Orchestra

The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra

The National Ballet of Canada is privileged to have its own full orchestra with over 60 members and is led by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Briskin.

The company's first Music Director was George Crum who, along with Founder Celia Franca, was a pioneer of the company. Mr. Crum held the position from the company's inception in 1951 to 1984, when he was appointed Musical Director Emeritus. The orchestra was led by Ermanno Florio from 1985 to 1990 and Ormsby Wilkins was Music Director from 1990 to 2006.

The National Ballet Orchestra has toured extensively with the company through Canada, the United States and Europe. Over the years, the orchestra has received much acclaim from audiences and critics alike and has recorded two CDs of Michael Torkes' compositions for The Contract (The Pied Piper) and An Italian Straw Hat.

Members

Violins

Concertmaster 
position vacant

Lynn Kuo,
Assistant Concertmaster

Dominique Laplante,
Principal Second Violin

Aaron Schwebel,
Assistant Principal Second Violin

James Aylesworth
Jennie Baccante
Sheldon Grabke
Xiao Grabke
Nancy Kershaw
Sonia Klimasko-Leheniuk
Csaba Koczó
Yakov Lerner
Jayne Maddison
Ron Mah
Aya Miyagawa
Wendy Rogers
Filip Tomov
Joanna Zabrowarna
Paul Zevenhuizen

Violas

Angela Rudden, Principal

Joshua Greenlaw,
Assistant Principal

Valerie Kuinka
Johann Lotter
Beverley Spotton
Larry Toman

Cellos

Maurizio Baccante, Principal

Olga Laktionova
Andrew McIntosh
Marianne Pack
Elaine Thompson
Paul Widner

Basses

Hans J. F. Preuss, Principal

Paul Langley
Robert Speer
Cary Takagaki

Flutes

Leslie J. Allt, Principal

Maria Pelletier
Shelley Brown, Piccolo 

Oboes

Mark Rogers, Principal

Karen Rotenberg
Lesley Young, English Horn 

Clarinets

Max Christie, Principal

Emily Marlow
Gary Kidd, Bass Clarinet 

Bassoons

Stephen Mosher, Principal

Jerry Robinson
Elizabeth Gowen, Contra Bassoon  

Horns

Gary Pattison, Principal

Vincent Barbee
Derek Conrod
Scott Wevers

Trumpets

Richard Sandals, Principal

Mark Dharmaratnam
Robert Weymouth

Trombones

David Archer, Principal

Robert Ferguson
David R. Pell, Bass Trombone 

Tuba

Sasha Johnson, Principal

Harp

Lucie Parent, Principal

Timpani

Michael Perry, Principal

Percussion 

Tim Francom, Principal

Kristofer Maddigan
Mark Mazur

Keyboards

Edward Connell
Janis Neilson
Andrei Streliaev

 

Orchestra Personnel Manager and Music Administrator: Raymond Tizzard

Music Librarian: Lucie Parent

Assistant to the Music Director:
Jean Verch

Quotes

Nijinsky

“The intensity of the performances is matched by the music, a mix of Chopin, Schumann and Shostakovich, while the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, with featured performances by Edward Connell on piano and Angela Rudden on viola, has never sounded better.”
National Post, 2013 

Romeo and Juliet

“There are few ballet scores as grand as Prokofiev’s for Romeo and Juliet, and David Briskin and his orchestra do every note justice.”
The Toronto Star, 2011 

The Sleeping Beauty

“the orchestra, led by David Briskin, drew out every note in Tchaikovsky’s marvelous score.”
The National Post, 2012 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

“the orchestra rendered full justice to Joby Talbot’s commissioned score as it channelled any number of famous composers to provide always appropriate atmosphere and musical support for the mostly frenetic action on stage.”
The Toronto Star, 2011 

Don Quixote

“the NBOC Orchestra shines, doing its utmost under the baton of David Briskin to transform Minkus' score into a thing of memorable beauty”
Toronto Sun, 2011 

Cinderella

“Prokofiev was given his just desserts by conductor David Briskin and the ballet orchestra. This production makes one very aware of the composer’s melancholy-tinged score, animated by choreography that captures the dark side.”
The Globe and Mail, 2010 

West Side Story Suite

"The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, under the assured baton of David Briskin, makes hay with Leonard Bernstein's glorious show tunes."
Toronto Sun, 2007