Sunday, August 20, 8:00pm
Mark Chambers is a conductor, cellist and early music specialist. He studied cello with Martha Gerschefski, Lubomir Georgiev and David Miller, and has performed extensively in the United States and Ontario as both a chamber musician and orchestral player.
At York, Dr. Chambers is the Cello/Viola da Gamba instructor and conducts the York University Symphony Orchestra.He performs in a trio with his faculty colleague and clarinetist Patricia Wait and York alumna and pianist, Elizabeth Acker. He is also very active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout southern Ontario.
A former Theodore Presser Foundation Fellow, Dr. Chambers’ research interests include Baroque music, period instrument performance practice, the ‘Tartini Tone’, and scordatura, altered tunings for strings. He has authored several articles for the American String Teachers Journal and is a contributor to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Prior to his appointment at York, Dr. Chambers taught for nine years at Eastern Kentucky University, where he performed as a member of the Faculty Piano Trio and the Faculty String Quartet. He joined York’s Department of Music in 2005.
Dr. Chambers recently released his first solo CD, “Canadian Voices: Works for Solo Cello” featuring unaccompanied cello works by Canadian composers, David Lidov, Al Henderson, Brent Lee and Stephen Brown.
CRory frequently plays as an extra with The Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. He served as assistant principal viola of Symphony Nova Scotia from 2010-12, during which time The Chronicle Herald chose him as one of Halifax’s Top 20 20-Somethings. He is a member of “Toronto’s all-star classical band,” the Group of 27 Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has played principal viola.
Toronto-based violist Rory McLeod enjoys an exciting and varied career as a chamber musician, orchestral player, artistic director, and teacher. He believes strongly in the connective power of music, and makes it his mission to use music to create real personal connections among people.
Together with his wife Emily Rho, Rory co-directs Pocket Concerts, a friendly home-grown concert series that provides “an intimacy that’s hard to find in the concert hall” (Toronto Star), presenting top-quality chamber music experiences in homes and offices all over Toronto. Rory and Emily are now expanding their impact by helping friends in other cities start their own in-home concert series, and by advising other arts entrepreneurs through panels, speeches, and courses in the Toronto area.
Over the past few years, Rory has followed his passion for chamber music across the continent and beyond, playing with the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington, D.C., and also at the SweetWater Festival (Owen Sound), Chamber Music @ NewPark (Itahaca, NY), The Toronto Summer Music Festival, The Mendelssohn on Mull Festival (Scotland), and Le Domaine Forget (Quebec).
Outside of his own series, Rory plays frequently with bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson in her new concert series, Bassoon Out Loud. He will travel to Nova Scotia in June as a member of the string quartet in residence at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, and to Ithaca and Owen Sound in September to play chamber music with some of his favourite musicians.
Rory frequently plays as an extra with The Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. He served as assistant principal viola of Symphony Nova Scotia from 2010-12, during which time The Chronicle Herald chose him as one of Halifax’s Top 20 20-Somethings. He is a member of “Toronto’s all-star classical band,” the Group of 27 Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has played principal viola.
Rory holds a B.A. in English Literature from McGill University and a Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould School. He studied viola with Steven Dann and Jean MacRae.
Born in Tehran, Bijan Sepanji is a multi-faceted performer and educator who is based in Toronto, Canada. As a member of the Ton Beau String Quartet, Bijan regularly performs new compositions by up-and-coming composers as well as standards from the classical repertoire. This past season, Bijan performed a number of concerts with TBSQ in Alberta, performing a brand new work by Canadian composer William Rowson as well as the celebrated Ravel String Quartet.
Having trained at Indiana and McGill universities, Bijan’s orchestral experiences include performances
with Indianapolis and Kitchener-Waterloo symphonies, as well as with Orchestra London, Hamilton Philharmonic and the Toronto Concert Orchestra. He is also holds a teaching/conducting position at Sistema Toronto, a social program aimed at bringing at-risk youth into a positive community of orchestral music, choir and Pachanga (Cuban drumming).
