Hailed for his passion and natural musicianship by critics, audiences, and musicians alike, Rolf Bertsch is one of Canada’s leading conductors. Appointed Assistant Conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal by Charles Dutoit in January 2000 and named Conductor in Residence for the 2002-2005 seasons, he has had an impressive reputation as conductor, pianist, communicator, teacher and adjudicator. His career has spanned a wide spectrum of musical experience and styles and has taken him to Europe, Asia, and throughout North and South America.
Laureate of a numerous competitions including the Canadian Music Competitions, Rolf Bertsch served for many years as pianist of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, as well as solo pianist for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician, highlights of his career as pianist have included a number of solo appearances with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under the direction of Charles Dutoit, most notably in Carnegie Hall in 1997, as well as performances at the chamber music festivals in Saratoga and Ottawa.
Penny Sanborn is a concert accordion performer and educator from Calgary, Alberta. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree with distinction from the University of Calgary in both Composition and Accordion Performance, and performs solo, in chamber music ensembles, and with orchestra. She currently studies with distinguished Classical Concert Accordionist Sir N. Antonio Peruch and has been awarded grants from professional organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Another one of her passions is sharing the accordion with students. Her performance credits include appearances in Canada, Dubai and Europe.