Robert Holliston studied at the Victoria Conservatory of Music under Robin Wood and Winifred Scott Wood, and at the University of British Columbia under Robert Rogers. As an accompanist and chamber player he has performed throughout Canada and the USA, England and New Zealand, and has been heard frequently on CBC-Radio. He has recorded CDs with the popular salon ensemble Viveza, trombonist Ian McDougall, tenor Ken Lavigne, his brother Tom Holliston, Show Business Giants, and members of the Hornby Island Ensemble. Robert has collaborated with many of Canada’s leading singers, including Richard Margison, Benjamin Butterfield, Judith Forst, Nathalie Paulin, Susan (…)
Kristine started her piano career at the age of six, continuing though high school, and then attended the University of Calgary under Dr. Boris Roubakine. Transferred to the UVic studying with Dr. Robin Wood, where she received her performance degree.
Presently, Kristine is a Keyboard Faculty member at he Victoria Conservatory of Music, and is also teaching on campus at St. Margaret’s Girls School. She is in demand as an accompanist for Music Festivals and RCM Exams, and has a full studio of students whom she continues to inspire and motivate.
Ellen studied piano with Robin Wood at the University of Victoria and Piano Pedagogy with Winifred Wood at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Her studies have also included harpsichord with Eric Schwandt, Colin Tilney, and Doreen Oke. She received Suzuki certification with Merlin Thompson and holds memberships in the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers Association and the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She has collaborated with both singers and instrumentalists at the BC Festival of the Performing Arts and accompanist at MusicFest Canada and the Kathaumixw International Choral Festival. More recently, Ellen assisted the music ministry as pianist for Trinity (…)
As an experienced adjudicator, and member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners, Roger Buksa has judged festivals throughout BC including the lower mainland. His students regularly earn awards in regional and provincial competitions and have been selected to perform as concerto soloists with orchestra. He has also participated in the VCM Summer Piano Academy as a teacher and performer and has performed in several concerts as part of the VCM Presents series, including with classical guitarist Dr. Alexander Dunn, and in an established duo-piano team with Anna Cal. […]
ANNA CAL is trained in the famous tradition of Russian piano schools. She studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg with well-known Russian performers and professors including Vitaly Berzon, Pavel Yegorov and the late Helen Shishko. She holds Master degrees with high distinction in three fields: piano performance, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. After studying in Russia, Anna spent two years in Rome, Italy where she worked as a soloist and a voice coach. Anna is a senior teacher at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where she teaches piano, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. She is Director of Collaborative piano and Interpretation in German Lieder Projects. Anna is a frequent performer in Victoria as a soloist and in collaboration with vocalists and instrumentalists.
Kelly studied with Edward Parker and Robin Wood at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and with Alexander Kelly at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England (postgraduate) on a Vaughn Williams Trust Scholarship. He also studied Piano Pedagogy with Winifred Scott Wood at the VCM. An active performer as recitalist and collaborative pianist in England, France, Germany and Canada, he is also much sought after as an accompanist and vocal coach. Mr. Charlton has also performed for many years in London as conductor and harpsichordist for the acclaimed Renaissance chamber choir ‘The New Friends’ Musick’ which he founded in (…)
Alex Chen is a collaborative pianist and vocal coach whose personal approach and intellectual curiosity bring fresh perspectives on a diverse body of musical works. In the words of mentor John Hess, he is “an immensely musical and sensitive player” with “a deeply inquisitive mind”. Alex has an MMus from the University of Western Ontario […]
Award-winning pianist Rosabel Choi completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at Arizona State University (ASU). An adventurous musician, she collaborates with diverse artists and curates projects that find connections between music of all eras, from traditional to contemporary. Rosabel’s work is constantly in search of creating original and unexpected ways to communicate to audiences as a performer, teacher and arts administrator. During studies in Oberlin and Calgary, she received numerous top awards, including the Dean’s Talent award, Rudolph Serkin scholarship, Austrian-Canadian Mozart Competition, Kiwanis Rose Bowl, University of Calgary Open Scholarship, and the Roslyn McCowan Award. Performing […]
Susan De Burgh
Susan de Burgh teaches the Camosun College Music Program at the Victoria Conservatory. She also teaches in the Community School at the Conservatory of Music and in her home studio, where she specializes in all levels of piano, pedagogy, and theory. Susan studied at the Dartington School of Music in England, privately in Minnesota with Frank Mannheimer, and with Doris Crofton and Robin Wood at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. With her teaching colleague, Dr. Michael Redshaw, she has mentored many young teachers, one of whom received the Royal Conservatory silver medal for the highest mark in intermediate pedagogy examinations (…)
Paloma De La Guerra
Paloma de la Guerra has been teaching at the VCM since in the very early days of its existence, and continues to this day to be an inspiration to the countless students who have learnt piano with her. Paloma received her Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Madrid, Spain. She also studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, with John Weatherseed and Alma Cockburn, and in Victoria with Robin Wood. She has taken specialized Suzuki training in Canada and the United States. Ms. de la Guerra offers instruction in both English and Spanish.
Michael Drislane is an accomplished pianist, and offers piano lessons to students of all ages and levels. Using humour and metaphor, Michael is able to break down complex ideas into ‘ah-ha’ moments. He can take a student from a beginner to an advanced level. Michael has a Masters degree in Piano Performance from UBC, a Bachelors degree in Piano Performance from UVIC, and a Diploma in Piano Performance and Teaching from Camosun College. He studied under Dr. Robin Wood, Cary Chow, and Dr. Sara Buechner, and had masterclasses with Jane Coop and Rena Sharon. Michael also pursued advanced harpsichord studies (…)
Nicholas Fairbank was born in New Westminster, BC. In his school years he studied piano, organ and French horn, later going on to study organ performance and conducting in London (UK) and Paris (France). He holds Associateship diplomas in organ performance from the Royal Conservatory (RCM gold medal 1981) and the RCCO (Willan Prize 1998), and Masters degrees from UCSB (French) and the Université de Paris VIII (musicology). After some composition lessons with Stephen Chatman in the 90s he went on to complete an MMus degree in composition at the University of Victoria under the direction of John Celona. (…)
Recently awarded the designation of “Professor Emeritus of Piano and Music” at Ambrose University in Calgary, Edwin Gnandt has relocated to the beautiful city of Victoria. As of September 2021, he will join the music faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He continues to enjoy a collaborative career in music as pianist, accompanist, author, adjudicator, competition juror, workshop clinician and international speaker. He adjudicates festivals across Canada and recently as a juror for the Canadian Music Competition (CMC), the National Stepping Stone Competition, the Bosendorfer (BC) Piano Competition and the Steinway Junior Competition. In 2022, Mr. Gnandt will be […]
Ingrid received the AVCM Diploma Teacher Award in 1985. She has been a part of the VCM Faculty for the past 30 years. She is recognized by the Glenn Gould Professional School as a teacher with exceptionally talented students. She specializes in preparing young talent for solo and orchestral piano performance. Ingrid’s students have received awards from RCM/VCM examinations, including the Gold Medal for the ARCT Performer’s Diploma; they have won local, provincial and national competitions, CBC Up and Coming and Young Musicians’ Competitions. her students have performed with the Victoria Symphony and other orchestras on many occasions, also in (…)
A graduate from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Music Degree, Rachel Hill also holds a Music Diploma in piano and voice from Douglas College in New Westminster. Her teaching career began at the age of 19 when she was selected for the music teacher apprenticeship program at an established music studio in Surrey, BC. Her established teaching practice includes knowledge of a wide variety of curriculum, individualised to meet the musical preferences of her students which range from classical to contemporary. She endeavours to pass on her enthusiasm and love of music to her students who range from the very young to adults.
Armand Huang-Saberi is a Canadian pianist and piano teacher. His two favourite aspects of music are performing and teaching. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Victoria and a Master’s degree in piano performance from the University of British Columbia. During this time, Armand had the opportunity of studying with internationally acclaimed artists such as Ingrid Henderson, Dr. Jamie Syer, Michelle Mares, Mark Anderson and Rena Sharon. …
Denis Khvatov has been teaching as member of the VCM’s Ann & George Nation Conservatory School of Classical Music Keyboard Faculty since 2018, and teaches at the VCM’s Westhills/Langford location. Born in 1969 in Russia (then USSR), Denis studied at the Gnessins Musical and Pedagogical Institute in Moscow, completing both his Bachelors and Masters degress. Before immigrating to Canada Denis worked as a piano instructor and an accompanist for various music schools in Moscow. Since arriving in Canada, Denis has authored and self-published music books for beginner to advanced pianists. Denis also composes and arranges music for music theater, and […]
Pianist, conductor, and composer Yoomi Kim received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at the University of Cincinnati where she also completed her Master of Music degree in Conducting with choral emphasis. In addition, she had the privilege of working with Dr. Joel Hoffman, composition faculty chair at the University of Cincinnati, for her cognate degree in Composition. Dr. Kim holds her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Montreal respectively. She has studied piano intensively under the tutelage of Dr. Robert McDonald, (…)
May Ling Kwok
May Ling Kwok studied with Robin Wood at the University of Victoria where she received her Bachelor of Music. She continued on to doctoral studies with Gyorgy Sebok at Indiana University, and was awarded the Distinguished Performer’s Certificate. Presently teaching at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the University of Victoria, she is active as a teacher, adjudicator, and concert pianist. Concert tours have taken her to the United States, Mexico, Russia, Western Europe, and Russia. She has appeared as a soloist with the Victoria Symphony, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Moscow Philharmonic, the (…)
Nicole Lavallée studied piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music receiving her AVCM in Performance under Linda Stobbe and her AVCM in Piano Pedagogy with Linda Low and Winifred Scott Wood. She continued her studies at the University of Victoria obtaining her Bachelors with May Ling Kwok and Masters in Music with Bruce Vogt. Nicole is a qualified Kelly Kirby instructor and regularly teaches masterclasses at the VCM. She enjoys teaching students of all ages, performing in the community, and actively works with other indigenous performers and musicologists in Canada in the pursuit of truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
Ed studied with Dr. Robin Wood and Arthur Rowe at UVic and Ann S. Miller at Lewis and Clark College. His master classes include John Perry, Gyorgy Sebok and Menahem Pressler. Mr. LeBarron has won numerous awards both locally and nationally. He has performed as guest soloist with numerous orchestras along the Pacific Northwest. He is an active accompanist, soloist and adjudicator. His students regularly receive high honours and honours with distinctions in RCM exams.
