James Campbell has followed his muse to five television specials, more than 40 recordings, over 30 works commissioned, a Juno Award (Stolen Gems), a Roy Thomson Hall Award, Canada's Artist of the Year, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, an Honorary Doctor of Laws, and Canada's highest honor, the Order of Canada. Mr. Campbell has performed solo and chamber music concerts in more than 35 countries in many of the worlds’ great concert halls. He has been soloist with over 60 orchestras, and has performed Copland’s Clarinet Concerto four times with Aaron Copland conducting.
His recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet with the Allegri Quartet was voted "Top Choice" by BBC Radio 3 and the London Times; Stolen Gems, a recording of lighter classics, won a Juno Award. James has recorded with the London Symphony (the world premiere recording of Brahms’ Sonata Op.120 No. 1 orchestrated by Luciano Berio and Weber Concerto No.1), the Philharmonia (Debussy Premier Rhapsody), the London Philharmonic (Saint-Saens Tarantella), and the NACO (Mozart and Copland Concertos). Sony Classical has recently re-released his recording of the Debussy Premier Rhapsody with Glenn Gould.
Since 1985, James Campbell has been Artistic Director of the Festival of the Sound, the annual summer Canadian chamber music festival, and has programmed over 1,300 concerts for the festival. In July 2018, Festival of the Sound produced one of the most important commissions ever attempted, Sounding Thunder: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow, with the support of the Canada Council of the Arts’ New Chapter program. Mr. Campbell is the subject of numerous features and cover stories, and has been Professor of Music at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University since 1988. James Campbell plays Conn-Selmer clarinets and uses Vandoren and Legere reeds.
Pianist Patricia Tao, founding member of the Guild Trio for ten years, leads an active career as performer, teacher and concert organizer. As pianist of the prizewinning Guild Trio, she performed throughout the United States and Europe and was awarded the position of Trio-in-Residence at the Tanglewood Music Centre. As a soloist, Dr. Tao toured Europe and the United States as an Artistic Ambassador under the auspices of the USIA and for Columbia Artist’s Community Concerts series.
Dr. Tao’s live performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, WNYC’s Around New York, WQXR’s The Listening Room, the public television series Premiere Performances out of St. Louis, Chicago’s WFMT and on CBC. She has commissioned and premiered numerous works, including William Bolcom’s Spring Trio, and Sheila Silver’s To the Spirit Unconquered, which she recorded on the CRI label. She has also recorded a solo CD on the Arktos label featuring works of Schubert, Liszt and Corigliano, and Chopin and Strauss cello and piano sonatas on the Centaur label.
An avid chamber musician, Patricia Tao performs frequently with fellow Trio Voce members, violinist Jasmine Lin and cellist Marina Hoover. They have recorded two CDs, one featuring the the music of Shostakovich and Weinberg, and their latest containing trios by Suk, Arensky, and Zemlinsky, which Fanfare describes as “committed music-making on a level rarely heard today.”
As concert organizer, Dr. Tao has served as Artistic Director for the Edmonton Chamber Music Society’s Summer Solstice Music Festival for 11 years and organizes the Hear’s to Your Health Concerts at the Walter Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre at the University of Alberta.
Dr. Tao received her undergraduate education at Harvard University, a master’s degree with distinction from Indiana University and her doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where her principal teachers were Leonard Shure, Gyorgy Sebok and Gilbert Kalish. She has given master classes at numerous schools in North America, Europe and China and has held performance residencies in East Hampton, NY, Stony Brook University and the University of Virginia. She is Professor of Music at the University of Alberta, where she teaches piano and chamber music.
Hailed by the Toronto Star as a “young musician with a bright future” and noted for his “spirited and fiery performances,” Rafael Hoekman’s varied career as a soloist, teacher, chamber musician and orchestral cellist has taken him on a journey across Canada. Rafael Hoekman grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and began his musical training with his parents at the age of three. His principal teachers were Theo Weber in St. John’s, Yuli Turovsky in Montreal, and he completed his Master’s Degree with Shauna Rolston at the University of Toronto. With his recent appointment to the position of Principal Cello for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Rafael has come full circle - his father was born in Lethbridge, and his mother was born in Conrad, Montana, a short drive from the Canadian border.
As a young soloist, Rafael first attracted attention by winning First Prize at the Orford International Competition. This award led to performances of the Boccherini Concerto with I Musici de Montreal and a subsequent CD on the Amberola Label. In quick succession, Rafael garnered awards from competitions including the Montreal Symphony Competition, the CMC Stepping Stones Competition, the Debut Young Artist Competition and the Quebec Symphony’s Canadian Concerto Competition. In addition to performing with I Musici de Montreal, Rafael has appeared as soloist with the Edmonton Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, the Quebec Symphony, the Red Deer Symphony, the Newfoundland Symphony, Sinfonia Toronto, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Etobicoke Philharmonic. This season he will play concerti with the Edmonton Symphony, Sudbury Symphony and the Newfoundland Symphony.
As a chamber musician and founding member of the Tokai String Quartet, Rafael won Fourth Prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition as well as the Felix Galimir Chamber Music Award and the Sir Ernest MacMillan Grant for a young Canadian chamber ensemble. Rafael’s chamber music performances have been featured on several national broadcasts for the CBC. He has been heard all across Canada on tours for Jeunesses Musicales and Debut Atlantic. He counts as his chamber music partners James Ehnes, Alexander Tselyakov, Anton Kuerti and the St. Lawrence String Quartet.
Prior to joining the Edmonton Symphony as Principal Cello in 2015, Rafael was a member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and held assistant principal positions with both the Winnipeg and Windsor Symphony Orchestras. He has also held positions with Orchestra London Canada and Sinfonia Toronto (principal cello) and has played frequently with the Detroit and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. In the summer of 2017, Rafael played with Colorado Music Festival Orchestra as Principal Cello.
Rafael is a passionate teacher and enjoys working with aspiring cellists as a faculty member at the University of Alberta and across the country at festivals including the Kincardine Music Festival, Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute and Music at Port Milford.
Rafael lives in Edmonton with his wife, cellist Meran Currie-Roberts, and their two children, Sam and Anastasia.
Canadian violinist Robert Uchida has been hailed for his “ravishing sound, eloquence and hypnotic intensity” (Strings Magazine).
Robert joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as Concertmaster in 2013, having previously held the same position with Symphony Nova Scotia for seven years. Robert was also invited to perform as Associate Concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2005–2006 season. Engagements as a guest leader have included projects with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Robert’s CD recordings include Requiem 21.5: Violin Concerto by Tim Brady for CentreDiscs, which won Classical Recording of the Year at the ECMAs, and the Sonata for Unaccompanied Violin by Andrew Violette for Innova Records.
A passionate teacher, Robert serves on the faculty at the University of Alberta and has held teaching positions at Acadia University, the Manhattan School of Music and the National Arts Centre of Canada’s Young Artists Program. His students have continued their studies at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music and Guildhall School in London, and perform in ensembles in North America and Europe.
Robert holds a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Ottawa. His teachers have included Patinka Kopec, Heratch Manoukian, David Stewart and Pinchas Zukerman.
Robert loves volunteering and is honoured to have been inducted into the Ronald McDonald House’s Character Club in Edmonton. He performs on a rare 1770 Guadagnini violin with Vision Solo Titanium strings by Thomastik-Infeld Vienna.