The musicians on this disc
Fraser Jackson has had a long career as a bassoonist and contrabassoonist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Along the way, he has been lucky enough to play as a guest with such groups as the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Amsterdam), the National Symphony (Washington, DC) and the New York Philharmonic. His love of chamber music and his curiosity about all kinds of music led to him founding a hotshot bassoon quartet called The Caliban Quartet, as well as Musica Franca which might still be the only baroque group to use the contrabassoon as a continuo instrument. As a duo with his wife Monique de Margerie, he has performed throughout Canada and in such exotic locales as Cambodia and Indiana; he and Monique appear each summer at the Cammac Music Festival in Quebec and the Interprovincial Music Camp in Ontario. Fraser is a prolific arranger and has over 80 pieces in his portfolio, some of which are published commercially and some of which have been recorded by complete strangers. One of his favourites was a reduction of Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, performed by Monique and nine players from the TSO in February, 2017. He performs on a bassoon made of Ontario maple by Benson Bell, and a contrabassoon made by Heckel in 1958.
Monique de Margerie is a concert pianist, collaborative musician and educator. She was trained at the Montreal Conservatory and later at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich. She has taught at the Musik Hochschule in Freiburg, Germany, at Laval University in Quebec City and at the American Koenig Music Conservatory in Paris. She has toured as a soloist or collaborator in China, India, Japan, Cambodia, Germany, France, Canada and, most recently, in Italy. She has performed as soloist with the l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec and has collaborated with such musicians as the conductor Helmut Rilling, Linus Roth (violin), Anne-Julie Caron ( marimba) and the late Nicholas Chumachenco (violon).In 2011, Monique moved to Toronto where she founded her own music studio sharing her passion for music, welcoming students as well as coaching and rehearsing with musicians from all over the world. Although she is excited to live in the city, her true source of connection and paradise is when she walks in the beauty of nature. Her next step is to move to the country and never retire from what she does best: play the piano and communicate her passion for music. Her solo recording of works by Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy and Brahms is available on Galley Records.
Winona Zelenka is the Assistant Principal Cello of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and is a founding member of Trio Arkel. She has appeared as soloist with many orchestras including the TSO and the Toronto Philharmonia. Her recording of the Bach Suites on Marquis Classics was nominated for a JUNO award. She has served as the Principal Cello of the Toronto Symphony and the Santa Fe Opera and is currently the lead cello of the Classical Tahoe Festival.
Best known as the concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Marie Bérard is also a sought-after chamber musician, soloist, recording artist and teacher. She is a member Trio Arkel and of the Grammy-nominated ARC ensemble and is a regular performer at such chamber music festivals as the Mainly Mozart festival in San Diego, California and the Bravo International Chamber Music Festival. Marie is on faculty at the University of Toronto, the Glenn Gould School and the Taylor Academy as well as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
Dominic Desautels is Principal Clarinet of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and the Hamilton (Ontario) Philharmonic. Previously, he was the Principal Clarinet of Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais in Brazil, and Symphony Nova Scotia and he was a regular guest of ScotiaFest. A popular choice of many chamber ensembles and festivals, he is the first clarinettist to win a prize at the prestigious International Stepping Stone competition of the Canadian Music Competition, and he is a former member of The New Bridge, winners of the Stingray Rising Artist Award at the 2015 Halifax Jazz Festival. He teaches clarinet at the University of Toronto.