July 10 – August 5, 2017


The Chamber Music Institute for piano and strings welcomes individuals and pre-formed ensembles for intensive coaching sessions, rehearsals, and performances.  The focus is on learning through performance.  Fellows will perform alongside our guest artists as Mentors. With enrolment limited to 18, participating Fellows work with distinguished international faculty in an intimate, collegial atmosphere.  Individual instrumentalists are placed in chamber groups with at least one artist Mentor per group.

Performance opportunities are paramount to this program and selected Fellows will have the opportunity to perform at outreach concerts in the community as well as at weekly Chamber Music reGeneration Concerts that are a part of the Toronto Summer Music Festival.

All applicants receive a full Fellowship to attend and accommodations are provided.

Cheng master-9

“I love the fact that we the ‘Mentors’ play with the ‘Fellows’, rather than just listen to them and coach them.  I am putting Mentors and Fellows in quotation marks because, when it comes to playing music, we are all equals – music lovers who spend time trying to find the best way to share the music with listeners.”

– Pedja Muzijevic, piano (TSM Academy Mentor)

2017 Chamber Music Institute Mentors


St. Lawrence String Quartet

Established in 1989, the St. Lawrence String Quartet earned international recognition within a few years, winning both the Banff Quartet Competition and the Young Concert Artists audition in 1992. The group has since developed an undisputed reputation as a truly world class chamber ensemble. Called “witty, buoyant, and wickedly attentive (The Gazette, Montreal), with a “peerless” sense of ensemble (Financial Times, London), the quartet is celebrated for its “smoldering intensity” (Washington Post), and flexibility, dramatic fire and… hint of rock ‘n’ roll energy” (LA Times). SLSQ performs internationally and has served as Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University since 1998.



Tokyo Sting QuartettPhoto: Marco BorggreveMartin Beaver

Recognised as a soloist, chamber musician, and as first violinist of the renowned Tokyo String Quartet from 2002-2013, Martin Beaver is in demand all over the world. After a remarkable career, the quartet concluded their final season in the summer of 2013. The ensemble’s reputation as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world has created an international following across the globe. Martin Beaver has served on the faculties of The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, University of British Columbia and Peabody Conservatory of the John Hopkins University, the Steinhardt School at New York University and the Yale School of Music. He is currently on the faculty at The Colburn School.



nzNikki Chooi

Canadian Violinist, Nikki Chooi has been described as “richly expressive and technically assured” (Calgary Herald) and “vigorous and colorful” (New York Times).

In 2016, Nikki was appointed Concertmaster of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

During the 2015-2016 season, Nikki was a member of the genre-breaking ensemble, Time for Three, performing internationally with highlights in Barbados, Grand Teton, La Jolla SummerFest, and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

The First Prize Winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition and a Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition, his many engagements have included performances as soloist with the Montreal Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Santa Cruz Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, and the Auckland Philharmonia. His recital engagements have taken him to the Vancouver Recital Series, Debut Atlantic Recital Tour, Canadian National Arts Debut Series, Caramoor Rising Stars Series, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Series, and La Monnai “Concertini” in Belgium.

An avid chamber musician as well, Nikki has performed in many international festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Dresden Music Festival in Germany, and the Montreal Chamber Fest. He began his studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the Mount Royal Conservatory. He recently graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School.

Nikki gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC Radio, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, and the Victoria Foundation.


Jonathan Crow

crow-photo_1_tso_credit_sian_richardsA native of Prince George, British Columbia, Jonathan Crow joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Concertmaster in 2011. Between 2002 and 2006 he was Concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and notably during this tenure, was the youngest concertmaster of a major North American orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Jonathan has performed at chamber music festivals throughout North America, South America, and Europe. He is a founding member of the New Orford String Quartet, a project-based new ensemble dedicated to the promotion of standard and Canadian string quartet repertoire throughout North America.

Mark Fewer

mf_playing_930Described as “genre-bending” by the National Post, and “intrepid” by the Globe and Mail, Mark Fewer has performed around the world to critical acclaim in virtually every role asked of a violinist – and then some.  His regular musical diet includes performances from the early baroque to the avant-garde, with recent performances as soloist with groups as wide-ranging as the Melbourne Symphony (Australia), the Fodens-Richardson Brass Band (UK), the Zapp Quartet (Amsterdam), and the McGill Percussion Ensemble (Canada).  He is also a dedicated chamber musician, jazz violinist, artistic director, and teacher.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Fewer is a regular member of the Duke Piano Trio and the Smithsonian Chamber Players. He has also recently performed in chamber setting with artists such as Leon Fleisher, Edgar Meyer, Gilbert Kalish, James Campbell, Matt Haimovitz and Elizabeth Wallfisch.In 2011 he replaced both violinists of the St. Lawrence String Quartet and was subsequently awarded the “5th Man Paternity Prize”.


