Dina Namer   John Avey   Nadia Boucher

Piano Clinician/Adjudicator: Dina Namer 

Born in New York City, Dina Namer is now a resident of Ottawa, Canada. Her formal studies were at the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music, from which she received her Master’s Degree in piano performance. Her principal teachers were Robert Goldsand, Artur Balsam and Benar Heifetz. In addition, with the support of the Canada Council, she worked extensively with Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio.

Dina Namer has had a diverse career in both the United States and Canada as a harpsichordist and pianist, performing and recording a wide range of repertoire from Baroque harpsichord to contemporary Canadian piano works. She has a long association with the musicians of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada in Ottawa. Through the NAC’s Music for a Sunday Afternoon series, she has collaborated with such artists as Bernard Greenhouse, Andrew Dawes, Paul Tortelier, Felix Galimir, Charles Treger, Timothy Eddy, Leone Buyse, Gail Williams and many others.

As an educator Dina has taught piano performance at Ottawa, Carleton and Queen’s Universities in Canada. Currently she is Continuing Adjunct Lecturer at Queen’s University, Kingston, teaching piano, harpsichord and chamber music. In addition she maintains a busy private teaching studio.

As a chamber musician, Ms. Namer has been a member of the Aulos Ensemble, a trio for flute, clarinet and piano, the Ottawa Baroque Ensemble, the Kingston Baroque Soloists, and the Sh’ma Ensemble, a group devoted to performing works of composers who died in the Holocaust. Her work with the Aulos Trio culminated in the release of the CanSona CD entitled "Playing Tribute", which features chamber works of several Canadian composers. More recently she collaborated with violist Lisa Moody in a CD release of Canadian works entitled “Magdalene Wood.”

Highlights of the 2016-17 season included the debut recital of “Duo Pianistico”, a new collaboration with pianist Robert Dvorkin, a recital of music for winds and piano as part of the Queen’s University Faculty Recital Series and a recital of works for cello and piano with cellist Nina Gordon. During July and August of 2017 Dina performed with Dr. Gordon and faculty members in the Illinois Chamber Music Festival and with musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra at the Festival of the Lakes in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Ms. Namer performs frequently in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, “ Festival Music and Beyond, ” and the Alexandria Festival of the Lakes in Alexandria, Minnesota. She has recorded often for Minnesota Public Radio, CBC, and "Radio Canada."

Vocal Clinician/Adjudicator: John Avey 

John Avey is a well-known, experienced and respected member of Canada’s bass-baritone fraternity, whose repertoire encompasses a wide range of major operatic and concert works. He has sung with most of Canada’s leading opera companies and orchestras as well as performing in the United State and Europe.

Recent seasons included the role of Capulet in Vancouver Opera’s production of Gounod’s ROMÉO ET JULIETTE, the title role in the Mikado with Edmonton Opera and bass soloist in both the Fauré and Saint-Saens Requiems with The London Fanshawe Chorus and Orchestra in London Ontario. In 2011, Mr. Avey performed Salieri in a rare performance (in Russian) of Rimsky-Korsakov’s MOZART AND SALIERI, during the Calgary Philharmonic’s Mozart Festival while later that season saw him as the bass soloist in Verdi’s REQUIEM with the Fanshawe Chorus and Orchestra. He has performed to critical acclaim the roles of Amonasro in AIDA with L’Opéra de Québec, Germont in LA TRAVIATA for Opera New Brunswick, William Jennings Bryan in THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE for Calgary Opera, Ford in FALSTAFF for Edmonton Opera as well as creating the role of Carl Jung in THE DREAM HEALER, a new opera written by Lloyd Burritt and Don Mowatt to celebrate the 100th anniversary of UBC. On the concert stage, he recently sang Vaughan Williams’ A SEA SYMPHONY with the Winnipeg Symphony and MESSIAH with Symphony Nova Scotia.

In 1999, Avey made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Enrico in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR under Sir Charles Mackerras on three hours’ notice and there, in the Met’s 2001/02 season, sang Germont in Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA, a role he has subsequently sung with the opera companies of Arizona, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver.

Career highlights also include Peneios in Richard Strauss’ DAPHNE with New York City Opera, the first staged version of this opera in the city’s history; the Canadian première of Rimsky-Korsakov’s MOZART AND SALIERI with Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony as well as the title role of THE MIKADO in Brian Macdonald’s legendary production of this Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, both at the Stratford Festival and on tour. London audiences may remember Avey in the title role of RIGOLETTO with Orchestra London at the Grand Theatre.

