2019 Chamber Music Workshop

May 12-18, 2019, Sooke, B.C., Canada

One-week string chamber music workshop
with coaching sessions on string quartet literature and ensemble playing, culminating in a final concert by each ensemble.


  • Violin: Simon MacDonald

  • Viola: Yariv Aloni

  • Cello: Ian Hampton, Pamela Highbaugh Aloni,


 Workshop Information -Click here

Workshop Application- Click here

Faculty Biographies

Yariv Aloni

Yariv Aloni has received praise for conducting “impassioned, inspiring” and “magnificently right” interpretations of major orchestral and choral repertoire. Reviewers also describe him as “a musician of considerable insight and impeccable taste”.

He is currently the music director of the Galiano Ensemble of Victoria, the Victoria Chamber Orchestra and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, and his guest appearances include the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the West Coast Symphony in Vancouver, the Civic Orchestra of Victoria, the Victoria Choral Society and PRIMA Youth Choir.

Also a violist, Yariv Aloni is acclaimed by critics for his “impeccable technical accomplishments, exquisite phrasing and superb viola playing”, and as having “a huge singing tone and a rare depth and nobility of feeling”. He was a finalist at the François Shapira competition in Tel-Aviv. His awards included the Israel Broadcasting Authority award for chamber music performance and numerous awards and annual scholarships from the American-Israel Cultural foundation. As the violist of both the Aviv and the Penderecki string quartets, he has performed in many concert halls around the world including Lincoln Centre in New York, the Louvre in Paris, Tonhalle in Zurich, and numerous concert halls in Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, Holland, Mexico, France, Poland and many more. In 1985 he was invited to join Isaac Stern and Pinchas Zukerman to play a gala concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Mr. Aloni 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.

An avid and dedicated teacher he is teaching chamber music at the University of Victoria, British Columbia and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He is a former faculty member of Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and has given master classes at the University of British Columbia, Brandon University, University of Alberta in Edmonton and Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.  In 1994 he became a faculty member and subsequently, from 1999 to 2007 the artistic director and conductor of the Courtenay Youth Music Centre in the Comox Valley, BC.

Born on a kibbutz in Israel, Yariv Aloni 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 and Michael Tree and 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 the Isaac Stern, the Amadeus and the Guarneri String Quartets, and many others.  He studied conducting under the tutelage of the Hungarian conductor János Sándor, former music director of the Budapest State Opera, the Györ Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Pecs.

Ian Hampton

Ian Hampton was born in London and educated at Bedales School in Hampshire. He studied cello with Joan Dickson in Edinburgh, with William Pleeth at the Guildhall School of Music, London and with Paul Tortelier in Paris.  He was a founding member of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and a member of the London Symphony Orchestra.  He became the cellist of the Edinburgh String Quartet.  Ian emigrated to Canada via Berkley, California where he taught for a year with his father, the renowned cellist Colin Hampton. In 1966 he was appointed principal cellist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and also of the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra.  He was a founding member and cellist of the Baroque Strings of Vancouver and also the Purcell String Quartet.

In 1968 he became founder and president of the Vancouver Cello Club.  He taught at the University of British Columbia and was a member of the Masterpiece Piano Trio, conductor of the Nanaimo Symphony Orchestra and the Surrey Youth Orchestra.  In 1979 he became principal of the Langley Community Music School and, in 1982, principal cellist of the Vancouver Opera orchestra, both positions which he continued to hold until 1990, along with his role as principal cello of the CBC Vancouver Orchestra.

Ian has played numerous recitals and CBC broadcasts and has appeared as soloist – in the Britten Cello Symphony, the Rodrigo Concierto en modo galante, Morawetz’s In Memoriam Martin Luther King with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra and the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Ian feels strongly that his best work has been associated with what might be called ‘musical pioneering’ – for example his work with the Purcell String Quartet and the Langley Community Music School – and that more attention needs to be paid to works by 20th century composers.  His playing “is marked by sensitive musicianship, a superb tone, and a commanding technique; he is versatile, as at home in late 17th century works as in those of later periods, although he expresses a particular fondness for pieces from the first half of the 20th century.”

