Nino Merabishvili - Piano

A native of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, pianist Nino Merabishvili has captivated audiences around the world with her musical versatility, and powerful, yet sensitive performances. Having debuted at age nine with the Georgia State Philharmonic, playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488 in A Major, she has since gone on to perform with the major orchestras in her native country, and has toured extensively as both soloist and chamber musician in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, performing under the baton of famous conductors such as Roman Koffman, Timur Minbaev, Vladimir Ponkin, Jansug Kahidze, and many others.

As a distinguished pianist in her native country, Nino’s solo performances won her great acclaim. Today she is in-demand soloist and chamber musician in this country and abroad, who has collaborated with many of the world’s great artists including Stanislav Neuhaus, Byron Janis, Yakov Milstein, George Edelman, to name a few.

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Debut venues include Great Hall of Tbilisi State Conservatory, Tbilisi Opera House, Small Hall of Moscow State Conservatory, Great Hall of Sverdlovsk Conservatory, Symphony Hall in Tbilisi, Great Hall of Liszt’s Music Academy in Budapest and Concert Hall Estonia in Tallin.

Nino has been a featured performer on chamber music concerts at Seattle’s Benaroya Nordstrom Recital Hall, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Second City Chamber Music Festival, Music Fest Perugia and continues to maintain a regular performance schedule.

Making her home in the Pacific Northwest, where she is known not only as a great pianist, but also as one of the region’s prominent music educator. Nino has been a faculty of Music Works Northwest for eleven years and also, has built a very successful private piano studio in Bellevue.

Her students are winners of local and international competitions. She is also a recipient of numerous awards in teaching and performing. Nino’s principal teachers include Irina Orekhovskaya, Marina Adamia, Teimuras Matureli, and Boris Zemliansky.

Nino serves as a board member of Russian Chamber Foundation of Seattle and recently joined Music Advisory Panel of Seattle Young Artist Music Festival. In 2013, Nino joined the faculty of Music Fest Perugia.

Nino holds Graduate and Post Graduate Diplomas with Excellency and a highest degree in Piano Performance, Chamber Music, Accompaniment and Pedagogy from Tbilisi State Conservatory and Internship from Moscow State Conservatory.

Nikolai Maloff - Piano
Nikolai Maloff

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.

Ian Parker - Piano
Ian Parker

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.” 

Barbara Siemens - Piano
Barbara Siemens

Barbara M. Siemens is an active contributor to the musical community. Since 1986, she has worked with piano students of all levels and ages, gaining considerable experience and insight in the process. Her training includes a Master of Arts in Historical Musicology, and a Bachelor of Music from U.B.C., as well as an A.R.C.T. Performer’s Diploma and an A.R.C.T. Teachers’ Diploma.

As a senior examiner, Ms. Siemens has been with RCM Examinations since 1993 and she has traveled in Canada and the U.S. on their behalf. She also adjudicates regularly as a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association. Her volunteer work includes over seventeen years on the Executive Committees of the Vancouver and Provincial Branches of the BCRMTA and twenty-two years with the Vancouver Music Festival Workshop.

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In addition to her teaching and volunteering activities, Ms. Siemens is the author of the Piano Workbook Series. This set of publications includes assignment books for students from the Preparatory Level to Level 10, an accompanying Teacher’s Manual, and Drill Books for sight reading and rhythm practice.

These pedagogical materials have served as the basis for teaching workshops at conventions and RMT events in Canada, Washington, and California. 

Stephen Robb - Woodwinds
Stephen Robb

Stephen Robb is an accomplished clarinetist, saxophonist and pianist performing both classical chamber music and jazz idioms, performing the gamut of musical genres from classical clarinet, chamber and orchestral repertoire to jazz standards, original compositions and free improvisation.

Stephen serves as the Artistic Director of the Delta Community Music School where he has taught clarinet and saxophone for more than 25 years. Stephen is also the Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra, where he is the conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and Senior Wind Ensemble. Stephen is also the co-founder of the South Delta Jazz Workshop and Festival, which is now in its 14th season and is on the faculty at the VSO School of Music.

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Stephen is a graduate of Queen’s University (BMus), McGill University (LMus), and the University of BC (MMUs, BEd). Stephen has studied orchestral conducting at Queen’s and McGill Universities as well he has continued his studies at summer workshops with the University of Calgary, as well as in the Czech Republic, and with Orchestra Canada.

As a composer and arranger, his symphonic scores have been performed by many local groups including the Richmond Orchestra and Chorus, Lions Gate Sinfonia, Victoria Symphony, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Kamloops and Okanagan Symphonies. 

Itamar Erez - Guitar

To capture the essence of Itamar’s music is to be taken on a journey where different cultures meet in harmony.

Itamar’s music holds a depth and sensitivity that touches listeners deeply; It blends the delicateness of Middle Eastern music, the freedom found in Jazz and the passion of Flamenco, creating a unique sound all his own.

