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
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.
Featured as one of CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 in 2018”, Nathan Bredeson is gaining international acclaim as an award-winning guitarist and a composer.
He earned his bachelor of music at the University of Ottawa where he studied with Denis Donegani (Canadian Guitar Quartet), and composition with John Armstrong and Frederic Lacroix. Nathan was awarded the Ed Honeywell Memorial Scholarship for classical guitar in 2013. He went on to complete his masters degree under the tutelage of the Cuban guitar virtuoso Rene Izquierdo at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
Nathan’s compositions have been featured in international competitions, including the Miami International GuitArt Festival and the Great Lakes Guitar Festival. In 2016, his composition Astral Projection won first prize in the Ottawa Guitar Society Composition Competition. Most recently, he was awarded second place at the 2019 Great Lakes Guitar Competition, adjudicated by Leo Brouwer. He released his solo album, Nocturne, in September 2019.
Nathan also performs regularly with his ensemble, the Ottawa Guitar Trio, which is dedicated to bringing the best music from film, videotapes and classical repertoire to life on the guitar. He is also a performer for Concerts in Care, an organization that brings live music to senior homes across Ontario.
Nathan completed his Suzuki ECC and Guitar Book 1 training in 2017 with Andrea Cannon in Houston, Texas. He has also adjudicated for music festivals such as the 2019 Kiwanis Music Festival in Sudbury and the 2019 Nationals of MusicFest Canada.
Nathan teaches from his residence in Centretown.
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.
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. For several years, she was a faculty member of the National Arts Centre’s Young Artists Program as Collaborative Pianist. She is Pianist and Managing Director with the Ottawa Suzuki Strings music school, Founder and Artistic Director of Chamber Opera Company Ottawa (COCO) and a MASC Artist.
Born and raised in North Vancouver, Emily Marks began playing the flute in the public school system at the age of 10, and first studied were with Brenda Fedoruk and Camille Churchfield, of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She went on to graduate from McGill University with a BMus in Flute Performance with Distinction, where her teachers were Carolyn Christie and Timothy Hutchins of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Further studies were under the tutelage of Thomas Robertello at Indiana University. Emily was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and toured Europe with the Jeunnesses Musicales World Orchestra for three sessions. Additional summer studies were at the Banff Centre, the Orford Arts Centre, and performing with the National Academy Orchestra in Hamilton, Ont.
In 2002, Emily joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa where she held the position of Second Flute/Piccolo for thirteen seasons under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman. During her years with NACO, Emily toured nationally and internationally, playing in some of the world’s finest concert halls. She has served as an adjunct flute professor at the University of Ottawa, and is a Flute Performance Instructor at Carleton University. In addition to maintaining a private studio at home, she is the woodwind coach for the Ottawa Youth Orchestra and teaches for Orkidstra, a Sistema- inspired program providing music education to students in Ottawa’s under-served communities.
A Suzuki parent herself, Emily completed her Suzuki teacher training with Wendy Stern, and is thrilled to be bringing a wind presence to Ottawa Suzuki Strings.
Clarinettist Felicia Persaud received her Bachelor of Music degree with a profile in Music Education from the University of Ottawa in 2016. During her time at UOttawa, she studied with many members of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. She completed her MA in Music Theory at UOttawa in 2018 examining the relationship between computers and music theory.
Felicia began studying music with Catherine Wilcox at Featherston Drive Public School and has been involved in music ever since. She has volunteered with OrKidstra and at Featherston Drive P.S., where she ran small group lessons for students, assisted individual students, and directed the Jazz Ensemble for 2 years, all while a busy student in the Canterbury High School Music Program. She started working with the Ottawa New Horizons Band in 2008 where she has worked in various capacities as volunteer, clinician and band leader. Felicia is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree: Intermediate/Senior Division in Music and Mathematics at UOttawa.
Frank Williams is a graduate of the University of Ottawa (Hon. music, Hon geog., Conc. English), University of Western Ontario (M.Mus, MLIS). He comes from a musical family in which both parents sang in choirs. His daughter Sarah Williams is a professional violinist and is on the OSS faculty as a violin and group class teacher. He was encouraged to take piano lessons from an early age. He also played clarinet in grade school, switching to electric guitar in high school and then to classical guitar and cello in the later grades and 1st year university. Guitar teachers include Eli Kassner, Toronto Conservatory of Music. Cello teachers include Donald Whitton. He also studied theory privately with Dr. Frederick Karam in the 1970s while in high school before being admitted to the bachelor's program in theory and composition, University of Ottawa. He went on to study music at McGill Unoversity and then University of Western Ontario where he obtained his master's degree in theory and composition and master’s degree in library and information science. Teachers include Bruce Mather (analysis), Claude Baliff (analysis and composition) John Rea (composition) Arsenio Giron (composition). He's been teaching theory, analysis, and ear training in classroom settings (including at the university level) and privately for 35 years. He was map/geographic information systems librarian at the University of Ottawa for 25 years and is now retired. He teaches theory privately from his home studio.
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 Yosuke Kawasaki.
Her accomplishments include being a member of the National Youth Orchestra for 3 years (concertmaster at age 16), member of the Gatineau Symphony Orchestra, member of Thirteen Strings in Ottawa, substitute member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and currently a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra for 10 years, leading the second violin section.
Sarah has been a teacher with OSS for the past 8 years and has previously taught at the Nepean School of Music, Kanata School of Music, La Petite Fanfare summer music camp, and the Campbell Douglas Music Education Centre. She has completed her Suzuki Teacher Training books 1-6 and Every Child Can with Elayne Ras and Karen Kimmett.