About Us

Chris Donison CEO Music by the SeaCEO and Executive Artistic Director – Christopher Donison

Christopher Donison is a Canadian composer, librettist, conductor, pianist, lecturer and inventor. A piano student of Winifred Wood and graduate in piano performance from the School of Music, at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, he went on to win a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Music Direction in Toronto and to serve as Music Director of the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, for ten years (1988-1998) where he conducted over 1,000 performances, created a string quartet residency programme and wrote more than a dozen scores for plays and orchestrations for many more.

He continued to pursue graduate studies in composition at State University of New York at Buffalo and has composed choral, chamber, and orchestral works.

In 1998 he finished an unfinished Gershwin musical for the Estate of George and Ira Gershwin to mark the centenary of George Gershwin’s birth. In January 1999 he appeared as guest conductor with the Kingston Symphony where he premiered his own first symphony: Symphony Erotica.

His concert works include Symphony Erotica; 7 Encounters for Soprano and Flute, the award-winning Choral Prophecy performed by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, England, on their first North American Tour; Theme and Conversations for Orchestra; The Little Match Girl for Orchestra, Narrator, and Dancer, choreographed adapted and narrated by Veronica Tennant; two string quartets, The Rashomon Quartet, and The Seagull Quartet for string quartet and distant oboe; and Music-by-the-Sea, quintet for clarinet and string quartet. The last five years have been primarily devoted to the creation of MBTS but most recently he has co-written and and conducted and orchestrated works for orchestra and Jorane, the phenomenal Québec cellist and singer/songwriter. Their collaborations have been featured as part of the BC Olympics Arts Festival and the 400 Year Anniversary of Quebec City concert with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec. In August of 2009 in Montréal, Donison conducted the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand-Montréal and Jorane for Franco Follies.

He is also the inventor of the Donison-Steinbuhler Standard, a smaller 7/8 alternative piano keyboard which is hoped will become universally available for study, competition, and performance within a generation. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Arts Centre of Canada and he is the Founding and Executive Artistic Director of Music by the Sea at Bamfield British Columbia, International Music Festival & School.

Marc RyserArtistic Advisor and Chamber Music – Marc Ryser

Marc Ryser has performed as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Bulgaria. He has collaborated with many distinguished artists including the cellists Paul Katz and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, violist Marcus Thompson, violinists Gwen Hoebig and Peter Salaff, the Lydian and New Zealand String Quartets, among others.

He has taught at Pomona College, the San Francisco Conservatory, and Drake University, and given master classes in Edmonton and Lethbridge. From 2004 to 2005 he was a senior artist and resident collaborative pianist at The Banff Centre. He currently resides in Boston Massachusetts.

Martin FinnertyMartin Finnerty – Stage Manager

As Production Manager with The Banff Centre’s Music & Sound Program, a position he held for approximately 15 years, Martin Finnerty has had the opportunity to collaborate with many of this year’s Music by the Sea performing artists. Recently retired from that position, he is currently engaged in a variety of freelance video, audio, and performance projects in the Banff-Canmore area. He is active as a committee member on a number of community arts initiatives. And, just recently, has stepped out from behind the theatre lighting console assuming an on-stage acting role with Canmore’s local community theatre troupe.

Artist Co-ordinator – Laura Karney

Laura has enjoyed an international performing career for over a decade, playing concerts in more than a dozen countries on three continents.  She received her Bachelors in Oboe Performance at the Eastman School of Music and her postgraduate studies were at the Hochschule für Musik in Trossingen, Germany.  Her diverse career has honed her organizational skills and developed in her a strong interest in being part of the groundwork for developing music, arts and cultural projects.  She currently resides in Barcelona, Spain.

Robert Dettling Music by the SeaRobert Dettling – Piano Technician

Robert Dettling Steinway trained Concert Piano Technician has been serving the artistic community for over 35 years. He has worked for many concert artists over the years and is happy to join the MBTS team as their residence piano technician.

Marcel Sanati Box Office ManagerMarcel Sanati – Box Office/Front of House Manager

Marcel is a music enthusiast of all sorts. Having played piano and clarinet for most of his life, naturally he was
intrigued by the intoxicating allure of Music By the Sea. His wish is that, like him, you too will fall in love with this unique celebration of sound.

MBTS Board of Directors

Ex-Officio Members
Mr. Mike Ruttan, Mayor of the City of Port Alberni,
Mr. Keith Wyton: ACRD Representative for Electoral Area “A”,Bamfield

Directors
President: Lyle Soetaert, Victoria BC
Vice President: David Thomas, AXYS Group, Sidney, BC
Secretary: Michael Frey, Frey Litigation, Victoria BC
Treasurer Kelsey Webb, Pro-line Management, Victoria, BC
Director: Charlie Clappis,  Huu-Ay-Aht  First Nation
Director: David Thomas, AXYS Group, Sidney, BC

Music by the Sea is a non-profit society

Music by the Sea is a non-profit society ( # S-51471) registered under the Society Act of British Columbia and is a Registered Charity (# 83328 5166 RR0001) under the Income Tax Act of Canada. Our privacy policy is to not share any personal information with any third parties.