Gareth Thomas

Gareth Thomas

Guest Faculty, Brooke Balley Bassoon Days 2018

Gareth Thomas joined the Cleveland Orchestra as second bassoon in January, 2015. Prior to this appointment, he served as principal bassoon of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra from 2010-2015. As a member of the Toledo Symphony he performed as a soloist in Mozart's Bassoon Concerto. In 2007, Mr. Thomas made his solo debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, as the winner of the 2006 National Arts Centre Bursary Competition.

Mr. Thomas has performed as a chamber musician with colleagues in the Cleveland Orchestra and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. His frequent appearances on the Toledo Symphony's chamber music series have included an acclaimed performance of Bernard Garfield's first quartet for bassoon and strings. He is a founding member of the Aurea Silva Trio, with whom he has been heard on WGTE Public Media's Live from FM 91.

Gareth Thomas began his study of bassoon with Jo Ann Simpson at the age of 10 in his hometown of Ottawa, Ontario where he also attended Canterbury High School and played in the Ottawa Youth Orchestra. Gareth received his Bachelor of Music degree in 2009 from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was awarded the George F. Goslee Prize for outstanding artistry. At CIM, he was a student of John Clouser, principal bassoonist of the Cleveland Orchestra. He completed a Master of Music degree at Northwestern University, under the tutelage of Christopher Millard, principal bassoonist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He has been a member of numerous summer music festivals, including the Pacific Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra and The National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Jill Dunkley

Jill Dunkley

Yoga Instructor (2015-2018)

Jill Dunkley received her certification as a yoga therapist from the American Viniyoga Institute (AVI) in 2008. In 2016, she was part of the first cohort to receive her C-IAYT from the International Association of Yoga Therapists. As of 2016, she also received her Level One Yoga Tune Up ® Teacher certification which emphasizes embodied awareness through use of therapy balls.

Jill will be receiving her Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Certification Spring 2017 from MBSR Ottawa

Jill has been the yoga instructor at Brooke Valley Bassoon Days since it’s inception in 2012. She has enlightened us on improved breathing and posture, better body use in order to avoid injuries when playing bassoon and greater mindfulness leading to better focus and stress reduction in both daily practice and performance situations.

Mathieu Harel, 2017

Associate principal bassoon with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal since 1998, Mathieu Harel was acting principal bassoon of the OSM during the 2003-04 season. Born in Contrecoeur, near Montréal, Mr. Harel studied with Bernard Garfield at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and at the Montreal Conservatory, with Rodolfo Masella and Gerald Corey.

Prior to the end of his studies at Curtis, Mr Harel won the second bassoon position with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and he was also assistant principal bassoon with the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago. He currently teaches at the Montreal Conservatory, and was a member of the faculties at McGill University, at the Trois-Rivières Conservatory and at the Camp Musical des Laurentides. Mr Harel plays on a bassoon made by Canadian maker Benson H. Bell.

Christopher Millard, 2016

Christopher Millard, one of Canada’s best known woodwind artists, joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as principal bassoon in 2004 after serving with the Vancouver Symphony and the CBC Radio Orchestra for 28 years.

A student of Roland Small and the legendary Sol Schoenbach at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Mr. Millard also studied with the great French flutist Marcel Moyse.

A distinguished teacher, Mr. Millard served on the faculty of Northwestern University until 2014, and continues to give master classes at many of the foremost music schools: Curtis Institute, New World Symphony, Manhattan School, Rice University, Indiana University, the National Orchestral Institute as well as in Canada at Domaine Forget. For 20 years, Mr. Millard was the bassoon professor for the National Youth Orchestra where he helped nurture a new generation of Canadian wind players. His students now occupy numerous positions in American and Canadian orchestras.

Throughout a long career, Mr. Millard has appeared in concert and recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Marlboro Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the International Double Reed Society and has made five concert tours with Valery Gergiev and the World Orchestra for Peace. In the summer, he is the principal bassoon for the Grand Teton Music Festival. Mr. Millard has received wide praise for his numerous recordings on BIS, Naxos, Arabesque, CBC Records and Summit, including a disc in the prestigious “OrchestraPro” series. His recording of the Hétu Bassoon Concerto won a 2004 Juno Award. He is a recognized authority on the acoustics of reed making and a skilled woodwind technician.

Kathleen McLean, 2015

Kathleen McLean is a sought-after chamber and orchestral musician, recitalist, and teacher. Internationally recognized, McLean was the associate principal bassoon of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 1992 to 2013. Since 2001, she has toured extensively with the prestigious World Orchestra for Peace under the baton of Valery Gergiev.

McLean’s former orchestral appointments include principal bassoon of the Canadian Opera Company and guest principal bassoon with the London Symphony Orchestra (UK) and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, as well as with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. McLean has participated in many chamber music festivals, including the Evian International Festival, Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, Scotia Festival, and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.

She was appointed to the faculty of the University of Toronto in 1989, became a faculty member at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Glenn Gould Professional School in 2002, and began as a bassoon instructor with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2009.

She performs frequently with New Music Concerts, Amici Ensemble, and is a founding member of the Caliban Quartet, Toronto Wind Quintet, and the Canadian Winds.

