2013/14 Artists

Joan BlackmanJoan Blackman, Artistic Director, violin

Joan Blackman, Associate Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony, enjoys a vibrant musical life in our community. Besides playing in the orchestra, she is sought after as a first class chamber musician in North America. She is also an active teacher, giving master classes throughout B.C. Joan has performed and recorded as soloist with Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, CBC Radio Orchestra, and the Banff Festival Orchestra.

"Shapelier phrases and sweeter tone would be hard to imagine", "a ravishing tone", "first rate soloist", "changed lines meltingly in a flawless performance", "playing with lyricism, precision, and evident joy", are accolades that have graced Joan’s reviews. Zach Carstensen of Seattle’s Gathering Note wrote "Your heart would need to be made of stone not to have loved Joan Blackman’s splendid solo"

As Artistic Director of the Vetta Chamber Music and Recital Society, she programs and performs with the best of BC talent along with invited guests from afar. She is also a member of the acclaimed American String Project, which brings together concertmasters and soloists throughout North America. Joan has performed at several summer festivals including the Hornby Island and Pender Harbour Chamber Music festival,  Musicfest Vancouver, and  this last summer at the Victoria Chamber Music Festival with William Preucil. 


Eugene OsadchyEugene Osadchy, Artistic Advisor, cello

Currently Professor of Cello at the University of North Texas, Eugene Osadchy is a Principal cellist with the Plano Symphony. He is also the Artistic Advisor of the Vetta Chamber Music Series in Vancouver, Canada and the Blue Candlelight Music Series in Dallas, TX.

Eugene Osadchy regularly performs with orchestras in Canada, the United States and Asia. He has performed at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center, and the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. In addition, Mr. Osadchy makes frequent appearances at the Bargemusic series in New York, the Autumn Classic series in Anchorage, Chamber Music International in Dallas, Strings in the Mountains at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, International Niagara Music Festival in Canada and Summit Festival in New York.

Cellist Eugene Osadchy is hailed as having "the most refined and balanced string playing" by the New York Times and has been called "a paragon of Russian élan" by the Vancouver Sun. Newsday writes he is "a soloist with a clearly defined musical personality" and is noted for his "extraordinary playing" by the Dallas Morning News. "Mr. Osadchy possesses a very rich tone and is steeped in the great classical tradition. It is good to know that there are ardent keepers of the flame." The New York Sun.


Ariel BarnesAriel Barnes, cello

Described as creating a “mesmerizing musical experience” by combining his “deep personal connection” (Toronto Live Music Report), “luscious tone and technical prowess” (The Vancouver Sun), cellist Ariel Barnes has been engaging audiences with his imaginative interpretations and commanding stage presence. Equally comfortable in musical languages from the Baroque to music of our modern times, Ariel’s performances range from evenings of unaccompanied Bach to world premiers of contemporary art music. Critically acclaimed by the press, he has been hailed as a “rising star” by the Georgia Straight, “a surprising standout” by the KW Gazette, “new wave” by L’Acadie Nouvelle and “a musician of real stature” by the Vancouver Sun. His solo and chamber music performances have been broadcast by CBC Radio Canada on such programs as In Performance, The Signal, Tempo, West Coast Performance, Choral Concert and On Stage, and he was recently selected as one of 6 cellists across the nation to celebrate the launch of cbcmusic.ca as a featured artist in the Canadian Bach Cello Suite Project. His performances in recent years include the concertos of Dvorak, Saint – Saens, Brahms (Double), Ernst Bloch’s “Schelomo”, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, and recital appearances in New York, Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Quebec City, Vancouver, San Francisco and Guadalajara Mexico. His solo and chamber music recordings have been received with critical acclaim, having been nominated for a Juno Award and two Western Canadian Music Awards. As a winner of the 2012 Canada Council Instrument Bank Competition, he has been awarded the use of the 1730 Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello, built in Turin, Italy, for the next 3 years. In January 2013, Ariel was appointed Principal Cello of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

The performance of 21st century art music plays a significant role in Ariel’s creative life. He has given the world premier of works by Canadian composers such as Imant Raminsh, Jocelyn Morlock, Stephen Chatman, R. Murray Schaeffer, Brad Turner, Marcus Goddard, John Oliver, Rodney Sharman, Dorothy Chang, Glenn Buhr, Owen Underhill, Keon Birney, Elizabeth Knudson and Farshid Samandari. His new project “Couloir” with Harpist Heidi Krutzen keenly focuses on the creation of new music for the beautiful combination of cello and harp. Upcoming projects for “music’s new rare pair” (The Georgia Straight) include the development of works by Brad Turner, Caroline Lizotte and Andrew Staniland. Couloir is looking forward to much concertizing as their tour schedule already extends into 2014.