In 1999 Ian received the BC Arts Council award for his extraordinary contribution as a performer, teacher and administrator.   In recognition of his contribution to Canadian new music, in 2009 he was named a Canadian Music Centre ambassador. In 2011 Ian was awarded an honorary doctorate from Simon Fraser University.

Pamela Highbaugh-Aloni

Praised for her “meltingly beautiful solos” (The Detroit News) and performances of “depth and insight” (Times Colonist), Pamela Highbaugh-Aloni is a co-founding member of the prize – winning Lafayette String Quartet.

Since 1991, Pamela along with her quartet colleagues has been an Artist in Residence at UVic, where she teaches cello, chamber music and co-supervises the strings mentoring course in collaboration with School District 61. She and the LSQ maintain their leadership in one of the strongest university string programs in Canada. The Lafayette quartet celebrated 25 years of musical life together in 2011. Highlights of these years include a celebration of the millennium performing all sixteen of Beethoven’s string quartets, tours in North America and Europe, and the initiation of the Lafayette Health Awareness Forum. Recordings include a recent title “Tre Vecchi Amici” featuring works written for the quartet. Their CBC recording “Death and the Maiden” was awarded “Outstanding Classical Recording of the Year” by the Western Canada Music Awards.

A native of California, Pamela served as principal cellist with the Detroit’s Renaissance City Chamber Players. She was a Ford Motor Company Artist in Residence at the Center for Creative Studies Institute of Music and Dance and a faculty member at Oakland University. She earned her BMus and MMus degrees from California State University, Northridge and Indiana University. Her principal teachers include Peter Rejto, Janos Starker and Paul Katz.

An enthusiast teacher, Ms. Highbaugh Aloni served for ten years on the faculty at the Courtenay Youth Music School and Festival and for the past six years has been the coach for the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra cello section. She has performed both as a soloist and recitalist and has been a guest artist with the Sooke Philharmonic, Vetta Ensemble of Vancouver, Victoria Summer Festival, Eine Kleine Summer Music, Chamber Music San Juan, and the Victoria Symphony’s Summer Cathedral Series, and has served as principal cellist with the Galiano Ensemble since its inaugural season in 2000. Pamela plays on a George Craske cello made in England, 1850.

Personal webpage:

simon macdonald

Simon MacDonald began playing the violin at age seven, here in Victoria, British Columbia. Following studies with Frona Colquhoun and Sydney Humphreys, Simon earned his AVCM Teacher and Performance Diploma from the VCM, Bachelor’s degree from New England Conservatory in Boston, and Master’s degree from the Schulich School of Music, at the University of McGill, in Montreal. Simon’s musical education also included performing at music festivals in Europe and North America, including Schleswig Holstein Music Festival (Germany), The Festival of Two Worlds (Italy), the Spoleto Festival (Charleston, South Carolina), Tanglewood Music Festival and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Massachusetts), and at ArtSpring Festival on Salt Spring Island.

After graduating from McGill in 1998, Simon moved to New Orleans to take a job in the violin section of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for the 1998/99 season. In 1999 he returned to Canada to accept a position in the first violin section of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and quickly became an active musician on the Canadian Prairies and across Canada. As well as performing with WSO, Simon was a teacher, chamber musician, and soloist. He was a member of the 1st violin section of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Principal Second violin of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, a member of the Rembrandt String Quartet, and a regular guest with the Brandon Chamber Players and the new music ensemble GroundSwell. In 2013 he was invited to be guest concertmaster of the Regina Symphony Orchestra, and assumed the position full time in 2015. Included in his duties as concertmaster, Simon regularly performed concerti with the Regina Symphony, and as co-curator of the Regina Symphony Chamber Players, Simon initiated the first complete cycle of Beethoven quartets to the city of Regina, as well as a wide selection of new music from many Canadian composers.

