Consortium Aurora Borealis

Elizabeth Ganiatsos, Artistic Director
Northwestern Ontario's Chamber Music Group ~ Baroque and Beyond

Anthony Bacon


Anthony Bacon, assistant principal cellist in the Thunder Bay Symphony, is a soloist, chamber musician, freelance player and teacher. Born inEdmonton, he studied at the University of Alberta, and continues training with David Hetherington, Roman Borys, and Shauna Rolston in Toronto. Winner of several competitions and awards, including the Yo-Yo Ma scholarship for cello at University of Toronto, the Winspear Foundation scholarship, and the Anne Burrows foundation scholarship for advanced performance studies, Anthony also completed intensive studies atAustria’s Mozarteum from cellists Tsuoshi Tsutsumi and Julius Berger. Active in the contemporary music scene, Anthony has performed contemporary cello compositions for Canadian composers, and has showcased a variety of new music with Edmonton’s Orchesis ballet. He was also a member of Edmonton’s Contempo ensemble from 2004 to 2007. In addition, he is keenly interested in baroque performance practice, and studied and performed at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute with Christina Mahler. He teaches cello at Lakehead University, and plays a rare 1962 Curletto Anslemo cello, which was made in Torino.

Birgit Rieck


Birgit Rieck was born in Munich, Germany and started playing recorder and violin in her childhood. Growing up playing recorder she soon got fascinated by early music. At Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media she studied 3 years as a Junior Student in the recorder class of Prof. Siri Rovatkay-Sohns. She participated in a master class by Han Tol and was a member of several ensembles, including a recorder quartet and an early music ensemble “Lapicida Consort”. Participating in “Lapicida Consort” with baroque viola, baroque violin and recorder, she had the great opportunity to receive lessons by Prof. Anne Röhrig, Christoph Heidemann and Prof. Lajos Rovatkay. With “Lapicida Consort” she performed in various concerts in international early music concert series in Germany, including the “Göttingen International Handel Festival”.

Continuing to perform music, Birgit studied medicine at Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich. After her graduation she moved to Thunder Bay to work as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute. Now living in Thunder Bay, Birgit is excited to participate in the Consortium Aurora Borealis and getting involved in early music in Canada.

Colleen Kennedy


Colleen Kennedy is Principal Oboe with the TBSO. She was born in Comox, B.C., moved to Ontario at an early age and grew up in Toronto. She studied music at the University of Western Ontario and at the Juilliard School in New York. Her teachers have included Harry Sargous, Robert Bloom and Richard Killmer.

In 2005, Colleen celebrated her 25th anniversary season with the TBSO. That year marked similar milestones with Consortium Aurora Borealis and teaching as a sessional lecturer in the Department of Music at Lakehead University. During her time in Thunder Bay, she has been active in the arts community. She has performed numerous concerti with the TBSO including those by Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Martinu, Bach and Mozart. She was a founding member of the Thunder Bay Chamber Players and, with Lise Vaugeois, administered Thunder Bay Creative Music Projects – an arts education initiative that received the Thunder Bay Regional Arts Council Arts Education Award in 1993. More recently she was part of a recording project for New Music North, which culminated in the release of a CD of contemporary music. Colleen will be performing concerti by Vivaldi with Consortium Aurora Borealis in February 2012.

In 1999, Colleen began to work for the TBSO administration – at first as an office assistant, later becoming Marketing Manager. She retired from that position in 2007 and now enjoys more time for the oboe and the pursuit of other interests including running, mountain biking and sailing.

Doris Dungan


Doris Dungan is currently enjoying her 31st season playing flute and piccolo with the TBSO. Originally from Pennsylvania, she earned her B.Mus. and M. Mus. degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before becoming Assistant Professor of flute at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she was honoured with the Excellence in Teaching Award. Doris performed extensively as Principal Flutist of orchestras in Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama, as well as in recital and as a member of the Southern Arts Baroque Trio. Since moving to Thunder Bay,Ms. Dungan has appeared as soloist with the TBSO on both flute and piccolo, was heard nationally in recital on CBC Radio, and has regularly appeared as recitalist and with Consortium Aurora Borealis. She has taught flute, music history and music lit. at Lakehead University.

