Music Director, Board & Staff
Michael Newnham, Music Director
Michael Newnham is best known for his intense and inspiring conducting style, based on a deep knowledge of the score and informed by a strong interest in languages, cultures and history. A born communicator, his open and direct contact with musicians and audiences creates performances full of expression and energy.
Along with being Music Director of Orchestra Toronto, he is also Music Director of the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, and also held that title with Symphony New Brunswick, Camerata NB (2009-2018). Newnham has been instrumental in bringing these ensembles to new artistic heights and raising their profile on the provincial and national level.
Along with his appearances in his native Canada, Newnham has also appeared at the helm of many orchestras and opera companies throughout Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Italy and South Korea.
Endowed with a special passion and gift for working with young musicians, Michael founded the Kawartha Youth Orchestra in 2002, and has been a faculty member as conductor and chamber music coach at Music at Port Milford for several years. His involvement in educating young musicians is not limited to Canada. He spent two years as Guest Professor and Orchestra Conductor at Taegu-Hyosung University in South Korea.
Originally from Hamilton, Newnham is a graduate of the conducting class of prof. Bogusław Madey at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland. He also studied at the Indiana University of Music and at the University of Toronto. A recipient of several awards, including the “Order of Merit” from the Republic of Poland, the “Best Conductor” Award from the East Slovakian State Opera, Newnham was recently granted the Turzanski Award for his services in promoting Polish music and culture in Canada.
Collaboration with Canadian composers has been central to Newnham’s life in music. In the summer of 2005, he was specially honoured to have been chosen by R. Murray Schafer to be the Music Director of an acclaimed production of Schafer’s “Patria: The Enchanted Forest”.
Before taking up the baton, Newnham began his musical career as a trombonist, playing with the Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, as well as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
He currently lives in Peterborough with his wife, cellist Zuzanna, two daughters, and four cats, and is a home barista (not for the cats, though).
Rory J. Taylor
Rory joined the Board of Directors of Orchestra Toronto in 2016 and has been Chair since 2022. He is a South African qualified Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town. Read more…
Melissa Cavelti, CFA*
Melissa studied music and business at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois. She then pursued a career in finance at RBC, as well as at BMO Nesbitt Burns as a V.P. & Managing Director of Private Client Investing. Read more…
Join Orchestra Toronto’s Board as Treasurer – Opportunity Awaits!
Are you passionate about music and bookkeeping? Orchestra Toronto is seeking a dedicated individual to join our esteemed Board as Treasurer. As Treasurer, you will play a vital role in managing our financial affairs and ensuring the sustainability of our organization. Read more…
Alison volunteers extensively, participating on different Boards, including Orchestra Toronto and the Ladies Golf Club of Toronto. She has also been Vice-President of Neilson Park Creative Centre, President of Driftwood Theatre Group, Treasurer of the Women’s Support Network of York Region, and President of the Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs. Read more…
Alexis Eun-Young Choi
Alexis Eun-Young Choi is a Legal Counsel at Hydro One Networks Inc., with a broad practice in securities and corporate finance, as well as real estate law. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and obtained her MA and BA from the University of Toronto. Read more…
Trevor Fairlie is a lawyer called to the Bar of Ontario and an emerging corporate governance expert. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, he currently practices as Legal Counsel in the Office of Mergers & Acquisitions at the Ontario Securities Commission, having previously worked as a securities litigator and a corporate governance consultant. Read more…
Canadian conductor, composer, educator and pianist, Maziar led a flourishing musical career in Iran for over a decade before moving to Toronto in 2009. Maziar obtained a MMus in Conducting from the University of Toronto and has since held several conducting positions, including with Orchestra Toronto, Hart House Orchestra, and the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Read more…
Over her 20 years in corporate communications, Jennifer has become an expert strategic communicator, specializing in media relations, investor relations, thought leadership, transactions and issues management. Jennifer works in investor relations and stakeholder communications at a leading professional services firm in Canada. Read more…
Grace has a Masters degree in French and Italian Literature from the University of Glasgow, where she studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music/Drama. As a teacher and administrator she was a chair of the French Immersion Program in Toronto. Read more…
Taya holds a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto. She majored in modern and baroque flute; she has studied with Dianne Aitken (RCM), Camille Watts (TSO), and Alison Melville (Toronto Consort). During her studies, Taya had a particular interest in choral and orchestral conducting and participated in numerous masterclasses in Europe and North America. Read more…
Donna Walrond is a labour and employment lawyer at a Toronto Labour and Employment firm. Donna holds a Specialized Honours degree in Public Policy and Administration from York University and is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. Read more…
* also a member of the Musician’s Committee
Julianna Cole is a renowned vocal teacher and theatre professional with over 10 years of international experience. She holds a Diploma in Children Studies, Teaching Skills for Educators and Educational Psychology. Julianna is an accomplished author and opera singer who studied with The Royal Conservatory of Music and Conservatory Canada. Read more…
In 1984 John McGregor took on the position of Principal Trumpet of the East York Symphony Orchestra, now known as Orchestra Toronto. Shortly afterwards he took on the positions of Stage Manager and Librarian and eventually also has become the Personnel Manager. Read more…
Grace Morrison, Chair