Director & Faculty

Artistic Director

FIONA CARNIE    violin, Artistic Director

Amici String ProgramFiona Carnie is the co-founder of the Amici String Program and currently maintains a large teaching studio and performs often locally while organizing and providing vision for the Amici String Program. Ms. Carnie has guided generations of string players to the fulfillment of their individual goals. Her students perform with major orchestras and teach at major institutions across the country.

In 1989 Fiona Carnie was invited to follow her mentor and much-loved teacher Dr. Lise Elson as senior violin instructor in the Academy Program at Mount Royal College. In accepting this position, she interrupted a successful freelance career in Toronto where she played professionally in the National Ballet Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and many other groups.

Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the University of Calgary and a Master of Music from Yale University, where she studied under New York Philharmonic concertmaster, Sidney Harth, and Syoko Aki. In 1996, Ms. Carnie was invited to join the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Music and she regularly tours Canada as an examiner and festival adjudicator. She recently completed the Rosza Arts Management Program.

Faculty & Staff

“Great teachers and coaches make it possible for students to stretch beyond the ordinary.”

RACHEL BALJEU    collaborative artist

Since arriving in Calgary in 2014, Rachel Baljeu has become active as an accompanist and has started a private teaching studio.  She keeps bus with a variety of jobs including playing piano for the Ambrose University vocal program, the choirs One Accord and Arietta, as well as other vocalists and instrumentalists.
Ms. Baljeu graduated from Michigan State University with Master of Music degrees in both Piano Pedagogy and Collaborative Piano.  Her teachers included opera conductor and pianist Alan Nathan for collaborative piano, and Deborah Moriarty and Derek Polischuk for solo piano.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University, where she had the invaluable opportunity to study piano pedagogy with Helen Marlais and piano with the esteemed collaborative pianist and Mark Markham.


Cellist Andrea Case has a Master’s Degree in cello performance from McGill University where she studied on scholarship with Antonio Lysy. Andrea is co-founder and cellist of the Lily String Quartet, a group that has completed multiple tours across Canada, has performed for CBC Radio 2 and released a jazz CD with the award-winning Hutchinson Andrew Trio. Andrea has played with orchestras in Europe, Japan, California, Quebec and Alberta. She records regularly in multiple genres including pop/folk, jazz and classical. Andrea has 17 years of teaching and coaching experience from Mount Royal Conservatory, Amici String Program and Chinook School of Music, all in Calgary, and the Lippert School of Music in Toronto. Andrea adjudicates at festivals throughout Alberta and British Columbia. She is an Artistic Director of Calgary’s Kensington Sinfonia and performs regularly with this group along with baroque ensemble String Theory Music Collective and Lily String Quartet.

EVA HORDOS    collaborative artist

Eva Hordos was born in Budapest, Hungary and began her piano studies at the age of seven.

Eva completed her degree in Music Theory, Choir Conducting and Kodaly Method at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest in 1983, studying with Erzsebet Szonyi. In the following years Eva studied with Edit Hambalko and received her degree in Piano and Piano Education in 1985. During her years of study at the university, Eva recorded as a piano soloist for the Hungarian National Radio children’s program.

In 1987/88 Eva taught piano master classes throughout Spain on a contract with Real Musical, Madrid.

Since immigrating to Canada in 1992, Eva has continued to teach piano and accompany singers and other musicians, including students of the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University. Eva actively participates as an accompanist at the Calgary Performing Arts Festival, for Royal Conservatory of Music exams, at the Canadian Music Competition, as well as in recitals and auditions.

Eva lives in Calgary with her family and golden retriever Molly, and in her free time she loves baking and listening to jazz.


Olena Kilchyk, native of Odessa, Ukraine, graduated from the Odessa State Music College and the Odessa State Conservatory. Since the age 14 Olena was the winner of numerous concerto competitions. While in Ukraine, she was a principal cellist and soloist of the Acedemia Odessa Chamber Orchestra and Virtuosi of Odessa Chamber Orchestra. She also worked for the Odessa State Philharmonic and Odessa Opera.

