The Toronto Summer Music Academy is a one of a kind educational opportunity for chamber musicians and singers 18-35 years old, on the threshold of a professional career.  These exceptionally gifted young musicians study with international faculty of the highest quality and reputation, learning from their experience and musicianship. With limited enrollment, study is intense and enriching and provides students with a chance to interact with the faculty and other emerging professionals.

The TSM Academy Experience

  • Limited enrollment and a full scholarship covering tuition ensures the highest quality applicants
  • Academy Fellows study with international guest artists who perform at the Toronto Summer Music Festival.
  • Academy Fellows perform with these guest artists in reGENERATION concerts as well as in Festival daytime concerts, with an emphasis on the value of performance experience.
  • Academy Fellows are billeted with Toronto Summer Music supporters, eat lunch together daily, and are guests at all Festival concerts.

Academy Programs

Art of Song

July 6-18, 2020


Designed for a small cohort of eight singers and four pianists, this program is devoted to the study and performance of Art Song. During this two-week session, participants study with all faculty members, voice and piano, thus receiving advice from a variety of musical traditions and perspectives. The session will also offer detailed study of text, and diction. Our goal is to provide the selected Fellows the luxury of total immersion in Art Song in a community of artists from around the world. Performance opportunities are paramount in the Art of Song Program, and Fellows will have the opportunity to perform in Private and Public Masterclasses as well as in reGENERATION Concerts on the Toronto Summer Music Festival stage.

All accepted applicants will receive a full fellowship covering tuition. Housing will be provided for participants attending from outside of the Greater Toronto Area if necessary. Note: transportation is not included in the fellowship.

*Returning Participants: Please note that as of January 2018, participation in the Academy is limited to two summers. 

Chamber Music Institute

July 6-August 1, 2020


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. With limited enrolment, participants work with distinguished international faculty in an intimate, collegial atmosphere and will be 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 in outreach concerts in the community as well as in TSM's popular reGENERATION Concerts on the Toronto Summer Music Festival stage.

All accepted applicants will receive a full fellowship covering tuition. Housing will be provided for participants attending from outside of the Greater Toronto Area if necessary. Note: transportation is not included in the fellowship

*Returning Participants: Please note that as of January 2018, participation in the Academy is limited to two summers. 

2020 Art of Song Mentors

Benjamin Appl, baritone

Described as the current front-runner in the new generation of Lieder singers’ (Gramophone Magazine, UK), Benjamin Appl, Gramophone Award Young Artist of the Year 2016, was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2014-16 and was also a Wigmore Hall Emerging Artist and ECHO Rising Star for the 2015-16 seasonHe became an exclusive SONY Classical recording artist in 2016 and his first solo album of German and English song for Sony Classical, 'Heimat’, won the prestigious Prix Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Best Lieder Singer) at the 2017/18 Académie du Disque Lyrique Orphées d’Or.  

In concert he has appeared with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Gabrieli Players & Consort, Les Violons du Roy, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Concerto Köln, the Symphony Orchestra of India, the Seattle Symphony, Vienna Symphony, and the major BBC orchestras, among othersNow an established recitalist, Benjamin Appl had the good fortune to be mentored by one of the greatest singers of the twentieth century, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and has performed at the Ravinia, Rheingau, Schleswig Holstein, Edinburgh Internationaland Oxford Lieder festivals, Heidelberger Frühling, and the KlavierFestival Ruhr. He has performed at major concert venues including Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Het Concertgebouw, AmsterdamElbphilharmonie, Hamburg and the Musée de Louvre, Paris, and he is a regular recitalist at Wigmore Hall and at the Schubertiade Hohenems and Schwarzenberg. He works closely with pianists Graham Johnson and James Baillieu.    

The 2018-19 season will see Benjamin Appl make his professional recital debut in the USA, with a tour including performances at Park Avenue Armory, New York and the Phillips Collection, Washington DC. Mr. Appl will appear in concert with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Paavo Järvithe Philharmonia Orchestra, Concerto Köln, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, alongside recital appearances at Wigmore Hall, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, and Schubertiade HohenemsHe will sing the role of Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Roger Norrington, and will give a performance of Mahler and Bernstein at the Osaka Castle Hall in Japan, broadcast by MBS TV.  His new Sony Classical recording, ‘Bach’ with Concerto Köln, is due for release in September 2018.   

Wolfram Rieger, piano

Wolfram Rieger received his first piano lessons from his parents and later from Konrad Pfeiffer in Regensburg. He soon developed a deep affection for Lied interpretation and therefore continued his studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich with the famous Lied pianists Prof. Dr. Erik Werba and Prof. Helmut Deutsch. After earning diploma with distinction, he attended several masterclasses with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Hans Hotter and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Even during his studies he began teaching at Munich's Hochschule für Musik until in 1991 he started his own Lieder class for singers and pianists In 1998 he became Professor of a Lied class at Berlin's Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler". Wolfram Rieger regularly holds masterclasses in Europe and Japan. 

