalka”, John Keith in Bramwell Tovey’s “The Inventor” and traveled with the ensemble to the Czech Republic in July to sing the role of Guglielmo in Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte”. In those rare moments when he’s not singing, Cam enjoys military history and of course, long walks on the beach.
Riley McMitchell, Baritone
Praised for his “resonant and lyrical singing” (Opera Canada), baritone Riley McMitchell is equally comfortable in opera, concert, gospel and musical theatre repertoire. He holds Bachelors degrees from UBC in Opera Performance and SFU in Education. He has participated in two seasons of Opera Nuova and travelled to Germany on full scholarship for the Lyric Opera Studio in Weimar, Germany. Past roles include Marcello (La Boheme), Bob (The Old Maid and the Thief), Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi), Papageno (The Magic Flute), Il Conte (Les Nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo (Cosi fan Tutte), Falke (Die Fledermaus), Father (Hansel and Gretel), Captain Corcoran (HMS Pinafore) and Strephon (Iolanthe). Oratorio credits include Adam (Haydn’s Creation), baritone soloist (Faure Requiem), Manoah (Samson), soloist (Schubert’s Gmajor Mass). Upcomiong performances include Germont (La Traviata) with The Opera Project. He has been heard on CBC radio in concert and newly commissioned opera. Riley is a student of soprano, Heidi Klassen and is extremely grateful for all her support and guidance. When he is not singing, Riley is an elementary music and classroom teacher.
Jordan Collaltro, Bass-Baritone
Bass-baritone Jordan Collalto is a fourth year undergraduate in the UBC Opera Ensemble. In 2005, he joined the Calgary Opera Chorus and performed with them for four seasons, making his mainstage debut in the role of Count Ceprano in the 2007 production of Rigoletto. Since then, he joined the UBC Opera Ensemble and has been studying with Canadian baritone Peter Barcza.Jordan has appeared with the UBC Opera Ensemble in the title role of Le Nozze di Figaro, La Bohème as Colline, Don Giovanni as Masetto, and as Superintendent Budd in Britten's Albert Herring. Most recently he performed Leporello in Don Giovanni at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and Reverend Hale in UBC's new production of The Crucible by Robert Ward. As a concert soloist, Jordan has performed the role of Jesus in the Arvo Pärt Passio with UBC's University Singers, and was a soloist with the Vancouver Bach Choir in their Sing-Along Messiah. Jordan will next appear as Don Alfonso in UBC's next production of Così fan tutte this November.
Morry Gross, Baritone
Morry Gross was born in Belgium, raised in Los Angles, and lived in Israel for many years where he began his musical studies at the Tel Aviv Music Academy and at a private vocal institute in Lichtenberg, Germany. Leading roles were in Pyjama Game, Oklahoma, Sweeney Todd, The Telephone, Billy Budd, Peter Grimes. Highlights include soloist in Beethoven's Choral Fantasie with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein and soloist at the 60th Holocaust Memorial Concert in Krakow, Poland. He has also performed Jewish sacred music in Sao Paolo, Brazil three times during the High Holidays. Morry has sung with Israel Chamber Singers including several tours in Europe and has been member of the Israeli National Opera chorus for over 24 years.
Dr. Nikolai Maloff, piano 2013
A winner of major piano competitions such as the Virginia Waring, Franz Liszt (Italy), Eckhardt-Gramatté and Canadian Music Competitions, Dr. Maloff has appeared to resounding acclaim as recitalist, chamber musician, and collaborative musician in Canada, the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Peru and Chile. His more recent performances include appearances as guest soloist with orchestras such as the Burnaby Symphony Orchestra, Kelowna Mozart Festival Orchestra, the International Chamber Ensemble of Rome, and the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra. Nikolai Maloff studied with some of Canada's finest teachers, including Jane Coop, Dale Reubart, Robert Rogers, Kum Sing Lee and Ronald Turini. He holds a Masters degree from the Moscow State Conservatory in Russia, where he studied with Gleb Axelrod, a second-generation disciple of Liszt, and a Doctoral degree from the University of British Columbia.
