About the Founder

In 1983 Jef ten Kortenaar approached three fellow students at the Royal Conservatory of Music with the idea of forming a unique string quartet. The result was the Emperor Quartet. While the quartet membership has changed over the years the two constants are a high level of musicianship and the continuing musical direction of violinist Jef ten Kortenaar.

Jef's musical background includes a formative musical training at St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto, as well as further musical studies as a violinist at the University of Western Ontario, in Toronto at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and in Amsterdam.

Besides performing with the Emperor Quartet, Jef teaches violin at St. Michael's Choir School and conducts string orchestras at the Guelph Youth Music Centre and the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Jef is also active as an arranger and a lecturer. He has worked as a broadcaster for the CBC presenting programmes on Mozart and on music of the British Monarchy. With radio host Tom Allen he presented a series called "The Glorious Contagion" tracing the developments in western music from the renaissance to the present.