Robert Chafe is a St. John’s based playwright whose work has been seen across Canada, the UK, and Australia. He is the author of 18 stage scripts and co-author of another ten. He is Artistic Director and playwright for Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, where he frequently collaborates with NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley. Two of his plays (Tempting Providence and Butler’s Marsh), published in 2004 by Playwrights Canada Press, were shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Drama. His play Afterimage won the award in 2010. Tempting Providence, directed by Jillian Keiley and produced by Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, is entering its eighth year of national and international touring. His recent work, Oil and Water, premiered in St. John’s in a sold out run in February 2011, and has toured nationally, which included the National Arts Centre in 2014. He has been a guest instructor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, and the National Theatre School of Canada.
Originally from Toronto, Amy Collyer-Holmes has made Newfoundland her home for the past year. A Tuckamore Young Artist Program alumna, she performs regularly with the Memorial University Chamber Orchestra and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. This summer she lived in Gander, performing as an actor and musician with the Beyond the Overpass Theatre Festival. Amy received her Bachelor of Music from Queen’s University studying with Wolf Tormann, and is currently completing her Master of Music in Cello Performance & Pedagogy at Memorial University under the direction of Vernon Regehr. Amy has the pleasure of performing on the “1933 Mougenot Cello” donated to Memorial University of Newfoundland’s School of Music by the Estate of Rita Love.
Juno-award winners Nancy Dahn and Timothy Steeves are Canada’s premiere violin and piano duo. Their name, Duo Concertante, defines their artistic relationship – two performers as equal and dynamic voices. Together they have built an international career through outstanding performances in hundreds of recitals across North America, Europe, and China. They have released seven widely-acclaimed recordings, ranging from Bach to JUNO-award-winning Canadian repertoire and are recognized across the country for their outstanding work as musicians and educators. They recently received the designation of University Research Professors and were elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists Royal Society of Canada in November 2016. Professors Dahn and Steeves are currently on faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland and serve as co-artistic directors of the Tuckamore Festival.
For over 40 years, concert pianist Janina Fialkowska has enchanted audiences and critics around the world. She has been praised for her musical integrity, her refreshing natural approach and her unique piano sound thus becoming “one of the Grandes Dames of piano playing” (Frankfurter Allgemeine, 2015). Her native Canada has bestowed upon her their highest honors: “Officer of the Order of Canada”, the “Governor General’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in Classical Music” as well as three honorary doctorates. She passes on her wide musical experience in master classes and at her annual “International Piano Academy” in Bavaria, where she now resides and makes frequent appearances as a juror of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions.
The Danish String Quartet has reached incredible heights in the course of its 10 years of existence. The high technical and musical quality, the joy of playing, the powerful impact the quartet makes on stage and the fresh approach to familiar repertoire has become a trademark for the Danish String Quartet. The four young musicians have performed all over Europe, returning repeatedly to particularly Germany and the UK, where Wigmore Hall is one of the venues. The quartet was awarded the highly prestigious Carl Nielsen Prize in 2011, Denmark’s largest cultural prize.
Described as “genre-bending” by the National Post, and “intrepid” by the Globe and Mail, Mark Fewer has performed around the world to critical acclaim in virtually every role asked of a violinist – and then some. His regular musical diet includes performances from the early baroque to the avant-garde, with recent performances as soloist with groups as wide-ranging as the Melbourne Symphony (Australia), the Fodens-Richardson Brass Band (UK), the Zapp Quartet (Amsterdam), and the McGill Percussion Ensemble (Canada). He is also a dedicated chamber musician, jazz violinist, artistic director, and teacher.
Acclaimed by the New York Times as an “extraordinary violist” of “immense flair,” Dov Scheindlin is a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also been violist of the Arditti, Penderecki and Chester String Quartets. His chamber music career has brought him to 28 countries around the globe, and won him the Siemens Prize in 1999. He has appeared as soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Paris Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic.
CBC Radio 2 host Tom Allen is a passionate music lover, storyteller, accomplished trombonist, writer and broadcaster. He is a frequent onstage host for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and has brought his Classical Goodtime Variety Show to orchestras across Canada. His cabaret Bohemians in Brooklyn, with Patricia O’Callaghan, Bryce Kulak and his wife, the harpist Lori Gemmell was the surprise hit at the Young Centre Cabaret Festival in Toronto and was described as “slickly written” and “beautifully punctuated with songs.” Tom has also had three books published, most recently The Gift of the Game, a reflection on hockey and the role the game plays in the life of a divorced parent.
Patricia O’Callaghan is something of a wandering minstrel. Her fifteen-year career has taken her across genres, continents, and a range of disciplines and passions. Her recording career spans six solo CDs and many interesting guest collaborations. A speaker of French, Spanish, and German, her early recordings focused on European cabaret, and she is considered a specialist in the music of Kurt Weill. Patricia has performed his Threepenny Opera, Seven Deadly Sins, and Kleine Mahagonny with Soulpepper Theatre Company, Edmonton Opera, and Vancouver Opera, amongst others. Patricia has had the honor of premiering many new compositions, working with such creators as R. Murray Schafer, Dennis Lee, Christos Hatzis, George Aperghis, Steve Reich, and Steven Page, to name a few.
Vernon Regehr is an active recital, chamber and orchestral musician, conductor and teacher who has made festival appearances with the First Avenue Chamber Players of New York City, Trinidad Arts Festival, International Festival of Ensembles in St. Petersburg, Russia, University of Victoria, Artspring, SoundaXis New Music Festival, Hilton Beach, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Music in the Barns and the Chamber Music Societies of Quebec and Kitchener-Waterloo. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Shanghai, Afiara, Fitzwilliam and Lafayette string quartets, Andrew Burashko, Mark Fewer, Suzie Leblanc, and Leon Fleisher. Full Spectrum, his first solo record on the Centrediscs label features new Canadian works for solo cello, including the 2014 East Coast Music Award for Composition of the Year (Lamentations). John Terauds of Musical Toronto writes, “…Regehr executes [Versprechen] with elegant ease, as he does every other one of the very difficult pieces on this album.” He is currently on faculty at Memorial University School of Music where he teaches cello, bass, and conducts the chamber orchestra.
Composer Andrew Staniland has firmly established himself as one of Canada’s most important and innovative musical voices. His music is regularly heard on CBC Radio 2 and has been performed and broadcast internationally in over 35 countries. As a leading composer of his generation, he has been recognized by election to the Inaugural Cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists Royal Society of Canada in 2014. Andrew is the lead composer/educator with the Gryphon Trio’s Listen Up! education initiative, created and produced in collaboration with the Gryphon Trio and music educator Rob Kapilow. Andrew also performs himself, both as a guitarist and working with new media (computers and electronics). Andrew is currently on faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
More than 30 years of relentless experience have garnered Brennan a solid reputation as a player, composer and arranger of contemporary classical, jazz, folk and world music — always exploring, always open to new ideas, Brennan’s talents resist classification. Geoff Chapman of the Toronto Star says: “Brennan … is a central figure in this country’s music.” Brennan was named the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Artist of the Year for 2006. He directs the Memorial University Jazz Ensemble and Gamelan Sagara Asih (the Memorial University Gamelan Ensemble). His expertise as a pianist, percussionist, composer and producer can be heard on some 100 albums to date.