The Conservatory of Music has announced its Chamber Music Academy program, led by quartet-in-residence, the Garneau String Quartet.

Young artists will receive coaching from the members of the quartet (pictured above from left: Keith Hamm, Julie Hereish, Laura Veeze and Robert Uchida) and will also work with guest artists, participate in performance classes and participate in an end-of-term performance.

The quartet will also present several concerts throughout their residency: students will receive a free ticket to all of the events. 

The Chamber Academy Music program starts September 12, 2022. To learn more about this annual program, visit our registration site. For more information, email


Photo credit: Lauren Hamm

Meet the Chamber Music Academy instructors

We sat down with the members of the Garneau String Quartet to get their thoughts on their upcoming 2022/23 residency, chamber music and what they are looking forward to over the next few months.

How has chamber music shaped your career as a musician? 
  • Robert Uchida: Chamber music is an incredible source of inspiration and joy. To learn from your colleagues and play some of the greatest music ever written, is one of my most treasured musical experiences.
  • Laura Veeze: I grew up in a family of musicians. So, I played lots of chamber music from the time I was little and it was what inspired me most to keep playing, keep developing and in the end pursue music as a career.
  • Keith Hamm: Chamber music was the gateway to everything I love about being a musician. Sharing these masterpieces with peers is the best way to learn. And the learning never stops!
  • Julie Hereish: Playing chamber music with friends (and sometimes coaches) as a young student and discovering the wonderful repertoire was one of the main reasons why I decided to pursue music as a profession. Every chamber music experience I had has made me a better musician and has also connected me to other players who are now my colleagues and friends and with who I am performing and building projects that are an important part of my career.
What are you most excited to teach? 
  • Robert Uchida: I am so excited to share our love of the chamber music playing and the repertoire with our students. Developing the skills of listening, responding to your colleagues, and delving into different periods of music, all help us be better musicians in everything we do. Taking an active role in developing an interpretation with your ensemble is an enriching experience that deepens our love and knowledge of music.
  • Laura Veeze: I’m very excited to help the students discover how much music making is a conversation. With the other musicians and with the audience.
  • Keith Hamm: I love sharing meaningful ways to communicate great music with audiences. Sharing great works of art with colleagues and listeners is such an exciting challenge and offers endless learning opportunities at every level of development.
  • Julie Hereish: I’m excited to explore with the students ways of becoming great listeners, conversationalists and storytellers through chamber music playing: How to listen to the different voices and their changing roles, how to interpret the music in the context of the time it was written, how to let the music speak its story.
What do you think is the most valuable thing students will take away from this program?  
  • Robert Uchida: I think our students can expect to have a lot of fun, learn a lot about music, and how to function in a group. They are going to study and perform some incredible music in a positive and enriching environment. Our students will have wonderful opportunities to perform, work with guest clinicians, and most importantly, have the opportunity to learn for each other.
  • Laura Veeze: They will learn how to balance individual responsibilities within a group collaboration. They will explore some of the greatest music ever written or being written and learn all about all the rehearsal techniques to find their own convincing interpretation.
  • Keith Hamm: Students can expect to fall in love with musical collaboration. Participants can expect to meet new friends and colleagues and to gain a relationship with the great musical minds of history.
  • Julie Hereish: My hope is for each student to experience the joy that comes from learning the skills of becoming a chamber musician and sharing those with friends and other young musicians with the same passion for music. Students can expect to learn how to study, learn, rehearse and perform a piece of chamber music in a way that will ignite an excitement for the art form and a will to do more!

About the Instructors:

Robert Uchida: Canadian violinist Robert Uchida has been hailed for his “ravishing sound, eloquence and hypnotic intensity” (Strings magazine). Robert joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) as concertmaster in 2013, having held the same position with Symphony Nova Scotia for seven years. A passionate teacher, Robert serves on the faculty at the University of Alberta and has held teaching positions at Acadia University, the Manhattan School of Music and the National Arts Centre of Canada’s Young Artists Program. His students have continued their studies at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music and Guildhall School in London, and perform in ensembles in North America and Europe. Robert holds a master’s degree in violin performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Ottawa. He performs on a rare 1770 Guadagnini violin with Vision Solo titanium strings by Thomastik-Infeld Vienna.

Laura Veeze: Dutch violinist and violist Laura Veeze has reached audiences on three continents as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has held principal second violin positions with the Radio Chamber Philharmonic in the Netherlands and with Symphony Nova Scotia. In addition to her position with the first violins of the ESO, she is concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton, and principal second violin of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble. She studied in Amsterdam and New York with Alexander Kerr and Sylvia Rosenberg. Laura is married to ESO concertmaster Robert Uchida, and they enjoy the wonderful Edmonton community with their children, Marten and Noemi.

Keith Hamm: Keith joined the ESO in September 2019 as principal violist, a position he held with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra for eight seasons. A native of Rosebud, Alberta, Keith received his training at the Glenn Gould School of Music under the instruction of Steven Dann, and at the Mount Royal Conservatory with Nicholas Pulos. Keith is founder and artistic director of the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival in Rosebud, Alberta. He is also co-founder and violist of the Rosebud String Quartet. From 2000 to 2002, Keith was the fiddler for the Calgary Flames.

Julie Hereish: Julie Hereish joined the ESO as assistant principal cello in 2019. She previously held the same position with the Québec Symphony Orchestra. Born in Montreal, Julie pursued her studies in her hometown, and then in Vienna, Austria. Her chamber music performances have taken her across Canada, and she has performed extensively with the chamber orchestra Violons du Roy in Québec City and throughout Europe and North America. Julie is a co-founder and member of the Edmonton-based High Level Trio, comprised of members of the ESO. Alongside her husband, Keith Hamm, she founded The New Cohort at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The duet will be on tour in the Maritimes with Debut Atlantic in September 2022.

Related Reads

Let’s stay in touch!
Sign up to receive our weekly MacEwan University e-newsletter straight to your inbox.