LSM Newswire

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chris Paul Harman wins 2007 Jules Lą©ger Prize for New Chamber Music

[Ottawa] January 22, 2008 - The Canada Council for the Arts announced today that the work Postludio a rovescio by composer Chris Paul Harman is the winner of the 2007 Jules Lą©ger Prize for New Chamber Music. Postludio a rovescio was commissioned in 2006 by the Nieuw Ensemble, and will receive its Canadian premiere under the baton of Robert Aitken on April 11 at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. It is the second time Mr. Harman has won the prize (the first time was in 2001 for Amerika).

Awarded annually in partnership with the Canada Council, Canadian Music Centre and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Socią©tą© Radio-Canada, the Jules Lą©ger Prize for New Chamber Music is designed to encourage the creation of new Canadian chamber music and to foster its performance by Canadian chamber groups. The $7,500 prize was established in 1978 by the Right Honourable Jules Lą©ger, then Governor General of Canada.

"Postludio a rovescio, scored for an instrumental ensemble favouring plucked instruments, is an elaboration of an earlier work I had composed for solo violin," said Mr. Harman. "The source material for both works is drawn from the Passacaglia for solo violin by Heinrich Biber. The title, meaning 'inside out postlude' in Italian, refers to the way in which many of the structural and gestural elements of Biber's original music have been 'inverted' in my own work."

The competition for the prize is administered by the Canadian Music Centre. The Canada Council funds the award, selects the peer assessment committee and organizes the prize presentation ceremony. Every year, the winning work is broadcast nationally by CBC Radio 2 and Espace musique, Radio-Canada's music network.

The prize will be presented to Mr. Harman on Friday, April 11 at 8 p.m. during a concert by New Music Concerts at Glenn Gould Studio, in the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto. Postludio a rovescio will be broadcast by CBC Radio 2 on the April 14 edition of The Signal, with host Laurie Brown, between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. and on Espace Musique at a later date.

The members of the peer assessment committee for the 2007 Jules Lą©ger Prize were violinist Jeremy Bell (Waterloo), composer Gregory Lee Newsome (Toronto) and composer Clark Ross (St. John's, NL). The committee was a "blind jury" which evaluated the works without knowing the names of the composers.

The jury said "this piece is a sonic tour-de-force, well-structured, and developing in a convincing and imaginative way. It is a truly impressive composition, filled with sonic treats that keep the listener's interest throughout."

The jury made a special mention of two other works submitted for the Jules Lą©ger Prize. They described per essere fresco by Giorgio Magnanensi (Roberts Creek, BC) as "a unique, sonic melee of tremendous virtuosity, demonstrating a powerful artistic vision." This is the second consecutive year that Giorgio Magnanensi is the first runner-up for this work.

The jury also praised Nicole Lizą©e of Lachine, Quebec for her work This will not be televised which "assimilates elements of club/urban, pop and contemporary classical music in a fresh and convincing way."

Previous winners of the Jules Lą©ger Prize include James Rolfe, Linda Catlin Smith, Patrick Saint-Denis, ą‚ric Morin, Yannick Plamondon, Andrą© Ristic, Alexina Louie, Michael Oesterle, Omar Daniel, Christos Hatzis, John Burke, Peter Paul Koprowski, Bruce Mather, John Rea, Donald Steven, Michael Colgrass, Denys Bouliane, Michel Longtin,
Brian Cherney, John Hawkins, Walter Boudreau, Serge Garant and R. Murray Schafer.

Chris Paul Harman
Chris Paul Harman was born in 1970 in Toronto where he studied classical guitar, cello and electronic music with Barton Wigg, Alan Stellings and Wes Wraggett, respectively. His works have been performed by many ensembles and orchestras in Canada and abroad, including the Asko Ensemble, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Esprit Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the New Music Concerts Ensemble, the Noordhollands Philharmonisch, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

In 1986, Mr. Harman was a finalist in the CBC Radio National Competition for Young Composers. In 1990, he was the Grand Prize Winner in that same competition for his work Iridescence, which was the selected work in the category for Composers under 30 years of age at the 1991 International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. At the International Rostrum of Composers in 2004, his Concerto for Oboe and Strings was chosen as a Recommended Work in the general category. As a result, both works have been broadcast in some 25 countries.

In 2001, Mr. Harman's work Uta received an honourable mention at the Gaudeamus International Music Week. The same year, his work Amerika was awarded the Jules Lą©ger Prize and was short listed for the Prix de Composition de la Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco.

In 2005, Mr. Harman was appointed Assistant Professor of Composition at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal.

General information
In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts in Canada, the Canada Council administers awards and fellowships to over 200 artists and scholars annually in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, and engineering. Among these are the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts, the Killam Prizes, the Killam Research Fellowships, the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes, the Governor General's Literary Awards and the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts. Other music awards include the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award, the Virginia Parker Prize, the Bernard Diamant Prize, and loans of fine stringed instruments through the Musical Instrument Bank.

For more information about these awards, including nomination procedures, contact Janet Riedel Pigott, Acting Director of Endowments and Prizes, at 613-566-4414, or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 5041, e-mail:; or
Carole Breton, Acting Endowments and Prizes Officer, at 613-566-4414, or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4116, e-mail:

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Media Contact: Heather McAfee: 613-566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4523


Donna Balkan: 613-566-4305 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4134


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Tous les documents du Conseil des Arts du Canada sont offerts en franąŖais et en anglais.

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