Alastair Eng, Cello Teaching Artist

Born and raised in Toronto, cellist Alastair Eng is a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and is the Assistant Principal Cello of the Santa Fe Opera Company Orchestra. Prior to joining the TSO he served as Associate Principal Cello of the Canadian Opera Company for seven seasons. He has also performed as Guest Principal Cello with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa, Canada).

His playing has been described by critics as “exquisite” (Broadway World), “a highlight” (The Classical Review), and “songfully performed” (National Post). Mr. Eng has worked extensively with the GRAMMY® Award–nominated chamber orchestra A Far Cry (Boston, Massachusetts), and has also performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (UK). As a chamber musician he has appeared at Ravinia Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Strings Music Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music.

When not performing, Mr. Eng enjoys devoting his time to arranging music of all kinds for a wide variety of instrumentations. His scores have been heard across North America and Europe, in venues as varied as the Musikverein and Fenway Park. He has received commissions from violinist Augustin Hadelich, guitarist Pablo Villegas, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, and A Far Cry, among many others. His arrangements have been called “sweet” (Boston Globe), “delightfully schmalzy” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), and “serious and surreal” (Strings Magazine).

As an educator Mr. Eng has led string and cello sectionals for the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Boston Youth Philharmonic and the Taylor Performance Academy of The Royal Conservatory (RCM). He has also served as Assistant Conductor of the RCM’s Community School Orchestra.
Mr. Eng earned his Master of Music with Honors from the New England Conservatory, and holds a Performance Diploma from the RCM. He spent two years in Western Canada, sharing his time between The Mount Royal Conservatory and The Banff Centre. His principal teachers were Lawrence Lesser and John Kadz.

Alastair joined Axis Music in 2020.


Janice Lindskoog, Piano Teaching Artist

Janice Lindskoog began her musical studies on piano and harp in Edmonton, Alberta with Isobel Moore Rolston. She later became a student of Judy Loman at the University of Toronto, where she completed the Bachelor of Music degree program. Sponsored by the Canada Council, she spent two consecutive summers at the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine, working with Alice Chalifoux. Ms. Lindskoog currently lives in Toronto, where she enjoys a busy freelance career. As an orchestral musician she has performed coast to coast in Canada including long associations with the Toronto Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Solo performances include appearances with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and chamber music and new music recitals in Vancouver and Toronto. Since 2006 she has enjoyed performing with the Charlottetown Music Festival, covering a variety of shows including Anne of Green Gables.

Ms. Lindskoog teaches both piano and harp students, and has participated in the Advanced Certificate in Early Childhood Music Education offered by the Royal Conservatory of Music in partnership with Ryerson University. She has adjudicated for the Kiwanis Festival in Toronto, Guelph and Ottawa, and often participates on juries at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, and the Glenn Gould School in the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Janice joined Axis Music in 2012.


Donna Midanik, Program Manager

After receiving a BA from the University of Toronto and a year of teacher training, Donna began her teaching career in a grade 3 classroom in Brampton for two years. Donna then worked with the Toronto District School Board for 42 years, where she taught all regular classroom subjects from grade one to six.

She also holds a Ministry of Ontario Specialist certificate in Reading and a Specialist certificate in Special Education. She spent many years as a Special Education teacher, where she worked with kids with learning disabilities, autism and other challenges.

Donna has taught ESL programs to children, and after receiving a TESOL certificate from the University of Toronto in 2012, she worked as an ESL teacher with a Toronto non-profit agency.

Donna worked on a Special Literacy Project at Parkdale Public School where she provided literacy support and guidance to classroom teachers. She has presented Literacy Workshops and initiated and numerous clubs and programs within the schools. At Ossington/Old Orchard Public School, she won the Garfield Weston Award for Excellence in teaching.

Post retirement, Donna was the Education Coordinator for Esprit Orchestra, where she promoted their student concerts, communicated with educators and developed teacher resource packages. Donna continues to teach as a private tutor for elementary and high school students.

Donna joined Axis Music in 2018.


Judith Manger, Founder, Executive Director & Cello Teaching Artist

Cellist Judith Manger has performed with “elegance and poise” and “remarkably mature musicianship” (The Record), in Canada, the United States, and beyond. Judith holds a Masters of Music Performance from Northwestern University (Chicago) where she received the Richard and Helen Thomas Fellowship, and an Honours Bachelor of Music Performance from McGill University (Montreal) where she was awarded the Tani Salsinger Gold Medal in Performance for outstanding achievement in music performance.

Judith has performed as soloist with several orchestras including the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra and was a Boone Scholar of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, a training program for emerging professional musicians. She performed with McGill Cello Professor Matt Haimovitz in his Uccello Quartet at venues including Lincoln Centre (New York), Sanders Theatre in the Bank of America Celebrity Series (Massachusetts) and the International Cello Congress (Israel). Judith also collaborated in a quintet with McGill Jazz Drum Professor Chris McCann. As cellist of the Schulich String Quartet, she won Bronze Medal at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition (Indiana) and frequently performed on CBC Radio Two (Montreal). She was a featured speaker at a community arts conference held at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and has served on Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council granting juries.

Judith has extensive pedagogical experience and is a certified Suzuki teacher. Musical mentors include Hans Jensen, Bryan Epperson, Matt Haimovitz, Andre Roy and Simon Fryer. Judith founded Axis Music in 2010.


Ashley Vandiver, Musicianship Teaching Artist

Ashley Vandiver joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Fourth Chair Viola in 2018. Acclaimed by the Denver Post as “wonderfully expressive…polished and carefree”, the American born violinist & violist has performed in over thirty countries on five continents. Prior to joining the TSO she was a violinist in the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Since 2014, Ms. Vandiver has enjoyed her summer months as a member of the violin section in The Santa Fe Opera Company Orchestra.

Ashley has performed regularly with The Saint-Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Knights NYC, The Canadian Opera Company, and The National Ballet of Canada. Before immigrating to Canada in 2012, Ashley was a founding member and rotating Concertmaster of the Grammy nominated chamber orchestra A Far Cry; Internationally recognized with performances across the globe and seven albums, the orchestra “brims with personality or better, personalities, many and varied” – The New York Times.

Ms. Vandiver has performed at chamber music and orchestral festivals across North America and Europe, including, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Yellow Barn, and the Verbier Festival Orchestra where she held the position of Principal 2nd Violin.
Ashley has served on the String Faculties of The University of Ottawa, Wellesley College (Massachusetts), and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Project STEP, a comprehensive training program for talented children from underrepresented Boston communities. Ms. Vandiver has also been an adjudicator for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of The United States of America.

A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music with Distinction in violin performance, she then went on to receive her Master of Music Degree from the Royal Conservatory in the Netherlands. Her principal teachers include Vera Beths, James Buswell, Kenneth Goldsmith and Laura Bossert.

Ashley joined Axis Music in 2020.