Ottawa Suzuki Strings Faculty
To View Bio Click on Faculty Member's Name or Photo
Violin, Co-founder of Ottawa Suzuki Strings
Rosemarie started playing the violin at the age of five. She became the concertmaster of the Hamilton Youth Orchestra and the Royal Conservatory Youth Orchestra and spent six years with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. While studying towards her violin performance degree at the University of Toronto, her distinguished teachers included Albert Pratz and Lorand Fenyves.
For many years, she was a professional freelance violinist in Toronto. She played for eleven years with the Pro Arte String Orchestra, and was a member of the Palm Court violin/flute/piano trio for several years.In 1986, she moved to Ottawa, and co-founded Suzuki Music. Her active schedule includes teaching a large class of private students, teaching group classes, and conducting a youth orchestra for the National Capital Music Academy. Her career has seen many of her students achieve distinguished music awards at local, provincial and national levels, several moving on to prestigious music schools, both in Canada and the United States.
She has been a clinician at several Suzuki and CAMMAC camps and has adjudicated at Kiwanis Music Festivals in Ontario.
Rosemarie is based in the Nepean/Barrhaven area of Ottawa and is very fond of her feline companions, Stella Luna and Chocolate Chip.
Violin, Co-founder of Ottawa Suzuki Strings
Violin, Co-founder of Ottawa Suzuki Strings
Christopher is a graduate of the Guelph Suzuki String School. While there he studied under well-known Suzuki luminaries such as Daphne Hughes, Linda Drennan, and Thomas Wermuth. Christopher subsequently pursued an undergraduate degree in music education at the University of Western Ontario. While there, he also undertook specific training in Kodally and Orff music pedagogy, choral conducting, and Baroque period chamber music as both a violinist and a violist. Christopher has undertaken specific Suzuki pedagogy studies with Ed Kreitman, Nancy Jackson, and Ed Sprunger.
Christopher is a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, and brings his interest in the physical, emotional, and energy bodies to better support teaching the whole child. Other areas of interest include bio-feedback and mental training. Christopher has worked with First Nations communities in northern British Columbia, spent many years in the financial and international trade sectors, and is currently a public school teacher in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. Christopher is based in the Kitchissippi ward, close to the Civic Hospital and Westboro.
Violin, Co-founder of Ottawa Suzuki Strings
Michael Blais began his Suzuki cello studies at the age of four and spent many summers attending prestigious Suzuki institutes. He has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships at the Kiwanis festivals. In recent years he was chosen to attend international programmes such as Morningside Music Bridge and the Pinchas Zukerman Young Artists Programme. He has also performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Orchestra. Michael is a seasoned chamber musician and has performed for many important events including the opening of the National Arts Centre Orchestra Season in 2009. His renowned teachers include David Hutchenreuther, Carole Sirois and John Katz. Michael attended the Glenn Gould School of Music for two years. In 2012, Michael received his teacher training in Montreal from one of Canada’s finest Suzuki cello pedagogues, David Evenchick, and proceeded to get his book 2 training in the summer of 2014. Michael comes from a family of distinguished musicians and his enthusiasm for teaching is paramount. He brings to Ottawa Suzuki Strings many years of teaching experience and is very excited to be going into his 4th year at Ottawa Suzuki Strings
His others interests include snowboarding, golfing, physical training and cooking. Michael is based in Manotick, and teaches in the Manotick and Kanata areas.
Nathan Bredeson has received international recognition for his talents as a performer, composer, and arranger.
He earned his bachelor of music at the University of Ottawa where he studied under Canadian Guitar Quartet founding member Denis Donegani, and composition with John Armstrong and Frederic Lacroix. Nathan was awarded the Ed Honeywell Memorial Scholarship for classical guitar in 2013. He went on on to complete his masters degree under the tutelage of the Cuban guitar virtuoso Rene Izquierdo at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Under the watchful eye of Maestro Izquierdo Nathan refined his guitar technique and interpretive voice to reach a level of accuracy and expressiveness that has seen great success on both the concert stage and in competition settings.
Nathan enjoys performing solo works as well as in guitar ensemble and mixed ensemble situations, with a special interest in music of the Baroque and the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2014 he participated in the premier of Christine Donkin's <em>Lacus</em> for ten guitars and string ensemble with the Ottawa Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra and continues to enjoy both writing and performing new works for guitar. Alongside performance, Nathan has been a finalist in several competitions across Canada and the United States, taking first prize at the 2015 Sharon Lynn Wilson Center Guitar Competition and receiving prizes at for his compositions <em>Hommage a Paulo Bellinati</em> for guitar duo and <em>Astral Projection</em> for solo guitar. He is proud to play on a 2015 cedar-top guitar built by Vicente Carrillo.
