Winona Zelenka is one of Canada’s finest cellists on the scene today. As a soloist, she has performed concerti with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Mississauga Symphony and the Huronia Sinfonietta among many others. She is a dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, regularly performing in every Toronto music series of note as well as the Ottawa Chamberfest; she is also a proponent of new music, having performed two world premieres of works written for her by Canadian composers Michael Pepa and Chris Paul Harman. In 2006 she formed Trio Arkel with violinist Marie Berard and violist Teng Li; they perform works both familiar and little-known in the repertoire.
In June of 2010 Winona released her first CD set of the Bach Suites for Solo Cello, a recording on Marquis Classics. It has received international acclaim, and in 2011 was nominated for a JUNO award in the category of solo/chamber music CD. She has also played the complete Bach Suites at the Stratford Summer Music Festival, and performed solo works on stage with the National Ballet of Canada. Her films with Moving Head Productions include interviews for BOLD TV and a complete performance of the Cassado Suite for solo cello, viewed by thousands on Youtube. This coming April will see the release of Winona’s second CD, which is of French music for cello and piano with the celebrated pianist Connie Shih.
Winona obtained her Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma at the University of Indiana, where she studied with Janos Starker. Her other formative teachers were William Findlay, Vladimir Orloff and William Pleeth.
Winona has won orchestral positions in England, Canada and the United States. Her professional career has included two seasons of Acting Principal Cellist of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, and five seasons as Acting Principal Cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.