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.

Nino Merabishvili - Piano

A native of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, pianist and educator. Making her home in the Pacific Northwest, Nino Merabishvili is one of the region’s prominent music educators. Nino has been a faculty of Music Works Northwest for eleven years and has a very successful piano studio in Bellevue. Her students have been top prize winners of local and international competitions, such as SYAMF, Chopin Competition, Russian Music Competition, Golden Key, American Protege, New York International, and Chopin International, to name a few. Nino serves as a board member of Russian Chamber Foundation of Seattle and the Music Advisory Panel of Seattle Young Artist Music Festival.

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In 2013 Nino joined the faculty of Music Fest Perugia, Italy. 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, Vitali Kataev, Yuri Dadiani, Vladimir Ponkin, Jansug Kahidze, and many others.

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 Milsteinand George Edelman.

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 Tallinn.

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 teaching and performance schedule.

Michel Fournier - Piano

As a student of French pianist Yvonne Hubert in Montreal, Canadian pianist Michel Fournier completed a Master’s degree before continuing his studies in France and Austria. He also studied under legendary pianist Menahem Pressler at University of Indiana. He earned a Doctorate in Music from Université de Montréal with Marc Durand.

Praised both as a soloist and a chamber player, Michel Fournier has performed with a number of orchestras and is widely appreciated for the many recitals he has given in Canada, Europe, and the United States. His repertoire covers a broad spectrum of piano music from different eras and styles. He has a special fondness for French music and has earned critical acclaim for the originality of his interpretation and his refined sound: “…perfect knowledge of the expressive resources of the piano, a tour de force that ranks him among the masters of impressionist music.” (Adveratul de Cluj – Romania)

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Dr. Michel Fournier toured extensively with world class musicians and ensembles (Quartango, Les Chambristes de Montreal, violin and piano duo with Hungarian-born violinist Gyorgy Terebesi); he has several Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) recordings, many albums and movie soundtracks to his credit (The colors of my father: portrait of Sam Borenstein, André Mathieu musicien). His numerous CD’s have won public and critical acclaim all over Canada.

Highly appreciated as an educator, Michel Fournier has provided guidance to thousands of musicians, teaching masterclasses, coaching and adjudicating national and international competitions for young musicians across North America, Europe, and Asia. As a teacher, many of his students are award-winners in national and international competitions (Tureck International Bach Competition, American Protégé, Thousand Islands International Chopin Competition, Canadian Music Competition, National Music Festival in Canada and others).

His music studio in Montreal welcomes students from around the world for artist residency. Each summer, he is invited to join the faculty of Camp Musical des Laurentides in Quebec.

Michel is also co-owner, artistic director and advisor for the classical music division of St-André Management Inc., which is responsible for developing and promoting the talent of promising young musicians.

Michel is also passionate about photography, and likes to share his love of nature and life through the pictures he takes during his many travels around the world.

Bogdan Dulu - Piano

With a knack for leaping musical hurdles, Bogdan Dulu is steadily establishing himself as one of Canada’s noteworthy musicians of the newer generation, combining mastery of the piano with the ability to educate and entertain with his engaging speaking style, intelligence, compassion, and humour.

The 2017/2018 season brought Dulu’s Vancouver Symphony Orchestra debut under music director, Bramwell Tovey, who asked Dulu to step in on a 20-day notice and present the world premiere of Shalimar Variations, Tovey’s latest work for piano and orchestra. The previous concert season found him above the Arctic Circle, touring the Northwest Territories with British actor, Tayo Aluko, in a theatrical play depicting the life of American singer and civil rights movement activist, Paul Robeson. Later on, his High-Voltage Piano/Piano Haute-Voltige program highlighting piano music of Marc-André Hamelin reached audiences across Eastern Canada with a marathon tour of 19 solo recitals in 7 weeks, presented by Jeunesses Musicales Canada.

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In the 2015/2016 season, Dulu toured across the Maritime provinces of Canada as a Debut Atlantic artist. He has performed in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. He is equally at home as a soloist as well as chamber musician, collaborative pianist, coach, or public speaker, with appearances on NHK Tokyo, YLE Finnish Broadcasting Corporation, Romanian Radio Corporation, KING FM Seattle, and planned recording projects with the CBC.

Dulu was born and raised in Romania, where he received a rigorous foundation in the fundamentals of music. After intense private piano studies with Ana Pitiş during his undergraduate training in Bucharest, Dulu continued his graduate studies in New York City with Irina Morozova at Mannes School of Music (Master of Music) and later in Vancouver as Jane Coop’s last graduate student at the University of British Columbia (Doctor of Musical Arts).

In masterclasses, he has played for Yefim Bronfman, Richard Goode, and Stephen Hough, and worked with soprano Dawn Upshaw at the Banff Centre.

Dulu is the first pianist to have written a doctoral dissertation on Marc-André Hamelin’s piano Études, researched under the personal guidance of the Canadian composer-pianist. It was during his doctoral studies that he developed a keen interest in the music of this legendary artist, with whom he worked closely during the final stages of the degree.

