Founded in 2021 by members of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the High Level Trio combines the talents, broad experiences and diverse backgrounds of Edmonton native Ewald Cheung on violin, American-born violist Ethan Filner, and Montrealer Julie Hereish on cello.
The High Level Trio has performed for enthusiastic audiences throughout Alberta, including at the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival, the Peace Region Music Series, the St. Albert Chamber Music Society, for the Edmonton Recital Society, and on CKUA radio. They have presented outreach concerts and recorded performance videos for the Health Arts Society of Alberta, and they coach ensembles at the Chamber Music Society of Edmonton's annual Summer Solstice Amateur Workshop as well as their own Windsor Park Chamber Music Workshop, which they created in 2022 for pre-college students. In Spring 2023 the HLT gave the world premiere performances of John Estacio's Navigations for String Trio, which they had commissioned and have now recorded with the support of grants from both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Province of Alberta through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. 2023-24 season plans include a new "High Level Trio & Friends" 1-hour chamber music series, programmed to feature some of their favorite collaborators in Edmonton; performances at Felice Cafe and the Peter Robertson Gallery.
Ewald Cheung joined the ESO's first violin section in 2018 after earning performance degrees at the Juilliard School and McGill University. A prize-winner in multiple violin competitions and an avid chamber musician, Ewald was a founding member of the Roddick String Quartet and Geistrio, and has performed extensively around Canada in recitals and chamber music collaborations. Ewald has enjoyed numerous opportunities to perform as soloist with orchestras, including several features with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. In June 2023 he performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No.5 in A Major with the Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton; in February 2024 he and a few of his orchestral colleagues will perform Haydn's Sinfonia Concertante in Bb Major with the ESO, Michael Stern conducting. In addition to the HLT's forthcoming recording of John Estacio's Navigations, Ewald can be heard along with the JUNO Award-winning pianist Philip Chiu on their 2015 recording "A Tribute to Fritz Kreisler." Ewald is a co-founder of the High Level Trio and co-creator of the Windsor Park Chamber Music Workshop.
Ethan Filner joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Viola in 2019; the Alberta Baroque Ensemble as Principal Viola in 2021; and the viola section of the Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton in 2023. Since 2019 Ethan has been performing "E&E" duet concerts all over northern Alberta with HLT violinist Ewald Cheung, with whom he has also recorded videos for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra's pandemic-era "From Stage to Screen" series, the 2021 Alberta Performing Arts Showcase at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, and the Health Arts Society of Alberta. Before moving to Edmonton Ethan was Assistant Principal Viola in the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Ontario, where he also taught viola at the University of Toronto and enjoyed a busy freelance career since moving to Canada from San Francisco with his family in 2016. From 2001-16 Ethan was the violist of the internationally acclaimed Cypress String Quartet, with whom he toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, recorded nearly 20 commercial albums, commissioned and premiered dozens of new works, presented educational outreach programs for thousands of students of all ages, and collaborated with many of the most inspiring musical artists of our time. Among Ethan's favorite recording projects from his time with the CSQ are the complete String Quartets of Beethoven, Schubert's Cello Quintet with guest Gary Hoffman, and Brahms sextets featuring Barry Shiffman on viola and Zuill Bailey on cello. Aside from all of that, Ethan has enjoyed variously lengthy stints as Co-ordinator of the San Francisco Conservatory Pre-College String Chamber Music Program, Associate Director of the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop, President of the Northern California Viola Society, Father and Husband, and Amateur Photographer of All Things (Especially Sunsets, Family, and Pets).
Julie Hereish joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 2019 as Assistant Principal Cello, having previously held the same position in the Québec Symphony Orchestra. Julie is a member and co-founder of the High Level Trio and the Garneau String Quartet, both based in Edmonton and formed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The GSQ is Quartet in Residence at Grant MacEwan University’s Conservatory of Music, where it created and runs the Chamber Music Academy program for young music students. The High Level Trio just performed the world premiere of John Estacio’s Navigations for String Trio, a brand new commission from the group. Julie has performed extensively with the chamber orchestra Violons du Roy in Québec City and throughout Europe and North America. Together with actor Pierre Mayer, Julie created Charlot et Mlle Cello, a theatrical concert experience for children based on Charlie Chaplin’s famous "Tramp" character. This project was presented most recently with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in May 2023. Julie’s main pandemic project was the birth of her two daughters. Being in isolation with husband and violist Keith Hamm also led to the creation of The New Cohort. As a duet they have recorded for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra's From Stage to Screen video series and were presented in several concerts on a tour of the Maritimes by Debut Atlantic in the Fall of 2022.
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