Alissa Cheung, violin
“...classical music without pretence...” is Alissa Cheung’s approach to her multi-faceted career. A native of Edmonton, AB, violinist and composer, Alissa (BSc ’07, BMus ’09, MM ’13) is now based in Montreal, QC as a member of Quatuor Bozzini (link). Ms. Cheung's solo and chamber performances have taken her throughout Canada, USA, Europe and Japan, and she has been featured in the Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun, CBC Radio (Canada), CKUA Radio (Edmonton), and WPKN Radio (Bridgeport, CT).
An adamant interpreter of new music, Alissa was an Artist in Residence at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival (2011) in North Adams, MA, at the Weill Institute 21st-Century American Contemporary Ensemble Workshop at Carnegie Hall (2013), and at the Lucerne Festival Academy (2013).
As a composer, her works have been performed at the C'mon Festival (Edmonton), Conservatoire de musique de Montreal, Centre d'arts Orford, Jordan Hall (Boston), Morse Recital Hall (New Haven, CT), and Kunstkeramik (Lucerne, Switzerland). Ms. Cheung studied composition privately with Hannah Lash (Yale) and Piotr Grella-Mozejko (Edmonton).
In addition to private teaching, Ms. Cheung has been Sessional Instructor at King’s University College and faculty member of the Alberta College Conservatory of Music. She is also a passionate leader in educational initiatives such as the ESO’s Adopt-a-Player Program and with the National Arts Centre’s Music Alive Program.
From 2010-14, Ms. Cheung was a tenured member of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO, Violin I) as a testament to her educational experiences with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2001, 2002), the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (2008), and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra (2010).
Ms. Cheung’s principal violin teachers were Marian Moody, Ranald Shean, Broderyck Olson (Edmonton), Thomas Williams (McGill), and Ani Kavafian (Yale). Other influential coaches include Malcolm Lowe, Mark Fewer, Rafael Rosenfeld, Kyoko Hashimoto, Mark Gothoni and members of the Tokyo, Juilliard, and Concord Quartets. She is also a grateful recipient of financial support from the Anne Burrows Music Foundation, the Yale School of Music, the Stuart Walker Fund, the Edmonton Community Foundation Winspear Fund, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Schulich School of Music, and the Williamson Foundation for Music for her musical studies.
Ruby Jin, piano
Conveying emotional sensitivity and dramatic flair, Ruby Jin’s performance has been hailed as “free and affluent...showcasing Jin’s outstanding technical capabilities and musical expression.” As a recitalist and chamber musician, Ms. Jin performs regularly in Canada and her native country, China, and has recently appeared in various musical scenes in US, Germany, Austria, France, UK, and Switzerland. Currently based in Ottawa, Ms. Jin is in demand as an accompanist, collaborating with local instrumentalists and singers.
Ruby Jin began her music training in China at age 5. In 2003, Ms. Jin entered the University of Ottawa on full scholarship, where she received her Master of Music under the tutelage of Stephane Lemelin. A recipient of J. W. McConnell Memorial Fellowship, Ms. Jin graduated in 2012 with her Doctor of Music degree in piano performance from McGill University, where she studied with Richard Raymond, Kyoko Hashimoto, and Sara Laimon. She has also worked with internationally acclaimed pedagogues, such as Anton Kuerti, Philippe Entremont, John Perry, and Lee Kum-Sing.
In addition to performance, Ruby Jin has shown keen interest in music research. Her doctoral dissertation “Fugues in Four Twentieth-Century Multi-Movement Piano Sonatas: An Analytical Study from a Performer’s Perspective” is highly praised by the McGill Doctoral Committee as “a contribution (that) will no doubt be beneficial to those who engage with her work.” She presented her research projects at graduate seminars and symposium, and was invited by the McGill Wind Symphony to give a pre-concert talk on Hindemith’s compositions.
Ruby Jin devotes herself to educational endeavours. She held a position of Piano Instructor at McGill during her doctoral residency. Based on her teaching and learning experiences and multicultural background, her article on a comparison between piano education in Canada and China has been published in one of the major music journals in China, "Chinese Music" (Feb. 09). Ms. Jin currently maintains a teaching studio in Ottawa, sharing her musical passion and knowledge with a group of young pianists.