Cellist & Music Arranger
Sybil Shanahan began playing the cello at the age of 3. She received her Master’s Degree in Performance from the Conservatoire de Lausanne, in Switzerland, and her Bachelor of Music Performance from the Amsterdam Conservatorium, in the Netherlands. A native of Toronto, her formative years of training happened at the Young Artists Performance Academy of the Glenn Gould School. Currently she performs across Canada as a member of the chamber group Ensemble Vivant, with the Ontario Philharmonic and other orchestras, and is an enthusiastic cello teacher in the Toronto area. Sybil has been a winner in several music competitions, including the Rovere d’Oro chamber music competition in Italy, and the Elora Young Performer’s Competition, the Gooderham Music Scholarship and the Bill Weatherspoon “Most Outstanding Performance” in Canada. To date, she has performed across Canada, Europe and South Africa. Besides her classical engagements, Sybil can be heard on numerous albums and film scores where she has recorded for a wide variety of artists and recently appeared on a national television commercial. Personal website:
Photo by Matthew Golem Photography.
Meet The Team
Tanya Charles received a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto, an Artist Diploma in Orchestral Performance from the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music and is an alumnus of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada. Currently, she is a core member with Sinfonia Toronto, and is the second violinist with the Odin String Quartet. Abroad, Tanya is the Concertmaster of the Colour of Music Festival: Virtuosi Ensemble in South Carolina, and has participated as a featured artist with the Scotiabank Northern Lights Music Festival, in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. As a Sessional Lecturer at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto as well as a Teaching Artist at both the Regent Park School of Music and Axis Music, Tanya aims to train and inspire through music education. Tanya plays on a violin crafted by Toronto-based luthière, Itzel Ávila, made in 2014.
Violinist-violist Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh’s passion for chamber and orchestral music has taken her all over the world, with performances in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Romania. Recently appointed to the viola section of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Brenna is the founding violinist of the Amarok Ensemble, violist in the Bach from the Heart quartet, and orchestra manager of the Against the Grain Theatre Ensemble. She has performed with such groups as the Art of Time Ensemble, Soulpepper, Tapestry Opera, and Pocket Concerts, and served as interim principal second violin of the Regina Symphony Orchestra for part of the 2017-2018 season. She plays on a 2002 violin by Ottawa luthier Guy Harrison and a 2005 viola by Toronto luthier John Newton.
A native of New Brunswick, Kristan Toczko is a first place winner of the prestigious OSM Standard Life Competition, and was named a CBC Radio-Canada Young Artist featured as a soloist in national broadcast. She has won numerous international competitions and has performed in acclaimed venues including Carnegie Hall. Kristan has been a part of multiple chamber music festivals and has been a featured soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, and both McGill and Yale Universities. Kristan has attended summer programs including the Aspen Music Festival, Orchestra of the Americas, Lucerne Festival Academy, and the Banff Centre. She has performed with several orchestras across Canada and internationally including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Jalisco Philharmonia and Beijing Symphony. A founding member of “Duo Novus,” Kristan’s harp duet has commissioned numerous new works and has toured internationally. Kristan holds degrees from McGill and Yale Universities.
Brooke Stewart began her studies at the age of five and graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with her Bachelor Degree in Music Performance. Brooke began playing in orchestras at the age of 15 and served as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and Newfoundland Sinfonia in their 2010-2011 seasons. She has performed orchestral works in Russia and Poland and in 2011 traveled across Canada performing with Canadian indie-rock band, Hey Rosetta! She has recorded with numerous artists including Platinum Blonde, and enjoys collaborating with musicians of all styles and genres. Brooke co-founded Beaux Strings along with Sybil in 2011. Active with Beaux Strings from 2011-2017, Brooke is currently taking a leave of absence as she pursues a Master of Social Work.
Violinist Natalia Zielinski Chaturvedi began playing violin at a young age, first taught by her mother. She immediately fell in love with the expressive qualities of the instrument and never looked back. In 2012, she earned a Masters Degree in Violin Performance at the University of Manitoba, funded by the prestigious Manitoba Graduate Scholarship. She studied under international prizewinner Dr. Oleg Pokhanovski, and pursued performing opportunities that took her across Canada, the United States and to Europe. Natalia shares the stage with such acclaimed touring acts as Josh Groban, Il Divo, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Anne Murray, Abba Mania, Leahy, and Romanza. Now she is presenting a unique blend of classical and contemporary music ranging from Bach to Beyoncé, which is sure to melt the hearts of audiences young and old!
Violinist Hua-Chu Huang, a youthful and versatile musician, brings a wealth of experience in solo, chamber, and orchestral playing. As a passionate performer of new works in addition to canonized repertoire, Mr. Huang recently collaborated with flutist Carol Wincenc in the Canadian premiere of Yuko Uebeyashi’s Misericordia at the Banff Centre, and also presented Andrew Norman’s Gran Turismo at Toronto’s New Music Festival, 21C. Mr. Huang has appeared in concert with Philippe Djokic, Lynn Stodola, Denise Djokic, Barry Shiffman, and the new music ensemble suddenlyLISTEN; he is also the founder of Asterisk*, a Toronto-based conductorless chamber orchestra. Mr. Huang has recently received his Artist Diploma as a Temerty Family Fellow at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music, studied with Paul Kantor and Barry Shiffman; having previously earned his Bachelor of Music from Dalhousie University under the tutelage of Philippe Djokic
Alice Kim has been actively teaching and performing chamber and orchestral music. Her recent appearances as an orchestral player include with National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Toronto Concert Orchestra, London Symphonia (former Orchestra London Canada) as a sub-cellist, and North York Concert Orchestra as a guest principal-cellist. She received her Masters in music for cello performance at University of Toronto, studying with Shauna Rolston and Joseph Johnson. During her undergraduate studies at McGill University with Matt Haimovitz, she was a member of Uccello ensemble and is featured in the CD Album “Meeting of the Spirit” which was nominated for Grammy’s Award in 2010.
JUNO award winning harpist Angela Schwarzkopf concertizes throughout North America as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician and with many top chamber music, choral, and orchestral organizations. The first harpist to receive a Doctorate of Music in harp performance in Canada, she is now teaches at the University of Toronto, the Glenn Gould School, and at McMaster University. Outside of her university teaching, Angela maintains a thriving studio of private students in Toronto and is an harp examiner with the Royal Conservatory College of Examiners. Angela is Second Vice President and Director at Large for the American Harp Society and a contributor to the international publications Harp Column and the American Harp Journal and serves on the editorial board of the latter. As an advocate for new music, she has worked on commissioning projects with many prominent composers. Most recently, Angela released her album, detach, of all new Canadian music won the 2020 JUNO award for Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber.
Saskia Tomkins, moved from the UK to Ontario in 2007 with her family, bringing with them a wealth of musical talent and experience. Saskia’s musical abilities on bowed strings are wide ranging, from classical to Celtic, to Django-jazz, to songwriter accompaniment. She completed a BA in Jazz and popular music. She has played with countless artists in many genres, and recorded on over 60 albums for other artists and several with her own groups. Saskia is also the All Britain Champion for Irish Fiddle. In Canada, Saskia has worked at 4th Line Theatre for 8 seasons. She was commissioned to co-write the music with Steafan Hannigan for "Driving Miss Daisy" at The Capitol Theatre, Port Hope, and developed the music for the Broadway hit, "Come From Away", also with Steafan. She is principle 2nd violin in Quinte Symphony Orchestra and frequently plays with Kim Doolittle and David Newland as their fiddler.