2019-20 Apprentice Conductors

In 2019-20, five dynamic apprentice conductors will join Orchestra Toronto—one for each of our five inspiring concerts. Apprentices work with the Orchestra and Music Director Michael Newnham, honing their conducting skills and gaining valuable orchestral experience. We are delighted to work with these emerging conducting talents!

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan Wong Conducting

Jonathan Wong is a multifaceted musician, educator, and student based in Toronto.

As a conductor, Jonathan is Artistic Director of Ruckus: The University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Alumni & Community Choir and Assistant Conductor of the UofT Campus Philharmonic Orchestra. This
season he joins Orchestra Toronto as Apprentice Conductor. He was a conducting fellow with the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra in 2018 and 2019 and is a frequent participant in conducting symposia

North America. His principal conducting teachers have been Ivars Taurins and Dr. Gillian MacKay.

Jonathan’s experience as a clarinetist covers the whole gamut of solo, chamber, orchestral, and wind band playing. As a winner of the 2018 UofT Winds Concerto Competition, he performed as soloist with the UofT Wind Ensemble in December 2018. He has performed with the UofT Symphony Orchestra, and as principal clarinet with the UofT Wind Ensemble, the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra, and the
Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra. Jonathan has also performed in masterclasses for James Campbell (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University), Anthony McGill (New York Philharmonic), and Stan
Fisher (Acadia University).

As a keyboardist, Jonathan works regularly as an accompanist and continuo player. He currently studies harpsichord with Charlotte Nediger, working towards an Advanced Certificate in Historical Performance
at the University of Toronto.

Teaching has consistently been a crucial part of Jonathan’s work. Currently he is a Teaching Assistant for the UofT Faculty of Music. A strong advocate for music education, Jonathan is a clarinet teaching assistant annually at York Music Camp, and he can be found leading sectionals, clinics, and masterclasses at schools in the Toronto and York Region District School Boards.

Jonathan completed his Bachelor of Music at the University of Toronto, specializing in music education and studying clarinet with Richard Thomson. He has been awarded multiple scholarships throughout his studies and was the York Region District School Board’s Top Scholar in 2015.

Jonathan has already started his work with Orchestra Toronto, as the orchestra prepares for our October 27 programme, Freude! 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Kevin Vuong

Kevin Vuong, headshot with batonKevin Vuong is a Toronto-based clarinetist, music director, and aspiring conductor-educator.

Kevin has been a Conductor’s Apprentice at TDSB Music by the Lake for three years, and has participated in conducting symposia across Canada and the United States with the goal of pursuing graduate studies in wind conducting and music education. Kevin has been the Music Director for numerous musical theatre productions, including The Drowsy Chaperone, Hairspray, Newsies and A Perfect Bowl of Pho. Most recently, Kevin was chosen as a 2019 Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra Conducting Fellow. This upcoming season, Kevin will conduct the world premiere of a chamber opera double bill for Green Room Music Toronto in March 2020, and is excited to be working with Orchestra Toronto as an Apprentice Conductor.

A versatile clarinetist, Kevin has performed with the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra and the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra and freelances in the Toronto area. Kevin also performs as a woodwind doubler in musical theatre pit orchestras, and with the Avenue Winds, a recently formed Wind Quintet freelancing in the Toronto area.

Kevin recently completed his Bachelor of Music (Music Education) with Honours at the University of Toronto where he studied clarinet with Peter Stoll and conducting with Dr. Gillian Mackay and Ivars Taurins. Kevin was also involved as Vice President, Academic on the Faculty of Music Undergraduate Association, and as a Faculty of Music Student Ambassador.

Kevin will join Orchestra Toronto as we prepare for our December 8 performance, The Winters of Childhood.

Benjamin Yoon

Benjamin Yoon conducting

Benjamin Yoon is currently enrolled in the final year of his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Toronto, majoring in Music Education and trumpet. At the university, Ben has been a member of the Wind Symphony under

the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds and Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Gillian MacKay – as well as several chamber ensembles.

Born in South Korea and moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba in his high school years, Ben participated in a wide range of ensembles – such as Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Provincial Honour Band, Manitoba Provincial Honour Jazz Band, and Winnipeg Wind Ensemble.

Ben has studied choral conducting with Dr. Mark Ramsay, conducting with Dr. Gillian MacKay, and currently studying orchestral conducting with Uri Mayer at the University of Toronto. He was a participant of York/OBA Wind Conductors’ Symposium and University of Toronto Wind Conducting Symposium.