Nathan teaches from his home in Old Ottawa East.
<p style="text-align: center"><strong>What do people have to say about Nathan?</strong></p>
<em>"Nathan is a committed and interesting musician displaying detailed and thoughtful interpretations alongside exploring music from his homeland of Canada." </em>-Matthew McAllister, Agnew McAllister Duo
<em>“Having attended several of Nathan's performances during his studies at UW-Milwaukee, it was a distinct pleasure to present him on the </em><em>Sunday</em><em> Morning Cafe series at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. His inherent musicality and admirable technique were enthusiastically received and, while we certainly wish him well, we consider his return to Ottawa a great loss for Milwaukee's musical cornucopia.”</em>-Thallis Hoyt Drake, Villa Terrace Cafe Concert Coordinator
<em>"Classical guitarist and composer Nathan Bredeson possessed a remarkable sensitivity and elegance which radiates in his performance of new and well known pieces."</em>-Irina Yanovskaya, Milwaukee Classical Guitar Society President
Adam Cicchillitti is an exciting young talent emerging on the classical guitar scene in Canada. Originally from Montréal, Adam’s recent competition successes have placed him on concert stages across Canada and the United States.
Adam is an active performer, teacher, arranger and composer. Most recently in 2016, Adam and baritone Philippe Courchesne-Leboeuf toured the Canadian east coast with les Jeunesses Musicales Canada. Their duo entitled Lieder & Canciones performed his arrangements for guitar of German and Spanish masterpieces originally written for piano and voice, most notably the world premiere of Adam’s arrangement of Beethoven’s An die Ferne Geliebte, published by Les Productions d’Oz. Lieder & Canciones has been featured regularly on Radio-Canada/CBC television and radio throughout Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Adam has also been featured as one of Canada’s new generation of guitarist-arrangers when he was contracted, again by Radio-Canada and the CBC, to complete twenty arrangements of Schubert lieder for voice and guitar as part of the series Révélations, accompanying international superstar Philippe Sly. The live concert was nationally broadcast on Espace-Musique accompanied by a series of video-recordings in 2013. Adam has performed as a featured soloist at Ottawa’s premier guitar event Guitare Alla Grande and the Ottawa Guitar Society’s Young Artist Series, Angèle Dubeau’s Fête de la musique and at several of Eastern Canada’s prominent concert halls including Place-des-Arts and Salle Thomson. Adam’s debut album of Spanish nationalist music will be recorded by Drew Henderson and released with Analekta in the spring of 2018. His second album, dedicated to the music of his mentor Patrick Roux and produced by European record label MusicOrpheus, is scheduled to be released in 2019.
Adam Cicchillitti is currently a doctoral candidate at McGill University where his research explores idiomatic guitar arrangement of 19th-century liederkreis. Adam has studied with all four members of the original Canadian Guitar Quartet including Philip Candelaria and Patrick Roux while completing a Master’s degree at the University of Ottawa, as well as Dr. Garry Antonio at McGill University and 2005 GFA winner Jérome Ducharme. He has performed in masterclasses for Pepe Romero, Ricardo Gallen, Benjamin Verdery, Fabio Zanon, Sergio Assad, Ana Vidovic, Lorenzo Micheli, Rennie Regehr, David Currie, Boris Brott, Alexis Hauser and Nigel North. His notable prizes include a McGill fellowship, Maurice Pollack Scholarship, Grace Evelyn Tuttle Award, Domaine Forget Academy scholarship, multiple-time finalist at the Kiwanis National Competition and multiple semi-final performances at the Montreal International Guitar Competition and Canadian Music Competition.
Adam has released dozens of solo and collaborative music videos, reaching over a hundred thousand views while building a strong online presence. He sits on the board of the Ottawa Guitar Society and volunteers as the organization’s marketing director. Adam also specializes in child pedagogy and is the founder of the guitar program at Ottawa Suzuki Strings. His students have performed multiple times at the National Arts Center and have received gold medals at the Kiwanis provincial festival performances.
