High Level Trio
Ewald Cheung, violin; Ethan Filner, viola & Julie Hereish, cello
Sunday, March 26, 2023 - 3:00 pm
St. Albert United Church
Founded during the 2020-21 season by members of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the High Level Trio combines the talents, broad experiences and diverse backgrounds of Edmonton native Ewald Cheung on violin, American-born violist Ethan Filner, and cellist Julie Hereish from Montreal, Quebec.
The High Level Trio has presented successful performances throughout Alberta, including at the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival, the Peace Region Music Series in Grande Prairie, and for the Edmonton Recital Society. The HLT has also presented outreach concerts and recorded videos for the Health Arts Society of Alberta.
Violinist Ewald Cheung has performed as soloist with orchestras around Canada, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec. He has also performed in recital series in Trois-Rivieres, CAMMAC, Edmonton and Muzewest with pianists Philip Chiu, Henry Mokken, and Michael Massey. In 2015, Ewald and pianist Philip Chiu were featured in a 34-concert tour with Jeunesses Musicales Canada and also recorded their album, “A Tribute to Fritz Kreisler.” He joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra's first violin section in 2018.
Ewald is the recipient of the 2010 Golden Violin Award from McGill University, where he also received his Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma. He obtained his Masters’ degree from The Juilliard School in 2018. His teachers include Daniel Phillips, Felicia Moye, André Roy, Jonathan Crow, James Keene and Valeria Kalinak.
Other awards include First Prize in the Shean Strings Competition in 2009, First Prize in the Trois-Riviéres Competition in 2010 and Second Prize in the Standard Life OSM Competition in 2007. Ewald gratefully has been supported by the Anne Burrows Foundation, the Winspear Fund and the Victoria Foundation throughout his studies.
As an avid chamber musician, Ewald was a founding member of the Roddick String Quartet and Geistrio. With the Roddick String Quartet, he competed at the London International String Quartet Competition and performed at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. Ewald, additionally has competed at the Fischoff National Chamber Competition with Geistrio. He has also collaborated with many prominent musicians including Robert Uchida, Rafael Hoekman, Axel Strauss, Patricia Tao and Peter Wiley. Ewald has previously attended the McGill International String Quartet Academy, studying with members of the Alban Berg, Cleveland and Guarneri String Quartets. Currently, Ewald is a member of the High Level Trio, with violist, Ethan Filner and cellist, Julie Hereish.
Ethan Filner has held the position of Assistant Principal Viola with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since 2019. Prior to that, he held the same position with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony from 2017-19, and from 2001-2016 he played viola in the San Francisco-based Cypress String Quartet.
Ethan has taught viola at the University of Toronto (2016-19), directed the pre-college chamber music program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2015-16), run the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop in Arcata, California as its Associate Director (2009-12), and led the Northern California Viola Society as its President from 2008-2013.
Ethan has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe, recorded numerous critically acclaimed string quartet albums, commissioned and premiered dozens of new works, and presented hundreds of educational outreach programs reaching thousands of students of all ages.
Notable collaborations have included performances with the Gryphon Trio, the Penderecki and Zemlinsky String Quartets, music faculty at the University of Toronto and Wilfred Laurier in Waterloo, members of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Toronto Symphony, National Arts Centre, Canadian Opera Company, National Ballet of Canada, Hamilton Philharmonic orchestras — and of course with many of his colleagues in the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. In 2021 Ethan co-founded the High Level Trio along with ESO First Violinist Ewald Cheung and Assistant Principal Cellist Julie Hereish. Ethan plays a modern Italian viola made by Vittorio Bellarosa in Naples in 1947, and a bow by Garner Wilson. Learn more at his website, www.ethanfilner.com
Julie Hereish pursued her studies in Montreal and then in Vienna, Austria. In the Fall of 2019, she joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Cello. Previously, she held the same position in the Québec Symphony Orchestra. During her time in Québec City, she co-founded the piano quartet Quatuor Philanthros and the cello octet Élément 8. She in now member of the High Level Trio, based in Edmonton. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, She co-founded The New Cohort with husband and violist, Keith Hamm. Her chamber music performances have taken her across Canada, where she’s toured with Debut Atlantic and Jeunesses Musicales du Canada.
As a guest artist, Julie joined the Grammy Award winning ARC Ensemble in performance in Toronto. She has also performed with the Canadian Opera Company as guest continuo cellist. She has been featured on CBC radio and Radio-Canada. Julie has performed extensively with the chamber orchestra Violons du Roy in Québec City and throughout Europe and North America. Together with actor Pierre Mayer, Julie created Charlot et Mlle Cello, a theatrical concert experience for children based on Charlie Chaplin’s famous character.