Elizabeth Ganiatsos

harpsichord, organ, violin, viola, recorder

Elizabeth has been Music Director/Artistic Director of Thunder Bay’s Consortium Aurora Borealis, which she co-founded, since 1979. She holds an Honour B.A. in Music History from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts from Harvard University, where she also completed Ph.D. coursework in Musicology, receiving numerous awards and scholarships throughout her academic career. From 1967 to 1974, she was a musician, and then, music director for the Poculi Ludique Societas, a University of Toronto mediaeval drama group. She has performed in early music groups, chamber ensembles, and orchestras in Toronto, Boston, New Haven, Kitchener, Sudbury and Thunder Bay. As a Sessional Lecturer in Music History at Lakehead University from 1976-88, Elizabeth specialized in the Mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. As a musician Elizabeth concentrates on harpsichord and organ, as well as viola and several mediaeval and Renaissance instruments. For 22 years she taught strings with the local Separate School Board. She studied with Winnipeg’s virtuoso harpsichordist Eric Lussier, with whom she has given several duo performances, most recently performing two J.S. Bach double harpsichord concerti. She is particularly interested in discovering and delving into lesser-known repertoire from the Renaissance and the Baroque, and in researching and assembling historically-themed programmes. Elizabeth has enjoyed exploring the organs and music of Venice, under the guidance of the organist of the Basilica of San Marco, Roberto Micconi, whose Canadian concert tour she organized in 2003. In July 2007 she gave an organ concert of 17th and 18th-century Venetian organ music on a historic instrument from 1765 at the Church of San Trovaso in Venice, joined by Canadian virtuoso violinist Jeremy Bell. She played two concerts at San Trovaso in May and June 2009, including a Purcell-Handel-Haydn-Mendelssohn Celebratory Concert, and returns to Venice for more performances in 2011.

Evgueni Tchougounov


Dr. Evgueni Tchougounov has a Ph.D. in Piano Performance (University of Montreal)
and a Ph.D. in Music Education (Moscow State Pedagogical University). He is currently a
Lecturer at the Department of Music of Lakehead University. Before coming to Canada,
he worked as a Lecturer in Methodology and Psychology of Music Education at the Music Faculty
of Moscow State Pedagogical University. Upon arrival and the outset of his doctoral studies, he
taught Piano Performance at the Faculty of Music of the University of Montreal and at the McGill
Conservatory of Music. Dr. Tchougounov is performing regularly as a concert pianist, both as a
soloist and collaborator, and as a choir conductor with different programs in the U.S.A,
Canada, Russia, and Switzerland. Many of his solo and chamber music recitals were presented
in famous recitals halls such as: Carnegie Weill Recital Hall (New York, 2010), Pollack Hall and
Redpath Hall (McGill University, Montreal, 2009, 2006), Salle Claude Champagne (Université de Montréal,
2002-2008), Rachmaninoff Hall of the Moscow Conservatory (Russia, 1998), Chapelle Historique du
Bon-Pasteur (Montreal, 2010), Live Radio Lac Recital Hall (Geneva, Switzerland, 2000).
A sensitive artist and a critically acclaimed pianist, he possesses a rare musicality, which unmistakably
charms his audiences around the world.

Heather Morrison


Pianist Heather Morrison has held the position of Principal Keyboard
with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for over three decades, and is
a lecturer in the Department of Music at Lakehead University, where she
teaches Piano Performance, Keyboard Literature, and coaches an
Instrumental Ensembles class. She also maintains the position of Concert
Co-ordinator and Faculty Pianist for Interprovincial Music Camp, held
annually in the Muskokas. Chamber music has always been central to her
life and she has enjoyed many collaborations with local, national and
international artists. Heather is a founding member of the trio “MuSiC in
Common” with clarinetist Peter Shackleton and hornist Derek Conrod,
appearing regularly in concert at the Stratford Festival and in Lakehead’s
“Lumina” concerts. In recent years engagements have included series
concerts at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Perimeter Institute in
Waterloo. Heather is also an active clinician and adjudicator, having been
engaged by music festivals stretching from Vancouver to Toronto.

