LSM Newswire

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

RCM to confer Fellowships on R.Murray Schafer, Steven Staryk and John Perry

Composer R. Murray Schafer, Violinist Steven Staryk and Pianist John Perry to Receive Honorary Fellowships from The Royal Conservatory of Music
Convocation Ceremony for Class of 2007 to be held Saturday, January 26

Toronto, January 22, 2008 - Internationally acclaimed Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, Canadian-born violinist Steven Staryk and American pianist John Perry will be named Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) at the Convocation Ceremony which will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 26 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in North York. This year's honourees join a distinguished group of colleagues including the late Oscar Peterson, Mario Bernardi, Mme. Aline Chrą©tien, Adrienne Clarkson, Maureen Forrester, Teresa Stratas, A.Charles Baillie, David Mirvish, Thomson Highway and Robertson Davis.

In conferring the honorary fellowships, Dr. Peter Simon, President of The Royal Conservatory of Music said, "These three extraordinary artists have made a substantial contribution to the development of music and music education in Canada, earning them the affection of the music community, the recognition of their peers and the respect of this country. All three have very strong links with the Conservatory, having studied and taught here. Thanks to their contribution, the Conservatory continues to have an immense impact on the cultural and social life of our entire nation."

RCM graduates from as far away as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Moose Jaw, Winnipeg, Montreal and Fredericton, as well as from communities across Ontario, travelled to Toronto to take part in the Convocation ceremonies. Each of the RCM graduates receives an ARCT certificate, becoming an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, an internationally recognized certificate for teaching or performing.

This year's Convocation Ceremony will also feature a special performance by a 15-year old violinist Bora Kim, a student at the Conservatory's Young Artists Academy (YAPA) and a recipient of the RCME Gold Medal for Excellence in Theory.

Founded in 1886, The Royal Conservatory of Music is the largest and oldest independent arts educator in Canada, serving more than 500,000 active participants each year. To provide an even wider reach for its programs, the Conservatory has launched the Building National Dreams Campaign to restore its Victorian home and to build a state-of-the-art performance and learning centre.

Opening in 2008, the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning will be one of the world's greatest arts and education venues and a wonderful resource for all Canadians. Designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB), this stunning facility will feature new academic and performance space, including an acoustically perfect 1,140-seat concert hall, new studios and classrooms, a new media centre, library and rehearsal hall. Technologically sophisticated, it will be the heart of creative education in Canada.

Biographical Sketches of Honorary Fellows:

Pianist John Perry earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the Eastman School of Music. Mr. Perry has achieved considerable acclaim as a touring and recording artist and has won numerous prizes in international competitions. He has performed extensively throughout Europe and North America. Mr. Perry records for labels including Telefunken, Musical Heritage Society, CBC, Fox and ACA, which recently released his recording of three major American works for piano solo: Paul Cooper's Sinfonia, Sam Jones' Sonata for Piano, and the Piano Sonata of Donald Keats. As a respected chamber musician, Mr. Perry collaborates with some of the world's finest instrumentalists.

He has also attained an international reputation as a teacher, presenting master classes throughout the world. His students have been first prize winners in major competitions including the Rubinstein, Music Teachers' National Association, Naumburg Chopin National competition, Beethoven Foundation competition, Federated Music Clubs, the Young Keyboard Artists Association, American Music Society Competition and Young Musicians Foundation.

John Perry is a faculty member of the Colbourn School for Performing Arts, a frequent guest faculty member at the Banff Centre, artist-faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival, the Sarasota Festival and the Holland Music Sessions. During the academic year, he is a faculty member of the Thornton School of Music, the University of Southern California and The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

R. Murray Schafer
has earned a reputation as one of Canada's most important composers and music educators. His works have ranged from orchestral compositions and choral music to musical theatre and multi-media productions. He has won national and international acclaim not only for his musical compositions, but also as a dramatist, educator, environmentalist, literary scholar and visual artist. Born in Sarnia, Ontario, Mr. Schafer suppressed a youthful urge to become a painter to study music at The Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto and obtained a piano degree from the Royal College of Music in London, England. During his stays in Vienna and London between 1956 and 1961, he taught himself journalism, languages, literature, music and philosophy.

His diversity of interests is reflected by the enormous range and depth of such works as Loving (1965), Lustro (1972), Music for Wilderness Lake (1979), Flute Concerto (1984), and the World Soundscape Project, as well as his 12-part Patria music theatre cycle. His most important book, The Tuning of the World (1977), documents the findings of the World Soundscape Project, which united the social, scientific and artistic aspects of sound and introduced the concept of acoustic ecology.

His many honours include the Fromm Foundation Award in 1972, the Canadian Music Council Medal in 1972, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1974, the William Harold Moon Award in 1974, the Composer of the Year Award from the Canadian Music Council in 1976, the Jules Lą©ger Prize for New Chamber Music in 1977 (for String Quartet No. 2, Waves). In 1980, he received the Prix Honegger for String Quartet No.1 and in 1987 he became the first recipient of the triennial Glenn Gould Prize for Music and its Communication. In 1993, he received the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize and in 1999 he became the recipient of the Louis Applebaum Composer's Award. In 2005, he won the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts. R. Murray Schafer also holds honorary doctorates from universities in Canada, France and Argentina.

A renowned teacher, acclaimed orchestral and chamber musician, and international soloist, Steven Staryk is considered a leading Canadian-born violinist of his generation. He has won the respect of his peers and of the critics for his virtuosity and orchestral leadership.

Mr. Staryk made his recital debut for CBC radio at 14 and at 17 he performed Paganini's Concerto No. 1 with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra at Massey Hall. In 1956, he was runner-up in the International Competition for Musical Performers in Geneva. He was runner-up again at the Carl Flesch International Competition in London.

Following the competition in London, he became concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 24 - the youngest in its history. This earned him the title of the "king of concertmasters" from the prestigious Strad magazine. He went on to serve as concertmaster of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Staryk is also a well known master teacher and has taught at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Northwestern University and the American Conservatory in Chicago. He became the youngest full professor at Oberlin College Conservatory in Ohio. He served as a head of the string department at the Vancouver Academy of Music and taught at the University of Victoria.

His other teaching positions include the University of Ottawa, the University of Western Ontario, The Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto. His teaching career culminated with the University of Washington in Seattle, which conferred on him its distinguished Teaching Award, the first ever given to a professor in its School of Music.

Mr. Staryk was a member of the Oberlin String Quartet, a founding member of Quartet Canada, led the CBC String Quartet and formed the Staryk-Perry Duo with pianist John Perry. Steven Staryk also served as the first Canadian adjudicator for the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1982.

Media Contact:
Jack Kado, Director of Public Relations
Tel. 416-408-2824 ext. 461; email:

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