Members of the KSO
Piano and Harp
Antonia De Wolfe
Associate Principal Flute
Brooke Ramos White
Associate Principal Oboe
Associate Principal Clarinet
Associate Principal Bassoon
Brass and Percussion
Associate Principal Horn
Associate Principal Trumpet
Associate Principal Trombone
Emerging from a musical family, Alexander Gangurean graduated from the State University of Music in Moldova, where he was taught by the leading professors from acclaimed Odessa’s Stolyarski School and world-wide known Moscow State Conservatoire. Alexander joined the National Opera Theatre of Moldova where he worked for 7 years touring in Italy, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, United Kingdom and Ireland. During this period Alexander was also a guest musician of the National Symphony orchestra and the founder of quartet “Ad Libitum”, which performed nationally as well as in Italy and Cyprus. From early 2000 he joined one of the leading Touring Opera Companies in the UK where he worked until he moved to Toronto. Alexander is known as a member of many orchestras across GTA and is also an active violin teacher. In Toronto, he was a Concertmaster for productions of Puccini’s La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly; Verdi’s Il Trovattore, Aida, La Traviata, Nabucco; Bizet’s Carmen, Tchaikovski’s Eugene Onegin, Iolanta as well as in numerous symphonic programs.
Ivan Samozvantsev has earned degrees in violin and viola performances from the Altai State Music College and Philharmonic Orchestra and from the Novosibirsk State Music Academy. He worked for over 25 years with the Danube Symphony Orchestra and the Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra in Hungary while touring the globe from US to Indonesia, Europe, China, and Japan. He gained international acclaim as a member of an acoustic duet with singer-songwriter Igor Hellman, featured in popular TV and radio shows and performing in hundreds of concerts in the USSR, Japn, and Hungary. He also played in orchestral and musical theatre productions, chamber ensembles and string quartets while traveling internationally with the London City Opera, the Symphonia Vienna Orchestra, the Szolnok Symphonic, and the Âge tendre, la tournée des idoles. Ivan played in orchestras for recordings of several theatre productions, music videos, and films, including Sunshine with Ralph Fiennes, and The Man with the Iron Heart with Jason Clarke and Rosamund Pike. Currently, Ivan is a Principal Violinist with the Summerhill Orchestra and tutti violinist with the Ontario Philharmonic. Dedicated pedagogue, Ivan also maintains a busy private music studio where he teaches violin, viola and guitar.
Dongyu Yao started learning the violin at the age of 6 with prominent teachers – members of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. In 2017, he continued his studies at Melbourne Conservatory of Music with Markiyan Melychenko and Wilma Smith. As a passionate chamber musician, Dongyu has appeared at the Mimir Festival where he studied with Stephen Rose. An experienced orchestral musician, Dongyu has been a member of the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, Melbourne University Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Youth Orchestra. Currently, Dongyu Yao is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree on a full scholarship at the Glenn Gould School of Music where he studies with Atis Bankas. He has performed in masterclasses of Jinjoo Cho and Violaine Melancon and participated in the summer program at the Northwestern University. Dongyu is a recipient of the Dorothy Johnson Joyce Memorial Scholarship.
George Byelov began studying violin and piano after immigrating from Ukraine at the age of six. After several years of tutelage under Svetlana Filippova, he made his international debut at the age of 11 in Germany. The winner of several local and regional music competitions, George has 15 years of orchestral experience and has worked with orchestras and ensembles, premiered works, and given solo concerts across Europe and North America. He holds a Bachelors of Music degree specializing in violin performance from Wilfred Laurier University, where he studied under Jeremy Bell and received coaching from the members of the Penderecki String Quartet. He acted as principal violinist in the WLSU orchestra and led its string quartet.
Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, Italian-born violist Tristan Macaggi is a sought after orchestral, chamber music, and solo artist re-defying the space of the viola. He is currently under the tutelage of Steven Dann at the Glenn Gould School, but has also has had the privilege to work with world class musicians such as Krystof Chorzelski of the Belcea quartet, Karen Dreyfus, Min-Jung Koh, Juan Miguel Hernandez, Pablo Hernan Benedi, the ARC Ensemble, and Richard Lester to name a few. In the 2022/2023 season, Tristan will be concertizing in solo and chamber music recitals at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Church of St. Andrew, and will be playing with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra. Tristan will also be playing alongside the Kelemen quartet in October for a performance of Bartok’s Divertimento and will join the Kronos quartet in concert at the end of 2022. He will also be competing in the 2023 Klein International String Competition in February. Some recent performance highlights and accolades include concerts all over Ontario with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada under the baton of Alain Troudel. This summer, Tristan participated in the chamber music intensive at the Domaine Forget, playing Schubert and Mendelshon quartets alongside prestigious faculty. Tristan also served as faculty assistant for the Las Vegas Young Artists Orchestra, and participated in a series of chamber music concerts alongside faculty. In 2019, Tristan was awarded the Grand Prize in the Henderson Symphony Orchestra Concerto competition, followed by a performance of the William Walton Viola concerto the subsequent season. Tristan Macaggi plays on a wonderful modern viola commissioned by Patrick Higgins in 2019.
Lizdaribeth Torrealba has earned two Bachelor degrees: in philosophy and in Music Pedagogy with summa cum laude. From 2007 to 2016, she was a member of the National System of Orchestras in Venezuela and a tutti violist at the Simón Bolívar Conservatory Youth Orchestra. In Canada, Lizdaribeth played with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Haut-Saint-Jean, the Tutta Música Orchestra, and Summerhill Orchestra Strings,, while continuing her studies in Viola performance with Prof. Helen-Jacob-Stein at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Oscar Peterson School of Music. Lizdaribeth also provides private music instruction through her own professional studio.
Lusine Navoyan studied cello with Armen Mesropyan at the Tchaikovsky Music School in Yerevan. From 2001 to2006 she studied cello with Aram Talalyan at the Komitas State Conservatory, where she graduated with honours. From 2006 to 2008 she completed postgraduate studies in cello performance. In 2009 and 2010, Ms Navoyan studied with Maria Egelholf and with Vagram Sarajyan. She has performed with the “Baroque” chamber orchestra, the “Naregatsi” chamber orchestra, “Alan Hovhaness” chamber orchestra, “Tagaran” state ensemble for ancient music. Ms. Navoyan has been a visiting musician at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre orchestra in Yerevan.
Rodney Gray has served as Principal Flute in the KSO since 2013. He received a Bachelor of Music and a Masters of Music degree in performance flute from the University of Western Ontario. He supplemented his learning at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and during several months studying in Paris France with Pierre-Yves Artaud. Rodney attributes his main learning experience to a two year period of study in the international master class of renowned British flutist Geoffrey Gilbert, former teacher of William Bennett, Trevor Wye, James Galway, and Susan Milan. Rodney has performed with Orchestra London, London Concert Players Orchestra, Vancouver Island Symphony, and Cambridge Symphony, and has appeared as a recitalist across Canada. Constantly in demand as a flutist, Rodney performs as the Principal Flutist with the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera orchestra, and is a regular member in the orchestras for the Brampton Musical Theatre, East West Orchestra, and other Toronto based performing groups. He is an avid supporter of physical fitness and enjoys running and cycling. Rodney is a frequent performer in the KSO pre-concert recitals and lectures. He plays an Altus model 1607 flute with a Yamaha head joint.
Associate Principal Flute
Alexa Ball is a flute performer and teacher based out of Thornhill. She has performed with several local orchestras, including the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra. She is currently a member of Flute Street, Toronto’s professional flute choir, performing on flutes of all sizes including piccolo, alto, treble and contrabass flutes. She is a certified teacher with the RCM and ORMTA, and has a thriving flute studio which has produced multiple RCM gold medal winners and successful university candidates who have gone on to pursue careers in music. Alexa obtained her Bachelor of Music at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Peg Albrecht and continued her studies with Nora Shulman, former Principal Flutist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Alexa was also the National Gold Medalist upon receipt of her ARCT with the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Brooke Ramos White
Brooke Ramos White is a graduate from the School of the Arts, Media, Performance, and Design at York University, earning her BFA in Flute Performance. Since childhood, Brooke has had a passion for the arts and learning. Raised in Barrie Ontario, she has studied flute performance for the past 10 years. Throughout her degree she had the pleasure of being a member of the York University Symphony Orchestra as well as the York University Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble. She has performed in wind quintets, flute choirs, as well as with her piano trio; Solaris Trio. Brooke has studied flute performance in Toronto with Barbara Ackerman, and has had the enjoyment of performing in masterclasses with Dr. Patricia Wait, as well as the Artistic Flutist Masterclass at the Eastman School of Music. Brooke is a proud recipient of the Patricia and Robert Martin Scholarship Award in recognition of outstanding adjudicated performances, the Peggie Sampson Award for academic achievements in music history studies, as well as the Musicfest Canada Nationals Award for outstanding musicianship.