Jennifer Bryan


Originally from Brandon, Manitoba, violinist Jennifer Bryan is currently enjoying her eighth season with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. After one year at the University of Western Ontario, Jennifer high-tailed it back to the prairies to complete her degree in Music Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Guillaume Tardif at her hometown university. In recent years Jennifer has had the pleasure to become a frequent performer with Consortium Aurora Borealis and to participate in various projects and events offered by Thunder Bay’s rich artistic community. She has appeared several times as duo partner to violinist Jeremy Bell.

Jeremy Bell


Anative of Toronto, violinist Jeremy Bell earned a B. Mus degree from the University of Toronto, and from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he received his Masters and Doctor of Music. Dr. Bell is a recipient of numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts and is a prize winner of the Eckhardt Grammatté National competition and the Conseil Québécois’ Prix Opus. He has studied with David Zafer, George Neikrug, Joyce Robbins, Metro Kozak and with members of the Orford, Juilliard, Tokyo, and Orion string quartets.  Joining  the Penderecki String Quartet in 1999, Dr. Bell is Artist in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University where he teaches violin and chamber music.

Described by The Toronto Star as a violinist who “agitates in the most intelligent and persuasive manner,” Bell has performed recently with the Penderecki Quartet at Wieczory Arsenale Festival in Poland, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Is Arti Festival in Lithuania, MBZ Zagreb, State Museum of Music in St. Petersburg, REDCAT/Disney Centre in Los Angeles, Roxy/NOD in Prague, Fundacion Juan March in Madrid, Jane Mallet Theatre in Toronto, Paris University 8, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Indiana University in Bloomington, Casalmaggiore and Rive-Gauche Festivals in Italy, Tovar Festival Venezuela, the Hong Kong Academy, the Shanghai Conservatory, the Banff Centre in Alberta, and the Chan Centre in Vancouver.

With the Penderecki String Quartet, Bell has recorded over 25 discs including the premiere Canadian recording of the Béla Bartók string quartet cycle and Marjan Mozetich’s ‘Lament in the Trampled Garden’ (winner of the 2010 JUNO Award for composition). From 2000-2007, Bell was the artistic director of NUMUS Concerts where he created several multi-media events at the Perimeter Institute and with Dancetheatre David Earle. He has performed a wide range of music, performing baroque with Consortium Aurora Borealis and Les Violons du Roy, Cuban jazz with Hilario Duran, as well as collaborating with pipa virtuoso Ching Wong, NYC’s DJ Spooky, and pop stars Jay-Z and Diana Ross.  In addition, Bell has performed as soloist with the Toronto Symphony, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, and as guest concertmaster with the Kitchener  Waterloo Symphony, the New Zealand National Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company.

Dr. Bell plays an A.S. Bernadel violin (1854).

Joseph Roy


Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Joseph (Joey) Roy received an Honours Bachelor of Music from Lakehead University in 1997, where he studied classical guitar with Sean Mundy. Under the guidance of Jeffrey McFadden, Joey received a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto in 2002, as well as an ARCT diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Joey has participated in many masterclasses, performing for such renowned artists as Jorge Morel, John Holmquist, Ricardo Cobo and Manuel Barrueco. In 2001 Joey was a semi-finalist in the Rantucci International Guitar Competition in Buffalo, New York. He has been a guitar adjudicator for the Kiwanis Music Festival in Brantford, Ontario. A session lecturer at Lakehead University, Joey also maintains a busy private studio and has been a featured performer in the university’s LUMINA concert series. In 2009 he collaborated with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s beloved Concerto de Aranjuez as part of the symphony’s Cabaret series.