Passionate about chamber music literature Ariel has spent much time performing as a former member of the Borealis String Quartet, Trio Accord and has collaborated with many fine artisits such as The St. Lawrence String Quartet, Musica Intima, Trio Verlaine, Jonathan Crow, Dale Barltrop, Barry Schiffman, Tara Helen O’Connor, Daniel Philips, Andrew Dawes, Martin Chalifour, Carrie Dennis, Mehan Esfahani, Arthur Rowe, Ian Parker and Daniel Bolshoy, among many others. Memorable appearances at chamber music festivals include the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, MusicFest Vancouver, Mendocino Music Festival, Victoria Summer Music Festival, B.C. Scene, Elora Festival, Centre D’Arts at Mount Orford, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. He is a founding member, and regular guest, of the Scotiabank Northern Lights Music Festival in Ajijic, Mexico.

Upcoming recording projects include works by Jocelyn Morlock on the Naxos label, (including her Double Cello Concerto “Aeromancy”), a DVD production of Benjamin Britten’s 3 Solo Cello Suites w/New-Affinity Productions, and Couloir’s debut CD featuring works by Jocelyn Morlock, Glenn Buhr and Baljinder Sekhon. His past recordings can be heard on Atma Classiques, Skylark Records, Universal Music and Centrediscs record labels, as well as regular broadcasts of live concerts on CBC Radio. For more about Ariel, please visit ww.arielbarnes.com


Cris IguantiCris Inguanti, clarinet

Cris Inguanti is sought after as a soloist, orchestral musician, and chamber music collaborator. He is currently the Assistant Principal and Bass Clarinetist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and has been a member of the Houston Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestras, the New York City Opera National Company Orchestra, and the New Philharmonia of Portugal. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Europe and North America and has performed in a wide variety of chamber series including guest appearances with the Hancock Chamber Players, and the Blue River, Forster, and DiNovo Quartets. As a member of the Manhattan Wind Quintet, Cris has won numerous prizes in chamber music competitions and has commissioned a number of new works for this genre. Mr. Inguanti has recorded the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the New Philharmonia of Portugal and has also recorded a disc of premieres for woodwind quintet with the Manhattan Wind Quintet.


Dylan PalmerDylan Palmer, bass

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dylan Palmer joined the Vancouver Symphony as Principal Double Bass in January, 2010. Prior to joining the VSO, Dylan was a member of the New World Symphony, in Miami Beach, Florida. Mr. Palmer has participated in the Spoleto (USA), Domaine Forget, and Sarasota music festivals. He also attended Tanglewood Music Center in 2005 and 2008, where he performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a fellow. Mr. Palmer received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University Of North Texas, where he studied with pedagogue Jeff Bradetich.


Ed HendersonEd Henderson, guitar

“A dazzling display of low-key acoustic virtuosity.” “marvelously lyrical” – Georgia Straight

Ed Henderson has worked extensively in Canada’s music community having composed many theatrical scores for the likes of the Stratford Festival and Arts Club Theatre and documentary scores for CBC, CTV, Bravo, Knowledge and Vision networks. He has been commissioned to compose works for many including the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Elektra Women’s Choir, The Dance Centre, Canadian Music Centre, the Vancouver InterCultural Orchestra and musica intima.   He has been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of many including a Juno (Ancient Cultures, El Camino Real), Jessie Richardson and Dora Mavor Moore (theatre), Leo (TV score) and Cannes (TV score).

His choral works are widely recorded, presented and published. His work Birdsong (for SATB, soloists and tar, the Iranian precursor to the guitar) is a cross-cultural composition combining Sufi rhythmic elements and scales with Western harmonic textures.  The text is from the great Sufi poet Jaläl ad-Dïn Muhammad Rumi with translations by Coleman Barks, and the work has been much performed by musica intima and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Ed has studied privately with many outstanding teachers including Gordon Delamont (orchestration), David Walden (piano), Michael Strutt, Lennie Breau and more recently Victor Kolstee (guitar).  He has attended many workshops including those of Sir Malcolm Arnold, Janos Starker, Lehman Engels and Bob Elhai.

