Born and raised in Calgary, Colin Maier graduated from the University of Calgary in 1997 with a degree in oboe performance studying with David Sussman. Colin is currently the oboist for the internationally renowned and critically acclaimed ensemble “Quartetto Gelato” playing 50-70 international concerts a year. During that time he has been heard on national radio broadcasts, seen on the BRAVO network and received the 2010 INDIE award for best classical ensemble. He has also played with orchestras such as the Calgary Philharmonic and the National Ballet Orchestra. He has performed in orchestra pits for mega musicals across Canada. As well as being a guest lecturer/recitalist at universities across North America, Colin is currently the oboe professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. In addition to oboe, Colin also plays clarinet, english horn, violin, 5-string banjo, acoustic/electric bass, piano, saxophone, flute, guitar and musical saw. While unable to play them all at the same time, he has recorded several pieces with layering and multi-tracking all the instruments to perform every sound on the song. A project called “The Colin Maier Orchestra”. He also regularly uses these instruments to teach workshops and demonstrations to children ages 5-18. In addition to being a musician, Colin has also worked for over 20 years as a dancer, actor, stuntman, singer, choreographer, acrobat and martial-artist. Colin had the honor of playing the devil fiddler in the flying blue canoe for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies.” Colin had also been seen in; “Lord of the Rings” (Mirvish), Fire (CanStage), “Forbidden Phoenix” (LKTYP), “KA” (Cirque du Soleil), “Amadeus” (Alberta Theatre Projects), “That Dance Show” (Saltance Productions), “Cats” (Neptune Theatre), Joseph’s Dreamcoat (StageWest/Drayton), “A Chorus Line” (StageWest), Sarah Brightman’s World Tour, and TV’s “Honey I Shrunk the Kids!”. This combination of music and theatre is quite unique and he continues to find new, exciting and ground breaking ways to combine his two passions.
Kirk Starkey performs regularly throughout Canada and the United States as a member of award-winning crossover ensemble Quartetto Gelato. Kirk’s solo recordings Little Gidding (2011), Songs of Sudbury (2016) showcase his original style of integrating extended cello techniques and digital processing into a compelling and accessible medium. No stranger to collaborations outside of classical music, recent projects include session work for Bülow, Mickey Guyton, Great Lake Swimmers, Glorious Sons, Wild Rivers, Emma-Lee, and Lou Rhodes (Lamb). A featured solo performer/composer at the International Cello Festival of Canada (Winnipeg 2011), Kirk was featured in a live solo performance broadcast on CBC’s The Signal. In the role of Producer, Kirk Starkey specializes in the capture and production of acoustic music. His recent clients include in the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, The Toronto Consort, Quartetto Gelato, Valerie Tryon, Suzanne Shulman, Bud Roach, Capella Intima, Paul Marleyn, and Shoshana Telner. A frequent contributor to television programs, Kirk can be heard on Anne with an e (CBC/Netflix), X Company (CBC), Flashpoint (CTV), Hannibal (NBC) and Orphan Black (BBC America). His collaboration with Tonmeister/composers Daniel Dettwiler and Ramon de Marco (Basel, Switzerland) is in permanent installation in the BMW Museum in Munich, Germany. Kirk Starkey’s cello has been featured in numerous international advertising campaigns, including Mercedes-Benz, Kaldewei, Royal Bank of Canada, Edeka, and TD Canada Trust. Kirk performs and records on a newly restored Bohemian cello (c.1775) on generous loan from Hildegard Battista.
Konstantin Popović began his violin studies at the age of five in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. A few months later, he was acknowledged as the most promising beginner violinist by the members of the board of education for strings. This recognition led to a performance on a national television program about the history of violin music. Parallel to his achievements in violin, at the age of seven, Konstantin was appointed vocal soloist in a renowned youth choir “Drinka Pavlovic”. This choir was frequently broadcast on radio and television and also created three separate recordings featuring Konstantin as a vocal soloist. At the age of seventeen Konstantin graduated from a music high school “MS Mokranjac” in Belgrade having accumulated numerous awards at the highest national violin competition. Konstantin studied violin with Vlada Bobić in Belgrade. Shortly after graduation, Konstantin immigrated to Toronto, Canada where he continued his studies at the University of Toronto in the music performance department under Leo Wigdorchik. After graduating from U of T, he extended his orchestral studies as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and National Academy Orchestra. As a member of the National Youth Orchestra, he toured most major Canadian cities, numerous countries in Europe and Asia. In 2000, Konstantin became the Assistant Concertmaster of Windsor Symphony. The same year, he also won an equivalent position in Sinfonia Toronto, a string orchestra comprised of fourteen members. Konstantin has been featured as a violin soloist on numerous tracks of Kosta Arnakouros’ instrumental CD Mediterranean Rendezvous released in 2004. He also did studio work for composer-arranger Charles Cozens of Somerset Entertainment and was featured as a first violinist of a string quartet on the same recording. As a soloist Konstantin has had the honour of collaborating with conductors such as Giuseppe Lanzetta, Nurhan Arman, Peter Wiebe, Charles Greenwell, Ivars Taurins, Janez Govednik, Mark Skazinetsky, Fabio Mastrangelo, John Morris Russell and Robert Franz. Konstantin plays regularly with “Wellington Music” agency which he co-founded with cellist Orsolya Lengyel in 1997.
Matti Pulkki got his first accordion and began his music studies at the age of six in the small town of Joutseno in eastern Finland. He grew up immersed in traditional Finnish music, old dance tunes, virtuosic show-pieces and classical music, performing and competing with the accordion from early age on. Later Matti proceeded to study with esteemed Finnish accordionist Matti Rantanen. Over the years, he participated in numerous international masterclasses and seminars. The interest to meet musicians and teachers around the world also led Matti to Canada for the first time in 2014 to study for a year with Joseph Macerollo. After multiple shorter visits for shows and concerts, Matti returned to Canada in 2019. Holding Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accordion performance from the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, Matti is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Toronto. Matti has performed internationally with numerous ensembles and as a soloist. He has also been involved with multiple theater and opera productions both in Finland and Canada. Since his debut recital at the Helsinki Music Center in 2018, Matti has appeared on several international festivals. In his solo repertoire, Matti often concentrates on original classical contemporary works written for the free-bass accordion. Recently, he has been focusing on collaboration with composers to reimagine the possibilities of his instrument. Matti continuously premiers new solo and chamber works and holds lectures about the accordion for composition students in institutions around the world. Outside the contemporary music scene, Matti eagerly arranges and performs music from wide variety of styles and genres. His transcriptions of classical pieces range from Renaissance and Baroque keyboard music to twentieth century pieces. Matti does not restrict himself to classical music, and can often be seen performing music from tangos and klezmer to folk music and jazz, and everything in between.
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