Violinist, Irene Tandberg’s career as performer and pedagogue spans four decades. She has established a vibrant private studio where students have been honoured with many prestigious scholarships and awards, obtained positions at notable international & domestic schools & orchestras, and pursued distinguished solo careers. In 1991, together with her two youngest of four children, Irene was drawn to the vitality of music making within Forest City School for Talent Education.
During her long tenure as Co Director at FCTE, she developed the school’s artistic direction, the administration of the program and cultivated many initiatives and projects that continue to thrive. In addition to these roles, she devotedly immersed herself in teaching master/group classes, coaching chamber groups and conducting ensembles. She also initiated FCTE’s partnering with Western in Community Engaged learning and Pedagogy Course mentorship. In seeking to further enrich the students experience, Young Artists Pre-College Academy was created in 2018. YAPCA’s diverse programming cultivates very motivated students who are inspired to explore a high level of technical finesse and artistry in a collegial, non-competitive environment. Weekly Performance, Chamber and Master classes offer students the opportunity to master their skills and expand their musical knowledge under the tutelage of a dynamic faculty and guest artists. YAPCA is actively engaged in collaborative projects throughout the community, nurturing a lifelong commitment in supporting the arts.
Currently, Irene is also Coordinator of Western 360. This new Summer Chamber Music Festival, envisioned by violinist/violist Scott St. John, is designed to look at music from every angle with an emphasis on chamber music, new music, Canadian and world music. In addition to chamber music coaching from internationally-renowned faculty, students participate in a wide variety of health-and-wellness activities specifically curated for the well-rounded musician. Morning Yoga flows into chamber sessions and workshops offering International Drumming and Renaissance Madrigal Choir.
Irene was born in Denmark. Her first teacher was her grandfather, Wolf Notkin (a member of the Royal Danish National Symphony Orchestra), who is to be credited with nurturing her deep love of music and inspiring a life long journey of discovery through sound. In later years her principal teachers were Gwen Thompson and Dana Mazurkevich at the University of Western Ontario. Irene then went on to follow her passion and vocation for performance and teaching, with pedagogues Richard Lawrence, John Kendall, Elaine Klimasko, Tom Wermuth and pursued Suzuki teacher training.
Past recordings and performances reflect an eclectic range of engagements on Modern and Baroque violin. She has had the privilege to perform in core, principal and solo positions with many fine orchestras and chamber groups including L’Harmonie Universelle, Nota Bene and Arcady. She is the founder of the quartet, Octo Mani.
Irene is a vastly experienced and fervent pedagogue who has both written and given invited talks on performance, teaching and practice strategies. She is also a very active festival adjudicator, master class teacher and workshop clinician in music programs and teaching institutions across Canada. In addition to running her private studio, Coordinator for Western 360 and Directing YAPCA, she is a faculty member in the Performance Department at the University of Western Ontario, where she is the recipient of the student council Award of Excellence in teaching.