Conductor

 

Lidia Khaner

John and Marion Boyd Chair

Artistic Director & Conductor

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In 2019, after 23 remarkable seasons as Principal Oboe of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO), Lidia Khaner retired from that position, eager to take on new musical challenges.

She completed a Master's Degree in conducting from the University of Alberta in 2017, and has begun to gain additional experience and training in ensemble leadership. She has participated in workshops with Neil Varon (Eastman School of Music), Dirk Brossé and John Farrer (New York Chamber Orchestra Workshop), as well as with Robert Taylor, Mallory Thompson, Dale Lonis, and Craig Kirchoff. In the summer of 2019, she participated in a workshop with the National Presidential Orchestra of Ukraine in Kyiv, led by Christopher Lyndon-Gee. She has also been chosen for the Emerging Conductor Program with Pro Coro Canada, Edmonton's professional choir.

Ms. Khaner studied oboe in her native Poland at the Warsaw Academy of Music and graduated with distinction in 1987. As a member of the Sinfonia Varsovia and the Polish Chamber Orchestra, she toured

around the world playing both orchestral parts and solo concerts. During a sabbatical, she studied in Germany at the Stuttgart Hochshule für Musik with Ingo Goritzki, and played with the Deutsche Kammerakademie. Ms. Khaner played Principal Oboe with Sinfonia Helvetica from 1992 to 1997, when she came to Canada to join the Edmonton Symphony.

Her ESO tenure was marked with countless achievements, including dozens of performances and recordings as oboe soloist, not only with the ESO, but also with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, the Red Deer Symphony, and the Edmonton Chamber Orchestra. Now that she has turned her wealth of experience and superb musicianship to a new arena, Lidia is particularly interested in using her skills to provide opportunities for emerging musicians to play alongside experienced professional musicians in a performance setting. She is a founder, Artistic Director, and Conductor of Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton, a professional ensemble only one of its kind in Edmonton.

Lidia Khaner continues to teach oboe and chamber music at the University of Alberta. Married for 18 years (now widowed) to former ESO cellist Timothy Khaner, she has two children, Jacob and Maria. Lidia is also a third degree black belt and certified instructor in Taekwon-do. Her latest recording reunites her 

with frequent musical partner, pianist Janet Scott Hoyt, in music by Schumann, Hindemith, Archer, and McPherson. and is now available on iTunes, Spotify, and other popular music distributors.

 
 
 

Violins

 
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Laura Veeze

Joanne Kenny Chair

Concertmaster
Violin I

Dutch violinist and violist, Laura Veeze, has reached audiences on three continents as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has held Principal Second Violin positions with the Radio Chamber Philharmonic in the Netherlands and with Symphony Nova Scotia in Canada. In addition to the Edmonton Symphony, she is Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton and Principal Second Violin of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble.

As a chamber musician, Ms. Veeze was a member of the piano trio Ensemble Pavone, the Blue Engine String Quartet in Nova Scotia, and is a frequent guest artist at festivals such as Music by the Sea, Great Lakes International Summer Music Institute, Summer Solstice Music Festival, Scotia Festival, Musique Royale, New Music Edmonton, Early Music Alberta, and the Acadia Summer Strings Festival.  Laura also enjoys playing baroque violin and viola and is currently on faculty at the Alberta Conservatory. Ms. Veeze studied in Amsterdam and New York with Alexander Kerr and Sylvia Rosenberg. Laura is married to ESO concertmaster Robert Uchida. They enjoy the wonderful Edmonton community with their children, Marten and Noemi.

 
 
 

Ewald Cheung

David Cheung Chair

Violin I

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Ewald Cheung is an emerging violinist and has performed as soloist with orchestras around Canada, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec.  He has also performed in recital series in Trois-Rivieres, CAMMAC, Edmonton and Muzewest with pianists Philip Chiu, Henry Mokken, and Michael Massey. In 2015, Ewald and pianist Philip Chiu were featured in a 34-concert tour with Jeunesses Musicales Canada and also recorded their album, “A Tribute to Fritz Kreisler.”