Born in Houston, Texas, Jerry Csaba started the violin in the public school system around the age of ten. She was very fortunate to begin her orchestral experience almost immediately in the Houston Youth Symphony. She studied at the University of Texas and worked her way through school by teaching in the Junior String Project, under the supervision of her U. of T. music professors, until she graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education. Playing in the Austin Symphony for four years further supported her studies.
In her early twenties, she joined the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, the year of the opening of the Place des Arts. These years were full of excitement with internationally known soloists and conductors. She also performed as member and soloist with the McGill Chamber Orchestra. After that she played in the Rochester Philharmonic for one year, then she and her husband came back to Canada to become founding members of the NAC Orchestra, until she retired in 2003. Being concertmaster of Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra for almost twenty years, was an important part of her career as it offered many opportunities for personal expression as leader and soloist. Throughout her years in Ottawa, she played very often with the Music for a Sunday Afternoon series and worked and played with chamber musicians from around the world.
During all of these years, she taught privately, coached chamber groups and amateur musicians to share some of her experience. Her guiding lights, since her arrival in Canada, were Yaela Hertz and Lorand Fenyves. From them she learned to express the inner soul of music and to pass it on to others.
Nicholas Deek holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Ottawa, where he studied piano with Dr. Stéphane Lemelin and Andrew Tunis, and theory with Murray Dineen and John Armstrong. In June 2012, he completed his ARCT in Piano Performance, where he studied theory with Virginia Strawn. He has participated in masterclasses with Jamie Parker at the Tuckamore Music Festival in Newfoundland and Jean-Paul Sévilla at the University of Ottawa. In 2013, he performed in a solo benefit concert for Just Equipping, an organization that provides relief to refugees in Rwanda. Nick performs regularly at various venues in the city and enjoys teaching piano and theory at his home.
Hailing from Illinois, Lance Elbeck began his violin studies in Chicago with the renowned George Perlman. After graduating from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with Ivan Galamian and Paul Makanowitsky, he soon drew the attention of well-known musicians and conductors, including Leonard Bernstein. Under Bernstein, Elbeck was a soloist with the New York Philharmonic.
Elbeck was also a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Philadelphia Chamber Players with whom he performed in various parts of Europe and North America. Elbeck was also concertmaster with the ballet companies of the Kirov and Bolshoï theatres during their North American tours, as well as the Hamilton Philharmonic from 1978 to 2012. He is currently concertmaster with the Toronto Concert Orchestra and the Grand Salon Orchestra.
Lance Elbeck has been a guest lecturer at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris and teacher at the Meadowmount School of Music, Philadelphia’s New School of Music, McMaster University (1990 to 2012), as well as the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts.
Lance is very happy to have his new OSS studio in Kanata where he welcomes students of all ages and levels.
He is also delighted to be a co-coach of Stellae Boreales.
“Pianist Judith Ginsburg, possibly the best of Ottawa’s regular accompanists, had a fine rapport with the soloist and was deft and musical, as always.” (Ottawa Citizen) Judith was the longtime Principal Repetiteur, Opera Studio Manager and Music Director of the Opera for Young Audiences program with Opera Lyra Ottawa. She is a frequent performer in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Music and Beyond Festival, and has been heard in the National Arts Centre’s Music for a Sunday Afternoon, Almonte in Concert Series and on CBC Radio. Judith has collaborated with many of Canada’s leading artists and has performed extensively in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Her teachers have included Jean Paul Sevilla, Paul Hamburger, Martin Isepp and Seymour Bernstein. Judith is in great demand as a collaborative pianist. She is Pianist, Administrator and Summer Camp Director with the Ottawa Suzuki Strings music school and faculty member of the National Arts Centre’s Young Artists Program as Collaborative Pianist.
Violin & Viola
Megan began Suzuki violin lessons as a young child with Marie Kusters after encountering the violin at a City of Ottawa summer camp for the arts. During her years as a Suzuki student, Megan loved attending Studea Musica, a Summer Suzuki Institute at the Orford Arts Centre and was inspired by great Suzuki teachers from around the world. Megan graduated from Canterbury High School’s strings program, studying viola with Nancy Sturdevant and David Goldblatt. Megan continued to play viola in the Ottawa Youth Orchestra and participated annually in Kiwanis Music Festivals. She went on to play in the University of Ottawa opera ensemble, University of Western Ontario Orchestra, and Carleton University ensembles. Continuing to draw inspiration from great teachers, she has taken Suzuki teacher training with Ed Kreitman, Teri Einfeldt, Elayne Ras, Kathleen Spring, and Karen Kimmett.
