Ian Parker - Piano
Ian Parker - Piano - Richmond Music Festival

Magnetic, easy-going, and delightfully articulate, Canadian pianist Ian Parker captivates audiences wherever he goes.

He has appeared with the philharmonic orchestras of Buffalo, Calgary, Erie, Hamilton, and Louisiana, as well as the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the symphonies of Cincinnati, Edmonton, Eugene, Greenwich, Honolulu, Kitchener-Waterloo, Long Beach, National (Washington, D.C.), Okanagan, Pensacola, Quebec, Regina, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Spokane, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Virginia, and Winnipeg.

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First Prize winner at the 2001 CBC National Radio Competition, Ian Parker has also won the Grand Prize at the Canadian National Music Festival, the Corpus Christie International Competition and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition. At The Juilliard School, he received the 2002 William Petschek Piano Debut Award and, on two occasions, was the winner of the Gina Bachauer Piano Scholarship Competition. Heard regularly on CBC Radio, Mr. Parker has also performed live on WQXR (hosted by Robert Sherman) in New York.

Born in Vancouver to a family of pianists, Ian Parker began his piano studies at age three with his father, Edward Parker. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Yoheved Kaplinsky. While at Juilliard, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded him the Sylva Gelber Career Grant, which is given annually to the “most talented Canadian artist.” 

Nikolai Maloff - Piano
Nikolai Maloff - Piano - Richmond Music Festival

A winner of major piano competitions such as the Virginia Waring (USA), Franz Liszt (Italy), Eckhardt-Gramatté (Canada) and Canadian Music Competitions, Nikolai Maloff has appeared to resounding acclaim as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and collaborative musician in the Americas, Europe, and Russia.

Dr. Maloff studied with some of Canada’s finest teachers, including Jane Coop, Dale Reubart, Robert Rogers, and Kum Sing Lee.

He holds a Masters degree from the Moscow State Conservatory in Russia, where he studied with Gleb Axelrod, and a Doctoral degree from the University of British Columbia.

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In his capacity as teacher and adjudicator, Dr. Maloff brings the full breadth of his years of performance experience and an intimate understanding of both Eastern and Western pedagogical traditions.

Previously a faculty member at institutions such as the UBC School of Music, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and the State Conservatory of Lima, Peru, Dr. Maloff now runs a private studio in Vancouver.

Michelle Mares - Piano
Michelle Mares - Piano - Richmond Music Festival

A native of Vancouver, Canada, Michelle Mares began her musical studies at the age of 4 at Vancouver Academy of Music. She amassed a great deal of performing experience as a child prodigy and drew the attention of many notable musicians, including András Schiff, Ivan Moravec and Gaby Casadesus.

Ms. Mares has enjoyed the rare privilege of studying with some of the world’s most eminent musicians including Canada’s own Jane Coop, Leon Fleisher, Karl Heinz Kämmerling, György Kurtág, and Alfred Brendel. Her approach to music is deeply rooted in the treasured legacy of her teachers, and her own teaching is deeply influenced by it.

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She has won many competitions including the Geneva International Competition, CBC Young Performer’s Competition, the Hamburg Steinway Competition, the Montreal Symphony Competition, and the S.A.C.E.M. Prize at the Casadesus International Competition. She has performed internationally as a soloist and a chamber musician for most of her adult life and draws from a deep reservoir of professional experience.

Ms Mares taught at the University of Victoria for 10 years and is now settled in Vancouver, BC where she is a popular guest adjudicator at regional competitions and festivals and is regularly invited to perform and give masterclasses. She is also a regular master teacher at the Victoria Summer Piano Academy which takes place every summer at the University of Victoria.

Irina Konovalov - Piano
Irina Konovalov - Piano - Richmond Music Festival

Born in Russia, Irina Konovalov received her Masters and Doctoral Degree at the Novosibirsk Conservatory of Music. She joined the piano faculty in 1981 and was a member there for ten years. While in Russia, Irina performed a number of solo recitals, chamber concerts, and was a soloist with the Novosibirsk and Kemerovo Symphony Orchestras. During this time she wrote several music research papers about piano technique and the Russian piano repertoire.

In 1991 Irina and her family immigrated to Israel, where she taught piano at the Jerusalem Conservatory.

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Since coming to Canada in 1998, Irina has been on the faculty of Alberta College Conservatory of Music. Many of her students, which include international students from Hong Kong and China, have received awards in Fall and Kiwanis Festivals and now work as piano teachers.

Irina has performed numerous solo recitals and chamber concerts in Russia, Israel, and Canada. Recent performances include an appearance with the Kemerovo Symphony Orchestra.

Irina Konovalov is frequently invited to conduct master classes in Canada and abroad, and to adjudicate at music festivals and competitions. Recent adjudicating experience includes the North Shore Festival in North Vancouver and the Richmond Festival. Many of Irina’s students continue to be involved in the music scene even after graduating from Irina’s studio. Former Irina’s student Anders Muskens has organized several annual Mozart Festivals in Edmonton, AB.

Irina released four solo CDs.