Ewald is the recipient of the 2010 Golden Violin Award from McGill University, where he also received his Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma. He recently obtained his Masters’ degree from The Juilliard School. His teachers include Daniel Phillips, Felicia Moye, André Roy, Jonathan Crow and James Keene.

Other awards include First Prize in the Shean Strings Competition in 2009, First Prize in the Trois-Riviéres Competition in 2010 and Second Prize in the Standard Life OSM Competition in 2007. Ewald is extremely grateful of the support from the Anne Burrows Music Foundation, the Winspear Fund and the Victoria Foundation throughout his studies.

As an avid chamber musician, Ewald was a founding member of the Roddick String Quartet and Geistrio.

With the Roddick String Quartet, he competed at the London International String Quartet Competition and performed at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. He also competed at the Fischoff National Chamber Competition and performed at the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series with Geistrio. In 2015, he performed in Arte Musica’s Jeunes et Pros series, with Axel Strauss, Douglas McNabney, Peter Wiley and Matt Haimovitz. He also attended the McGill International String Quartet Academy, studying with members of the Alban Berg, Cleveland and Guarneri String Quartets.

 
 
 
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Aaron Au

Violin I

A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Aaron Au was a first violinist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for nine seasons before appearing regularly with the orchestra as a freelance violinist and violist over the past several seasons. In addition to his musical activities, Aaron is an ordained minister and is privileged to be serving as pastor of a church plant called Avenue Church in Edmonton.

 
 
 

Anna Kozak

John and Frances Scotvold Chair

Principal
Violin II

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Anna Kozak is a violinist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Music Degree from the University of Calgary.

Anna loves being an orchestral musician. It’s a profession that has taken her to concert halls all over Europe as well as Carnegie Hall in New York. She has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Kensington Sinfonia, Red Deer Symphony and Okanagan Symphony.

Anna is also a passionate chamber musician. She has been a member of many ensembles, including Vad Ensemble, Strathcona String Quartet, Obsessions Octet and was a founding member of the Onyx String Quartet and Tersona Piano Trio.

Besides performing, Anna finds it fulfilling to share her passion and knowledge with her students. She holds a small private studio, teaches at the annual Wye Strings Camp, and on occasion leads coaching sessions for local amateur groups.

Anna has the privilege to perform on a violin made in 1770 in Florence by Giovanni Battista Gabrielli. Once she is done practicing, performing, and teaching, Anna enjoys traveling, gardening or just relaxing with her husband and their Great Dane, “George”.

 
 
 
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Neda Yamach

John Boyd Chair

Violin II

Neda Yamach grew up in St. Albert, Alberta, and began studying violin at the age 5. She studied at the Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, NY, and at McGill University, where she was a recipient of the Lloyd Carr-Harris Scholarship.

After receiving her Bachelor of Music Degree with Outstanding Achievement in Violin Performance, she returned to Alberta to study at the Banff Centre for the Arts and then moved to New York to continue her studies at the Manhattan School of Music. In that time, she received both the Winspear Fund Scholarship for Advanced Classical Music and the Siludette O’Connor Memorial Foundation Award.

In 2010, Yamach again returned to Alberta and joined the Alberta Baroque Ensemble. In 2011, she joined the Violin I Section of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, where she still sits today. She has appeared as a soloist numerous times with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to her work as a performer and teacher, Yamach is also an ESO Ambassador for YONA-Sistema (Youth Orchestra of Northern Alberta). She teaches annually at the Wye String Camp and coaches with youth and local community orchestras such as the Edmonton Philharmonic and the Edmonton Youth Orchestra.

 
 
 

Alison Zdunich

Violin II

Alison Zdunich received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in violin performance, as well as her Performer Diploma from Indiana University where she studied with Mauricio Fuks and Kevork Mardirossian. There she also studied violin/viola pedagogy with the renowned Mimi Zweig, as well as orchestral playing with former Royal Concertgebouw and Minnesota Orchestra concertmasters.

