2020 Guest Artists and Faculty

Duo Concertante

Nancy Dahn and Timothy Steeves, Canada’s premiere violin and piano ensemble, are partners in music and in life. The Duo’s busy international touring schedule takes them throughout North America, Europe, the UK and China, with performances at the Wigmore Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, the National Arts Centre, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. Duo Concertante have released 12 CDs on the ATMA, Centrediscs, and Marquis labels.  The all-Canadian album Incarnation was named one of CBC Radio’s Top 10 Classical Recordings of 2017, and was also recognized by the East Coast Music Association, which awarded Duo Concertante Classical Recording of the Year for three consecutive years. Nancy and Tim have consistently supported new music, commissioning over 65 works for violin and piano from many of Canada’s leading composers, including R. Murray Schafer’s Duo for Violin and Piano, which won a JUNO award on their 2011 CD Wild Bird. Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, they are also both Research Professors at Memorial University and Artistic Directors of the Tuckamore Festival.

Thomas Sauer

Pianist Thomas Sauer is highly sought after as soloist and chamber musician in a wide range of repertoire. Recent appearances include concertos with the Quad-City and Tallahassee Symphonies; solo performances at Carnegie Hall and St. John’s College, Oxford; and performances with the Chamber Music Societies of Lincoln Center and Philadelphia.  With his long-time duo partner Colin Carr, Mr. Sauer has appeared at the Wigmore Hall (London), the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Bargemusic (New York City), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), and Da Camera (Houston), among many other venues.  He has performed with members of the Juilliard String Quartet at the Library of Congress, with violinist Jennifer Koh at the Kennedy Center, and given numerous concerts with the Brentano String Quartet.

Mr. Sauer’s varied discography includes recordings of Beethoven and Haydn piano sonatas for MSR Classics; with Colin Carr, the complete cello and piano works of Mendelssohn on Cello Classics and complete Beethoven on MSR Classics; a disc of Hindemith sonatas with violist Misha Amory (Musical Heritage Society); music of Britten and Schnittke with cellist Wilhelmina Smith on Arabesque; music of Ross Lee Finney with violinist Miranda Cuckson on Centaur Records; and music of James Matheson for Yarlung Records. A faculty member of Mannes and Vassar Colleges, Mr. Sauer was the founder and director of the Mannes Beethoven Institute, a highly regarded summer program that ran for fifteen seasons.

Serena Canin

Violinist for the Brentano Quartet since 1992, SERENA CANIN was born into a family of professional musicians in New York City. An accomplished chamber musician, she was twice invited to the Marlboro Music Festival and has toured the United States with Music from Marlboro, the Brandenburg Ensemble, and Goliard Concerts. She has performed for the Festival Internacional de Cartagena, Chamber Music Quad Cities, El Paso Pro Musica, the Mannes Beethoven Institute, and the Continuum Series at Alice Tully Hall.

Ms. Canin has held teaching positions at Princeton University and New York University and has taught chamber music to young musicians at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She holds degrees from Swarthmore College and the Juilliard School, and her teachers have included Burton Kaplan and Robert Mann. She lives in New York City with her husband,  pianist Thomas Sauer, and their two sons, Eric and Niall.

Trinitas Chamber Ensemble

Born from a desire to explore voices beyond those of standard classical chamber music, and to present engaging, off-beat performances, Trinitas Chamber Ensemble consists of three outstanding musicians with a shared vision and infectious onstage chemistry. Accomplished soloists in their own right, the members of Trinitas have performed around the world, including St. Petersburg (Russia), Llangollen (Wales), Uberlândia (Brazil), and Tegucigalpa (Honduras). Since its premier performance in 2015, Trinitas has inspired rave audience reaction at venues in Washington DC, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, the US Midwest, and at home in Newfoundland.