Ed is in demand as an orchestrator, having written many of the orchestrations for the national anthems recorded by the VSO for the 2010 Olympic Ceremonies in Vancouver, and is a recording and performing musician having worked with many of Canada’s finest performers including his brother Bill’s band Chilliwack, the VSO, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Chor Leoni, Ann Mortifee, Paul Horn, Tangissimo, Leon Bibb, Eric Bibb, Paul Baillargeon, among others.


Jane HayesJane Hayes, piano

Since her debut with the Toronto Symphony, Jane Hayes' concerts have taken her across Canada, the United States and Europe. Her early studies were in her native Ottawa and she went on to study with such notable pianists as Bela Siki, Menahem Pressler, Pierre Sancan, and Patricia Parr. She can be heard frequently on CBC radio and has recordings available on the Fanfare, EMI, Centrediscs, ATMA, Artifact, CBC-Musica Viva and CBC SM5000 labels. Her performances consistently receive rave reviews. As Lloyd Dyck wrote in the Vancouver Sun, “her performance had such an impact that I wanted to hear it again, right away.”

In addition to being Director of Keyboard Studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley, Jane maintains a busy performing and adjudicating schedule. Now Past-President of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association, she regularly travels to both small and large Canadian centres to judge solo and chamber competitions, including the E-Gré competition, Pacific Coast Music Association Competitions, and provincial and local festivals. She is also a founding member of Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble and the Yarilo Ensemble. In March 2012, she travelled to Mexico City as a guest of the National Autonomous University of Mexico to give concerts with Maestro Edison Quintana. She returned there in November 2012 to present a program of Barbara Pentland’s solo and chamber music with members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico City. She will now be visiting Mexico on a regular basis to present programs and premieres of Canadian and Mexican works.


Jennie PressJennie Press, violin

Jennie Press began her violin studies at the age of three in St. Johns, NL. She made her solo debut with the Newfoundland Symphony at thirteen and has since had solo appearances with several symphonies and chamber orchestras in Canada and the United States. Ms. Press has been a national finalist numerous times in the Canadian Music Competitions, the Shean Strings Competiton and the National Music Festival, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She has also been a prize winner in numerous competitions including the Marbury Violin Competition, the Yale Gordon String Competition, the Alexandria Symphony Competiton and the Wellesly Symphony Competition.

Jennie has performed in many symphony and chamber orchestras including the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, and Key West Symphony, and has served as concertmaster in several orchestras including Royal Opera Canada, Annapolis Opera, Washington Summer Opera, De Camera Chamber Players, Peabody Symphony Orchestra and the Peabody Concert Orchestra. She has also performed with many pops orchestras which have led to performances in Hong Kong, at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, DC, and at Carnegie Hall in New York. She is currently Second Assistant Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.


Jonathan GoldmanJonathan Goldman, bandoneón

A passionate advocate of the accordion and bandoneón, Jonathan Goldman has been a professor of Musicology at the School of Music at the University of Victoria since 2007 and at the Université de Montréal since 2013. He was educated at McGill University and the Université de Montréal, has published widely in the field of 20th century music history, including his recent book The Musical Language of Pierre Boulez (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Circuit, musiques contemporaines. Devoted to the tango repertoire, he is a member of Quartango, Canada’s first tango band. He also performs regularly with pianist Linda Lee Thomas.


Linda Lee ThomasLinda Lee Thomas, piano

Linda Lee Thomas has been PRINCIPAL PIANIST of the VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and the VANCOUVER RADIO ORCHESTRA since 1972. As "Chamber Musician Supreme", she was Artistic Director of Masterpiece Music, the Vancouver East Cultural Centre¹s hugely successful chamber music series for 17 years. In 2000, she was inducted into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame for her outstanding contributions to the industry.

Her other passion is the music and dance of Argentina - the Tango. Since her bold emergence onto the international tango scene, she has become Canada’s foremost tango musician, performing and recording with Argentine bandoneonists Daniel Binelli and Nestor Marconi. She is affectionately known as "The Reina de Tango".