Karine Breton


During her early training Karine attended several summer programs such as National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Ohio Light Opera (Wooster, OH) Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara, CA) and Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan). Karine has also performed in concert with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke.

As a chamber musician, Karine was a co-founder of the Estria Woodwind Quintet (1997-2001). During those five years as a member of the quintet, the group commissioned and premiered several pieces composed by French Canadian composers such as Walter Boudreau, Robert Lemay and Denis Gougeon.

Also co-founder of the Éolia Woodwind Trio, conducted by Jason Caslor, she was a member of the ‘Group of Seven’, who performed the complete version of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale and Michael Daugherty Dead Elvis for solo bassoon and ensemble.

It is with pleasure that since 2005 during the TBSO’s off-season, Karine returns to the Eastern Townships as the Student Concerts Coordinator of the Orford Arts Centre where in 1996 she was a student herself.

Kim Erickson


A native of Northern Ontario, Kim Erickson spent formative years in Ottawa (BMus. Carleton University), and the Netherlands, where she studied composition at the renowned Instituut voor Sonologie (Utrecht) and voice with Anna Menso (Amsterdam). She performed in masterclasses of Margriet Honig and Bernard Kruysen (Holland). Kim received lessons, coaching, advice and support from Mary McGhee, Evelyn Reid and Tellie Kähärä. She was a long-time student of Dixie Ross-Neill (Montreal).

Kim has appeared with Consortium Aurora Borealis on many occasions, most notably as the alto soloist for the Pergolesi ʻStabat Materʼ and the Sorceress for Purcellʼs ʻDido and Aeneasʼ. She appears regularly with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and is best known for her work in their Cabaret series. Other works performed with the orchestra include DeFallaʼs ʻEl Amor Brujoʼ and the role of Nora in Vaughan Williamsʼ ʻRiders to the Seaʼ. Kim has also performed for the LUMINA and New Music North concert series.

As a songwriter and composer, Kim has performed at venues and music festivals throughout Canada and in Holland. Recorded releases of her original work include the cd ʻAwayʼ (2000) and the film ʻThe Hoito Projectʼ (2007).

Kim has worked for theatre companies across Canada, including performances of her scores for plays by Canadian playwrights Patricia Ludwick and Eleanor Albanese. Collaborations involving dance include work with Claudia Otto and Image Dance, Edgar Zendejas (Montreal) and Michelle Silagy (Toronto).

She was awarded the 2008 Chronicle-Journal Arts and Heritage Award for Media and Performance Art, and is an instructor for Lakehead Universityʼs Dept. of Music.

Martin Blanchet


Quebec-born Martin Blanchet learned violin and piano at an early age, and later studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec, completing a double bass minor degree in Jazz and Pop music, a master’s degree in Classical Interpretation, and a second master’s degree in Chamber Music. Currently Principal Bass of the TBSO, Martin has also held the chair of Assistant Principal Bass in Orquestra do Algarve in Portugal. He has performed with La Orquesta de Extremadura de Badajoz in Spain, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and also at the Opéra de Québec. In the summer of 2009, he was invited to perform the Dittersdorf Double Bass Concerto in Pommersfelden, Germany. Martin has taught double bass at the Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy in Québec and is presently a double bass instructor at Lakehead University. He enjoys playing Salsa and Bluegrass music with friends and colleagues.

Michelle Zapf-Bélanger


Canadian violinist Michelle Zapf-Bélanger is a performer and music teacher based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This is her fourth season performing as a section violinist with the Thunder Bay Symphony.

Born in Montréal, Ms. Zapf-Bélanger grew up in Toronto, and is a graduate of the Etobicoke School of the Arts and the Young Artist’s Performance Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She holds a Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto.