Bogdan Dulu is on faculty at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music and the Vancouver Academy of Music | S.K. Lee College, where he teaches piano and chamber music. He makes his home in Vancouver, where he proudly (yet humbly) becomes a little more Canadian by the day.

Corey Hamm - Piano Masterclass

Pianist Corey Hamm is establishing a unique musical profile performing widely in North America and in Asia as both a soloist and as a chamber musician. His CD of Frederic Rzewski’s hour-long solo piano epic The People United Will Never Be Defeated! won Spotify’s Best Classical Recording 2014, and Best Classical Recording at the 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards. Further recording plans include the complete works for piano by Henri Dutilleux, and a CD of solo works written for him by Canadian composers.

Corey Hamm has commissioned, premiered and recorded over 200 works by composers from all over the world. His most extensive collection of commissioned works includes over 60 pieces for PEP (Piano and Erhu Project). Some of these works are already released on two volumes of PEP CDs with two more to come in 2017 and 2018.

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He has also commissioned dozens of works for The Nu: BC Collective and for Hammerhead Consort. As a founding member of Hammerhead Consort, he received the 1993 Sir Ernest Macmillan Memorial Foundation Chamber Music Award, and was winner of the 1992 National Chamber Music Competition.

In recent years, Corey Hamm has, recorded and toured one of the great piano works of the last decades, Frederic Rzewski’s monumental The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (Redshift TK431). He is planning further concerts of this masterpiece, notably for Rzewski’s 80th birthday in 2018.

Dr. Hamm is an award-winning Associate Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He is on the Piano Faculty of the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) at NEC in Boston. His beloved teachers include Lydia Artymiw, Marek Jablonski, Stéphane Lemelin, Ernesto Lejano, and Thelma Johannes O’Neill.

September, 2016

Ian Parker - Piano Masterclass
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.

During the 2016/2017 season, he made his debut with the Illinois Symphony performing his vibrant Gershwin repertoire, as well as the Meridian Symphony, and returned to the Vancouver Symphony and the Okanagan Symphony, among others. The 2017/2018 season includes return performances with the Victoria Symphony and Vancouver Symphony as well as debuts with the Richmond Symphony and the and Lake Forest Symphony.

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An enthusiastic recitalist, Ian Parker has performed across the United States, Western Europe, Israel, and throughout Canada on tours with Debut Atlantic and Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. He made his Lincoln Center recital debut at the Walter Reade Theater in 2004. Recent and upcoming appearances include recitals presented by the North Okanagan Concerts Association, UCLA, the University of British Columbia, and collaborative performances with the Hawaii International Music Festival, the Morgan LIbrary, and multiple appearances on a new chamber music series at North Vancouver’s Kay Meek Centre, for which he has recently become Artistic Director.

Ian Parker was invited to collaborate with the internationally renowned Vogler Quartet during its twentieth anniversary tour in 2005-06 throughout the U.S. and Canada. Following the tour’s tremendous success, he was invited to join them again for several concerts in the spring of 2006, and has continued to tour with them regularly ever since. They have also invited him to perform as part of their Vogler Springs Festival in Sligo, Ireland and the Kammermusik Festival in Hamburg, Germany. He has also begun appearing with the up-and-coming Attacca Quartet. He has also collaborated with violinist Augustin Hadelich in numerous venues in both the U.S. and Canada.

Ian Parker is also an active recording artist. In the fall of 2010, a CD of concerti (Ravel Concerto in G, Stravinsky Capriccio, and Gershwin Concerto in F), recorded with the London Symphony under Michael Francis, was released by ATMA Classique. An all-fantasy solo CD on Azica Records, including the fantasies of Chopin, Schumann, and Beethoven (Op. 27, Nos. 1 and 2 “Quasi una Fantasia”), was released in the summer of 2010.

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.”

Rebecca Whitling - Strings

Rebecca Whitling has been a member of the first violin section of the VSO since 1995. Originally from Edmonton, Rebecca’s principal teachers were Ranald Shean, Mauricio Fuks, Paul Biss, and Sal-ly Thomas. Rebecca is a graduate of McGill and Indiana Universities and an alumna of the New World Symphony. She has appeared as a chamber and orchestral musician at Tanglewood, Schles-wig-Holstein, Ojai, Cabrillo, Mountain View music festivals.

Rebecca has performed as soloist with the Vancouver Philharmonic, the Semiahmoo Strings, the Prince George Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the Hard Rubber Orchestra. In May 2010, Rebecca premiered Giorgio Magnanensi’s aBK, for violin and live electronics, and in November 2011, she was guest soloist with John Korsrud’s Hard Rubber Orchestra for the premiere of Floorshow, by the great Canadian composer and trombonist Ian McDougall.

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As Co-Artistic director of Standing Wave, Vancouver’s cutting-edge Contemporary Music Sextet, Rebecca has commissioned and premiered works by many of Canada’s leading composers, performed at New Music Festivals in Vancouver and across Canada, and has released three CD’s, the most recent being “New Wave”.

