The Toronto Summer Music Academy is one of North America’s pre-eminent summer training programs for chamber musicians and singers 18-35 years old who are on the verge of a professional performance career.
Enrollment is limited, and Fellows study and perform with international guest artists. Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to offer these talented young musicians this experience without the financial burden of tuition. Meet the 2019 Academy Fellows below, and hear them perform on Saturdays throughout the Festival at our reGENERATION concerts.
Art of Song Fellows
This season soprano Carolyn Beaudoin appears at the Oxford Lieder Festival mastercourse, songSLAM Toronto, Das Lied International Song Competition, and performs Zélide (La Guirlande) with La Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal. Role highlights include Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), La Fée (Cendrillon), and Jonathas (David et Jonathas). She has appeared as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Pergolesi’s Magnificat, Fauré’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Carolyn holds degrees from the University of Ottawa and McGill University, and is also an alumna of the Toronto Summer Music Festival and the Vancouver International Song Institute.
Collaborative pianist Julie Choi is a recent alumna of McGill University and received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with a Minor in Composition under the tutelage of Marina Mdivani, as well as a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano Performance under the tutelage of Michael McMahon and Stephen Hargreaves — both degrees with high distinction. With Opera McGill, Julie was the répétiteur for Candide, Albert Herring and was the Music Director for Offenbach’s Une demoiselle en loterie and the conductor for Holst’s Savitri and the répétiteur for Die Zauberflöte with Opera NUOVA. Julie has been part of Michael McMahon’s Song Interpretation class at McGill for the last 4 years and has a great interest and passion for interpreting and performing art songs. Julie is a recipient of the prestigious SSHRC grant for her research on Korean art songs amongst numerous other scholarships from McGill University.
Scott Downing is a collaborative and solo pianist based in Canada. In October 2018 Scott was awarded a bursary from the Art Song Foundation of Canada which enabled him and Carolyn Beaudoin to attend the Oxford Lieder Mastercourse, a program for elite singers and pianists in Oxford, England. Recently Scott and Carolyn were also selected to compete in the live rounds of the Das Lied competition in Heidelberg, Germany in February of 2019. Scott developed a strong passion for Art Song as a student at the University of Toronto and McGill University in coachings with Steven Philcox and Michael McMahon.
Hailed as a "singer to watch" (Musical Toronto), Canadian baritone Clarence Frazer is earning praise for having a “silvery baritone that retains its silky texture through his entire range" (London Free Press) who “possesses a powerful, robust voice" (Paula Citron). His “brilliant and stalwart singing” (Calgary Herald) earned him praise in The Banff Centre’s production of Crush – “Mr. Frazer’s acting was excellent, his singing melodious, rhetorically balanced and beautiful” (Calgary Herald). Recent highlights for Clarence include the the role of James Isbister in the Canadian Opera Company’s acclaimed production of Louis Riel, with further performances at National Arts Centre and L’Opera de Quebec.
Mr. Frazer is an alumnus of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists Program and Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, where he made his mainstage role debut in 2015 as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Alex Hetherington, mezzo-soprano, is finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, studying with Monica Whicher. She has performed as a soloist with many ensembles around Toronto, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (The Bear, 2014), Orpheus Choir (Sidgwick Scholar, 2018-2019), Tapestry Opera (Songbook VIII, 2018), and the Camera Ensemble (Art Song Project, 2016). Alex was the 2018 recipient of both the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Centennial Scholarship and the Mary Ellen Trimble Award; the latter in recognition of her first-place performance in the Kiwanis Festival. Alex loves working with composers to expand Canadian repertoire for singers. She is a composer herself, with works performed by the Gryphon Trio and members of Esprit Orchestra. Alex is delighted to be a fellow in this program and would like to thank Toronto Summer Music Festival for the opportunity.
Eric Laine, tenor, is currently a master’s student at the University of North Texas, where he studies with Dr. Stephen Austin. This past season with UNT Opera, Eric appeared as Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Noël in Roussel’s La testament de la tante Caroline, and Apollo in the American premier of Vít Zouhar’s chamber opera Coronide. His other recent engagements include tenor solos in Handel’s Alexander’s Feast with Tyler Civic Chorale, Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw with Red River Lyric Opera, and various roles in outreach productions of John Davies’ Pinocchio and Little Red’s Most Unusual Day with Opera in the Heights.