He has performed on CBC Radio in such works as Vaughn Williams’ the FIVE MYSTICAL SONGS, the Verdi REQUIEM with the Vancouver Symphony, the Songs of Alexina Louie with the Winnipeg Symphony while for CBC TV, Avey sang the world television premiere of THE SPIRIT OF HAIDA GWAI from the Chan Centre, Vancouver broadcast on the CBC series “Opening Night.”

Mr Avey has performed such diverse roles as Robert in Tchaikovsky’s IOLANTA, the Vicar in Britten’s ALBERT HERRING and Prince Nicholai Bolkonsky in Prokofiev's WAR AND PEACE with the Canadian Opera Company, the Emperor in Ullmann’s DER KAISER VON ATLANTIS with Edmonton Opera, the Father in HANSEL AND GRETEL with Manitoba Opera, Rodrigo in DON CARLOS with Arizona Opera, Amonasro in AIDA with L’Opéra de Québec, Sharpless in MADAMA BUTTERFLY with Opera Ontario, Marcello in LA BOHEME with Opera Lyra, Ottawa, Scarpia in TOSCA and Lescaut in MANON LESCAUT with Pacific Opera.

His repertoire includes the requiems of Verdi, Brahms and Fauré, Orff’s CARMINA BURANA and the major concert works of Beethoven, Handel and Haydn. Avey’s versatility is often shown in evenings devoted to the music of Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern and Sigmund Romberg. He was also warmly applauded for his performances in Livent’s THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER at the Pantages Theatre, Toronto. He and his wife soprano Christiane Riel successfully toured with Orchestra New-Brunswick in a husband/wife collaboration entitled OPERA MON AMOUR; a show they themselves wrote and staged. In the spring of 2013, John formed a new and scintillating cabaret partnership with well-known London, Ontario pianist Marlene Fagan entitled JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS which has been playing to rave reviews throughout South-Western Ontario.

Mr Avey also enjoys teaching; having a willingness to impart and share his knowledge and experience with the next generation of singers. He has taught at the Schulish School of Music (McGill University), the Department of Music, Queens University and Opera Nuova, Edmonton, Alberta. He is presently teaching at the University of Ottawa. While on the road performing, he often gives masterclasses and private voice lessons to singers involved in either university programs or “Young Artists Programs” at various opera companies.

An erudite writer and polished and experienced public speaker, Mr. Avey has, also, written and presented various concert presentations for such organizations as the London Opera Guild and London’s Aeolian Hall.

Nadia Boucher - Small Ensemble Clinician/Adjudicator

Collaborative pianist, vocal coach, music director, and teacher, Nadia Boucher, enjoys a very active and diverse musical career. She holds a Master of Music Degree in Collaborative Piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Bachelor of Music from the University of Ottawa, and an ARCT Performer’s Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has had the privilege of studying with many renowned pedagogues including pianists Jean Desmarais, Anita Pontremoli, and Sheila Paige of the Keyboard Wellness Seminar, vocal coaches Warren Jones and Linda Jones, and chamber coaches, Julian Armour and Roman Borys of the Gryphon Trio.

At home in a broad range of styles, Nadia performs regularly in recital across North America. She has had the opportunity of performing with celebrated mezzo-soprano and host of CBC Radio’s Tempo, Julie Nesrallah, and with renowned Canadian bass-baritone, John Avey, as well as many of Canada’s up and coming young artists.

Nadia has been the rehearsal pianist and coach for various choral and opera ensembles. An alumnus of the Banff Centre’s Opera as Theatre Program she has since been the music director for numerous operatic productions including, Cosi fan Tutte, L’Elisir D’Amore, and Le Docteur Miracle (Opera Inside Out) and Suor Angelica and I Pagliacci (South Ottawa Performing Arts Collaborative). Passionate about all genres of music, Nadia has also been music director for various music theatre productions including RENT and Oliver! (Steppin’ Out Productions).

Nadia currently works as the vocal coach and accompanist for the voice studios of John Avey, Laurence Ewashko and Dillon Parmer at UOttawa. She is also a faculty member of the University of Ottawa’s Summer Vocal Institute. Nadia volunteers with the Canadian Music Showcase and maintains a busy private studio where she teaches piano and music theory to students of all ages and levels.

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