Composer Biographies

Stephen Bergen


Stephen Bergen has composed, recorded, and produced music in the fields of pop, sacred, and children’s music, for radio, film, and television, as well as for community and national events. A teacher and music educator for many years, he has provided instrumental and vocal instruction, and conducted concert bands and award winning jazz ensembles. His choral compositions have been performed by choirs internationally, as well as locally at the Kiwanis and Kodaly music festivals. Stephen has been commissioned to write music for a number of groups, including the Millennium Choral Organization and Flag Wavers of Waterloo Region. His composition, “Canadian Flag Waver”, which celebrates both the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Flag and the 150th Anniversary of Confederation in 2017, has received national media attention, and was featured on both the CTV network, and CBC’s “The National”. The song has been performed by a variety of choirs across the country. Stephen continues to teach, write and perform in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

Ben Bolt-Martin

Ben_portrait4Ben is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University (1996) in orchestral performance, studying with Paul Pulford of the Penderecki Quartet and also of the University of Western Ontario (2004), studying with Tom Wiebe of the Duke Trio. He has also studied with Wolfgang Laufer of the Fine Arts Quartet and Bryan Epperson of the Canadian Opera Company orchestra.

Ben is principal cello with the Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada, plays with the Festival Quartet of Stratford and is director of Instrumental Chamber Ensembles at University of Waterloo.

Ben has recorded incidental music for numerous stage productions, primarily for the Stratford Festival, but also for Shaw, the Grand Theatre (London, Ontario) and Walnut St. Theatre (Philadelphia). He is featured on The Glass Menagerie/Orpheus Descending: Theatre Music of Marc Desormeaux and Every Three Children — For the Children of Africa by Carol Ann Weaver and most recently Notes Towards featuring the music of Timothy Corlis, Leonard Enns and Heather Dawn Taves.

Timothy Corlis

Timothy Corlis began studying composition at the age of eleven under the tutelage of his choir director, Dr. Giles Bryant. These earliest writing assignments were given as punishment for being a tardy chorister, but soon became such a regular occurrence that they fostered Corlis’ keen interest in the craft. He later went on to study composition and choral directing under Dr. Leonard Enns and to develop an early career in the lively choral community of Waterloo (Ontario) and its surroundings. These roots instilled in him a continuing sense of music as an important aspect of community life. He also views music as a strong power for social change.

His compositions have been performed across Canada to critical acclaim – Notes Towards a Poem That Can Never Be Written, his large-scale choral composition to words by Margaret Atwood, was nominated for a 2009 Juno award for best classical composition of the year. His works have often been exported or performed abroad, including a 2015 premier by Noel Edison and the Elora Festival Singers at Carnegie Hall. In the media, he has been described as “a composer of great depth and passion, not to mention a pristine polished craft.” (WholeNote Magazine, Toronto). Corlis holds a M.A. in Social and Political Thought (York University), an M.Mus. in Composition (University of Toronto) where he worked with Chirstos Hatzis and Ka Nin Chan, and a D.M.A. in Composition from the University of British Columbia where he studied with Stephen Chatman. He has held faculty positions CMU (Winnipeg) and Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo.

Georin Costello

Georin Costello ComposerGeorin Costello is a composer and contemporary music producer from Victoria, BC. He composes and produces music across a variety of genres, exploring the capacity of music to communicate directly with the listener on the emotional level.

An avid chorister, he has sung with the Vox Humana Chamber Choir, the Laudate Singers, Pacifica Singers and the Vancouver Peace Choir. He is an alumnus of the UBC School of Music, having studied composition with Stephen Chatman and choral conducting under Bruce Pullan. He graduated from the UBC School of Music (2009) and studied music production and audio engineering at the Vancouver Arts Institute.

His compositions have been performed by numerous ensembles including The Vancouver Peace Choir and the Vox Humana Chamber Choir. Georin also has production credits on recordings that have received rotation on national radio and television.

Iman Habibi

Hailed as “a giant in talent” (the Penticton Herald) Iman’s music has been performed by a number of noted ensembles and performers such as musica intima, The Standing Wave Ensemble, The Vancouver Bach Choir, The Prince George Symphony Orchestra, DaCapo Chamber Choir, cellist Jonah Kim, soprano Simone Osborne, tenor Keith Klassen, baritone Peter McGillivray,  soprano Carla Huhtanen, mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber, and pianists Carrie-Ann Matheson, and Liz Upchurch among others, and has been workshopped by The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The Aventa ensemble, The Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, and Drosera ensemble. Iman Habibi’s music and performances are heard regularly across the world, in cities such as New York, London, Paris, Oslo, Toronto, Tehran, Nashville, Ottawa, and Vancouver.  His Music has been programmed by prestigious concert organizations such as The Marilyn Horne Foundation (New York), The Canadian Opera Company (Toronto), Tapestry New Opera (Toronto), Vox Novus (New York), Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), the BCScene Festival (Ottawa), and the Powell Street Festival (Vancouver).