She now has her own Tango Trio - TANGISSIMO - fast becoming known all over the world. Featuring Ed Henderson on guitar and Miles Foxx Hill on bass, they have played to thousands of people in live concerts, broadcasts and recordings. Their CD TANGISSIMO LIVE was chosen as one of the best releases of 2002 by Radio-Canada’s ESPACE MUSIQUE. They were taken to Buenos Aires in 2006 by INFINITY FILMS to shoot the documentary - CHASING THE TANGO HIGH for BRAVO TV. Their CD of the same name was released in October of that year. It features live recordings from Buenos Aires with Tangissimo and the tango legends of our time.

The Spring of 2008 saw the release of her first Solo Piano Tango CD entitled "TANGO MAGIC". She is in constant demand as a Solo Tango Artist.


Maria LarionoffMaria Larionoff, violin

“An outstanding talent intoxicating in its brilliance” raved the San Francisco Chronicle at Ms. Larionoff’s solo debut. Since then, she has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, and the Orquestra Sinfónica Carlos Chavez in Mexico City,the Oakland Symphony, the University of Washington Orchestra, the Yakima Symphony, the Port Angeles Symphony and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra.

A Loomis Scholarship Award winner at the Juilliard School, Ms. Larionoff was a student of Dorothy DeLay, and, upon graduating, was invited by the esteemed Maestro Carlo Maria Giulini to join the violin section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ms. Larionoff was then appointed Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony, where she has been featured as a soloist and leader on numerous occasions, including her critically acclaimed solo performances in the 2011 release of "Scheherazade". Her 2012 performance of the Vasks Violin Concerto received praise from the New York Times: ..the elegant violinist Maria Larionoff was stunning, incisive and radiant".

Her unusual versatility as a violist as well as a violinist has led to invitations at many chamber music festivals, including the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Northwest, The International Music Festival, the Marrowstone Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival and the Vetta Series in Vancouver, BC.

Ms. Larionoff has collaborated in chamber music concerts with many distinguished artists including Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Steven Staryk, Dmitri Sitkovetsky and Glenn Dicterow. She has worked with some of the world’s leading conductors, among them Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Andre Previn, Kurt Sanderling, Erich Leinsdorf and Kurt Masur.

Ms. Larionoff has served on the faculty of the University of Washington and was the head violin coach for the Seattle Youth Symphony for many years. She maintains a busy private teaching studio in addition to her performing schedule. Her CD of the Barber concerto won praise from renowned critic Byron Belt of the Newhouse News: “Miss Larionoff’s solo performance matches the recently deservedly acclaimed Sony Classical recording by Hilary Hahn, with Hugh Wolff and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.”

In 2001 Ms. Larionoff and her husband Barry Lieberman founded the American String Project, a conductorless string orchestra made up of Concertmasters and soloists from around the world. The group performs annually in May at Benaroya Hall, and is currently forming an education and mentoring program for advanced students in conservatories and music schools.



Sarah HagenSarah Hagen, piano

"A rarity of musical excellence, technical ease and tonal purity," Canadian pianist Sarah Hagen has been heard in concert halls and on the airwaves to critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe. Her interpretations have been described as "outstandingly inventive," performed with "infinite skill."

A visionary and an idealist, Sarah's performances are conceptually innovative, involving photography, dance and theatre. She is the Artistic Director for Pro'ject Sound, a performance project involving live piano with large-scale projected images. An avid collaborator, Sarah has performed with Ariel Barnes, Trio Accord, Ballet Victoria, Rebecca Wenham, Larry Knopp, the Emily Carr String Quartet, Ian Peaston, Marit Sjödin, Per Johansson, Vaida Rozinskaite, among many others, and recently appeared as soloist with the Victoria Symphony.

Miss Hagen has been heard on Swedish Radio 2, CBC Radio 1 and 2, WDAV (North Carolina) WOSU (Ohio), KFUO (Missouri), CKUA (Edmonton), WKAR (Michigan), WITF (Pennsylvania), 98.1 KING FM (Seattle) and has appeared on Bravo Television. Her solo album, Glass House Dancing, was nominated for Classical Recording of the Year at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards.

Sarah’s primary teachers and mentors have been Jamie Parker, Glen Montgomery, Gregory Chaverdian and Christine Purvis. Passionate for inspiring students of all ages, she is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician and is on faculty at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She is the director of the Piano Programme at the Comox Valley Youth Music Centre where she has been on faculty for over a decade.

Since her move in 2011 to an artist loft in one of Vancouver’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, she has become deeply involved with intricate projects inspired by urban vitality.

