Colin Yip (President, Voice)
Mr. Colin Yip is one of the leading Tenors in the world classical music circles. He is the President of the Toronto School of Music Canada and also is the president of the International Music& Dance Association in Toronto, Canada since 1996. He is the adjudicator of Bellini International Music Competition in Italy since 1999. He is currently admitted in the International who's who of Intellectuals 1997. The famous conductor of Teatro Alla Scala & Metropolitan opera New York, Maestro Erico De Mori said: “Colin has a fantastic beautiful voice, for nobility of phrasing and expression; he is a real artist and bravo tenor…” Mr. Yip started his vocal training in his native Hong Kong. He later graduated from China’s Beijing Central Conservatory of Music under Professors Ms. Shu Zhen- Guo and Mr. Xin Chang- Li. He received musical coaching from the renowned German Lieder specialist, Professor Mr. Hugen. After a successful recital debut in Hong Kong City Hall in 1989, Colin was accepted a scholarship into the Artist Diploma Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada and studied voice with department head Ms. Helen Simmie. In the same year, Colin won first prize in the National Teachers of Singing Competition in Canada. He also became Voice Teacher of the faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music 1990. In 1993, Colin Yip received a scholarship from the Manhattan School of Music in New York studied voice with department head, Maitland Peters, and Professor Gabor Carelli, the star tenor at the Metropolitan Opera and student of the incomparable Beniamino Gigli. After Colin graduated with a Master of Music degree in the spring of 1995, he won 1st price at the Artist International Music Competition and presented a successful recital debut at the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York and solo recital at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Canada.Mr. Yip’s operatic performances have included the leading roles in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, and Richard Strauss's Ariadne Auf Naxos, Verdi’s Latraviata. Performed at the New York Carnegie Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, and New Jersey State Opera, Queen’s Opera, Manhattan Opera, Arizona Opera, in 1996, as well as performed in a concert operatic music with the Royal Conservatory of Music Orchestra in Canada in 1990, performing operatic arias with Manhattan Philharmonic Orchestra, New York in 1995, and the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra of Canada. In 1992, Colin also toured Malaysia and Singapore with the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra of Malaysia and has appeared in numerous recitals and on television in Italy, New York, Canada, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and throughout Southeast Asia.In 2004, the Canadian Youth Music Competition (Shenyang), the eighth Canadian International Artist Music Competition (Wuhan) trials, the ninth Canadian International Artist Music Competition (Guangzhou) trials, as the president of the Toronto School of Music Canada, Mr. Colin Yip is liked by Chinese music lovers. In 2005, he was invited to China Central Television's "into the opera" columns to be a keynote speaker, at the same time, he has also been invited to participate in "China's most influential musicians works" audio-video publishing record, as on the German art songs demonstrations and concerts. In 2007, Mr. Colin Yip has his own vocal concerts in seven cities in china such as Beijing、Shanghai、Wuhan、Qingdao、Yunnan、Guizhou and Fujian, the repertoire is the 《Die Schone Mullerin》 by Schubert and the German Lieder Anthology. In recent years, Mr. Colin Yip is invited in Europe, North America and China in the international competition judges of the International Music Competition, his students around the world.
Maureen Forrester (Honorary President)
Maureen Forrester was a Canadian icon, one of the first Canadian performers to gain international stature. Her work and her warm buoyant spirit have helped generate worldwide respect for Canada and Canadian artists. Ms Forrester has had a long-term association with the music of Gustav Mahler, and is one of his most respected interpreters, but she has also been a great champion of new Canadian music and is a master of comic roles in opera, music theatre and in recital. Ms. Forrester’s 1957 performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony under Bruno Walther launched her into international stardom. It has been followed by standard-setting performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Boston Symphony conducted by Seiji Ozawa; Symphony No. 2 with the Detroit and Dallas Symphonies; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic, and innumerable others.Her illustrious career has included close associations with the greatest conductors of our time, such as Bruno Walther, Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, and Herbert Von Karajan. She has performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world, in countless recitals and in opera houses on every continent. She is represented on over 130 recordings on the RCA Red Seal, CBS Masterworks, Vanguard, London, Telarc, CBC, and Westminster labels. Her more recent engagements include the Grand Theatre de Geneva’s new production of Charpentier’s Louise, a concert of version of Candide with the San Francisco Symphony, and Falstaff with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony. Ms. Forrester is the Honorary President of the Toronto School of Music.