Linda. Low has achieved the Victoria Conservatory of Music/Camosun College Diploma in Music Instruction – Piano Pedagogy and Literature, Keyboard Skills. She studied with Dr. Robin Wood at the University of Victoria and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Ms. Low is a Silver Medalist with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has twice been a National Finalist in the Canadian Music Competition. She was a Guest Soloist with the Victoria Symphony on their West Coast Tour. She is an active adjudicator, examiner, and clinician, as well as a qualified Kelly Kirby piano method instructor.
Jany Lu is a keyboard faculty member at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and she enjoys working with the next generation of musicians to enrich their musical life. While in Toronto, ON, she studied various curriculums and piano methods including Yamaha, Alexander Technique, and workshops with the Alan Fraser Piano Institute. She taught for three music schools including the University of Toronto Piano Pedagogy Program. There she taught group and private lessons using curriculum that she carefully designed. Jany is a Yamaha Certified teacher and has taught group lessons for young children from the age of three to five at a Yamaha School.
Emily Mahbobi is pianist, composer, photographer, and music teacher, born and raised in Victoria, BC. In 2018, Emily became a member of the keyboard faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she offers private lessons to piano students of all ages. In addition to her love of classical music, Emily has a passion for music technology, and during her undergrad, learned to play UVic’s famous Buchla synthesizer. In 2020, she became part owner of local music studio Quadratic Sound.
Gilbert Munroe. Pianist, teacher, administrator, was born in Winnipeg and studied piano with his mother, Zoë, and later with John Melnyk, as well as theory with Frans Niermeier. He won the Aikins Memorial Trophy at the 1949 Manitoba (Winnipeg) Music Competition Festival, and continued piano study 1954-6 in London with Harold Craxton and John Simons. He returned to Canada and, after teaching music in Winnipeg schools for several years and performing occasionally, became music director at Medicine Hat College and founding director of the Medicine Hat Conservatory of Fine Arts in 1971. He also served 1974-5 as vice-president of the (…)
Frances studied with Charles Marshall and Robin Wood in Victoria, Lyell Gustin in Saskatoon, and Rucky van Mill at Trinity College of Music in London. Ms. Perriam has been pianist and harpsichordist with the Victoria Symphony for over 20 years, during which time she has performed as soloist and in the orchestra. She is also the pianist for the Palm Court Orchestra. As an ensemble player, she has given many performances and has recorded for the CBC.
CHRISTOPHER REICHE is a performer, composer and instructor. Originally from Ontario, he moved to Victoria British Columbia to pursue a Masters of Music at the University of Victoria. As a composer, his works have been performed by The Vancouver Miniaturist Ensemble, Mark McGregor and Brian Nesselroads, and locally by the Aventa Ensemble. His work The length of this piece is not arbitary – Painting Portrait of Glass has been recorded by Quatuor Bozzini and released on their CD À chacun sa miniature. As a performer, he specializes in contemporary music and free improvisation. In Victoria he has performed with the (…)
Laszlo Tamasik is a new member of VCM Faculty under the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s keyboard pedagogy mentorship program. He is working with students under the supervision of his own teacher, Robert Holliston, and with the mentorship of several other senior VCM faculty members. Laszlo caters especially to the adult beginner or returnee in classical piano, also working with younger students. Being in the mentor program, Laszlo offers lessons at Fee Group I. Laszlo is tenacious in the practice room and can teach practice techniques for efficiency in your own practice routine. In just 4 years of studying with Robert […]
Rachael Wadham is a performer, composer and instructor based in Metchosin. Rachael was trained classically from a very young age and has always been a keen improviser. She studied Jazz Piano Performance for 3 years at Humber College in Toronto but was drawn back to classical music and eventually transferred to UVic where she completed a Bachelor of Music Composition and Theory. As a teacher, Rachael teaches all ages, and has a focus in music education for young children. She likes to gather material from numerous sources to provide a well rounded introduction to piano performance. Rachael has been working (…)
Laura Wood has played piano since 4 years of age. She studied at the Conservatory beginning at five years of age with Ivy Screech. Starting at nine years old, she studied with Edward Parker obtaining consistently high marks in her exams. She successfully completed the teacher training program with her AVCM and first class honours. She particularly loves teaching children and adult beginners, and in addition to her studio teaching, offers piano group instruction at the VCM.