Barry Shiffman

shiffmanMr. Shiffman has had a rich and varied career as a performer and recording artist. Debuting with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15, he has appeared with orchestras and in recital throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. Recent appearances include his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall and a Canadian tour as guest violist with the Gryphon Trio.In 1989, Mr. Shiffman cofounded the St. Lawrence String Quartet through a joint program of The Royal Conservatory and the University of Toronto. During his 17 years with the Quartet he appeared in over 2,000 concerts in venues around the globe and recorded several critically acclaimed discs under an exclusive contract with EMI Classics. Passionately committed to contemporary composers, he has been involved in the premieres of hundreds of new works, both in the Quartet and beyond.

Andrew Wan

Andrew-WanAndrew Wan was named Concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal in 2008, making him one of the youngest leaders of a major symphony. As soloist, he has appeared in the United States, China, New Zealand, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland, and Canada under conductors such as Jean-Claude Casadesus, Maxim Vengerov, Peter Oundjian, Jacques Lacombe, Vasily Petrenko, James DePreist, Marc Piollet and Michael Stern. He has performed chamber music in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Benaroya Hall, Jordan Hall and Salle Gaveau with artists and ensembles such as the Juilliard Quartet, Marc-André Hamelin, Vadim Repin, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, and Emanuel Ax. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he is currently Assistant Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. Mr. Wan’s 1744 Michel’Angelo Bergonzi violin is generously loaned by philanthropist David Sela.


Steven Dann

DANN_STEVEN-006-1_1_400pixelsSteven Dann was born in Vancouver, Canada.
His foremost teacher and mentor was the late Lorand Fenyves. Upon graduation from university he was named Principal Viola of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada, a position he has subsequently held with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Vancouver Symphony and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Steven Dann has collaborated as a soloist with such Maestri as Sir Andrew Davis, Rudolph Barshai, Jiri Belohlavek, Sir John Elliott Gardiner, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Since 1990 Mr. Dann has been a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington D.C. and was a founding member of the Axelrod String Quartet. He is currently violist of both the Zebra Trio (with violinist Ernst Kovacic and cellist Anssi Karttunen) and Toronto’s twice Grammy-nominated ARC Ensemble.

Steven Dann teaches viola and chamber music at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music and is the Coordinator of the chamber music program at the Domaine Forget in Quebec.

Mr. Dann plays a viola of Joseph Gagliano, circa 1780.


David Harding

david-hardingDavid Harding is currently Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Central America and Australia, in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. His performances have been broadcast on CBC, BBC, NPR, ABC (Australia) and Deutschland Radio. 

A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, David was the winner of the Sir John Barbirolli award at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. Having served on the faculty of Indiana University South Bend and the University of British Columbia, David has given master classes at the Banff International Centre for the Arts and universities throughout North America. He plays on a viola made by Pietro Antonio della Costa, Tresviso Italy, circa 1750.

Teng Li

teng_liTeng Li is establishing herself as a diverse and dynamic performer internationally. Along with her TSO solo appearances, Ms. Li has performed with the National Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Haddonfield Symphony, Shanghai Opera Orchestra, the Canadian Sinfonietta and Esprit Orchestra. Her performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio 2, National Public Radio, WQXR (New York), WHYY (Pennsylvania), WFMT (Chicago), and Bavarian Radio (Munich).

Ms. Li is also an active recitalist and chamber musician participating in the festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, Mostly Mozart, Music from Angel Fire, Rome, Moritzburg (Germany) and the Rising Stars Festival in Caramoor. She has performed with the Guarneri Quartet in New York (04/05), at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) and with the 92nd St. “Y” Chamber Music Society. Teng was also featured with the Guarneri Quartet in their last season (2009), and was also a member of the prestigious Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two Program.


Douglas McNabney

Douglas McNabney photo (Bo Huang)Born and raised in Toronto, violist  Douglas McNabney is one of Canada’s most distinguished chamber musicians.  He has enjoyed an international performing career with appearances in Holland, Belgium, France, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, Switzerland, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, as well as performances throughout Canada and the U.S.A. He has recorded for, among others, BRT (Brussels), Radio Bremen, RTE (Dublin), Finnish Broadcasting (Helsinki), Sudwestdeutscher Rundfunk (Karlsruhe), Norwegian Radio (Oslo), Radio Sweden (Stockholm), NPR (USA), and the CBC. 

As one of Canada’s most active chamber musicians, he has appeared as guest artist with the leading chamber music groups and societies across Canada. His chamber music partners include Canadians Marc-André Hamelin, Louis Lortie, André Laplante, Anton Kuerti, James Ehnes and internationally renowned soloists Menachem Pressler, Steven Isserlis, Jamie Buswell, William Preucil, Miriam Fried, among many others. He has performed with the SuperNova Quartet, the Crow-Haimovitz-McNabney Trio, the Orford Quartet, the Penderecki Quartet, the Alcan Quartet, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the St Lawrence Quartet, Sante Fe Pro Musica, Millennium, the Gryphon Trio, the Allegri String Quartet, le Quatuor Artur Leblanc, Amici, New Music Concerts (Toronto), the Toronto Chamber Players, Amadeus Ensemble, Scotia Chamber Players, the Acadia Chamber Players, the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society, Musica Camerata de Montréal, and Les Chambristes de Montréal. 


