Introducing the 2023-24 Rebanks Fellows
Introducing the 2023-24 Rebanks Fellows
Published on August 25, 2023
The Royal Conservatory is pleased to announce the six exceptional artists accepted into the prestigious Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program for the 2023-24 academic year.
Unique in Canada, The Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program
is a one-year postgraduate program of The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School
. Created in 2013 for artists poised for professional success, it offers a rich curriculum for career development including private study with exceptional faculty and guest artists; concert presentations and career coaching; and marketing training and support. Additionally, each Rebanks Fellow also participates in a funded European residency.
The continued success of The Rebanks Family Fellowship Program is possible thanks to the unwavering support of the Rebanks Family
and the Weston Family Foundation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE REBANKS FAMILY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Jamal Al Titi, baritone (Belarus)
Jamal Al Titi is a Belarusian-born baritone whose passion for music expands from early works to opera. Making his home in Canada, Jamal was a winner of the Toronto Mozart Vocal Competition in 2023 and among the 2022 National Audition finalists of L’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal. Passionate about opera, Jamal has been featured numerous times with the Brott Opera Festival where his roles have included Masetto in Don Giovanni, Schaunard in La Bohème and Casacada in The Merry Widow. Most recently, he performed both the roles of Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni and Tom in Adoration at the Banff Centre’s 2023 Opera in the 21st Century, and as Belcore in L’Elisir D’Amore at the Highlands Opera. Jamal began his studies at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts and holds a Bachelor of Music in voice performance from the University of Toronto, studying with Wendy Nielsen and Alain Coulombe. During his final year as an undergraduate, Jamal won the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song, the Faculty of Music’s most prestigious vocal prize, and was honoured to receive the 2023 faculty’s top honour award. Jamal plans to continue performing as much as possible and wishes to sing to his heart’s content to captivate his audience while appreciating the magic of music.
Tobias Elser, violin (United States)
Tobias Elser began his violin studies at the age of five in his hometown of Ithaca, NY. He then went on to study with Marilyn McDonald at Oberlin Conservatory while completing his Bachelor’s degree. It was while he was concertmaster of the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra that he realized he had an affinity for chamber collaboration, and since then he has devoted his musical focus to the art of chamber music. While attending Oberlin, he also discovered the unique thrill that contemporary music can offer after having worked extensively with Timothy Weiss. After graduating from Oberlin, Elser fueled this newly found passion by playing in esteemed modern chamber music ensembles such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Slee Sinfonietta. Prior to joining the Dior Quartet, Elser attended numerous chamber music festivals such as the Bowdoin International Music Festival and the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival, among others. Elser then went on to receive his Master’s of Music Degree from Indiana University, under the violin instruction of Kevork Mardirossian. It was during his first year at Indiana that Elser and his classmates formed the Dior Quartet. During their studies, the Quartet received many awards from the Jacobs School of Music including the Kuttner Quartet Scholarship, the Chamber Music Fellowship position, as well as 1st prize at the annual Beethoven Haus Quartet Competition. After completing his Master’s in Violin Performance, Elser went on to receive a Performer’s Diploma in Chamber Music, also from Indiana. Since the Fall of 2021, the Dior Quartet has held the position of Quartet in Residence at The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Elser plays on a violin crafted by Jesse Maschmeyer in 2010. When he’s not rehearsing with his quartet or teaching violin lessons, he enjoys improvising on piano, and going on hikes.
Elena Howard-Scott, soprano (Canada)
Hailing from Winnipeg, Elena Howard-Scott is a versatile soprano residing in Toronto, Ontario. Deemed "someone to watch" (Ludwig Van Toronto), Elena is a recent graduate of the Artist Diploma Program at The Glenn Gould School, and she is thrilled to be joining The Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program in 2023-24. Competition highlights include receiving the Kurt Weill Foundation Prize in the Lotte Lenya Competition, placing first in the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition ND/MB District, and winning the Grand Prize at The Glenn Gould School’s Corcoran Concerto Competition in 2022. Selected stage credits include Jonathan Dove’s Flight, John Blow’s Venus & Adonis, and Ana Sokolović’s Svadba (GGS Opera); Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Opera NUOVA); Strike! the Musical, Beauty and the Beast (Rainbow Stage), Fiddler on the Loose (Drayton Entertainment), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Dry Cold Productions), Evil Dead: The Musical, The Rocky Horror Show (Wasteland Productions). In the 2023/2024 season, Elena is excited to continue her varied performance career with a solo recital with the Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts, joining the cast of Narnia with the Dora award-winning company Bad Hats Theatre, and debuting the role of Blanche de la Force in The Glenn Gould School’s spring production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites.
