Performers 2019

Jonathan Tortolano

Cello - RCM

Cellist Jonathan Tortolano studied with Elsa Hilger, attended the New England Conservatory of Music and has degrees from Oberlin College and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He also studied with William Pleeth and Janos Starker (Centre d’Arts Orford). Recent performances include the Sunflower Music Festival, Vermont Mozart Festival, Musical Concerts of Ponce, Puerto Rico and an invitation to play at Chateau d’Ainay-le-Veil in France. He currently performs with the Pittsburgh Opera, the Washington Concert Opera and is an extra cellist for the Cleveland Orchestra. Highlights include performing with The National Ballet of Canada, Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec and The Gulbenkian Orchestra. He is married to the Polish violinist, Janetta Wilczewska, and has a daughter, Fabia. Jonathan is on Faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Alex Toskov

Alex Toskov, violin, winner of The Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition 2011, is a recipient of various scholarships such as Norwegian government scholarship, The Royal Conservatory full tuition scholarship and Serbian Fund for highly gifted students. In 2012, Toskov became a member of Sinfonia Toronto. He participated at St. Gallen Festival in Austria 2004, Stavanger Chamber Music Festival in Norway 2009, Music Niagara Festival 2011 and Colours of Music Festival 2012 & 2013. During his studies he played various concerts in string quartets as a violinist and a violist. He performed as a soloist with Serbian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Toskov was a concertmaster of Bayreuth Festival Orchestra in 2006, Deutsch-Skandinavische Jugend Philharmonie 2009 and was a member of Santiago de Chile Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007/2008. During his studies in Norway 2008-2010,  Toskov was a regular substitute musician in Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. Recently, Alex has been a part of Broadway musical Kinky Boots at The Royal Alexandra Theatre, appeared as principal violinist at Toronto Concert Orchestra, and has recorded various soundtracks for CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries. He also performed with Diana Krall, Josh Groban and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. In October 2010 he was invited to perform on a gala concert hosted by a famous cellist YoYo Ma in prestigious Koerner Hall in Toronto, Canada. Toskov took violin lessons with some of the greatest violin pedagogues and soloists such as Pierre Amoyal (Lausanne), Ruben Aharonian (Borodin Quartet Moscow), Isaac Shuldman (Oslo), Michael Frischenschlager (Vienna), Joel Smirnoff (New York), James Boyd (London). Toskov graduated violin at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia. In 2003/04. he was a student at the University of Music in Vienna, Austria with professor Ernst Kovacic. In June 2010 he received a title Master of Music Performance at Agder University in Norway. He received his Artist Diploma in June 2013 from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, where he studied with Atis Bankas on violin and Steven Dann, on viola. Mr. Toskov speaks English, Spanish, Russian, German and Norwegian and Serbian.

The Joe Trio

Joe Trio is not your average piano trio. They don’t want to be neatly categorized, but instead strive for diversity, versatility, and more than a little humour and unpredictability. Their repertoire consists of the classics – from Papa Haydn to Uncle Shostakovich, new works by contemporary composers, and their own arrangements of popular, jazz and rock tunes. And they’re not afraid to mix together so many styles of music into a single piece it makes your head spin. More than virtuosi, the Trio’s members are fantastic performers who engage the audience in a way few classical musicians can. Amply witty, charming, and tremendously musical, Joe Trio leaves audiences with a new appreciation for classical music. Since Joe Trio was formed in 1989, this classically trained violin-cello-piano threesome has presented hundreds of concerts throughout Canada and the United States – ten provinces, one territory, and thirty-six states so far. They’ve played everywhere from Whitehorse to Corpus Christi, and from Sacramento to St. John’s, and even in Ely, Nevada. Joe has been heard on National Public Radio in the United States, RTE Lyric FM in Ireland, and on many CBC Radio shows including the old Morningside show, Disc Drive, The Music Room, West Coast Performance, and Quirks and Quarks. As well as giving concerts, the Trio enjoys offering their services for education outreach programs, and has played many school shows for children of all ages. In 2009 they toured the Canadian Maritimes and in 2010 performed their symphony show with the Prince George Symphony. Most recently Joe has performed in the British Columbia Okanagan area, in Langley BC, on Galiano Island BC and a symphony show with the Vancouver Island Symphony in Nanaimo BC.


Cameron Wilson, violinist/composer, currently residing in Vancouver. He is a member of the classical crossover piano trio Joe Trio, the gypsy jazz quartet Van Django, the Hard Rubber Orchestra,Francophone inspired trio Pastiche, Mariachi Del Sol, and Tambura Rasa. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by numerous symphony orchestras and ensembles across North America. He has collaborated with CBC storyteller Stuart Mclean on “A History of Canada” and “I Remember Wayne”, and has co-written a film noir opera called “Supernatural Noir” with playright Kico Gonzalez Risso. Most recently he wrote the film score for “The Mary Contest” and was commissioned by the Lyrebird Ensemble from Chicago to write a jazz inspired work for flute and harp.


Charles Inkman, cello, and has been playing cello since he was eight. He has a Bachelor music Degree in performance from the University of British Columbia where he studied with Eric Wilson. Inkman is a long-standing member of the cello section of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and is on the teaching faculty at the VSO school of music. He is music director and conductor of the North Shore Chamber Orchestra in North Vancouver BC and conducted the premiere performance of Cameron Wilson’s “Fragile Magic” (the Salmon Symphony) in Smithers BC. Recording for movies and television, playing in Broadway musicals and as backup for visiting artists such as John Denver, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Brian Wilson keeps things interesting.

