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Faculty

 

We take pride in our distinguished artistic faculty who, in addition to providing the highest music education. Our faculty members provide the highest quality of creative and scholarly experiences for students in all programs within and across disciplines. 

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Colin Yip

President, Voice

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Renowned Tenor Colin Yip, President of the Toronto School of Music Canada, International Jury member of the Bellini International Music Competition Italy, Artistic Director of the Rome International Music Festival, President of the Artists International Music and Dance Association in Canada, and celebrity of the "WHO'S WHO" International Celebrity Ceremony Cambridge, England in 1997. Famous vocal works include Verdi's - La Traviata, Richard Strauss's - Die Fledermaus, Tchaikovsky's – Eugen Onegin, Puccini's - "Madame Butterfly", Handel's Messiah, Donizetti - Lucia di Lammermoor, Schubert's - Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise, and so on.

As a famous tenor singer, Colin has been invited to perform in the United States, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and other places in recent years and has been widely praised. Enrico Morley, conductor of La Scala Opera House Orchestra Milan, said that "the best singing comes from tenor Colin Yip, whose lyrical and charming voice touched the hearts of every audience and is a truly great artist", saying that Colin is one of the best Chinese singers.

Colin studied vocal music by tenor Mr. Zhang Rujun in Hong Kong in his early years, and was admitted to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 1983, where he studied under the famous professors Ms. Guo Shuzhen and Mr. Lai Xinchang, and received individual tutoring from Professor Klaus Ochell, a famous German art song expert. After a successful solo concert at the Hong Kong City Hall in 1988, he was awarded a scholarship from the Royal Conservatory of Music Canada to continue his studies in Canada and won the first place in the Vocal Music Competition of Ontario Association of Vocal Teachers Canada. After graduating in 1990 and becoming a vocal teacher at the Academy, then he successfully played the lead role in Richard Strauss's opera “Ariadne Auf Naxos” in Saskatchewan. After being invited to tour in Southeast Asia 1992, he was admitted to Manhattan Conservatory of Music New York, and continued his studies with Mr. Gabriel Canelli, a student of the well-known Italian tenor Gili, and Mr. Maitland Peters, head of the vocal music department of the college. In 1995, he received his master's degree and won the Vocal Award of the Artists International Music Competition the same year, and gave a highly successful concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, where he was named the most passionate and infectious and dazzling tenor singer by the local newspaper. In 1996, Colin became the first Chinese singer to perform at the Arizona State Opera in the United States, playing the role of Pinkerton, the protagonist of Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly". Since then, Colin has been invited to Italy many times to serve as a judge of the "Bellini" International Music Competition, and also introduced the development and style of Western opera in the "Into Opera" program of CCTV music channel in China.

2007, Colin held a tour of Schubert's - Die Schöne Müllerin in China, which was a great success, and then at the invitation of the Orchestra of La Scala Milan, he performed the "Famous Opera Aria Concert" at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China, successfully contributing to the sino-Italian artistic exchange. In 2010-11, the solo concert in memory of the great soprano Maria Callas was held in Italy, and the solo concert of Schubert's vocal suite - Winterreise was held in China, which is still a vocal teaching material. In addition to performing all over the world, Colin is frequently invited to serve as a jury member of many international music competitions, and has held many series of lectures and master classes on music culture and art in various places, which have supported many vocal singers and made important contributions to young artists to the international stage!

 

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William Shookhoff

Artistic Director, Music Coach

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Mr. Shookhoff is a renowned Canadian conductor, pianist and music educator specializing in opera and musical theatre production, and he has rich experience as an artistic director, including solo piano, chamber music and orchestral conducting. In 1989 Mr. Shookhoff was the inaugural associate conductor of the musical Les Misérables in Toronto, Canada, and the first Canadian touring music director of Andrew Weber's Phantom of the Opera, the Monster (10 pianos, 30 pianists) concert at Carnegie Hall, and the Wharton Chamber Opera The Bear at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. As well as the conductor of the Wuhan University Orchestra, both of which are the highlights of his personal career.

