Judith Yan, conductor

Equally adept at conducting symphony, opera, and ballet, Judith Yan’s career has taken her internationally, conducting for major companies in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. She has held Staff Conductor positions at San Francisco OperaCanadian Opera Company, and National Ballet of Canada.

Her recent debuts were celebrated with critical acclaim: “In her Vancouver Opera debut, Canadian Conductor Judith Yan really shone in the pit, bringing extraordinarily lyrical and expressive playing from the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.” (Vancouver Opera, La Boheme, Opera Canada 2018). “Under the direction of Canadian conductor Judith Yan, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra is simply wonderful.” (West Australian Ballet, Don Quixote, Greg Ross, 2018). “Judith Yan, her Seattle Opera debut, conducted the orchestra with vigour and deep sympathy for the score.” (Seattle Opera, An American Dream, Classical Voice America, 2017). “Under the baton of Judith Yan, the music just came to life.” (Kentucky OperaOrfeo​, Arts-Louisville Reviews). “The Edmonton Symphony played splendidly under Judith Yan…coaxed many vivid, dramatically transparent moments from the players.” (Edmonton OperaLa Traviata, Opera Canada 2019).

While with the San Francisco Opera, she served as Staff Conductor, assistant to Maestro Sir Donald Runnicles, where her performances of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress for San Francisco Opera was included in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top Ten Classical Performances of the Year. Prior to San Francisco Opera, she served as the first Conductor-in-Residence of the Canadian Opera Company, where she made her debut with Britten’s Rape of Lucretia. As the Principal Conductor of Opera on the Avalon since 2010, she has lead numerous productions including Ours, Shawnadithit, Tosca, La Boheme, Tosca, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, La Traviata, Albert Herring, and Dead Man Walking.

As a conductor of symphony, she served as the Artistic Director of Guelph Symphony Orchestra for 8 seasons, where she expanded the orchestra’s symphonic and operatic repertoire with works by composers Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Philip Glass, Francis Poulenc, Leonard Bernstein. Along with new works and premieres, she added operatic repertoire by Puccini, Verdi, Strauss, Humperdinck, and created the unique Triple-Feature “Symphony, Opera, and Ballet” Gala. As a guest conductor, she has collaborated with orchestras such as Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand, Hong Kong PhilharmonicManitoba Chamber Orchestra and Saskatoon Symphony.

As a conductor of ballet, she has conducted over 90 performances at the Four Season’s Centre for the National Ballet of Canada, working with the world’s foremost choreographers including John Neumeier, Ronald Hynd, and James Kuldelka. With National Ballet of Canada and as a guest internationally, she has conducted the ballets of Balanchine, Cranko, Aldous, Bart, Harvey, Kiliàn, Lander, Stowell, Wright, and Grigorovich. Since 2010, she has had a close association with several ballet companies, including Hong Kong Ballet, conducting the company’s production of Swan Lake as well as premiering four of the company’s productions: Cynthia Harvey’s Sleeping Beauty, Terence Kohler’s The Nutcracker, Nina Ananiashvili’s Don Quixote, and the Asian world-premiere of Anna-Marie Holme’s Le Corsaire. She conducted the Polish premiere of Cranko’s ​The Taming of the Shrew in 2015 for Polish National Ballet, at Teatr Wielki in Warsaw.

In 2014, she made her Seoul conducting debut with Korean National Ballet, conducting the Korean Symphony in Yury Grigorovich’s La Bayadère, returning in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019 to conduct Patrice Bart’s Giselle, Grigorovich’s Swan Lake, and a revival of La Bayadère. She made her Australian conducting debut in 2017 with West Australian Ballet, conducting the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Lucette Aldous’s Don Quixote, returning in 2018 for the world-premiere of Krzysztof Pastor’s Dracula and 2019 for Greg Horsman’s La Bayadère.

Recent performances include 3 critically acclaimed world-premieres: Jack Perla’s An American Dream for Seattle Opera and John Estacio’s Ours for Opera on the Avalon, Krzysztof Pastor’s Dracula for West Australian Ballet, company debuts with National Arts Centre Orchestra for Cynthia Harvey’s Sleeping BeautyTeatr Wielki in Warsaw for the Polish premiere of Cranko’s The Taming of the ShrewWest Australian Ballet and West Australian Symphony for Lucette Aldous’s Don Quixote, and Yury Grigorovich’s La Bayadère for Korean National Ballet and Korean Symphony.

2018/19 season included Vancouver Opera for La Boheme and Edmonton Opera for La Traviata, the season-opening gala concert for the Elora Festival, a revival of the opera Ours at Opera on the AvalonDvorak’s Symphony No. 8 and Beethoven’s Mass in C with Guelph Symphony Orchestra, productions of Greg Horsman’s La Bayadère and the world-première of Krzysztof Pastor’s Dracula for West Australian Ballet.

​For 2019/20, she opened both Korean National Ballet’s season with Yury Grigorovich’s Swan Lake, and Edmonton Opera’s with Verdi’s Rigoletto, ​Sleeping Beauty ​with West Australian Ballet, and concerts with Guelph Symphony Orchestra.

During the pandemic seasons of 2020/21 and 2021/22, she travelled to Hong Kong Ballet for a production of Don Quixote, made her debut with Saskatoon Symphony in programme of Sibelius, Copland, and Bernstein, and conducted a concert with Opera on the Avalon and Newfoundland Symphony. In 2021/22, she made her debut with Kentucky Opera with Orfeo, and returned to Saskatoon Symphony with a programme of Franklin and Tchaikovsky.

