TSMF_4Chamber Music with TSO Principals 

July 30 – August 5, 2017

Applications to the Chamber Music with TSO Principals program are now closed. We are still accepting applications to the Chamber Choir and Piano Masterclass!

Meet the Mentors and learn more about the program!


Chamber Music with TSO Principals

The program is directed to those amateurs seeking a high-level music-making experience.  Participants will be placed in ensembles with professional musicians for a week of intensive rehearsing, coachings, and camaraderie.

Enjoy access to all mainstage TSM Festival Concerts, lectures, and events including the possibility of a performance on stage at Walter Hall.

The TSM Community Academy will take place at the Edward Johnson Building, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

Open to Strings, Wind Quintet, and pianists (both individuals and pre-formed ensembles are welcome to apply).

2017 Mentors

Jonathan Crow, violin

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.


Barry Shiffman, violin

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.



Teng Li, viola

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, viola

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. 


Joseph Johnson, cello

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.


Kelly Zimba, flute

IMG_0109_e_croppedKelly Zimba will begin her first season as Principal Flutist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in September 2017. Currently a Flute Fellow at the New World Symphony, she has performed with the Pittsburgh, Detroit, Palm Beach, and Battle Creek Symphony Orchestras, and was a two-time Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. As a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician, Ms. Zimba has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Teatro del Lago in Frutillar, Chile. In addition to performing, Kelly teaches Flute and Elementary General Music at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, Alaska. She has also taught instrumental music at Belvoir Terrace in Lenox, Massachusetts in addition to teaching privately across the United States. Originally from Pittsburgh, Ms. Zimba completed her graduate studies at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and received bachelor’s degrees in flute performance and music education from the University of Michigan. She is greatly indebted to all of her teachers, most especially Leone Buyse and Amy Porter.

Sarah Jeffrey, oboe

sarah-jeffreyPrincipal Oboe Sarah Jeffrey joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the 2005-2006 season, following previous Principal Oboe positions with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and the Windsor Symphony.

A Toronto native, Sarah holds a bachelor degree from the University of Toronto where she studied with former TSO Principal Oboe Richard Dorsey, and continued her studies with the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Sarah is a recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Award for creativity and excellence in the arts.

Sarah is an active recitalist, and chamber musician, making frequent guest appearances with the Amici Chamber Ensemble. She is a guest soloist with numerous orchestras including recently the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, where in November 2010 she performed the Mozart Oboe concerto and in summer of 2011 will perform the Vaughn Williams Oboe concerto. In May 2008, Ms Jeffrey performed Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin with James Ehnes, as part of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra season.

Sarah is on the faculties of the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music.


Gabriel Radford, horn

gabriel-radfordGabriel was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He is currently Third Horn of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2002. Prior to joining the TSO, Gabriel was Associate Principal Horn of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Over the course of his career, Gabriel has played with many orchestras, including several guest appearances and Carnegie Hall performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy. He has also played with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Kirov Orchestra, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, and many others.  He frequently records for movies, TV shows and commercials such as Hockey Night in Canada, the Olympics, Murdoch Mysteries, and upcoming feature film Burn Your Maps.

Gabriel often plays the great chamber works written for Horn. Recently he has worked with artists such as André Laplante, David Louie, Frank Morelli, Joaquin Valdepeñas, the Penderecki String Quartet, James Campbell and many others. Among other projects, this summer will include the Beethoven Septet at the Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Thuille Sextet for Piano and Winds at NYO Canada, Golijov’s Ayre at the Banff Centre, and will record a CD of works with the Canadian National Brass Ensemble.

Gabriel is a devoted teacher.  He teaches a full studio of students at the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory,  is a member of the faculty at the NYO Canada, and returns this year to the Banff Centre. Gabriel was honoured to adjudicate auditions for the first-ever YouTube Symphony Orchestra.


Typical Daily Schedule

9am – Morning Chorale
9:40am – Coffee
10am – Rehearsals, masterclasses, coachings
12pm – lunch
1pm – Rehearsals, masterclasses
3pm – 4:30pm – Festival Insiders Events
5pm – Attend Shuffle Concerts (Wed-Fri)
7:30pm – Attend Festival Concert

Who Can Apply
Must be over 18 years of age.  For advanced amateurs intent on perfecting their skills with a rigorous daily schedule of rehearsals, coachings, and masterclasses.  Pianists should have a minimum level of Grade 10 Royal Conservatory.

Tuition Fees
Chamber Music: $800 plus HST

HST will be added to your tuition fee at time of purchase.  The application fee and tuition fees are non-refundable. 

Tuition fees include Community Academy program plus tickets to all TSM Festival concerts July 30th to August 5th ($250 value), daily lunch, and coffee.  Tuition does not include breakfast/dinner, lodging, or travel.  Please contact us if you would like lodging recommendations or to enjoy a discounted rate at our Hotel Partner.

How To Apply


Applications for this program are now CLOSED. We are still accepting applications to the Chamber Choir and Piano Masterclass!

Program Dates: July 30 – August 5, 2017


The Community Academy is made possible by the generous support of the Metcalf Foundation.

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All Rights Reserved.

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