Wolfram Rieger is a regular guest artist at many important music centres and festivals throughout the world, including the Schubertiade FeldkirchSchubertiada a Vilabertran, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Châtelet, London's Wigmore Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Munich Festivals, Konzerthaus Berlin and Kölner Philharmonie. He appears both as recital accompanist and chamber musician with such renowned artists as Brigitte Fassbaender, Barbara Bonney, Juliane Banse,Michelle Breedt, Anja Harteros,Thomas Hampson, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Olaf Bär, Matthias Goerne, Thomas Quasthoff, Peter Schreier, Michael Schade, The Cherubini Quartet, The Vogler Quartet , The Petersen Quartet among many others. 

A prolific recording artist, Mr. Rieger is well-represented on numerous CDs., many of which received various awards. 

Awards and distinctions include the honorary medal of the Associació Franz Schubert de Barcelona and the Hugo-Wolf-Medal of the International Hugo Wolf Academy Stuttgart. 

Steven Philcox, Program Director

Steven Philcox is regarded as one of Canada’s finest collaborators and is a frequent partner of Canada’s vocal elite performing in concert halls across North America where he continues to garner the reputation as one of this country’s most expressive and colorful interpreters.

From 1999-2010, Philcox was a celebrated member of the music staff of the Canadian Opera Company where he served as répétiteur and assistant conductor on more than 35 productions and was the pianist of choice for the continuo of Handel and Mozart. In 2006, Philcox distinguished himself in an auspicious debut conducting the final performance of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Increasingly recognized for his teaching, Philcox has given masterclasses throughout Canada and is regularly invited to mentor young artists at many of Canada’s prestigious summer programs. Recent highlights include Opera on the Avalon, Toronto Summer Music, Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Centre for Operatic Studies in Italy.

In 2011, Philcox co-founded the Canadian Art Song Project with tenor Lawrence Wiliford. CASP’s mission is to foster the development of new song through an annual commission and its performance as well as providing opportunities for Canadian artists to program and, in doing so, reinvigorate the existing song literature. Since its inception, CASP has brought together composers, writers, and performing artists in the creation of ten new works for voice and piano. It has released four CDs dedicated to the music of Derek Holman, John Greer, and Norbert Palej, all of which have been received with great critical acclaim. For more information please visit:

Philcox is currently Associate Professor and head of Collaborative Piano studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.

2020 Chamber Music Institute Mentors

Miro Quartet

The Miró Quartet is one of America’s most celebrated and dedicated string quartets, and for the past twenty years has performed on the world’s most prestigious concert stages, earning accolades from passionate critics and audiences alike. Based in Austin, TX, and thriving on the area’s storied music scene, the Miró takes pride in finding new ways to communicate with audiences of all backgrounds while cultivating the tradition of chamber music. The Quartet’s 2018-19 season includes performances for the New York Philharmonic with Gabriel Kahane; collaborations with Anton Nel, Clive Greensmith, and Martin Beaver; and appearances with the Detroit Chamber Music Society and the LMMC in Montreal. Other recent highlights include performances at the Phillips Collection, the Green Music Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as collaborations with David Shifrin, Andre Watts, and Wu Han. Since 2003 the Miró has served as the quartet-in-residence at the University of Texas at Austin Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music. In 2005, the Quartet became the first ensemble ever to be awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. 

Martin Beaver, violin

Canadian violinist Martin Beaver was named first violin of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet in 2002. As such, he has appeared to critical and public acclaim on the major stages of the world including New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Berliner Philharmonie, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Sydney Opera House.  

Concerto and recital appearances have spanned four continents with orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège and the National Arts Centre Orchestra under the batons of Pinchas Zukerman, Raymond Leppard and Charles Dutoit among others. Chamber music performances include collaborations with such eminent artists as Leon Fleisher, Lynn Harrell and Alicia de Larrocha 

Mr. Beaver is a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth, Montreal and Indianapolis competitions. A devoted educator, he has held masterclasses in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He joined the faculty of the Colburn School in Los Angeles in August 2013. 

Mayumi Seiler, violin

Mayumi Seiler began her musical upbringing in Osaka, Japan, where she was born of Japanese/German parentage. Wedded to the violin from the age of three, Ms. Seiler received her musical education at the renowned Mozarteum during the formative years of her childhood in Salzburg, Austria. 

With a busy schedule as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Japan and North and South America, Ms. Seiler was the founder and artistic director of the successful chamber music series called Via Salzburg "One of the best roads to our musical hearts" (Toronto Star). For 14 years she mentored and lead a string orchestra which performed regularly at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto for sold out audiences. She invited renowned artists from Europe and Asia for smaller or bigger groups and combined different art forms such as dance, pantomime and painting. "Combustion of creative energy - they clearly love what they are doing" (Toronto Star) 

Ms. Seiler has performed with numerous renowned orchestras and conductors including Neville Marriner, Christopher Hogwood, Peter Oundjian, Sandor Vegh and has been the featured soloist with orchestras such as the City of London Sinfonia, the Royal Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony, the Moscow Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Academica Salzburg, the Montreal Symphony and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She was invited by legendary violinist Ruggiero Ricci to perform with him in his final concert in Washington DC. Her performances as soloist have been in such major venues such as Toronto's Roy Thompson Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and Vienna's Musikverein and the Barbican and the Wigmore Hall in London. 

