Artist

Kelly Bado

Singer-songwriter

Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa | Manitoba, Canada Weaving in influences from her African heritage, la chanson française, and American gospel, Kelly Bado’s music crosses cultural barriers to bring people together in joy and hope. Her striking vocals and uplifting melodies were recognized with a 2021 WCMA Francophone and Global Artist of the Year Award. With lyrics inspired by love, celebration and social equality, Kelly is committed to the vision of an inclusive world where... read more

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Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser

Principal Youth Conductor and Creative Partner

A passionate communicator, Daniel brings clarity and meaning to the concert hall, fostering deep connections between audiences and performers. Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser is concurrently the Principal Youth Conductor and Creative Partner of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Principal Education Conductor and Community Ambassador of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Artist in Residence and Community Ambassador of Symphony Nova Scotia, and Resident Conductor of Engagement and Education of the San... read more

Cris Derksen

Cellist, composer

Juno-nominated Cris Derksen is an Internationally respected Indigenous Cellist and Composer. In a world where almost everything—people, music, cultures—gets labelled and slotted into simple categories, Cris Derksen represents a challenge. Originally from Northern Alberta, she comes from a line of chiefs from NorthTall Cree Reserve on her father’s side and a line of strong Mennonite homesteaders on her mother’s. Derksen braids the traditional and contemporary, weaving her... read more

Ryan Elliot Drew

Teaching Artist, Arts Alive

Ryan (he/him) is an interdisciplinary artist, creativity researcher, and multimedia producer based in Epekwitk / Prince Edward Island. His work as a musical performer and recording artist blends his formal training in concert percussion with a passion for contemporary and popular styles of music. In addition to regularly performing with professional ensembles such as the PEI Symphony Orchestra and the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, Ryan has appeared in venues and on stages across North... read more

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Denis Gougeon

Composer

Quebec, Canada | b. 1951 Denis Gougeon’s love for music blossomed when he was a teenager. Teaching himself guitar at the age of 15, he soon after performed a solo recital on the instrument. He knew this was an area he wanted to further explore. His growing passion for music laid the groundwork for Gougeon to learn more about how music worked—“he wanted to understand the principles behind the music” (La Scena Musicale, n.d.). Among Gougeon’s musical strengths is... read more

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Benjamin H. Mirin

Biologist, Wildlife DJ

New York, United States Benjamin H. Mirin hails from Brooklyn, New York. Deeply committed to the next generation of conservationists, he is a wearer of many hats. Mirin is a musician, scientist, and explorer who makes every effort to communicate his love for nature to children and youth around the world. Combining his passion for music-making with his expert knowledge of biology and environmental sciences, Mirin has garnered the unique title of Wildlife DJ. He works tirelessly to inspire... read more

Benjamin Morency

Flutist

Canadian flutist Benjamin Morency has recently completed a Master’s degree in Music under the guidance of internationally renowned flutist Ransom Wilson at the prestigious Yale School of Music. He previously studied for six years with Marie-Andrée Benny at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, and also had the opportunity to work with masters of the instrument such as Mathieu Dufour, Emmanuel Pahud, Philippe Bernold, Jeanne Baxtresser, and Robert Langevin. In November... read more

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Marjan Mozetich

Composer

Gorizia, Italy | b. 1948 The Canadian composer, Marjan Mozetich, was born of Slovenian parentage in Gorizia, Italy in 1948 and emigrated to Canada in 1952. He co-founded and was artistic director (1977-79) of the contemporary ensemble, ARRAYMUSIC. His works were performed by prominent new music ensembles across Canada and abroad, and have received several awards. Stylistically he has evolved over the years from avant-garde expressionism, to minimalism, to a post-modern romanticism.... read more

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Jessie Montgomery

Composer

Jessie Montgomery is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, poetry, and social consciousness, making her an acute interpreter of 21st-century American sound and experience. Her profoundly felt works... read more

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Astor Piazzolla

Composer

Mar del Plata, Argentina | 1921-1992 Astor Piazzolla was a tango composer from Argentina. Not only was he an accomplished bandoneon performer (a musical instrument similar to an accordion), Piazzolla was also a baseball and boxing fan. Throughout his lifetime, he forged his own musical path and composed with a style that contradicted cultural norms and upset the status quo. Tango was more-or-less “musical law” in Argentina—but this did not stop Piazzolla. He envisioned a new... read more

