Home » Faculty

Ottawa Suzuki Strings Faculty

To View Bio Click on Faculty Member's Name or Photo

Rosemarie Klimasko

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.

×
Rosemarie Klimasko

Rosemarie Klimasko

Violin, Co-founder of Ottawa Suzuki Strings

Desiree Abbey

CELLO

Desiree Abbey is a freelance cellist who performs regularly with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra as principal cellist and as an extra musician with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. At age 4, she began her cello studies at the Beaches Suzuki School of Music in Toronto with Jonathan Ingham and was subsequently immersed in the spirit and heart of the Suzuki Method and its philosophy.  Childhood summers were spent attending various Suzuki Institutes including Southern Ontario, Montreal, Orford, Edmonton, Ithaca and Chicago Suzuki Institutes. Later, she attended Gilda Barston's Advanced Cello Program at Ithaca and Chicago Suzuki Institutes where she was inspired by teachers and peers to pursue music as a career. She continued her studies with Mary Fisher at the Toronto School for Music, and graduated from the Glen Gould School's Young Artists Program under Roberta Jansen.

Desiree received a Bachelor of Music with Honours at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Desmond Hoebig, performed as a soloist with the CIM Orchestra as a winner of the CIM Concerto Competition and received teacher training for Suzuki Books 1-4 with Dr. Melissa Kraut. Following her undergraduate work, Desiree moved to New York City to study with Timothy Eddy, earning both Master of Music and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes The New School for Music. While in NYC, she taught at Brooklyn College Preparatory Music School, subbed at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and received Music Mind Games Unit 1 training (Theory) with Michiko Yurko and Suzuki Book 5 training with Carol Tarr at the Chicago Suzuki Institute.

Desiree has appeared as soloist with the Guelph Symphony and the National Repertory Orchestra, has played in Carnegie Hall and toured Europe as part of prestigious festival orchestras and attended various summer festivals such as The Music Academy of the West, Bowdoin and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival.

She served as Assistant Principal Cello with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in their 2011- 2012 season and has taught as a sessional instructor at Brandon University and University of Manitoba.

Teaching is a passion of hers and her students have been recognized as Gold Medalists in RCM examinations and class winners at the Winnipeg Music Festival. She has served as adjudicator for the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association, Provincial Music Festival and Winnipeg Music Festival. Having recently relocated to Ottawa, Desiree is looking forward to reopening her studio doors as a teacher with Ottawa Suzuki Strings.  Desiree teaches in English and French.

×
Desiree Abbey

Desiree Abbey

CELLO

Michael Blais

Cello

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.

×
Michael Blais

Michael Blais

Cello

Nathan Bredeson

Guitar

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.

<a href="http://www.nathanbredeson.ca">http://www.nathanbredeson.ca</a>

×
Nathan Bredeson

Nathan Bredeson

Guitar

Adam Cicchillitti

Guitar

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.

Personal Link ×
Adam Cicchillitti

Adam Cicchillitti

Guitar

Jerry Csaba

VIOLIN

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.

×
Jerry Csaba

Jerry Csaba

VIOLIN

Lance Elbeck

Violin

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.

×
Lance Elbeck

Lance Elbeck

Violin

Judith Ginsburg

Collaborative Pianist

“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 Administrator with the Ottawa Suzuki Strings music school, Founder and Artistic Director of Chamber Opera Company Ottawa (COCO) and a MASC Artist.

×
Judith Ginsburg

Judith Ginsburg

Collaborative Pianist

Megan Graham

Violin & Viola

Megan Graham 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 Teri Einfeldt, Margot Jewel, Karen Kimmett, Ed Kreitman, Elayne Ras, and Kathleen Spring. She also completed Suzuki Principles in Action training at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Megan regularly attends Suzuki institutes in order to enhance her connections with Suzuki colleagues, enrich her teaching, and bring home the warmth of the Suzuki approach to her studio families.

Megan holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Carleton University. Her arts-based research on music and dementia care explores the expressive power of music across the lifespan. Megan has published in several top-ranked international academic journals. She also publishes in the American Suzuki Journal, inspiring colleagues with articles such as, “Betwixt and between children’s work and play in the Suzuki lesson,” “Changing practice channels: Exploring how children tune into practice time,” and “Cultivating slow practice with the media multitaskers of ‘generation M’”.

×
Megan Graham

Megan Graham

Violin & Viola

Nan Laurenzio

Theory

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.

×
Nan Laurenzio

Nan Laurenzio

Theory

Jean-Hee Lee

Violin

Jean-Hee Lee is based in Canada, where she is an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa.

She has been a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, Odense and Aarhus Symphony Orchestras, and has also worked in the Royal Danish Orchestra.

Jean-Hee's awards include prizes from WAMSO Young Artist Competition, NTDTV International Violin Competition, Canadian Music Competition, and MTNA Chamber Music Competition.

She has been heard on CBC and NPR Radio, and has performed as a chamber musician at numerous festivals including Banff, Domaine Forget, Norfolk, Schleswig-Holstein, Toronto Summer Music, Sarasota, and Ottawa's Music and Beyond.

Jean-Hee was brought up a “Suzuki kid”, studying in Ottawa with Rosemarie Klimasko and Elaine Klimasko. Jean-Hee went on to study at the University of Michigan with Yehonatan Berick, the Cleveland Institute of Music with William Preucil, the Glenn Gould School (Royal Conservatory of Canada) with Mark Fewer, and the University of Ottawa with David Stewart.

Jean-Hee has been certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas for successfully completing the Every Child Can! Course (under the instruction of Margot Jewell), as well as Violin Unit 1 (under the instruction of Margot Jewell).

In her free time, Jeanie enjoys knitting (usually while watching TV), photography, and reading almost anything.

×
Jean-Hee Lee

Jean-Hee Lee

Violin

Essie Liu

VIOLIN

Essie Liu is an SAA certified Violin and Early Childhood Instructor as well as an Ontario Registered Music Teacher with ORMTA. She is also an active performer and an advocate for contemporary music. Her professional orchestra experience includes the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Gatineau and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Essie holds an M.Mus in Literature and Performance (Violin) from Western University as well as a Montessori Infant Toddler Teacher Diploma (TMI). She teaches bilingually in English and Chinese at her home studio in the Kanata area. In addition to believing the fundamental Suzuki philosophy "Every child can!", Essie is a firm believer that "Every parent can!"

For more of her Suzuki qualifications, please visit the SAA website: http://www.suzukiassociation.org/people/essie-zixuan-liu/

×
Essie Liu

Essie Liu

VIOLIN

Sara Mastrangelo

Violin

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.

×
Sara Mastrangelo

Sara Mastrangelo

Violin

Felicia Persaud

THEORY

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.

×
Felicia Persaud

Felicia Persaud

THEORY

Frank Williams

THEORY

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.

×
Frank Williams

Frank Williams

THEORY

Sarah Williams

Violin

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.

×
Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams

Violin