Nathan Cook (cello) and Michelle Cheramy (flute) are faculty members of Memorial University’s School of Music in St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Phil Roberts (piano) is one of St. John’s most sought after chamber musicians, and was the founder of PlayPianoNL, an organization that inspired a deep love of the piano in countless young musicians in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Tom Allen and The Missing Pages

Tom Allen hosts Shift on CBC Music. He is the author of three non-fiction books, plays the trombone when he can and wrote this show, among many others. Mostly, he’s a storyteller.

Lori Gemmell is the Principal Harpist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and plays often with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She has two recordings of solo harp music, two duo recordings and also recorded with Feist.

Patricia O’Callaghan is a recording and performing artist with five solo CDs, several collaborations and a Christmas album.  She tours her shows, and as a guest artist around North America, Europe, and Australia.

Bryce Kulak began performing professionally at 11. He is an actor, singer, pianist and composer. His albums WelcomeTin Can Telephone, and The Man That Got Away are on iTunes.

Derek Boyes is a director, actor in Toronto, where he has performed in over 40 productions including many years as a Resident Artist with Soulpepper Theatre. He has also performed with the Stratford and Shaw festivals and Toronto Masque Theatre.


Patrick Cashin

Described by CBC Radio as “a truly original interpretive voice,” pianist Patrick Cashin is becoming known as a distinctive presence on the Canadian music scene. He designs unique recitals centred around the best of the piano repertoire and particularly enjoys playing Mozart piano concertos, in which he improvises and composes cadenzas in the style of Mozart.

As a student of Timothy Steeves at Memorial University, Patrick won several competitions including the Atlantic Young Artist and Petro-Canada Young Artist Competition, resulting in some early success playing recital tours and concertos with local orchestras. He left Newfoundland to study for two years at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, then went on to complete a Master’s and Doctorate in performance at l’Université de Montréal under the guidance of legendary piano pedagogue Marc Durand. Patrick wrote his doctoral research paper on improvisation in the Mozart concertos and began integrating his own material into performances, appearing as guest soloist with l’Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens étudiants de Montréal (OPMEM) and the Memorial University Orchestra. He works as a collaborative pianist and teacher in Montréal, Québec.

Julia Halfyard

Julia Halfyard has delighted audiences across Canada, in theatres, concert halls and cabarets, with music ranging from classical to contemporary, and in contexts from the ridiculous to the sublime. In 2015 Julia was a member of the cast in the world premiere of the Alan Menken / David Spenser musical “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” at the Segal Centre in Montreal. The Cast Album for this musical was release on December 2016 and quickly made the top ten musical theatre albums of the year on the London Theatre website.  She played the mother in the acclaimed commemoration video, “Sing You Home” with the Ennis Sister and Shallaway Youth Chorus. She has worked with a variety of theatre companies throughout Canada including The Sunshine Festival, The Charlottetown Festival, Spirit of Newfoundland, TaDa Events, Stephenville Festival, Artistic Fraud, Atlantic Light Theatre, and has been a featured soloist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.

In her other professional life, Julia works with Student Life at Memorial University, and also leads the popular Instant Choir with Festival 500 – Growing the Voices.  She is pursuing the study of music and community in a PhD program at Memorial University most importantly she is a proud mom to young Estelle and Seth who are always singing, dancing, and acting up.

Emma Schmiedecke

Praised for her “huge musicality, depth of interpretation, and technical expertise needed to distinguish oneself in the music profession” (Manhattan International Music Competition), cellist Emma Schmiedecke was most recently awarded a Silver Medal in the Professional Category of the 4th Manhattan International Music Competition. As an advocate for contemporary music, she has worked closely with composers Joan Tower, George Tsontakis, John Corigliano, Ana Sokolovic, and Susan Botti, and has performed with the Da Capo Chamber Players, Fifth House Ensemble, Against the Grain Theatre Company, Novarumori Ensemble, and the Contemporaneous New Music Ensemble in multiple world premieres. As guest soloist Emma has performed with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, and Bravura Philharmonic.