Claire Kobayakawa has been playing with various GTA orchestras since 2011, the year she first worked with KSO, but her first appearance at Markham Theatre was in 1992 with Markham Youth Theatre. She holds a Bachelor of Music (performance), and could most recently be found in the pit orchestras of Whitby Courthouse Theatre, Unionville Theatre Company and others.
Associate Principal Oboe
Christopher Vishy began his music studies with the saxophone at the age of 11 and later went on to study flute and oboe to pursue his passion for Baroque and orchestral music. Throughout his high school years, Christopher has been a part of the Toronto Youth Symphonic Winds and the Canadian Sinfonietta Youth Orchestra. During that time he studied flute with Alexa Ball and oboe with Aleh Remezau. In 2021, he won the RCM national gold medal among level 9 winds for his flute exam. This past season, Christopher was the second oboist of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and was featured as the English horn soloist in Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 2. In addition, he enjoys taking part in chamber ensembles and solo performances. Christopher currently studies with Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s oboist Hugo Lee at the University of Toronto.
Carmen Gassi has earned a Master of Music in Clarinet performance degree, a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. He has studied with Jerome Summers, Robert Riseling, and Imre Roszanyi. Mr. Gassi has performed with the Brampton Symphony Orchestra, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Oakville Symphony Orchestra, Brampton Lyric Opera, Opera Kitchener, Meadowvale Theatre, and others. An accomplished composer, Mr. Gassi wrote Diversions for Woodwind Quintet and The Last Tournament for a Brass Quintet (both published by Eighth Note). He has also been conductor of the Halton Senior Winds Honour Band, assistant conductor of Brampton Symphony Orchestra and Brampton Youth Orchestra, and Head of Arts & Moderns at the Halton District School Board.
Associate Principal Clarinet
Leonard Corsini graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours degree in Physics and Mathematics and a Bachelor of Education. Mr. Corsini has performed with the North York Concert Orchestra and the Oakville Symphony. For 20 years he was a member of the Taffanel Wind Ensemble which performed chamber music in a variety of venues including Roy Thomson Hall and the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg. Musical theatre orchestras have included productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Seussical and the Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire. Mr. Corsini has also performed with the Northdale and the North York Concert Bands and is currently principle clarinetist with the Markham Concert Band.
Associate Principal Bassoon
Rostislav Tikhov has earned a Bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance from the Kaliningrad Music College and a Master’s Degree in bassoon performance from the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory. While studying at the Conservatory, he was offered a position of bassoonist in the Sergei Stadler’s Saint-Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, where he had worked for 3 years and perform in various concert halls throughout Europe and China under the direction of illustrious conductors Fabio Mastrangelo and Aleksander Titov.
Principal French Horn
Gilles Thibodeau grew up in the Northern town of Kapuskasing, Ontario. Having discovered the horn at the age of 14, he instantly fell in love with the instrument, and never looked back. From the University of Western Ontario to the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory, he honed his craft and learned the ropes. An active orchestral freelancer, teacher and chamber musician, Gilles is also a senior administrator in the post-secondary education sector.
Associate Principal French Horn
Rebecca Whiteside has been playing the French Horn for over 35 years in various ensembles in Canada and the United Kingdom. She studied with Dan Gress while growing up in Ottawa and was a member of the Ottawa Youth Orchestra from 1989 to 1993. While pursuing a degree in Engineering at Queen’s University, Rebecca started playing horn semi-professionally with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra and was a full member of the orchestra from 1994 to 2003. She left Kingston in 2003 when her engineering career took her to England but while in the UK, she played in various ensembles in Derby and Nottingham most notably, the Nottingham Symphonic Winds and occasionally, the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra. Since returning to Canada in 2005, in addition to the KSO, Rebecca has been a member of the Brampton Symphony Orchestra, Brampton’s Rose Orchestra and the North York Concert Orchestra.
