Winona Zelenka is one of Canada’s finest cellists on the scene today. As a soloist, she has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Strauss’ Don Quixote Suite), and has performed with the Mississauga Symphony, the Scarborough Philharmonic, and the Huronia Sinfonietta. She is a dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, regularly performing in several Toronto music series such as Syrinx, Les Amis and Art of Time. Ms. Zelenka, a proponent of new music, performed the world premiere of “Invocation II’” for cello and orchestra (with Huronia Sinfonietta), a work written for her by Canadian composer Michael Pepa, as well as the world premiere in 2006 of Chris Paul Harman’s “Sonata for Solo Cello”, also written for her as an accompaniment to Bach’s Sixth Suite.
In June of 2010 Winona released her first CD set of the Bach Suites for Solo Cello, a recording on Marquis Classics. It has received international acclaim and is also available on amazon.com. For these recordings that spanned three years, Winona played on the “Starker Guarnerius” made in 1707, through the generosity of Dr. Edward and Mrs. Amy Pong. She has also filmed the Cassado Suite for Solo Cello with Moving Head Productions, and has recorded for Naxos.
Other recent highlights have included a series of the complete Bach Suites at the Music Garden Series at Toronto’s waterfront, and performances in March of 2010 of “Suite For Dancers” at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, with soloists from the National Ballet; this work for solo dancer and cellist was choreographed by Jerome Robbins.
The summer of 2010 saw Ms. Zelenka as a featured soloist at the Stratford Summer Music Festival, where she played the complete Bach Suites with many repeat performances.
Winona obtained her Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma at the University of Indiana, and studied with the legendary Janos Starker. Ontario born and raised, Ms. Zelenka’s main teachers included William Findlay, Vladimir Orloff and William Pleeth.
Winona has won orchestral positions in England, Canada and the United States. Her professional career has included two seasons of Acting Principal Cellist of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, and five seasons as Acting Principal Cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
The Cello Suites
Thursday, October 21 2010 @ 8:00