Mana Shiraishi Mana Shiraishi

Mana graduated from Toho Gakuen School of Music (BMus), from McGill University (MMus) and from Université du Montréal (D.E.P.A.). Mana Shiraishi has played as a chamber musician in many countries in Europe, Asia and North America. 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 numerous 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 and Stěkeň Chamber Music Festival among others.

She is a member of Valdstyn Trio and Duo Ventapane. 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. Duo Ventapane’s recent recording « Duo Ventapane plays Czech & Japanese Music » was chosen as the "Excellent Recording" by important music magazine « Record Geijyutsu ». Her performance was described in these words: “While violin strikes clear and persuasive tones, the CD is recorded in natural and supple sound... it is a recording that one can rarely find...”

Mana has been regularly performing in symphonic and chamber orchestras and had opportunities to work with world-renown conductors: Eliahu Inbal, Alan Gilbert and Myung-Whun Chung among others. She is also a sought-after violin teacher and chamber music coach. In 2015, she established annual Westmount Chamber Music Workshop where she works as the director.
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 colourful and always imaginative.” He performs, teaches and lectures regularly in the Czech Republic, Germany, Canada, U.S.A. and Japan.

Aside from establishing his reputation as a dynamic promoter of Czech music, Mr. Karlíček’s large solo and chamber music repertoire includes works from all periods. One of his projects was a CD of complete works for piano as well as works for cello and piano by Canadian composer Andrew Yin Svoboda. He also recorded piano works by Leoš Janáček, Bedřich Smetana, Bohuslav Martinů, Sergei Prokofiev and Franz Liszt among others.

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

As a chamber musician, Martin Karlíček founded award-winning Duo Ventapane, as well as Creo Trio and Trio Valdstyn. He is also the co-founder of Westmount Chamber Music Workshop and co-founder and executive director of the festival Karlíček Sequenza.

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 teaching piano and chamber music at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.