Nicholas Atkinson

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Nicholas Atkinson

Nicholas Atkinson was born in Manchester, England and came to Canada in 1957. He began his musical career playing tuba and bass with Canadian Army bands and later graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Music in Performance. He subsequently studied extensively with the legendary Arnold Jacobs of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  He also holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Ottawa.

Since moving to Ottawa in 1973, Mr. Atkinson has been an active tuba player and teacher. He was a member of the R.C.M.P. Band for fourteen years and has played with the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 1976.  He has been a soloist with the orchestra on numerous occasions. One of the busiest tuba players in Canada, he has performed with all the major orchestras. During the 1989 season he was principal tuba with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, beginning a long association that included many recordings and international tours.  As a chamber musician, Mr. Atkinson is a founding member of the Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet, Ragtime Brass and Capital Brassworks, all of which have been featured on CBC broadcasts and recordings.  He has also performed and recorded extensively with the Hannaford Street Silver Band. Every summer from 1993-2010 he organized large-scale brass concerts at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival.

Mr. Atkinson taught at Queen’s University for ten years and at the University of Ottawa from 1977-2004.  He is a well-known brass coach and performing artist for Besson and Yamaha, and has given clinics at schools and universities all over Canada. Since 2006 he has been the low brass instructor for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Mr. Atkinson can be heard in conversation with various artists on a variety of subjects in a continuing series of podcasts on the N.A.C. Orchestra website.

His hobbies include reading (wide-ranging and assiduous), cryptic crosswords (occasional flashes of intelligence) and golf (dangerous fanatic).

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Sasha Johnson

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Sasha Johnson

Sasha Johnson began his musical training at age 16, studying brass chamber music and tuba with Sam Pilafian at the Empire Brass Seminar of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He went on to study at the University of Toronto with both Mark Tetreault and Murray Crewe of the Toronto Symphony, with Toby Hanks at the Manhattan School of Music, and with Alain Cazes at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal. His additional private teachers have included Arnold Jacobs, , Mel Culbertson, Richard Erb and Alan Baer.

In 1997 Sasha became the first Canadian tuba player to be accepted into the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. This program trains a small number of young professionals in the sound, style, traditions and standard of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Having begun his professional career in Berlin, Sasha went on to perform with many other European orchestras including the Berlin Symphony, the Berlin State Opera, the Radio Orchestra Berlin, the Orchestre Symphonique de Radio France, The Orchestre de Paris, the Ensemble Modern and the Orchestre Nationale de Bordeaux. He has performed in such music festivals and concert venues as the Lucerne Festival, the Festivale d'Aix en Provence, the Concertgebouw, the Konzerthaus Wien, the Theatre Champs-Elysée, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Salzburg Festival the BBC Proms, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Lincoln Center, under such eminent conductors as Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Pierre Boulez, Essa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Jarvi, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur and Seiji Ozawa.

Sasha returned to Canada in 2001 and has established himself as a prominent performer and pedagogue. He has performed as a regular extra with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, including tours to Europe and Japan; the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony, including playing their 2009/2010 season. He is the instructor of tuba at the Glenn Gould School of Music and instructor of tuba and chamber music at McGill University, as well as an instructor of low brass and chamber music at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. In January 2009, Sasha was appointed principal tuba of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. Sasha is a founding member and administrative director of the Canadian National Brass Project.

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Kristofer Maddigan

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Kristofer Maddigan

Kristofer Maddigan a percussionist, drummer and composer based in Toronto, Canada. A member of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra since 2010, Kris also performs regularly with a wide range of groups including The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Hannaford Street Silver Band, The Canadian Opera Company, The Toronto Concert Orchestra, The Thunder-Bay Symphony, A Fantastica Batteria, and the Devah Quartet. As a composer, Kris has written music for 'My Virtual Dream' at Toronto's Nuit Blanche festival in 2013, and is currently writing the music for the upcoming indie video game 'Cuphead'.

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Robert Slapcoff

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Robert Slapcoff

Robert Slapcoff is currently principal percussionist with L'Orchestre des Grands Ballets Canadiens and the Festival Orchestra at Lanaudière. He has also performed, toured, and recorded extensively with the OSM and many other groups including NACO, the SMCQ, and Les Violons du Roy. He has taught at all levels and is currently at Vanier College where he has run the percussion program since 1987.

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Jonathan Wade

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Jonathan Wade

A native of Ottawa, Jonathan Wade received a Bachelor of Music in percussion from the University of Ottawa where he studied with Ian Bernard and Pierre Béluse. He went on to obtain a Superior Studies diploma in orchestral repertoire for timpani from the University of Montréal under Louis Charbonneau.

Since 1982, Jonathan Wade has performed as a percussionist and timpanist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In 1983 he was appointed principal timpanist of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Wade is heard frequently with other fine ensembles including Capital Brass Works, Thirteen Strings and the Ottawa Choral Society. He performs regularly in Music and Beyond and in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival.

In 2002, Jonathan Wade became professor of timpani at the University of Ottawa and was appointed head of percussion in 2006. He was the percussion instructor at the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy from 1986 to 2009. Jonathan is very active in the NAC's Music in the Schools program with the Bangers and Smash percussion duo and as a drummer in the Ragtime Brass sextet.

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