The Strathcona String Quartet is Edmonton’s most outstanding and versatile professional chamber music ensemble. They have been an Edmonton cultural treasure since 1987. The quartet appears weekly at diverse venues from the major concert and recital stages of Alberta and beyond to playing for weddings, conventions, and garden parties. In concert, they are well known for their numerous world premiere performances and have released two highly praised CDs which are frequently heard on radio stations across North America including CBC radio and Edmonton’s own CKUA and CJSR. In addition to performing new works, they enjoy performing Classical and Romantic repertoire as well as historically informed early music on period instruments.
The Strathcona String Quartet is currently booking for weddings, parties, corporate and other events through 2018.
JENNIFER BUSTIN, violin
Jennifer Bustin, began her music studies at the age of three in the Edmonton Talent Education program. She completed postgraduate violin studies at the University of Alberta with Norman Nelson and was concertmaster of the Academy Strings and University Symphony Orchestra. She enhanced her studies further with St. Petersburg’s Boris Kipnis and Edmonton’s most distinguished violin teacher, James Keene.
As well as her busy performance schedule as the Strathcona String Quartet’s first violinist, Jennifer has appeared as concertmaster for the Edmonton Opera, Opera Nuova, and for the P.J. Perry “Charlie Parker and Strings” performance with Tom Banks in 2017. She has performed frequently in solo, chamber and large ensemble settings including with the Pro Coro Canada Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Citadel Orchestra, and the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra. She has been recorded on the Strathcona String Quartet’s two CDs and as a soloist on two CDs by New Music Edmonton. Jennifer is one of Edmonton’s most active and diverse musicians, appearing in performances on the modern violin, the baroque violin, and the treble viola da gamba.
In addition to her performing career, Jennifer maintains a busy music teaching studio. She also loves riding her horse, cross-country skiing, teaching Yoga, and she holds a fourth degree black belt in Karate at the Northern River Karate School.
SHANNON JOHNSON, violin
Shannon Johnson has won classical violin and fiddling awards at national and international levels. Shannon began performing professionally at the age of eight, wowing music fans and critics with her strong, pure playing and exceptional improvisational skills.
Shannon plays a key role in The McDades (Edmonton’s internationally-celebrated and Juno award-winning Celtic-based ensemble) as a fiddler, singer, composer, and producer.
Shannon returns to her classical roots in the Strathcona String Quartet, bringing a strong and unique perspective to the ensemble’s many projects.
“Shannon Johnson’s superlative violin work…stunning and very intense…” Sing Out
SARAH WILBUR-WOODMAN, violin
Sarah Wilbur-Woodman began her studies on viola at 10 years old. She studied privately with Barbara Springer and Otto Joachim before being admitted to the Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal with Robert Verebes (MSO assistant solo) in 1980. She also had the privilege of studying with TSO principal, Osher Green at Les Jeunesses Musicales d’Orford and privately with Leslie Malowany (MSO principal). She received a diploma from the Conservatoire de Montreal.
She has played as an orchestral and chamber musician from coast to coast, including principal viola positions with Les Jeunes Virtuoses de Montreal (1995-1996) and the Prince George Symphony (1989-1995) and has performed frequently with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and many local chamber groups.
She maintains a busy private studio ,conducts two student orchestras at Grant MacEwan Alberta College Conservatory and thoroughly enjoys playing with the Strathcona String Quartet!
JOSEPHINE VAN LIER, cello
A versatile musician, Josephine van Lier is equally at ease on a baroque cello, a 5 string violoncello piccolo, a 7 string bass viola da gamba, or a tenor or treble gamba as on their contemporary counterparts, using instruments and bows whose designs, construction and material span over 400 years in origin; from the gut strings of her baroque cellos and gambas to her 1870 cello and the space-age material of her carbon-fibre cello. She therefore covers a wide variety of repertoire utilizing the endless possibilities that this range of instruments, string set-ups and bows allow her.
Josephine has garnered much world-wide critical acclaim for her 4-disc recording of the Bach cello suites in leading publications around the world, such as Strad Magazine, Oxfort Early Music and including an “Editor’s Choice”, five-star rating from London’s “Early Music Today”.
Founding member, president and artistic director of Early Music Alberta, Josephine van Lier is a strong advocate for the historically informed performance practise of early music.
A passionate and very active performer, soloist and chamber musician, Josephine is always looking for challenging and exciting projects. She performs throughout North America, Asia and Europe. She is much sought after across North America for adjudicating festivals, teaching masterclasses, holding lectures and for directing workshops on historically informed performance practise.
She is recipient of the “Celebration of Women in the Arts Award” from the Edmonton Arts Council.