JULIAN MILKIS, Clarinet
A true âcross-over artistâ and Benny Goodmanâs only student, Julian Milkis is an internationally acclaimed soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, and jazz clarinetist. The Hamburg Abendblatt praised his âBeautiful sustaining sound and great virtuosityâ; the Edmond Journal called his performance of the Nielson Clarinet Concerto a âtriumphâ, while Moscowâs Nezavisimaya Gazyeta wrote, âsimply the best clarinetist in the world!â
Mr. Milkis has appeared on major world stages throughout the Far East, Europe, and the Americas: New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center; the Salles Pleyel and Gaveau, Paris; the Great Halls of the Moscow Conserv-atory and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic; Torontoâs Roy Thomson Hall and Weston Recital Hall; and the National Concert Hall in Taipei, among others.
He has been soloist with the Toronto Symphony, State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Novosibirsk Philharmonic, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Vivaldi Chamber Orchestra, Hamburg Mozarteum, Edmonton Symphony, L'Orchestre Nationale de Lyon, L'Orchestre Symphonique FranÃ§aise, CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Divertissement Chamber Orchestra, Hermitage Chamber Orchestra, and Musica Viva.
Mr. Milkis has performed chamber music with Valery Afanasiev, Yuri Bashmet, GÃ©rard Causse, Alexander Kniazev, Misha Maisky, Alexander Rudin, the Borodin String Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the St. Petersburg String Quartet, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the St. Peter's Trio. A participant in prominent music festivals in France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey, New York, and Canada, Mr. Milkis has performed for radio and tele-vision broadcast throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Since 1991, he has performed regularly by invitation at Sviatoslav's Richter's December Evenings chamber music festival in Moscow.
A proponent of the jazz clarinet, as well, Mr. Milkis is dedicated to promoting today's music and expanding the clarinet repertoire. Works written for him include concertos by Moravetz, Petrova, Tishenko, Weinberg, and others. He has worked closely with Giya Kancheli and Olivier Messiaen.
Mr. Milkis has recorded for Warner Classics' Lontano, the French Suoni e Colori, Sony's Russian division CEAUX, Melodiya, and Russian Season.
As a full scholarship student at the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, Julian Milkis studied with Leon Russianoff. A Canadian citizen, he won the Canada Council and Floyd Chalmers awards for four consecutive years.Mr. Milkis holds a Masters Degree in Russian Literature from Norwich University, Vermont, and is keenly interested in all aspects of the fine arts.
FIONA WU, piano
Fiona was born in Toronto in 1993. She began studying piano at the age of 6, later studying and earning academic recognition with high honours at the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM). She began concertizing at the age of 12, when she became the student of Anna Gnatenko, previously an acclaimed professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Fiona remains to this day a top student and close friend of hers. At 16, she received her ARCT Piano Performance diploma with first class honours. In 2011, Fiona continued her musical studies with musical pedagogue Henri-Paul Sicsic at the University of Toronto.
As an active performer of choral music, Fiona is an alumnus of the Toronto Children's Chorus and is currently a member of the Women's Chamber Choir of the University of Toronto. Fiona regularly attends choral festivals in Canada and abroad.
Fiona Wu is a member of the RCM teacher's association and maintains a teaching studio in Toronto. Fiona Wu is an aspiring polyglot. She enjoys reading, travelling and conversation.