Christian Masucci Facchini, countertenor (Canada)
Born and raised in Toronto, countertenor Christian Masucci Facchini is described as having a full, rich, and muscular sound, that paired with his “impressive stage presence” (Opera Canada) is propelling him through the classical and contemporary music scene today. He is an alumnus of St. Michael’s Choir School (Toronto) where he was trained in classical voice, piano and violin, from 2007-2017. He has performed as a chorister and soloist internationally across Europe and North America, as well as at St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica in Toronto. Christian is a graduate of York University where he studied Music, specializing in Classical Voice Performance with Stephanie Bogle. There, he won first prize in the York University Concerto Competition. For the past two years, Christian has been studying in the Artist Diploma Program with a full-tuition Sheila K. Piercey Vocal Scholarship at The Glenn Gould School. Highlighted stage credits at The Royal Conservatory from the past two years include: Rinaldo in Handel’s Rinaldo (GGS Spring Opera, 2022), Cupid in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis (GGS Fall Opera, 2022) and Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight (GGS Spring Opera, 2023). Equally passionate about Baroque and Contemporary music, Christian has found a love for combining the music and styles of these eras, most recently as a soloist in ‘Mother Sorrow’, a secular re-imagining of the Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, in collaboration with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and an all-Canadian cast and crew. A highlight of this past summer was travelling to Thiré, France, to join Les Arts Florissants, a world-renowned Baroque musical ensemble conducted by William Christie, in a summer academy led by co-director Paul Agnew. There, Christian took part in inspiring and exciting master classes, and a fabulous concert featuring works by early English composers from the Restoration period. Christian is a recent graduate of The Glenn Gould School and is looking forward to working on building this next phase of his professional career.
Julia Mirzoev, violin (Canada)
Violinist Julia Mirzoev has been featured in Canada’s “Top 30 Classical Musicians Under 30”, CBC radio 94.1, and classical 96.3 FM. Her awards include top prizes including the commissioned work prize at both the Michael Hill and Klein International Competitions, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal competition, grand prize at the Canadian Music Competition, and first prizes at the Crescendo International Competition and Cremona Music Festival competitions. As a soloist, Julia has performed with the Montreal Chamber Music Festival’s Jeunes Virtuoses Orchestra, the Scarborough Philharmonic, Sinfonia Toronto, the Canadian Sinfonietta, the University of Toronto Symphony, Orchestra Toronto, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. A passionate chamber musician, Julia has been a winner of the Yale Chamber Music Competition, and has been invited to participate in the Sarasota, Manchester, Toronto, Yellow Barn, and Perlman Music Program Festivals. Julia is also a founding member of the Myriade String Quartet, coached by André Roy, who have been selected to compete in the live rounds of the Wigmore Hall and Trondheim String Quartet Competitions. A graduate of the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the Yale University School of Music, Julia has received the Broadus Erle Graduating Prize at the Yale School of Music, and the Golden Violin Award at McGill University. Her mentors include Andrew Wan, Ani Kavafian, Jonathan Crow, and Jacob Lakirovich. She is extremely excited to be part of the Rebanks Family Fellowship Program.
Noa Sarid, violin (Israel)
Noa Sarid is an Israeli violinist and chamber musician. She is the first violinist of the Dior Quartet, Second Prize winner in the Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition (2021), bronze medalist of the 46th Fischoff National Chamber Competition (2019) and First Prize winner of the 9th Plowman Chamber Music Competition (2019). Coached by the Pacifica Quartet, the Dior Quartet also studied with members of the Alban Berg, St. Lawrence, Danish, Artemis, Ébène, and Belcea Quartets. Noa is the recipient of scholarships and awards, such as the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the UNO Competition (second prize, 2013). As a soloist, Noa toured in Israel and Europe and participated in The Aspen Music Festival and School as a full scholarship recipient. As a chamber musician, Noa is a Naxos Records artist (2020) and a four-time winner of the Jerusalem Academy of Music Chamber Competition (2015-2018). Noa is committed to advocating social justice through music. She took part in the Musethica International Chamber Music Festival in 2017, performing in hospitals, shelters for survivors of domestic violence, prisons, and schools for children with special needs. As part of her military service, Noa toured Israel with the Israel Defense Forces String Quartet, delivering lecture-recitals in army bases. Noa holds a master’s degree in Violin Performance from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and along with Dior Quartet, studies at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory in Toronto as their Quartet in Residence. Noa’s violin mentors include Simin Ganatra, Roi Shiloah, and Nava Milo.