Michael Esch holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from Rice University where his teachers included Robert Roux and Jon Kimura Parker. His other major influences include his first teacher, Rosemary Collins, and coachings with Rebecca Penneys, Lazar Berman and Anton Kuerti.
Dr. Esch has been featured in numerous recitals throughout Canada including the Glenn Gould Studio for the CBC, and for the Canadian University Music Society. He has also appeared in concert throughout Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the United States and Germany, as well as various centers in the far east. He has performed with numerous orchestras in Canada, and has collaborated with a number of acclaimed artists including the Belgian violinist Michael Guttman and the eminent violist, Rivka Golani, as well as the Canadian Sinfonietta Chamber Players. The Canadian Composer Robert Rival has composed and dedicated the work ‘6 pieces for Piano’ (found in the ARCT and LRCM repertoire lists) for Michael. Dr. Esch is a featured pianist on the RCME 2015 Piano Syllabus CD set.
Michael has enjoyed grant support from the Chalmers Foundation, and is a multiple grant recipient from the Canada Council for the Arts. A sought after adjudicator in Canada, Michael has adjudicated festivals at the Provincial level for the O.M.F.A., ORMTA, SMFA, NSMFA, PABC, the Canadian Music Competition 50’th Anniversary National Tour and the Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition, the Cresendo International Piano Competitions among many others. He is a senior examiner for RCM examinations and is a regular masterclass clinician for the Phil and Eli Taylor Young Artist Performance Academy at the RCM.
A sought after teacher, Dr. Esch's students have been featured in major GTA recital venues including Koerner Hall, The Glenn Gould Studio, the University of Toronto Arts and Letters Club, Markham Theatre, as well as Carnegie Recital Hall in NYC. They have been featured in concert with important orchestras Ontario and Europe, and in masterclasses with major artists in prestigious international music festivals such as the Morningside Music Bridge and John O'Conors 'Beethoven Boot Camp'.
Recent achievements of Dr. Esch's students include: winner of the CFMTA National Piano Competition, First Prize winners in the Crescendo International Competition, GOCCA Int, Winners of the ORMTA Young Artist Tour (2), National Gold Medal Winners for the RCM Licentiate Diploma (2), the youngest candidate to have earned the LRCM with Distinction, and as well as Prize Laureates at the Berlin and Boston Intl Amateurs competition.
Dr. Esch has taught at Wilfrid Laurier University and has served on staff at the Glenn Gould School/RCM since 2007. In September of 2010 Michael and his wife opened the Esch Music Academy in Markham Ontario. Michael is a Top Teacher Award recipient from Steinway and Sons and was recently awarded a 2020 Teacher of Distinction Award from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Jessica Esch - Piano and Theory
Jessica has 30 years of private piano studio instruction and professional accompanying experience in Canada and the United States. Her major teachers have included the revered Canadian pedagogues James Anagnoson at the Royal Conservatory of Music with whom she obtained the A.R.C.T. Performer’s Diploma, and Dorothy Morton - with whom she received a Bachelor of Music Degree (Distinction in Performance) from McGill University. She has also coached privately with Steinway Artist Robert Roux.
Jessica has also pursued additional studies at a number of important summer Music Festivals in Europe and at the Chautauqua Institute of Higher Learning in New York. Jessica’s students have enjoyed considerable success in various levels of Royal Conservatory of Music examinations, at local music festivals/contests in the Greater Toronto Area and at the OMFA Provincial Finals. In addition to her piano studio, Jessica is active within the greater arts community in the G.T.A. She served as the official accompanist for the Toronto Taiwanese Choir from 2004-2005 and has accompanied professionally for numerous R.C.M. exams and recitals.
She is a former orchestra manager of the Canadian Sinfonietta, one of Toronto’s most dynamic chamber orchestras, and presently volunteers in various capacities for that orchestra. Jessica is a natural in working with pre-college talent, and young children. She exudes a warm, nurturing persona, while at the same time challenges her students with a focused and structured lesson environment. In addition to her piano credentials, Jessica is one of the few certified Canadian instructors of Musikgarten; an internationally recognized program introducing babies, toddlers and young children to the wonders of music.
Lauren Esch - Piano
18 year old pianist Lauren Esch made her third appearance with the CBSO under the direction of Maestro Norman Reintamm in November of 2019. Lauren holds an ARCT in piano performance with First Class Honours/Distinction ranking, and plans to compete her LRCM in January 2020.
Lauren has enjoyed much success as a performer over the years. In addition to her 3 concerti appearances with the CBSO, Lauren has also performed Richard Herriot’s Dance Rhapsodie Canadienne with the Canadian Sinfonietta in celebration of Canada 150. The work was subsequently dedicated to Lauren by the composer.
Lauren has performed at Carnegie Hall in NYC, and in important GTA recital venues including Markham Theatre, the Richmond Hill Theatre for the Performing Arts, the Toronto Steinway Series, and on Classical 96.3fm. She is a former top scholarship winner in the Crescendo International Piano Competition, and has won many awards including being a National Finalist in the CMC, Winner of the ARCT Class in the 2017 ORMTA Provincial Finals, and top pianist scholarships in numerous GTA Festivals.
She studies with her father, Dr. Michael Esch. Lauren has performed in masterclasses for William Aide, Jamie Parker, the Dutch pianist Paul Komen, John O'Conor, James Anagnoson, and Curtis Institute professor, Meng Chien Liu.
In September Lauren began studies in the Vic One program of Victoria College at the University of Toronto with a major in Political Science. She is also building a strong reputation as a piano teacher at Esch Music Academy in Markham, where her students have excelled in recent examination and festival sessions.
Susan Chang - Musikgarten, Piano and Theory
Susan holds a Master of Education Degree (M.Ed) from York University, as well as a BA (Hons.) in Children's Studies and Diploma in Piano Performance. Her teaching passions include early childhood education, creative dance curriculum and drama education. An advocate for arts education as an empowering curriculum she finds joy and fulfillment in teaching music to children and parents.
She is a certified and internationally recognized instructor of Musikgarten, a leading program for music study at the earliest of ages, and has presented workshops and classes in Musikgarten throughout the Far East and Ontario.
Asia Golubchin - Piano
Asia is a dedicated and highly experienced teacher with nearly 20 years of successful studio teaching in her native Belarus and Israel. She moved to Canada in 2006 and has enjoyed a solid reputation as a nurturing pedagogue. Her students have enjoyed considerable success in music festivals and in preparations for various RCM examinations. Asia holds a Masters of Music degree from Pedagogical University in Minsk, Belarus, and has earned diplomas in the pedagogy of music history and theory. Asia has worked for several music academies in Europe and Israel, and has served as an accompanist for many professional music organizations including Claude Watson School for the Arts as well as other unique events such as the rhythmic gymnastics team of Belarus.
Gabriella Budidharma - Voice
Gabriella holds an Honours Bachelor of Music Therapy with a major in voice and a minor in psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is working towards achieving her accreditation to become a board-certified music therapist. She studied voice and
piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has over 6 years of teaching experience in these instruments working with children, adolescents and adults with and without special needs during her time at university and her music therapy internship.
As a performer, Gabriella recently has had the opportunity to perform for Markham’s Accessibility Awards ceremony past September and has received a Community Recognition award. She also has performed and participated in numerous music competitions such as the OMFA Provincials Finalist Competition, Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival, and NATS Chapter Audition. As an avid supporter of group singing, Gabriella has been a member of various choirs including the prestigious Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Laurier’s University Choir and her local church choir.