Ms. Seiler has recorded many of the violin concertos and chamber repertoire for such labels as EMI, JVC Victor, Hyperion, and Capriccio. 

As the violinist of the recently formed Laplante-Seiler-Carr piano trio with renowned pianist Andre Laplante and British cellist Colin Carr, Ms. Seiler will commence their inaugural tour this summer with performances across Canada. 

Ms. Seiler has been very active and passionate as a teacher with a previous professorship at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg and master classes in North and South America, Europe and Asia and has been invited to adjudicate at numerous international violin competitions. She currently teaches at The Glenn Gould School in Toronto where she resides with her husband Michael. She has two children, Hana and Seiji and two step children, Megan and Ian. 

Ms. Seiler performs on the Croall Stradivarius from 1684 owned by a private benefactor. 

Andrew Wan, violin

Concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) since 2008, Andrew Wan is also Assistant Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, Artistic Director of Les Solistes de l’OSM, member of the Juno and Opus award-winning New Orford String Quartet (NOSQ), and for the 2017-18 season, served as the Artistic Partner of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. His relationship with the MSO began with performances of Elgar’s Violin Concerto, hailed as one of the top two musical moments of 2007 by La Presse. 

As soloist, he has appeared in Canada, the United States, China, New Zealand, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Switzerland under conductors such as Maxim Vengerov, Peter OundjianVasily Petrenko, the late James DePreist, and Rafael PayareHis live recording of the three Saint-Saëns Violin Concerti with Kent Nagano and the MSO was released by Analekta in the fall of 2015 to wide critical acclaim, garnering a Prix Opus and an ADISQ nomination. His next album release with Nagano and the MSO of concerti by Ginastera, Bernstein and Samy Moussa is to be released in early 2020. 

Mr. Wan has concertized extensively throughout the world, appearing in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Taipei’s National Theatre and Paris’ Salle Gaveau in chamber music performances with artists such as the Juilliard Quartet, Daniil Trifonov, Vadim Repin, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Marc-André Hamelin, Jörg WidmannMenaham Pressler, and Cho-Liang Lin. He serves as guest concertmaster for the Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis, Toronto, National Arts Centre and Vancouver symphonies, and has appeared as artist and faculty at the St. Prex, Seattle, Aspen, La Jolla, Toronto Summer, Morningside Music Bridge, Olympic, and Orford Music Festivals. Discography includes releases on the Analekta, Onyx, Bridge, ATMA, and Naxos labels with James Ehnes and the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the Felix award-winning Solistes de l’OSM, the Grammy award-winning Metropolis Ensemble, and the Juno award-winning NOSQ. He currently is in the midst of recording all of the Beethoven Piano and Violin Sonatas with Charles Richard-Hamelin. 

Mr. Wan received his Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Masao Kawasaki and Ron Copes. In the spring of 2019, he received the Part-Time Teaching Award from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. 

Andrew Wan performs on a 1744 Michel'Angelo Bergonzi violin, and gratefully acknowledges its loan from the David Sela Collection. He also enjoys the use of an 1860 Dominique Peccatte bow from Canimex. 

Andrew Wan was named concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) in 2008. As soloist, he has performed worldwide under conductors such as Maxim VengerovRafael PayareVasily PetrenkoBernard Labadie, Carlo Rizzi, Peter Oundjian, Michael Stern and James DePreist and has appeared in recitals with artists such as the Juilliard Quartet, Vadim RepinMarc-André Hamelin, Daniil TrifonovMenahem PresslerJörg Widmann, Emanuel Ax, James Ehnesand Gil ShahamHis discography includes Grammy nominated and Juno, Felix and Opus award-winning releases on the Onyx, Bridge, and Naxos labels with the Seattle Chamber Music Society, New York’s Metropolis Ensemble, Charles Richard-Hamelin, and the New Orford String Quartet. In the fall of 2015, he released a live recording of all three Saint-Saëns violin concerti with the OSM and Kent Nagano under the Analekta label to wide critical acclaim. Mr. Wan graduated from The Juilliard School with three degrees and is currently Assistant Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, Artistic Director of the Soloists of the OSM, Artistic Partner of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for the 2017-18 Season and Artistic Director of the Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival.  He sits regularly as guest concertmaster for the Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis, National Arts Centre, and Toronto symphony orchestras.   

Andrew Wan performs on a 1744 Michel'Angelo Bergonzi violin, and gratefully acknowledges its loan from the David Sela Collection.  He also enjoys the use of an 1860 Dominique Peccatte bow from Canimex. 

Ariana Kim, violin

Noted by The New York Times for giving "the proceedings an invaluable central thread of integrity and stylishness" and having "played with soulful flair," violinist Ariana Kim made her New York recital debut at Carnegie's Weill Hall during her graduate studies at Juilliard and is now a tenured professor at Cornell University.  Together with the Aizuri Quartet, she was awarded the Gold Medal at the 2017 Osaka International Competition, the 2018 M-Prize, and a 2019 Grammy nomination for their debut album, Blueprinting.  At 16, Ariana made her debut with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and at 24 was appointed acting concertmaster of the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans and has since become one of the most respected artists of her generation.