William Shookhoff (Artistic Director)
Mr. Shookhoff is currently the artistic director of Opera York and a co-founder of Tryptych Productions. He was associate conductor with the Phantom of Opera in Toronto and has held similar positions with Phantom on Tour and with Les Miserables both on tour and with the original Toronto production. Mr. Shookhoff has appeared at Halifax's Neptune Theatre, conducting Les Miserables and Charlotte's Web. He has also conducted opera throughout North America and in the Netherlands, and was music director of the Victoria International Festival for three summers. Mr. Shookhoff has composed for the theatre, and received a Sterling Award nomination for his score for Frank Moher's Sliding for Home. His recording, "The Monster Concert", featuring 42 pianists and recorded live from Carnegie Hall, is available throught he Musical Heritage Society. Mr. Shookhoff is presently the artistic director of the Opera Centre at the Toronto School of Music Canada
Mary Liu (Dean, Voice)
Ms. Liu Began singing in her native Beijing, China and was selected as a solo performer with the Central National Song and Dance Company.After a successful recital debut at Hong Kong City Hall, she was accepted into the Artist Diploma Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada and she began teaching in the voice faculty. In 1995 Mary Liu received a scholarship from the Manhattan School of Music in New York for a Master’s Degree. She studied with Professor Ted Pufer and received master classes on the Italian repertoire from Licia Albanese and Maestro Nicola Rossi Lemeni. In 1995 Mary Liu was the first prize winner in the Artist International Music Competition in New York and subsequently gave her New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall.Mary Liu’s operatic performances have included the leading role of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, Mimi in La Boheme, Liu in Turandot, the title roles of Tosca and Aida, as well as Violetta in La Traviata and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. She has performed with Opera Fest di Roma, the Manhattan Opera, New Jersey State Opera, Queens Opera and Centuries Opera, in such locations as Carnegie Hall, Teatro Marghirita, Verona, Massey Hall, the Toronto Centre for the Arts and many more. She has worked with Enrico De Mori, Giovanni Reggiori, Franz Albanese and William Shookhoff. She toured Malaysia and Singapore as a soloist with the Penang Orchestra of Malaysia and China and has also appeared in numerous recitals and on the television in New York, Toronto-Canada, Italy, China, Singapore, Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia.Ms. Liu has acted as adjudicator at the Beijing Central Television Singing Competition, the Qing Dao International Voice Competition, with Joan Sutherland at the International Bellini Music Competition and at the Maria Callas’Voice Competition in Italy from 1999 to 2007.Upcoming performances include participation in a concert at the festival of Ha Erbin China 2008; Ms. Liu has been invited to sing in September at Rai Television Italy; at eh Florence Music Festival，Madam Butterfly Maribor Opera theatre October – December 2008. Jury of international Bellini voice competition December 2008. the title role of Tosca in Toronto on March 2009 and Toronto Centre for the Arts, title role of turandot of Pucchini, Maribor Opera theatre, April 2009. Aida 2009 in USA; Ms. Liu is currently a voice teacher and the Dean of the Toronto School of Music.
(Director of Musical Theater, Composition & Jazz Music Department Chair)
Well-known Jazz & Broadway Composer, Music Director, Conductor, pianist & Lyricist. Translated Offenbach's La Belle Helene for the Canadian Opera Company, 1983. Bachelor from Calgary University, Canada.
(Strings Department Chair, Cello)
Artist Teacher Diploma from the Liszt Academy, Budapest, Hungary. Diploma of the Batok Conservatory, Budapest, Hungary. Member of AFM and ASTA. Faculty Member of the Royal Conservatory since 1988.
Sabatino Vacca (Opera Coach, Piano)
Opera coach & Conductor in the Opera Division, University of Toronto. Concert Director for the International Opera Workshop, Czech Republic. Bachelor of Music, McMaster University, Ontario.
