Allison Miller, flute

Allison Miller, Saskatoon-born flutist, is thrilled to have joined the SSO in 2019. Having received tenure in 2020, Allison now holds the Randi Nelson Chair of Principal Flute with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. In her short time with the SSO, Allison has been a highly featured musician, regularly presenting concerti and solo works for flute and orchestra. These works include Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti numbers 2 and 5, Vivaldi’s Concerto in F Major, Devienne’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and Sommers’ Picasso Suite.

Allison is thrilled to appear as guest soloist for the premier of Up to Her Waist in Lupins by Canadian Composer Christos Hatzis. This featured performance is scheduled for Fall 2022 in memory of the SSO’s beloved Principal Flute Emerita, Randi Nelson.

Allison completed a Diploma in Music at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, studying with Richard Volet. She went on to complete both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music, specializing in Music Performance, at the University of Ottawa, studying with Camille Churchfield.

Allison has appeared numerous times as both a flutist and piccoloist across Canada, including consistent appearances with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra since 2017. Allison was invited to participate in the 2022 Beethoven Festival under the baton of international conductor, Maestro Christian Kluxen. Throughout this festival, Allison performed in all 9 Beethoven symphonies, including sitting as guest principal for the celebratory 9th symphony.

Allison is the Sessional Lecturer in Flute at the University of Saskatchewan, Department of Music. Allison has also served as a Woodwind Sectional Instructor for the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra and frequently presents guest master classes for the Saskatchewan Band Association. In her teaching, Allison encourages both physical and mental health, a sense of community rather than competition, and a focused and efficient method of practice. Allison has been recognized for her passion and dedication to teaching, for which she has received the RCM Gold Medal award as a distinguished flute teacher. Her students perform at local festivals and have been accepted to artistic schools such as Ottawa’s Canterbury High School. They have performed in Canada’s many musical venues, including Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. Outside of the U of S, Allison maintains a private studio of highly advanced high school students.

Allison strongly believes that orchestral musicians should be active in their orchestral community off the stage as well as on it. To this end, she is an active member on numerous orchestral committees, including the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, the Players Committee, and the Code of Conduct Committee.

Allison is a three-time NYO Canada alum and has participated in international tours to Portugal, Germany, and Scotland, as well as the Canadian Edges of Canada coast-to-coast tour. Allison spent three summers studying with William Bennet (WIBB) and Lorna McGhee at the PIFR international festival, off the coast of Vancouver. She has also attended the Domaine Forget International Music Academy and the Orford Music Academy.

Allison has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, receiving The Payne-Lyon Prize for Excellence in Flute from NYO Canada, and the top flutist award at the National Music Festival. Allison has been heard on CBC and BBC Radio broadcasts as Principal Flute of NYO Canada. Allison can be seen in NYO Canada’s recent documentary, That Higher Level, produced by Johnny Spence Bolton, documenting the Edges of Canada tour in 2017.

Ryan Davis, viola

Praised by The WholeNote as “showcasing multitudes of colours and possibilities, with much skill and imagination,” Radia, the moniker for Saskatchewan-raised artist Ryan Davis, is swiftly emerging as a singular creative force. Combining his rigorous classical training with the inspiration of folk, electronic, and hip-hop music, he finds himself seamlessly blending in between creative spaces. Using the viola as his voice, his unique sound has garnered attention and has been featured in diverse spaces, including in Toronto’s Koerner Hall, The Violin Channel, in Los Angeles’s Skid Row, and on ABC Channel 7 News LA. Of Glow & Abandon, his debut EP, was released on all major platforms on December 18th, 2021. He was named one of “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” by CBC Music in 2021.

Ryan will be a featured solo artist with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra throughout their 2022-2023 season: a concerto performance on opening night, September 24th; as well as premiering an original work for viola, electronics, and the SSO musicians on April 2nd. He will also be joining The Gryphon Trio for featured performances in Halifax and Vancouver in 2023.