A recipient of a Cornell University Affinito-Stewart Faculty Grant and a Society for the Humanities Grant, Ariana released her first solo album Routes of Evanescence in December of 2015 which features works for solo violin and violin + 1 written by American women composers including Ruth Crawford Seeger, Augusta Read Thomas, and Jennifer Curtis.  While on sabbatic leave from Cornell in 2016, Ariana lived and worked in Italy, teaching at l'Istituto Stradivari, performing with Milano Classica, and curating a cultural diplomacy public art project involving the Cornell Composition Department, the Cornell Architecture Department, and a group of North African and Mid-East refugees.  She performed two solo recital tours in Northern and Central Italy featuring works from J.S. Bach to Elliott Carter to bluegrass fiddle tunes; she is set to return to her “home away from home” this coming summer for a solo appearance with Milano Classica at the Paesaggi Musicali Toscani - a festival for which she will also become the newly appointed Co-Artistic Director beginning in August 2019.

Ariana now marks her 14th season with The Knights, a New York-based imaginative and diverse musical collective that performs programs ranging from string quartets to bluegrass tunes and Mid-East folk music, to the great chamber orchestra masterpieces of the 20th century.  The ensemble recently toured France, Germany, and Austria and are in the midst of a multi-season residency at BRIC in Brooklyn.  Knights collaborative projects have included work with Yo-Yo Ma, Bela Fleck, Dawn Upshaw, Susan Graham, Gil Shaham, among others.  In January of 2015, the group released its seventh album, …the ground beneath our feet – a collection of live performances from a recent U.S. tour – for Warner Classics, on which Ariana is a featured soloist in Steve Reich’s Duo for two violins and strings, alongside Guillaume Pirard; that track has since received much acclaim and was chosen as one of NPR's "Songs We Love” for 2015.

Ariana also served 10 seasons as a member of the New Yorker-acclaimed New York new music ensemble, Ne(x)tworks, which made their international debut at the John Cage Festival in Berlin performing Cage’s “Song Books” to a packed house alongside the Maulwerker Company in March 2013.  Their dedication to the interpretation of graphic scores, open notation and collective improvisation led to a rare recording of the chamber music of Earle Brown, available on MODE Records.

Raised in Minnesota by parents Ellen and Young-Nam whom were her teachers from age 3 to 17, Ariana finds another musical home in her native Twin Cities as she is now in her 14th season with the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota.  Recent collaborations have included performances with Robert Mann, Fred Sherry, Peter Wiley, Samuel Rhodes, Nobuko Imai, Charles Neidich, and Leon Fleisher.  The proud educational wing of the Society, CMSMnext brings her to Twin Cities schools, conservatories, and community programs to offer presentations, outreach workshops and master classes.  She will join her father Young-Nam in a Co-Artistic Directorship of the CMSM beginning in the 2019-2020 season.

Ariana has spent summers at Ravinia's Steans Institute, Yellow Barn, and Orford Centre d'Arts.  A passionate pedagogue, Ariana spends much of the academic year teaching and mentoring a full studio of talented collegiate students at Cornell; this summer, she will join the faculty of the Palo Alto Chamber Music Workshop for the 17th consecutive year, the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute for the 11th time, and the Crowden Music Center Chamber Music Institute for the fourth time.  She volunteers annually with the Title One school, Castillero Middle in San Jose, CA and has presented master classes throughout the U.S. and abroad at such institutions as Kent State University, The MacPhail Center, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ariana received her masters and doctorate from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of the late Robert Mann, her undergraduate degree from the San Francisco Conservatory with Ian Swensen and Camilla Wicks, and currently co-resides in Ithaca and New York City.

Barry Shiffman, violin/viola

Barry Shiffman enjoys a diverse career as a performer, recording artist, teacher, and administrator. In 1989, he co-founded the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ). 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. As part of his role in the St. Lawrence, Shiffman served as artist in- residence at Stanford University from 1998 to 2006.  

He is Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM), and directs the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists. A sought after juror, he has served on the jury of the Tchaikovsky and Montreal Violin Competitions, as well as London’s Wigmore Hall, Geneva, Banff, and Lyon String Quartet Competitions. 

Since 2018 he has been Artistic Director of Rockport Chamber Music Festival at the Shalin Liu Performance Centre in Massachusetts.  

He makes his home in Toronto with his wife Robin, daughters Lily and Zoe, as well as their dog Rosie. 

Yura Lee, violin/viola

Violinist/violist Yura Lee is one of the most versatile and compelling artists of today. She is one of the very few in the world that has mastery of both violin and viola, and she actively performs both instruments equally. Her career spans through various musical mediums: both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, captivating audiences with music from baroque to modern, and enjoying a career that spans more than two decades that takes her all over the world. 

