brenna hardy-kavanagh, violin & viola

Hometown: Ottawa, Canada
Current city: Toronto, Canada

ADP Artist Diploma Program, Glenn Gould School (2015)
DESS Diplôme des études supérieures spécialisés, Université de Montréal (2013)
BMUS Bachelor of Music, Université de Montréal (2010)

Teachers: Erika Raum, Laurence Kayaleh, Vladimir Landsman, David Stewart, Paule Préfontaine, Yvrose Philippe-Auguste
Masterclasses: David Russell, Zakhar Bron, Sergey Khatchatryan, Ning Feng, Regis Pasquier, Leon Fleisher, Mark Kaplan, Martin Beaver

Violin: Guy Harrison, Ottawa (2002)
Viola: John Newton (2005)
Bow:  Bernard Walke, Ottawa

Styles: classical, celtic, tango, rock, pop, metal
Musical projects: Amarok EnsembleNew Generation Chamber Orchestra

An entrepreneurial young musician, Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh’s passion for chamber and orchestral music has taken her all over the world, with performances in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Romania. Two-time prizewinner in the Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition, Brenna recently made her Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival debut, as violinist of the Amarok Ensemble.

Well-versed in a variety of musical styles, Brenna has performed with such groups as the Art of Time Ensemble, Soulpepper, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Belle & Sebastian, and ABBAMANIA. She has recorded for The Wooden Sky, Delbert & The Commotions, Little Bullhorn Productions, and White Pine Pictures, among others.

As founding violinist of the Toronto-based piano trio Amarok Ensemble, Brenna attended the 2015 St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar at Stanford University, where the trio was one of three ensembles featured in the seminar’s International Showcase at Bing Concert Hall. In 2016 the Amarok Ensemble was invited to participate in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival’s inaugural Career Development Residency, which included numerous main stage appearances. The trio curated and performed a wide variety of outreach and mobile concerts throughout the residency, and, under the mentorship of the renowned Rob Kapilow, presented an interactive concert exploring Beethoven’s Opus 1 piano trios.

Brenna currently plays in Orchestre Nouvelle Génération, and has also been a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the University of Montreal Orchestra and The Orchestra Now, assistant concertmaster of the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, and principal second violinist of Orchestre de la Francophonie. She has participated in the prestigious Britten-Pears Orchestra, the Domaine Forget Summer Chamber Music Institute, the Orford Arts Centre Music Academy, The Banff Centre for the Arts Master Classes for Strings, and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra Academy.

Brenna’s extensive study of chamber music has been guided by a plethora of mentors, among them Bryan Epperson, Paul Widner, Yuli Turovsky, Johanne Perron, Mark Fewer, Yegor Dyachkov, Paul Marleyn, and Rennie Regehr. Her exploration of the violin sonata repertoire has included numerous lessons and public master classes with Peter Longworth, Martin Beaver, Vivian Weilerstein, James Anagnoson, David Perry, Leon Fleisher, and Robert McDonald.

Recipient of numerous awards and bursaries, among them the Stephen & Jenifer McDonald, A. Victor Madge Memorial, Thomas Logan Violin, Desser, and Stephen Staryk Violin scholarships, Brenna completed the Artist Diploma Program at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2015, under the direction of Erika Raum. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree (2010, studio of Vladimir Landsman) and an artist diploma (2013, studio of Laurence Kayaleh) from the University of Montreal.

Photo courtesy of Terry Lim