This 2022/23 season includes productions with Opera Omaha for Suor AngelicaNew Orleans Opera for a new production of Madama ButterflyOpera on the Avalon for Jake Heggie’s Three DecembersSan Francisco Opera (Merola) for The Rape of Lucretia, continues her collaboration with Saskatoon Symphony, opening its 92nd season with a Canadian premiere of Gipps’s Symphony No. 2, Forsyth’s Viola Concerto, and a world-premiere SSO commission of Canadian composer, Christos Hatzis. She returns to Saskatoon in November for a programme of De Falla and Ravel, and again in 2023 for a concert of Copland and Wagner.

Also in the 22/23 season is the much anticipated world-premiere of Laura Kaminsky and Lisa Moore’s February for Opera on the Avalon.

Judith is fluent in English and Cantonese. She is a Canadian citizen and American Resident, eligible to work in USA, Canada, and Hong Kong.

https://judithyan.com/

Véronique Mathieu, violin

Described as a violinist with ‘chops to burn, and rock solid musicianship’ (The Whole Note, TORONTO), Canadian violinist Véronique Mathieu enjoys an exciting career as a soloist, chamber musician, and music educator. Recent engagements have taken her throughout Europe and Asia, and she continues to work extensively with composers. Her CD ARGOT was recently featured on a BBC series dedicated to the music of Lutoslawski, and receives frequent airplay in the US. Recent highlights include the Canadian premiere of Marc-André Dalbavie’s violin concerto with Esprit Orchestra, a performance of John Corigliano’s Chaconne during the composer’s 80th birthday celebrations, the release of a second CD with pianist Stephanie Chua, and numerous recitals throughout North America.

Véronique has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Asia, Europe, South Africa, South America, and the United States. She is a prizewinner of the 2012 Eckhardt-Gramatté Contemporary Music Competition, the 2010 Krakow International Contemporary Music Competition, and a three-time winner of the Canada Council Bank of Instruments Competition. Ms. Mathieu holds the David L. Kaplan Chair in Music at the University of Saskatchewan where she serves as an Associate Professor of Violin. She previously served on the faculty at the University of Kansas and State University of New York, in Buffalo.

An avid contemporary music performer, she has commissioned and premiered numerous works by American, Brazilian, and Canadian composers, and has worked with composers such as Pierre Boulez, Heinz Holliger, and Krzysztof Penderecki. She recorded for the CD series New Music at Indiana University, the label of Radio-Canada, Centrediscs, PARMA, Naxos, and Pheromone. Current projects include the commission of a large-scale solo violin work by Odawa First Nations composer Barbara Croall and a set of 12 pedagogical pieces written in collaboration with 12 internationally renowned composers with the support of the SSHRC and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Véronique has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Shenyang Symphony Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, Oakville Symphony Orchestra, the Filarmonica de Americana, Kokomo Symphony, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and the Montreal Contemporary Ensemble. She has given solo performances in China, Georgia, Italy, Vietnam, as well as world premieres of works by Brian Harman and Adam Scime. Her CD debut of solo works by Boulez, Donatoni, and Lutoslawski was praised as a recording of “outstanding violin playing” and “stunning [performance] with amazing technique”. Following the release of her 3rd solo CD (Cortège), she was a finalist in the Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year category at the 2021 Western Canadian Music Awards.

In addition to her teaching and performing activities, Véronique is the co-founder and artistic director of NAVO (www.navoarts.com), a non-for-profit arts organization dedicated to bringing world-class performances to the Midwest.

Véronique won many prizes in Canada before completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Music at the Québec Conservatory. She obtained an Artist Diploma with outstanding achievement in violin performance from McGill University as a student of Denise Lupien, where was a recipient of the Ethel J. Ivey Award, and the Lloyd Carr Harris Scholarship. Mathieu completed a Performer Diploma and a Master’s Degree in music at Indiana University with professor Miriam Fried while working as an Associate Instructor in violin. She also completed a Doctor of music degree in violin performance at the same institution under the guidance of Mark Kaplan, and was a fellow at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto.

https://www.veroniquemathieu.net/

Erin Brophey, English horn

Erin Brophey is currently the Principal Oboe of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. Previously, Erin held the position of section oboe and English horn with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for eight seasons. Erin is also an active freelance musician and has performed with many Canadian orchestras, including the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra and the Elora Festival Orchestra. 

In 2000, Erin received her Honours Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied with James Mason. She completed her Master of Music degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania under the tutelage of Cynthia Koledo de Almeida in 2002.

As a chamber musician, Erin has performed in many summer festivals nation-wide including Festival of the Sound, West Ben Festival, Elora Festival, Stratford Music Festival, Tafelmusik Summer Baroque Institute, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, L’Orchestre de la Francophonie and the National Academy Orchestra. Recently, Erin performed at the Ritornello Festival with the Gryphon Trio.

Erin Brophey is a sessional lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan and is the Woodwind Coach for the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra. In Saskatoon, Erin co-directs a community double-reed band called Squawk, is active in new music programming and also teaches a private oboe studio. In addition, Erin is on faculty at the Inter-Provincial Music Camp in Parry Sound, Ontario.

Erin is the Director of a unique online oboe education program called the Oboe Path.

https://www.erinbrophey.com/