Allen Stiles, piano,  was born in Bella Coola BC. Stiles is a freelance pianist in vancouver,  a member of the contemporary music ensemble Standing Wave, and a founding member of The Little Chamber Music Series That Could Society. He holds a Masters degree in piano performance from UBC, studying under Lee Kum Sing. He also holds doors open for people. Stiles currently teaches at the Langley and Richmond schools of music as well as the Douglas College Community School. He can’t brag like Inkman because he’s never played with rock stars, but he has played a bunch of musicals and operas in his time.

Damien Ventula

Damien Ventula is a sincere and passionate performer who loves to share the emotion and enthusiasm while feeling at home with the music, with his audience, or with his students, as he teaches in France at the Versailles Conservatory, and has taught the famous MusikHochschule Hanns Eisler Berlin from 2013 to 2017. Acclaimed for his great sensitivity and temperament, French cellist Ventula, is in 2017 “Generation Spedidam”, and received the Price “Déodat de Séverac” from the Languedoc Academy. He was nominated in 2005 for the “Victoires de la Musique” as a “Solo Instrumental Revelation”, in 2003 he was chosen as the “Classic Revelation of the Adami” and has been the recipient of many other awards, including the Marcel Bleustein – Blanchet, Piatigorsky and Singer-Polignac prizes. Coming from a family of musicians in the south of France, Ventula studied from an early age with renowned masters: Lluis Claret in his native Toulouse, Bernard Greenhouse and Laurence Lesser in Boston and Boris Pergamenschikow in Berlin. Ventula has collaborated with distinguished artists including Barbara Hendricks, Christian Zacharias, Sam Haywood, Frans Helmerson, Hartmut Rohde, the Talich Quartet, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Denis Pascal, Michel Lethiec, and Wolfgang Güttler. In November 2017, he premiered in Paris, Wagram Hall, Charles Chaynes’ cello Concerto with the Orchestra Column, under the direction of Laurent Petitgirard.

Vocalis Chamber Choir

Vocalis Chamber Choir

a capella choir

Founded in 2002 by its director, James Burritt, Vocális Chamber Choir, is a select ensemble of dedicated professionals based in Buffalo, New York. Vocális is committed to performing great a cappella music of all eras, and to cultivating an awareness of the art of choral singing. The choir strives to inspire, educate and enlighten our audiences through an intimate and moving concert experience. Now in its 17th season, Vocális has established itself as one of the finest choral ensembles in New York.

Vocális’ programming is wide-ranging, presenting choral masterpieces and lesser-known gems from throughout the ages, including exciting contemporary works such as James MacMillan’s Cantos Sagrados, Tarik O’Regan’s Triptych, and James Whitbourn’s Son of God Mass. Vocális has performed regularly with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Buffalo Chamber Players, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and at the Music Niagara Festival in Ontario, Canada. The choir strives as well, to support new compositions, including recent commissions by composers Andrew Smith, Michael Slon, and Caroline Mallonée in honor of the group’s 10th and 15th anniversaries.

Each season the choir presents a series of subscription concerts in some of Buffalo’s most beautiful architectural and cultural landmarks, and actively seeks out unique collaborative opportunities with the thriving arts community of Western New York.

Andrew Wan


Andrew Wan, violin, is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster.  In August of 2008, he was named Concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO), making him one of the youngest leaders of a major symphony. His relationship with the orchestra began with performances of Elgar’s Violin Concerto, which were hailed as one of the top two musical moments of 2007 by La Presse. As soloist, he has appeared in the United States, China, New Zealand, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland, and Canada under conductors such as Jean-Claude Casadesus, Maxim Vengerov, Peter Oundjian, Jacques Lacombe, Vasily Petrenko, James DePreist, Marc Piollet and Michael Stern.  In May of 2012, he closed the MSO’s inaugural season in the Maison Symphonique with Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto, conducted by music director Kent Nagano, and on their tour of South America in April of 2013, he performed as soloist and concertmaster in Ravel’s Tzigane and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.  Last season marked the world premiere of a work commissioned for him and the MSO – Les mouvements de l’âme, by Serge Arcuri, and in November of 2014 he recorded all three violin concerti of Saint-Saëns with the MSO and Nagano for a fall 2015 release on the Analekta label. Wan has concertized extensively throughout the world, appearing in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Jordan Hall and Salle Gaveau with artists such as the Juilliard Quartet, the Sejong Soloists, Vadim Repin, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Marc-André Hamelin, Menaham Pressler, and Cho-Liang Lin.  He frequently serves as guest concertmaster for several North American orchestras and has appeared as artist and faculty at the St. Prex, Seattle, Edinburgh, Olympic, Agassiz, La Jolla, Morningside Music Bridge, Aspen, and Orford Music Festivals. Discography includes Grammy and Juno award-nominated releases on the Onyx, Bridge, and Naxos labels with James Ehnes and the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the Metropolis Ensemble, and the Opus-award winning New Orford Quartet. Wan received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Degrees from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Masao Kawasaki and Ron Copes.  In 2008, he was the only violinist to be accepted into the prestigious Artist Diploma Program at Juilliard. He is currently Assistant Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award, Canada Council, Anne Burrows Foundation, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and Winspear Fund have generously supported Wan. Wan performs on a 1744 Michel’Angelo Bergonzi violin, and gratefully acknowledges its loan from the David Sela Collection.

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