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Mana Shiraishi Mana Shiraishi

Mana Shiraishi has played as a soloist and a chamber musician in many countries in Europe, Asia and North America and is a sought-after violin teacher. She is a member of Chamber Orchestra Appassionata, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Auriolus Quartet, Creo Trio and Duo Ventapane. In 2011, Duo Ventapane received Smetana award and Bartók award from the IBLA Grand Prize International Music Competition and toured the United States where it held performances in Radford University, New York University and Carnegie Hall among other venues. Her recent projects include promotion of all violin and piano works of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski and a project called "The Three Faces of Kreisler" that explores output of Fritz Kreisler, famed violin virtuoso and composer. She also made a recording of violin and piano works by Ferenc Liszt.

In 2002, she was chosen to enjoy chamber music collaboration with Midori Goto at Midori's career 20th anniversary concert in Japan. She participated in a concert tour "Mozart meets Jazz" with Paquito D'Rivera and Makoto Ozone, and made an appearance at music festivals such as Martha Argerich's Meeting Point in Beppu, La Folle Journée au Japon, Takefu International Music Festival, Blueridge International Chamber Music Festival, Stěkeň Chamber Music Festival and Czech Music Festival in Oita.

Mana Shiraishi graduated from Toho Gakuen School of Music (B.Mus.) under Tsugio Tokunaga and Toshiya Eto, from McGill University (M.Mus.) where she studied with Jonathan Crow and Mark Fewer and from Montreal University (Diplôme d'études professionnelles approfondies) under Laurence Kayaleh.

Martin Karlíček Martin Karlíček

Martin Karlíček’s piano playing has been described as “inspiring, rich, sensitive, stylistically taut and arresting, precise, crisp, brilliantly controlled, wonderfully colorful and always imaginative.” He performs and lectures regularly in the Czech Republic, Germany, Canada, U.S.A. and Japan.

Aside from promoting Czech music, Mr. Karlíček performs solo and chamber music works from all periods. Contemporary music is also an important part of the repertoire; one of his last projects was a CD of complete piano works by a young Canadian composer Andrew Yin Svoboda (1977-2004). He also introduced several world premieres such as Félix Frédéric Baril’s piano concerto Déviations, Martin Matalon’s Las siete Vidas de un Gato as a North-American premiere and a world premiere of Tekeni-Ahsen by Denys Bouliane. In 2008 he and a Japanese violinist Mana Shiraishi established Duo Ventapane and in 2011, Creo Trio.

Mr. Karlíček gathered prizes from several international music competitions winning the Bedřich Smetana International Piano Competition, the South Bohemian International Piano Competition, and the Prague-Vienna-Budapest International Summer Academy Competition. He also received awards for performances of contemporary works, chamber music collaborations and for solo performances of compositions by Bedřich Smetana, Béla Bartók, Ferenc Liszt, Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů.

Martin Karlíček studied at the Academy of Music in Prague (B.Mus., M.Mus.), Utrecht Academy of the Arts in Holland and at McGill University in Montreal in Canada (M.Mus., D.Mus.). Presently, he is a piano professor at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.