Keiko Alexander

Keiko Alexander is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York where she studied piano with Sascha Gorodnitzki and Janina Fialkowska, and has also studied privately with Bela Siki in Cincinnati and Vlado Perlemuter in Paris. While in Cincinnati she formed the Alexis Piano Trio with members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which performed throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. In addition, Keiko taught in the Piano Preparatory Department of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and served as Chair of the Piano Department from 1996 to 2000. In 2000, she was invited to perform for Hillary Clinton at a Campaign Event in Cincinnati.

Since moving to Vancouver , Keiko has been a very active teacher, has held master classes at the BC Conservatory of Music, and performed as a soloist and chamber musician on numerous occasions in Canada, the United States, and Japan. She has served as an adjudicator for the UBC Concerto Competitions, Burnaby Clef Club, BCRMTA Student Performers Guild Festival, National Music Teachers Association, BC Conservatory of Music Festival in BC, the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, MTNA (University of Kentucky in Louisville, Kentucky) and the American College of Musicians Piano Guild. Keiko has also adjudicated in Germany for the International Piano Competition for 6 Hands and 8 Hands in Marktoberdorf, and in Tokyo for Japan’s Piano Teachers’ National Association (PTNA).

Sergei Saratovsky

A winner of numerous awards including the First Place at the Porto International Piano Competition and the prize for Best Canadian Artist at the Montréal International Musical Competition, Sergei Saratovsky is recognized both in Canada and abroad as “a player of gargantuan proportions” and a “pianiste extraordinaire.” This exceptional and versatile performer has a gift to take audience on a breathtaking voyage through the essence of music to the essence of beauty. The artist touches listeners with the sensitivity of his interpretations and impressive technique; his energy, focus and musicianship blend into a spectacular tour de force in performance.

Sergei Saratovsky has performed for audiences in Russia, Europe, Australia, and North America, and has been the featured artist on radio and television broadcasts aired across the world. His concert engagements have included appearances with the European, Canadian, and Russian orchestras such as State Symphony Orchestra of Karelia, Portugal National and Chamber Orchestras, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Orchestre symphonique de Laval, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

His fascination with chamber music has led the artist to establish a four-hand piano duo with his younger brother Nikolai Saratovsky, an internationally acclaimed pianist (Moscow-Taipei). Their dynamic ensemble has performed in Russia and completed three concert tours of British Columbia. 

In addition to his performing career, Saratovsky enjoys giving master classes and is in demand as a guest clinician and jury member of international and national competitions and festivals. After the completion of the doctoral studies, he has continued his scholarly research activities through journal publications and participation in the international conferences. Currently, Saratovsky mentors and guides the advanced students in their musical studies at the VSO School of Music.    

Sergei Saratovsky was born in a family of musicians in Karelia, Russia. He received his university education at the Petrozavodsk State Conservatory of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance in 2004. Saratovsky became a resident of Canada in 2002. He completed a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance with Alexander Tselyakov at Brandon University, where in 2006 he received the gold medal for academic excellence and graduated with Greatest Distinction. In 2012, Sergei Saratovsky was granted the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of British Columbia where he had studied with Jane Coop.

Carla Dodek

Regarded as one of Vancouver’s most respected piano teachers, Dr. Carla Dodek has taught piano since 1983 with extensive experience teaching all levels and ages.  She has held positions at Rice University and at Houston Community College and currently manages an independent piano studio in Vancouver.  Dr. Dodek shares her expertise as lecturer in recital, as adjudicator and clinician, and in master classes teaching both students and teachers. She is also highly regarded for her work as a mentor to the Student Teachers’ Auxiliary of the BC Registered Music Teachers’ Association.

Carla received her musical training in Canada, the USA, England and France with renowned teachers Robin Wood, Gyorgy Sebok, Artur Balsam, John Perry and Vlado Perlemuter.  She holds Bachelor of Music (UVic), Master of Music (Manhattan School of Music), and Doctor of Musical Arts (Rice University) degrees as well as the Licentiateship from the Royal Academy of Music (UK) and the Associateship from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), all in piano performance.  She has participated in the Banff, Aspen, Ernen Musikdorf and Kneisel Hall music festivals and has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and recitalist in Canada, the USA, England and Switzerland.  Carla has appeared locally on such series as Music in the Morning, the Playhouse Coffee Concerts, the Richmond Gateway Coffee Concerts, the Coast Recital Society, the Chutzpah! Festival and as guest soloist with the Vancouver Philharmonic and the Pro Nova Ensemble.  Her numerous awards include First Prize in the Northwest Young Artist Competition as well as multiple grants from the Vancouver Foundation, the BC Cultural Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Her diverse interests include the French School, the physiological and psychological involvement in performance, the relationship between visual art and music, and performing and coaching both solo and chamber music of all periods.


Bill Coon

Bill Coon musician

Guitarist, Composer, Arranger, Educator

Bill Coon was the recipient of the 2009 National Jazz Awards, Guitarist of the Year. He leads several of his own groups including the BC Double Quartet with Brad Turner on trumpet and violinist Cameron Wilson. Bill is featured on several Western Canadian Music Award winning recordings, most recently the recording Jasmine Jazz, winner of the Best Instrumental Recording of 2023. He has performed with Jimmy Heath, Peter Bernstein, Eddie Daniels, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lewis Nash, Peter Washington, Lorne Lofsky, Sheila Jordan, Jiggs Whigham, Hugh Fraser, P.J. Perry, Grant Stewart, Pat Bianchi, and Rebecca Kilgore.

As a guitarist, Coon is well-known for his many collaborations, most recently recordings with vocalist Sienna Dahlen Balladextrous (Cellar Live), Laura Crema, and Bill Coon StringSongs, featuring Peggy Lee and Jon Bentley. He performs regularly with Triology (Miles Black and Jodi Proznick), Oliver Gannon, Campbell Ryga, Steve Kaldestad, Cory Weeds, Dave Robbins, Tom Keenlyside, Sharon Minemoto and many more.

He has written for numerous large ensembles, including Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra, Cory Weeds 11-piece ensemble, The National Arts Centre Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (with Trumpeter-vocalist Bria Skonberg).Coon has collaborated with jazz vocalist Denzal Sinclaire on the Juno nominated, I Found Love, with hip-hop artist K-os on the Juno award-winning Joyful Rebellion.

Among his many grants and commissions, Coon has received Canada Council Arts Awards to study with guitarists Jim Hall, Dr. Louis Stewart, and arranger-composers Neil Chotem, Rick Wilkins.

As well as an instructor for the VSO School of Music, he is a faculty member of the Jazz Studies department at Capilano University in North Vancouver, teaching jazz guitar, composition, large ensemble arranging, small ensemble performance, and jazz history.



Sarah Westwick

Violin / Viola

Sarah Westwick began studying the violin at age three at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in performance from U.B.C. She has also studied music in London England, at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Prague. She is a member of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, is a freelance violinist and enjoys playing chamber music. She has teacher training qualifications and experience in both the Suzuki ​violin and viola methods. She is passionate about sharing music by female and BIPOC composers from Canada and around the world.