2014-15 Faculty of Music Highlights and News


Faculty members

  • Hilary Apfelstadt (MusBac 1974) has been appointed the Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting. The Elmer Iseler Chair honours the lifetime achievements of this great Canadian conductor, composer and teacher, and a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.
  • Professor Lorna MacDonald has created Bells of Baddeck, a music-drama of the story of the great inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel Bell who came to Cape Breton and fell in love with its people, music, and Gaelic charm. Composed by Dean Burry (MMus 1996), performances are July 3 through August 2, 2015 at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada, in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.
  • Associate Dean, Research, Professor Lee Bartel continues to develop MaHRC, the Music and Health Research Collaboratory. New studies on Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease, and fibromyalgia and music are in process or will begin soon.
  • This winter marks the last semester for alumnus Fred Perruzza, Director of Operations for MacMillan Theatre and set designer for dozens of operas here. Fred began working at the Faculty in 1978. We’ll miss you, Fred!
  • Professor Emeritus Ed Laufer (MMus 1960, MusBac 1957) passed away in May 2014. The Faculty of Music is working on obtaining a significant legacy of materials including musical scores and parts and analytical sketches that we hope to unveil at a memorial event later in 2015.
  • After eight years as Head of Voice Studies, Professor Darryl Edwards is stepping aside for Wendy Neilsen who will take over in fall 2015.  Many thanks to Darryl for his outstanding leadership in this Area.
  • Instructor Jeanne Lamon, on the heels of her retirement as Music Director from Tafelmusik, received an honorary doctorate degree from the UofT last June.  She is now Adjunct Professor of baroque violin in the Faculty of Music and is contributing to the expansion of our Early Music / Historical Performance Program.
  • The 2015 Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor program established a large-scale cultural exchange with China. In October, the Faculty of Music visited the Guizhou Conservatory in Guiyang, the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, while members of these institutions visited the Faculty of Music in January as part of the New Music Festival. Participants included Susan Hoeppner, flute (faculty); Peter Stoll, clarinet (BMusPerf 1989, faculty); Lydia Wong, piano (BMusPerf 1982, faculty); Beverley Johnston, percussion (BMus 1980, faculty);  Lynn Kuo, violin (DMA 2012, MMus 2001, BMusPerf 1999); Dobrochna Zubek, cello (doctoral student of Shauna Rolston); Adam Scime, double bass, composer (doctoral student of Gary Kulesha); Dean Burry, composer (MMus 1996, doctoral student of Christos Hatzis); Christos Hatzis, composer (faculty); Chan Ka Nin, composer (faculty); Alexander Rapoport, composer (MusDoc 1991, MMus 1985, faculty); and Norbert Palej, composer (faculty).
  • Professor Steven Philcox, head of the Collaborative Piano Program, is co-Artistic Director of the Canadian Art Song Project (with co-Artistic Director Lawrence Wiliford (MMus 2005). They continue to commission new works: “Moths” by James Rolfe (MMus 1984, BMus 1983) had its premiere in 2014 and in 2015 CASP premiered Enchantments of Gwendolyn” by Marjan Mozetich (MusBac 1972).




  • Doctoral candidate in Music Education Susan Raponi (MA Music 2013) received a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in October for her work at George Peck Public School in Scarborough.Way to go, Susan!
  • Congratulations to Master’s degree student tenor Charles Sy (BMusPerf 2013): for the first time, a University of Toronto opera student has won first place at Canadian Opera Company Studio Ensemble Competition. Charles also won the Audience Favourite Award and will be joining the COC Ensemble in September with fellow student pianist Hyejin Kwon.
  • Last spring 2nd year Jazz Studies student guitarist Nick Lavkulik was named Spectrum New Voices Composer in Toronto.
  • Congratulations to all the students, who perform in Schola Cantorum & Theatre of Early Music with Professor Dan Taylor, for their CD The Heart’s Refuge (released on Analekta label) which received a Juno nomination for Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance.