Mr. Shookhoff has served at the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta, and has also served as an artistic director at the Banff Music Summer Camp Canada and at the opera houses in United States and Netherlands. He has travelled all over the world for master classes programs at major music academies and serving as a judge for international music competitions. He is now the Artistic Director and Conducting Professor at the Opera Centre of Toronto School of Music Canada.

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Mary Liu

Dean, Voice

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“A sensational soaring voice” World Journal, New York.

World famous soprano Mary Liu, a well-known singer in the music industry, an educator who practices it, dean of Toronto School of Music Canada, music director of Artists International Music and Dance Association Canada, Italy judge of the "Bellini" International Music Competition, "Maria Callas" International Competition and "Verdi" International Vocal Competition. Notable works include Puccini's “Madame Butterfly”, “Giacomo”, “Tosca”, and Verdi's “La Traviata”, “Aida”. Conductor of La Scala Opera House in Milan - Erico. De Morley gave Mary a high praise and evaluation: "she is one of the greatest, most worthy and most musically appealing soprano singers today.

Mary Liu was admitted to the Beijing Central National Song and Dance Troupe as a singer in 1981, and was admitted to the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music in 1985 to study vocal music with Chinese famous singers Professor Guo Shuzhen and Wang Fuzeng, and she was awarded the Royal Conservatory of Music Canada in 1989 to pursue an artist degree. She graduated with honours in 1990 and became a vocal teacher at the Conservatory. In 1993, she went to Manhattan School of Music in New York to pursue a master's degree. She won the Outstanding Artist Award at the 23rd International Artist Vocal Competition in New York, and successfully held a solo concert at Carnegie Hall. In 1996, she co-founded Toronto School of Music in Canada with tenor Colin Yip and which trained many young musicians.

Mary has worked with countless musical legends including Joan Sutherland, Richard Bonynge, Enrico De Mori, Giuseppe Acquaviva, Stefano Pagliani, Domenico Pierini, Giovanni Reggiori and Franz Albanses. She has performed with world-renowned symphony orchestras in the United States, Canada, Italy, China, Singapore, Malaysia and has recorded her own solo programs on local national television. 

Mary Liu won twice the prize awarded by the Italian government to Canada's outstanding musicians in 1996 and 1998 to tour Italy, and then was invited to serve as a judge of the Italy "Bellini" International Music Competition, in addition to serving as a judge of the Beijing Chinese Singing Foreign Competition, in 2008 she was invited to Italy to perform for the Pope of Rome, the program was broadcast live to the world, and in the same year she was invited to participate in music festivals and performances in the Czech Republic, Vienna and other places. In 2009-10, she was invited to perform with the famous tenor Colin Yip at La Scala Opera House, Milan and the Opera House in May, Florence, and then held successful performances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts and the Chinese People's Hall in China. She then performed at the Luca Puccini Opera Festival in Italy, concerts hosted by Rome Television, "Madame Butterfly" starring at the Bulgarian National Opera, charity performance at the Qingdao Grand Theatre in 2011, two performances with Italian conductors and Mr. Colin Yip and the Nie Er Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Nie Er's birth, the 2013 Rome Music Festival in Italy, the Christmas Concert in Rome, and the 2017 CCTV China Love Program performance, New York's "Maria Callas” Commemorative Concert was unanimously acclaimed.

Since 2011, Mary has been invited consecutively as the music director of the Rome Music Festival, The international judges of the "Maria Callas" International Competition and the Italy "Verdi" International Competition have made great contributions to cultivating young musicians and especially Chinese musicians to take to the international stage!

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Sabatino Vacca

Conducting

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Mr. Vacca is a well-known Canadian conductor and artistic director, who is the recipient of the Spirit of Ontario award for the Arts by the National Congress of Italian Canadians. 

He have travelled all over the continental of Europe and Canada, and his opera center, York Opera, has previously performed in Ontario the programs: Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Tosca, La Bohème, Verdi’s La Traviata, Rigoletto, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, etc. Mr. Vacca served as Artistic Director of Opera Production and conducted the Mozart’s opera Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosí Fan Tutte.

Mr. Vacca has served as Artistic Director of the Opera Centre at top universities such as the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and he is currently a Professor of Conducting at the Toronto School of Music.

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Rufat Amiraliev

Violin, Viola

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Dr. Amiralev holds a Master's and Doctorate degree in violin performance from Azerbaijan State University, after which he continued his studies at the International Chamber Music and the Regents Academy in Germany with professor Walter Rademacher, Tomas Grossenbacher, Norbert Brainin and Martin Lovett. He is currently the first violinist and violaist of CanadianChamber Music Academy, the first violinist of the Ontario Philharmonic Orchestra, and the concertmaster of South Simcoe Opera House Orchestra and the Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra in Toronto. 

Dr. Amilarev is a gifted and professional mentor whose extensive performance and educational experience provides invaluable assistance to students in their performances and assessments. 

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Alexander Veprinsky

Music Theory, Conducting

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Mr. Veprinsky graduated from the Lviv State Conservatory of Music of Ukraine with a High Diploma in Opera and Symphony Conducting. In addition, he granted an Advanced Diploma in Piano and Harmony & Counterpoint from the Academy of Music Education. He was the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble and has extensive experience in chorus arrangement and accompaniment arrangement. Mr. Veprinsky is now currently a professor of the Orchestral Department and the Music Theory Department at Toronto School of Music Canada.

 

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Alexander Kats

Piano

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"Alexander Kats is a talented virtuoso artist who combines stylistic diversity with depth of interpretation." This is his mentor – famous pianist Professor Lina Bulatova (who is the student of piano masters Elena Gnessina and Heinrich Neuhaus) wrote about Mr. Kats. Graduated from the prestigious Gnesins Russian Academy of Music in Moscow as a Doctoral student in Piano Performance, Mr. Kats has always been a highly sought-after solo pianist, covering major concert halls in Russia, Israel and Canada. He won the Chopin Music Competition Award in Israel and gave a personal interview TV program to Israel's National Radio TV Station before moving to Canada as a prominent musician. His superb playing and teaching skills have contributed greatly to the education of piano performance in North America. Currently he is a professor of piano at Toronto School of Music Canada.

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Antonia de Wolfe

Piano, Music Theory

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Antonia de Wolfe graduated from George Enescu Conservatory of Music in Bucharest, Romania, with a degree in piano performance, and later received another degree from the Central Conservatory of Music affiliated to the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music. She also graduated from the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome later, studied with Sergio Perticaroli, and obtained a Master of Music (Piano Performance) from University of Toronto. In addition, Ms. Wolfe studied under Maestro S. Petricaroli at the Mozarteum Hochschule für Musik in Salzburg Austria. Ms. Wolfe has given numerous recitals and concerts in some of the top concert halls in Bucharest, Moscow, Rome, Paris, Salzburg and Toronto. Ms. Wolfe has been teaching in the Piano Department at Toronto School of Music Canada since 2000.

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Gloria Yip

Violin, Piano

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Gloria Yip is a Toronto-based violinist and music teacher who is well-known for her unique musicality and dynamic performances. She has performed in Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Spain and China; and has won several awards, including first prize at the Prix Ravel competition with string quartet, a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and an Ihnatowycz Emerging Artist Scholarship from the Glenn Gould School. She recently obtained a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Toronto, where she studied as a full scholarship student with Dr. Timothy Ying and was awarded the Palmason Graduate Fellowship in Violin. Prior to completing her doctoral degree at UofT, Gloria was also a full scholarship student at the Glenn Gould School, obtaining an Artist Diploma under the tutelage of Paul Kantor and Barry Shiffman. She also holds a Masters of Music degree from Indiana University, studying with Mauricio Fuks. She was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Toronto to Lydia Wong, and was also a past teaching assistant to Mauricio Fuks, Paul Widner and Stefano Pagliani. Before choosing to pursue music professionally, she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science from UofT’s Life Sciences program, majoring in psychology and music and graduating with honours.

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