19-year-old Samuel Nadurak is a young cellist originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He started playing cello at the age of 8 years. Samuel has had the opportunity to study with Allison Warrian, Yuri Hooker and is currently completing his second year of Cello studies at University of Ottawa, studying with Paul Marleyn. Samuel has had the pleasure of briefly working with various well-known cellists such as Ariel Barnes, Richard Aaron, and more. He has played in youth orchestras for most of his life and is currently in the University of Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Samuel has won the Manitoba Provincial Music Festival for RCM grades 6,7 and 8, in addition to earning runner-up in the RCM grade 10 Provincial Music Festival. He is the recipient of the Bach Festival Trophy in the Winnipeg Music Festival and has also found success in the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra Scholarship Competitions. He played as a soloist with the River East Collegiate wind ensemble. Samuel has sung in choirs and played trumpet and cello in the school jazz band and various other ensembles. Sam also performed in the Winnipeg Fringe Festival show, “Together and Aloof”, which was given a 5 star review. Other than cello, Sam enjoys composing for a variety of genres. In 2017 he had a composition premiered in the Murau International Music Festival in Austria. He has also recorded his own music along with collaborating and recording with other artists such as Cowbo Morsche. Apart from music, Sam enjoys spending his time playing multiple sports and spending time with friends and family. Sam joined the "Back to BACH" Project in the fall of 2016. He is now the regional director of the Ottawa branch for Back to BACH.
Sophie van der Sloot
Sophie has been playing the cello since she was 6 years old, and now studies with Paul Marleyn at the University of Ottawa where she also participates regularly in chamber ensembles. Sophie has won many awards at the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival, and in 2014 and 2015 she was the winner of Junior Strings and Chamber Music at the BC Provincial Music Festival. In 2018, she received Runner-Up in Strings and the National Music Festival. Sophie has also been fortunate to solo with the Victoria Symphony, the Sidney Classical Orchestra, and the Victoria Chamber Orchestra. In past summers she has participated in the VCM Summer Music Academy, the Young Artist Program at the National Arts Centre, and the Meadowmount School of Music in New York State. This summer she participated in the Morningside Music Bridge program in Poland. In addition to cello, Sophie is a grade 11 student at St. Francis Xavier High School. In her spare time Sophie loves to be outdoors hiking or biking, spend time with her family, and sight reading music with friends. She is excited to take part in the “Back the BACH” project as regional director in the fall of 2018.
A native of Winnipeg, Amélie Roberts is a violist who is passionate about the power of music. The middle child in a family of seven, Amélie grew up in a musically diverse household, beginning her piano and violin studies at the age of five. An alumna of the Winnipeg Youth Orchestras, Ms. Roberts has performed in the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra, and currently plays viola in the University of Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. As a freelance musician, highlights have included collaboration with Canadian singer/songwriter J.P. Hoe, and playing for musical theatre productions in the Manitoba Theatre for Young People pit orchestra. As a teacher, Amélie has taught for Sistema Winnipeg and Suzuki Music Winnipeg. Ms. Roberts is currently a viola performance major at the University of Ottawa, studying under the tutelage of Michael van der Sloot. When she isn’t practicing, Amélie enjoys listening to Icelandic music, hanging out in coffee shops, and getting lost in a good book.
Nawfel Djari is a Violist born in Dubai and raised in Ottawa. Starting music at the age of 13, he has thrived as a teacher, chamber musician, orchestral player and music enthusiast. "Most of my friends started at the age of 3 and here i am 10 years later. I believe i have used this disadvantage as a means to fall in love with the art even more! Everything feels so new, and there's so much i can learn". Nawfel is currently in his 3rd year of Viola performance studies at the University of Ottawa. He has been awarded 3 different awards for his playing and caring-like mindset including the Sarah Graham award. Nawfel is currently in the process of writing his first book on the word "perspective". He believes we are all aware of feelings and thoughts but we don't think about them enough (both towards us and from us) as a means of learning ourselves, helping others as best we can and caring as much we can in general through perspective. He has recently been successful with his blog "Life with a Sixth Sense" and podcast respectfully where he discusses topics that make up "why we are who we are"
Currently a student at the University of Ottawa with Michael vanderSloot, Alexander (Sasha) Moroz studied in Winnipeg with Daniel Scholz. A consistent prizewinner in local and provincial competitions, Sasha has performed as soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He has also toured Canada from coast to coast as a member of the National Youth Orchestra, and has attended and performed in summer music programmes around the world. He particularly loves and has extensive chamber music experience, most notably as a member of his family piano quartet.
