Yosuke Kawasaki currently serves as Concertmaster of the NAC Orchestra in Canada. His versatile musicianship allows him to pursue a career in orchestra, solo and chamber music. His orchestral career began with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and soon led to Mito Chamber Orchestra, Saito Kinen Orchestra and Japan Century Orchestra all of which he led as Concertmaster. His solo and chamber music career spans five continents, collaborating with artists such as Seiji Ozawa, Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma and appearing in the world's most prestigious halls such as Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and The Royal Concertgebouw.
Kawasaki's most current ensembles are Trio Ink and the Arkas String Quartet. His passion for chamber music led him to create the short lived Classical Unbound Festival in Prince Edward County, Ontario, which he served as Co-Artistic Director. Subsequently, he has been appointed Music Director to the Affinis Music Festival in Japan. He is also an artistic advisor to a brand new chamber music festival in Bulgaria called The Unbeaten Path.
As an educator Kawasaki has given masterclasses and performed side by side with students in schools across Canada. Well versed in the string quartet literature he was entrusted by Seiji Ozawa as the youngest faculty member of the Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy at the age of 26. He is currently an adjunct professor of violin at the University of Ottawa.
Mr. Kawasaki began his violin studies at the age of six with his father Masao Kawasaki and continued with Setsu Goto. At the age of ten he was accepted into The Juilliard School Pre-College Division and further continued his education and graduated from The Juilliard School in 1998 under the tutorship of Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Felix Galimir and Joel Smirnoff.
Mintje van Lier (1982) is Principal Second violin with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra.
At the age of five, Mintje started studying the violin under Anneke Schilt-Plate and continued with Hans Scheepers, Joyce Tan, Mimi Zweig, Chris Duindam and Lex Korff de Gidts. In 2006 she received her Bachelor of Music at the Amsterdam Conservatory. She continued her studies in the class of Ilan Gronich at the Universität der Künste, Berlin, receiving the Diplom in 2009.
From 2004-2006, Mintje performed as a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra under the direction of Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Paavo Järvi and Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
In 2007, Mintje studied in the Academy of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, after which, she was awarded a scholarship from the Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent. In 2008, Mintje won the position as assistent principal 2nd Violin with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Filharmonic. In the five years leading up to the closing of this orchestra, Mintje enjoyed playing under the frequent guest conductor’s Philippe Herreweghe and Frans Brüggen. Mintje freelances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. From 2014—2021 Mintje was the assistant principal 2nd violin of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a member of the Jenufa String Quartet.
She has taken part in the Zermatt Festival with the Scharoun Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In Berlin, Mintje played with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop.
Mintje plays a Theo Marks violin (2018).
In 2014, after 12 years living abroad, violist David Marks returned to Canada to accept the position of Associate Principal with the NAC Orchestra. Born in Vancouver, David grew up in Virginia in the heart of a musical family. From an early age he experimented with composing, writing, drawing and painting; these passions have resulted in dozens of original songs, paintings and murals. Viola studies took him across the US and Europe for lessons with Roberto Diaz, Atar Arad, Karen Tuttle, Gerard Caussé, Thomas Riebl and Nobuko Imai, to the Banff Centre, L'Académie de Musique Tibor Varga and Prussia Cove.
In Europe, David performed as Principal Viola with L'Orchestre de Montpellier and L'Opera de Bordeaux, La Orquesta de la Ciudad de Granada, Holland Symfonia and Amsterdam Sinfonietta. He was Principal Viola of the London Philharmonic under the batons of Vladimir Jurowski, Christoph Eschenbach, Yannick Nezet-Seguin and Marin Alsop. As a fixture on the contemporary music scene, he performed across Europe with the Asko/Schonberg Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, Mondriaan Quartet, Fabrica Musica and Nieuw Amsterdamse Peil. He was a member of the avant-garde Dutch contemporary music group, Nieuw Ensemble, with whom he toured China and recorded over 40 works.
As a folk musician, David has toured Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia singing his songs with The History of Dynamite. His folk-opera, The Odyssey was performed at the Banff Centre and subsequently at Theater de Cameleon in Amsterdam. He plays fiddle and guitar and has performed with Van Dyke Parks, Bill Frisell and Patrick Watson.
He lives with his wife and 4 children in Wakefield, QC.
Assistant Principal Cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 2014, Julia MacLaine performs worldwide as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in music ranging from classical to contemporary and from ‘world’ to her own arrangements and compositions.
Most recently, she has performed with her string quartet Ironwood in Mahone Bay (NS), at the Indian River Festival (PEI), and at their own Classical Unbound Festival in Prince Edward County. The quartet has appeared at the Wolfgang Sessions and MFASA series in Ottawa, at Ritornello Festival (SK), and in Paris. Their programs combine classical warhorses (Beethoven, Ravel, Debussy) with very new music (works by Ana Sokolovic, Nicole Lizée, Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, Esa‐Pekka Salonen), and occasionally veer off into their own arrangements of original songs and folk music.
During the ten years she spent living in New York City, Julia collaborated frequently with composers, giving voice to new works for solo cello. Most notably, she has been a champion of Pedro Malpica’s Pachamama’s Catharsis. Ms. MacLaine could often be heard on all three stages at Carnegie Hall. As a member of Ensemble Connect (previously ACJW), she performed numerous chamber music concerts at Weill and Zankel Halls, notably as the soloist in Tan Dun’s concerto Elegy: Snow In June. She also played frequently in Stern Auditorium as a member of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and as principal cellist for Osvaldo Golijov’s Pasion selun San Marcos. From 2005 to 2014, she was a member of the Brooklyn‐based chamber orchestra The Knights, with whom she performed the Schumann Cello Concerto in 2012 in Central Park and for live broadcast by WQXR. The Grammy‐nominated ensemble collaborates regularly with artists such as Gil Shaham, Renée Fleming, and Yo‐Yo Ma, and has recorded several albums for, among others, SONY Classical.
An entrepreneurial musician, Ms. MacLaine co‐founded the New York group The Ikarus Chamber Players, an ensemble that married classical chamber music with other art forms in their own concert series in auction houses, art galleries, and other unique venues. With her colleagues in the Academy (Carnegie and Juilliard‐led fellowship connected to Ensemble ACJW/Connect), she formed the chamber music collective Decoda to develop community chamber music residencies around the world. With Decoda, Julia has performed at the Mecklenberg‐Vorpommern Festival in Germany, in Abu Dhabi, at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and across the United States. She has also appeared at the Lanaudière, Bic, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, and Ravinia Festivals.
Julia has performed with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Les Violons du Roy, and her chamber music collaborators include Itzhak Perlman, Jackie Parker, Pinchas Zukerman, membres of the Orion String Quartet, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Inon Barnatan, and Cynthia Phelps.
Originally from Prince Edward Island, Julia studied with Antonio Lysy at McGill University (BMus), and with Timothy Eddy at the Mannes College of Music (Artist Diploma) and at The Juilliard School (MMus).