Orchestra

Orchestra

Overview

The experience of ballet – or dance of any kind – is virtually inseparable from the experience of the music that accompanies it. Whether it is the full-fledged romantic sonorities of Tchaikovsky or the abstract minimalist reveries of Philip Glass, whether it is a familiar classic or a new work never heard before, music is as vital to the meaning of ballet as the dancing itself.

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

The National Ballet of Canada is fortunate in having one of the finest orchestral ensembles anywhere to provide the musical component to its many and varied productions. Overseen by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Briskin, the National Ballet Orchestra is admired not just for the incredible range and versatility of the repertoire it performs but for the dazzling brio, theatrical insight and colour it brings to the company’s work onstage. Blending the score seamlessly with the complex and shifting physical and dramatic requirements of the dancing in order to bring out the ballet’s fullest intentions and emotional shadings is the orchestra’s role, and whenever the lights go down, the National Ballet’s orchestra fulfills that role with verve, elegance and aplomb.

Members

Violins
Aaron Schwebel,
Concertmaster

Lynn Kuo,
Assistant Concertmaster

Dominique Laplante,
Principal Second Violin

Jamie Kruspe,
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
Joanna Zabrowarna
Paul Zevenhuizen

Violas
Angela Rudden, Principal

Joshua Greenlaw,
Assistant Principal

Valerie Kuinka
Johann Lotter
Beverley Spotton

Cellos
Maurizio Baccante, Principal

Marianne Pack, Assistant Principal Cello

Olga Laktionova
Andrew McIntosh
Elaine Thompson
Paul Widner

Basses
Hans J. F. Preuss, Principal

Jonathan Yeoh, Assistant Principal Bass

Paul Langley
Robert Speer

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
Jessie Brooks, Principal

Derek Conrod
Gary Pattison
Scott Wevers

Trumpets
Richard Sandals, Principal

Mark Dharmaratnam
Robert Weymouth

Trombones
Charles Benaroya, Principal

David Archer,
David R. Pell, 
Bass Trombone 

Tuba
Sasha Johnson, Principal

Harp
Lucie Parent,
Principal

Timpani
Michael Perry,
Principal

Percussion 
Kristofer Maddigan,
Principal

Mark Mazur

Orchestra Personnel Manager and Music Administrator:
Raymond Tizzard

Music Librarian:
Lucie Parent

Quotes

Nijinsky
“Kudos must also go to conductor David Briskin and the National Ballet Orchestra. The music soared to glorious heights in the famous themes from Rimskij-Korsakov’s Schéhérazade, while in complete contrast, the orchestra perfectly captured the edgy modernism of excerpts from the works of Shostakovich.”
—The Globe and Mail

Romeo and Juliet
“David Briskin's fine conducting of the orchestra makes the tremendously powerful score a seamless piece with the dancing.”
—Toronto Star

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
“The music, composed by Joby Talbot and rendered with the kind of skill and precision we have come to expect from the NBOC Orchestra under the baton of David Briskin, seems designed first and foremost to serve this fanciful production.” —Toronto Sun

Top image credit: The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim.