Ondrej began his musical adventures as a youngster with violin lessons in the former Czechoslovakia. However, things soon began to go off course when he discovered the bassoon at a school concert
very soon after. He continued with the violin while spending some years near Munich in the south of Germany but took up the bassoon in earnest once he found himself moving as a high school
student to Whitehorse in the Canadian North (see “Never Cry Wolf”).
As a freelance bassoonist Ondrej has performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Toronto Philharmonia, Talisker Players, Orchestra London Canada, and the Hamilton Philharmonic. Prior to moving to Toronto Ondrej has played with the Edmonton Symphony, Calgary Opera, Saskatoon Symphony, and the Royal Canadian Artillery Band at CFB Namao with whom he appears on two CDs. On period instruments he has performed with Nota Bene Orchestra in Kitchener and with the Aradia Ensemble in Toronto with whom he appears on their Naxos recording of Samuel Arnold's opera Polly.
Presently Ondrej is in his 8th season as principal bassoon of the Mississauga Symphony and works as assistant music librarian at the Canadian Opera Company. Previously he was librarian of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for three seasons.
Ondrej studied at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, and has twice participated in the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute.
Outside of music Ondrej is an avid gardener and cyclist, and along with his partner is frequently dragged around the neighbourhood by their two beagle mixes, Patches and Arthur.
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