Described as a “pure chamber musician” (Globe and Mail) creating “moments of pure magic” (Toronto Star), Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across five continents. Grand prize winner of the 2001 Vriendenkrans Competition in Amsterdam, Rachel is cellist of Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, the Seiler Trio, the Art of Time Ensemble, and is Artistic Director of the “5 at the First” Chamber Music Series in Hamilton. She has appeared as guest principal cello with the Canadian Opera Company, National Arts Centre, Group of 27 and Munich Chamber orchestras, and will join the National Arts Centre Orchestra as Associate Principal Cello in January 2016.
Rachel has given masterclasses across North America, South Africa and in Israel and is currently Artist-in-Residence at Western University in London ON. An advocate for new Canadian music, Rachel has commissioned and premiered works including a cello concerto by Kevin Lau, solo work by Andrew Downing and chamber music by Abigail Richardson-Schulte, William Rowson, John Burge and Omar Daniel. Rachel can be heard on the Naxos, Naxos Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, Dalia Classics and EnT-T record labels, and released a critically acclaimed album of the Bach Suites on Pipistrelle in March 2014, recorded on the 1696 Bonjour Stradivarius Cello from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. Winner in the 2015 Canada Council Instrument Bank competition, Rachel is grateful to have been awarded the 1730 Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello for a 3 year loan.
Pianist Jeanie Chung enjoys an active and varied performing career. She has given solo recitals, concerto performances and chamber music concerts throughout North America, Central America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
A diverse range of recent and long term projects include collaborations with Shauna Rolston, Elissa Lee, Erika Raum, Barry Shiffman, Andres Diaz, Colin Carr; Robert Langevin, Frank Morelli, Shalom Bard, YaoGuang Zhai; William Vermeulen, Michael Sachs; Alexander Dobson; Laurence Lemieux, Margie Gillis, and Ted Robinson.
Following her studies at The Royal’s Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School and Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists (formerly known as the Young Artists Performance Academy) in Toronto, she attended the Juilliard School where she obtained Bachelor of Music, Masters of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Her principal teachers have been Boris Lysenko, Leon Fleisher, John Perry, and Herbert Stessin.
Ms. Chung was the recipient of the Career Development Award from the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto and numerous grants from the Canada Council and Chalmers Fund.
She is a faculty member of The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists and at the Banff Centre.
With assistance from: