George Zukerman O.C., O.B.C.
Legendary bassoon soloist, impresario, Artistic Director of White Rock Concerts and celebrated broadcaster and raconteur, George Zukerman, O.C., O.B.C. ended his 62-year international performing career in 2012.
During his playing career, George Zukerman was acknowledged world-wide as “the High Priest of the bassoon”, fashioning a remarkable international solo career on this unlikely instrument. He has performed from Rome to Tahiti, Hong Kong to Afghanistan, China to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in the course of 40 world tours.
Over the course of his career, he made it his mission to unearth hundreds of previously unknown works for the instrument and to commission new ones. George Zukerman was awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia for his contributions to touring both at home and abroad.
George Zukerman has been behind many of Special Travel International’s Classical Music Tours. Through his world-wide contacts as impresario, he has arranged and coordinated most of the concerts on board our cruise ships and carefully selected opera and symphonic events to attend during our Classical Music Cruise in the Rhone Valley in 2016, our Classical Music Cruises on the Danube in 2015 and 2018 and on the Rhine in 2019. While on our tours, George Zukerman prefaces all musical events with his unique stories of a musical life which began with early contact with such luminaries as Leonard Bernstein, Paul Hindemith, Salvatore Accardo, Isaac Stern, Janos Starker, Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich.
Kai Gleusteen & Catherine Ordronneau
Since 1999 when they first began to work together, Kai Gleusteen and Catherine Ordronneau have established themselves as one of the most important European violin and piano duos. Having performed more than 100 recitals in Europe, Canada and the USA, they are praised for their unique partnership, “playing under the control of a single intelligence”, and for the emotional power of their interpretations.
Recent projects include touring the USA in performance with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, recitals in both Chicago and San Francisco and a gala concert in the prestigious Hôtel de Ville of Paris. Their repertoire encompasses most of the great sonatas for violin and piano, as well as a myriad of short pieces representing the countries where they perform. They have recorded extensively on the AVIE label.
Kai Gleusteen and Catherine Ordronneau have hosted and travelled on numerous tours with Special Travel International, including our Classical Music Cruise in the Rhone Valley in 2016, our Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong in 2017 and our Classical Music Cruises on the Danube in 2015 and 2018.
Artists’ website: www.gleusteen.com
For over 25 years, the Gryphon Trio has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios, garnering acclaim and impressing international audiences with its highly refined, dynamic and memorable performances. With a repertoire that ranges from traditional to contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.
Creative innovators with an appetite for discovery and new directions, the Gryphon Trio has commissioned over 85 new works and frequently collaborates on projects that push the boundaries of classical music. The trio tours regularly throughout North America and Europe, and their 23 recordings are an encyclopedia of works for the genre. Honours include three Juno Awards for Classical Album of the Year and the prestigious 2013 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Deeply committed to community engagement and education, the Gryphons conduct master classes and workshops at universities and conservatories and are artists-in-residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and Trinity College. Since 2010, the trio’s ground-breaking outreach program, Listen Up!, has inspired and engaged 16 Canadian communities to collaborate on large-scale multi-faceted arts creation projects.
The Gryphon Trio gave acclaimed concerts on STI’s Majestic Rhine Cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich in 2019.
Artists’ website: http://www.gryphontrio.com/
Upcoming tours: Classical Music on the Romantic Danube
Marcel & Elizabeth Bergmann
The duo pianists Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann are truly a team –husband and wife, and also partners in Canada’s leading four-hand piano ensemble. They have been performing together for almost 30 years and have recorded for Naxos, Brilliant Classics and most recently for ARS. They have concertized in theatres from Carnegie Hall and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw to the community hall on tiny Denman Island.
Their extensive repertoire ranges from the baroque to the contemporary and incorporates numerous own arrangements and compositions. They recently premiered Marcel’s latest work, Concerto for Piano, Four Hands and Chamber Orchestra, which was commissioned by White Rock Concerts in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Re-creating a lost piano world of the past century, the Bergmann's now tour regularly with their two grand pianos in tow. Overseas, their recitals have taken them to France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Macedonia, Spain and Portugal. At home in Canada, they have recently been named co-Artistic Directors of the immensely successful White Rock Concerts.
Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann dazzled audiences with their four-hand virtuosity and accompanied Julie Nesrallah on our Classical Music Cruise on the Douro in Portugal and Spain in 2017.
Artists’ website: www.bergmannduo.com
Upcoming tours: Classical Germany & Austria
James Campbell has been called “Canada’s pre-eminent clarinetist and wind soloist” by the Toronto Star and 'Canada's premiere clarinetist' by the Ottawa Citizen. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician in over 35 countries with over 60 orchestras including the Boston Pops, Montreal Symphony and the London Symphony. He has collaborated with Glenn Gould and Aaron Copland and toured with over 35 string quartets, including the Guarneri, Amadeus (when he replaced an ailing Benny Goodman on a tour of California) and Vermeer.
Of his over 40 recordings, the BBC and The Times of London rated his recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet as the best available and his CD Stolen Gems (Marquis Records) won a Juno. He has been named Canada’s Artist of the Year, awarded the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medal, an Honourary Doctor of Laws, and the Order of Canada. James Campbell has been Artistic Director of the Festival of the Sound since 1985 and has been Professor of Music at the famed Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University since 1988 and regularly gives masterclasses throughout the world. He is a Conn-Selmer Artist.
James Campbell gave acclaimed concerts on STI’s Majestic Rhine Cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich in 2019. We look forward to his next tour with STI!
Artist’s website: http://www.gamisimonds.com/james-campbell/
Described as a 'gifted guitarist and composer' (The Whole Note), Graham Campbell is a versatile musician based in Toronto. He studied with jazz great David Baker in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, and earned a Masters in Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto. He has performed at the Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound, ON), the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival and many others throughout North America appearing with notable musicians such as jazz pianist Gene DiNovi, genre-bending violinist Mark Fewer, and jazz vocalist/pianist Laila Biali. He performs regularly with psychedelic Brazilian rock band Os Tropies, reggae band The Human Rights, and Brazilian singer-songwriter Bruno Capinan.
Graham has composed and arranged for big band, string quartet, symphony orchestra and chamber ensembles of all sizes. He is an artistic producer for Spectrum Music, a composers’ collective that creates and presents new works that fuse classical, jazz, pop and world music. Many of his original compositions are featured on As You Near Me, a collaboration with clarinettist and father James Campbell released in 2013 on Marquis Classics. Graham is passionate about music education, bringing music to public schools with organizations such as Strings Across The Sky, The Colours Of Music Festival and the Festival of the Sound. He bikes around town – rain or shine – teaching private guitar and piano lessons.
Graham Campbell gave acclaimed concerts on STI’s Majestic Rhine Cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich in 2019. We look forward to his next tour with STI!
Artist’s website: http://www.grahamcampbell.ca
Before joining Early Music Vancouver as Executive Director at the beginning of the 2013 season, Matthew White gained international acclaim as one of Canada’s leading countertenors. His operatic engagements included work with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Toronto’s Opera Atelier, Collegium Vocale Ghent, Le Concert Spirituel, Nederlands Bach Vereniging, Le Concert D’Astrée, Tafelmusik, Les Violons du Roy, Ensemble Arion, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Palatino, Oregon Bach Festival, San Francisco Symphony and Toronto Symphony.
Prior to Early Music Vancouver, Matthew White was Executive Director of Pacific MusicWorks in Seattle. He continues to consult for the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.
He is both a Juno and Grammy-nominated artist who has recorded for Analekta, Atma, Channel Classics, CBC records, ASV, BIS, Naxos, Glossa and Harmonia Mundi.
In May 2018, Matthew White joined Special Travel International’s first cruise on the Elbe from Prague through Berlin, travelling through the heartland of J.S. Bach, and in the crucible of early music in central Europe. We look forward to his next tour with STI!
