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About the KSO

Conductors

 

Michael Berec

MICHAEL BEREC
Associate Conductor

Coming from a Hungarian background, music has always played a vital role in the life of award-winning, Canadian born conductor/composer Michael Berec. After graduating with a Masters in Music, Michael transitioned from the world of academia to a career in music for film and television. He has over thirteen years of experience in conducting and composing for various media including film, television, radio and live concert works. His scores have been heard at film festivals and on television networks throughout the world. He has had the opportunity to be a part of live broadcasts such as a concert for youth, featuring the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra and live-to-air operas from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

As a conductor, composer and multi-instrumentalist, Michael has been featured on Canada’s National Classical radio station 96.3 and has had the pleasure to perform and work with such great diverse artists as the late violinist Jacques Israelievitch, pianist André Laplante, 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, late GLEE star Cory Monteith, the Canadian Tenors and the Budapest Scoring Orchestra. Michael’s primary mentors include Maestro Jorma Panula (Sibelius Academy), Maestro Markand Thakar (Peabody Institute), Maestro Donato Renzetti (Accademia Musicale Pescarese, Italy) and composer Peter Paul Koprowski (student of Nadia Boulanger). He has conducted orchestras throughout North America and Europe, including such prestigious locations as the Royal Palace in San Lorenzo De El Escorial, Spain. 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.

 


 

Patrick Headley

PATRICK HEADLEY
Assistant Conductor

Born and raised in London Ontario, Patrick Headley is an award-winning bassoonist, music educator, and conductor. While earning his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Performance and Literature from the University Western Ontario, Patrick won his first professional audition at age 18 and has since been in high demand as a soloist, conductor, chamber musician, and orchestral bassoonist. An advocate of Canadian music, Mr. Headley was chosen to perform John Weinzweig’s Divertimento No. 3 for Bassoon and Orchestra as a part of his official centenary in 2013. He has served as conductor of the Quinte Symphony, as a performing coach and sectional conductor with La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra, as orchestra conductor at the Conference of Independent Schools Music Festival, and as apprentice conductor with Orchestra Toronto. He currently serves as conducting faculty at the international chamber music camp, Music at Port Milford.

An accomplished music educator, Mr. Headley has taught at the University of Western Ontario, served as head of the performing arts at Rosseau Lake College, and currently teaches music at St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School in Oakville. As a graduate student, Mr. Headley assisted James McKay with the development of the Légère synthetic double reed, upon which he performs exclusively. Patrick enjoys singing and has performed as tenor soloist in productions of Handel's Messiah, and Mozart’s Requiem. Currently living in Prince Edward County Ontario, Patrick can be heard hosting several classical and light-jazz radio programmes on 99.3 County FM in Eastern Ontario.

 


 

Luis Ramirez

LUIS RAMIREZ
Apprentice Conductor

Originally from Aguascalientes, Mexico, Luis began an early career as a pianist, and his interest in composition emerged by performing contemporary music. From early in his life he was fascinated by the collaborative experience of music, and his drive led him to various positions as a conductor. As a composer he has had premieres in Italy, Canada, and Mexico. His work Chido was premiered by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra during the WNMF 2018 as winner of the CMC Emerging Composer Competition and awarded the first prize of the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards of the SOCAN Foundation. He was recently selected as a Composer Fellow for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. An eclectic musician, Luis has toured as a classical pianist, conducted the Brandon Community Orchestra and York University’s Wind Ensemble, presented his academic research, and is a member of the Amarras Tango Quintet. He studied at Brandon University with Alexander Tselyakov and Patrick Carrabré and is pursuing doctoral studies at York University in Toronto with Randolph Peters.


 

Elli Kozak

ELLI KOZAK
Apprentice Conductor

Elli Kozak is a pianist, music educator, accompanist, and music producer. Until the age of 16 - when he obtained his ARCT Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music – Elli was primarily classically trained in piano, theory, and composition. During this time, many of his teachers influenced his love and perspective towards music, including his piano studies with Yaroslav Pugach of the N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, theory and musicianship with Julia Galieva-Szokolay of the Glenn Gould School, and composition with Alexander Rapoport of the University of Toronto, as well as his time as a scholarship student at the RCM’s Young Artists Performance Academy (now the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists).

At the age of 17, Elli became more involved in non-classical genres of music, beginning with his exploration of digital music production on programs such as Logic and Ableton Live, and continuing with his participation in numerous jazz and musical theatre pit bands as principal pianist. In his formal post-secondary studies, Elli obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Ryerson University’s prestigious RTA School of Media with specialization in Media Production. During this time, he had the opportunity to further his knowledge of numerous audio applications¸ including post-production audio for film, recording and mixing bands and ensembles, producing live radio shows, and scoring numerous short films – including a program-wide award in post-audio for his score of The Night The Kids Found Out.