Teaching has always been an important part of Simon’s musical life; he maintained a private studio in Winnipeg, and regularly coached the Winnipeg Youth Orchestras and University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra. He continued that dedication after moving to Regina; maintaining a private studio, and coaching the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra, while regularly returning to be a guest artist and clinician for the Winnipeg Youth Orchestras.

Simon has been faculty at Rosamunde Summer Music Academy (Winnipeg), Regina Summer Strings (Regina), Cadenza Summer Strings (Winkler), the University of Manitoba Preparatory Division Summer Chamber Camp (Winnipeg), the Brandon Summer Suzuki Institute, and the International Music Camp at the Peace Gardens. For the 2010/2011 academic year Simon was the sabbatical replacement for Professor Kerry DuWors at the Brandon University School of Music. In 2016, Simon was invited as guest artist for the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra’s 30th anniversary season; that same year he was also guest artist and clinician at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, and at the prestigious Hale School, in Perth, Australia.

Simon also enjoys a departure from the classical genre; he has acted as concertmaster for various theatre productions including The King and I, the Broadway Touring production of Chicago, and a memorable moment performing while tethered to a roof top on stage for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. He also acted as roady and fiddle player for the touring blues group BluesWater, on Islay, in Scotland, during the Festival of Music and Malt in 2014.

Gary Karr

Acclaimed as "the world's leading solo bassist" (Time Magazine) Gary Karr is, in fact, the first solo doublebassist in history to make that pursuit a full-time career.

His major teachers include Herman Reinshagen and Stuart Sankey, with whom he studied at the Aspen Music Festival and the Julliard School.  Since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, he has performed as soloist on 6 continents with orchestra and, since 1971, in recital with pianist organist harpsichordist, Harmon Lewis.  He has recorded well over 50 discs with various orchestras worldwide.

He has premiered new works written for him by Vittorio Giannini (Psalm CXX), Alec Wilder (Sonata for Double Bass and Piano and Suite for Double Bass and Guitar). Robert Xavier Rodriguez (Ursa, Four Seasons for Double Bass and Orchestra), and the concertos for double bass and orchestra by Gunther Schuller, Hans Werner Henze, John Downey and Ketil Hvoslef. He has recorded the Serge Koussevitsky concerto with Oslo Philharmonic.

He has taught double bass on the faculties of the Julliard School, New England Conservatory of Music, The Hartt School, Yale University, Indiana University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Halifax (Nova Scotia) Schools Music Program and has published a number of instructional books for the double bass. He focuses on finding one's unique sound on the double bass and approaching playing with the lyrical emphasis of a singer.

One of Karr's proudest achievements is the Bronze Medal he received from the Rosa Poinselle Foundation, which recognizes him as an outstanding lyrical musician. He also has been awarded the Artist-Teacher Award from the American String Teachers Association and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the international Society of Bassists, an organization Karr founded 50 years ago. In 2005, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Victoria.

Jenny MacLeod

Jenny was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Indiana University and a Master of Music Degree from the University of Victoria, both in viola performance.

Jenny has worked with the Milwaukee Symphony and Ballet, as well as the Vancouver Symphony and Opera. She has been a full contract member of the viola sections of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic. From 1987 - 1993 she was principal viola of the Victoria Symphony and for several seasons she performed with the Galiano Ensemble.

Jenny has taught and coached at both the West Coast Summer Music Camp and the Courtenay Youth Music Centre. She has also been a viola coach for the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra. She served on the Board of the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival and for three years was the Section Head for Junior Strings.

Jenny currently performs as an extra/substitute violist in the Victoria Symphony. Her regular habits include swimming, yoga, rowing and frequent visits to coffee shops!

Jenny is married to Keith MacLeod, principal clarinet of the Victoria Symphony.  They are the happy parents of two lovely adult daughters.