Desmond Hoebig

hoebigDesmond Hoebig, Professor of Cello at The Shepherd School of Music – Rice University, has had a distinguished career as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician.

Mr. Hoebig has been a soloist with many prominent orchestras in North America, including; Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. His international orchestral engagements have been in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Mexico and Columbia.

As a chamber musician, Desmond was the cellist with the Orford String Quartet when they won a Juno award for the best classical music album in 1990. He has also performed for 30 years with the Hoebig-Moroz Trio and a duo with Andrew Tunis. Mr. Hoebig has taught and performed at festivals throughout North America, including; Aspen, Banff, La Hoya, Marlboro, Music Bridge, Orcas Island, Sarasota and Steamboat Springs.

Before joining the faculty of The Shepherd School, Mr. Hoebig had been Principal Cellist of the Cleveland, Houston, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras.


Joseph Johnson

joe-johnsonPrincipal cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since the 2009/2010 season, Joseph Johnson previously held the same position with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as principal cellist of the Santa Fe Opera, and during the 2008-2009 season, was acting principal cellist of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his Milwaukee appointment, Joseph Johnson was a member of The Minnesota Orchestra cello section for eleven years, during which time he performed numerous chamber music works during the orchestra’s Sommerfest, both as cellist and pianist. He was a founding member of both the Prospect Park Players and the Minneapolis Quartet, the latter of which was honoured with The McKnight Foundation Award in 2005.

A gifted and inspiring teacher, Mr. Johnson is Assistant Professor of Cello at the University of Toronto.  He has conducted numerous master classes for a wide range of institutions and ensembles, including The New World Symphony, The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Northwestern University, and the youth orchestras of the Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Toronto symphonies, as well as at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Antonio Lysy

lysyAntonio Lysy, an artist of international stature and dedicated pedagogue, has performed as a soloist in major concert halls worldwide. He has appeared with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras of London, Camerata Academica of Salzburg, Zurich Tonhalle, the Zagreb Soloists, Orchestra di Padova e il Veneto, Israel Sinfonietta, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Les Violions du Roi. He has collaborated with distinguished conductors including Yuri Temirkanov, Charles Dutoit, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Sandor Vegh, and Kees Bakels, and continues to perform regularly both as a solo, and chamber music artist. Lysy enjoys exploring the versatility of the cello’s voice, from Baroque to electric, and is committed to projects which enrich his diverse interests in music.


Stéphane Lemelin

Pianist Stéphane Lemelin is well-known to audiences throughout Canada and regularly tours in the United States, Europe and Asia as soloist and chamber musician. His repertory is vast, with a predilection for the German Classical and Romantic literature and a particular affinity for French music, as evidenced by his more than twenty-five recordings, which include works by Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Poulenc and Roussel.  Stéphane Lemelin is director of the French music series “Découvertes 1890-1939” on the  Atma Classique label, dedicated to the rediscovery of neglected early twentieth-century French repertoire and for which he has recorded works by Samazeuilh, Ropartz, Migot, Dupont, Dubois, Rhené-Bâton, Rosenthal, Alder, Lekeu and others. Stéphane Lemelin studied with Yvonne Hubert in Montreal, Karl-Ulrich Schnabel in New York, and received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Peabody Conservatory as a student of Leon Fleisher.  He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University, where his teachers were Boris Berman and Claude Frank. He taught at the University of Alberta for more than ten years and at University of Ottawa from 2001 to 2013. While there, he served as Director of the School of Music from 2007 to 2012. He has been appointed Professor of Piano and Chair of the Department of Performance at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University starting May 2014.

How to Apply

Applications are closed for 2017. Check back in late 2017 for 2018 application details.

Materials Required

  1. One‐page biography (If applying as a pre-formed ensemble, please also include short bios of each group member).
  2. Photograph (Colour)
  3. One-page list of current repertoire
  4. Listing of works that the individual wishes to be coached on and/or perform at Toronto Summer Music (If applying for The Chamber Music Institute these must be works for Chamber Ensemble and if applying for The Art of Song program these works must be Art Song).
  5. Non-refundable application fee of $75 (plus HST) for individuals  or $100 (plus HST) for pre-formed duos/ensembles
  6. Digital Video Recordings should be 20-30 minutes long and include at least 2 selections in contrasting style and character.  (see Audition Recording Requirements below)

Audition Requirements

  1. String players and pianists can apply as individuals or as a pre-formed chamber ensemble.
  2. Digital video only, submitted as youtube link. Please ensure your video is marked either public or unlisted (only available to those you share it with) so the audition panel is able to view it.
  3. The digital video recording should include a minimum of two works or excerpts from works in contrasting style and character
  4. The repertoire does not have to be the same as that to be proposed for performance in the Academy program
  5. The recording submitted by chamber ensembles must be of the entire ensemble
  6. The recording submitted by individual artists must be a solo recording
  7. The applicant must include a document listing the name of the ensemble or individual, date and location of the recording, and works performed with timings
  8. Recordings are the primary adjudication tool and should be of the highest possible audio quality
  9. Each movement must be completed in one take with no editing

Please contact us at if you have any questions regarding the application process.


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