John Paul Farahat
Gerardo d’Urzo-GreensPrivate Studio
Zoe Kai Wai Lei
Rashaan Allwood is a keyboard player and performer of great versatility. As a pianist, organist, and harpsichordist, he actively performs in a variety of solo, collaborative, and chamber settings, including performances with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, and the University of Toronto’s Collegium Musicum. Rashaan was the first prize winner for the organ category in the Canadian National OSM Manulife competition in 2016 and second prize winner in the Wadden Sea International Organ Competition and the Lynwood Farnham Organ Competition in 2017.
As a passionate recitalist, Rashaan strives to uses cohesive programming, lecture recitals, and multimedia performances to engage audiences. This has led to performances at venues such the Canadian Opera Company Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, the Montreal Maison Symphonique and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, UK.
Rashaan is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he studied piano performance with Professor James Parker and organ with Professor Kevin Komisaruk. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Organ and Church Music at McGill University and studying with Professor Hans-Ola Ericsson.
Trevor Cooper was one of 14 internationally selected guitarists to study in the III Master in Classical Guitar Performance at the University of Alicante, Spain. There he studied with Grammy award-winning artists David Russell, Manuel Barrueco (guitar), Paul O’Dette (lute/early music), Jose de Eusebio (conductor) as well as Paul Galbraith, Pepe Romero, Fabio Zanon and others. He currently is concluding his studies at the Universitaet Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he studies with guitarist Eliot Fisk.
When Trevor was 17 he was accepted into the University of Toronto Faculty of Music where he entered the Performance program. There he began studying guitar with Jeffrey McFadden and performance practice with Kevin Komisaruk (organ/keyboard). He won national recognition with the 1st Place in Guitar at the 2013 FCMF National Music Festival in Waterloo, Canada. After receiving his Bachelor of Music in Perfomance he traveled to Seville, Spain, where he studied with Spanish guitarist Francisco Bernier.
Born and raised in Edmonton, Canada, he started playing guitar at a young age, studying locally with Dale Besler and Michel Forestier. Apart from the guitar and music, Trevor enjoys philosophy, cooking, politics, nature, traveling, hockey and ideas. He speaks Spanish and is learning German. He plays an Alector (Greece) guitar.
Organist, accompanist, and conductor John Paul Farahat holds the post of Director of Music and Principal Organist of Saint Basil’s Catholic Parish, the collegiate church of the University of Saint Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. Recent international engagements include Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, UK, and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, as well as the ORGANIX festival and the Cathedral Church of Saint James in Toronto, the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, and Saint Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo. John Paul Farahat completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance degree from the University of Toronto in the organ studio of Kevin Komisaruk, with whom he also studied harpsichord and improvisation. He has received direct masterclass instruction from Peter Williams, Olivier Latry, Thomas Murray, Noam Sivan, and Martin Haselböck. Mr. Farahat is an alumnus of Saint Michael’s Choir School, Toronto, and a former chorister of Saint Michael’s Cathedral.
Solo, collaborative, and choral artist Gerardo d’Urzo-Greens is presently Director of Music at St. James Parish, Bloor West Village, having previously served as Organ Scholar at St. Clements Anglican Church, Toronto. In 2016 he obtained a Bachelor of Music degree in piano from the University of Toronto, where he also completed studies in collaborative harpsichord, organ repertoire, pedagogy, and improvisation.
Zoe Kai Wai Lei
Zoe Lei enjoys new organ music and frequently plays twentieth and twenty-first century repertories. She is an incoming doctorate student at the University of Michigan, where she studies the organ with Prof. James Kibbie and the carillon with Dr. Tiffany Ng. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she is currently based in Michigan and has performed in various venues in Hong Kong, Toronto and some cities in the United States. In April 2017, she gave her debut as an organ soloist in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and was interviewed by Radio Television Hong Kong to promote the organ.
Being an organ soloist, Zoe recently performed at St James Cathedral, Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, Tafelmusik summer Institute, Beach United Church and performed as a continuo player at the Church Redeemer. Apart from appearing as a soloist, she was the organist for the New Music Ensemble and performed pieces by Bruce Mather and Gubaidulina. During September 2017 to May 2020, she worked as an organ scholar at Toronto Bloor Street United Church and organist at Toronto Chinese Baptist Church.
Upon graduating from the master’s degree program, Zoe studied with Dr. John Paul Farahat. She finished her master’s studies in organ performance at the University of Toronto in 2019, under the tutelage of Prof. Kevin Komisaruk, after having studied with the renowned Hong Kong organist, Kin Yu Wong. She completed her undergraduate studies in organ and music education at Hong Kong Baptist University in June 2017. She received scholarships from University of Michigan, University of Toronto and Macau Government and Reed Foundation at Oregon Bach Festival. zoekw125 [at] gmail [dot] com
David Podgorski obtained a Masters degree in harpsichord performance from McGill University, where he studied with Hank Knox, and pursued further studies at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague with Jacques Ogg. David completed a demo recording in Italy of the solo harpsichord works of d’Anglebert. He continues to perform regularly, and has performed in solo, chamber, and orchestral concerts in Canada, the US, and Europe. He enjoys exploring historical improvisation techniques, performing intimate salon concert recitals, and recording. David is a founding member of Rezonance Baroque Ensemble, and he currently writes Early Music columns and reviews for Musical Toronto.
Adrian Ross completed a Masters in Harpsichord Performance at the University of Toronto in 2020, having previously completed his Bachelor of Music in History & Theory in 2018. Initially studying piano with Mia Bach, his passion for early music drew him to study harpsichord with Kevin Komisaruk and participate in the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute. In addition to performance, Adrian is interested in studying music from the Middle Ages to the Baroque, particularly sacred music and the study of counterpoint, and recently published an article concerning an early collection of works by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621). Adrian currently plays with the Cor Unum Ensemble and previously with the University of Toronto Collegium Musicum. Website: https://adrian-ross.com