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Empty Roy Thomson Hall with a piano on stage

Eight Cellos: A Pre-concert Performance

The TSO Chamber Soloists with Jean-Guihen Queyras and TSYO Members
April 21, 2023

As part of The TSO Chamber Soloists series of pre-concert performances, internationally esteemed artist and TSO 2022/23 Spotlight Artist Jean-Guihen Queyras has designed an intriguing half-hour of music spanning four centuries to be performed by no fewer than eight cellists in Roy Thomson Hall at 6:15pm on Friday, April 28—ahead of the evening’s Tchaikovsky & Ravel concert. 

Performers will include Queyras, TSO Principal Cello Joseph Johnson, the three newest members of the TSO’s cello section, and three gifted musicians from the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra on the eve of the final performance of the TSYO’s 49th season.


Carlo Gesualdo (1566–1613)
Tristis est anima mea (6 min)

Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)
Klid/Waldesruhe (Silent Woods) (7 min)

Burt Bacharach (1928–2023)
South American Getaway (6 min)

Giovanni Sollima (b. 1962)
Marcia (3 min)


Jean-Guihen Queyras, Special Guest Artist
Joseph Johnson, TSO Principal Cello
Song Hee Lee, TSO Cello
Oleksander Mycyk, TSO Cello
Lucia Ticho, TSO Cello
Matthew Buczkowski, TSYO Cello
Ethan Hyo Jeon, TSYO Cello
Mario Rodriguez McMillan, TSYO Cello

About The TSO Chamber Soloists

Founded in 2014, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra Chamber Soloists came together to create programming featuring a diverse and varied range of instruments in a wide range of unusual and infrequently performed repertoire, along with some of the best-loved works in the chamber music literature. Comprising principal players from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and distinguished guests, these performances, curated by TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow, bring audiences closer to the musicians of the Orchestra—personally and musically. The Soloists perform inside the Roy Thomson Hall auditorium, and admission is included in the price of your TSO concert ticket for the scheduled performance.

Read more about The TSO Chamber Soloists.

About the Artists

Jean-Guihen Queyras, Special Guest Artist (2022/23 TSO Spotlight Artist)

Curiosity, diversity, and a firm focus on the music itself characterize the artistic work of Jean-Guihen Queyras. Whether on stage or on record, he is an artist dedicated completely and passionately to the music, committed to reflecting the clear, undistorted essence of the score, with the inner motivations of composer, performer, and audience all in tune with one another. He learned this interpretative approach from Pierre Boulez, whose Ensemble intercontemporain he established a long artistic partnership with. This, alongside a flawless technique and a clear, engaging tone, shapes Jean-Guihen Queyras’s approach to every performance.

His approaches to early music—as in his collaborations with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin—and to contemporary music are equally thorough. He has given world premières of works by, among others, Ivan Fedele, Gilbert Amy, Bruno Mantovani, Michael Jarrell, Johannes Maria Staud, Thomas Larcher, and Tristan Murail. Conducted by the composer, he recorded Peter Eötvös’s Cello Concerto to mark Eötvös’s 70th birthday in November 2014.

Queyras was a founding member of the Arcanto Quartet and forms a celebrated trio with Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov, who is also, alongside Alexandre Tharaud, a regular accompanist. The versatility in his music-making has led to many concert halls, festivals, and orchestras inviting Queyras to be Artist in Residence, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Vredenburg in Utrecht, De Bijloke in Ghent, the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, and Wigmore Hall in London. He also often appears with renowned orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester, and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, working with conductors such as Iván Fischer, Philippe Herreweghe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, François-Xavier Roth, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and Sir Roger Norrington.