Yura Lee was the only first prize winner awarded across four categories at the 2013 ARD Competition in Germany. She has won top prizes for both violin and viola in numerous other competitions, including first prize and audience prize at the 2006 Leopold Mozart Competition (Germany), first prize at the 2010 UNISA International Competition (South Africa), first prize at the 2013 Yuri Bashmet International Competition (Russia), and top prizes in Indianapolis (USA), Hannover (Germany), Kreisler (Austria), and Paganini (Italy) Competitions. 

At age 12, Yura Lee became the youngest artist ever to receive the Debut Artist of the Year prize at the "Performance Today" awards given by National Public Radio. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant given by Lincoln Center in New York City. Yura Lee’s CD with Reinhard Goebel and the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, titled ‘Mozart in Paris’ (Oehms Classics) received the prestigious Diapason d’Or Award in France. 

Yura Lee was nominated and represented by Carnegie Hall for its ECHO (European Concert Hall Organization) series. For this series, she gave recitals at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall and at nine celebrated concert halls in Europe: Wigmore Hall in London, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, Musikverein in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Stockholm Konserthus, Athens Concert Hall, and Cologne Philharmonie. 

As a soloist, Yura Lee has appeared with many major orchestras, including New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, to name a few. She has performed with conductors Christophe Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, Myung-Whun Chung, Mikhail Pletnev, among many others.

As a chamber musician, Yura Lee regularly takes part in the Marlboro Festival, Salzburg Festival, Verbier Festival, La Jolla SummerFest, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, Caramoor Festival, Kronberg Festival, Aspen Music Festival, among many others. She has collaborated with many artists including Gidon Kremer, Andras Schiff, Leonidas Kavakos, Mitsuko Uchida, Miklós Perényi, Yuri Bashmet, Menahem Pressler, and Frans Helmerson. Yura Lee is currently a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (New York City), and Boston Chamber Music Society.

Yura Lee studied at the Juilliard School (New York City), New England Conservatory (Boston), Salzburg Mozarteum (Austria), and Kronberg Academy (Germany). Her main teachers were Namyun Kim, Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Thomas Riebl, Ana Chumachenko, and Nobuko Imai. She teaches both violin and viola at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Yura Lee lives in Portland, Oregon. 

Eric Nowlin, viola

Violist Eric Nowlin has performed extensively throughout the United States as well as abroad. He currently serves as Principal Viola of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Nowlin’s performance of Berlioz’ Harold in Italy with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra was described by Classical Source as “outstanding…his distinctive timbre and sovereign musicianship at one with Slatkin’s perfectly paced account… totally compelling.” Past accomplishments include receiving second prize in the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg Competition, first prize in the Irving Klein International String Competition; first prize in the Hellam Young Artists Competition; grand prize in the Naftzger Young Artists Competition; and winner of the Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition. Performances have included solo engagements with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony in Missouri, Santa Cruz Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, and the Kumamoto Symphony in Japan, as well as recitals in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Mexico.

Mr. Nowlin is the violist of the Juno and Opus Award winning New Orford String Quartet. Other chamber music activities have included participating in festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia. He was a regular member of the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City, and also toured with Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute. Mr. Nowlin was previously the Associate Principal viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has served as guest principal viola with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolis Ensemble, and Cleveland’s Citymusic, as well as substitute viola with the New York Philharmonic.

Mr. Nowlin was an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, and also taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He spends time during the summer months teaching and performing at numerous music festivals in the United States and Canada.

He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Samuel Rhodes. Mr. Nowlin plays on a Neapolitan viola from 1910, made by Giovanni Pistucci, as well as a viola made by Sam Zygmuntowicz in 2019.

Rebecca Albers, viola

Rebecca Albers joined the Minnesota Orchestra as assistant principal viola in 2010 and won the position of principal viola in 2017. She has performed throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, making her New York debut at Lincoln Center, performing the New York premiere of Samuel Adler’s Viola Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, she performs often at such festivals as the Marlboro Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer and Winter Festivals, and Rome Chamber Music Festival. 
Albers is a member of Accordo, a Twin Cities-based chamber ensemble whose members are present and former principal players from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. She has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro and with the Albers Trio, an ensemble formed with her sisters Laura and Julie Albers, and has been featured on many of the Orchestra’s chamber concerts, performing music by Schumann, Beethoven, Dvořák and Schubert. 
She is currently a studio instructor at Macalester College in Saint Paul and a Distinguished Artist faculty member at Mercer University’s Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in Macon, Georgia. She has also recently served on the faculty of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.    
Originally from Longmont, Colorado, Albers grew up playing violin and harp, picking up the viola at age nine for an ensemble her mother, a Suzuki teacher, was putting together. Her sister Julie Albers and wife Maiya Papach are, respectively, the principal cellist and principal violist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Albers received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and Hsin-Yun Huang. Her childhood teachers were James Maurer and Ellie Albers LeRoux. 

Victor Fournelle-Blain, viola

Newly appointed Principal Viola of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Victor Fournelle-Blain played with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal from 2014 to 2019, starting in the viola section and subsequently winning second assistant and associate principal positions. Like many other violists, he first trained as a violinist, studying at Conservatoire de Montréal under Johanne Arel, and Yale School of Music under Ani Kavafian, before completing his studies at McGill with an Artist Diploma in viola performance under André Roy. He has won several competitions and awards including the 2012 Prix d’Europe, McGill’s 2014 Golden Violin, and the Second Prize of the 2010 OSM Standard Life Competition, and he is still at home playing the violin for occasional chamber music concerts, recitals, and concerto performances.  