After immigrating to Canada, Olena received Master of Music Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Calgary. In 2000 she was the winner of the Department of Music Concerto Competition and performed with the U of C String Quartet. She had the opportunity to study with such renowned cellist as Shauna Rolston, George Nikrug, Tania Prochazka, Raphael Wollfish, Aldo Parisot and Amanda Forsyth. Olena was invited to perform at the Banff Summer Festival, Resound Festival, Enbridge Festival, Orford Summer Festival, U of C Chamber Music Festival, Mountain View Festival and Bach Festival.

Olena has been a member of the Prince George, Okanagan, Red Deer and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Sinfonia Alberta Chamber Orchestra, Baroque Modern Chamber Orchestra, Players Chamber Ensemble and Saint Crispinis Chamber Ensemble.

Ms. Kilchyk toured extensively throughout Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Canada and China. She is a co-founder of Sempre la Musica Chamber Ensemble, Helia Chamber Ensemble, Denali Duo and Bel Canto Strings. Many of her performances have been broadcast on CBC and other radio and television networks.

Presently Olena is the principal cellist for the Calgary Bach Festival Society. Over the past three years, she has performed the complete cycle of Bach’s Cello Suites for the Bach Society. In addition to her performing schedule, Olena has a very busy teaching studio. She is a Branch instructor and faculty member of the Conservatory at Mount Royal University.

HANA KYUNG-HUI KIM     collaborative artist

Hana Kyung-Hui Kim obtained her bachelor and master’s degrees (B.Mus and M.Mus) in piano performance at Université de Montreal with Natalie Pépin and Claude Labelle.

As a pianist she won numerous awards in Canada and Korea such as the Canadian Music Competition and the Young Age Music Competition. Hana was invited to play at the Festival International de Musique de Montréal at Place Bonaventure and at the Open House of La Cinquième Salle in Place des Arts.

She participated in the Orford Arts Center summer camp with Andre Laplante and studied with Maria Clodes-Jaguaribe at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute with the help of the Canadian Club of Boston Tuition Scholarship. Hana also received a scholarship from the Korean-Canadian Scholarship Foundation and Fondation Vincent-d’Indy. She studied accompaniment with Louise-Andrée Baril, one of the premier accompanists in Quebec, and has extensive experience as a vocal and choral accompanist.

Hana is also an active choral conductor and studied at Westminster Choir College Conducting Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, under the instruction of James Jordan and Andrew Magill. She further studied with Timothy Shantz and John Washburn at various workshops and master classes.

In 2009, Hana founded the Calgary Korean Canadian Choir (CKCC). Under her direction, the CKCC has had notable performances at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, including a benefit concert to honour Canadian veterans of the Korean War and a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Chorus and Cantaré Children’s Choir. The CKCC also represented Canada on an invitational tour of South Korea to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Korean Independence. This event was broadcasted live via KBS TV throughout South Korea. The CKCC continues to perform annually all through Calgary and its surrounding area.

Hana is fluent in English, French and Korean.

KATHERINE MIHYUN KIM     collaborative artist

Korean-Canadian pianist Dr. Katherine Mihyun Kim enjoys a versatile career as both a performer and teacher. Dr. Kim holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Calgary, where she studied with Marilyn Engle. She also holds a Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston) under the tutelage of Gabriel Chodos, and a Doctorate of Music degree at the University of Minnesota under the guidance of Alexander Braginsky.

As an active pianist, she appeared as a soloist with the Kenwood Symphony and collaborated with numerous distinguished colleagues such as Arnold Choi, Rafael Hoekman, Hojean Yoo, Hyewon Kim, and Maria van der Sloot. She has also performed in a number of music festivals as a solo pianist and chamber musician, such as the World Piano Meeting in Coimbra, Portugal, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, the Academie Franco-Americaine/Music Studies Abroad in Vaison-la-Romaine, France, and Oberlin’s summer program in Casalmaggiore, Italy. In addition, she has performed at several piano masterclasses with Anton Kuerti, André Laplante, Victor Rosenbaum, Aquiles DeleVingne, and Makoto Ueno.

Dr. Kim currently teaches and serves as a collaborative pianist for the Academy for Young Artists at Mount Royal University Conservatory, and the Amici String Program. Her students have been prizewinners at Canadian Music Competition and the Calgary Performing Arts Festival. In addition, many of her students have received First Class Honours with Distinction from the Royal Conservatory of Music exam, and have been accepted for undergraduate studies at the University of Calgary, the University of Ottawa, and McGill University.

