Ensemble Made In Canada is rapidly gaining recognition as Canada’s premier piano quartet. Awarded the 2006 CBC Galaxie Stars Award from the Banff Centre for the Arts, EMIC was featured in 2008 Chatelaine Magazine’s 80th anniversary issue as “Women to Watch” and an ensemble that is leading the next generation of classical musicians. The members of the group have been forging outstanding individual careers and bring together a wealth of experience having already appeared at prestigious festivals such as Marlboro, Ravinia, Orford, Verbier, Prussia Cove, Pablo Casals and Evian. EMIC has performed for Winnipeg Virtuosi, Montreal Pro Musica, SUNY New Paltz, Stratford Music Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, Parry Sound Festival of the Sound, Jeffery Chamber Music Series, Lindsay Concert Productions, Almonte in Concert, Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, Kawartha Concerts, including multiple work cycles for the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Soceity. EMIC has provided master classes, chamber music coachings, and lectures at universities across Canada and in the United States and have also participated in outreach programs for public schools in Ontario. The group is grateful for support from FACTOR, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. EMIC has been Ensemble-in-Residence at Western University since 2014.
ANGELA PARK, piano
Pianist Angela Park has established herself as one of Canada’s most sought-after pianists. Praised for her “stunningly beautiful pianism” (Grace Welsh Prize, Chicago), “beautiful tone and sensitivity” (American Record Guide), and for performing “with such brilliant clarity it took your breath away” (Chapala, Mexico), Angela’s versatility as both soloist and chamber musician has led to continued success in performances across Canada, as well as in the United States, Europe, Japan and Mexico. Angela has performed for such noted series as Montreal’s Pro Musica, Ottawa Chamberfest, Parry Sound’s Festival of the Sound, Winnipeg Virtuosi, Debut Atlantic and Prairie Debut Tours, CBC Onstage, Orchestra London Canada, Sinfonia Toronto, Stratford Symphony, and the Northern Lights Music Festival in Mexico. Angela has recorded with oboist Linda Strommen, cellist Rachel Mercer, and with Ensemble Made In Canada, in addition to recording various projects for the Enharmonic label in Bloomington, Indiana. Angela has won numerous awards and prizes in major competitions both at home and abroad, including the International Grace Welsh Prize for Piano in Chicago, World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Canadian National Music Festival, Honens International Piano Competition, and the Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona. She earned her MMus at the University of Toronto, and her DMA in Piano Performance from the Université de Montréal. From 2011-2014, Angela was Visiting Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano-Woodwinds at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. She has given masterclasses and educational outreach sessions for universities and communities across Canada, as well as at SUNY New Paltz, Stanford, and Indiana University in the United States. Angela currently resides in Toronto, Canada. Visit Angela Park’s website
ELISSA LEE, violin
Winner of the 23rd Eckhardt-Gramatté Strings Competition, Elissa Lee has appeared as a soloist with top orchestras across Canada. She has held positions as second concertmaster in both the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestraand the WDR Sinfonie Orchester. Now enjoying a busy freelance career, Elissa tours frequently the greatest concerts halls and festivals in Europe. She has performed as Concertmaster with the Rundfunk Orchester München, the Swedish Radio Orchestra, the KlangVerwaltung Orchestra in Munich, and Festival Strings Luzern, and in leading positions with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Luxembourg Philhamonic and the Canadian Opera Company. She has also been a guest of world renowned Chamber of Orchestra of Europe, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and has worked under the baton of Claudio Abaddo, Simon Rattle, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bernard Haitink and Daniel Harding. As a chamber musician she has performed with Louie Lortie, Augustin Dumay, Anton Kuerti, Pascal Devoyon, Kevin Fitzgerald, Lawrence Lesser, and Shauna Rolston and has been a frequent participant of Open Chamber Music in Prussia Cove, England. Elissa Lee joined Ensemble Made In Canada in 2010, which performs concerts and tours throughout Canada and the United States.
Visit Elissa Lee’s website
SHARON WEI, viola
Sharon Wei is a dynamic and varied musician, establishing herself as one of the most respected violists on the scene today. She has appeared as soloist, chamber musician, and guest principal violist throughout North America and Europe. She has collaborated with conductors such as James Levine, Kent Nagano, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, and Yuri Termirkanov; Sharon has also shared the stage with Lynn Harrell, Gary Hoffman, Lawrence Lesser, Peter Frankl, Joseph Silverstein, Jonathan Crow, Mark Fewer, Joel Quarrington, James Campbell, James Sommerville and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. In 2006, Sharon and pianist Angela Park co-founded Ensemble Made in Canada, which includes violinist Elissa Lee and cellist Rachel Mercer. Ensemble Made in Canada performs in various configurations: sonatas, duos, and quartet repertoire. The group has commissioned and premiered works by American composer John B. Hedges and Canadian composers John Burge and Christopher Mayo. Upcoming commissions include works by Canadian composers David Myska and Omar Daniel. EMIC begins as Ensemble-in-Residence at Western University in London, Ontario, starting September 2014. Independently of EMIC, Sharon’s other commissions include a work by American composer Harold Meltzer, who wrote a double concerto for Sharon and violinist Scott St. John. Sharon has given masterclasses throughout China, the US, and Canada. She was on the faculty at Yale University and Stanford University and began her appointment as Assistant Professor of Viola at Western University in 2014. Sharon created a course for performance majors in which students learn important off-stage initiatives such as networking, grant writing, website design, and managing finances. Rare time away from the viola is spent on Bikram yoga (done in 12 cities and counting), hiking, playing Settlers of Catan, and seeking out macaron shops. Visit Sharon Wei’s website
RACHEL MERCER, cello
Described as a “pure chamber musician” (Globe and Mail) creating “moments of pure magic” (Toronto Star), Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across five continents. Grand prize winner of the 2001 Vriendenkrans Competition in Amsterdam, Rachel is cellist of Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, the AYR Trio, and is Artistic Director of the “5 at the First” Chamber Music Series in Hamilton. She has appeared as guest principal cello with the Canadian Opera Company, National Arts Centre, Group of 27 and Munich Chamber orchestras, and joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as Associate Principal Cello in January 2016, winning the Principal chair in 2017. Rachel has given masterclasses across North America, South Africa and in Israel and is currently Artist-in-Residence at Western University in London ON. An advocate for new Canadian music, Rachel has commissioned and premiered works including a cello concerto by Kevin Lau, solo work by Andrew Downing and chamber music by Abigail Richardson-Schulte, William Rowson, John Burge and Omar Daniel. Rachel can be heard on the Naxos, Naxos Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, Dalia Classics and EnT-T record labels, and released a critically acclaimed album of the Bach Suites on Pipistrelle in March 2014, recorded on the 1696 Bonjour Stradivarius Cello from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. Winner in the 2015 Canada Council Instrument Bank competition, Rachel is grateful to have been awarded the 1730 Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello until August 2018. Visit Rachel Mercer’s website