Megan has published articles about teaching and learning in the American Suzuki Journal, as well as several academic forums. The expressive power of music across the lifespan is a cornerstone of Megan’s ongoing doctoral work in music and healthcare. She has enjoyed teaching privately for 6 years and continues to expand her circle of students and colleagues.
Violin & Viola
Voice & Violin
Soprano Ania Hejnar began her undergraduate work as a Bachelor of Music candidate at the University of Ottawa. She is currently working on the role of Mabel from Pirates of Penzance with Opera Lyra Ottawa, in October, 2013.
While her violin studies include the Suzuki method and her piano training includes Alfred’s Basic Piano books for beginners. She inspires her students with enthusiasm and clear expectations, which makes the teaching environment both pleasant and rewarding. With her clear understanding of the music industry, Ania aims for her students to have goals and beliefs by providing concert and competition opportunities and RCM exam preparation. Her mother, a violin Suzuki teacher herself, was her role model music teacher growing up. At the age of 17, Ania was the Musical Director for a children’s Musical Theatre Camp and in her Undergraduate she was part of the Melinik Music Academy faculty (Orleans) teaching voice, violin, and piano. During her Masters Degree at the University of Ottawa, she was the Voice Minor Professor along with Teaching Assistant for Calixa Lavallee Choir directed by Lawrence Ewashko.
In 2011, she won first prize in the Canadian Music Competition, where she was selected from nearly six hundred applicants to perform with the Orchestre Métropolitain. She also won the 2009 Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition, resulting in a performance debut at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Hejnar won the 2011 Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition that resulted in an invitation to a Carnegie Hall performance in January 2012. She also won the NYCO Mozart Vocal Competition, and was invited to perform with the NYCO Symphony Orchestra in Toronto in March 2012. She returned to Carnegie Hall the following month as a featured guest artist for The Fifth Annual ABC Gala. Ania teaches voice from her home in Alta Vista.
Voice & Violin
Jezlyn Lang, Violin
&amp;lt;p style="text-align: justify"&amp;gt;Jezlyn Lang started taking private violin lessons at the age of 5 and is currently studying with Elaine Klimasko. She joined the violin ensemble Stellae Boreales in 2010 and has travelled with them to Iceland, Washington, D.C., Cuba, Minneapolis, China, and most recently, Argentina. Jezlyn was also a member of the Ottawa Youth Orchestra for two years. She has performed at multiple venues such as the National Art Gallery, the National Arts Centre Southam Hall, various Poly Theatres in China, and the Salon Dorado in the Teatro Colón in Argentina. Along with having taken part in the Kiwanis Music Festival, winning awards and scholarships, Jezlyn has travelled to Victoria, British Columbia, to take part in the Quartet Fest West under the instruction of the Lafayette String Quartet. She graduated from Lisgar Collegiate Institute, where she was the concertmaster of the Lisgar Symphony Orchestra and the Lisgar String Ensemble. She is currently studying for her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
&amp;lt;p style="text-align: justify"&amp;gt; Jezlyn has been certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas for successfully completing the Every Child Can! Course (under the instruction of Catherine Walker), as well as Violin Unit 1 (under the instruction of Joanne Melvin) at the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute in Waterloo, ON.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Nan Laurenzio, OCT (Ontario College of Teachers), is an experienced teacher with qualifications in elementary teaching (primary/junior; kindergarten to grade six) and qualifications in ECE (Early Childhood Education). Nan has taught, as a member of the part time faculty at Algonquin College, in the Early Childhood Education program. Nan studied piano for several years. Additionally, Nan has had the pleasure of working through the entire Kindermusik program with her two daughters. Upon their graduation from Kindermusik, Nan followed her daughters through private violin lessons, up the ranks in the Suzuki Violin program and to their graduation from Stellae Boreales, the Ottawa Suzuki Strings premier violin performance group. Nan served as a member of the Ottawa Suzuki Strings Board of Directors. As a "violin parent" Nan has had the opportunity to work alongside violin teachers, violin students of all ages/skill levels and other parents.
Teaching is more than a job for Nan; it is a passion.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sara Mastrangelo has moved back to Canada after many years in the USA. She was a member of the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami before her tenure with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra from 2001-2013. In Ottawa, Mastrangelo is a first violinist with the Thirteen Strings Chambre Orchestra and performs regularly with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Mastrangelo is an active chamber musician, performing regularly in Ontario and Upstate New York. She has performed chamber music at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Banff Center for the Arts, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival in Germany, Breckenridge Music Festival (CO), and Skaneateles Music Festival (NY). She holds degrees from McGill University, University of Michigan, and Carnegie Mellon University.
In New York State, Mastrangelo held teaching positions at Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the St Peter’s Arts Academy. In 2013, she was thrilled to join Ottawa Suzuki Strings as a teacher and coach of Stellae Boreales, as she was brought up a “Suzuki Kid” in Winnipeg, studying with renowned Suzuki pedagogue Joanne Martin.
Peter Rapson obtained his Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto and continued his studies at the Julliard School with the renowned cello pedagogue, Harvey Shapiro. During his years of study he received extensive coaching with members of the Orford, Hungarian and Julliard String Quartets. In addition, he has worked with such notable artists as Lorand Fenyves, Bernard Greenhouse, Jamie Laredo, Ronald Leonard, Felix Galimir, Julius Baker and Greta Kraus. He has been the recipient of scholarships from the Canada Council, the Banff Centre for the Arts and the University of Toronto.
Mr. Rapson has extensive orchestral and chamber music experience. He has been a member of the Edmonton Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra and Toronto Symphony. During his tenure with NACO (1984-1990) he was also principal cellist of Ottawa's Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra. He has recorded with such artists as Catherine Robbin, Louis Quilico, Robert Aitken and Anton Kuerti.
Chamber music has always been a large part of Mr. Rapson's professional life and he has performed in numerous chamber music series including the McGill (Toronto), DuMaurier Evening Overtures (TSO), Music for a Sunday Afternoon (NACO), National Gallery (Ottawa) and Festival of the Sound (Perry Sound, ON). He has also performed with acclaimed chamber group, Quartetto Gelato.
In addition to his performance schedule Mr. Rapson enjoys teaching privately as well as coaching aspiring young cellists in both orchestral and chamber music settings. He has also been an adjudicator for both the Canadian Music Competition (CMC) and Kiwanis Music Festival.
Alyssa Stevenson is an alumna of Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music and holds a Bachelor of Music
Performance and a Master of Arts in Music Theory. During her time at Western, Alyssa not only
developed her skills as a violinist and music educator but has focused her research efforts on the
intersection between Music Theory and Performance. These efforts were funded by a grant awarded by
the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and enabled her to pursue her MA while still
travelling to teach and perform on the violin. Alyssa has performed in the Netherlands as a participant in
the Peter de Grote Festival; and in Whistler, BC as a member of the inaugural Whistler Institute
Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Bramwell Tovey and with the guidance of members of the
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she performs regularly in Southwestern Ontario in various
orchestras and chamber ensembles. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University
of Ottawa in violin performance.
Alyssa has been playing the violin since 2000. She studied Mel Martin from 2009-2016 and studied
Baroque violin with Joseph Lanza from 2010-2015. Alyssa currently studies with Yehonatan Berick and
As a music educator, Alyssa endeavors to share her joy of music making with as many people as
possible. Formerly of London, Ontario, Alyssa works hard to immerse herself in the musical community
and has coached the second violins of the London Youth Symphony as well as teaching her own private
students. In addition, Alyssa is highly involved with the London Community Chaplaincy – an organization
that provides support to families living in poverty. Through this organization, Alyssa has run music
classes, camps, and leadership programs for children ages 3-16. She has also participated as a Faculty
Assistant at Interprovincial Music Camp (Ontario) and Orchestra North (British Columbia).
Sarah Williams is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Music in performance. She started studying violin at the age of four with violinist Elaine Klimasko, founding first violinist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Furthermore, she has studied with Jonathan Crow, David Stewart, Yehonatan Berick, and is currently studying with Yosuke Kawasaki.
Her accomplishments include being a member of the National Youth Orchestra for 3 years (concertmaster at age 16), substitute member of Thirteen Strings in Ottawa, substitute member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, a previous member of the Gatineau Symphony Orchestra, and currently a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, leading the second violin section.
Sarah has been a teacher for the past 6 years and has taught privately, as well as at the Nepean School of Music, Kanata School of Music, La Petite Fanfare summer music camp, and the Campbell Douglas Music Education Centre. She is now teaching with Ottawa Suzuki Strings, and will be returning to the University of Ottawa this fall to complete a diploma in Orchestral Studies.