An enthusiastic chamber musician, Ms. Zapf-Bélanger performs frequently with Consortium Aurora Borealis. She has toured internationally with Quartetto Constanze, an all-female string quartet praised in the press for having “a maturity beyond their years, with most impressive, tight ensemble playing.” On a recital tour of Iceland in 2006, the group premiered String Quartet No. 1 by Thordur Swineburne on Icelandic radio.

Ms. Zapf-Bélanger plays on a beautiful English violin from the workshops of W. E. Hill & Sons. She is celebrating her violin’s centennial anniversary this 2011.

Patrick Horn


Patrick Horn is a violinist, violist, teacher, composer and arranger. He began his musical studies in Lafayette, California where he was a soloist with the Oakland and Diablo Youth Orchestras. He completed his Bachelor of Music at Rice University, studying violin with Camilla Wicks, viola with Csaba Erdelyi, and composition with Paul Cooper, Samuel Jones and George Burt. He earned his Master of Music in Viola Performance and Pedagogy under Peter Slowik at Northwestern University. Patrick’s compositions have received many public performances. He has also received numerous commissions from various performers, including such as the Halcyon Trio Oregon (Linfield College) and the Orion Ensemble (Chicago). His Black Tango was broadcast live by the Orion Ensemble on WFMT Chicago in May of 2006. Patrick is a private teacher of violin and viola and has taught at Merit Music and Upbeat Music in Chicago. He is currently a member of the music faculty at the Young Musicians and Artists in Salem, Oregon as well as maintaining a private studio in Thunder Bay. Patrick plays viola with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and with the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Robert Van Wyck

flute, recorders

Robert Van Wyck was born in Hamilton, Ontario and began his music studies on the piano and recorder. He received a B.Mus. (History and Theory) from McMaster University in 1975 and a Licentiate in Flute Performance from McGill University in 1981. He extended his studies on modern flute with Robert Aitken and Marcel Moyse and on baroque flute and recorder with Hans-Olav Grosset, Stephen Preston and Bart Kuijken. He has performed in orchestras and chamber groups in Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Thunder Bay. Since retiring from school teaching he develops young flutists through the Suzuki Flute Program, sings in local choirs, performs in chamber music concerts and instructs at the LU Faculty of Education. When time allows he enjoys making lumber on his sawmill at camp, and then figuring out what he’s going to make it into. He has appeared with Consortium Aurora Borealis for the past 18 years, performing on various recorders, as well as on modern and baroque flute.

Susan Korstanje


Susan Korstanje is active in the Thunder Bay musical community as a conductor, violinist, and vocalist. She currently conducts the Vocal Ensemble at Lakehead University, and is in her 19th season as conductor of the Lakehead Choral Group. She plays violin in the trio Women in Black, sings soprano in the To•ne quartet, and performs regularly with the Consortium Aurora Borealis. Over the years she has had the pleasure of participating in numerous choirs, orchestras (including the TBSO), early music ensembles, and dramatic productions, including the roles of Mary Magdalene in a 14th century liturgical drama (Toronto’s Poculi Ludique Societas) and Ceres in The Tempest (Cambrian). She has degrees in musicology (M.A., U of Toronto), and music and secondary education (Honours B.A., Calvin). She has taught school and conducted choirs and instrumental ensembles in Michigan, Indiana, New York, and Ontario, and currently teaches for the Lakehead Board of Education.

To•ne, Thunder Bay’s professional vocal quartet, delights in singing music from the Renaissance and beyond. Based on the Latin word for thunder and an obvious musical allusion, the name To•ne reflects the quartet’s goal of bringing high quality vocal music to the people of Northern Ontario. The quartet was founded in 2010, after the original members had enjoyed singing together in a Consortium Aurora Borealis concert. To•ne presented its inaugural concert in April of 2011, followed by several more performances in Thunder Bay. In 2012 the quartet went “on the road,” presenting a concert on St. Joseph Island. Founding members Susan Korstanje and Nancy Berglund welcome Don Nixon and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser for tonight’s concert.

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