Rolf Bertsch, Conductor and Artistic Director
Rolf Bertsch began his career as a pianist, serving for many years as pianist of the OSM and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, as well as solo pianist for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He also was LGBC’s Principal Conductor from 1989-1991. Highlights of his career as pianist have included a number of solo appearances with the OSM 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.
Rolf Bertsch’s career took an important turn when, in September 1997, he was named Resident Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic, a position he held through June 2001. Mr. Bertsch has subsequently appeared as conductor with many of Canada’s orchestras including those of Toronto, Calgary, Québec, the Okanagan, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. He has collaborated with such renowned artists as Pinchas Zukerman, Amanda Forsyth, Yo-Yo Ma, Louis Lortie, Jon Kimura Parker, André Laplante, Alessandra Marc, Chantal Juillet, James Ehnes, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Tracy Dahl, Renaud Capuçon, Neil Cockburn, Erin Wall, Alessandra Marc, Benjamin Schmid, Daniel Binelli and Los Romeros.
Mr. Bertsch began his musical studies on the violin and then went on to study piano, cello, composition, jazz, and conducting. He holds diplomas from a number of prestigious institutions including McGill University, the Mozarteum (Salzburg), the Conservatoire de musique du Québec (Montréal), the Folkwang Hochschule (Essen, Germany), and Phillips Academy (Andover, Massachusetts).
Rolf Bertsch has made Calgary his home since 2006. Artistic Director & Conductor of the Calgary Civic Symphony and pianist of the Calgary Philharmonic, he also devotes much of his energies to teaching. In 2012, he was appointed Coordinator of the internationally recognized Academy Piano program at Mount Royal University’s Conservatory. In 2014, he was named Artistic Director of the Instrumental Society of Calgary.
Mr. Bertsch is receiving increasing international recognition as a pedagogue, having been a guest teacher in Canada, the United States, China and Italy.
In his spare time, he enjoys golf, skiing, good food and wine.
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John McGurran, Executive Director
Since moving from Victoria BC to Calgary in 2019, John has been part of the illustrious double bass section of the Civic Symphony. In July 2022, he put the double bass aside, temporarily, and was appointed Executive Director of the Civic.
Like most of the members of the orchestra, John’s life in music and the performing arts has been that of an amateur, for the most part, with a day job.
A graduate degree in epidemiology & biostatistics from McMaster University in hand, John worked in Ontario public health, with senior management and research responsibilities. At the turn of the century, he moved to Alberta, and then to BC, providing project management, evaluation and health policy research services, operating as Cordova Bay Research. His area of expertise lies in patient wait times for medically necessary health care. In that capacity he has written extensively on the subject and consulted extensively across Canada, Europe and Australasia.
When not engaged in matters of health policy, John was a professional stage manager and production manager for an acclaimed children’s theatre company and an occasional thespian. He was a member of the Board of Governors and Senate of McMaster University and served on community theatre and professional chamber orchestra Boards on Ontario and BC.
John conceived of and produced the Canmore international Jazz Festival (CiJF) in 2006 and 2007, raising funds to pay musicians and operate the festival on a cost recovery basis. CiJF collaborated with the Banff Centre and with Bow Valley music educators, providing a performance opportunity for touring professionals, community jazz bands and Canmore’s primary and high school music programs.
As a double bassist, John is largely self-taught but has had the good sense to engage professional orchestral players and teachers as required to hone his skills. He has performed with community and conservatory orchestras and has an affinity for music of the baroque period, the basso continuo role in particular. He welcomes any opportunity to join the rhythm section of a jazz big band. That said, the greatest thrill of his musical life to date was to be accepted into the bass section of the Civic Symphony and then the opportunity to manage its operations as Executive Director.
Adriana Lebedovich, Concertmaster
Adriana Lebedovich is a professional violinist from Calgary, and a proud member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Second Violin Section since September 2007. She convocated from the University of Calgary in June 2009, with a Bachelor of Music With Distinction, majoring in performance. She began playing the violin at age 3 and has studied with Katherine Grigoriu, Elaine Henchell, Theresa and Jeff Plotnick, John Lowry, and Edmond Agopian.
Adriana won the University of Calgary Concerto Competition in April 2006 and played the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Following her debut, she substituted regularly with the Calgary Phil until winning her present position. Adriana is a former member of the UCalgary String Quartet and toured Portugal with the quartet in May 2008. The quartet has recorded a CD of Eastern European Folk Music which was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award as well as a Western Canadian Music Award. She has studied at various summer programs including the Académie Musicale Internationale “Barbara Krakauer” program in Vaison-la-Romaine, France, the ARIA International Summer Music Academy in Muncie, Indiana, and the Banff Centre for Fine Arts. In July 2009 and 2010, she had the pleasure of traveling to Brazil for the Festival Internacional de Inverno de Campos do Jordão, under the artistic direction of Roberto Minczuk. This “summer” program, by North American standards (it’s winter in Brazil), is a chamber music and orchestral training program with students and faculty from all around the world. During the festival in 2010, Adriana was concertmaster of the festival orchestra for their performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird (1945), under the baton of Yan Pascal Tortelier. Adriana has played in numerous master classes including those given by James Ehnes, Gilles Apap, Corey Cerovsek, Mark Fewer, Philippe Graffin, and Kees Hülsmann.
Adriana enjoyed playing the First Violin Concerto by Mozart with the Sunshine Coast Symphony Orchestra in June 2012, as well as the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Timmins Symphony Orchestra in March 2014. She celebrates her Ukrainian culture by jamming with family, and was also a member of Canadian polka band, Zhyto, who released a CD in 2012. She was also a member of the Korinnya Ukrainian Folk Ensemble, performing as well as orchestrating. She enjoys learning foreign languages and speaks Ukrainian, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese, all at various levels. When she is not playing the violin, she can be found spending as much time as she can outside, and riding her horse, Taima.
Kimberley Vircoe, Graphic Designer