Aeolian Halls’ Rebelheart Collective is a self-conducted music ensemble rooted in democracy through music. With a focus on collaboration, apprenticeship and community engagement, the Rebelheart Collective transforms the traditional concert going experience by providing complimentary access to live performances in a socially relaxed setting. At its core, the musicians are highly trained professionals who have chosen to give back to the community, helping to train our next generations of musicians including participants of the ElSistema Aeolian program. The Collective’s repertoire includes classical music, contemporary works, and compositions and arrangements that speak to the Canadian music tradition: many of which celebrate our collectively local and First Nations history.
Respecting musical tradition, the Rebelheart Collective envisions a future with vibrant, innovative and accessible performance at Aeolian Hall and among those unique community spaces that can be uplifted through song. The Rebelheart Collective will be a catalyst for both artistic and social change. While supporting and enhancing both musical performance and education, the Collective will bravely stand up to tradition while ensuring that all welcome to the concert hall, wherever the performance shall be. The Rebelheart Collective is for all people and will be a symbol of and a pioneer in providing universal access to high quality music presentation and education. Like the Shakespearean audience, those with the least to give shall have the most to gain.
- Core Musicians are four of Canada’s greatest string players: Scott St .John, Sharon Wei, Tom Wiebe and Erika Raum
- the ensemble performs without a Conductor which promotes more of a team atmosphere
- second Circle is made up of graduate level students from the University of Western Ontario and the Glenn Gould School
- third Circle is made up of El Sistema Aeolian Participants
- Eight annual concerts including four shorter free programs in community spaces or schools
- tickets for the Aeolian Concerts are always free
- Receptions are held at intermission and after the concerts, including an opportunity to meet the musicians
Scott St. John, Violin
Scott St. John lives in London, Canada with his wife Sharon Wei and daughter Julia. Scott was a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet and faculty member at Stanford University for seven years, from 2006 – 2013. From 1999 – 2006, Scott was Associate Professor of Violin at University of Toronto, and founded the Felix Galimir Chamber Music Award for U of T students.
Currently Scott coaches chamber music at Western University (Canada), plays chamber music at the Marlboro Music Festival (Vermont), and plays concertmaster of the ROCO Chamber Orchestra in Houston. Scott is a partner in the new Rebelheart Collective at London’s Aeolian Hall, an innovative chamber orchestra and youth mentorship program connected with the El Sistema movement.
August 2017 will mark the debut of a new “Western 360” chamber music festival at Western University in London Ontario. As artistic director, Scott is organizing a weekend of concerts and workshops for students, with an emphasis on multi-cultural experiences and wellness activities.
Concert highlights of the past year include a “Canada 150” recital of early Canadian music in Calgary with pianist Katherine Chi, a performance of Peteris Vasks “Distant Light” at Scotia Festival, and many chamber music performances with the Enso Quartet in California.
A recent recording of Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante with his sister Lara St. John won a Juno Award for best recording: solo with orchestra. Working with composers has been important throughout his career; Scott has worked with John Adams, Charles Wuorinen and Oswaldo Golijov in the US, and Arsenio Giron, Gary Kulesha, Elizabeth Raum and many others in Canada.
Scott began his violin studies at age three with Richard Lawrence, in London. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied violin with David Cerone, Arnold Steinhardt, and chamber music with Felix Galimir. Current non-musical activities include serving on the boards of the London Organic Food Co-op and Transport Action Ontario. Scott also supports HanVoice, a lobby organization for North Korean refugees in Canada.
Erika Raum, Violin
Known for her “engaging sensitivity and a gorgeously full tone,” [THE STRAD], Canadian violinist Erika Raum continues developing a following here in her native country and internationally. Playing professionally since the age of twelve, Ms. Raum quickly rose through the ranks by taking first place at the 1992 Joseph Szigeti International Violin Competition in Budapest as well as the award for best interpretation of a Mozart concerto. She has returned on many occasions to perform in Hungary, Portugal, Austria, Germany, England, Italy and France. She has appeared as guest artist with such orchestras as the Budapest Radio Orchestra, the Szombathely Symphony Orchestra, the Austro-Hungarian Orchestra, and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra.
A distinguished musician abroad, Erika also performs frequently throughout her homeland with orchestral appearances in cities such as Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, Victoria, Halifax, and Edmonton. Both a recitalist and chamber musician, some of her recent highlights international appearances include the Festival Pablo Casals in Prades France, Beethoven Festival in Warsaw, the BargeMusic Festival in New York and past invitation include the Budapest Spring Festival, Szombathely Festival in Hungary, Carnegie Hall as well as the Caramoor and Prussia Cove festivals. During the summer of 2004 Erika participated at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Caramoor Festival, Alpenglow Chamber Festival and the Orford Festival.