Emma will be attending the University of Toronto School of Music as a doctoral candidate in Cello Performance in the studio of Joseph Johnson this fall. She obtained both a Graduate Diploma and a Master of Music in Cello Performance from the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. She also holds an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Music from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Bard College, all magna cum laude. She plays a 1918 Italian cello “Tutto” by Puglisi of Catania.

SHHH!! Ensemble

SHHH!! Ensemble is a piano/percussion duo dedicated to the creation and dissemination of new and rarefied sounds. The Ottawa-based duo of pianist Edana Higham and percussionist Zac Pulak pride themselves in the presentation of programmes that are as accessible as they are groundbreaking. Recent commissioning projects include new music from Canadian composers John Beckwith, Jocelyn Morlock, Mathew-John Knights, Daniel Mehdizadeh, and a forthcoming double concerto from Kelly-Marie Murphy, among many others.

 The duo has toured nationally, presenting their unique, avant-accessible programming at concert series, chamber music festivals, and universities. Other engagements have included residencies at the Vormingscentrum Destelheide (Belgium), Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Canadian Music Centre (Toronto). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 would have seen the duo premiere three new works in collaboration with the Ottawa International Writers Festival and the Ottawa New Music Creators, participated in a three week career development program led by the Gryphon Trio, perform a CBC Classical live recital broadcast from Toronto, and perform at the Ottawa International Chamberfest. Despite the interruptions, SHHH!! Ensemble has continued to perform through livestream concerts in collaboration with OrKidstra and the National Arts Centre’s #CanadaPerforms series.


Patrick Kreeger

Giving his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17, Patrick Kreeger has established himself as one of the leading musicians of his generation. Kreeger has performed in many prestigious venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall (NY, NY), Benaroya Hall (Seattle, WA), Meymandi Hall (Raleigh, NC), Verizon Hall (Philadelphia, PA), Bulgaria Hall (Sofia, Bulgaria), St. Patrick’s Cathedral (NY, NY), Peterborough Cathedral (U. K.), Musée des Augustins (Toulouse, France), Kunsten Museum of Fine Art (Aalborg, Denmark), as well as numerous other venues in the U. S., U. K., France, Italy, Israel, Denmark, and Bulgaria.

A devoted educator, Patrick was appointed to the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2019, where he teaches music theory in the college and Evening Division programs. He also serves as the Associate Organist at New York City’s historic Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. During the summer, he teaches choral conducting, chamber music, and musical studies at Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Summer Program. He maintains a small private studio, and many of his students have been admitted into prestigious music programs in the U. S. and Europe.



Angela Pickett

A native of Newfoundland, Canada, Angela Pickett has performed as a violist, violinist, and fiddler throughout North America, South America, Europe, The Carribbean, and Japan. Angela is currently the violist of acclaimed string quintet Sybarite5, with whom she has performed in forty-five states, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and The Library of Congress to the NYC Apple Store and SubCulture.

Angela currently lives in New York City where she can be seen and heard fiddling on stage at Come From Away and in the pit at Hamilton. Additionally she is a member of Trifecta string trio, and often performs with Argento, Iris orchestra, and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. When she is not performing, Angela is a music director and chamber music coach for the Lincoln Center Stage Program.

Tabitha Payzant

Pianist Tabitha Payzant grew up in the small town of Baxters Harbour outside of Canning, NS and began studying piano at 8 years old in Wolfville. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Mount Allison University where she studied under the tutelage of both Stephen Runge and Lynn Johnson. She received gold for division four in the New Brunswick Registered Music Teachers Association Music Competition in 2015 and has received multiple academic awards, including the H.P. and L.G. Patterson Scholarship, the Mount Allison Outstanding Grade Point Average Scholarship, the Florence Webb Tate Prize, and the James Noel Brunton Memorial Award.

Tabitha also holds a Masters of Music with a specialty in piano performance from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, studying under Timothy Steeves. Between 2016-2019 Tabitha was employed by the Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival, and worked closely with young and guest artists before and during the duration of the festival. Following her second MMus, Payzant aims to complete Doctoral studies at the University of Montreal.