Let’s Talk Bassoon

OSM Greatest Hits for Bassoon: Ravel and Stravinsky

 

LET’S TALK BASSOON is an online series of conversations, seminars and/or masterclasses featuring some of Canada’s foremost bassoonists.

Episode 3 aired on NOVEMBER 26, 2023…Watch it NOW!

Episode 3 of Let’s Talk Bassoon took place on Sunday November 26 at 1 pm ET. Council of Canadian Bassoonists board member (and principal bassoon of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra) Stephane Levesque lead us in an exploration of the bassoon parts of Ravel and Stravinsky in a class titled “Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Greatest Hits”.

The class featured four students from the McGill University School of Music – Matthew So, Daniel Zaldana, Zoe SirLouis and Leah Espinoza.

Featured performers for this class – Zoë SirLouis, Matthew So, Daniel Zaldana and Leah Espinoza

 

Zoë SirLouis is currently under the tutelage of Stéphane Lévesque, Principal Bassoon of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, as a graduate student at McGill University. Having recently earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Bassoon Performance from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (CCM), she has been incredibly fortunate to be a student of the esteemed Christopher Sales and Martin Garcia. Zoë was recently awarded a generous scholarship from the 3Arts Foundation as a 2023 winner in the category of Instrumental Music. During the summer of 2022, she was invited to perform as the Principal Bassoonist for the Berlin Opera Academy Orchestra and has also participated in the Domaine Forget de Charlevoix Music Academy and the Orford Music Academy. Based in Tampa, Florida, her musical journey began at the age of 10 with piano lessons and the clarinet before becoming a driven young bassoonist.

Originally from Hong Kong, Matthew began playing bassoon at the age of 12 and is currently based in Toronto and Montreal. He is currently entering his final year in his undergraduate degree for bassoon performance at McGill University, under the guidance of Stephane Levesque. He has also studied with Nguyen Bao Anh in Hong Kong, Fraser Jackson, contrabassoonist for Toronto Symphony Orchestra and worked with numerous distinguished bassoonists including Susan Durnin, Carin Miller, Eric Hall, Michael Sundell. Currently a member for the McGill Symphony Orchestra and McGill wind orchestra, he was also a member of Toronto symphony youth orchestra for 2 years. Matthew has also participated in the IDRS (International Double Reed Society) summer camp at Japan in 2015, the Kiwanis Clubs competition where he won first place, and the Ontario Music Festival association where he received second place. Throughout his youth, Matthew also played piano, saxophone, and oboe.

Leah Espinoza is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in bassoon performance at McGill University studying with Stéphane Lévesque. Leah received a Bachelor of Music in bassoon performance and a minor in French from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. There, she studied under Darrel Hale, William Ludwig, and Nanci Belmont. During her time at LSU, she performed with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Monroe Symphony Orchestra in Monroe, Louisiana, and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra in Lafayette, Louisiana.

 

At McGill, Leah is a member of the McGill Symphony Orchestra. She is an active member of a woodwind trio and a woodwind quintet. In the summer of 2023, Leah was selected to participate in the chamber and orchestral programs at the Trentino Music Festival in Trento, Italy.

A native of South Florida, Daniel Zaldana is currently studying at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University studying under Stephane Levesque. Daniel is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan, studying with Dr. Jeffrey Lyman for his Undergraduate degree. Before his undergraduate degree, Daniel studied both at the summer and academy programs at Interlochen Center for the Arts studying with Dr. Eric Stomberg, William Short and Keith Buncke. During his studies throughout the many institutions, Daniel has had many opportunities to experiences and learn from a variety of influences. Such as an extensive chamber experience performing with many groups, learning more about arts administration work including volunteering with the office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Michigan. All these different experiences, and all the people he has had the wonderful opportunity to meet and connect with, has greatly expanded his own ambitions and plans for his career ventures.”

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