Sarah's motivation is the belief that music has the power to be a window into our souls regardless of age or knowledge.


Tawnya PopoffTawnya Popoff, viola

Canadian violist Tawnya Popoff enjoys an exciting and versatile international career. In addition to being principal violist with the Vancouver Opera since 2007, she is continuously sought after for diverse chamber music collaborations and recitals. She is a founding member of both Microcosmos {a string quartet}, and the Driftwood Duo (viola/cello), a member of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (TX), the Walden School Players (NH) and has ongoing collaborations with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance and VisionIntoArt in New York City international tours.

As an enthusiastic supporter of works by living composers, Ms. Popoff has commissioned and premiered dozens of pieces and has recorded for the Koch, Albany, Nonsuch, CRI, SHSK'H (web label), Columbia Composers and other independent labels both as a member of the Cassatt Quartet and individually. She has served on the faculties of the Perlman Music Program, University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, SUNY Buffalo, the Bowdoin International Music Festival and Artes no Camiño (Spain), was a prizewinner in the 2000 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, and a recipient of two consecutive Canada Council Individual Grants.

Tawnya Popoff studied with Gerald Stanick (Fine Arts Quartet) in Vancouver, BC and Martha Katz (Cleveland Quartet) at Rice University. Her viola was played by Boris Kroyt of the Budapest Quartet, generously loaned to her courtesy of his grandson. Aside from musical pursuits, Ms. Popoff has a cycling company offering private and personalized adventures and creates handmade toys and games.


Yariv AloniYariv Aloni, viola

Yariv Aloni is acclaimed by critics for his "impeccable technical accomplishments, exquisite phrasing and superb viola playing", and as having "a huge, singing tone and a rare depth and nobility of feeling". He was a finalist at the François Shapira competition in Tel-Aviv. His awards included the Israel Broadcasting Authority award for chamber music performance and numerous awards and annual scholarships from the American-Israel Cultural foundation which led to an initiation to play with Isaac Stern and Pinchas Zuckerman at Carnegie Hall in New York. A former violist of the Penderecki string quartet in Canada and the Aviv Quartet in Israel, he has performed in concert halls around the world including Lincoln Centre in New York, the Louvre in Paris, Tonhalle in Zurich, and numerous concert halls in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Mr. Aloni recorded for the United, Marquise, Tritonus, and CBC labels as well as independent CD labels. He appears regularly with the Vetta Ensemble in Vancouver and performs in numerous chamber music festivals and recitals series.

An avid and dedicated teacher he is teaching chamber music at the University of Victoria, British Columbia and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He is a former faculty member of Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and has given master classes at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Brandon University, University of Alberta and Dalhousie University. For almost ten years he was the artistic director and conductor or the Courtenay Youth Music Centre in the Comox valley, British Columbia.

Born on A kibbutz in Israel, He turned from violin to the viola when he was in his teens. He studied viola with Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet, Daniel Benyamini, principal violist of the Israel Philharmonic and David Chen at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. With an emphasis on chamber music he also studied at the Jerusalem Music Centre with distinguished visiting faculty from around the world including the Isaac Stern, the Amadeus and the Guarneri String Quartets, and many others.

Much in demand as a conductor he is currently the music director of three orchestras; the Galiano Ensemble of Victoria, the Victoria Chamber Orchestra and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, and his guest appearances include the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the West Coast Symphony in Vancouver and the Civic Orchestra of Victoria.


Zoltan RozsnyaiZoltan Rozsnyai, cello

Zoltan Rozsnyai was born into a musical family. Both his parents and grandparents were professional musicians. He studied piano and violin, before taking up the cello at the age of six. He joined the Windsor Symphony at 15, then left to attend the University of Toronto two years later.

While in Toronto, he studied with Vladimir Orloff and Daniel Domb. Zoltan also took masterclasses at the Banff School of Fine Arts, studying with Aldo Parisot, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Janos Starker. He played for many years in the Canadian Opera Company and National Ballet orchestras, as well as performing as soloist and chamber musician throughout Ontario. Zoltan also spent a year in India with his electric cello, traveling and collaborating with musicians. In 1999 he joined the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and has been the Assistant Principal cellist since 2001.

Zoltan maintains an active and varied musical life in Vancouver, and lives with his wife and young son.


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Vetta Chamber Music
PO Box 19148 4th Ave
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