Oliver Balaburski, conductor
Charissa Vandikas, piano
Stravinsky - Suite No. 1
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”
Schumann - Symphony 3 “Rhenish”
Calvin Presbyterian Church
26 Delisle Ave, Toronto, ON
Our spring concert will feature a selection of popular romantic and works under the baton of guest conductor Oliver Balabursky. The first half will include Stravinsky's Suite No. 1 and Beethoven Concerto No. 5 "Emperor" with young pianist Charissa Vandikas will be the guest soloist. Second half will present Schumann's Symphony # 3 "Rhenish". The two challenging parts of the program are expected to appeal to both our audiences and the musicians.
Praised for her “fabulous sense of style and musical expression well beyond her years”, Charissa Vandikas has been featured in CBC’s prestigious list, “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30”, and was recently honoured to receive the 2018 Developing Artist Grant for Classical Piano from the Hnatyshyn Foundation. She has won top prizes in various competitions, including the Canadian Music Competition, the CFMTA National Competition, and the Glenn Gould School Chamber Competition. Winning the Glenn Gould School's Concerto Competition two years in a row, she performed with orchestra in Koerner Hall alongside conductors Johannes Debuss and Tito Muñoz.
Charissa has appeared as a soloist in the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Music Society, the Arts and Letters Club Toronto, and in the Canadian Opera Company’s lunchtime concert series. In 2016, she was named a Stockey Young Artist of the Festival of the Sound and toured Ontario the previous year as an ORMTA Young Artist. Charissa made her orchestral debut with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of David Fallis in 2013, and is thrilled to be returning in 2020. She has performed with the Haydn Jeugd Strijkorkest in the Netherlands, the Toronto Sinfonietta, Cathedral Bluffs Symphony, the York Chamber Ensemble, and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra. Charissa is active as a chamber musician, notably in her piano duo, La Fiammata, who were the 2017 Grand Prix Winners of the Canadian Music Competition, and later youth ambassadors for CMC's 60th anniversary. In November of last year, they took home first prize in the North West International Piano Ensemble Competition. They have performed with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, and their recording of Poulenc's Double Piano Concerto in Koerner Hall was featured on CBC Radio's program, In Concert.
A native of Newmarket, Ontario, Charissa received her ARCT Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music at the age of 13, and completed her Licentiate Diploma in 2015. Her former teachers include Michael Esch and Janice Lin. Studying with John O'Conor, she completed her Bachelor's of Music in 2019 at the Glenn Gould School. She is excited to pursue graduate studies at the Université de Montréal with Jean Saulnier.