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Winona Zelenka

Assistant Principal Cello

Winona Zelenka is one of Canada’s finest cellists on the scene today. As a soloist, she has performed concerti with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Mississauga Symphony and the Toronto Philharmonia Orchestra among many others. She is a dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, as well as a champion of new music.

She is a founding member of Trio Arkel, an acclaimed chamber music ensemble that includes violinist Marie Bérard and violist Rémi Pelletier, now in their 9th concert season at Trinity St.Paul’s Centre where they present an eclectic mix of chamber music works and internationally famed guest artists.

In 2010 Winona released her first CD set of the Bach Suites for Solo Cello, a recording on Marquis Classics, which received international acclaim, and was nominated for a JUNO award in the Solo/Chamber Music category. Her second recording, released in 2012, “Connections”, is of sonatas for cello and piano written by French composers, with pianist Connie Shih. In August of 2021, the CD set “Homage to Eugène Ysäye” was released on the Affeto label; this collaboration with Elmira Darvarova, violin, and Ronald Carbone, viola, features solo and chamber works by Ysäye, Oesterle, Serebrier and Knox.

Winona obtained her Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma at the University of Indiana, where she studied with Janos Starker. Her other formative teachers were William Findlay, Vladimir Orloff and William Pleeth.

Winona has won orchestral positions in England, Canada and the United States. She was Acting Principal of the TSO for five years, and for the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra for two seasons. Since 2015 she has been the Principal Cellist at Classical Tahoe, a summer festival featuring an orchestra of lead musicians from top North American ensembles.