Recipient of the 2014 ACUM Prize for Special Achievement in Jazz and the prestigious 2014 Landau Prize, Itamar Erez is an internationally renowned composer and guitarist who has shared the stage with such musicians as Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Tomatito, Avishai Cohen, Jean-Louis Matinier, Zohar Fresco, and others.

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Itamar has released two CDs with his quartet The Adama Ensemble, “Desert Song” (2006) and “Hommage” (2010).
His most recent release, “New Dawn” (2013), is a duet collaboration with Yshai Afterman (percussion), with special guest Antonio Serrano (harmonica). Itamar performs internationally and gives workshops and masterclasses, teaching his unique approach to music and guitar playing.

During 2014-15, Itamar performed in Canada, USA, Germany, Holland, Austria, Cyprus, Israel, India, Tunisia and Colombia. Itamar is currently working on new material for his next CD, and is on the guitar faculty at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra school of music. 

Rodney Sharman - Composition

Rodney Sharman is Composer-in-Residence of Early Music Vancouver’s “New Music for Old Instruments”. He has been Composer-in-Residence of the Victoria Symphony, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as Composer-Host of the Calgary Philharmonic’s New Music Festival, “Hear and Now”.

In addition to concert music, Rodney Sharman writes music for cabaret, opera, and dance. He works regularly with choreographer James Kudelka, for whom he has written scores for Oregon Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and Coleman Lemieux Compagnie (Toronto).

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Sharman was awarded First Prize in the 1984 CBC Competition for Young Composers and the 1990 Kranichsteiner Prize in Music, Darmstadt, Germany.

His score for the dance-opera From The House Of Mirth won the 2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding sound design/composition (choreography by James Kudelka, text by Alex Poch Goldin after Edith Wharton’s The House of

Joslin Romphf Dennis - Voice

Joslin Romphf Dennis, soprano, holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice and Master of Music in Opera Performance from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and is a graduate of the renowned Lindeman Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She has sung at many prestigious venues, like the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall, and under the baton of James Levine, Mario Bernardi, Maurizio Barbacini, and Valery Ghergiev, to name a few. Ms. Romphf Dennis made her Canadian operatic debut singing Elettra in Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Idomeneo.

She was presented in her New York City solo recital debut by the Marilyn Horne Foundation, and has participated in numerous summer festivals, including Glimmerglass Opera, the Ravinia Festival and the Marlboro Festival.

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She was the recipient of a Vancouver Opera Guild Grant, and was the winner of the Canadian Opera Company’s Young Canadian Mozart Singers competition. She is an ardent interpreter of art song and an enthusiastic opera and concert performer, and is in demand as an adjudicator and jurist for many music festivals and competitions around BC. In the fall of 2017, she will perform as the soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem under the baton of Leslie Dala, with the VAM Symphony Orchestra.

In the spring of 2018 she will be featured as the soprano soloist in the Beethoven 9th Symphony with Pierre Simard and the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra. After 5 years teaching out of her private studio in Montreal, Ms. Romphf Dennis is currently on the voice faculty of the Vancouver Academy of Music. 

Joseph Elworthy - Strings

Joseph Elworthy has been a featured soloist, recitalist, and chamber music performer on such stages as Alice Tully Hall, Suntory Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, and Sejong Hall. Mr. Elworthy has been named a Fellow of The Royal Conservatory of Music for his extraordinary contribution to Canadian Arts and Culture, an honor he shares with such cultural icons as Oscar Peterson, Robertson Davies, Adrienne Clarkson and Leon Fleisher. His recordings can be heard on EMI, Sony, Archtype, Naxos and Bose record labels. In addition to receiving the Sylva Gelber Award of $15,000, Joseph has been the recipient of multiple Canada Council career grants exceeding $50,000. Mr. Elworthy is a graduate of Yale University where he was the recipient of the Aldo Parisot – Yo-Yo Ma Prize – the highest honour issued by Yale to a graduating cellist.

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In 2011, Elworthy was appointed as Executive Director of the Vancouver Academy of Music where he also serves as Head of the Cello Department. Mr. Elworthy is also conductor and music director of the Intermediate, Junior and Pre-Junior Symphonies at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Joseph has been a visiting artist at the Beijing Conservatory, Harvard University, Royal Northern College of Music, Glenn Gould School, and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Joseph Elworthy co-founded the Koerner Piano Trio, the first chamber ensemble in residence at the Vancouver Academy of Music.

In 2013, Mr. Elworthy was appointed as Western Music Advisor for the newly established Haw Par Music Foundation – a collaborative educational initiative linking Vancouver and Hong Kong. Joseph Elworthy was a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for 12 years before retiring from the orchestra in 2014. Joseph plays on a rare Ferdinando Gagliano circa 1760 that once belonged to the legendary German cellist, Hugo Becker.