Alexander Kats (Piano Professor)
Russian-trained concert pianist Alexander Kats is a graduate of Moscow’s prestigious Gnessin Institute, Where he accomplished his doctoral post-graduate training in piano performance. His teacher there, Professor Lina Bulatova (who was a pupil of Elena Gnessina and Heinrich Neuhaus), wrote of him: “Alexander Kats is a talented virtuoso artist who combines stylistic diversity with depth of interpretation.” As a soloist, he has appeared in major concert halls across Russia, performing with number of its leading symphony orchestras and as a solo recitalist. For several years Professor Kats was head of the Piano faculty at Ufa College of the Arts, an associate professor with the Ufa University of the Arts Piano Faculty and was appointed a consulting teacher for the Republic of Bashkiria. Before coming to Canada, he won a Chopin Society Prize in Israel, and made solo broadcasts on Israeli National Radio. Since immigrating to Canada in 1991, he has become well known to classical music audiences as soloist, recitalist, accompanist and ensemble artist. Now a Toronto resident, Mr. Kats has appeared at Walter Hall, McMillan Theatre, Glenn Gould Studio, and the Toronto Centre for the Arts, and has organized and performed in a series of concerts at St. George the Martyr Anglican Church, as well as at venues in other Ontario cities. Currently he serves as music director for St. Margaret’s in the Pines Anglican Church in Scarborough, and has been the accompanist for Hart House Singers at U. of T. and for the Ryerson University Oakham House Choir. In addition, Alexander Kats maintains a busy private teaching schedule, and is often sought after to consult young aspiring performers. He is a piano professor of Toronto School of Music Canada.
Alexander Veprinskiy (Professor)
Orchestra Conductor, Choir Master , he holds Diploma in Opera and Symphonic Conducting at Lvov State Conservatory of Music; and also got the Music and Piano Teacher’s Diploma at Lvov Musical Pedagogical College, Piano Faculty. He has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor at Shevchenko Musical Ensemble of Toronto, Consisting of Choir, orchestra and dancers, research and prepare concert programs for Ensemble: -choral, arrangement for both male and mixed choir, orchestrations of accompaniments to choral selections, orchestral pieces and all dance accompaniments, Director and combined rehearsals of choir, conduct all concerts and presentations of the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble, Chair meeting and work with members of the Artistic Committee in planning concert events and productions. Currently he is a professor of Toronto School of Music Canada.
Stefano Pagliani (Artist for Masterclasses, Violin)
Stefano Pagliani was born in Modena Italy and began studying the violin at the age of 6. his teachers were Salvatore Accardo, Franco Gulli and Paul Borciani (first violin of the Italian Quartet).
For mroe than 20 years, he played first violin in them ost important oper orchestras and symphony orcestras in Italy and abroad, such as the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence. He recorded as a soloist with orchestras and with the most prestigious record labls such as EMI and Sony Classical.
He has played all over the world with the some many renowned conductors, such as Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, Herbert von Karajan, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Ricardo Muti, George Pretre, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Giuseppe Sinopoli.
(Artist for Masterclasses)
A native Sicilian of Caltanissetta, Mo Pastorello started his career in music and became a singer and a voice teacher after his graduation from the Conservatory “V.Bellini”of Palerno.he then went on to win the 1973 International Competition “Giacomo Lauri Volpi” in Valencia, and the 1974 “Neglia” in Enna. The same year he replaced the tenor at a production of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana at Castello fi Lombardia and then took his impeccable portrayal of the role of Turiddu to international recognition and fame. In 1974 he also made debut at the Teatro Massimo of Catania in Puccini’s П Tabarro, and in a concert at the Villa Bellini. He has participated in numerous concerts and festivals in Europe, America, Japan, Korea, Russia, France, Switzerland, and Spain. Additional signature opera roles of Mo Pastorello include the leading roles in, ПTrovatore, La Gioconda, Norma, Pagliacci, Tosca, Otello, Carmen, and Verdi’s Requiem. He has recorded for the RAI of Naples and Rome, and for Italian as well as foreign television networks. He has also recorded an album of Sicilian romances, titled “I canti della serra a del mare”’ which is dedicated to his homeland. Mo Pastorello has received recognition for his career achievement as both a singer and an impresario for Taghe d’oro “M.del Monaco”, “M. Callas”, “T.Serafin”, and “B. Gigli”. Recently, he was awarded the Golden Medal of the Order of Journalists of Rome and Lazio for have organized the International Competition “V.Bellini”, which is now in its 31st year. He has been an integral part of the jurors for international singing competitions such as, the “Catalani” in Ostra, “Sorac” in Rio de Janeiro, “Moniusko” in Warsaw, “Todi” in Oporto, and “G. Verdi” in Parma. He is the president of the Gela and Caltanissetta Amici della Musica Association. after a short break in 1988, Mo Pastorello resumed his singing as a baritone and immediately achieving tremendous success in Italy and worldwide. He has been a professor of singing for 25 years at the renouned Conservatory “V. Bellini” in Palermo, a place which has attracted numerous prominent singers to further refines their artistry. Mo Pastorello has also given many master classes in Italy, Korea, and Japan.