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Jonathan Ring

Composer, horn player

Massachusetts, United States A rock star in the classical music world, Jonathan Ring is a renowned horn player and educator with a passion for eclectic styles of music. Born in Massachusetts, Ring has built an impressive career in the San Francisco area. A wearer of many hats, he serves as second horn for the San Francisco Symphony, faculty with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and he is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed and GRAMMY-nominated Bay Brass. Source: Great... read more

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Aliénor Rougeot

Climate activist

Aliénor (Allie) Rougeot is a climate justice activist, and a program manager at Environmental Defence Canada where she advocates for a just transition for workers and communities. She has been a human rights advocate since a very young age, with a focus on climate justice since high school. She co-founded the group Fridays for Future Toronto and has led numerous student climate strikes in that role. She is a public speaker and workshop facilitator, using these opportunities... read more

R. Murray Schafer

Composer

1933-2021 | Ontario, Canada “The world is a huge musical composition that’s going on all the time, without a beginning and presumably without an ending.” (Robin, W., August 2021) R. Murray Schafer lived within a world of discovery. Despite obstacles, Schafer was always driven to explore. Growing up in Toronto, Schafer was born blind in one eye; because of this, he was discouraged from pursuing studies in music. Schafer ended up attending the Royal Conservatory of Music... read more

Bedřich Smetana

Composer

Litomyšl, Czech Republic | 1824-1884 Bedřich Smetana was certainly one of the underdogs. When he was very young, he was regularly bullied for his upbringing in the rural countryside and his lack of formal education. But, little did he know, his music would later become emblematic of Czech nationalism and independence. Born to a working-class family, Smetana grew up speaking German. His trouble with the Czech language was another reason his classmates would mock him. But, Smetana... read more

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Edward Top

Composer

Ommen, the Netherlands | b. 1972 Edward Top is a highly sought-after Dutch composer with an extensive portfolio. In his youth, Top travelled the world while completing formal schooling, beginning with composition and violin performance at the Rotterdam Conservatoire in The Netherlands. After that, he spent time in East Asia before moving to England to complete graduate studies in musicology at King’s College London. Today, Top is based in Vancouver, British Columbia where he previously... read more

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Antonio Vivaldi

Composer

Venice, Italy | 1678-1741 The young ginger-haired Antonio Vivaldi was driven by two things: his music and faith vocation. Growing up as a virtuoso violinist, Vivaldi’s career combined both his love of music and religious values. After going into the priesthood, Vivaldi was appointed musician-in-residence at an orphan school for girls. This job posting led to him writing many violin concertos and string chamber compositions premiered by the girls living at the school. Known for his... read more

Featured interviews

  • evelyne-daigle-headshot
    Biologist, environmental educator Evelyne Daigle
  • Cellist, composer Cris Derksen
  • ben-mirin-credit-katie-garrett
    Biologist, Wildlife DJ Benjamin H. Mirin
  • Flutist Benjamin Morency
  • autumnpeltier-credit-jessicadeeks-20220103-macleans
    Indigenous Rights & Water Activist Autumn Peltier
  • Astronaut David Saint-Jacques
  • ziya-tong-web
    Science journalist, TV host Ziya Tong

Featured orchestras

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    NAC Orchestra
  • tso-logo
    Toronto Symphony Orchestra
  • vso-vancouver-symphony-orchestra
    Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
  • osm-logo
    Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
  • wso
    Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
  • pei-symphony-orchestra
    Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra
  • osm-logo-2
    Vancouver Chamber Choir

Creative and production team

  • Artistic Director Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser
  • Creative Producer Byron Kent Wong
  • Associate Creative Producer Kate Latimer
  • Visual Design and Production ZERO11ZERO | Iron Bay Media
  • Executive Producer Geneviève Cimon, NAC
  • Producer Ryan Elliot Drew, PEISO
  • Producer Kelly Racicot, NAC
  • Host Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser
  • Host Aliénor Rougeot
  • Marketing Lead Sibylle Berger, NAC
  • Learner’s Companion, Author Ryan Drew, PEISO
  • Learner’s Companion, Author Dawn Ellis-Mobbs, Room 217
  • Learner’s Companion, Author Kathryn Patricia Cobbler, NAC
  • Learner’s Companion, Author Yvanna Mycyk, VSO
  • Learner’s Companion, Design & Layout Pierre Rivard, TSO