Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra
The Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Ottawa’s premiere professional chamber orchestra, was founded in 1976 by conductor Brian Law and string players from the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Now directed by Kevin Mallon, the orchestra has a diverse repertoire– covering music from the Baroque era to 21st century music – and has commissioned 100 new works from Canadian composers.
The orchestra’s core of thirteen string players is regularly supplemented by guest performers. From baritones to sopranos, from marimba players to Klezmer specialists, guest artists have helped develop Thirteen Strings into one of the best-known and most eclectic chamber orchestras in Canada.
The Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra presents its own subscription concert series and has collaborated with many arts organizations in Ottawa. These have included: Le Festival de musique sacrée, Ottawa’s Seventeen Voyces, the Music and Beyond festival, the Cantata Singers, Ottawa’s Viennese Winter Ball, the West Fest street festival and the McGill Chamber Orchestra. In December 2013, the annual Christmas Concert was filmed for television and broadcast to over 140 countries on EWTN. Many of its concerts have been broadcast across Canada on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada. The Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra made its first recording on the Naxos label in June 2014, with a recording of Franz Beck’s six symphonies, opus 2.
For more about the orchestra, please visit their website.
The Stevens & Kennedy Band
The members of The Stevens & Kennedy Band hail from across North America and include former RCMP Band members. Within their ranks they include the best musicians in the Ottawa Region and are proud of the reputation they have earned as one of the best in live music in the National Capital Region. Over the band’s history, they have shared billing with such stars as Dionne Warwick, The Canadian Brass, Kashtin and Maureen Forester. The Stevens & Kennedy Band is proud to have been a part of the Viennese Winter Ball tradition and band members look forward to this special event with anticipation and excitement.
For more about the band, please visit their website.
Junior Thirteen Strings
The Junior Thirteen Strings is an education project that evolved from the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra and provides young string players a unique opportunity to perform with the orchestra. Following an audition process, the young players are invited to play one concert with Thirteen Strings during the regular concert season. The program also provides a very special opportunity to receive coaching from the principal players of the orchestra and from conductor Kevin Mallon.
The Junior Thirteen Strings have played regularly for the Viennese Winter Ball and at the Austrian Embassy for the Thirteen Strings’ garden party. They have also performed several times as part of the Music and Beyond festival during the Ottawa Family Music Expo, and alongside the professional members of the Thirteen Strings in an evening concert.
Not only are the Junior Thirteen Strings performing during The Viennese Winter Ball, they are also one of the Ball’s beneficiaries.
For more about the ensemble, please visit their website.
The OrKidstra program is a community development program to give inner-city children the opportunity to learn life skills such as teamwork, commitment and responsibility through the joys and challenges of singing and playing music together. The program began in 2007 with 27 children and the passionate belief in the transformative power of music. It has since grown to include close to 400 children, ages 5-19, from 42 cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and has become a world-class example of why music is called the universal language. OrKidstra will not only be performing during The Viennese Winter Ball, but is also one of the Ball`s beneficiaries.
For more about the ensemble, please visit their website.
2018 Guest Performers
Kellylee Evans has continued to evolve her distinctive sound as her career has grown from her jazz roots. She won a Juno Award in 2011 for Nina, a beautiful tribute to one of jazz’s greatest vocalists and pianists, Nina Simone. She also received Juno and Gemini nominations in 2007 and a win for Best Female Artist at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. She took second place in the prestigious Thelonius Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004. Her energy-charged live shows have led to opening spots
for George Benson, Tony Bennett, Maceo Parker, John Legend, and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.
CAROLINE LÉONARDELLI – HARP
Caroline Léonardelli, concert harpist and recording artist, has an accomplished career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestra musician and teacher. She is known for her passionate and bold interpretations of French and 20th century repertoire. Her solo recording El Dorado received a
Juno nomination for Classical Album of the year, solo or small ensemble. Caroline is the principal harpist with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Gatineau and has participated in numerous chamber ensemble such as the Four Seasons Harp Quartet.
KERSON LEONG – VIOLIN
Kerson Leong is an avid chamber musician who won the Junior First Prize at the Menuhin Competition in 2010. He has performed as soloist around the world with the Oslo Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, l Solisti Veneti, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Quebec, l’Orchestre Metropolitain, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Mr. Leong is also recipient of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award 2016 and the Young Soloist Prize 2015 of the Radios francophone publique. He will perform at the 2018 Music and Beyond festival.