Home/News
Bios
Recordings
Reviews
Order/Contact
Archive

VIVEZA IS

Gwen Thompson (Violin)
Mark Koenig (Violin and Melodeon)
Wilmer Fawcett (Double Bass)
Robert Holliston (Piano)
with Salvador Ferreras (Percussion)


BIOGRAPHIES

Gwen Thompson (Violin)

Gwen Thompson

C.M., B.Mus.

Canadian violinist and pedagogue Gwen Thompson began her professional career in 1971 with a dual appointment as Professor of Violin at the University of Western Ontario and Concertmaster of Orchestra London. Her formal training took place with S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatte in Winnipeg, Josef Gingold, Jascha Heifetz and Ivan Galamian in the United States and Henryk Szeryng in Switzerland.

She has performed and coached solo, orchestral and chamber music at festivals throughout Canada, the Pacific Northwest and Europe. She was associated with the Vancouver Academy of Music as Head of the String Department for twenty five years, as well as holding a teaching position at the University of British Columbia. She has performed as soloist and member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Chamber Orchestra and has led the Baroque Strings. For fourteen years she was an Artist-in-Residence at the Vancouver Chamber Music Series - Masterpiece Music.

Since stepping down from the Vancouver Academy position, she has taught at the University of Manitoba and continued her association with the University of Western Ontario as visiting Professor of Violin from 1998 to 2004.

As a violin coach with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for twenty five years, she mentored many students into the professional milieu. Ms. Thompson has been a member of the group VIVEZA since the start, travelling to Korea, the United States and throughout Canada to perform. Their many CDs have received international success.

She was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2003.

Mark Koenig


Mark Koenig (1953-2006) (Violin and Melodeon)

It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved colleague Mark Koenig passed away November 4, 2006 after a long battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues, friends and family, who loved him and held him in high esteem.

In 1979, Mark graduated with a Master's degree in violin performance from the University of British Columbia. Since that time, he was an active free-lance musician and a long time member of both the CBC Vancouver Orchestra and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. Much sought after as an adjudicator and teacher, Mark was also on faculty at the Vancouver Academy of Music since 1975.

Wilmer Fawcett (Double Bass)

Wilmer Fawcett

Canadian double bassist Wilmer Fawcett studied at the University of Alberta, the Juilliard School in New York under scholarships from the Canada Council and Frederick Zimmermann, and Indiana University with Murray Grodner. He toured Europe as a member of the National and International Youth Orchestras and the Purcell Ensemble, and toured Korea with Viveza during Expo 93.

A founding member of Viveza, Fawcett has recently retired as Principal Bassist with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra and Associate Principal with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared frequently in the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival and the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, and as a studio and chamber music player (including concerts with the Melos Quartet and the Vogler Quartet).

Previous playing positions have included the National Arts Centre Orchestra (as a guest performer) and the Edmonton Symphony, and his teaching positions have included the University of BC, Douglas College, the Vancouver Academy of Music, the Courtenay Youth Music Camp, the Banff School of Fine Arts and Indiana University (as a teaching assistant). Fawcett has performed and recorded many solos in the bass repertory, including Mozart's Per questa bella mano (K612), a baroque concerto for violone by Karl Kohaut, and the Canadian premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Strathclyde Concerto No.7 for Double Bass for CBC broadcast.

Wilmer also enjoys playing jazz guitar.

Robert Holliston
Robert Holliston (Piano)

Robert Holliston studied at the Victoria Conservatory of Music under Robin Wood and Winifred Scott Wood, and at the University of British Columbia under Robert Rogers. As an accompanist and chamber player he has performed throughout Canada and the USA, England and New Zealand, and has been heard frequently on CBC-Radio. He has recorded CDs with the popular salon ensemble Viveza, trombonist Ian McDougall, clarinetist Patricia Kostek, tenor Ken Lavigne, his brother Tom Holliston, Show Business Giants, and members of the Hornby Island Ensemble. Robert has collaborated with many of Canada's leading singers, including Richard Margison, Benjamin Butterfield, Judith Forst, Nathalie Paulin, Susan Platts, Barbara Livingston and Peter Barcza; string players Eugene Fodor, Marc Destrubé, and Paul Marleyn; and dancers Karen Kain and Evelyn Hart. A popular public speaker, Robert has given pre-performance lectures for Pacific Opera Victoria since 1993 and is the host of the Victoria Conservatory of Music's Brown Bag Lunch series. Still an active performer, he is currently Head of Collaborative Piano Studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where he also teaches piano and music history. Robert has worked with the VCM Opera Studio since its inception, and served as Chorus Master and Répétiteur for Pacific Opera Victoria.

Salvador Ferraras


GUEST ARTIST WITH VIVEZA

Salvador Ferreras (Percussion)

Versatile percussionist, producer and performance collaborator, frequently featured on national radio as host and commentator. Recorded with artists such as Safa, Robbie Robertson, Raffi, Chicago and Viveza, and three solo recordings: To Drive in L.A., Invisible Minority and Woodcuts.

 


Home/News
Bios
Recordings
Reviews
Order/Contact
Archive