Fresh. Homegrown. Inspired. Original.

Striving to bring the chamber music concert experience into the 21st century, the Ritornello Chamber Music Festival showcases exciting, Canadian musicians who are currently pursuing professional careers across the country and around the globe. Ritornello Fest is co-directed by violinist Carissa Klopoushak and pianist Jacqueline Woods. Their common goal is to provide Saskatchewan audiences the opportunity to hear innovative, fresh concerts performed by young, engaging musicians of the highest quality, with special attention to those who were born and raised in the Prairies.

Saskatchewan’s one and only chamber music festival takes place annually in May, in downtown Saskatoon.

Artistic Directors

Carissa Klopoushak
Carissa KlopoushakViolin
Carissa Klopoushak has made a name for herself as a curious, creative, and versatile violinist. A charismatic and engaging performer, Carissa’s playing has been described as the complete package of sensitive musicianship and effortless technique. Carissa proudly joined Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in September 2014, after having performed with the group for a number of years. Her debut recording with Philip Chiu, SOUNDWORLDS, was released in November 2016.

Carissa considers all of Canada to be her home. She has toured the country extensively, performing recitals for Debut Atlantic and as winner of the 2009 Eckhardt-Grammatté National Competition. She has been featured at Ottawa Chamberfest, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, and Toronto Summer Music. Carissa is a passionate collaborator, performing with many chamber groups including the newly-formed Ironwood Quartet. She spent much of early 2014 performing with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, whom she joined for a series of tours and recordings.

Carissa grew up in the beautiful prairie city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Still active in the prairie music scene today, Carissa is an Artistic Director of the Ritornello Chamber Music Festival, an annual event that aims to provide Saskatchewan audiences the opportunity to hear innovative concerts performed by young, engaging Canadian musicians who are currently pursuing professional careers across the country and around the globe.

Carissa is the lead singer and violinist in the Ukrainian band Тут і Там (pronounced Toot ee Tahm). Established in 2003, the band has released four albums, performed at every major Ukrainian festival across Canada, in Sydney, Australia, and recently toured Ukraine, playing major festivals and small pubs.

Carissa holds a doctorate in violin performance from McGill University. Her dissertation focuses on the little-known violin repertoire by Ukrainian composers. A laureate of the 2012 Canada Council of the Arts Musical Instrument Bank Competition, Carissa performed on the 1869 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin (with Vuillaume model bow); she now plays on a 2009 violin by Mark Schnurr of Flesherton, Ontario. When not performing, rehearsing, or traveling, Carissa can be found expanding her love of coffee in some little café, somewhere…

Read more about Carissa and her projects at www.carissaklopoushak.com
Represented by Latitude 45 Arts

Jacqueline Woods
Jacqueline WoodsPiano
Canadian pianist Jacqueline Woods is known for exciting, dynamic playing and accessible presentation.She commands a wide range of repertoire but has a particular love for the world of chamber music.

Jacqueline’s musical career has taken her around the world – from Budapest to New York. She is an advanced candidate of the SUNY Doctor of Musical Arts program and holds additional degrees from the University of Ottawa, the University of Saskatchewan, the London College of Music and Hungary’s Liszt Academy of Music.

These days, you’ll find Jacqueline working as a communications consultant and pursuing a PhD in Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan’s Johnson Shoyama Graduate School, where she focuses on Aboriginal Economic Development and enjoys traveling to communities across the province. In her spare time, she performs chamber music, advocates for the arts, renovates her 100-year-old home and spends time at Wakaw Lake with her husband and miniature dachshund.

Operations Manager

Megan Grier

Soprano Megan Grier is no stranger to the arts. Currently finishing the Arts and Culture Management program at MacEwan University, Megan has found the perfect fit to combine her love of making music and using her expertise in the business field. Over the years she has been involved in numerous concerts, fundraising efforts, volunteer boards, and event planning. She has worked with the University of Saskatchewan Greystone Singers, Saskatoon Opera, and the Saskatoon Chamber Singers both on and off the stage. She is excited to continue her work as Operations Manager with Ritornello Chamber Music Festival. With a love of all things local, Megan looks forward to furthering the growth of the arts in Saskatoon.

Board of Directors

Alex Brooks, Chair
William Buschert, Secretary

Interested in joining our team?

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