While at Indiana University, Bijan’s interest in string pedagogy led him to study with Mimi Zweig and Brenda Brenner, two of the most respected string pedagogues in North America. Bijan’s teaching principles are based on the wealth of knowledge acquired during his studies in Indiana. This knowledge, and a decade of teaching violin has allowed Bijan to quickly become a very effective and highly sought-after teacher in the Toronto region.
Bijan is also involved with the Mooredale Youth Orchestra, conducting and working with the junior strings division and preparing them for three concerts a year.
A native of Vancouver Island, Jeremy has been rapidly building acclaim as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician in Toronto and abroad. Recent solo engagements include a performance of Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Eastman Philharmonia and a featured guest artist performance at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. Continually seeking to improve his craft, Jeremy has participated in many internationally renowned music festivals including the Banff Center Masterclasses, Orford Summer Music Academy, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the prestigious Mozarteum Summer Music Academy.
Jeremy’s passion for the contemporary repertoire has led him to work with composers from across the United States and Canada. Highlights include the premiere of Louise, a commissioned piece for violin and guitar by Joel David Balzun, and a performance of André Previn’s Octet for Eleven at the Eastman School of Music, for which the composer was in attendance. Jeremy has also collaborated with Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Luther Adams, performing The Light That Fills the World at the Banff Centre for the Arts,
and performed as the violinist for Music in the American Wild, a contemporary septet which performed ten commissioned works throughout United States National Parks in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.
As an avid orchestral and chamber musician, Jeremy has performed regularly with the Rochester Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Island Symphony, the Galiano String Ensemble, and the New York City based Shattered Glass Ensemble. He also served as both Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin of the Eastman Philharmonia, the University of Victoria Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, with which he can be heard as Concertmaster on their 2009 Juno-nominated recording of Bernstein’s West Side Story.
Jeremy holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Victoria. His principal teachers have been Federico Agostini, Ann Elliott-Goldschmid of the Lafayette String Quartet, and Gwen Thompson. Jeremy performs on a 1902 Enrico Rocca violin on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.
Pianist Emily Rho is an open-minded and much-sought-after musician based in Toronto, Canada. Forging a multi-faceted career of her own, she is not only a captivating pianist on stage, but also an arts administrator, and educator. Beyond her expressive playing at the piano, Emily is an effortless public speaker and often reaches out to the audience on a more personal level by introducing the works being performed with a story that is relatable to the modern audience.
Alongside her performing career, Ms. Rho is the co-artistic director of Toronto’s Pocket Concerts, which presents high-quality chamber music concerts in intimate venues such as homes and work places all over Toronto. Focused on providing a holistic concert experience, each Pocket Concert offers a thoughtfully curated program performed by some of Canada’s finest classical artists, experienced up-close in a fun, casual environment.
Her love of performing and exceptional dedication to her craft have led to many accolades and opportunities to be heard in various concert venues in North America, Europe, and Asia. She has collaborated with internationally acclaimed artists such as violist Roberto Diaz, violinists Ian Swensen and Mark Fewer. In 2012, Ms. Rho was chosen to perform at the Emil Gilels Foundation Festival in Freiburg, Germany, and she was also invited as a collaborative pianist at The Banff Centre and the Toronto Summer Music Festival’s Chamber Music Institute. More recently, Emily has been invited as a guest pianist at music festivals in Québec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and New York.
Ms. Rho has been invited as a guest speaker at various workshops through Artscape Launchpad, National Academy Orchestra, and University of Toronto. Through her presentations, Emily wishes to share her experiences and insights as an emerging artist entrepreneur.
A native of Seoul, Korea, Emily is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma from The Glenn Gould School, and a Master of Music from University of Toronto. She maintains a private teaching studio in downtown Toronto and coaches chamber music at the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists of The Royal Conservatory of Music. Ms. Rho is also an amateur chorister in an all-professional-instrumentalists’ choir, Acquired Taste, which was founded through Pocket Concerts in 2017.