LSM Newswire

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OSM / Standard Life Competition

Launch of the 69th edition of the OSM Standard Life Competition

A record number of entries, and candidates from all across Canada

Standard Life renews its commitment for 5 years

Montreal, Tuesday, November 25, 2008 The launch of the 69th edition of the OSM Standard Life Competition took place today. The event is being held from November 26 to 29 at Tanna Schulich Hall in the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. This Canada-wide competition is the only one to offer more than $100,000 in prizes and grants and the chance to perform with the OSM. It is dedicated this year to woodwinds, brass and voice. For this 69th edition, a record number of 121 candidates from all regions of Canada entered the Competition.

After blind auditions, 24 semi-finalists between the ages of 19 and 30 were selected. The president of the Competition, Mr. Jean lie, revealed the names of the chosen candidates: Over the next few days these 24 promising young musicians will be experiencing great emotions. As in every competition, there will not be only winners. But what matters is the richness of the moments the candidates enjoy in our company. In a healthy spirit of competitiveness and self-transcendence, these young artists will be giving their very best and will benefit from the recommendations of a national and international jury of the highest calibre. We are especially proud, this year, to be welcoming a record number of candidates, who hail from all over Canada.

The jury, of great prestige, is under the chairmanship of Welz Kauffman, president and CEO of Ravinia Festival outside Chicago. It brings together performers, veteran teachers and players on the musical scene like Maestro Kent Nagano, Renata Scotto, Franoise Pollet and Jean-Pierre Brossmann.

Standard Life, title sponsor for the next 5 years

The grants awarded to first-prize winners in each of the categories are offered by Standard Life, sponsor of the event. At the launch of the 69th edition of the OSM Standard Life Competition, the Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada announced the renewal of its sponsorship of the acclaimed Canadian musical competition. Standard Life has supported this event since 1992 and will continue to serve as the title sponsor for at least five more years.

Standard Lifes community investments are highly focused on expanding the potential of young Canadians, and Im convinced that our commitment to the Competition will continue to respond to our objectives in the years ahead, stated Joseph Iannicelli, president and chief executive officer of Standard Life. It is gratifying for us at Standard Life to have been able to help young Canadian musicians succeed by opening up possibilities for them that they might not otherwise have even imagined.

The chief executive officer of the OSM, Madeleine Careau, stressed the significance of the renewal of this partnership with Standard Life: The commitment for the next five years of a company as important as Standard Life is proof that the Competition is on peoples minds all over Canada and that it has become an essential step for all young musicians who aspire to a performing career. The names of winners down through the years are proof of this. Moreover, over the years the Competition has attracted judges of great reputation and loyal partners. I wish to thank those invaluable collaborators most sincerely for their generosity and their constant support, especially Standard Life, our title sponsor since 1992; our principal partner, Espace musique; our major partner, the Schulich School of Music at McGill University; as well as Yamaha Canada.

November 30: free chamber-music concert

The semi-finals, the finals and the master classes are open to the public and free of charge. They take place from November 26 to 29 at Tanna Schulich Hall in the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. Moreover, in light of the great success enjoyed last year, the OSM Standard Life Competition will once more be presenting a chamber-music concert, on Sunday, November 30 at 7 p.m. in Redpath Hall at McGill University. This free concert closes the Competition and is a wonderful opportunity to hear the winner of the 2008 edition OSM Standard Life Grand Prize winner. Other musicians featured are soprano Aline Kutan, trombonist Alain Trudel, trumpeter Jens Lindemann, clarinettist James Campbell and violinist Andrew Wan, winner of the 68th edition of the Competition and recently appointed concertmaster at the OSM. The detailed program can be found in an appendix.

Espace musique: principal partner

Espace musique, the music radio service of Radio-Canada, is joining forces with the OSM for the second year in a row in the capacity of principal partner of the Competition. Espace Musique will be offering the winner of the OSM Standard Life Grand Prize the chance to record a demo CD or DVD in one of its studios. In addition, the music service will broadcast this recording and promote the winner over Radio-Canada. Also, the concert on January 11 featuring the winner of this 69th edition will be recorded by Espace musique.

Over $100,000 in prizes


The total value of the prizes awarded to the winners is $100,000. In addition to the one-of-a-kind opportunity of performing in a concert with the OSM under the direction of English conductor Mark Wigglesworth on January 11, 2009, the grand-prize winner will also have the privilege of appearing in 2009-2010 with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra directed by Marc David, of presenting a recital at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre in Yellowknife in 2009-2010, as well as a recital at the Orford Arts Centre in 2009.

Background

Since its creation in 1940, the OSM Standard Life Competition organized jointly by the OSM Volunteer Committee and the OSM has launched the careers of nearly 300 prize-winners on the national and international scene: Andr Laplante, Angela Cheng, Louis Lortie, Angle Dubeau, Lyne Fortin, Jean-Franois Rivest, James Ehnes, and more recently Andrew Wan, to give some examples. Intimately connected with the history of the Orchestra, and attracting prestige partners and judges of great reputation, the Competition continues to carry out the educational mission fostered by Wilfrid Pelletier, conductor and the first music director of the OSM.

The OSM Standard Life Competition is open to all the instruments of the orchestra and is intended for all young Canadian performers. It is one of the few competitions to offer contestants three prize categories: cash grants totalling more than $55,000, training grants enabling artists to learn in greater depth; the chance to be offered professional engagements, and finally the enormous privilege of performing before an audience with the Orchestre symphonique de Montral and being broadcast on the radio by Radio-Canada.

Attending the launch of the 69th edition today were Maestro Kent Nagano; the president of the OSM Standard Life Competition, Mr. Jean lie; the chief executive officer of the OSM, Ms. Madeleine Careau; the Vice-president, External Communications and Public Affairs, at Standard Life, Mr. Vincenzo Ciampi; the deputy advisor for culture and for the downtown area of the City of Montreal, Ms. Catherine Svigny; the head of programming at Espace Musique, the music radio service of Radio-Canada, Ms. Anne Srode; the Dean of McGill Universitys Schulich School of Music, Mr. Don McLean; and several members of the jury.

About Standard Life

The first life insurance company to transact business in Canada, in 2008 Standard Life marks its 175th year of operations. With 10,000 employees globally, Standard Life plc is a major international financial services group headquartered in Scotland. The firm provides asset-managing services for retirement, investment and protection to some seven million customers around the world. It has offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India and China, including Hong Kong. The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada is Standard Life plc's largest operation outside the U.K., with 2,000 employees based in Montreal and across Canada, serving more than 1.3 million Canadians, including group insurance and pension plan participants. (www.standardlife.ca)

The Orchestre symphonique de Montral is presented by Hydro-Qubec

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