2023 Summer Concert Series
Sarah loves J.S. Bach, and J.S. Bach loves Sarah. (She) played Bach beautifully. Then she introduced her audience to some sumptuous composers and explored their ties to Bach and each other. We heard far more than we expected to. Then...more Bach revealed even more richness and complexity. Thank you Sarah!
-- audience member, Tobermory, ON.
Sarah Pratt-Parsamian, violin
Originally from Listowel, ON, and currently based in New York, NY, acclaimed violinist Sarah Pratt-Parsamian enjoys a diverse and exciting musical career. She has been a prizewinner at the Jeunesses Musicales International Violin Competition, and Silver Medal winner in the Canadian National Music Competition. At the age of 14 she made her solo debut with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra at the Guelph Spring Festival in Ontario, and since has performed as soloist with orchestras in Canada and the U.S., including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa. Recently highlights include a riveting performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, (Stratford, ON).
Photo Credit: Gary Moon
An avid chamber musician and recital artist, Sarah has performed across Canada and the United States, including Stratford Summer Music Festival, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, the Arts and Letters Club, Heliconian Club (Toronto), the British Art Museum (New Haven, CT), Bargemusic (New York, NY), the Detroit Institute of Art (Detroit, MI), Clefworks (Montgomery, AB), and others.
Sarah is a temporary member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, having joined the company for the current season. She also performs as a substitute with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, with whom she has traveled on tours across the United States, Europe and Asia. She is a member of the New York City Opera Orchestra, a position she has held since 2006.
Sarah holds a Bachelor in Performance Degree from the University of Toronto, Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma from Yale University, and Doctor of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. When her violin is resting, Sarah can be found jogging on park trails, climbing trees with her children, hiking with her camera, or curled up on the couch with a good book and a glass of wine.
Shane Kim, violin
Toronto-born violinist Shane Kim has been a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2012. Prior positions include Principal violinist of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra and concertmaster appearances with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and at the Aspen, Spoleto-Charleston, and Lakes Area music festivals.
Winner of the Orford String Quartet Award, Shane has performed chamber music at the Ravinia Festival, Taos Chamber Music Festival, and Encuentro de Musica in Santander, Spain; and has served as a resident artist at the Toronto Summer Music Festival. As a founding member of the XIA String Quartet, Shane has performed and given masterclasses across Canada.
Shane is currently Violin Coach of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Robert Woolfrey, clarinet
Robert Woolfrey joined the clarinet section of The Cleveland Orchestra in November 2008. Prior to his appointment, he was the Principal Clarinet of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra (2007-2008) as well as a member of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Woolfrey has collaborated with Michael Tilson Thomas, Dawn Upshaw and musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra. In previous summers, he has participated in a variety of music festivals, including Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival. Performances by Mr. Woolfrey have been heard on National Public Radio's Performance Today, classical music station WQXR and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio Two. As an educator, he serves as a coach of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, and he is on the faculty of the Kent Blossom Summer Music Festival.
Woolfrey has presented lessons and masterclasses at many schools including Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, University of Michigan, University of Toronto, University of Miami, San Francisco Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Mr. Woolfrey studied with Joaquin Valdepeñas at the University of Toronto and at Yale University with David Shifrin, where he received a master's degree in music. He is also an alumnus of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, where he performed as the soloist for Nielsen's "Clarinet Concerto." He returns frequently to Miami as a coach. Robert is married to Cleveland Orchestra cellist Tanya Ell, and they have two young children.
Tanya Ell, cello
Cellist Tanya Ell enjoys a varied career as a chamber musician, soloist, and member of The Cleveland Orchestra. Since winning the position in 2006, she has been privileged to tour the world's greatest concert halls with the orchestra, including Carnegie Hall, Vienna's Musikverein, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Royal Albert Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall. With TCO, she has also taken part in many prestigious festivals, including the BBC Proms, the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival.
Tanya is a founding member of the Omni String Quartet, which has been featured in concert by the Cleveland Orchestra at the United States Consulate in Bratislava, on WCLV Radio at Cleveland State University, and at Kent State University. She has collaborated with such notable musicians as William Preucil, Donald and Vivienne Weilerstein, Edgar Meyer, members of the Cavani String Quartet, and with her husband, Cleveland Orchestra clarinetist, Robert Woolfrey. In recent years she has soloed with the Cleveland Philharmonic, the Suburban Symphony, the Cleveland State University Symphony, and the Lansing Symphony.
Tanya received her Bachelor of Music at the Juilliard School under Aldo Parisot. She spent a fruitful year under the tutelage of Shauna Rolston, studying at the University of Toronto. While finishing her Master's Degree with Richard Aaron at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Tanya won a position with the Milwaukee Symphony, and was appointed Acting Assistant Principal a year later. She was invited to solo with the MSO twice during her tenure there.
Tanya grew up in Okemos MI, and studied in the Suzuki program with Marilyn Kesler, and later with Louis Potter Jr. from age 8-18. Her musician parents, Frank and Eva Ell have also been very important musical influences throughout her life. She won her first competition at the age of 12, and continued to win top prizes at competitions across the country that often resulted in concerto performances and scholarships to summer music festivals.
Tanya plays a David Burgess cello from 1992, as well as a Tyrolean Cello from 1864. She resides in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, son and daughter.
Caitlin Boyle, viola
A JUNO-nominated performing artist, Caitlin Boyle concertized extensively for thirteen years with the Cecilia String Quartet. She won several international awards including Banff, Bordeaux, and Osaka String Quartet Competitions. The quartet was the John D. Stewart String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Toronto from 2015-2018, where they coordinated the chamber music program, as well as holding positions as Adjunct Professors. Currently she plays with the Isabel String Quartet, string-quartet-in-residence at Queens University and is a member of Sinfonia Toronto and the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed and toured with orchestras such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, and the Schleswig-Holstein Orchestral Academy. In addition to her performance schedule she teaches at the Hamilton Suzuki School of Music and through the Hamilton Music Collective, An Instrument for Every Child.
Dominik Franken, viola
Dominik Franken was born and raised in Germany and studied the violin and viola with concertmaster Erich Brand. Dominik played in the German Youth Orchestra, Bonner Sinfonietta and the Brand Quartet. After immigrating to Canada in in 1987 he pursued a career in farming and as an Investment Advisor. The viola always is always part of his life, playing in several orchestras, as a chamber musician and as the “Sow” in Cow and Sow ( look it up on ITunes). Dominik retired to Myles Bay in 2019 to make more music in all different forms and shapes. For 2022 he is starting Lions Head Summer Music, a one week celebration of classical music!
COVID-19 SAFETY: Covid safety measures at each concert will be enforced according to the provincial and CDC guidelines in place on the day of the concert.