A chamber musician at heart, Victor is a founding member of the Grand-Duc Trio and has collaborated with artists such as Vadim Repin, Jean-Philippe Collard, and Alexandre Tharaud. Also keen on pedagogy, he has taught at McGill University and Université de Montréal, as well as Camp Musical des Laurentides in Quebec and Formandi Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico.  

Victor is also an avid hiker and triathlete, having recently completed his first Ironman 70.3 race. 

Nicholas Canellakis, cello

Hailed by The New Yorker as a “superb young soloist,” Nicholas Canellakis has become one of the most sought-after and innovative cellists of his generation, captivating audiences throughout the United States and abroad. In The New York Times his playing was praised as "impassioned ... the audience seduced by Mr. Canellakis's rich, alluring tone." 

Canellakis's recent highlights include a Carnegie Hall concerto debut with the American Symphony Orchestra; concerto appearances with the Albany Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Pan-European Philharmonia in Greece, and New Haven Symphony as Artist-in-Residence; and a recital of American cello-piano works at New York's Lincoln Center. His 2018-19 season includes solo debuts with the Lansing, Bangor, and Delaware symphony orchestras; Europe and Asia tours with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, including appearances in London's Wigmore Hall, the Louvre in Paris, the Seoul Arts Center, and the Shanghai and Taipei National Concert Halls; and recitals throughout the United States with his long-time duo collaborator, pianist-composer Michael Brown. 

Canellakis is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, in which he performs regularly in Alice Tully Hall and on tour, and is a former member of CMS Two. He is also a regular guest artist at many of the world's leading music festivals, including Santa Fe, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Bard, Bridgehampton, La Jolla, Hong Kong, Moab, Music in the Vineyards, and Saratoga Springs. In addition, he was recently named Artistic Director of Chamber Music Sedona, beginning in 2018. 

Canellakis is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory, where his teachers included Orlando Cole, Peter Wiley, and Paul Katz. He has also been in residence at Carnegie Hall as a member of Ensemble Connect. 

Filmmaking and acting are special interests of Mr. Canellakis. He has produced, directed, and starred in several short films and music videos, including his popular comedy web series "Conversations with Nick Canellakis.” All of his videos can be found on his website at 

Julie Albers, cello

American cellist Julie Albers is recognized for her superlative artistry, her charismatic and radiant performing style, and her intense musicianship. She was born into a musical family in Longmont, Colorado and began violin studies at the age of two with her mother, switching to cello at four. She moved to Cleveland during her junior year of high school to pursue studies through the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Aaron. Miss Albers soon was awarded the Grand Prize at the XIII International Competition for Young Musicians in Douai, France, and as a result toured France as soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Douai.

Ms. Albers made her major orchestral debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1998, and thereafter has performed in recital and with orchestras throughout North America, Europe, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand. In 2001, she won Second Prize in Munich's Internationalen Musikwettbewerbes der ARD, and was also awarded the Wilhelm-Weichsler-Musikpreis der Stadt Osnabruch . While in Germany, she recorded solo and chamber music of Kodaly for the Bavarian Radio, performances that have been heard throughout Europe. In 2003, Miss Albers was named the first Gold Medal Laureate of South Korea's Gyeongnam International Music Competition.

In North America, Miss Albers has performed with many important orchestras and ensembles. Recent performances have included exciting debuts on the San Francisco Performances series and with the Grant Park Music Festival where she performed Penderecki's Concerto Grosso for 3 cellos with Mr. Penderecki conducting. Past seasons have included concerto appearances with the Orchestras of Colorado, Indianapolis, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, and Munchener Kammerorchester among others.

In 2014, Miss Albers was named principal cellist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In addition to this appointment, she regularly participates in chamber music festivals around the world. 2009 marked the end of a three year residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two. She is currently active with the Albers String Trio and the Cortona Trio. Teaching is also a very important part of Miss Albers' musical life. She currently is Assistant Professor and holds the Mary Jean and Charles Yates Cello Chair at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

Miss Albers' debut album with Orion Weiss includes works by Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Schumann, Massenet, and Piatagorsky and is available on the Artek Label. Julie Albers performs on a N.F. Vuillaume cello made in 1872 and makes her home in Minneapolis with her husband, Bourbon, and their dog, Dozer.

Colin Carr, cello

Colin Carr appears throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. He has played with major orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Montréal and all the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand. Conductors with whom he has worked include Rattle, Gergiev, Dutoit, Elder, Skrowasczewski and Marriner. He has been a regular guest at the BBC Proms and has twice toured Australia. 

With his duo partner Thomas Sauer he has played recitals throughout the United States and Europe including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Wigmore Hall in London. 2016 sees them playing a program of Britten and Adès for both the Chamber Music Societies of New York and Philadelphia. Colin has played complete cycles of the Bach Solo Suites at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Gardner Museum in Boston and in Montreal, Toronto, Ottowa and Vancouver. 

