Yehonatan Berick, violin

Prizewinner at the 1993 Naumburg competition and a recipient of the 1996-97 Prix Opus, Yehonatan Berick is in high demand internationally as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. Performances as soloist include Quebec, Winnipeg, Windsor, Ann Arbor, Jerusalem and Haifa Symphonies, and the Israeli, Cincinnati, Montreal and Manitoba Chamber Orchestras, Thirteen Strings and Ensemble Appassionata. Recital offering include the complete Paganini Caprices, and the complete Solo Sonatas and Partitas by Bach. He has collaborated with many world renowned artists. Festival and chamber series include Marlboro, Ravinia, Seattle, Ottawa, Great Lakes, and Music@Menlo. He tours extensively worldwide, and is featured in the world's
most important venues, including Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall. On CD, Berick has recorded for the Acoma, Albany, Centaur, Equilibrium, XXI-21, Gasparo, Summit, and Helicon labels. On video, he can be seen on a BluRay dvd Paganini: 24 Caprices. His recordings have won rave reviews in the press. Equally sought after as violin teacher and chamber music mentor, Berick serves as Professor of Violin at the University of Ottawa. He has been invited as teacher and artist-in-residence at many festivals, and is featured in masterclasses worldwide. His students hold leading positions in major orchestras, ensembles, and music schools worldwide. Yehonatan Berick is currently plays a 1761 violin by Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, generously on loan from the University of Ottawa, as well as violin by Honoré Derazey Père from 1852, and a viola by Stanley Kiernoziak from 2003.

Jean Desmarais, piano

Gifted with extraordinary versatility, Jean Desmarais studied with Monique Collet-Samyn (Hull), Anisia Campos, Rafi Armenian (Montreal), Monique Deschaussées (Paris), Johanna Stieler (Berlin) and Dalton Baldwin (United States ).

Desmarais is the new Music Director and Principal Conductor of Strings of St.John's in Ottawa. Won several international Awards and premiered over 200 new creations, many from Canadian composers. Active on stages all over the world have been invited to play in France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Mexico, USA and Canada. He was soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestras of Brasov (Romania), Szczecin (Poland), Chihuahua (Mexico), New World (Quebec), Orchestra National Arts Centre, I Musici de Montreal, Les Violons du Roy (Quebec ), the Francophonie Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Hull and Ottawa and most recently the Ensemble Thirteen Strings.

He played in recital at the Banff Centre with the legendary Pinchas Zukerman, Ben Heppner, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Amanda Forsyth, Joel Quarrington, Maestros Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Marco Parisotto, Johannes Debus, Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Carlos Garcia-Ruiz and many others. He was invited as a coach at the Canadian Opera Company for several opera productions. One of the most respected teachers in Canada, students have remarked by winning national awards and studying in major music schools as the Sorbonne (Paris), the Cleveland Music Institute, the Manhattan School of Music, the Hochschule Stuttgart and many others. In 2007, he was the only Canadian pianist invited to play in recital at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famous recital of pianist Glenn Gould.

Mr. Desmarais was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th anniversary of Canadian Confederation for his outstanding contribution to the arts in Canada and abroad.