Ema Shiroma-Chao

Ema began her musical journey in her home province of BC, starting violin lessons at the age of 4. Her passion for music has been inspired and supported by many of her childhood teachers including Angela Schneider, Joan Blackman, Irina Faletski, Joseph Elworthy, and Robert Rozek, the latter two who led her early ensemble experiences at the Vancouver Academy of Music.

After completing an ARCT Diploma with the Royal Conservatory of Music, Ema moved to Montréal to pursue a B. Mus in Violin Performance at McGill University. There, she studied under Mark Fewer and was also extremely fortunate to have received chamber coaching from Douglas McNabney, Jean Marchand, Kyoko Hashimoto, Sarah Nematallah, and Richard Roberts. It was through McGill’s chamber music program that Ema picked up the viola, the instrument she now plays as part of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.

Putting her formal studies to use, Ema has performed for theatre shows, weddings, convocation events, and non-for-profit fundraising concerts. In 2017, she was part of a massive orchestra which drew in a crowd of an estimated 70,000 people at the base of Mont-Royal, organized for the City of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Music has led to many opportunities, including travels to attend summer music programs such as Le Domaine Forget (La Malbaie, Québec), and Allegro Vivo (Horn, Austria). It has also inspired Ema’s love for culture, language, and education. Following the completion of her B. Mus. at McGill, Ema obtained a B. Ed. at Queen’s University (while also performing with the Kingston Symphony when possible). She currently teaches violin and viola privately while working for NLESD as a French, ESL, and music teacher.


How many years have you been with the NSO?


Who is your favourite composer?

There are too many to choose! I tend to lean towards composers like Debussy and Chopin, however.

What's the best NSO concert you have seen or been a part of?

I loved the 2018/2019 performance of the Carmina Burana. It was the first time I had ever performed the work, but it was also extra special because the NSO collaborated with the Kittiwake Dance Theatre Shallaway Youth Choir, and solo singers Raphaëlle Paquette, Ryan McDonald, and Jean-François Lapointe. It was a truly spectacular concert and one that I will remember fondly.

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