Photo of Connie Chen
Connie Chen

Connie received her Bachelor Degree of Arts from Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China, majoring in violin performance. With over 30 years of teaching experience in both private and group lessons, her students achieved excellent results in RCM examinations. Committed to education and sharing her passion for music, Connie performs actively in orchestra as a violinist.

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Simon Lau
Simon Lau

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Simon first discovered the joy of playing the violin at the age of 9. Under the tutelage of maestro Thomas Wang, Simon was considered a late starter by many, but quickly mastered the necessary skills and became one of the youngest members of the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra at the time. He subsequently became Concertmaster for the same orchestra and other ones as well.

At the age of 16, Simon organized his own chamber group “Bachanini” and won many awards at the Hong Kong School Music and Speech Festival. He was also one of the youngest violinists to have obtained the LRSM certification from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in England.

After arriving in Canada, he had studied under many master violinists, including the late professor Eugene Kash of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Simon has been a member of several music organizations in Canada, including the York Symphony Orchestra.

RCM Silver & Gold Medalists:

2013 – Student received Gr 1 RCM Gold Medal in violin for the highest examination grades in Ontario

Credentials: LRSM, B.Sc.

Photo of Susan Lin
Susan Lin

As a nationally-recognized violinist, Susan graduated from Xinghai Conservatory of Music with high standing in 1983. She has performed in the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and also participated in several important performances, winning critical acclaim. She has been teaching violin for over 20 years.

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Hasmig Surmélian
Hasmig Surmélian
Piano, Violin

Mrs. Surmélian has a distinguished career as a concert pianist including Recitals, Solo Performances with Orchestra, Chamber Music Concerts and several recorded CD’s .

Holder of the highest awards and distinctions at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, French Ministry of Culture and International Competitions her teaching experience spans over 25 years in Europe and with a twin vocation as a pianist and violinist she professes both instruments.

Mrs.Surmélian is RCM Registered Teacher and prepares her students to all levels of examinations up to ARCT and LRCM (Licentiate Diploma in piano performance).

She is fluent in both English and French.

Credentials:D.M.A., M.A., M.M.

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Joe Varga
Cello, Flute, Recorder, Trombone, Trumpet, Violin

Joe began studying violin in 1970 and trumpet in 1972, following with piano lessons. He has a wide range of experiences in performing classical, jazz, rock, folk and various other musical styles, and as a composer and arranger. Joe was also involved in the musical products industry as a luthier, instrument technician and consultant for thirty years. Currently he teaches violin, brass and woodwind instruments in various styles, and prepares students for Royal Conservatory exams, university entrance (violin, trumpet) and auditions.

Photo of Mandy Zhao
Mandy Zhao

Mandy received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China, majoring in violin performance. After graduation, she was appointed as the Associate Concertmaster of the Pearl River Film Orchestra.

Later, Mandy moved to Canada and joined the National Academy Orchestra of Canada based in Hamilton, Ontario. Besides performing, Mandy is also an experienced violin teacher. Her students, ranging from beginner to ARCT levels, not only excel in Royal Conservatory Examinations but also appreciate music very much.

Credentials: B.A.