Paolo Bortolussi - Woodwinds
Paolo Bortolussi - Woodwinds - Richmond Music Festival

Flutist Paolo Bortolussi is a soloist, chamber artist, and new music pioneer. Dedicated to championing music by living composers, he has premiered over 150 works for flute, including concerti written for him by Dorothy Chang, Jocelyn Morlock, and Aaron Gervais. Paolo is artistic director of the Nu:BC Collective, a new music ensemble in residence at the University of British Columbia. Firmly established as one of the premier interpreters of contemporary music in Western Canada, Nu:BC has performed at festivals across Canada, the US and Asia, and has premiered works by some of Canada’s leading composers including Brian Cherney, Gabriel Dharmoo, Michael Oesterle, Chris Paul Harman, Dorothy Chang, Owen Underhill, Aaron Gervais, John Oliver, Edward Top, Keith Hamel, and many more. Beyond Shadows, Nu:BC’s debut CD, as well as Paolo’s recent solo release Israfel have received multiple nominations at the Western Canadian Music Awards.

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Raised in Halifax, Dr. Bortolussi is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and the Indiana University School of Music. He serves on the faculties of the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Trinity Western University, and has presented masterclasses across North America as well as in Korea and Taiwan.

Paolo is principal flutist of the Vancouver Island Symphony where he is the driving force behind the Canadian Concerto Project, which has commissioned, premiered, and recorded five new concerti by Canadian composers for principal players of the orchestra.

Rick Dorfer - Strings
Rick Dorfer - Strings - Richmond Music Festival

Dr. Rick Dorfer enjoys the great variety he has developed in his career and maintains an active schedule as a violinist, conductor and educator.

As a violinist, Rick is a member of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. In addition to his active freelance career, Rick takes great joy in performing chamber music. Performances have taken him over Canada, the United States and Central America.

With the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, Rick enjoys conducting the Junior Orchestra. Previously, he had a long tenure with the Surrey Youth Orchestras and also served as Assistant Conductor for the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra and guest conductor for the Prince George Symphony Orchestra.

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Rick leads a vibrant teaching studio in South Surrey where he maintains a large class of violin and viola students. His students consistently win top honours at festivals and perform extensively in concert and community events. Rick appears on faculty at many summer festivals and is regularly invited to lead masterclasses and adjudicate music festivals.

Most recently, Rick has been appointed a member in the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music. As stated in the Royal Conservatory’s mission statement, Rick is a firm believer that ‘the arts are humanity’s greatest means to achieve personal growth and social cohesion.

Rick’s postgraduate training included an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Washington.

Alec Pearson - Guitar
Alec Pearson - Guitar - Richmond Music Festival

Alec Pearson enjoys a career based in Vancouver where he currently serves as sessional instructor of guitar at the University of British Columbia. Alec has performed both solo and in ensemble across Canada, Spain, Colombia, Greece and the U.S. He currently serves as president of the “Vancouver Classic Guitar Society” where he works to organize many concerts, lectures masterclasses and social events.

Alec holds the degree “Máster en Interpretación de Guitarra Clasica” from the Universitat d’Alacant in Alicante, Spain, where he studied with an array of the best guitarists in the world, including; David Russell, Pepe Romero, Manuel Barrueco, Roberto Aussel, Paul Galbraith and Fabio Zanon to list a few.tra.

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Prior to studying abroad, Alec earned a Masters degree from the University of British Columbia where he studied with internationally renowned Canadian guitarist and his longtime mentor Daniel Bolshoy. In 2012 he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Montreal.

He was born and raised in Calgary where he first received exposure to the guitar under the tutelage of Jose Fermin. During his youth, he was an active member and performer in the Classical Guitar Society of Calgary and began his own teaching career at the age of 17.

Robyn Driedger-Klassen - Voice
Robyn Driedger-Klassen - Voice - Richmond Music Festival

At the age of sixteen, Robyn Driedger-Klassen discovered that singing came more naturally than her attempts on the piano at Bach Preludes and Fugues. She won a few competitions in those early days and after a few years of dilly-dallying in other university programs, she decided that music was the only career for her so, she undertook the voice performance program at UBC with vigour.

Robyn has done lots of performing in lots of places. She loves the costumes and grandeur of opera and adores the personal and intimate side of recitals.

Several years ago, Robyn was hired by the Turning Point Ensemble to do a work for voice and ensemble by R Murray Schafer entitled Arcana. Faced with singing Egyptian hieroglyphs, Robyn found herself first at a complete loss, but soon fully enjoyed unraveling the mysteries found on the page.

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Schafer witnessed her successful performance and since then, Robyn has thrown herself whole-heartedly into performance of contemporary vocal repertoire. Some of her favourites have been: a fully-staged performance of Libby Larsen’s Try Me Good King, the final words and letters of the wives of Henry VIII; Kaaija Saariaho’s Lonh, for soprano and electronics that make lovely bird sounds; Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus, a woman’s inner monologue as she waits for a blind date; Brian Current’s Inventory, a complicated piece about a woman’s relationship with shoes; David McIntyre’s On the Road to Moose Jaw, a soaring song about a prairie drive; Leslie Uyeda’s White Cat Blues, a set of songs written for her with poems by Lorna Crozier; and Perruqueries, a commissioned set of songs about wigs from the weird and wonderful minds of Jocelyn Morlock and Bill Richardson.

This is an exciting time to be working with North American composers and Robyn is thrilled to make their songs come alive. However, she will always make time to sing Mozart, Schubert or Richard Strauss!

Robyn is on the core faculty of the Vancouver International Song Institute, and is also pleasantly surprised to find herself Head of Voice at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Robyn loves books, geraniums, hikes, canoes, cups of tea and a clean house. Robyn lives with her husband and two vocal critics under the age of five. She can bake a wicked loaf of bread and in recent times, has learned a considerable amount about monster trucks, fast cars and dinosaurs.