(Artist for Masterclasses)
Conductor, composer and flutist, Franz Albanese studied at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, and the Chigiana Academy in Siena. He holds a Doctor Degree in Musicology at the University of Bologna, and in Musical Composition at the San Paolo as well as Los Angeles Universities. He has performed with brilliant success in over 62 countries worldwide as soloist and conductor. Eminent composers have dedicated their works to him and his recordings of both contemporary and classical pieces have won him enthusiastic praise from critics and public and have been broadcast on major radio and television stations in Italy and abroad. Besides his presence as jury member in prestigious international music Competitions, his extensive teaching experience include the Federal Universities of: Seville, Detroit, Atlanta, North Carolina, Budapest, Montevideo, Rosario, and the European Cultural University. He is president of the "Doppler" musical association, director of the Italian State Conservatory of Music in Campobasso and professor at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of music in Rome. Since 1998 he is the principal conductor as well as artistic director of the Molise Symphony Orchestra.
(Artist for Masterclasses, Vocal Coach & Piano)
Music Director of the Juilliard Opera Theater. Faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music and Eastman School of Music. Head Coach of the Aspen Music Festival. Master degree in Music, Juilliard School of Music.
(Artist for Masterclasses, Violin)
Director of the Algonquin International Music Institute, Ontario. Member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Faculty member of the University of Toronto & Royal Conservatory of Music.
Anna Shafajinskaia (Voice)
Winner in the 5th Pavarotti International Voice Completion, 1995. Soloist with the theatre of Modern Opera, Moscow
Gloria Yip (Violin)
Violinist Gloria Yip is a highly sought after performer and teacher currently residing in Toronto. After serving as a teaching assistant to Mauricio Fuks during her Masters degree studies at Indiana University, she is now a full scholarship student at the Glenn Gould School, studying with Paul Kantor and Barry Shiffman.
Additionally, Ms. Yip maintains her own private studio, teaching violin and piano to local students. She was invited this past summer as both a performer and teacher to the MasterArezzo Festival in Italy, where she performed as a soloist with the orchestra and taught students from different parts of Europe as an assistant to the prominent Italian violinist, Stefano Pagliani. Ms. Yip was also a teacher in the Fairview Violin Project and IU String Academy, working with Mimi Zweig and Dr. Brenda Brenner. She was a member of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Indiana from 2014-2015. Ms. Yip also had the opportunity to perform with the Toronto Sinfonietta in 2007, as a finalist of their concerto competition.
Ms. Yip has performed in masterclasses with Ilya Kaler, Cho-Liang Lin, Geoff Nuttall, Lina Bahn, Philippe Graffin, Gerard Poulet, Stanley Ritchie and Lewis Kaplan among others. She has also performed at the Bowdoin Music Festival, Orford Music Academy, and the Conservatoire Americain in Fontainebleau as a full scholarship student, where she was also awarded the first prize at the Prix Ravel competition with her string quartet. Other awards include the Dean’s Scholarship at Indiana University, a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ihnatowycz Emerging Artist Award at the Glenn Gould School.
Ms. Yip also holds an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto, majoring in psychology and music. Her greatest mentors have included Zhang Yun Zhang, Stefano Pagliani, Erika Raum, Mauricio Fuks, Barry Shiffman and Paul Kantor.