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Guest Clinicians 2016/2017

Sasha Johnson – Sun. Oct. 23rd – 10am-12pm

in Upper Jazz, South Building, U of T Faculty of Music – 90 Wellesley St. West

Sasha JohnsonSasha Johnson began his musical training at age 16, studying brass chamber music and tuba with Sam Pilafian at the Empire Brass Seminar of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He went on to study at the University of Toronto with both Mark Tetreault and Murray Crewe of the Toronto Symphony, with Toby Hanks at the Manhattan School of Music, and with Alain Cazes at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal. His additional private teachers have included Arnold Jacobs, , Mel Culbertson, Richard Erb and Alan Baer.

In 1997 Sasha became the first Canadian tuba player to be accepted into the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. This program trains a small number of young professionals in the sound, style, traditions and standard of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Having begun his professional career in Berlin, Sasha went on to perform with many other European orchestras including the Berlin Symphony, the Berlin State Opera, the Radio Orchestra Berlin, the Orchestre Symphonique de Radio France, The Orchestre de Paris, the Ensemble Modern and the Orchestre Nationale de Bordeaux. He has performed in such music festivals and concert venues as the Lucerne Festival, the Festivale d’Aix en Provence, the Concertgebouw, the Konzerthaus Wien, the Theatre Champs-Elysée, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Salzburg Festival the BBC Proms, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Lincoln Center, under such eminent conductors as Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Pierre Boulez, Essa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Jarvi, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur and Seiji Ozawa.

Sasha returned to Canada in 2001 and has established himself as a prominent performer and pedagogue. He has performed as a regular extra with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, including tours to Europe and Japan; the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony, including playing their 2009/2010 season. He is the instructor of tuba at the Glenn Gould School of Music and instructor of tuba and chamber music at McGill University, as well as an instructor of low brass and chamber music at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. In January 2009, Sasha was appointed principal tuba of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. Sasha is a founding member and administrative director of the Canadian National Brass Project.

Paul Merkelo – Friday Dec. 9th 10am-12pm

Walter Hall, University of Toronto, Faculty of Music

Renowned as one of the finest trumpet players of his generation, Paul Merkelo is recognized for his “pure technical prowess’’ (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle) as well as his “unusual lyrical gifts’’ (Gramophone). Principal trumpet with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal since 1995, Mr. Merkelo is regularly praised by the Montreal press as “a spectacular soloist… a most impressive master of his instrument’’ (Montreal Gazette), a “great virtuoso… dazzling’’ (La Presse). He has been featured frequently with the OSM, including tours to South America and Lincoln Center in New York.

He has been featured with orchestras, and in recital, throughout the United States, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, Portugal, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, France and Thailand.

In 1999, he was appointed Canadian musical ambassador to China for the inauguration of the Montreal Park in Shanghai, and as soloist with the Shanghai Broadcast Orchestra in a national telecast. Mr. Merkelo made his New York debut at Lincoln Center with the New World Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas in 1998. He has also worked with conductors Leonard Bernstein, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Sir Georg Solti and Valery Gergiev.

Mr. Merkelo’s first solo recording, A Simple Song was ranked #1 in Quebec’s classical recording chart in 2000. In 2004, Analekta released a highly praised second CD, Baroque Transcriptions, which was nominated by ADISQ for Best Classical Album of the Year.

Previously, he was Principal Trumpet with the Rochester Philharmonic and New Orleans Symphony and gained early orchestral experience as an extra with the New York Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony.

Paul Merkelo attended the University of Illinois and Eastman School of music, where he was awarded the Speth Scholarship for outstanding orchestral musician. Mr. Merkelo is on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and McGill University. He is on the board of directors for the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (Canada), and is the founder of the Paul Merkelo scholarship.

Paul Merkelo is a Yamaha artist.