Sarah-Lynn began playing the violin when she was 7 years old. She has had the pleasure of being under the instruction of Simon Macdonald, Karl Stobbe and Yehonatan Berick. She has played at the provincial level for both violin and voice, and has won awards at the Morden Festival of the Arts as well as provincials and with the WYSO. Aside from violin, Sarah enjoys fiddling and singing. Sarah has also won multiple awards at fiddle competitions all over Manitoba. When Sarah is not practicing violin, she can be found out on the trails cross-country skiing, reading, listening to music, knitting, or sleeping. Sarah is currently in her 2nd year bachelor of music at the university of Ottawa.
Tovin Allers is currently studying at the University of Ottawa under Yehonatan Berick, Professor of Violin, and Michael van der Sloot, Professor of Viola, in the B.Mus. program. Although attending university in Ontario, Tovin’s home is in the west where he studied at the Victoria Conservatory of Music under Michael van der Sloot, previous Head of the VCM string program. Tovin’s earliest roots are found in Calgary where he began his violin study in the Amici Music program and the Mount Royal Strings program. His music training outside of university includes participation in the VCM Senior Collegium program and Summer Strings Academy for several years, the National Arts Centre Young Artists Program for two years, the Orford Music Academy, and the International Music Festival of the Adriatic – programs and summer festivals in which he studied with renowned pedagogues such as William van der Sloot, Taras Gabora, Andrew Dawes, Ian Svenson, Grigory Kalinovski, and Paul Kantor. Tovin’s musical progress includes his 2016 win of the “Victoria Symphony Splash” competition, which had him accompanied by the symphony as an upcoming young artist. In 2017, he won first place in the BC Provincial Festival Senior Strings class and for the previous four years he and colleagues placed first in the BC Provincial Festival for the Intermediate, Senior, and Provincial/Nationals Chamber classes. Tovin had the honour of being concertmaster of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra in 2015 and performed two joint concerts with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra as assistant Concertmaster. Today, Tovin sits in the University of Ottawa Orchestra as well as the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alain Trudel after winning a permanent position in 2017. As Tovin continues his studies in his pursuit of becoming a professional orchestral player, he is actively seeking out orchestral opportunities, such as playing in the University of Ottawa Opera pit orchestra and the University of Ottawa Pops Orchestra. Outside of music, Tovin enjoys rock climbing, ultimate frisbee, and hiking.
Blythe Allers, originally from Western Canada, is currently studying with Yehonatan Berick at the University of Ottawa. While in British Columbia, Blythe studied for several years under Michael van der Sloot at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, playing in multiple groups and ensembles, including the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra. In 2013, Blythe represented strings for BC at the Nationals in Waterloo and placed first with his BC quartet as National Chamber Music winner that same year. In 2016, Blythe attended the National Arts Center Young Artists Program where he was fortunate to work with Arnold Steinhardt of the Guarneri String Quartet and Lawrence Dutton of the Emerson String Quartet. During the summer of 2017, he played with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, both as an Award of Excellence winner and as concertmaster on the NYO’s 150th cross-country celebration tour. At camps, festivals and masterclasses, Blythe played for and worked with Christian Tetzlaff, Cho-Liang Lin, James Ehnes, Gary Karr, Patinka Kopec, Ian Svenson, and William van der Sloot, as well as others. Currently Blythe is a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and multiple school orchestras and ensembles. Blythe’s interests go beyond music, into rock climbing, playing squash, hiking, and reading. In everything he does, in music or otherwise, Blythe strives to communicate his passion for life and looks forward to the opportunities ahead.