Jeremy Bell- Upper Strings
A native of Toronto, violinist Jeremy Bell earned a B. Mus degree from the University of Toronto, and from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he received his Masters and Doctor of Music.
Dr. Bell is a recipient of numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts and is a prize winner of the Eckhardt Grammatté National competition and the Conseil Québécois’ Prix Opus. He has studied with David Zafer, George Neikrug, Joyce Robbins, Metro Kozak and with members of the Orford, Juilliard, Tokyo, and Orion string quartets. Joining the Penderecki String Quartet in 1999, Dr. Bell is Artist in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University where he teaches violin and chamber music.
Described by the Toronto Star as a violinist who “agitates in the most intelligent and persuasive manner”, Bell has performed recently with the Penderecki Quartet at Arsenale Festival in Poland, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Is Arti Festival in Lithuania, MBZ Zagreb, State Museum of Music in St. Petersburg, REDCAT/Disney Centre in Los Angeles, Roxy/NOD in Prague, Fundacion Juan March in Madrid, Jane Mallet Theatre in Toronto, Paris University 8, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Indiana University in Bloomington, Casalmaggiore Festival in Italy, Tovar Festival Venezuela, Virtuosi Festival Brazil, Adam Festival New Zealand, the Hong Kong Academy, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, the Banff Centre in Alberta, and the Chan Centre in Vancouver.
With the Penderecki String Quartet, Bell has recorded over 25 discs including the premiere Canadian recording of the Béla Bartók string quartet cycle and Marjan Mozetich’s ‘Lament in the Trampled Garden’ (winner of the 2010 JUNO Award for composition). From 2000-2007, Bell was the artistic director of NUMUS Concerts where he created several multi-media events at the Perimeter Institute and with Dancetheatre David Earle. He has performed a wide range of music, performing baroque with Consortium Aurora Borealis and Les Violons du Roy, Cuban jazz with Hilario Duran, as well as collaborating with pipa virtuoso Ching Wong, NYC’s DJ Spooky, and rap star Jay-Z. In addition, Bell has performed as soloist with many orchestras in Canada, USA and Mexico, including the Toronto Symphony, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, performing concertos of Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Hatzis, Locatelli, Lutoslawski, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Päart, Prokofiev, Saint-Saens, and Schoenberg. As guest concertmaster he has appeared with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the New Zealand National Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company. Dr. Bell plays an A.S. Bernadel violin (1854).
Brian Yoon- Lower Strings
Brian Yoon is currently the Principal Cello of the Victoria Symphony. He has also served as guest principal with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in New Zealand.
Since winning First Prize at the 35th Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, he has performed for audiences across Canada, presenting works by Bach and Beethoven to George Crumb and Metallica. In 2012, CBC Music featured Brian as “Canada’s next cello superstar” with a national broadcast of a recital recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio.
Brian studied with Judith Fraser (Vancouver Academy of Music), Paul Marleyn (University of Ottawa), and Desmond Hoebig (Rice University). He has received support from the BC Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation.
Valdine Anderson- Voice
An established international artist with over two decades of solo performances and recordings, Valdine Anderson currently serves on the voice staff at the Desautels Faculty of Music, University of Manitoba.
During her concert career as a soprano, Valdine Anderson’s solo performances and tours included the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, Germany’s Ensemble Moderne, France’s Ensemble Intercontemporain where she toured extensively with Pierre Boulez, the Orchestre National de France, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Chicago Symphony with Winton Marsalis and Daniel Baremboim, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and many more. In 2004, Valdine toured the U.S.A. with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle opening Los Angeles’s new Disney Concert Hall. Premieres written for and interpreted by Valdine include works by Kaija Saariaho, Gerard Grisey, Henryk Gorecki, Witold Lutoslawski, Thomas Ades, George Benjamin and Elliot Carter. Valdine has worked with conductors Sir Colin Davis, Seiji Ozawa, David Robertson, Winton Marsalis, Bramwell Tovey, Esa Pekka Salonen, and Edo de Waart among others.
Valdine’s recording of Mahler’s 4th Symphony CD with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra won a Prairie Music Award (now Western Canadian Music Awards), and her recording of the opera Powder Her Face by Thomas Ades was nominated for Grammy. Her signature aria from that recording was made into a short music video by Canadian film director Guy Maddin called ‘Fancy, Fancy Being Rich’ in 2002. Other solo recordings include Szymanowski’s Songs of the Fairy-Tale Princess, Gavin Bryars’ The Adnan Songbook, Eliot Carter’s opera What Next which was shortlisted for a Grammy nomination, and Michael Torke’s Book of Proverbs.
Valdine Anderson is a frequent juror for the Canada Council for the Arts, and in demand as an adjudicator across Canada. Locally, Valdine has worked as vocal coach for Manitoba Opera, and maintains a private voice studio. In 2011, Valdine founded the women’s choral ensemble, Esprit de Choeur and in 2017 was appointed Artistic Director of Pembina Trails Voices, a choir organization for school-aged children. Her choirs have won awards nationally and internationally and regularly record and commission new works for choral ensembles.
-Piano Plan I/II Grade 8+
Praised both as a soloist and a chamber player, Canadian pianist Michel Fournier has performed with a number of orchestras and is widely appreciated for the many recitals he has given in Canada, Europe and 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).
Dr. Michel Fournier toured extensively with world class musicians and ensembles; he has several Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) recordings, many albums and movie soundtracks to his credit.
Highly appreciated as an educator, Michel Fournier has provided guidance to thousands of musicians, teaching masterclasses, coaching and adjudicating national competitions for young musicians across North America, Europe and Asia. As a teacher, many of his student 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 private music studio in Montreal welcomes students from around the world for artist residency.
As a student of French pianist Yvonne Hubert, Michel 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 University of Montreal.
Michel Fournier’s numerous CD’s have won public and critical acclaim all over Canada.
- Piano Plan II, Grade 1-8
Diana Wiens was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Music studies, which began at the age of seven, included piano instruction with Dr. Lyell Gustin of Saskatoon. Upon completing her Associate Degree in Piano Performance with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, she taught elementary and junior high for three years before pursuing further music studies in Europe. During her five years in Germany, she studied, performed widely, and for the last two years instructed piano at the Nordwestdeutsche Musik -Akademie and at the University of Bielefeld. In 1974, she returned to Canada to accept a position on the Music Faculty at the University of Guelph, Ontario. Here, she and her husband initiated the first ap-plied music courses in piano and voice, both of which continue to be offered today. Since 1975 they have lived in Edmonton.
From 1988 – 2009, Diana Wiens was Adjunct Professor in the Music Department at Taylor University College in Edmonton; for 8 of those years, she co-chaired the Department. She is in demand as an adjudicator and workshop clinician across Canada; festivals include the Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto, Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival, and Provincial Music Festival final competitions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Currently, Diana Wiens is artistic director and conductor of the Te Deum Singers, a community choir in Edmonton, Alberta. She was invited to conduct this choir in a performance of Mozart’s “Vesperae Solennes de Confessore” at Carnegie Hall, New York in April of 2020; unfortunately, Covid-19 cancelled those plans.