Founder and Artistic Director of the Quadra Island Festival of Chamber Music, Philip Hansen has performed on four continents in playing that is both colourful and intensely personal. A USA Department of State Cultural Ambassador to Russia, Phil was featured in concert halls from Moscow to the Far East. He has been guest artist-in-residence at both the Beijing and Shanghai Central Conservatories and was a long-time faculty member of the Académie Internationale Musicale in Provence, France. Phil currently holds the position of Principal Cellist with the Minas Gerais State Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the southern hemisphere’s greatest orchestras.
In his retreats called Cello Zen held in Brazil and in North America, Phil’s approach integrates greater ease of playing with excellence in musicianship. His teaching combines the influence of his beloved cello mentors Steven Doane, Lynn Harrell, Jürgen de Lemos, and Patricia Pinkston.
Phil’s CD of the Unaccompanied Cello Suites by J. S. Bach, recorded on baroque instruments, was released in 2018. His album of tango music, Bragatissimo, has been broadcast around the world.
An avid composer of multiple orchestral, chamber, and solo works, Phil collaborated on and composed the theme music to Charlie the Cello, a children’s book and stage production co-written with author Deborah Nicholson and presented by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Canadian double bassist Malcolm Armstrong is a member of the VSO double bass section as June of 2019. Prior to his arrival in Vancouver he served for 3 years as principal bass of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. A native of Ottawa, Malcolm was inspired to pursue a musical career by his father, trombonist and conductor Angus Armstrong, and his uncle, Daniel Armstrong, who has led a 40-year career as a double bassist with the Winnipeg, Milwaukee and Chicago symphony orchestras.
Malcolm studied at the University of Ottawa and at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, where he also participated in the Canadian Opera Company’s Orchestra Academy. Malcolm is a recipient of numerous awards and honours including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada’s Award of Excellence. He performed with the NYO in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017, the latter season documented by filmmaker John Bolton in That Higher Level, for the National Film Board of Canada. Malcolm has toured extensively throughout Canada, as well as to South Korea with the Orford Arts Centre Orchestra. In addition to his performing duties, Malcolm is a devoted teacher and has coached at educational programs such as the Hawaii Youth Symphony, Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy and Orkidstra.
Konstantin Bozhinov is a classically-trained folk musician, teacher, and researcher. He plays the
guitar, lute, accordion, piano, and organ. Originally from Dobrich, Bulgaria, he has lived in Vancouver, Canada, since 2006. Music based on improvisation and an aural tradition has always resonated with Konstantin. While raised with Balkan folk music, the Celtic traditional repertoire has become a major part of his work.
Konstanting studied music at Douglas College, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University. In 2018, he completed a PhD in musicology from the University of Victoria. As a researcher, He takes a Darwinian approach to musicology research and is interested in the development of music as part of bio-cultural evolution.
Some performance highlights include concerts with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Opera Victoria, the Vancouver Bach choir, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Kensington Sinfonia, and the Sidney Classical Orchestra.
As a recording artist, Konstantin has recorded soundtracks for several movies and best-selling video games. Most recently, he released his first solo album, a collection of popular Celtic tunes, titled The Road Goes On. He has also launched Made Up Records, a label devoted to folk and world music.
Individuality and originality through improvisation and composition are at the core of Konstantin’s philosophy and approach to music. In the words of Matsuo Basho: 'Do not look for the footsteps of the ancient masters; seek what they sought.
Kate Choi is a 17-year-old Timberline Secondary student who began her musical studies in South Korea before moving to Campbell River in 2017. With a great passion for performing arts, Kate studies advanced piano with Shelley Roberts and is a past member of CRdanceXtreme, where she competed in performance and show-team for four years in styles of hip-hop, lyrical, ballet, jazz and contemporary. Just last year, she was graded 1st Class Honours with Distinction for the Grade 10 Practical Exam in Royal Conservatory of Music. In 2018, Kate won the Ruth Scott memorial Chopin Competition, and the following year represented the North Island at the Provincials in Chilliwack. Kate has had the pleasure of performing at the Rotary Honours Concert presented at the Tidemark Theatre both in-person (2020) and virtually (2021). With the covid pandemic restrictions and protocols, live performances have been on hold since March 2020. Kate is filled with excitement to finally get back on board and perform at the Quadra Island Festival of Chamber Music.