Iman1_2He has received numerous awards including First Prize at the SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Audio Visual Composers for two consecutive years (2011-2012), The International Composers’ Award at the Esoterics Competition (2012), and The Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards for Emerging Artist in Music (2011).  He also received second prize at the 2008 Vancouver Bach Choir’s national Competition for Large Choir Works for his work “Erroneous Kudos,” and first prize for his work “Black Riders” at the 2009 Guelph Chamber Choir’s national competition. His music and interviews are broadcast regularly on radios across North America, such as CBC radio one, CBC radio two (Canada), and WQXR (New  York). He has received numerous commissions including a commission to compose his first piano concerto for The Prince George Symphony Orchestra (PGSO). In Feb. 2010, Mr. Habibi appeared as the piano soloist to premiere this concerto with the PGSO. He completed his Masters degree at the University of British Columbia under the instruction of Dorothy Chang. Other teachers include Jeffrey Ryan, and Stephen Chatman. Mr. Habibi is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, and is represented by SOCAN in Canada.

As a pianist, Iman has had the privilege of working with many great musicians, ensembles, and orchestras, He appeared as the piano soloist with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra to premiere his piano concerto in Canada, and later played it with the Atlantic Music Festival’s Orchestra in the United States. Iman was a finalist at the Inaugural Knigge National Piano Competition, and is also well-known for his collaborations with pianist Deborah Grimmett. The two pianists formed a duo in 2010, which at its debut, won third prize, and the audience choice award at The International Northwest Piano Ensemble Competition.

Hussein Janmohamed


Hussein is a singer, composer and musical educationlist passionate about choral music. A South Asian Ismaili Muslim, born in Kenya, raised in Central Alberta and nurtured in Bristish Columbia, music was the inspiration for him to transform negativity through racism and discrimination into something more positive. Singing with others was the bridge between choral music in school and congregational recitation in the prayer hall allowing Hussein to reconcile his Canadian and Muslim identities. Knowing first hand the power of group singing, Hussein is dedicated to making it possible for young people of all backgrounds to access and enjoy the benefits of creating and singing choral music of the highest level while contributing their strengths and diversities to a plural Canada.

Hussein sings with the Elmer Iseler Singers as the James T. Chesnutt Choral Scholar. He has also sung with Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, Laudate Singers, Phoenix Chamber Choir (Vancouver), UBC University Singers, and the National Youth Choir under the direction of Lydia Adams, Diane Loomer, James Fankhauser, Lars Kaario, Leonard Ratzlaff, George Evelyn, Robert Cooper and Dr. Graeme Langager.

Hussein’s compositions explore the sonic intersections of the Muslim world with everyday life and encounters with others. Notable highlights include: 2014 Commission by the Aga Khan Museum Nur: Reflections on Light for the Ismaili Centre Toronto opening, performed by the Elmer Iseler Singers and Guest Ismaili Singers; 2010 Project supported by the Canada Council for the Arts Nurun ala Nur: Light upon Light premiered by the Elmer Iseler Singers (Lydia Adams, Conductor); 2004 Commission by West Coast Sacred Arts Soceity of Gatherings  for a tribute concert to His Holiness Dalai with Lil’Wat writer Russell Wallace, and premiered by Youth Peace Choir (Hussein Janmohamed, Conductor).


Earle Peach

Earle-Peach5Earle is a composer, conductor, musician and organizer. He has written extensively for film, theatre and choir. Earle currently conducts four choirs, including a labour choir, a mental health choir, a regular community choir and a drop-in choir in the Vancouver’s Downtown South. Also in the Downtown East Side, he founded a stage band at the Carnegie Centre at Main and Hastings and in 2006 wrote the music for the first Downtown East Side opera. Earle also leads a meta-folk band; plays in a duo with his wife, singer Barbara Jackson; is part of a Sudanese pop band; and is also a member of a labour history trio. Earle tells us that in his spare time he makes up trashy dance music on the computer, grows vegetables (when they cooperate), and rides around on his bike.

Chris Sivak

ChrisSivak1_smallerChris Sivak (b. June 14th, 1982) is a talented multi-instrumentalist and composer residing in Vancouver, BC. His music covers a wide variety of ground ranging from soberly serious to seriously absurd. He also maintains a blog where he dissects music in his own quirky way.

Chris has been commissioned to write music for the Vancouver Chamber Choir,Red Shift Music Society, The Vancouver Peace Choir, The Amicus Duo, The Nu:BC Collective, and OperaFeHk. He’s also had the opportunity to collaborate musically with The Vancouver Symphony, musica intima, Elektra Women’s Choir, and the Phoenix Chamber Choir.