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Musicians

Asia Aronovich

Asia Aronovich received her musical training in the Ukraine at the Ural State Conservatory and holds a Master's degree in piano performance. She has played solo concerts in several Ukrainian cities and has been an accompanist for Canadian music competitions as well as for master classes. Asia has been on the artistic staff at NBS since 1997.

Olga Averbach

Olga Averbach received her musical training in the Ukraine at the Donetsk Music College and earned a Master's degree in piano performance at the Donetsk State Conservatory. She led a successful career as a solo pianist in the Ukraine before spending 1990–1995 in Israel, where she was an accompanist for dancers taking RAD examinations. Olga has been a musician at NBS since 2000, and also plays for ballet classes in recreational dance schools throughout Toronto.

Jill Daley

Jill Daley's career as a ballet accompanist is the culmination of her lifelong musical study and deep love for ballet.

She received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and attended graduate school at Boston University's School for the Arts. Her piano teachers include: Shirley Irek, Jonathan Bass and Roland Martin. As an accompanist, she has been a staff pianist for the Boston Ballet School, Orlando Ballet and George Brown College.

Tanya Gordon

Tanya Gordon is a graduate of the State Conservatory of Music in Gorky, Russia, graduating with a Masters' Degree in Performing Arts and History of Music and Composition. A musician at NBS since 2003, Tanya provides inspiring music for all types of ballet classes held at the School. She is also a guest pianist at several dance schools in the Toronto area, including the Sean Boutillier Academy of Dance, as well as an accompanist for Cecchetti exams. In 2011, Ms Gordon released her first album, Music for Ballet Class (available on iTunes).

Valentina Gurovsky

Valentina Gurovsky received a performance and teaching degree from the State College of Music in St. Petersburg, Russia. Upon graduation, she was accepted into the world-renowned Leningrad State Conservatory and received a graduate degree in piano performance. Valentina received first prize at the 1967 Chamber Ensemble Competition as well as at the Piano Solo Competition in 1969.

In 1987, Valentina joined the artistic staff at NBS. Over the past 25 years, she has provided musical accompaniment for ballet, character and historical dance classes, as well as for rehearsals and performances by the students. Acclaimed performances with NBS include, Allegro Brillante (Tchaikovsky/Balanchine) for the 2007 Spring Showcase as well as an excerpt from Brut (Prokofiev/Baker) for the 2012 Spring Showcase. In addition to her role at NBS, Valentina is a pianist with the RAD and Cecchetti Society.

Ludmilla Kozlenko

Ludmilla Kozlenko is a successful pianist and accompanist with 30 years of professional experience. She received her musical training in the Ukraine at the Chernivtsy Music College, where she also earned a Bachelor's degree in piano performance in 1973. While living in the Ukraine, Kozlenko worked as a piano teacher and accompanist for a variety of opera singers, violinists and ballet dancers. Ludmilla Kozlenko has been a musician at NBS since 1982, where she continues to work as an accompanist for students in both the Professional Ballet and Teacher Training Programs.

Julia Lifshine

Julia Lifshine trained as a musician at the Leningrad School of Music and Leningrad's Conservatory College. She has been a musician with NBS since 1994, and plays for ballet, pointe and character classes. Julia is also an accompanist at the Martha Hicks School of Ballet.

Marina Surgan

Marina Surgan is the Principal Pianist and Manager of Musicians for Canada's National Ballet School.

Marina is a gifted pianist and teacher. She was classically trained in the former Soviet Union, first at the renowned Music School for Gifted Children, named after Professor Stolyarsky, in Odessa and then continued her education at Moscow's Gnessin Pedagogical Institute. She is a trained soloist, concertmaster and piano teacher. Surgan immigrated to Toronto in 1975 and joined NBS in 1978. Highlights of her creative career include composing music for the Cecchetti grade examinations, recording music for the Prix de Lausanne, conducting accompanist workshops and playing for master classes.

Through her work at NBS, she has travelled across Canada, the United States, Mexico, France, Japan, Finland and Sweden. Surgan has given numerous concert performances and in 2006, she recorded her first CD titled "Marina Surgan – Live," which includes 51 piano pieces suitable for ballet classes of all ages and levels.  Her second CD titled "20 Greatest Classical Variations" was recorded in 2007, and was followed by a third CD, "Marina Surgan – Live 2." Surgan also published the piano sheet music for both ballet class CDs, and in 2010, her original compositions were used for an episode of the reality TV show, "Battle of the Blades."

Rob Thaller

Rob Thaller holds a BFA degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a master's in music from the University of Rochester. In 2002 he began playing for Music Night at NBS, and became a full-time staff member in 2006. Rob has also played at the Ontario School of Ballet, the Pegasus School of Ballet and the Humber College Community School. He has recently released his first Latin jazz CD, entitled Ritmo Azul.

Craig Wingrove

Craig Wingrove graduated from York University with an Honours BFA in music, and from the Royal Conservatory of Music, where he received his ARCT in piano performance. A full-time musician at NBS since 1991, he has also been a regular guest pianist at the National Ballet of Canada.

Over the course of his career, Craig has produced and recorded fourteen CDs of music for ballet classes, the "Musical Gems" series, and has written three books of piano scores for these. He teaches music in the Teacher Training Program, has written two books on music for dance and maintains a private teaching studio. His piece Improvisation #4 was featured in the 2005 Hollywood film "The Man'  in which he performed live. Craig has written music for nine children's musicals and one pop/rock opera with The Really Little Theatre Company.

In addition to playing for ballet classes at NBS, Craig is an integral part of the School's outreach initiatives and he has travelled with NBS ballet teachers throughout Canada, conducting movement and music workshops for elementary school children.

Craig Ziebarth

Craig Ziebarth received his music education at the University of Calgary, where he majored in piano performance. From 1990 to 1999, he was a full-time accompanist in the Faculty of Dance at York University, after which he joined the staff at NBS. A talented musician, Craig is heavily involved in the Canadian music community and also works extensively in the United States as both a ballet and modern dance accompanist. In the course of his career, Craig has travelled and worked in England and China as well as throughout the United States and Canada.

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