Being a straight A honor-roll academic student at Timberline Secondary, Kate plans to further her studies in science and pursue the field of medicine, whilst keeping her passion for music.
Marc enjoys a diverse international career on historical and modern violins, performing as soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster or director/conductor. He is co-concertmaster of the Orchestra of the 18th Century (Amsterdam), first violinist of the Axelrod String Quartet (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC) and of the Vancouver quartet Microcosmos, and is a regular guest director and soloist with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Australian Haydn Ensemble and Lyra Baroque Orchestra. In Vancouver he has been director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, concertmaster of the CBC Radio Orchestra and first violinist with the Purcell String Quartet. He performs regularly for Early Music Vancouver, is Artistic Director of the Pacific Baroque Festival (Victoria), a member of the Turning Point Ensemble, and concertmaster of the Oregon Bach Festival Baroque Orchestra.
His recording of Haydn violin concertos (ATMA) has been critically acclaimed, and he has commissioned and premiered numerous works by Canadian composers. A highly-respected teacher, he has been a visiting artist at the Paris, Utrecht and Moscow Conservatories, the Banff Centre, Australian National University, Sydney Conservatorium, University of Indiana, Case Western University, UVic and UBC. He is on the faculty of the Berwick Academy at the Oregon Bach Festival.
Furb joined the Oregon Symphony as assistant concertmaster in 2001. Prior to her arrival in Portland, she was a member of the Colorado Symphony for eight years and also played with the Milwaukee Symphony for a season. Originally from the Chicago area, Airyn began studying the violin at age four with Rebecca Sandrok; she also studied with George Perlman and Betty Lambert. She attended the University of Michigan, received her B.M. from Rice University, and went to the University of Minnesota for graduate school. Airyn’s main teachers include Camilla Wicks, Raphael Fliegal, Jacob Krachmalnick, and Roland and Almita Vamos. She has performed as a soloist with the Oregon Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Southeast Iowa Symphony, the Chintimini Music Festival Orchestra, the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, and in December 2009 she performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Yaroslavl Philharmonic in Yaroslavl, Russia.
In addition to her great love for performing classical music, Airyn enjoys playing tango music, a passion she developed after hearing the music of Astor Piazzolla in 1997. While living in Denver, she and fellow bandoneón player Evan Orman co-founded a four-piece tango group called Extasis and traveled to Buenos Aires in 1999 to study with musicians in many of the tango orchestras there. She has since made several more journeys to Argentina and feels very lucky to have been able to work with Jose Bragato, Piazzolla’s cellist and arranger on a CD project for piano trio called Bragatissimo. In 2001, she formed Tango Pacifico, a five piece band which specializes in the music of Astor Piazzolla. In June 2012, Airyn performed the Four Seasons by Piazzolla with the Chintimini Festival of Music in Corvallis, and with the Southeast Iowa Symphony in 2011. Airyn also plays with the Alex Krebs Tango Quartet, which often performs at milongas for dancers and has been featured at Portland’s Tangofest and Valentango.
Airyn is also an avid chamber musician and teacher. She was a member of Fear No Music for five seasons, and performed with the Bellingham Chamber Players for several years. She taught a class at PSU on orchestral repertoire and auditions and has given master classes at universities throughout Oregon and Washington. She enjoys teaching and maintains a private studio in Portland. Airyn’s summers include traveling and performing at the Bellingham Festival of Music and the Chintimini Music Festival in Corvallis. Her hobbies include cycling, hiking, reading, traveling and microbiology.
Canadian-born, violinist Kai Gleusteen started at the age of five years old in his native city, Calgary. Early on, he met with success in national music competitions in addition to receiving top academic awards. Already at a young age, he had the opportunity to study with the most renowned violinists and teachers of his time, including Nathan Milstein, Ivan Galamian, Josef Gingold, Dorothy Delay, and Zakhar Bron. By the age of seventeen, Kai was awarded the top prize in the Commonwealth Concerto Competition in Australia, he had received the prestigious Skene Award in Scotland and had formed his first chamber orchestra: The Group of Twelve.
A strong believer in the musician as a multi-dimensional human being, Kai chose to combine his musical studies with academic pursuits. At the University of Michigan, he studied anthropology, geophysics, and philosophy. He received a Master’s Degree from Rice University under the tutelage of the person who would become his greatest inspiration on both a personal and musical level, the violinist Camilla Wicks.