Some recent highlights include an appearance on former Toronto Raptors forward and NBA Champion Serge Ibaka’s Instagram Live show How Talented Are You?, a performance with The Gryphon Trio and vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan as a featured guest artist in Kingston’s Isabel Bader Theatre, a solo curation called Chromatophores as part of the Banff Centre’s Evolution Classical festival, and a performance of Christos Hatzis’s The Mega4 Meta4 as an invited solo artist as part of 21C Music Festival at The Royal Conservatory of Music. Ryan was chosen as the principal violist of the string ensemble Les Jeunes Virtuoses in Montreal, as part of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival in the fall of 2021.

He had a solo concerto debut with ensemble Prairie Virtuosi in January 2016, and has since returned in that role in 2020. Mr. Davis was the principal violist of the Colburn Orchestra’s 2018 tour of Scotland and Ireland, and was selected by the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra as their principal violist for the 2017 summer festival. He has been fortunate to collaborate in chamber music settings with many world-renowned musicians, including Martin Beaver, Jonathan Crow, Steven Dann, Roberto Diaz, Mark Fewer, Matt Haimovitz, Charles-Richard Hamelin, Barbara Hannigan, Ernst Kovacic, Joel Link, Anthony Marwood, Johannes Moser, Eric Nowlin, Erika Raum, Wolfgang Redik, Lara St. John, Axel Strauss, and Time For Three. Festivals include the Banff Centre for the Arts, BigLake Arts, Creative Dialogue France, Orford Arts Center, Ottawa Chamberfest, McGill International String Quartet Academy, Napa Valley Music Festival, Ritornello Chamber Music Festival, and the Toronto Summer Music Festival.

Ryan’s passion for community engagement has led to working closely with Street Symphony, focused within the Skid Row neighbourhood of Los Angeles. Along with trombonist Jared Dickerson and violinist Simone Porter, he created the media co-op The Upnote, a platform and podcast focused on the exploration of young artists in an ever-changing music industry. After over 50 episodes, The Upnote was selected as the inaugural Entrepreneurs In Residence at the Colburn School for the 2019-2020 academic year, and were awarded the Grand Prize at the New Venture Competition.

In 2014 Mr. Davis completed a Bachelor of Music degree at McGill University, graduating with “Outstanding Achievement in Viola” as a scholarship student of Andre Roy, and graduated in 2016 with a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music as a student of Ettore Causa, and in 2019 graduated from Los Angeles’s The Colburn School, receiving an Artist Diploma under the tutelage of Paul Coletti. Ryan was then chosen as the first ever violist to be selected as a Rebanks Fellow in 2019, in the Rebanks Family Fellowship & International Performance Residency Program in Toronto, where he now calls home.

https://www.ryandavisviola.com/

Judith Yan, Conductor

Judith Yan 2009

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 Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and National Ballet of Canada.

Her recent debuts were celebrated with critical acclaim: “The Edmonton Symphony played splendidly under Judith Yan…coaxed many vivid, dramatically transparent moments from the players.” (Edmonton Opera, La Traviata, Opera Canada 2019). “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 Opera, Orfeo​, Arts-Louisville Reviews).

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 Philharmonic, Manitoba 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 Beauty, Teatr Wielki in Warsaw for Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew, West 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 Avalon, Dvorak’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.  

2020/21 includes a return to Hong Kong Ballet with Don Quixote, a debut with Saskatoon Symphony in programme of Sibelius, Copland, and Bernsteinand the Canadian premiere of Powder Her Face by Thomas Adés with Opera on the Avalon.

2021/22 includes an outdoor concert with Opera on the Avalon and Newfoundland Symphony, a debut with Kentucky Opera with Orfeo, and a return to Saskatoon Symphony with a programme of Franklin and Tchaikovsky.

2022/23 includes Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers with Opera on the Avalon, a debut with Opera Omaha with Suor AngelicaMadama Butterfly with New Orleans Opera, and a return to Saskatoon Symphony for 3 programmes, opening its 92nd season with a Canadian premiere of Gipps’s Symphony No. 2, Forsyth’s Viola Concerto, and a world-premiere of an SSO commission by Christos Hatzis, followed by two programmes of De Falla and Ravel, and Copland and Wagner.

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/