Hanzheng Li received her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from Shanghai Conservatory of Music, followed by double Master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Collaborative Piano with honors as well as a Graduate Diploma in Collaborative Piano from New England Conservatory, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate with Dean’s Scholarship. Her teachers included Minduo Li, Yun Sun, Victor Rosenbaum, Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, Cameron Stowe, Pei-Shan Lee, and Jonathan Feldman. As a soloist, she has received numerous awards in both national and international competitions, including the Gulangyu National Piano Competition and International Keyboard Odyssiad Competition. As an experienced collaborative pianist, she was invited to the Cremona International Music Academy and Competition in 2017 (Italy) and the Bowdoin International Music Festival with a fellowship award in 2018 (US). Her performances have been heard in venues including Carnegie Weill Hall, Jordan Hall, and MIT Kresge Auditorium, etc.
Recognized for his stand-out, resonant bass voice (Ludwig Van Toronto), Chinese-Canadian bass Matthew Li’s work sees him regularly appearing as a soloist and ensemble singer with various professional organizations around Toronto, including The Toronto Consort, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, and The Elora Singers. His operatic roles include Henry Davis in Street Scene, Masetto/ Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and Sarastro in The Magic Flute. Matthew is currently finishing the final year of his undergraduate studies in voice performance at the University of Toronto, under the tutelage of Daniel Taylor. In the fall, he is looking forward to beginning his Master’s in Music degree at Indiana University, studying under Timothy Noble.
Recognized for her commanding stage and vocal presence, Mezzo-Soprano Chelsea Melamed is quickly making a name for herself as an artist to watch. This summer Chelsea will perform with SongFest as a recipient of the 2019 Eva & Marc Stern Fellowship, and the Toronto Summer Music Academy Art of Song Program as a fellow. In the fall of 2019, Chelsea will join the roster at Tri-Cities Opera where she will debut the Mother in the world premier of Marie Begins, as well Charlotte in A Little Night Music. Last fall, Chelsea joined the Studio Artist program at Opera Santa Barbara, where performances included Dinah in Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and Javotte in Massenet's Manon. Recent role highlights include Dorothée (Cendrillon), Page of Herodias (Salome), and Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro). Chelsea is a graduate of CCM (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
In September 2018, Bronwyn started her MMus in Collaborative Piano at The Juilliard School with teachers Lydia Brown, Jonathan Feldman, and JJ Penna. She has recently performed in Juilliard’s Sonatenabende and Liederabende, on WQXR’s “Midday Masterpieces,” and in Juilliard’s Vocal Arts Honors Recital at Alice Tully Hall. Before Juilliard, Bronwyn received her BMus and BA in English from Ambrose University in Calgary. She also attended the Franz-Schubert-Institut and the Mountain View International Festival of Song and Chamber Music, where she was able to learn from renowned teachers such as Elly Ameling, Rudolf Jansen, Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles, Helmut Deutsch, and Wolfram Rieger, among others. In 2017, Bronwyn was operatic coach and accompanist fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), and in 2018, she was coach and répétiteur fellow at Aquilon Music Festival (Oregon).
Yunji Shim is a winner of 2018 women’s voice fellowship from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation in Chicago. Shim has performed as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, the role of Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and a soloist of Verdi Requiem in Viva Verdi! She is the winner of 2017 Krannert debut artist competition and 2017 winner of the Artist Presentation Society in St. Louis and won the second prize at Southern Illinois Young Artist Organization vocal competition. She has studied with Cynthia Haymon-Coleman, Dr. Robert McIver, Dr. Hyunju Yun, and Soonhee Lee.
Born of Greek and Italian descent, tenor Elias Theocharidis has attended programs such as the Chautauqua Institution, SongFest & St. Andrew's by-the-Sea Workshops. Elias sings the role of Daniel Buchanan in the University of Toronto’s Opera School’s production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene and covers the role of La Podestà in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera. In the Summer of 2019, Elias will perform the role of Alex Bello in Lizée/Ivany’s No One’s Safe at The Banff Centre Opera Program. He is also an Art of Song Fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival. In November 2018, Elias was a Finalist in the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal National Auditions’ Callback Competition and Gala. In the 2019-2020 season, will begin his Masters in Opera Performance with the University of Toronto’s Opera School. Elias is under the tutelage of renowned soprano Wendy Nielsen and Belgian pianist Helen Becqué, he is a graduate of the Classical Voice Performance Program the University of Toronto.