Queyras’s discography is impressive. His recordings of cello concertos by Edward Elgar, Antonín Dvořák, Philippe Schoeller, and Gilbert Amy have been released to critical acclaim. He has recorded the complete Schumann Piano Trios with Faust and Melnikov, and, at the same time, the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under Pablo Heras-Casado. The recording THRACESunday Morning Sessions explores, in collaboration with the Chemirani brothers and Sokratis Sinopoulos, the intersections of contemporary music, improvisation, and Mediterranean traditions. Two highly acclaimed recordings in 2018 feature works by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Antonio Vivaldi.

Queyras holds a professorship at the Freiburg University of Music and is Artistic Director of the Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence festival in Forcalquier. He plays a 1696 instrument by Gioffredo Cappa, made available to him by the Mécénat Musical Société Générale.

Joseph Johnson, TSO Principal Cello

Song Hee Lee, TSO Cello

Oleksander Mycyk, TSO Cello

Lucia Ticho, TSO Cello

Matthew Buczkowski, TSYO Cello

Twenty-year-old Matthew Buczkowski has been playing the cello for 14 years. He began his career as a member of the Oakville Suzuki Association and now studies under David Hetherington. 

Matthew participated in a 2020 master class with conductor Benjamin Zander in Boston, where he played Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1. He also recently participated in a master class with Jean-Guihen Queyras. 

With more than ten years of experience playing in orchestras, Matthew has performed as a soloist with the Oakville Symphony Youth Orchestra (in 2016 and 2022) where he has held the position of principal cello for the past six years. He has been a member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2020 and been given opportunities to act as principal cellist. He has appeared as a guest artist with the Milton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamilton City Ballet, and the Oakville Symphony Orchestra, where he was accepted as a Young Artist and won the Developing Artist Award. Additionally, this summer, Matthew is excited to tour with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for the first time. 

Matthew is practising to be a private teacher of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has completed his Unit 2 training. He is also working toward studying music performance. 

Ethan Hyo Jeon, TSYO Cello

Canadian cellist Ethan Hyo Jeon began playing cello at the age of 6. He is currently a scholarship student at the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists under the tutelage of David Hetherington. 

Ethan has participated in numerous competitions and festivals throughout the years, and has received many awards including first place at the Provincial Finals Competition of the Ontario Music Festivals Association (OMFA) in 2020 and 2022, and third place at the National Final of the CANIMEX Canadian Music Competition (CMC) in Quebec City in 2022. He has also been fortunate to perform as a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra and Laurier Symphony Orchestra after winning the Kitchener-Waterloo Kiwanis Music Festival Concerto Competition and Beckett School at Laurier Concerto Competition.

As a passionate chamber musician, Ethan holds the position of assistant principal cellist of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and principal cellist of the Academy Chamber Orchestra at the Taylor Academy. He has also performed as a member of the TSYO Quartet and Taylor Academy Quartet. Recently selected to become a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, he is looking forward to joining their Orchestral Concert Tour this summer. 

Ethan loves to share music with others and is actively involved in volunteer work, performing at community and retirement homes.

Mario Rodriguez McMillan, TSYO Cello

Eighteen-year-old cellist Mario Rodriguez McMillan was born in Mexico City. He grew up surrounded by music and began his own musical studies at the age of 7. He studied classical guitar at Escuela Superior de Música del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, an acclaimed conservatory in Mexico. His love for music inspired him to reach proficiency at various instruments, including piano, drums, percussion, and trumpet. He eventually chose the cello because of its incredibly expressive qualities.

Mario was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2022, and is an Award of Excellence recipient during the 2023 session. He studied with renowned faculty including Sascha Goetzel, David Hetherington, and Bryan Epperson. He has also been a member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2020 and currently holds the principal cellist position.

In the spring of 2022, Mario’s string quartet won first place in the Ontario Music Festivals Association (OMFA) Provincial Finals competition. He made his solo début with the first movement of the Schumann Cello Concerto after winning the North York Concert Orchestra Concerto Competition. A few months later, he played in a master class for Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Jean-Guihen Queyras. 

Mario is currently in his first year studying cello performance with Joseph Johnson at the University of Toronto.

Read more about the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.