  • This fall, Rachel Mahon (BMusPerf 2014) took up the position of William and Irene Miller Organ Scholar at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, U.K. for the 2014/15 academic year. She was the first woman to hold any organist post at the Cathedral.
  • In September, Opera and Voice Studies alum and current Canadian Opera Company Ensemble member, tenor Andrew Haji (MMus 2013, BMusPerf 2011) won three prizes at the 50th International Vocal Competition ‘s-Hertogenbosch (IVC) in the Netherlands, winning the Grand Prize, the Press Prize and the Young Jury Prize.
  • Toronto Operetta Theatre, under the leadership of Founder and Artistic Director Guillermo Silva-Marin (OpDip 1974), is celebrating their 30th anniversary season.
  • Continuum Contemporary Music is also celebrating 30 years as an organization, under the leadership of Artistic Director Jennifer Waring (MMus 1987) for 29 years, and now Ryan Scott (MMus 1997, BMusPerf 1996).
  • In Spring 2014, Notes On Montreal by composer/guitarist Mike Rud featuring vocalist Sienna Dahlen (MMus 2008) won a JUNO in the Vocal Jazz category.
  • In January, Steinway announced that David Braid (BMusPerf 1998) and Chris Donnelly (MMus 2007, BMusPerf 2005) are now Steinway Artists.
  • In July 2014 Alex Goodman (BMusPerf 2010) was the first Canadian ever to win first prize and the Public’s Choice Award at the Montreux Jazz Festival International Guitar Competition in France.
  • Jazz Studies graduate Mark Pellizzer (BMusPerf 2004), guitarist and songwriter for Magic!, has had a whirlwind year from having a Billboard #1 hit song (for “Rude”), performing on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and performing on New Year’s Eve live from Times Square with Taylor Swift, to receiving five Juno nominations this January.
  • After 14 successful years as Managing Director of Tafelmusik, in December Tricia Baldwin (BMusPerf 1981) took over the role of Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Queen’s University.
  • Mark Laver (PhD 2011, MA Music 2007, BMusPerf 2005) accepted a tenure track position in Music (Ethnomusicology & Jazz Studies) at Grinnell College in Iowa starting fall 2014.
  • Carolyn Ramzy (PhD 2014) accepted a tenure track position in Ethnomusicology at Carleton University in Ottawa starting fall 2014.
  • Mark Richards (PhD 2011, MA Music 2007) accepted a tenure track position in Music Theory at Florida State University in Tallahassee starting fall 2015.
  • Diana Dumlavwalla (DMA 2011) has been lead teacher in Professor Midori Koga’s Piano Pedagogy community program for the past few years.  She has accepted a tenure track position in Piano Pedagogy at Florida State University in Tallahassee starting Fall 2015.
  • Gregory Oh (MMus 1997, BMusPerf 1996) re-imagined Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas through the lenses of bluegrass, Cape Breton fiddling, country, pop and South Indian classical music in a critically acclaimed production at the Global Cabaret Festival in Toronto. Gregory is also an instructor at the Faculty of Music and Resident Artist with Soulpepper Theatre Company.
  • Torq Percussion Ensemble, Richard Burrows (MA Music 2009, MMus 2004), Adam Campbell (MMus 2009), Jamie Drake (BMusPerf 2004), Daniel Morphy (BMusPerf 2008), celebrated their 10th birthday last fall with a concert in Walter Hall. Their 2014-15 season took them to all parts of Canada as well as Alaska, Illinois, Utah and Idaho. They will also be guest artists with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Grand Philharmonic Choir of Kitchener-Waterloo.
  • Another ensemble that started at the Faculty turned 10 this year too: Cecilia String Quartet, Sarah Nematallah (MA Music 2013, BMusPerf 2006), Min-Jeong Koh (DMA 2014, BMusPerf 2007), current DMA student Caitlin Boyle, and Rachel Desoer, celebrated their 2014-15 season with performances in Europe, Dubai, the US, and a new series at the Sony Centre for the Arts in Toronto called Xenia Concerts, a family-friendly series designed to appeal to, and be welcoming of, children on the autism spectrum and their families.
  • Caroline Cole (BMusPerf 2009) is the recipient of the 2014 Virginia Parker Prize. The cash prize of $25,000 is awarded annually to a Canadian classical musician, instrumentalist or conductor, under the age of 32, who demonstrates outstanding talent and musicianship.
  • Riki Turofsky (OpDip 1970) had her first book published by iUniverse in October, a memoir titled Aria: Song of a Life.
  • Laurel Trainor (BMusPerf 1981), Director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind (MIMM), celebrated the launch of LIVElab in September. This performance and research space “enables cutting edge multi-faceted analysis of complex questions of human interaction related to music, hearing, vision, movement, and learning.”
  • Last fall, Ron Korb (BMusPerf 1987) was chosen to perform at Canada Culture Week at the Shanghai International Arts Festival. He performed a sold out concert at the 1,122 seat historic Shanghai Concert Hall. His special guests were a Chinese chamber group called Xin Yi and a flute choir from ECNU University to perform his new compositions.
  • Two grads had their Carnegie Hall debuts this winter: pianist Benjamin Smith (BMusPerf 2004) performed a recital with cellist Dongkyun An in November, and in January soprano Adanya Dunn (MMus 2014, BMusPerf 2012) performed as part of the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration.
  • This winter, Lily Ling (BMusPerf 2009) was named Music Director by The Keen Company’s Off-Broadway revival of John & Jen by Andrew Lippa (music and book) and Tom Greenwald (lyrics and book) at The Clurman Theatre on Theatre Row. The cast features Kate Baldwin and Conor Ryan.



Faculty of Music updates

  • The new website is live.
  • Looking for some more updates? Several departments at the Faculty have their own sites:
  • The alumni office has been conducting research on our alumni to better understand what you do and to benchmark your work in relation to other schools and communities. The primary highlight is this: we have employment information on 1/3 of our living alumni (1,886 of 5,575). Of this group, 83% spend the majority of their career working in music, compared to 64-69% of arts school graduates in the US (source).
  • A sincere thanks goes out to all of the volunteers in the Music Mentorship Program. As the program continues to evolve, we also seek alumni with a wide variety of skills and backgrounds to match with students with similar interests.
  • Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs, Professor Ryan McClelland introduced a new course this fall for undergrads, “Lives in Music”. The weekly speakers (UofT Music alumni and current faculty) discussed their lives in music and how their experiences as students shaped their careers. Students discovered the wide diversity of fields related to music and gained an understanding of the types of experiences (curricular and extra-curricular) that can best prepare for particular career directions.
  • The Music Booking Office continues to assist students develop professional performance skills and enhance their education by averaging 200 contracts a year.
  • The Faculty of Music is proud to join the Bloor Street Culture Corridor as a partner organization. All partners are presenters of professional arts and culture, for the public, in a year-round destination venue, on or within a block of Bloor St., between Bathurst and Bay Streets. Download the BCC app to receive ticket deals at all partner organizations.


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Page updated 15 April 2015