Ben is looking forward to be an assistant conductor of the University of Toronto Brass Choir under the guidance of Dr. Gillian MacKay. As well as learning from Simon Rivard of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Lorenzo Guggenheim of University of Toronto Campus Philharmonic Orchestra, Uri Mayer of University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Michael Newnhem of Orchestra Toronto.

In his spare time, Ben enjoys playing various sports and cooking.

Ben will join Orchestra Toronto in rehearsal for our February 23 performance, Telling a Tale with Tom Allen 

Kemi Lo

Kemi Lo is a graduate of York University, receiving a B.F.A in music performance. Her musical endeavours include being a classical violinist, violist, choir/orchestral conductor, and arranger. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Unitatis String Ensemble, a musical group based in Toronto. Her most recent musical endeavour with the group involved spear-heading and organizing the USCW, an international music composition workshop hosted at/in partnership with the Canadian Music Centre. She was the student conductor of the York University Symphony Orchestra and the York University Chamber String Ensemble from 2018-2019. That same year, she was also the assistant conductor of the Ontario Pops Orchestra, studying under Maestro Carlos Bastidas. She served as assistant faculty to Colin Clarke, Founder and Artistic Director of the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, at the Interprovincial Music Camp for both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Prior to this, she was the conductor of the Chinese Martyr Catholic Church Young Voices for 4 years. She currently is pursuing her career in conducting, while continuing to teach music around the GTA. She has guest spoken and adjudicated in various music schools and music programs.

Born in Hong Kong, Kemi Lo immigrated to Canada at a very young age and has lived most of her life in Ontario. She started choir when she was very young, which lead her to start the violin at age 12, which eventually led her to start conducting at age 16. She studied the violin under the late Jacques Israelievitch, violin and viola under Mark Skazinetsky, viola under Rory Mcleod  and conducting under Dr. Mark Chambers, Associate Professor at York University. She is currently continuing her studies with Uri Mayer, Associate Professor for conducting at the University of Toronto.

Kemi will join Orchestra Toronto in preparation for our April 19 performance, Sueños Ibericos.

Lorenzo Guggenheim

Conductor Lorenzo GuggenheimFollowing his OT debut last season, Orchestra Toronto is delighted to welcome Lorenzo back to the podium.

Described as energetic, instinctive and very gifted, Lorenzo Guggenheim, native of Argentina, is a conductor with an emerging international career conducting opera, new music and the broad orchestral repertoire. Internationally recognized for his vibrant interpretations, Mr. Guggenheim’s career was launched by his debut in the Teatro Colón at age 23, and his performance with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Chile in 2014, after which he moved to the United States. He is currently based in Toronto where he is Assistant Conductor of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Co-founder and Director of the Campus Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr. Guggenheim was a fellow with the Seattle Symphony in 2016-18 covering Music Director Ludovic Morlot in two performances and assisting Associate Conductor Pablo Rus in the Shostakovich and Prokofiev Concerto Festivals. His involvement in the Pacific Northwest community includes his position as Conductor of UW CPO with celebrated performances in the Meany Center for the Performing Arts, one of the region’s premiere theaters, as well as the acclaimed concert Mozart in Vienna in which he performed several operatic excerpts, symphonic and concertante repertoire, and led Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 449 from the piano.

His committed passion for opera brought him to collaborate with numerous productions including Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Purcell’s Dido and AeneasGianni Schicchi, Aida, and Porgy and Bess. He was recently selected to conduct Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias at CCM Summer Opera program in Cincinnati.

As part of the new generation of independent opera in Buenos Aires that is breaking traditions and using innovative technologies to attract new audiences, Lorenzo Guggenheim premiered En la Colonia Penitenciaria, which won several awards from critics and art organizations. Mr. Guggenheim is a dedicated promoter of new music with strong relationships with several emerging composers as well as with the most prestigious from Argentina.

Mr. Guggenheim received invitations to the most important masterclasses and festivals in South America, USA and Europe and received awards from University of Toronto, UW, Universidad Católica Argentina, Argentine Council for the Arts, New Music International Festival of Argentina, Pepsi Music Festival, and Premios Hugo nomination for Best Musical Direction in 2016.

In his spare time, Lorenzo enjoys finding the best ingredients in the local farmer’s market and cooking with his wife. Their shared passion for animals led them to frequently volunteer in animal shelters.

Lorenzo will join Orchestra Toronto for our season-finale Sketches of Our Ancestors on May 31.





More in:News

Comments are closed.

0 %