In 1991, Kai moved to Europe to live in the heart of Western Culture. Paris and Prague were his bases for nine years, allowing him to develop and perform both as a soloist and leader of numerous orchestras. In the year 2000, he won the concertmaster position of the Orchestra ‘del Gran Teatre del Liceu’ and subsequently moved to Barcelona. In 2003, he created the Gran Teatre del Liceu Chamber Orchestra and was appointed professor at the Escuela Superior de Musica de Catalunya. He continues to perform extensively as a soloist and a recitalist throughout Europe and North America and has released numerous critically acclaimed recordings.
Natalie has studied cello at the Conservatoire de Musique (Québec), followed by a degree from the School of Music, University of British Columbia. While at UBC, she began studying viola da gamba as well, and later pursued further studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. Natalie has played with many ensembles in Canada and the U.S., including New World Consort, Les Coucous Bénévoles, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Seattle and Portland Baroque Orchestras, Les Voix Humaines, Les Voix Baroques, Tempo Rubato, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Victoria Baroque Players, Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, and others. She has toured throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe, playing in cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, at London’s Wigmore Hall, Paris, Cologne, Strasbourg, Utrecht and Bologna, among others, and has recorded for Radio France, German Radio, BBC, CBC, and NPR, as well as the Canadian label Atma Classique. She plays violone, viola da gamba, and occasionally baroque cello, in Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and the Bach Cantata Project players, and frequently appears in Early Music Vancouver’s summer Festival. Natalie also has a passionate and abiding interest in new music and performs newly commissioned works both as a soloist and with the ensembles of which she is a member.
“Une pianiste pas comme les autres.” These were the words of Pierre Petit, the well-known critic of Le Figaro, after a performance by Catherine Ordronneau. Although she performed her first solo concert at age 12, it is only when she turned 18 that she decided to devote herself entirely to music, receiving guidance from French pianist François-René Duchâble and Monique Deschaussées, herself a student of the great Alfred Cortot. After receiving the highest distinction in academics and the prize of the Foundation Lefébure, she chose to avoid competitions in order to develop an eclectic repertoire and grow as a thoughtful, well-rounded musician. A lover of literature and nature, she delivers “mesmerizing interpretation allied to a total musical integrity.” (The Times) She performs extensively in North America, Europe and China. She was invited to play as a soloist with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Bay Atlantic Symphony, the Toronto Sinfonietta, the Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, among others. Since 2008, she regularly goes to China and plays in the most prestigious halls, including the Oriental Art Center in Shanghai and the Performing Arts Center in Tianjin. She recorded live for CBC Radio, TV2 Spain, and Radio France.
She has worked and performed with Canadian violinist Kai Gleusteen for more than 15 years and their discography includes award winning recordings. They recently were invited for a 22-concert tour in China. Catherine is professor of piano and chamber music in the Liceu Conservatorio Superior de Música in Barcelona.
Originally from Regina, Daniel Scholz studied at the University of Regina, McGill University and at the University of British Columbia. He was a prizewinner at the Lionel Tertis Viola Competition, the most prestigious event of its kind, held on the Isle of Mann. Mr. Scholz is the Principal Viola of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society, and the Rembrandt String Quartet. As a solo artist, Daniel has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Musickbarock, the Okanagan Symphony and the Vancouver Chamber Players. Daniel has also toured Europe with the Nordic Symphony of Tallinn, Estonia as Guest Principal Viola. Highly sought after as a teacher, Mr. Scholz is an instructor at the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba as well as the conductor of the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has performed and taught at many of Canada’s major festivals and is a faculty member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Rosamunde Summer Academy in Winnipeg and the Amici Summer Strings in Calgary. He has also been invited to teach at Mount Royal University in Calgary, University of Regina, Conservatory of Music, University of Western Ontario, Ottawa University, and the Université de Montréal. Mr. Scholz was also invited to perform and teach in Perth, Australia by the Australian String Teachers Association and the West Australian and New Zealand Viola Society. Mr. Scholz has commissioned new works by Bramwell Tovey, David Scott, T. Patrick Carrabre, Jim Hiscott, and Michael Matthews. Mr. Scholz plays on a contemporary viola made by the luthier, Garth Lee of Winnipeg, MB.