Standing Wave was awarded the Western Canada Music Award for Artist/Ensemble of the Year in 2017, and will be Resident Ensemble at Gaudeamus Musiekweek in Utrecht, Netherlands in 2020.

Christie Reside - Woodwinds

A native of Calgary, Christie Reside began her career in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as second flute at the age of 19. She received her formal training with Timothy Hutchins at McGill University in Montreal, and continued her training at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

As an enthusiastic chamber musician, Ms. Reside has been invited to participate in several festivals around the world, including the Spoleto Music Festival in Italy, the Bellingham Music Festival, and the Mountain View International Festival of Song and Chamber Music. She has collaborated with artists such as Rudolf Jansen, Jonathan Crow, Yegor Dyachkov, and Matt Haimovitz. She frequently performs as a soloist and has appeared with most major Canadian symphony orchestras.

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Ms. Reside is currently the Principal Flute of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 2004, and is a proud member of the Vancouver-based Standing Wave Ensemble, which recently won Ensemble of the Year at the 2017 Western Canadian Music Awards.

She has previously held the position of Principal Flute of the Seattle Symphony and has also performed as Principal Flute with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. She teaches at the University of British Columbia, as well as at the Vancouver Academy of Music.

Chloe Hurst - Voice

Chloé Hurst (soprano) is an active singer, pianist and teacher in Vancouver. Hailed by Opera Canada as having “enviable clarity and precision,” her talent has taken her around the world.

As a VAM alumna, Chloé started her formal training in music at the age of three. From this young age until completing high school, her main focus was piano. It was not until the start of her undergrad as an opera performance major at UBC, when she started to seriously pursue her other passion, singing. Chloé then continued on to complete her Master of Music degree at the same institution.

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Chloé has had the privilege of performing across North America, Europe and China in operas, concerts and competitions. Past opera roles include Adina (L’elisir D’amore), Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Mimì (La Bohème) and many more. As a versatile performer, Chloé has also sung various works with orchestra from Handel’s Messiah to Berlioz’s Les Nuits D’été to Bernstein’s West Side Story.

In early 2011, Chloé had her debut in China as a singer and pianist in concert. By the end of the year, she was a competitor on the popular Chinese television talent show, Xing Guang Da Dao. Chloé won the first three rounds of the competition and ended up being a finalist for the 2011 season. While singing takes up the bulk of her stage time, Chloé still gets the chance to share her piano skills. She enjoys accompanying fellow singers in performance and loved being a lounge pianist during the 2010 Olympics at the Vancouver International Airport.

Alongside performing, Chloé has been teaching piano, theory and voice for several years, and joined the VAM faculty in 2008. While her main department has been music theory (in the preparatory and college divisions), she is excited to branch out into the voice faculty and ECE programs at VAM so she can continue to share her passion with enthusiasts of all ages.

Her teaching, however, does not stop in Vancouver. On a recent trip to Kenya in the spring of 2013, she developed a music program at an elementary boarding school for orphans and underprivileged children in the area of Voi, called the “New White House Academy.” In Kenya, music is unfortunately not part of the government assigned curriculum. Chloé returns to this school frequently to continue educating the children and providing them with musical instruments and other learning tools.

David Sossa - Guitar

Acclaimed for his charisma and versatility, guitarist David Sossa has fascinated audiences internationally. As a soloist, David has performed in Japan, Italy, France, Spain, England, Canada, USA, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.

David was born in Toronto, Canada, and grew up in Colombia. He received his early musical education from his teachers Humberto Montoya, on the bandola and folk guitar and Gerardo Giraldo on the classical guitar. Later, he studied with Jairo Cardona, Jesus Marin, Roberto Fernandez, Dario Echeverri, and Daniel Bolshoy.

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David played as first guitar at The Toronto Guitar Society Orchestra during the seasons 2011 to 2013. Among his recordings are a solo CD, which was released in December 2010 on the Salty Road label, getting over 1000 copies sold in just 2 months, his collaboration with various commercial CD recordings locally and internationally such as “The Anechoic Experience”, and “Jumblesque” by Canadian composer Unthunk, and the music for two documentaries in Colombia.

Throughout his career, David has been recipient of numerous scholarships, among which are: Marie Elizabeth and William Adolphe Pal Jones (2014), Eleanor and James Wrigle (2014), Faculty of Graduate Award (2014), Faculty of Graduate Award (2013), TD Bank Financial Group Graduate Bursary (2013).

David holds a Bachelor of Music from Universidad de Antioquia and a Master of Music from the University of British Columbia. Currently, David is the Head of the Guitar Department at the British Columbia Conservatory of Music.

During his teaching career many of his students have participated in festivals and have won competitions in Canada, USA, and Colombia. Frequently, David is invited to give lectures, workshops, and masterclasses overseas.

David’s solo career has been featured in different interviews at some radio stations, TV shows and newspapers in five different countries. David is a D’Addarío Artist and plays on a 2013 Joshia de Jonge guitar and on a 2019 David Villegas guitar.