Victoria Composers Collective

Composers – Performers

Justin Boechler completed studies in music composition at the University of Saskatchewan (B.Mus) and the University of Victoria (M.Mus). Formerly a resident of Saskatchewan, Justin is currently living in Victoria, BC. His works have been performed and recorded by a variety of Canadian ensembles including the University of Saskatchewan Wind Orchestra and Proteus Saxophone Quartet, with other notable performances occurring at the SALT contemporary music festival, North America Saxophone Alliance conference (Region 9), and the Strata New Music Festival. Boechler is also an active conductor of new music, having premiered works for ensemble by many emerging west coast composers. Selected conducting credits include Liza Lim’s Street of Crocodiles, George Crumb’s Quest, and the Canadian premiere of Elliot Carter’s Luimen.

Liam Ross Gibson  is a composer, keyboardist, and teacher based on Vancouver Island. His works, ranging from solo to orchestral pieces, have been performed across Canada. As a solo performer, and as a member of the Victoria Composers Collective, he has been involved in numerous premieres and repeat performances of pieces by other emerging composers. Gibson’s work is concerned with the refraction of basic material through the lens of different time scales, an approach inspired as much by contemporary electronic music as it is by the Western classical tradition. Having studied piano since the age of 7, Gibson also played trumpet in jazz and concert bands from the ages of 6 to 17. In high school he began playing keyboard in rock bands. Currently he is a member of theatrical electronic ensemble Top Men, and is the touring keyboardist for indie pop group Flawed Hearts and the Waiting Room. Gibson holds a MMus in composition from the University of Manitoba, a BMus in composition and theory from the University of Victoria, and a diploma in jazz piano from Vancouver Island University.

Ryan M. Hemphill is a Canadian composer based in Edmonton, Alberta, and is a member of the Victoria Composer Collective and New Music Edmonton. He has studied at the University of Alberta (BMus) and the University of Victoria (British Columbia, MMus). His music explores the mechanical nature of musical instruments, the incidental musicality of machines, and the contemplation of contemporary soundscapes; combining live musicians, algorithmic composition, and electromechanical devices.


Alex Klassen
 began playing the cello in kindergarten. 25 years went by with fits and starts and he started doing something about it. These days he studies composition at the University of Victoria and lives nearby with his wife Holly.

Nolan Krell is a composer and guitarist currently studying at the University of Victoria. A native of Langley, BC, Nolan is passionate about exploring musical boundaries and how they influence compositional processes. His musical aesthetic focuses on creating dense and vulnerable textures through a combination of unconventional techniques and unique instrumentations. Nolan’s music is heavily indebted to the influences of György Ligeti, Salvatore Sciarrino and Christian Wolff. As a classical guitarist, Nolan advocates and performs new compositions as well as underperformed and established modern music.

Kimberley Manerikar is a composer and piano teacher in Victoria, BC. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria (2012) where she studied music composition with Christopher Butterfield and Dániel Péter Biró.  Kimberley’s pieces have been performed in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton and Montréal.  Her music deals with fragmentation, displacement, and balance.  She often explores the themes of perseverance and playfulness, and strives to present her material simply, allowing everything to remain in focus.

Thomas Nicholson 
Born and raised in Fredericton, Thomas Nicholson has been composing and playing piano since the age of 10. Initially studying harmony, counterpoint, and composition under Martin Kutnowski, his work has won awards both nationally and provincially (Canada Music Week, NBRMTA, etc.) and has been performed on many occasions by such ensembles and performers as the Fredericton Chamber Orchestra, the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, violinist Nadia Francavilla, and, more recently, musicians of the Bathurst Chamber Music Festival. His playing has received recognition and coaching from many of Canada’s leading pianists like Julien LeBlanc, Michel Fournier, and Stephen Runge (UVic Alumnus) and in 2013 he represented New Brunswick at the National Music Festival in the solo piano category. Furthermore, he has formerly served as viola section leader for the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, has been a member of Trio 238 which performed throughout New Brunswick in 2013, and is currently part of Trio Voix Atlantique. Thomas studies music composition with Christopher Butterfield and piano with Arthur Rowe at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

Dave Riedstra (b. 1989, Ontario, Canada) makes music and other sounds. Much of this work is composition for live performance, some is performed on the electric or upright bass, and lately a little more of it has been digital audio in acoustic spaces. With these sounds Riedstra explores the entanglement of the listening body with its environment (material, social, technological, and other). Many but not all of the sounds Riedstra is responsible for are very quiet.

Riedstra was a founding member of the Victoria Composers Collective and operated the sounds at the hive performance series at arc.hive artist run centre in Victoria, Canada. He has made music and music-proximate sounds in various cities across Canada, including a solo tour of new works for contrabass which took him from Victoria through the prairies to Ontario in 2018, and he was lucky enough to have his composition ]                           [ performed in Ostrava, Czech Republic, in 2017. Recent explorations into sound installation and separate collaborations with playwright Kristofer Van Soelen and composer Tina Pearson have more extensively involved electronics, digital networks, and software development. Riedstra currently writes and researches quiet music at the University of Leeds, UK.

Riedstra is grateful to his various instructors over the years: Martin Iddon, Oliver Thurley, Martin Arnold, Christopher Butterfield, Dániel Péter Biró, James Harley, Cam McKittrick, and Joe Sorbara.