Chamber Music Institute Fellows
In 2019 Andrew will appear as a soloist with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra (Prokofiev Sinfonia Concertante) and the Counterpoint Orchestra (Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations), as a chamber musician with the Bedford Trio, will have his compositions featured in several international award-winning films, and will appear as Music Director in a production of Mamma Mia! at the Rose Theatre. Andrew is the Artistic Director for Music in the Atrium and Jazz for the Soul, two donor supported concert series at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Andrew is currently working towards completing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Toronto with Professor Shauna Rolston.
Korean-Canadian violinist, Sienna Cho, recently graduated from Schulich School of Music of McGill University under the guidance of Andrew Wan. Sienna has received numerous awards and scholarships including Lloyd Carr-Harris String Scholarship from Schulich School of Music of McGill University, Chamber Music Award from Zodiac Music Festival, first place in Canadian Music Competition 2017, New Brunswick Registered Music Teachers Association Awards, and first place in NB Competitive Festival of Music 2016. She has had the privilege of attending Zodiac Music Festival, Orford Musique, and Domaine Forgets where she had the opportunity to work with Michael Frischenschlager, Régis Pasquier, Yehonatan Berick, David Stewart, Mimi Zweig, Jonathan Swartz, and Marc Djokic. Sienna received a full scholarship to begin her Master’s degree at Shepherd School of Music of Rice University in the fall to study with Cho-Liang Lin.
Soyoung Cho entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2017 and studies viola with Roberto Díaz and Hsin-Yun Huang. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Cho is the Reaumur and Mary Corrin Winston Fellow. Ms. Cho was the second-prize winner at the 2015 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players (Viola Division). She was also the third-prize winner at the 2011 Osaka International Music Competition (Junior Strings Division), and she has won several domestic competitions in Korea. She has performed in recitals in Beijing, Calgary, Dubai, Washington, D.C., and Seoul. She has served as principal violist of the Korea National University of Arts Orchestra, and regularly plays in string quartets and other chamber ensembles. Ms. Cho began playing the violin at age five and the viola at age eight. She previously attended Korea National University of Arts and the Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts.
A recent Masters graduate from Rice University, Jaeyoung Chong is an established cellist and a profound musician passionate in many artistic medium such as improvisation, live performance, composition, audio technology and music production. Born in South Korea, Jaeyoung began studying at the age of 8 and quickly reached an advanced level when he moved to Canada with his family in 2005. Under the direction of Shimon Walt, a renowned cello professor at Dalhousie University, Jaeyoung has continued to develop his musical abilities leading to many awards and distinctions from local, provincial, and national levels. Summer music camps and festivals, such as Domaine Forget, NAC Pre-college program, Orford and National Youth Orchestra of Canada, are normal occurrence for young Jaeyoung and has managed to work with renowned cellists like Steve Doane, Matt Haimovitz, Blair Lofgren, Richard Aaron, Phillipe Muller, Laurence Lesser, and Collin Carr. Jaeyoung received his Bachelor in Music Performance from University of Ottawa in 2017 under the direction of Paul Marleyn.
Toronto-based violinist Alessia Disimino is a founding member of the Bedford Trio, concertmaster of the North York Concert Orchestra, and founder and Director of Strings at the North York String Academy. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Alessia hold both a Master of Music in Performance with Dr. Timothy Ying and a Bachelor of Music with a Minor in English with Annalee Patipatanakoon of the Gryphon Trio. She has won numerous awards and scholarships at the University of Toronto, including the Gordon Cressy Leadership Award (2017) for her initiatives in her community and at the University, the Felix Galimir Award for Excellence in Chamber Music (2015), and the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Centennial Scholarship (2014). As a soloist, Alessia has been featured with the North York Concert Orchestra and the Toronto Community Orchestra, and will again perform with NYCO in September of 2019.
Matthew Eeuwes, from Stouffville Ontario, is a recent graduate of Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Violin performance. During his studies at the Eastman School of Music he fell in love with the lower timbre of the Viola, and is now pursuing his Master of Music for Viola Performance and Literature under the guidance of Phillip Ying. Matthew recently won a contract position with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and will be joining the orchestra in 2019. In 2011 he started Sensational Strings a business providing semi-formal to formal music entertainment for various events. Matthew has also acquired his own students throughout the years and enjoys teaching violin and viola to all ages.
