Praised for her musical spontaneity, wit, and charm, Czech-Canadian musician Anna Betka is an active solo pianist, chamber musician and collaborative artist. In addition to performances throughout North America, Anna Betka has appeared as a soloist and collaborator in many countries, including Germany, France, Czech Republic, and the UK. She has been a Fellow of the Toronto Summer Music Festival and Academy, where she worked with John Perry and James Anagnoson. Other mentors include Philippe Entremont, Christopher Elton, the late Yonty Solomon, Peter Donohoe, Marietta Orlov, and Antonio Pompa-Baldi, amongst others.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Betka has been coached by many illustrious musicians, including the Emerson String Quartet, David Finckel, St. Lawrence String Quartet and the Gryphon Trio. Currently, she is one of the founding members of Trio Mondial, a piano trio formed in 2015 and coached by renowned cellist Colin Carr at Stony Brook University. She has also performed and premiered works by Thomas Ades, Mark Applebaum, and Anthony Korf with the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players.
During her undergraduate career as an honours scholarship student at the University of Toronto, Ms. Betka was a recipient of the David and Marcia Beach Summer Study Award to study at the Académie Internationale d’été de Nice in the south of France. Other awards include an Honorary Mention at the International Smetana Piano Competition in Pilsen, Czech Republic, as well as prizes at the OMFA Provincials. While at U of T, Ms. Betka was also selected to perform in Music Toronto master classes with Arnaldo Cohen and Angela Hewitt. In 2011, Ms. Betka was nominated for the Oakville Arts Council’s Cogeco Stars Among Us Awards for her talent. This past spring, she advanced to doctoral candidacy at Stony Brook University in New York. Her principal teachers have been Boris Lysenko, Christina Dahl and Gilbert Kalish.
As an educator, Ms. Betka has taught all three levels of group keyboard courses to undergraduates at Stony Brook University in addition to maintaining a studio of private students. Also at Stony Brook University, Ms. Betka is the Children's Assistant for Dalcroze Eurythmics classes, part of the Pre-College Division. Having studied Suzuki piano pedagogy with Marina Obukovsky at the School for Strings, she is now on faculty at Suzuki on the Island as well as the Suzuki Music Schools of Westport and Orange. Since 2005, she has been on the faculty of the Oakville Performing Arts Camp and has tutored students in preparation for the Royal Conservatory of Music history and theory examinations.
Ms. Betka also has a background in singing, having received First Class Honours with Distinction for her Associate of the Royal Conservatory Toronto (ARCT) in Singing. Her principal teachers were Caralyn Tomlin and Susan Ambrose. She combines her three passions of language, piano and singing in vocal and opera coaching and specializes in Czech diction. This past summer, she was an opera coach fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School and is delighted to be returning in 2018.
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