Andrew Burn, 2015

With a deep interest in entrepreneurialism in the arts, Andrew began his increasingly popular blog, ‘The Heckeler’ (Heckel makes bassoons). Since 2010, the website has discussed a variety of subjects – it was even the official EUBO tour blog.

An enthusiast of the baroque bassoon since he laid hands on one as a teenager, Andrew has participated in many workshops including the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute (2009 -2011), Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute (2010), and has studied with North America’s leading historical bassoonists including Mathieu Lussier, Dominic Teresi, and Keith Collins. Andrew holds a Master’s degree from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, where he studied with Donna Agrell. In 2015, he continued his graduate work at the Schola with a focus on English music and performance craft.

Guaranteed to help you find that next 17th or 18th century piece you’re looking for, Andrew’s focus in performance craft as it relates to the presentation of early music may help to enlighten those struggling to ‘unlock’ pre-romantic repertoire. Rhetoric, gesture, neo-platonic thought, contextualization, as well as an analytical approach to the act of performance using a working terminology derived from ancient sources. Finally, Andrew will have a number of instruments on hand to give you an idea as to the possibilities available to bassoonists in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Leading up to Brooke Valley Bassoon Days, Andrew will be touring France, Italy, and Germany with Zefiro Ensemble, performing in Belgium with Cappella Mediterranea, as well as joining Pacific Baroque Orchestra to perform in Vancouver and at Ottawa’s Chamberfest. Soon after the course, he will return to Europe to perform in the premier presentation of his group, The New Baroque Orchestra, at the Oude Muziek fringe festival in Utrecht, as well as record the Handel’s Messiah with Musica Fiorita in Basel.


Nadina Mackie Jackson, 2014

Juno nominated Nadina Mackie Jackson records and performs worldwide on both modern and historical bassoons. She has recorded 11 solo, concerto and chamber music CDs and can be heard on over 100 orchestral recordings on the London Decca, Sony, ATMA and Naxos labels. Her 2013/14 season includes 36 solo appearances in recital and with orchestras across Canada, including four premieres of new concerti written for her.

Winner of Best Classical Orchestral Album of the Year with Guy Few and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra in the 2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards for her FACTOR-backed concerto album Bacchanale, recent solo releases on MSR Classics are on the long-list of nominations for the 2014 Grammys: Vivaldi Concerti, Volume I with Nicholas McGegan (best solo/best producer) and the FACTOR/OAC-backed Canadian Concerto Project, Volume (best instrumental/best contemporary composition).

The Canadian Concerto Project features concerti written expressly for her and Guy Few with Toronto’s group of 27 led by Eric Paetkau. This series will continue with second disc of concerti by Paul Frehener, Glenn Buhr and Alain Trudel.

Nadina has appeared as soloist with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Toronto Chamber Orchestra, Group of 27, Les Idées Heureuses (Montréal), Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (Ithaca, New York), the Grand River Baroque

Festival Soloists, Prince George Symphony Orchestra and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières and in 2013/14 will perform as concerto soloist with group of 27 (Toronto), Orchestra London, Orchestra Toronto, and the Okanagan Symphony. She regularly tours and performs across Canada and the United States in recital and as a concerto soloist with trumpeter/pianist Guy Few and is launching a series of concerts with Canadian folk icon, Valdy.

Immediately upon graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1981, Nadina began her career with the Montréal Symphony. She is the principal bassoonist of the group of 27, the Aradia Baroque Ensemble and a regular guest with Violons du Roy.

Mathieu Lussier, 2013

A versatile musician with an inquiring mind, Mathieu Lussier energetically and passionately promotes the bassoon and the Baroque bassoon as solo instruments throughout North America and Europe. He has performed with such ensembles as Arion (Montreal), Les Violons du Roy (Quebec City), the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Toronto), the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra and the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra Apollo’s Fire. From 2007-2012, he has been artistic director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival. He devotes a good deal of his time to chamber music performance as a member of the Ensemble Pentaèdre de Montréal, the Caliban Quartet of Bassoonists (Toronto), and the ensemble Musica Franca.

More and more often invited to conduct ensembles, Mathieu Lussier has conducted the Orchestre de la Mission Saint-Charles (Lamèque), Les Violons du Roy in Quebec, Ontario and Mexico, the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal in a six-concert tour, Arion Baroque Orchestra as well as a production of Handel’s pastoral Acis and Galatea with the l’Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal. Since September 2012, he is Conductor in Residence for Les Violons du Roy.

His numerous solo recordings include almost a dozen bassoon concertos by Vivaldi, Fasch, Graupner, Telemann, and Corrette, a disc of bassoon sonatas by Boismortier, three CDs of music for solo bassoon by François Devienne, and two CDs of wind music by Gossec and Méhul.

As a composer, Mathieu Lussier has a catalogue with more than forty works to his credit which are heard regularly in concert halls in North America, Europe and Australia. In August 2009, his Bassango, in its version for bassoon and string orchestra, was awarded Third Prize in the category Contemporary Classical Song at the Just Plain Folks Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.

His works are published by Trevco Music (USA), Accolade (Germany) and Gérard Billaudot (France).

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