Cellist Jacob Efthimiou is a student of Brian Manker at McGill University, and previously studied with Amir Eldan at the Oberlin Conservatory. As cellist of the Iceberg String Quartet, he has also studied with André Roy, and the Parker, Eybler and JACK string quartets at the Banff Centre. Efthimiou was a winner of the 2017 McGill University Chamber Music Competition, and has performed as a soloist with several orchestras, including the Colorado College Music Festival Orchestra. He has taught music at the Aspen PALS program, and at the Campamento Musical Juvenil in Panama. Efthimiou grew up in Delhi, New York.
Hailing from Taiwan, violinist Heng-Han Hou has firmly established himself in the music scene in Toronto with his musicality and sensitivity. Mr. Hou has performed as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. He has played in public masterclasses for Midori Goto, Noah Bendix-Balgley, the New Orford String Quartet, the Ebene String Quartet, and the American String Quartet, among others. He performs regularly with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and substitutes with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra as Associate and Assistant Concertmaster. Besides performing, Mr. Hou is also an active pedagogue. He is a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teacher Association, an ensemble coach and a piano accompanist at North York Suzuki Institute, and holds teaching assistant positions at the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble, Contemporary Music Ensemble, and also teaches Applied Lesson for Jonathan Crow Mr. Hou is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto with Jonathan Crow.
Chung-Han Hsiao received her M.M in viola performance from The Boston Conservatory. In 2017, she finished her Artist Diploma at the McGill University Schulich School of Music, where she studied with André Roy. In 2017, Chung-Han won the first prize of the McGill Chamber Music Competition as violist of the Iceberg String Quartet. The Iceberg String Quartet was invited to perform in a Chamber music festival at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. During the summer of 2018, the Iceberg String Quartet participated in the Evolution of the String Quartet program at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity.
A graduate of Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music, Russell Iceberg is currently pursuing his master's degree at McGiIl University's Schulich School of Music, studying with Andrew Wan. Russell studied previously with Blair Milton, Naoko Tanaka and Phyllis Freeman. As soloist, Russell has performed with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of Saint Cecilia Youth Orchestra in Damascus, Maryland. Russell was a finalist in the McGill Classical Concerto Competition in 2017 and first prizewinner of the McGill Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Iceberg String Quartet.
Jessy Je Young Kim is a 24 year-old violinist from Toronto, ON who is pursuing a Master’s of Musical Arts degree at the Yale School of Music with Ani Kavafian. She has won numerous awards and scholarships across Canada and has performed with various ensembles and orchestras; notably playing the Prokofiev First Violin Concerto with Maestro Johannes Debus in 2014. Along with her solo work, Jessy enjoys playing in orchestra. She has been a substitute violinist at the New World Symphony and the New Haven Symphony. Recently, she was a finalist in the Associate Concertmaster audition for the Toronto Symphony.
Minkyoung Lee was born in South Korea and she had completed her Bachelor’s degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Dimitri Murrath, Jonathan Vinocour and Jodi Levitz. She recently pursuing her Master’s degree at the Yale School of Music, under the tutelage of Ettore Causa and she has received a full scholarship at the Yale School of Music. Minkyoung recently won the 2nd Prize of the New York International Artist Competition in 2017. She participated the Pyeongchang Great Mountain Festival in 2017 in South Korea.
Named one of CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30”, violinist Gregory Lewis has appeared in concert throughout Canada, USA, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. He has performed as soloist with the Winnipeg, Kitchener-Waterloo, Thunder Bay, University of Manitoba, and Consortium Aurora Borealis symphony orchestras, and his recital engagements include the Virtuosi Concert Series, Yale in New York, United Nations Chamber Music Society, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, and Oneppo Chamber Music Series. Lewis’ festival appearances include the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival New Music Workshop, Aspen Music Festival and School, the Juilliard School Starling-DeLay Violin Symposium, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, of which he served as concert master on their 2015 national tour. Lewis is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and Yale University, where he studied with Oleg Pokhanovski and Ani Kavafian. He is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma with Martin Beaver at the Colburn Conservatory of Music.