Darryl Dinniwell began studying Horn at the age of 14. Under the training of Harcus Hennigar, he has won such awards as the Ontario Grade 9 Brass Silver Medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music and two time winner of the Top Senior Brass Instrumentalist from the Barrie Kiwanis Music Festival. Darryl played with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Huronia Symphony Orchestra, the Barrie Concert Band, and the University of Toronto Wind Orchestra. Aside from Horn, Darryl also plays piano and harpsichord.
Joseph Hunt began studying the trumpet at the age of 9 and shortly after started playing the French Horn. He continued developing proficiency on playing the French horn at he University of Toronto Concert Band while earning his degree in science. Joseph Hunt has graduated from the University of Toronto in Environmental Geoscience.
Boris Chung is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Music in Trumpet Performance degree at the University of Toronto. As a versatile musician, Boris has performed music in various styles from classical, to jazz and pop. His performance experiences include positions at the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, University of Toronto Contemporary Music Ensemble, Hannaford Youth Band, Orchestra Toronto, Hart House Jazz Ensemble, and numerous musical productions. In addition to performing in orchestras, Boris has also been involved with several chamber ensembles, including brass quintet, jazz trios, and pop bands. Boris currently studies with Anita McAlister, and has previously studied with Barton Woomert and Steve Woomert. He has performed in masterclasses with notable musicians such as Phil Smith, Gabor Tarkövi, Jeroen Berwaerts, Tom Hooten, Stéphane Beaulac, and Karen Donnelly.
Brian started learning piano at the age of 5 and trumpet at the age of 8. He was part of his school’s jazz band and performed in numerous concerts while winning many awards in various inter-school competitions. He has passed the Grade 8 piano examination at the Royal Conservatory of Music and is currently working toward Grade 10 level. During his university years, he continued to study trumpet and conducting privately while pursuing a degree in accounting. He is currently also a member of the Canadian Sinfonietta youth orchestra. Brian appreciates various athletic activities and has won two silver medals in track-and-field inter-school competitions. He also enjoys creative writing, film making, and swimming.
Thomas LaGrange received his Master of Music Performance from the University of Toronto in 2022 after earning a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Alberta. He was the recipient of the University of Toronto Fellowship in Music and of the Nour Private Wealth Award. He has studied with trombonists from around Canada, including Megan Hodge, Vanessa Fralick, Kathryn Macintosh, Erik Hongisto, Alden Lowrey, Chris Taylor, and John McPherson. In 2019, he won the University of Alberta Concerto Competition and was also awarded the Harvard Broadcasting Award.
Hanna is pursuing a Master in Music Performance (trombone) degree at the University of Toronto. She has received a Bachelor of Music degree with a Minor in English from Mount Allison University. She is the recipient of many awards for both performance and academia. Most recently, she received the New Brunswick Arts Council Classical Music Scholarship, the Ina Mitton Prize for Excellence in Winds and Brass. She is also a two-time winner of the prestigious Mary McKean Scholarship. Hanna has also demonstrated her abilities as a researcher and writer through an Independent Student Research Grant and by winning the coveted Canadian Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC). She currently performs with Orchestra Toronto, Kindred Spirits Orchestra, and the Scarborough Philharmonic. When not rehearsing and performing, Hanna can often be found playing board games, reading, or knitting socks for friends and family.
Antonia De Wolfe
Bruce Reid has performed for over 25 years with various community orchestras as timpanist and percussionist, such as East York Symphony Orchestra, Etobicoke Symphony Orchestra, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Brampton Symphony Orchestra, Brampton Lyric Opera, NYCO Symphony Orchestra, Brampton Festival Singers, and Counterpoint Community Orchestra.
Paul M. Mouradian
Paul M. Mouradian was born in St. Catharines Ontario and started playing drums since he was 7 years old. He holds a music performing degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Manhattan School of Music, and Artists Diploma from Freiburg Musikhochschule Freiburg Germany. He enjoyed playing music both as a free lance percussionist and timpanist in the U.S., Germany, France, and England. Mr. Mouradian’s musical interests are broad and include performing operatic and symphonic repertoire, Broadway musicals, contemporary music, chamber music, steel band, African Drumming, popular and jazz music. In his leisure time, he enjoys studying law and politics and spending time with his wife Suzanne, son Peter and daughter Joanne.