Ottawa Chamberfest, under the motto Changing lives through music, presents and celebrates chamber music year-round through its three pillars: our annual summer festival, our year-round concert series, and our community engagement and education activities, including our beloved Chamber Chats. Established in 1994, the organization will celebrate 30 years in 2024.
Mark your calendars and join us in Ottawa for our 2023 summer festival taking place July 20-August 3! Four concerts remain in our Concert Series, two of which are available by livestream: the King’s Singers on February 18 and violinist Leila Josephowicz with pianist John Novacek, March 17. Visit our website or call our box office (613-234-6306) for all ticketing options: www.chamberfest.com
July in January 2023
Ottawa Chamberfest presents
Introducing Rihab Chaieb
This concert marked an exceptional Chamberfest debut for Tunisian-born mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, who has captivated audiences around the world with her vocal clarity and lavish tone – equal parts passion and precision. Together, the ensemble performed works befitting a hot summer’s eve, including Respighi’s musical depiction of a sunset, Berlioz’s take on a summer night, and Schoenberg’s transportive Transfigured Night. Please enjoy the performance!
Rihab Chaieb, mezzo-soprano:
A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program, Tunisian-born Rihab Chaieb is highly acclaimed for her vocal clarity and dramatic charm. Among the numerous productions in which she has appeared are La clemenza di Tito with the Canadian Opera Company and, most recently, in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte at the Washington National Opera. Chaieb is also the recipient of many major grants and has enjoyed success in numerous competitions, winning the 2016 Gerda Lissner International Voice Competition and taking prizes at the Metropolitcan Opera National Council Auditions and the 2018 George London Foundation Competition.
Hinrich Alpers, piano:
German pianist Hinrich Alpers is a young artist of astonishing maturity and versatility. Laureate of Canada’s Honens International Piano Competition and 1st Prize winner of the 3rd International Beethoven Competition in Bonn, Germany. In addition to his many recordings and solo performances around the world, he recently founded his own annual festival and masterclass series in his hometown Uelzen, Germany.
Aaron Schwebel, violin:
Violinist Aaron Schwebel currently holds the positions of concertmaster with the National Ballet of Canada and associate concertmaster with the Canadian Opera Company. Schwebel is a member of the LARK ensemble and Rosebud String Quartet, and is founder/artistic director of Echo Chamber Toronto, a series that merges chamber music and contemporary dance. Schwebel has been on faculty at Toronto Summer Music Festival, Interprovincial Music Camp, and Festival Del Lago in Ajijic, Mexico.
Emily Kruspe, violin:
Toronto-born violinist Emily Kruspe is a winner of the Glenn Gould School’s Concerto Competition and the University of Toronto Concerto Competition, is a recipient of the Orford String Quartet Scholarship, and was previously a CBC Young Artist. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Kruspe was a member of the Rolston String Quartet from 2018-2020 and performed extensively around North America and Europe. Emily has performed with the Toronto-based ARC Ensemble, and regularly plays section violin with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and the National Ballet Orchestra of Canada as an extra. She was also named one of CBC’s hot Canadian classical musicians under 30 in 2018. Emily completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto under Erika Raum, obtained an Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School under Paul Kantor and Barry Shiffman, and studied at the Colburn School with Martin Beaver. She was also a 2017-18 Rebanks Fellow of the Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto.
Keith Hamm, viola:
Keith Hamm was named principal violist of the Canadian Opera Company in 2011, where he performed for eight seasons before he took up that same position with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 2019. Hamm is an alumnus of Prussia Cove, Sarasota Music Festival, and programs at the Banff Centre. He has also performed at the Ravinia Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, Stratford Summer Music, Sweetwater Music Festival, and Music By The Sea. He is founder and artistic director of the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival.
Carissa Klopoushak, viola and Artistic Director
Based in Ottawa, violinist Carissa Klopoushak is a proud member of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Ironwood Quartet. A laureate of the 2018 Canada Council for the Arts Instrument Bank Competition, Carissa performs on the beautiful Maggini model 1851 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin. She is also the founder and artistic director of the Ritornello Chamber Music Festival in her hometown of Saskatoon, artistic director of Ottawa Chamberfest, and, with the Ironwood Quartet, serves as co-director of the Classical Unbound Festival in Prince Edward County. Carissa holds a doctorate in violin performance from McGill University, where she focused on the little-known classical violin repertoire by Ukrainian composers. Her debut recording, SOUNDWORLDS, was released in 2016 with Canadian pianist Philip Chiu.
Leana Rutt, cello:
Leana Rutt holds the position of principal cellist of the Canadian Opera Company. After completing her studies at McGill University and the Juilliard School, she moved to Winnipeg and spent six years as the assistant principal cellist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Rutt has been a guest artist at the Ritornello Festival, Music by the Sea, Festival Pontiac Enchanté, Virtuosi Concerts, Kaimerata, and the Lunenburg Academy, and has mentored students of the National Academy Orchestra, the Lunenburg Academy, the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Sistema Winnipeg.
Rachel Mercer, cello:
Described as a “pure chamber musician” (Globe and Mail) creating “moments of pure magic” (Toronto Star), Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across five continents. Grand prize winner of the 2001 Vriendenkrans Competition in Amsterdam, Mercer is currently principal cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. With a first love of chamber music, Mercer also plays with the Mercer-Park Duo and AYR Piano Trio, and is Artistic Director of the “5 at the First” Chamber Music Series in Hamilton.