In his capacity as a teacher, Dr. Maloff not only brings to his students the full breadth of his years of performance experience, but also the benefits of an intimate understanding of both Eastern and Western pedagogical traditions. Previously a faculty member at institutions such as the Peru State Conservatory of Music, San Agustin University, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and the Euromusic Piano School, Dr. Maloff now runs a successful private studio in Vancouver and teaches at the School of Music at UBC
Dr. Antoine Joubert, pianist/composer
Antoine Joubert began to teach himself pianoaround the age of 13, exploring writing for piano in his compositions. His decision to become aclassical performer became clear when hereceived the first prize Bruno Bios for the bestfinal exam at the Bachelor level at the University of Laval (Québec). Antoine also completed a Bachelor degree in Composition while commencing with his graduate studies in piano atthe University of Montréal. He has receivedseveral prizes, such as two first prizes of the national competitions CCC Music Festival of Toronto (2012) and Festival du Royaume (2011).
He also recently played in the grand final of the Open Piano Competition that was held in London, UK. In the past, he received other prizes such as the prize Claire-Charbonneau-Clerk at the Prix d’Europe (2009) and a second prize for his
composition Scordatura for solo cello at the Competition of Young Composers of SOCAN (2005). Having fast-tracked through the Masters degree, in Spring 2011 Antoine finished his doctoral studies with pianist Dang Thai Son. Right after finishing his studies, he was hired by the Jeunesses Musicales du Canada for a tour of 23 concerts. Antoine Joubert is deeply interested in research and piano pedagogy. He has taught for fifteen years, some of these as an adjunct professor at the University of Montreal. He organizes and directs concerts such as the “Concert Series of Music Graduates -University Laval” and he performs as a soloist and collaborative pianist on national and international stages. In the last year, M. Joubert performed in Germany, Italy, UK as well as in nearly 30 canadian cities. Next year, he will record two Beethoven concertos arranged for string quintet in collaboration with Laval University. In the summer of 2014 he will play two of the concertos of Rachmaninov in one concert, in collaboration with the chef Georges-Étienne d’Entremont. Antoine Joubert is also collaborating with the mezzo-soprano Kristin Hoff, with whom he will give concerts over the next year in both the east and west of Canada. His first professional solo recordingwill soon be available.
Karen Lee-Morlang, piano
In demand as one of Vancouver's top collaborative pianists, Karen Lee-Morlang has been a fixture on the Canadian musical scene for the past several years. Performer, educator and impresario, Karen is "funny, brainy and creative." Well-loved and remembered for her boisterous and charming personality as well as her brilliant programming, Karen has become particularly well-known in B.C. communities for her collaborative skills at the piano and for championing art music for new audiences. Immediately after graduating with her second degree in Music from UBC (BMus, DPST), she taught as a Sessional Lecturer in Collaborative Piano at the University for four years. During that time, she also won numerous international and local awards that enabled her to travel to Europe and North America for further studies. In the spring of 2007, Karen created and hosted a new series called Nuts & Notes on CBC Radio One as well as guest hosting on West Coast Performance for CBC Radio Two. In addition to directing and hosting a free informal concert series at the Vancouver Public Library, Karen hosts a variety of outreach programmes all over the Lower Mainland. For more information, visit: www.karen.lee-morlang.com
Roger Parton, piano
Roger Parton studied composition and piano at the University of British Columbia and has since been sought after as a pianist and accompanist. His interests are diverse and range from chamber music and lieder to the study of instrumentation. He is currently heavily involved in the production of local opera and hopes to find spare time to compose instrumental music in the coming year.
Maggie Zhang, piano
Maggie’s musical training started at age 5 when she entered China’s Sichuan Conservatory of Music as one of ten prodigies from among thousands of applicants. She continued her music studies in the United States, completing her undergraduate degree in music under full scholarship, and was offered a scholarship at USC for Master's Degree in piano performance. Among her influential instructors are Xiaolin Li (former head of the piano department at Sichuan Conservatory of Music), Albert Lotto (from Julliard School of Music), Dennis Thurmond (from University of Southern California) and Neil Rutman (currently Artist-in-Residence at the University of Central Arkansas).
In the course of her musical training, Maggie has been a top prize winner at several regional and national piano competitions in the United States. These include the Music Teachers National Association Competition, the UCA Concerto Competition and NA Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competition. Her competition wins in China include the Jiao Sheng competition and the Fourteen Cities Piano Competition. The newspaper Echo called Maggie's playing "most legendary".