Alison has played with numerous orchestras throughout North America; she has served as guest Principal Second Violin with the Regina Symphony, acting Associate-Concertmaster with Tulsa Opera, and Assistant Principal Second with Tulsa Symphony and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. She has played at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and the Berlin Philharmonie Hall as a member of festival orchestras. She is currently a member of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, the Red Deer Symphony, and a regular player with the Edmonton Symphony.

As well as her private teaching studio, Alison has taught for many programs catering to underserved communities, including Edmonton Symphony’s YONA Sistema program, Tulsa Symphony’s String program, Tulsa Symphony’s Fiddle Camp, and Porterville Summer Strings.

Besides "classical" violin playing, Alison is an adept Irish fiddler, and was a frequent violinist with the Tulsa Rock Quartet. She has been broadcast as a member of ensembles on CBC in Canada, and on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor in the USA.

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Viola

 
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Clayton Leung

SAndi Darrell Chair

Principal
Viola

Violist Clayton Leung’s career has taken him across the entire country, from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland, as well as into the United States. In the fall of 2013, he took up permanent residency in Edmonton, having accepted a position in the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. As an orchestral musician, Mr. Leung previously held the position of principal violist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. He has also held positions in the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, the Castleton Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Orchestre de la Francophonie. Mr. Leung has had the pleasure of collaborating with renowned artists such as Itzak Perlman, Lorin Maazel, Donald Weilerstein, Paul Katz, Henk Guittart, Heidi Castleman, Joel Smirnoff, Roger Tapping, and André Laplante.

Clayton Leung is devoted to enticing youth to learn and appreciate orchestral music and the wide array of musical styles orchestral instruments are capable of playing. His interest in exposing youth to classical music stemmed from his work at the Courtenay Youth Music Centre, Langley Community Music School, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory Department’s Distance Learning and Community Outreach Programs. Clayton and four of his colleagues from the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra toured western Newfoundland and northern Labrador bringing classical music to youth and adults in isolated communities, who would normally not have the opportunity to hear live classical music. Born and raised in Vancouver, Mr.Leung was immersed in music since the age of three. His formal training began at the Langley Community Music School and continued at the University of Victoria and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has studied under Lucia Shipperus, Heilwig von Koenigslow, Sharon Stanis and Robert Vernon. Aside from playing violin and viola, Clayton is very fond of playing the piano, guitar, and ukulele. In his free time, Clayton may be spotted in and around Edmonton sipping on lattés, dabbling in the culinary arts, and lifting heavy weights in the gym.

 
 
 
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Jeanette Comeau

Ann and Phil Comeau Chair

Viola

Jeanette Comeau completed a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance with Distinction at the University of Alberta, studying with Aaron Au. Jeanette also earned her Artist Diploma from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where she studied with Steven Dann.

Jeanette is the Principal Violist of The Alberta Baroque Ensemble, having been a member of the ensemble since 2011. Jeanette performs regularly with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and one of her career highlights was performing with the ESO at Carnegie Hall in 2012.

As a soloist, Jeanette performed Telemann’s Concerto for Two Violas in G Major with The Alberta Baroque Ensemble in February, 2015, as well as Telemann’s Concerto in E Major for Flute, Oboe D’Amore and Viola with The Alberta Baroque Ensemble in 2014. Jeanette performed the Viola Solo in a performance of Harold in Italy by Hector Berlioz with the Concordia Symphony Orchestra in 2011.

Jeanette enjoys teaching Viola, Violin, Piano and Theory at her studio in Sherwood Park.

 
 
 

Leanne Maitland

Viola

A native of Edmonton, violist Leanne Maitland is an active chamber musician, orchestral player, soloist, teacher, and adjudicator in the Edmonton area. She performs regularly with the Obsessions Octet and as a substitute with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Other past and up-coming projects include playing with the Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton, Vif String Quartet, touring Europe with the Obsessions Octet, playing at the Citadel Theatre, with Early Music Alberta, Alberta Baroque Ensemble, the Bicycle Symphony at the Kaleido Arts Festival, SkirtsAFire festival, Dead Red Pine, and Plexoos Ensemble, and organizing Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night in Edmonton.

