TONY YIKE YANG • biography
Hailed by CBC Music as one of Canada’s finest young musicians, pianist Tony Yike Yang first rose to international acclaim at the age of 16 after becoming the youngest-ever laureate in the history of the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, winning the 5th prize in 2015. Additionally, Yang has also won prizes at the Van Cliburn, Gina Bachauer, Hilton Head, Cooper, and the Bosendorfer & Yamaha USASU International Piano Competitions.
As a soloist, Yang has performed internationally in venues such as Koerner Hall in Toronto, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Millennium Amphitheatre in Dubai, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Athenaeum in Bucharest, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Seoul Arts Center, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Osaka Symphony Hall, Sala Chopin in Mexico City, Esplanade Singapore, the Opera House in Guangzhou, and many others.
Concerto highlights include appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain, Fort Worth Symphony, Toronto Sinfonietta, Edmonton Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony, Changsha Symphony, and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.
An avid chamber musician, Yang has collaborated with celebrated artists such as Geza-Hosszu Legocky, Lyda Chen-Argerich, Barry Shiffman, Dumitru Pocitari, and Rodin Moldovan.
Yang has also performed for royalty and dignitaries such as Her Royal Highness Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Polish President Andrzej Duda, among others.
His debut album of works by Chopin was released on the Fryderyk Chopin Institute label in 2016.
In 2018, Yang was appointed Youth Cultural Ambassador to the city of Guangzhou, and accepted a one-year position as an artistic tutor for Sun-Yat-Sen University. Two years later, Yang was also offered a three-year appointment as Music Consultant to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. Upon accepting these roles, Yang has been passionately committed to advancing and encouraging classical music education for youth all across China, having given masterclasses and lecture-recitals at the Xinghai, Harbin, and Shanghai Conservatories, among others.
Born in Chongqing and raised in Toronto, Yang is a recent graduate of Harvard University where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Ingesund Piano Center in Sweden under the guidance of Prof. Julia Mustonen-Dahlkvist, and in the past, was a fellow at the Oberlin-Lake Como International Piano Academy. His present and past mentors have included renowned musical figures such as Gabriela Montero, Eliso Virsaladze, Stephen Hough, Martha Argerich, Dang Thai Son, Mari Kodama, Alexander Korsantia, Wha Kyung Byun, Julian Martin, and James Anagnoson.
Apart from his performances and ongoing studies, he has also served on the jury of the Canada International Piano Competition, Nordic International Piano Competition, Northern Lights Piano Festival, the Hong Kong International Music Festival, and the Steinway Canada Young Artists Piano Competition.
Yang is currently a recipient of the 2020 Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award, the 2021 Harvard Arts Prize, and the 2021 Ingesund Piano Center Scholarship.
MARCO PARISOTTO • biography
Born in Montreal of Italian lineage, Marco Parisotto is among Canada's foremost conductors on the international scene. A guest with orchestras around the globe, with unrelentingly high standards of performance, he continues to thrill audiences with his passionate music making. He is the winner of seven major international competitions and crowned these achievements at the1997 “Besançon International Competition for Conductors”, being awarded both the Grand Prix as well as the Prix du Public - a historical first at this elite event.
As Artistic Director of the Ontario Philharmonic (OP), a title he has held for over two decades, he has earned praise for the orchestra’s development and adventurous performances, and he is credited with building OP to the high standard it enjoys today. Under his leadership, Ontario Philharmonic has received superlative audience and media recognition.
“…a fantastic orchestra [Ontario Philharmonic] being led by a first-rate conductor” • Musical Toronto.
Marco Parisotto’s close association with orchestras is manifested through the strong relationships he has maintained with ensembles under his leadership. In 2013, he was unanimously elected as Music Director of the Jalisco Philharmonic, transforming this ensemble into one of Latin America’s most distinguished orchestras. Under his direction, the Jalisco Philharmonic garnered international attention with its virtuosic performances and participated in recordings, tours, international festivals and major events such as Operalia, The World Opera Competition. During his tenure, the orchestra undertook major concert tours eliciting great critical and public acclaim as they visited Germany, Austria, the USA and Mexico in leading concert halls of Berlin, Munich, Essen, Vienna, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Busan and Mexico City. As well, through Maestro Parisotto, the orchestra completed significant commercial recording projects, starting with the Philharmonic’s first release under the SONY Classical label.
“Amidst this exciting pillar of sound growing constantly, stands Marco Parisotto. Under his control, directing the orchestra with the greatest finesse, like an architect he gives precise instructions that develop into a majestic edifice of sound… He ingeniously manages the full spectrum of colors of his orchestra… We hope that this fantastic orchestra with this dynamic conductor will visit our German concert halls more frequently, bringing with them their style of spicy and fiery music-making.” • Klassik Begeistert, Raphael Eckardt
Following a special concert celebrating Canada-China relations in 1999 at the Grand Theatre in Shanghai, Marco Parisotto was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 2003.
Marco Parisotto has won critical and public praise for his interpretations of the great Austro-German repertoire - as R. Strauss, Bruckner, Wagner, and as an avid Mahlerian. He has also been acclaimed for his readings of Russian masters as Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and for his passionate performances in the operatic field. He has led productions including, among others, Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen, Otello, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, La Boheme, Aida, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni and Turandot.
“The star of the evening was without a doubt Marco Parisotto…inspired, passionate and in a virtual state of grace, impressing a supreme flow and agility to this extremely challenging opera [Puccini’s Turandot].” • Opera World.
Marco Parisotto has appeared in major concert halls throughout the world, conducting many leading orchestras including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano "La Verdi", Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano, New Jersey Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Busan Philharmonic, Osaka Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Erfurt Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Georges Enescu Philharmonic, Janacek Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Opéra de Bordeaux, Opéra de Marseille, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Philharmonique de Liège. He was received with great enthusiasm at the international Festivals of Evian, Menton, Besançon, Festival Cervantino, Wieniawski International Festival (Poland), May Festival of Guadalajara, Festival of Opera in Jalisco, Skaneateles Festival New York, Busan Maru International Music Festival and Bolzano Festival; at the Montreal Opera, Shanghai Opera, Opera Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste, Serbian National Theatre; in Mexico with the Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM, Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de las Artes, Orquesta Sinfonica de UANL, Camerata de Coahuila, Sinfonica Carlos Chavez, Camara de Bellas Artes, Orquesta de Baja California; in China with the Shanghai Symphony, China National Symphony and Gui Yang Symphony. He has also led to acclaim the Polish National Radio Symphony, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI of Torino, Orquesta de Cordoba, Orchestre de Bayonne Côte-Basque. On several occasions, at Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris, he was a guest of Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux.
Marco Parisotto is the winner of seven important international competitions. Aside from his noteworthy awards at the prestigious Besançon Competition, joining the ranks of maestros like Seiji Ozawa and Michel Plasson, other top prizes have included the Tokyo International Conductors' Competition in Japan, Constantin Silvestri Competition in Romania and the Antonio Pedrotti in Italy. He was moreover honored with all other special awards at these events.
He took his training both as a violinist and pianist and studied conducting with eminent maestros including Leonard Bernstein, Carlo Maria Giulini, Leonard Slatkin, Charles Brück, Yuri Temirkanov, Georg Tintner and, initially, with Raffi Armenian at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec in Montreal.