As a member of the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, he recorded and toured extensively for 20 years. Chamber music plays an important role in his musical life. He is a frequent visitor to international chamber music festivals worldwide and has appeared often as a guest with the Guarneri and Emerson string quartets and with New York's Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. 

Recent CD releases include the complete Bach suites on the Wigmore Live label and the complete Beethoven Sonatas and Variations on the MSR Classics label with Thomas Sauer. Colin is the winner of many prestigious international awards, including First Prize in the Naumburg Competition, the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award, Second Prize in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition and also winner of the Young Concert Artists competition. 

He first played the cello at the age of five. Three years later he went to the Yehudi Menuhin School, where he studied with Maurice Gendron and later William Pleeth. He was made a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1998, having been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston for 16 years. In 1998, St. John’s College, Oxford created the post of “Musician in Residence” for him, and in September 2002 he became a professor at Stony Brook University in New York. 

Colin's cello was made by Matteo Gofriller in Venice in 1730. He makes his home with his wife Caroline and 3 children, Clifford, Frankie and Anya, in an old house outside Oxford. 

Desmond Hoebig, cello

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

Desmond was born in 1961 and raised in Vancouver, Canada. He studied with James Hunter, Jack Mendelsohn and Ian Hampton. In 1978 he moved to Philadelphia to study with David Soyer at the Curtis Institute of Music. He received his BM and MM at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins, and participated in master classes with Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi at the Banff Centre.

Mr. Hoebig won the First Prize at the Munich International Competition (1984), the Grand Prize of the CBC Talent Competition (1981) and the Canadian Music Competition (1980). He was also an award winner at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1982).

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.

Brian Manker, cello

Solo Cellist of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) since 1999, Brian Manker enjoys a diverse and varied musical career as a performer and teacher. In addition to being a frequent concerto soloist with the OSM, Mr. Manker is also a member of the Juno and Opus award-winning New Orford String Quartet. Currently on the faculty of McGill University's Schulich School of Music, in 2007 Mr. Manker launched the Beethoven Project and founded the Adorno Quartet, which aimed to perform all the quartets of Beethoven in their proper context, the private salon. In 2010, he recorded the complete Bach Cello Suites on the STORKCLASSICS label.  

Brian Manker plays on a cello made by Pietro Guarneri of Venice ca. 1728-1730 and a bow made by Joseph René Lafleur ca.1850, graciously loaned by the Canimex Foundation. 

Nicolas Namoradze, piano

Pianist and composer Nicolas Namoradze, whose performances have been hailed by critics as “sparkling… sensitive and coloristic” (New York Times) and “simply gorgeous” (Wall Street Journal), came to international attention upon winning the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary, Canada— among the largest competition prizes in classical music. The Calgary Herald called him “unparalleled,” and “a pianist’s pianist,” stating: “Namoradze is not the conventional competition pianist, but his individuality was evident from the outset. While he certainly has the virtuosity to spare, he gained the top spot through his remarkable clarity of execution, refinement and variety of tone, and his uncanny ability to make even the most ordinary passagework sound meaningful and distinctive … The refinement of his playing was of international standard and everywhere his interpretative skills commanded attention and admiration.” 

Highlights of the current season include a critically acclaimed, sold-out Carnegie debut recital at Zankel Hall, about which ConcertoNet wrote: “[Namoradze] is a pianist who proved that, once in a while, the distinguished members of the jury make a good choice and select a winner who plays like a true artist; who impresses not with pyrotechnics but rather with keen intelligence, a rich tonal palette and refinement … It was a most auspicious debut by an artist representing that rare breed, a thinking virtuoso.” 

This season will also see the releases of select live performances from the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition on the Honens label and a program of Schumann and Namoradze on the Steinway label. Further upcoming activities include recitals at Wigmore Hall (London), Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, 92nd Street Y (New York), the Gardner Museum (Boston) and the Konzerthaus Berlin; a recording on the Hyperion label; and worldwide engagements with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Miami International Piano Festival, and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. 

Enthusiastic of innovative programs and technologies that expand the reach of classical music around the world, Nicolas has been closely associated with Juilliard Global Ventures, where he represented Juilliard students in the Julliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Program. He is also featured in the most-watched episode of Juilliard Open Studios with his teacher, Emanuel Ax, and appears as a guest educator on the history of the piano for Juilliard edX courses. Nicolas’ interest in contemporary music and lesser-known works of the piano repertoire has led him to present original and exciting programs embracing works such as Godowsky’s infamous Studies on Chopin Etudes, sets of Ligeti Etudes, rarities including Dvorak’s Piano Concerto and the solo piano music of York Bowen, and many works by his contemporaries. 

After completing his undergraduate studies in Budapest, Vienna, and Florence, Nicolas moved to New York to obtain his master’s degree at The Juilliard School. He now pursues his doctorate at the CUNY Graduate Center, holding the Graduate Center Fellowship. His teachers have included Emanuel Ax, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Zoltán Kocsis, Matti Raekallio, and Elisso Virsaladze in piano, and John Corigliano in composition. Nicolas serves on the faculty of Queens College. 

John Novacek, piano

Pianist JOHN NOVACEK regularly tours the Americas, Europe and Asia as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist; in the latter capacity he has presented over thirty concerti with dozens of orchestras. 

Following a summer filled with re-engagements at major festivals throughout the United states and Canada, John Novacek’s current season is highlighted by his debut with Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony Orchestra and returns to Massachusetts’ Springfield Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Kevin Rhodes, and Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, conducted by Scott Yoo. He also continues his collaborative work with violinist Leila Josefowicz, performing at Amherst College, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York City’s Park Avenue Armory and Washington, DC’s Library of Congress and The Phillips Collection. 

John Novacek’s major American performances have been heard in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, 92nd Street Y, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Merkin Concert Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Symphony Space, Washington’s The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center and Los Angeles’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Hollywood Bowl and Royce Hall, while international venues include Paris’ Theatre des Champs-Elysées, Salle Gaveau and Musée du Louvre, London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre, as well as most of the major concert halls of Japan. He is also a frequent guest artist at festivals, here and abroad, including New York City’s Mostly Mozart Festival, California’s Festival Mozaic and those of Aspen, Cape Cod, Caramoor, Chautauqua, Colorado College, Great Lakes, Mendocino, Mimir, Ravinia, Seattle, SummerFest La Jolla, Wolf Trap, BBC Proms (England), Braunschweig (Germany), Lucerne, Menuhin and Verbier (Switzerland), Majorca (Spain), Sorrento (Italy), Stavanger (Norway), Toulouse (France) and Sapporo (Japan). He has also made his debut with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México. 

Often heard on radio broadcasts worldwide, John Novacek has appeared on NPR’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday and, as both featured guest composer/performer, on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He was also seen and heard on television, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Entertainment Tonight and CNN International. 

John Novacek is a much sought-after collaborative artist and has performed with Joshua Bell, Matt Haimovitz, Leila Josefowicz, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Truls Mork, Elmar Oliveira and Emmanuel Pahud, and, as well as the Colorado, Harrington, Jupiter, New Hollywood, St. Lawrence, SuperNova and Ying string quartets. He also tours widely as a member of Intersection, a piano trio that includes violinist Kaura Frautschi and cellist Kristina Reiko Coooper. Mr. Novacek has also given numerous world premieres and worked closely with composers John Adams, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, George Rochberg, John Williams and John Zorn. 

John Novacek took top prizes at both the Leschetizky and Joanna Hodges international piano competitions, among many others. He studied piano with Polish virtuoso Jakob Gimpel at California State University, Northridge, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude. Subsequently, he earned a Master of Music degree from New York City’s Mannes College of Music, where his instructors were Peter Serkin in piano and Felix Galimer in chamber music. Mr. Novacek’s coaches in composition included Frederick Werle, Aurelio de la Vega and Daniel Kessner. 

John Novacek’s own compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Pacific Symphony, The 5 Browns, Concertante, Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo, Harrington String Quartet, Ying Quartet, Millennium, Quattro Mani and The Three Tenors. He has recorded over 30 CDs, encompassing solo and chamber music by most major composers from Bach to Bartók, as well as many contemporary and original scores. Mr. Novacek records for Philips, Nonesuch, Arabesque, Warner Classics, Sony/BMG, Koch International, Universal Classics, Ambassador, Pony Canyon, Four Winds, Arkay, Virtuoso and EMI Classics. CD titles include Road Movies (2004 GRAMMY nomination as “Best Chamber Music Performance”), Great Mozart Piano Works, Spanish Rhapsody, Novarags (original ragtime compositions), Classic Romance, Hungarian Sketches, Intersection, Romances et Meditations and, with Leila JosefowiczAmericana (GRAMOPHONE: “Editor’s Choice”), For the End of Time, Shostakovich and Recital (BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE: 5 stars/June 2005's chamber choice). 

John Novacek is a Steinway Artist. 

Selection Process

Fellows are chosen through a rigorous selection process by an international jury panel of specialists, led by
Artistic Director Jonathan Crow. Candidates are selected based on their potential to make a significant contribution in the professional milieu. Candidates are selected by a jury based on their online application including video recordings, biographies, and repertoire lists

Academy Facilities

Rehearsals, classes, and coaching take place in the Edward Johnson Building, home of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Individual practice rooms and several rehearsal spaces with pianos are available to Toronto Summer Music Academy Fellows.

The Edward Johnson Building houses a music library which is the main research music collection in Canada and includes a vast collection of sound recordings in the Sniderman Recording Archives, and Walter Hall, one of the city’s major chamber music halls. It is located on the main campus of the University of Toronto in midtown Toronto, on the subway line, and close to the city’s libraries, concert halls, galleries, museums, and theatres.

Performance Opportunities

Fellows from the Art of Song and Chamber Music Institute come together to perform at the Festival’s reGENERATION concerts. In addition to performing in ensembles with their mentors at the reGENERATION concerts, Chamber Music Fellows also perform in ensembles that receive coachings from mentors at our noon Academy concerts.