Announcing the 2023 London Symphonia Fellows

London Symphonia and the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University are pleased to announce the five exceptional students who have been appointed to the London Symphonia Fellowship with Western University for the orchestra's 2023-24 artistic season.

Created in 2022, the Fellowship program provides five full-time Western string students considering a career as a professional orchestral musician with a rich package of professional training, performance experience and mentoring, starting with a highly competitive audition process that mirrors the established practice of professional orchestral auditions. The initiative is funded by the Western Strategic Priorities Fund.

"We are thrilled that our music majors have this uniquely experiential opportunity to work with the very talented musicians of London Symphonia," said Don Wright Faculty of Music Dean Michael Kim. "This gives our students directly relevant professional experience and training as they prepare to transition to lives as performers and educators in our community."

"All the musicians are delighted to welcome this new cohort of Fellows to join us for the 2023-24 season," said Andrew Chung, Artistic Producer, London Symphonia. "Last year, the Fellows brought a wonderful energy to the stage.

"Taking an individual's years of training and performing and applying them to a truly professional context is a vital next step in the development of these accomplished young musicians."

With five Fellowship positions available each season, all candidates undertake a rigorous, professional-style audition process.

"There simply is no substitute for the experience of preparing and performing the required material on audition day," said Chung. "The audition involves learning about how one reacts under pressure, and through our audition process we have the opportunity to give helpful feedback so that each player can grow and develop their resiliency in a competitive environment."

Paired with London Symphonia Mentors who share tips about how best to prepare for concerts, the Fellows will perform with the orchestra in four concert programs in the 2023-24 season:

  • October 14, 2023. Beethoven Symphony No. 9. Matthias Maute conducting. 
  • January 27, 2024. Janina Fialkowska Plays Chopin. Rei Hotoda conducting.
  • February 24, 2024. Beau Dixon, Freedom: The Spirit and Legacy of Black Music. Scott Harrison conducting.
  • April 6, 2024. A Bohemian Life: Debussy, Scott Good, Dvorak Symphony No. 8. Tania Miller conducting. 

London Symphonia is one of the finest regional, professional orchestras in Canada. Its reputation for artistic excellence and high calibre of musicianship attracts outstanding guest artists and conductors.

With a core of 30 players, London Symphonia concerts feature talented London Symphonia musicians, spotlight international and Canadian guest artists and guest conductors, premiere commissioned and other new works by Canadian composers, and showcase local musical groups such as the H.B. Beal Secondary School Singers and The London Singers through creative collaborations.

A successful, flourishing organization, London Symphonia is committed to artistic excellence and experience, deepening music education through mentorship and training for emerging artists, improving the quality of life throughout the community, engaging new audiences, and fostering creative partnerships.

2023-24 London Symphonia / Western University Fellows

Chia-Hsuan Chen, violin
Chia-Hsuan Chen is a violinist from Taiwan. She is an accomplished soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician. Her early experiences in music education and her unwavering dedication led her to excel in national and international competitions. Her passion for music propelled her to study abroad at the University of Western Ontario, where she is pursuing a master's degree in music. Her exceptional talent has been recognized through various awards and achievements. Taiwan National Student Competition of Music (2020) - Merit Award; National Taiwan University Concerto Competition (2021) - Judges' Award; Maritsa Brookes Concerto Competition (2022) - Final Round Participant.

*Yanet Campbell Secades, violin
Born in Camagüey, Cuba, violinist Yanet Campbell Secades is an accomplished soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. Her skilled and sensitive playing has enabled her to perform in some of the most important venues in Cuba, Europe, North America, and the Caribbean. In 2015, she won the first prize at Cuba’s prestigious Unión de Artistas y Escritores Cubanos competition, and in 2019 she was awarded 2nd prize, in the strings category, within the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals’ National Competition.

Yanet has performed in major international music festivals such as the Rheingau Musik Festival in Germany and the Mozartwoche in Austria. She received a Master of Music from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an Artist Diploma from The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Currently, Yanet is pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario, under the tutelage of Professor Annette Barbara Vogel. Her past mentors include her own father, Sydney Campbell and violinists Nancy Dahn, Erika Raum and Paul Kantor.

*Tasman Tantasawat, viola
Tasman Tantasawat is a violist from Thailand currently studying the Master in Music Performance degree program under the guidance of Sharon Wei. Tasman came to Canada in 2014 and spent most of his time in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he received his Bachelor of Music Degree in music performance from Dalhousie University. He is currently in his first year of DMA program at the University of Western Ontario. Tasman was the principal violist for the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra for two years, and he was awarded winner of the Concerto Night competition, subsequently performing with Dalhousie Symphony orchestra as a soloist in 2021. Tasman has performed in multiple music festivals, most recently participating in the Scotia Festival of Music 2022 in Halifax. He was accepted into the renowned National Youth Orchestra of Canada for their 2022 and 2023 tour, where he performed in multiple cities across Ontario, Quebec and east Canada.

Eve Thompson, cello
Eve Thompson is currently completing her Bachelor of Music with an Honours in performance at Western University. Having received the Gordon Jeffery Endowment for Strings, she currently studies with Professor Thomas Wiebe. Her experience ranges from Baroque, contemporary, solo, and orchestral performance. Born and raised in London Ontario, she has been a member of multiple local programs, including London Youth Symphony, Forest City String School, and Young Artists Pre-College Academy. In 2019 she was awarded first place in the Kiwanis Solo Bach Competition in London and second place in the Kiwanis Solo Provincial Competition. As a current member of London Arts Council’s London Arts Live Program, she puts on various solo and chamber concert series around the core of London, continuing to collaborate with various artists from a variety of disciplines. This summer, she studied at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute where she furthered her techniques on the Baroque cello; she continues to be involved in the Early Music Studio at Western. She hopes that this Fellowship will allow her to gain some professional experience in an orchestral setting, expanding her adaptability as a cellist. 

Ellis Yuen-Rapati, viola

Ellis Yuen-Rapati is a 29 year old London-based violist. He began his musical education on violin at the age of four under the guidance of Yvonne DeRoller in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After deciding to pursue a career in music, Yuen-Rapati has had the privilege to study at McGill University (BMUS, GDP), at The Royal Conservatory of Music (ADP), and is currently completing his master's in viola performance at Western. Through his studies at McGill, RCM, Western, and various summer programs, including six years as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, he has had the pleasure of working with prominent musicians including Professors Steven Dann, Sharon Wei, André Roy, Maestros Micheal Francis, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, The Gryphon Trio and Cho-Liang Lin. Music has taken Yuen-Rapati all across Canada, from his hometown in Dartmouth, Nova-Scotia, to up north in Iqaluit, Nunavut. He has had the opportunity to perform at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Usher Hall in Edinburgh and Ruinas do Carmo in Lisbon. Yuen-Rapati is currently living in London and substitutes for the Thunder Bay Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Yuen-Rapati is also the newly appointed violist of the Listeso quartet which performs in London under the Candlelight concert series.

*Returning Fellow. Originally appointed in 2022-23