As a recording artist, Erika joined internationally renowned pianist Anton Kuerti in releasing the world premiere recording of Carl Czerny’s piano and violin works. Recorded on this country’s most active label, Musica Viva of CBC Records, this premiere recording highlights the masterfully composed, powerfully expressive works by the precocious composer during his teen years. Along with this recording, Ms. Raum’s performances are often heard on an array of CBC networks across Canada.
In 1993, composer Elizabeth Raum, Erika’s mother, wrote her a violin concerto entitled Faces of Woman. The work was commissioned by the Regina Symphony Orchestra and broadcast nationally by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Erika’s sister, Jessica Raum, produced and directed the award winning documentary Like Mother, Like Daughter which recorded the event.
Erika is a graduate of the University of Toronto where she studied with the late Professor Lorand Fenyves and was awarded the prestigious Eaton Scholarship upon her graduation. She is also a recipient of The Canada Council for the Arts – Career Development Grant. Ms. Raum is currently on the faculty of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. During the summer season, she serves on the faculty of The Banff Centre for the Arts.
Sharon Wei, Viola
Sharon Wei is a dynamic and varied musician, establishing herself as one of the most respected violists on the scene today. She has appeared as soloist, chamber musician, and guest principal violist throughout North America and Europe. She has collaborated with conductors such as James Levine, Kent Nagano, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, Jean Christophe Spinosi and Yuri Termirkanov; Sharon has also shared the stage with Lynn Harrell, Gary Hoffman, Lawrence Lesser, Peter Frankl, Joseph Silverstein, Jonathan Crow, Mark Fewer, Joel Quarrington, James Campbell, James Sommerville and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Sharon has performed at festivals such as Verbier, Prussia Cove, Banff, Ravinia, Chamberfest in Ottawa, Agassiz in Winnipeg, Summer Solstice in Edmonton and Tuckamore Festival in Newfoundland.
In 2006, Sharon and pianist Angela Park co-founded Ensemble Made in Canada, which includes violinist Elissa Lee and cellist Rachel Mercer. Ensemble Made in Canada performs in various configurations: sonatas, duos, and quartet repertoire. The group has commissioned and premiered works by American composer John B. Hedges and Canadian composers John Burge and Christopher Mayo. Upcoming commissions include works by Canadian composers David Myska and Omar Daniel. EMIC began as Ensemble-in-Residence at Western University in 2014. The ensemble has toured across Canada and given masterclasses and workshops at many universities and conservatories. Sharon is also the violist in the Supernova String Quartet that is in residence at Scotiafestival in Halifax.
Sharon has given masterclasses throughout China, the US, and Canada. She was on the faculty at Yale University and Stanford University and began her appointment as Assistant Professor of Viola at Western University in 2014. At Western, she has designed a course for performance majors in which students learn important off-stage initiatives such as networking, grant writing, website design, and managing finances.
Rare time away from the viola is spent on Bikram yoga (done in 12 cities and counting), hiking, playing Settlers of Catan, and seeking out macaron shops.
Tom Wiebe, Cello
Cellist Thomas Wiebe is well-known as a soloist and chamber musician.
He has performed on numerous occasions as a guest artist with Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra London Canada. He has also been heard as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center in New York, and with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded for CBC, Centrediscs, Doremi and Bowl labels.
Thomas Wiebe is also cellist with the Duke Trio, along with violinist Mark Fewer and pianist Peter Longworth. Besides his performances with the Duke Trio, he plays regularly with Toronto’s Art of Time Ensemble, and with other leading chamber musicians.
In 2016, along with violinists Scott St. John and Erika Raum and violist Sharon Wei, Mr. Wiebe launched the Rebelheart Collective, which plays quartet repertoire, and performs with advanced string students and the El Sistema Aeolian Hall ensemble in London, Ontario, Canada.
Mr. Wiebe studied cello in his native Winnipeg with the late Julie Banton. He also studied at the Eastman School of Music with Robert Sylvester, and with Aldo Parisot at Yale and Juilliard. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Yale.
Thomas Wiebe is Associate Professor of Violoncello at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. He is also on the faculty of the Domaine Forget Summer Music Academy in Quebec.
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