 Previously, Leanne has played with the National Academy Orchestra, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, at the Banff Centre, Domaine Forget Chamber Music program, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the Montreal International String Quartet Academy.  She has studied at the University of Alberta (Dr. Aaron Au), Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester (Prof. George Taylor), and Schulich School of Music, McGill University (André Roy).

Leanne is a viola, violin, and chamber music instructor at Society for Talent Education, and privately at her home studio in west Edmonton. She has also adjudicated at music festivals across Alberta. Leanne is also an active runner, foodie (eating and cooking), and loves going on river valley adventures with her husband and two daughters.

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Cellos

 

Rafael Hoekman

Joyce M. Clark Chair

Principal
Cello

Hailed by the Toronto Star as a “young musician with a bright future” and noted for his “spirited and fiery performances”, Rafael Hoekman’s varied career as a soloist, teacher, chamber musician and orchestral cellist has taken him on a journey across Canada. Rafael Hoekman grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and began his musical training with his parents at the age of three.

His principal teachers were Theo Weber in St. John’s, Yuli Turovsky in Montreal, and he completed his Master’s Degree with Shauna Rolston at the University of Toronto. With his recent appointment to the position of Principal Cello for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Rafael has come full circle - his father was born in Lethbridge, and his mother was born in Conrad, Montana, a short drive from the Canadian border. As a young soloist, Rafael first attracted attention by winning First Prize at the Orford International Competition. This award led to performances of the Boccherini Concerto with I Musici de Montreal and a subsequent CD on the Amberola Label. In quick succession, Rafael garnered awards from competitions including the Montreal Symphony Competition, the CMC Stepping Stones Competition, the Debut Young Artist Competition and the Quebec Symphony’s Canadian Concerto Competition. In addition to performing with I Musici de Montreal, Rafael has appeared as soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic, the Quebec Symphony, the Newfoundland Symphony, Sinfonia Toronto, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Etobicoke Philharmonic. Rafael makes his solo debut with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 2017.

As a chamber musician and founding member of the Tokai String Quartet, Rafael won Fourth Prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition as well as the Felix Galimir Chamber Music Award and the Sir Ernest MacMillan Grant for a young Canadian chamber ensemble. Rafael’s chamber music performances have been featured on several national broadcasts for the CBC. He has been heard all across Canada on tours for Jeunesses Musicales and Debut Atlantic. He counts as his chamber music partners James Ehnes, Alexander Tselyakov, Anton Kuerti, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Prior to joining the Edmonton Symphony as Principal Cello in 2015, Rafael was a member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and held assistant principal positions with both the Winnipeg and Windsor Symphony Orchestras. He has also held positions with Orchestra London Canada and Sinfonia Toronto (principal cello) and has played frequently with the Detroit and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. In the summer of 2017, Rafael will join the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra as Principal Cello.

Rafael is a passionate teacher and enjoys working with aspiring cellists as a faculty member at the University of Alberta and across the country at festivals including the Kincardine Music Festival, Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute, and Music at Port Milford. Rafael lives in Edmonton with his wife, cellist Meran Currie-Roberts, and their two children, Sam and Anastasia.

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Meran Currie-Roberts

Dr. Srishti Nigam Chair

Cello

Meran Currie-Roberts enjoys a successful career as a cellist, teacher, and music administrator. Former Dean of the Manitoba Conservatory, she is currently Executive & Artistic Director of the Health Arts Society of Alberta, where she brings hundreds of concerts to elders in care annually. As one of Edmonton’s busiest cellists, she plays frequently with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and has also appeared with the Calgary Philharmonic and Winnipeg, Kitchener-Waterloo, Windsor and Colorado Music Festival Orchestras. As a chamber musician, Meran has played for the Edmonton Recital Society, Festival of the Sound, Elora Festival, Festival Ibero Americano, Music at Port Milford, Kincardine Festival and Festival Vancouver. Meran is on faculty at MacEwan’s Conservatory where she shares her love of the cello with students from age 4 to retirement. She has an M.Mus from the University of Toronto, where she studied with Shauna Rolston.

