About the KSO
Coming from a Hungarian background, music has always played a vital role in the life of Canadian born conductor/composer Michael Berec. From the age of 6 he studied piano privately, and at elementary school began playing the clarinet and violin. By the end of high school Michael was privately studying the piano, violin, saxophone, voice and taking lessons in advanced music theory. He then pursued music at the post-secondary level focusing on composition and conducting. After graduating with a Masters in Music Composition, Michael seamlessly transitioned from the world of academia to a career in music for film and television. Michael has over eight years of experience, composing and conducting for various media including film, television, radio, the internet and live concert works. His scores have been heard at film festivals worldwide (including TIFF) and on television networks such as CBC, Bravo and TMN. His ear for composition goes beyond his own music as he has supervised the music for such programming as the hit Canadian CBC series “Little Mosque on the Prairie” and the Hallmark movie “Bridal Fever” starring Delta Burke. He has secured music licenses for several US television series, including Howie Mandel’s “This Is Howie Do It,” and feature films, including Paul Gross’ epic film, “Passchendaele.” As a music director he has had the opportunity to be a part of live broadcasts such as symphonic concerts from the Rogers Centre in Toronto featuring the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra to live-to-air operas from the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Recently, Michael Berec spent a month in Europe studying conducting with Maestro Jorma Panula (Sibelius Academy) and Maestro Donato Renzetti (Accademia Musicale Pescarese, Italy). While in Europe, he had the opportunity to conduct in two orchestral concerts in Spain: one with the Filharmonica de Cambra de Catalunya in Terrassa (Barcelona) and the other with the Camerata Antonio Soler in San Lorenzo De El Escorial (Madrid). With his multitude of musical skills, Michael has had the pleasure to perform and work with such great diverse artists as Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, American Idol’s Melinda Doolittle, Latin sensation Jon Secada, Canadian singer Molly Johnson, American actress Kathleen Turner, Canadian actor Colm Feore, GLEE star Cory Monteith and the Canadian Tenors. Michael is a member of SOCAN, the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Toronto Musicians’ Association.
Joanna Ng holds a Master of Orchestral Conducting from Northern Illinois University and Bachelor of Piano Performance from Queen's University. She has extensive solo and orchestral performance experience in piano and flute in the cities of Hong Kong, Vancouver, Kingston, Toronto, and Chicago, IL. She is a registered RCM piano teacher, Suzuki Licensed Instructor, and a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association(ORMTA). Ms. Ng received professional piano training under Dr. William Koehler, Mr. Michel Szczesniak, Mrs. Clayton Scott, and Mrs. Ellen Silvermen. Joanna is currently running her own privately music studio teaching piano, flute, and music theory in the GTA area.
As a young conductor, Ms. Ng is honored to receive the full scholarship for her master program studying with Dr. Lucia Matos. Under the mentorship with Dr. Dale Lonis, the former Dean in the Faculty of Music in University of Manitoba and CEO of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Joanna had the opportunity to attend rehearsals and concerts with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and studied with the music director Robert Hanson. Conducted the Northern Illinois University Philharmonic Orchestra, Kishwahkee Symphony Orchestra, Northwestern Wind Band, Winnipeg Wind Ensemble, and York University Wind Ensemble, she is also an active educator in the community. After moving back to Toronto from the United States in 2013, Joanna has been appointed as the music director for University of Toronto Allegro Choir from May 2013 to present.
Giancarlo Mincone holds an H.BMus and a Diploma in Music Performance from McMaster University. He has studied under celebrated flutists Dianne Aitken, David Gerry and Robert Aitken.
Mr. Mincone gave the Canadian Premiere of David Von Vactor’s Concerto Grosso with the McMaster Chamber Orchestra in 2013. He has participated in Masterclasses with internationally renowned flutists Robert Dick, Robert Aitken, Paul Edmund-Davies and the distinguished opera singer Elise Bedard.
Recipient of the Dianne and Robert Aitken Award from the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects: Contemporary Showcase, multiple 1st place finishes at the Kiwanis Festival, a 2nd place finish at the Canadian Flute Association’s Inaugural Competition and - most recently - the recipient of the Advance Winds Award from the ACNMP.
As a composer, Mr. Mincone’s compositions have been performed in North America and Europe. A spirited supporter of contemporary music in Canada, Mr. Mincone is currently pursuing a career as a flautist, composer, conductor and critic.