Artist’s website: www.earlymusic.bc.ca/about/staff/
Conductor and harpsichordist Alexander Weimann is Music Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. Born in 1965 in Munich, he studied the organ, church music, musicology, theatre, medieval Latin and jazz piano and has travelled the world with ensembles such as Tragicomedia, Cantus Cölln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik.
Increasingly in demand as a guest conductor, Weimann has conducted Les Violons du Roy, the Arion Baroque Orchestra, Mercury Baroque, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Victoria Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia.
With an impressive discography of over 100 recordings, his latest album, Prima Donna, with soprano Karina Gauvin, was awarded a 2013 Juno.
In May 2018, Alexander Weimann joined Special Travel International’s first cruise on the Elbe from Prague through Berlin, travelling through the heartland of J.S. Bach, and in the crucible of early music in central Europe. Together with Chloe Meyers and Nate Helgeson, Alexander Weimann performed music from Bohemia, the legendary court chapel in Dresden, the land of Martin Luther, and from the world of Bach, Telemann and Handel. We look forward to his next tour with STI!
Artist’s website: www.alexanderweimann.com
Mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, renowned as the voice of classical music on CBC Radio II, is equally at home as singer and actress on opera stages, with orchestras and at major festivals. She captivates audiences with her engaging personality and her rich and deeply expressive voice. She is regularly engaged by leading opera companies, symphonies, festivals and chamber music ensembles across North America and around the world.
Miss Nesrallah sang God Save the Queen for His Royal Highness Prince William and Her Royal Highness Princess Kate during Canada Day festivities in Ottawa on Parliament Hill in a performance that was viewed by millions of people around the world. She has also performed An Evening for Peace in Montreal for Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan.
Julie Nesrallah is the Executive Producer and star of ‘Carmen on Tap’, a company she created that performs Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen as dinner theatre. ‘Carmen on Tap’ debuted at the Stratford Music Festival and has also been performed at Lula Lounge in Toronto, and in the Prince Edward County Music Festival.
Miss Nesrallah is the proud recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her cultural contribution to Canada as a singer and as the host of CBC Radio 2’s national classical music program, ‘Tempo’.
Julie Nesrallah delighted travellers onboard our Classical Music Cruise on the Douro in Portugal and Spain in 2017. We look forward to her next tour with STI!
Artist’s website: www.julienesrallah.com
Violinist Chloe Meyers is concertmaster of Vancouver’s Pacific Baroque Orchestra, as she has recently made her home in the Pacific Northwest. In pursuit of her professional studies at both the University of Victoria and McGill University in Montreal, she was introduced to and fell in love with, the baroque violin.
Chloe has regularly played principal second with Montreal’s Arion Baroque Orchestra and has recently been an invited guest soloist with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and Pacific MusicWorks. Chloe has performed with, among others, Les Violons du Roy, Tafelmusik, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Les Boréades, the Theatre of Early Music and Les Idées Heureuses.
In May 2018, Chloe Meyers joined Special Travel International’s first cruise on the Elbe from Prague through Berlin, travelling through the heartland of J.S. Bach, and in the crucible of early music in central Europe. Together with Alexander Weimann and Nate Helgeson, Chloe Meyers performed music from Bohemia, the legendary court chapel in Dresden, the land of Martin Luther, and from the world of Bach, Telemann and Handel. We look forward to her next tour with STI!
Nate Helgeson is principal bassoon of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, the Seattle and Portland Baroque Orchestras, and Mercury Baroque in Houston.
He performs frequently throughout Canada and the U.S. on modern and historical instruments. He has performed with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic and as a soloist both in the U.S. and in Switzerland.
A native of Eugene, Oregon, Nate holds degrees from the University of Oregon and the New England Conservatory of Music and is a recent graduate of the Historical Performance program at the Juilliard School.
In May 2018, Nate Helgeson joined Special Travel International’s first cruise on the Elbe from Prague through Berlin, travelling through the heartland of J.S. Bach, and in the crucible of early music in central Europe. Together with Alexander Weimann and Chloe Meyers, Nate Helgeson performed music from Bohemia, the legendary court chapel in Dresden, the land of Martin Luther, and from the world of Bach, Telemann and Handel. We look forward to his next tour with STI!