Yariv Aloni, Viola & Jamie Syer, Piano Yariv Aloni is acclaimed by critics for his "impeccable technical accomplishments, exquisite phrasing and superb viola playing", and as "the ideal soloist, with a huge, singing tone and a rare depth and nobility of feeling". Born on a kibbutz in Israel, he began studying the violin at the age of eight and turned to the viola when he was sixteen. He studied viola with David Chen at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, Daniel Benyamini, principal violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Tree, violist of the Guarneri String Quartet. With an emphasis on chamber music he also studied at the Jerusalem Music Centre with distinguished visiting faculty from around the world including Isaac Stern, Ilona Feher, and the Amadeus and Guarneri String Quartets. A finalist of the François Shapira competition in Tel-Aviv, his awards include the Israel Broadcasting Authority award for chamber music performance and numerous scholarships from the American-Israel Cultural foundation. In 1985 he was invited to join Isaac Stern and Pinchas Zuckerman in a gala concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. As a founding member of the Aviv Quartet and subsequently a member of the Penderecki String Quartet he has performed in major concert halls throughout Europe and North America. With a special affinity to inspire young people Yariv was the artistic director of the Courtenay Youth Music Centre for ten years and is the associate music director for the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra. He taught viola and Chamber music at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and is currently teaching chamber music at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Mr. Aloni has recorded for the United, Marquise, Tritonus, and CBC labels as well as independent CD labels. He appears regularly with the Vetta Ensemble in Vancouver and performs in numerous chamber music festivals and recitals series. Also a conductor, he is the founder and music director of the Galiano Ensemble of Victoria and the Victoria Chamber Orchestra. He is playing on a viola made by Joseph Curtin in 2001. Jamie Syer "a superb concert that made a big impression", Edinburgh Academy; "infectious enthusiasm", Peeblesshire News, Scotland "the programme brought much pleasure, especially the Canadian works", IUFM, Dijon, France "Syer's sense of spirit and style soars", Calgary Herald Jamie Syer is a Canadian piano soloist, chamber music performer, conductor, clinician and teacher. He is the recipient of an Alberta Government Achievement Award, and winner of the national CBC Talent Competition. He studied at the Yale University School of Music, where he completed his Doctoral degree in 1987. Jamie Syer is Head of the Keyboard Department at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and a faculty member in the School of Music, University of Victoria. Previously, he has taught at the University of Calgary, the University of Regina, Mt Allison University, and at the Mount Royal College Conservatory. For ten seasons he was Artistic Director of New Works Calgary, a group dedicated to performing new and recent music by contemporary composers. At the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Jamie Syer is Artistic Director of the Collegium Program for Young Musicians-a project that offers an enriched curriculum for talented young pianists and instrumentalists. With his wife, violinist Laurie Syer, he directs Strings & Keys: a summer program for young pianists and string players which attracts students annually from across Canada. Together, Jamie and Laurie have completed several concert tours in Europe, performing in Scotland, Ireland, Hungary, France, and England. Closer to home, Jamie has performed in Calgary, Regina, Edmonton, and Victoria, and other Canadian centres. He was soloist in two concertos with the Sidney Classical Orchestra, and presented a concert of music based on Canadian stories and legends for New Works Calgary. His most recent solo concert Second Thoughts featured works of Bach, Ravel, and Liszt. His CD recording piano among friends includes repertoire of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, as well as twentieth-century repertoire by William Bolcom and Quenten Doolittle. Dr. Syer is an active adjudicator and clinician throughout Canada, having adjudicated for the Canadian Music Competitions, and many local and provincial festivals.