Mother-daughter team, Christine Mori and Alexis Spieldenner, are a dynamic duo committed to fulfilling their dream of making Niagara-on-the-Lake a destination for innovative musical performance of the highest calibre. Christine, a veteran musician with over 30 years in the music industry, and Alexis, a harpist and recent graduate of Duke University, bring together their own individual talents and expertise as founders of Bravo Niagara!.
Christine's diverse musical career started with early studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with renowned teachers Boris Berlin and Murtle Guerrero. As a young student, she was one of ten students accepted to the Andre Watts Piano Seminar at Tanglewood. She also was accepted to the Aspen Music Festival, Salzburg Mozarteum, and later The Juilliard School where she studied with Ania Dorfmann and Joseph Raieff.
Upon graduation from Juilliard, Christine began her career with the Florida Orchestra where she performed as principal pianist for almost 30 years. She performed solo concerts with artists ranging from Isaac Stern to Branford Marsalis and worked along such notable artists as Marvin Hamlisch, Henri Mancini, Steve Allen, Victor Borge, Roberta Flack, Bobby McFerrin, as well as world-renowned classical violinists Shlomo Mintz, Robert McDuffie, Dene Olding and Nigel Kennedy.
As an educator, she is committed to promoting the love of music and coaching aspiring young musicians. She has accompanied and mentored hundreds of pianists and instrumentalists throughout her career.
Bravo Niagara! begins a new chapter in Christine’s musical career that reconnects her with her Canadian roots. She is very excited to bring her experience, passion and love of music to the community of Niagara-on-the-Lake and hopes that her innovative approach to the concert-going experience will attract new audiences and ensure a life-long appreciation of the arts.
Alexis Spieldenner is a harpist and graduate of Duke University who believes strongly in the power of music for social change. As the "musician's kid," Alexis spent much of her childhood growing up backstage. Her mother, a classically trained Juilliard pianist, and father, a jazz guitarist trained at Berklee College of Music, instilled in her a love for both classical and jazz. At the age of five, she began her harp studies and, by age 11, Alexis made her professional debut alongside her mother as they joined together to form Trio Dolce Vita. Originally from Tampa, Florida, Alexis served as the principal harpist for the St. Petersburg Opera Company from 2004-2009, during which she performed Madame Butterfly, La Bohème, and Carmen, among others.
While at Duke, Alexis was selected to participate in Service Opportunities in Leadership (SOL), a nationally recognized undergraduate leadership program at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Through SOL, Alexis partnered with KidZNotes, an El Sistema-inspired program in Durham, North Carolina, dedicated to enriching the lives of children in poverty through free classical, orchestral music education. Inspired to strengthen Duke’s institutional partnership with KidZNotes, Alexis worked alongside Duke University’s Vice Provost for the Arts, as well as other university leaders, to explore avenues for Duke’s involvement and assist in music and social entrepreneurship initiatives. This project culminated in the “Take a Stand” symposium on El Sistema, music, and social entrepreneurship at Duke in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bard College, and Longy School of Music.
In May 2013, Alexis graduated with high distinction from Duke with a B.A. in International Comparative Studies and minor in Japanese. She studied the Salzedo Method under harpist Laura Byrne, a student of the legendary harpist Alice Chalifoux, and performed as harpist for the Duke Symphony Orchestra. Alexis now performs for weddings and events throughout the Niagara Region as “Lady with a Harp Niagara” in addition to working as Sales Administrator for Brookfield Residential at The Village. She is thrilled to launch Bravo Niagara! and excited for the journey ahead!