SORA KIM    Violin

Sora has enjoyed an active career for the past 11 years as a Calgary-area teacher and performer. In addition to her private studio, she has been a regular clinician via the MRU Conservatory workshop program, strings instructor at Rundle College, and adjudicator for local festivals. Sora is an alumnus of the MRU Conservatory Academy, and is currently pursuing a BSc/BMus with Edmond Agopian at the University of Calgary, where she also serves as co-concertmaster of the University of Calgary orchestra. She holds a special interest in non-profit, accessible, and equitable strings education.

DIANE LANE    Violin & Amicini Coordinator

Born in Claresholm Alberta, Diane began her violin studies in Lethbridge before attending the Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary. Diane graduated from McGill University with her Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Yehonatan Berick. She continued her studies with Edmond Agopian at the University of Calgary and graduated with a Master’s degree in violin performance.
Diane has attended The Banff Centre for the Arts as a resident and has returned many times, both as a solo performer and chamber musician. Diane is a founding member of Calgary’s Lily String Quartet. The quartet participated in seminars at The Julliard School of Music and Stanford University and has performed across Canada.
Diane is a highly sought-after orchestral and chamber performer; playing with various ensembles in and around Calgary. She is currently the Assistant Concertmaster of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, a member of Kensington Sinfonia and a member of Rosa Barocca.  Diane has adjudicated at numerous music festivals throughout Alberta and British Columbia. Diane is on faculty with the Amici String Program and maintains a violin studio at Mount Royal Conservatory.

JOHN LOWRY    Violin

John Lowry has been Associate Concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic since 1987, and has also served as guest concertmaster in Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Adelaide, South Australia. As a former freelancer, he appeared frequently with the Toronto Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, National Ballet, Boston Pops, Opera Company of Boston, Esprit and New Haven Symphony. John was the founder and first artistic director of the Kensington Sinfonia in Calgary, and has appeared as soloist with orchestras in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax and others; with conductors including Mario Bernardi, Hans Graf and James Judd. 

He began his violin studies in Edmonton with Ranald Shean, continuing on to graduate from the University of Toronto (BM), and Yale University (MM). His principal teachers included George Neikrug, David Zafer and Oscar Shumsky. Other important mentors included Steven Staryk, Rafael Hillyer, Joseph Silverstein, Szymon Goldberg, and members of the Orford and Tokyo Quartets.

John was the founder and first Artistic Director of the Kensington Sinfonia in Calgary, and was founder and violinist of Land's End Ensemble for 24 years, touring extensively and winning the WCMA for Outstanding Classical Recording in 2005 and 2006, as well as a Juno Award in 2014. He has given premieres of dozens of chamber works by composers such as R. Murray Schafer, Omar Daniel, Alexina Louie, Allan Gordon Bell, Jocelyn Morlock and Peter Maxwell Davies. He performed at the International Society for Contemporary Music World Music Days in Vancouver in 2017. He has collaborated with James Campbell, Evelyn Glennie, Robert Aitken, Barry Shiffman, Joel Sachs, Angela Cheng, Rivka Golani and many others. He has performed with Aventa Ensemble, Athabasca Quartet, Trio Haydn de Montréal, and Yale Contemporary Ensemble. He is currently Artistic Director and first violinist in Astralis. His violin was made by Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi in Milan in 1769.

He was previously on the faculty of U of Manitoba and U of Lowell (MA), and has also taught at U of Calgary. He currently teaches at MRU Conservatory and Amici String Program. He has been on the faculty of summer programs at the Banff Centre, Comox Valley Youth Music Centre, Langley Community Music School, SUNY Potsdam, JVL Summer School, Spencer Brook String Program in Massachusetts, and Vancouver Island Music Academy. He is an expert in the Dounis violin method and a frequent audition coach. Recipients of his coaching have won positions in professional orchestras, and his students have earned top prizes in local and national festivals and competitions.