Boston Brass – February 16 – 18, 2017

Thurs. Feb. 16th –
  • 1-3pm  brass chamber masterclass  Walter Hall, UofT

Fri. Feb. 17th  –

  • 12-1pm  music business / entrepreneurship lecture with Jeff Connor – room 130, EJB, Faculty of Music, UofT
  • 1-3pm  french horn masterclass with Chris Castellanos – room 130, EJB, Faculty of Music, UofT
  • 1-3pm  trombone masterclass with Domingo Pagliuca  – room 216, EJB, Faculty of Music, UofT

Sat. Feb. 18th –

  • 9-10am  Breathing Gym workshop with Sam Pilafian – sanctuary, Church of the Redeemer
  • 10:15-12:15pm  trumpet masterclass with Jeff Connor and Jose Sibaja – sanctuary, Church of the Redeemer
  • 10:15-12:15pm  tuba / euphonium masterclass with Sam Pilafian – lower room, Church of the Redeemer

For 30 years, Boston Brass has set out to establish a one-of-a-kind musical experience. From exciting classical arrangements, to burning jazz standards, and the best of the original brass quintet repertoire, Boston Brass treats audiences to a unique brand of entertainment, which captivates all ages. The ensemble’s lively repartee, touched with humor and personality, attempts to bridge the ocean of classical formality to delight audiences in an evening of great music and boisterous fun. The philosophy of Boston Brass is to provide audiences with a wide selection of musical styles in unique arrangements, provided in a friendly and fun atmosphere. Through over 100 performances each year, the members of Boston Brass play to audiences at concerts, educational venues and jazz festivals. In addition to solo performances, Boston Brass regularly performs with orchestras, bands, marching bands, organ, jazz bands and a variety of other ensembles. They have performed in 49 states and 30 countries and have conducted master classes around the world including sessions and residencies at the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Peabody Conservatory of Music, University of North Texas, Royal Academy of Music in London, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory at the National University of Singapore and Mahidol University in Bangkok. Visit bostonbrass.com

Alain Trudel – May 2017

alain-trudel-trombone-DSC9896-2-1024x683Hailed as the Jascha Heifetz of the trombone(Le monde de la musique) Canadian trombonist  Alain Trudel is one of the world’s most respected and renowned trombonists. Trudel made his solo debut at the age of 18 with Charles Dutoit and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and has continued to grace the world’s stages for nearly 30 years, including appearances with l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, the Hong-Kong Philharmonic, the Austrian Radio Orchestra, Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall (NY), Dresdner Neueu Musik Tage (Germany),Tasmania New Music Festival (Australia), Festival Musica Strasbourg (France), Klangbogen Festival (Vienna), Akiyoshidai and Hamamatsu festival (Japan).

A long-time pedagogue and mentor, Trudel has been instrumental in teaching and guiding new generations of musicians for more than 20 years. He was a tenured professor of trombone and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal from 1995-2008 and has served on the faculties or given masterclasses at numerous music festivals and schools including the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Hochshule Köln, Hamamatsu Festival, Graz akademie, Italian Brass Week and the University of Hong-Kong. He was Director of Orchestral Activities at Western University from 2012 to 2016 where he also serves on the brass faculty.

His highly selling recording on Naxos, Atma and other labels have received multiple prizes and rave reviews: 5 stars from BBC magazine, Choc de l’année from Le monde de la musique, Grand prix de l’académie Charles Cros, Opus Prize, as well as the New York Times and the American Music Guide.

Alain Trudel is also one of the busiest conductor on the Canadian scene. He is Music Director of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra as well as Principal Guest conductor of the Ottawa Symphony and the Hannaford Street Silver Band. He was also the CBC Radio Orchestra conductor, taking the orchestra to new heights of artistic quality, as well as public and critical acclaim. Trudel has conducted every major orchestra in Canada as well as orchestras in the UK, USA, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Hong-Kong, Malaysia and Latin America with noted artists including Ben Heppner, Anton Kuerti, Measha Brueggergosman, Herbie Hancock, Alain Lefèvre and Pinchas Zukermann. His recordings of Mahler 6th, Mahler 9th and The Rite of Spring have been nominated for juno awards.

Trudel is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, among them the Virginia Parker Prize, Jubilee medal from the Queen of England, the Heinz Unger Prize, the Mildred Dixon Holmes Award. In 2006 he was named an Ambassador of Canadian Music by the Canadian Music Center.

Trudel is the first Canadian to be a Yamaha International Artist.