The information contained on this page is related to an older edition of the competition. It is made available for archival purposes only. For the most current information, please go to Stepping Stone 2020.
A native of Toronto, violinist Jeremy Bell earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto and furthered his education at State University of New York at Stony Brook receiving his Master and Doctor of Music. A recipient of numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts, Dr. Bell was also a prize winner at the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Competition and the Conseil québécois de la musique’s Opus award. He has studied with David Zafer, George Neikrug, Joyce Robbins, Metro Kozak and with members of the Orford, Juilliard, Tokyo, and Orion string quartets.
Described by The Toronto Star as a violinist who “agitates in the most intelligent and persuasive manner,” Dr. Bell joined the Penderecki String Quartet in 1999. Currently, he is Artist-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University where he teaches violin and chamber music. With the Penderecki Quartet, Bell has recorded over 25 discs and performed around the world notably in Poland, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Lithuania, Croatia, Russia, China, Venezuela, Brazil, USA, and throughout Canada.
From 2000-2007, Dr. Bell was the artistic director of NUMUS Concerts in Kitchener-Waterloo where he created several multi-media events at the Perimeter Institute and with Dancetheatre David Earle. He has performed a wide range of music, performing baroque with Consortium Aurora Borealis and Les Violons du Roy, Cuban jazz with Hilario Duran, as well as collaborating with pipa virtuoso Ching Wong, NYC’s DJ Spooky, and rap star Jay-Z. In addition, Dr. Bell has performed as soloist with the Toronto Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, CBC Vancouver Orchestra, and as guest concertmaster with the Kitchener-Waterloo, New Zealand National, and Canadian Opera Company symphony orchestras.
Dr. Bell plays an 1854 A.S. Bernadel violin.
A graduate from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal in musical composition and analysis, Annick-Patricia Carrière held the position of Communications and Marketing Director at Montréal’s Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM). She then founded the Agence Station bleue with her business partner Gabriel Paré in the year 2000. In the past 12 years, Ms. Carrière has been devoting her personal and business efforts to the development of her agency’s artists, both nationally and internationally. She is also responsible for the company’s strategic planning and development of new artistic projects.
Under her brilliant leadership, Agence Station bleue has been awarded many honours. Among them was the 2009 Prix Rideau de la tournée. That same year, Agence Station bleue was presented with a Certificate of Honour awarded by the China Shanghai International Arts Festival. In 2010, Agence Station bleue was named Canadian Agency of the Year by the British Columbia Touring Council and by the Atlantic Presenters Association in 2011. Personally, Ms. Carrière was nominated Agent of the Year by the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) in 2010 and 2011.
Extremely involved with the development of the Canadian performing arts field, Ms. Carrière was a member of the CAPACOA board for four years and in 2010, appointed to the board of the Conférence internationale des arts de la scène (CINARS).
Polish born pianist Krzysztof Jablonski started lessons with Janina Butor. Under her guidance, he won many competitions in Poland and by age 12, performed his first concerto with orchestra. Between 1983 and 1986, he furthered his studies under Andrzej Jasinski at the Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland, and graduated with honors in 1987. In 1996, he earned his Ph. D.
An international competition winner, Mr. Jablonski won third prize at the 1985 Warsaw Chopin International Piano Competition. Between 1988 and 1992, he won numerous top prizes including Palm Beach (Florida, USA), Monza (Italy), Dublin (Ireland), Gold Medal at the Rubinstein International (Israel), Walter Naumburg Foundation International (New York), and Second Prize at The Honens International Piano Competition (Canada).
Mr. Jablonski has performed throughout Europe, North and South America, Mexico, Israel, South Korea, and Japan. His concerto highlights include Orchestra of the 18th Century, Berner Symphonie-Orchester, Jenaer Philharmonie, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, National Philharmonic Orchestra Warsaw, National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Duesseldorfer Symphoniker, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Grand Teton Festival Orchestra and with such prominent conductors as Krzysztof Penderecki, Andrey Boreyko, Frans Brüggen and Jerzy Maksymiuk. As a chamber pianist, Mr. Jablonski founded the Chopin Duo with cellist Tomasz Strahl and since 2004, was a member Kwintet Warszawski which was first founded by Wladyslaw Szpilman in 1962. He is also a co-founder of the Kulka Trio.
Mr. Jablonski has been broadcast on radio and television networks internationally. He has recorded many solo and chamber CDs and recently completed three CDs in conjunction with The National Edition of Chopin’s Works, directed by Jan Ekier.
Since 1994, Mr. Jablonski has been on faculties of the Music Academy in Wroclaw, and Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland. In 2004, he was appointed full professor at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. Mr. Jablonski is in demand for master classes, lectures and has adjudicated internationally.
Pianist Robert Kortgaard was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and grew up in Calgary, Alberta. He completed his Bachelor and Master’s degrees at The Juilliard School. As a recipient of arts awards from the Canada Council, he furthered his musical studies in Italy and England.
Mr. Kortgaard has performed as soloist with major Canadian orchestras and has given recitals throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in England, Finland, Portugal, Italy, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, China and Japan. He is a favorite collaborator of many of Canada’s finest instrumental soloists, vocalists and chamber groups. His performances are frequently heard on CBC Radio, and he has recorded for the Centrediscs, Marquis Classics/EMI, CBC Records, Teldec and ATMA Classique labels.
Mr. Kortgaard is the Artistic Director of the Indian River Festival in Prince Edward Island (recently nominated Event of the Year by the East Coast Music Awards), and the Leith Summer Music Festival in Ontario. He was musician-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick from l993-l998, and has given piano master classes at universities and festivals in Canada, Indonesia and China.
Mr. Kortgaard has performed with vocalists Isabel Bayrakdarian, Sumi Jo, Jane Archibald, Adrianne Pieczonka, Measha Brueggergosman, Susan Platts, Jean Stilwell, Patricia O`Callaghan, Brett Polegato, Rebecca Caine to name a few. His recording with Suzie LeBlanc received an Opus Award and his recording with soprano Wendy Nielsen was nominated for both a JUNO and East Coast Music Awards. He has also worked with Joshua Bell, Susan Hoeppner and many other instrumentalists. With Peter Tiefenbach and prima ballerina Veronica Tennant, they produced the show titled “Invitation to the Dance.”
Currently residing in Toronto, Mr. Kortgaard is on the board of Debut Atlantic, Canada’s unique and distinguished provider of classical music concerts and educational opportunities in the Maritimes.
Born in Vancouver, where he studied piano, musical theory and history and graduated from the University of British Columbia, William Littler held the post of music and dance critic of The Vancouver Sun before being invited to occupy the same positions with Canada’s largest newspaper, The Toronto Star. A founding vice president of the Paris-based International Music Critics Association and member of the Music Critics Association of North America, he was also founding chairman of the Dance Critics Association of North America. He is the first music critic to win Canada’s National Newspaper Award in Critical Writing.
A contributor to periodicals and publications in music and dance (he is now at work on a thirtieth anniversary history of Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall), Mr. Littler has also written for and appeared regularly on radio and television. A former adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University, he has also taught at the University of Waterloo and McMaster University as well as guest lectured at a number of Canadian and American universities and the University of Vienna. He currently teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
A judge in numerous music competitions, including the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia and the Tokyo International Music Competition, in 1992 he was made a Fellow of The Royal Conservatory of Music.