Violist Jesse Morrison is currently in his third season as a member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He was recently living in Toronto where he frequently played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, as well as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Jesse graduated in May 2017 with a M.M from the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston, studying with Kim Kashkashian. He had his solo debut in Jordan Hall when performing as the winner of the Chamber Orchestra Competition at NEC in 2016 and again in 2017 with the Symphony Orchestra. Recipient of the 2016 Sylva Gelber Award, Mr. Morrison is an avid chamber musician and is an alumnus of festivals such as Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, the New York String Seminar, the Banff Centre and Domaine Forget. Jesse has also participated as artist in residence at the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival in Boulder, CO, “Concerts in the Barn” in Quilcene, WA, Sunset Chamber Music Festival in Los Angeles and NEXUS Chamber Music in Chicago. He was a member of the Neruda String Quartet in 2015-16 in Boston and from 2011- 2015, he was the violist in the Arkadas String Quartet based in Toronto. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Jesse received a B.M. from the University of Toronto under Teng Li and an A.D from the Glenn Gould School under Steven Dann. Mr. Morrison is an artistic director for Music for Food – Canada, which is a musician-led initiative that raises resources and awareness in the fight against hunger.


Began violin studies at the Mount Royal Conservatory at the age of 5 with Fiona Carnie. During her time with Mount Royal she spent 8 years attending the Academy Program, where she first discovered the viola. Since then, Andrea has received her Bachelor of Music with honours from the University of Toronto with Katharine Rapoport, and Master of Music as well as a Pre-Doctorate Diploma (D.E.P.A) from the University of Montreal with Jutta Puchammer-Sédillot. As an avid ensemble musician, Andrea has been very fortunate to perform in several ensembles throughout Canada and Europe.



Canadian violist Ronelle Schaufele is an active solo, chamber, and orchestral musician who performs frequently throughout Western Canada as well as performances in Cuba, Brazil, United States, New Zealand, and Europe. As an avid lover of new music Ms. Schaufele has been delighted to play works composed for her and looks forward to upcoming collaborations. In addition to performing music being create today, Ronelle greatly enjoys performing on period instruments and exploring the rich baroque tradition.

In addition she has served as principal violist for the Urban Village Chamber Orchestra, and is currently assistant principal violist in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.

Her education includes a Music Performance Diploma from Mount Royal College with William van der Sloot, a Bachelor of Music with distinction from the University of Calgary, with Nicholas Pulos and an Artistic Diploma at The Glenn Gould School studying with Steven Dann. An active instructor, Ronelle is currently on faculty at the Amici String Program. Ronelle was recently the Artistic Advisor for the Szekely/Rolston Young Musicians Program in cooperation with the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

In the Fall of 2012 Ms. Schaufele founded the Banff String Academy of Music which offers gifted young students in the Banff area advanced musical instruction.

CHRISTINE SUL   collaborative artist

She began playing the piano at the age of 6 and started formal lessons at the age of 10 under Prof. Taehui Park until completing her first year of the Busan Arts High School. She then moved to Canada and completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Calgary, studying with Prof. Marilyn Engle. 

Christine has earned numerous distinguished accolades in Korea, including top prizes at the Busan Joongang and the Changwon International Meister Piano Competitions. She made her orchestral debut in 2008 when she performed Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467 with the Soloists of Volgograd Orchestra. In 2021, Christine became the Prairies Favourite for the 19-25 years old division of the Canadian Music Competition. In 2023, Christine performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as an RBC Concerto Competition winner. 

Christine has been a regular attendee of international piano festivals held in Portugal, such as the 2018 and 2020 editions of the Coimbra World Piano Meeting and the 2019 edition of the Sardoal International Piano Meeting, where she performed in local concerts and participated in masterclasses with renowned professors among which were Aquiles Delle Vigne, Makoto Ueno and Niklas Pokki. 

In addition to her pursuits in solo performance, Christine is also an experienced chamber musician and accompanist. She has performed as a member of Peaks and Prairies Ensemble in Calgary, Banff and Canmore and has served as the principal pianist for the Calgary Korean Baptist Church from 2013 to the present. 

She is currently a faculty member of the Mount Royal University Conservatory. As a teacher, Christine aims to teach her students by utilizing the strengths and advantages of the various teaching and playing styles she has experienced in Korea, Canada and Europe. She helps her students express a wide range of emotions and stories through playing piano. She also emphasizes the importance of proper technique that aligns with the music and strives to inspire her students to appreciate the beauty and joy of life through the gift of music.