Musician bios

We play the music we love. We hope you will love it too. It's that simple.

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Rezan Onen-Lapointe
 

After falling in love with Baroque violin during her Masters degree at McGill University, studying with Hélène Plouffe, Rezan completed a year of advanced studies in early music at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, Netherlands, where she studied with Ryo Terakado. In addition to her work in Baroque music, Rezan has been forging a new path in the performance of late Classical and early Romantic repertoire with the new conductorless period orchestra Les Vents Atlantiques (Netherlands), with whom she has served as both concertmaster and principal viola. In demand as a freelance violinist in Toronto, she has also recently performed a concert series in Mexico, performed in the Utrecht Early Music Festival, and toured to Italy and Newfoundland with Aradia Ensemble (Toronto), with whom she plays regularly, and has recorded two cd's including the JUNO nominated "Vivaldi's Sacred Music: Vol. 4" Always interested in exploring new musical styles, Rezan plays frequently with the Canadian Arabic Orchestra.

David Podgorski
 

David began his music training on the piano, at the age of five, and studied music in elementary and high school at St. Michael's Choir School in downtown Toronto. After completing a Bachelor's degree at McGill University under the pianist Tom Plaunt, he studied harpsichord with Hank Knox, obtaining a Master's degree in 2005. As a harpsichordist in Montreal, David had the opportunity to work with many exceptional musicians, including Hélène Plouffe, David Greenberg, Matthias Maute, and Luc Beauséjour. In the Netherlands, David studied harpsichord at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague, working with Jacques Ogg and Patrick Ayrton, among others. David continues to perform regularly both as a soloist and collaborator, and has performed in concerts in Boston, Montreal, Toronto, and San Francisco as well as in Italy, France and the Netherlands. He is particularly known for his innovative “salon” style concerts, incorporating both musical performances and historical discussions. David is an accomplished soloist, giving recitals in Toronto and Montreal. David was the Early Music columnist for Whole Note magazine, and currently writes early music articles and reviews for Ludwig Van Toronto. Check out David's Soundcloud for more recordings.

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Benjamin Stein 

Benjamin Stein is a multi-instrumentalist and singer based in the Toronto area. An experienced performer and teacher, Benjamin has a rare breadth of musical knowledge from widely different stylistic areas. Skilled and comfortable with both popular music and Western classical composition, his ability to improvise, shape and interpret serves him in music ranging from English lutesong and Italian monody to jazz standards, folk music and blues. Benjamin has worked as a singer or instrumentalist for Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir, Opera Atelier, Toronto Consort, Toronto Mendelssohn choir, Elora Festival Singers, Nathaniel Dett Chorale and Toronto Masque Theatre. Festival appearances include the Elora Festival and the Festival of the Sound. Benjamin received a Bachelor of Music from McGill University, with a major in voice and guitar. He received a Master’s Degree in Musicology and Theory from the University of Toronto, and is currently pursuing a doctorate exploring how music theory and improvisation was taught historically.

Erika Nielsen
 

Cellist Erika Nielsen enjoys a dynamic, multi-faceted career as a collaborative artist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and educator, spanning Baroque and Classical to New Music and contemporary genres. She has had the privilege of performing with Kanye West and Johnny Reid, and is a 2018 Dora Award nominee for her 2017 performance in Onegin produced by The Musical Stage Company in Toronto and at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa.
As a Baroque cellist Erika has performed frequently with Rezonance Baroque Ensemble and Musicians on the Edge. She has twice been a fellow of the Tafelmusik Baroque Institute with Christina Mahler, and studied with Elinor Frey in Lunenburg, NS.
Erika was Principal Cellist of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra from 2011-13, and performs with orchestras across Ontario, as well as with Classic Albums Live, Motown band THE BIG SOUND, and throughout the USA with ELO tribute Strange Magic. She has appeared on albums by artists such as Jennifer Castle, The Weather Station, The Trews, and JUNO-nominated album by Splash ’n Boots. Erika completed her studies at Queen’s University, and at the Glenn Gould School with David Hetherington, as well as festivals such as the Banff Centre and Toronto Summer Music Festival. Erika is on faculty at National Music Camp of Canada and is also a visual artist and author. Her first book Sound Mind was published in 2019. www.celloerika.com @celloerika #cellistartistwriter

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