 
 
 

Amy Nicholson

Amy Nicholson holds an undergraduate music degree from Hannover Music and Theater School in Germany. She toured and performed in Germany and Poland with the German Chamber Academy, NDR Symphony and Molte Chorde String Quartet. Returning home to Alberta she completed her Master of Music degree as Tanya Prochaszka’s teaching assistant at the University of Alberta. Amy has received prestigious awards including an instrument loan for an 1864 Jaques-Pière Thibout cello from the Fritz Behrens Stiftung, Germany (2001-2004), Jacques Bombardier SSHRC Scholarship, Harriet Winspear Snowball award, Canadian Federation of University Women award and a University of Alberta Doctoral Recruitment award. Amy performs regularly with the UltraViolet ensemble, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Dave Babcock Jazz ensemble, String Beans Pop Quartet, Health Arts Society of Alberta, Opera Nuova Vocal Arts Festival and the John Cameron Changing lives foundation. She also enjoys playing with her long-time chamber music partner pianist Kyung-A Lee at the Algonquin Summer Music Festival in Ontario. Amy is a sessional cello instructor for MacEwan University Conservatory, Concordia University and King’s University.

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Double Bass

 

Maximilian Mauricio-Cardilli

Drs Don and Valerie Massey Chair

Double Bass

Maximilian Mauricio-Cardilli is a Montreal born bass player. Having studied with Brian Robinson, he holds a bachelor's degree in performance from McGill University ('15), where he was awarded the Lloyd Carr Harris String Scholarship. In March 2016, he became the Assistant-
Principal Double Bass for L'Orchestre Symphonique de Drummondville, under Maestro Julien Proulx. In 2017 he had the opportunity to serve as an apprentice to the National Arts Center Orchestra through their Institute for Orchestral Studies, where he studied under Joel Quarrington while performing with the NAC Orchestra. Maximilian has also been performing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for the 2016-2017 season while enjoying a diversified freelance career. Being the youngest individual of the ensemble, Max joined the
Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as an official member after an audition in July 2017. Maximilian has accompanied internationally acclaimed artists including Yefim Bronfman, Denis Kozhukhin, Cameron Carpenter Augustine DuMay, Jonathan Crow, Charles Richard-Hamelin, Patrick Bruel, Kyoko Hashimoto, Serenata Ensemble at St-John's with members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, as well as chamber music engagements with some of Canada's finest young artists. Max's favorite composers include Benjamin Britten, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Hans Werner Henze, Vagn Holmboe, Jean Sibelius, Richard Wagner, J.S. Bach, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Olivier Messiaen, Arthur Honegger, Giuseppe Verdi, Gustav Mahler, Wolfgang A. Mozart, Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Charles Ives and many others.

Photo: Brent Gervais

Photo: Brent Gervais

 
 
 

Emerging Professional Musician

 
 

Aemilia Moser

VIOLIN II

Aemilia Moser is thrilled to be a part of the Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton. Aemilia is currently enrolled at the University of Alberta where she is completing her undergraduate degree taking violin and voice performance with Robert Uchida and Elizabeth Turnbull, respectively. Aemilia began her first musical training at age 5, taking private violin lessons with Mr. James Keene. She is an alumnus of the Edmonton Youth Orchestra and the Edmonton Youth Choir. She has had the wonderful opportunities of participating in music festivals and competitions in Canada and Austria and will be attending the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee later this summer. In addition to violin, Aemilia has had the pleasure of performing in local theatre. She has been seen as Maureen Johnson in RENT, Ilse in Spring Awakening and was last cast as Asphodele in the University of Alberta’s production of L'étoile.

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