Katya Poplyansky completed her Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School, with Paul Kantor and Barry Shiffman, in 2018. She received her Masters at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2016, with David Takeno, and her Bachelors at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2014, with Shmuel Ashkenasi, Victor Danchenko, Ida Kavafian, and Joseph Silverstein. From 2018 to 2019, she was a fellow as part of the Rebanks Family Fellowship Program. She took part in Festival Jong Talent Schiermonnikoog, Banff Master Class Program, Toronto Summer Music Festival, and Prussia Cove International Music Seminar. She received second prizes at the Isabel Bader Violin Competition and Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, where she also received the prize for the best performance of the commissioned work by composer Carmen Braden. In March 2019, she was featured as part of a master course at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, under the direction of violinist Gidon Kremer.
Allison Rich is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Toronto where she studies Cello Performance with Joseph Johnson. Prior to moving to Toronto, she was a member of Jackson Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Rich received her Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan where she studied with Professor Richard Aaron, performed with the University Symphony Orchestra as principal cellist, and was a member of the Contemporary Directions Ensemble. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Steven Doane, David Ying, and members of the Ying Quartet. She is the recipient of the Peter Salaff Prize and the Messinger Ambassadors Fellowship, awarded by Eastman’s Chamber Music Department.
Photo credit: Ian McIntosh
Cellist Fiona Robson is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music performance with professor Matt Haimovitz at McGill University. A passionate chamber musician, Fiona’s string quartet won the 2018 McGill Chamber Music Competition and she has performed internationally in Matt Haimovitz’s cello ensemble Uccello. She was a finalist in the 2018 McGill Classical Concerto Competition and has performed concerti by Haydn, Lalo, Tchaikovsky and Gulda in her hometown of London, ON. Fiona has been principal cello of McGill’s Symphony Orchestra, Contemporary Music Ensemble, and Opera Orchestra, and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2016.
Chilean-American violist Georgina Rossi’s Recent solo engagements include debuts with the Orquesta Sinfónica Uncuyo and with the Orquesta de Cámara de Chile. Passionate about Chilean music, Ms. Rossi has given North-American and European premieres of Chilean works for the viola, most recently at the 2018 International Viola Congress in Rotterdam. Ms. Rossi holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Roger Tapping. She plays an Argentinian viola by Leonardo Anderi made in 2014. Ms. Rossi is a member of the Hartford Symphony since 2016. For perspective, she enjoys oil painting.
Christopher Stork, 26, born in Berlin Vermont, began studying violin at the age of nine at the Monteverdi Music School in Montpelier Vermont before starting lessons with Miss Sally Thomas in New York City in 2006. In NYC he was an Honors Student at the Mannes School of Music Preparatory Division 2008. Chris has a bachelors and Masters degree from McGill University where he was a student of Alexander Read and Mark Fewer. As a Chamber Musician he’s won the McGill Chamber Music Award and ensemble in residence at the Zodiac Chamber Music Festival and Banff EQ program.
Chinese pianist Jiao Sun was admitted to Central Conservatory of Music at age of nine. She captured prizes in Memphis Repertoire Orchestra Concerto Competition, A Step Towards Mastery International Piano Competition, two Chautauqua Piano Competitions, CCM Concerto Competition, Golden Bell National Piano Competition. She soloed in Russia, Britain, USA, Hong Kong, Mainland China and attended PianoFest in the Hamptons, Aspen and two Chautauqua Music Festival. Sun advanced in 46th Fischoff Chamber Competition as the top twelve groups in US. She captured prizes in The Sixth Hong Kong International Chamber Music Competition and CCM Chamber Music Competition. Sun performed extensively at concerts including “La Salle” music series and Eastman honors recitals. She is pursing Doctoral of Musical Arts degree at College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in University of Cincinnati after earned Master and Bachelor of Music degrees from Eastman School of Music.
A native of China, Jialiang Zhu is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Professor Lydia Wong where she also completed her Bachelor in Piano Performance and Masters in Piano Performance and Pedagogy with Professor Marietta Orlov. She is an alumna of the Banff Collaborative Piano Residency and Toronto Summer Music Festival. She was featured soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the York Chamber Ensemble. In 2018, Jialiang won the University of Toronto DMA Recital Competition. As winner of the 2017 Gwendolyn Williams Koldofsky Prize in Accompanying, she appeared on the Thursdays at Noon series last March with mezzo-soprano Simona Genga. Besides performance, Jialiang is enthusiastic about teaching students of all ages. She works at the University of Toronto Children’s Piano Pedagogy Program and runs her private piano studio.