Founded during the 2020-21 season 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 cellist Julie Hereish from Montreal, Quebec. The High Level Trio has presented successful performances throughout Alberta, including at the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival, the Peace Region Music Series, the St. Albert Chamber Music Society, and for the Edmonton Recital Society. The HLT has also presented outreach concerts and recorded videos for the Health Arts Society of Alberta. In the Spring of 2023 the HLT gave a series the world premiere performances of John Estacio's "Navigations" for string trio, which the HLT had commissioned 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. They have been heard on CKUA's Classical Connections, interviewed by host Aaron Au and performing excerpts of the Estacio trio and other music, and they will be making a recording of the new work at Mount Royal University's Bella Concert Hall in August 2023. The HLT is currently developing plans for a 2023-24 series of HLT & Friends chamber music concerts in Edmonton.
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 also enjoyed numerous opportunities to perform as soloist with orchestras, including several features with the Edmonton Symphony as well as a June 2023 appearance with the Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton performing Mozart's Violin Concerto No.5 in A Major. Ewald can also be heard on his 2015 recording with the JUNO Award-winning pianist Philip Chiu, "A Tribute to Fritz Kreisler."
Ethan Filner has been the ESO's Assistant Principal Viola since 2019, having previously held the same position with 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. Formerly the violist of the internationally acclaimed Cypress String Quartet for 15 years until they disbanded, Ethan toured extensively throughout North American 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.
Assistant Principal Cello of the ESO since 2019, Montreal native Julie Hereish previously held the same position with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, having completed studies in both her hometown and Vienna, Austria. Julie has performed extensively with chamber orchestra Violons du Roy and has toured as a chamber musician with Debut Atlantic and Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. 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 - recently given its Alberta premiere with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra during a week of concerts in the Winspear Centre in front of thousands of delighted children and families.
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