LSM Newswire

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Canada Council Music Prizes Announced

Tyler Duncan, Michelle Yelin Nam and Jean-Philippe Sylvestre win Canada Council for the Arts music prizes

Ottawa, July 29, 2008 Baritone Tyler Duncan and pianists Michelle Yelin Nam and Jean-Philippe Sylvestre are this years winners of Canada Council for the Arts prizes for young Canadian musicians.

Originally from Prince George (BC), Tyler Duncan is the winner of the $5,000 Bernard Diamant Prize, which offers professional Canadian classical singers under age 35 an opportunity to pursue their careers through further studies. The prize was created in 2001 with funds from a generous bequest to the Canada Council by the late Bernard Diamant, as well as through memorial gifts from a number of his friends, colleagues and former voice students. It is awarded in addition to a regular Canada Council grant to an outstanding young classical singer in the Councils annual competition for Grants to Professional Musicians, classical music category.

Edmonton resident Michelle Yelin Nam is this years winner of the $15,000 Sylva Gelber Foundation Award, established in 1981 by the late Sylva Gelber of Ottawa. Ms. Gelber had a passion for music to which she gave expression in various ways throughout her life. In the late 1970s she established the Sylva M. Gelber Music Foundation which helps young musicians to embark on a professional career. The award is given to the most talented candidate under age 30 in the Councils annual competition for Grants to Professional Musicians, classical music category.

Jean-Philippe Sylvestre of Montreal is the winner of the 2008 Virginia Parker Prize. Worth $25,000, the prize was established in 1982 by Virginia Parker Moore. Moved by her profound love of music and the recognition that talented young musicians need such a prize to help them take a leap forward in their careers, the late Mrs. Moore established the prize for performers of classical music under age 32 , who demonstrate outstanding talent and musicianship.

The three winners were selected by a peer assessment committee consisting of Hlne Fortin (St-Nicolas, QC); Kurt Kellan (Brentwood Bay, BC); Walter Prystawski (Ottawa); and Jeremy Spurgeon (Edmonton).

Images of the winners can be downloaded from the Canada Council image gallery. For a list of previous winners of these prizes, visit our web site at www.canadacouncil.ca/prizes.

Tyler Duncan, baritone

Originally from Prince George (BC), baritone Tyler Duncan carries degrees in music from the University of British Columbia, the Hochschule fuer Musik Augsburg and the Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater in Munich where he studied at the August Everding Bavarian Theatre Academy and studied song interpretation. His versatile voice enables him to sing lieder, opera and oratorio spanning from Monteverdi to Mozart to modern music.

Mr. Duncans performances have taken him throughout Europe and North America. Some highlights include his Carnegie Hall debut, Handel's La Resurrezione for the Handel Festival in Halle, the High Priest in the Strauss adaptation of Mozart's Idomeneo at the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch Partenkirchen, and Bach's Christmas Oratorio Tafelmusik in Toronto. He often performs with pianist Erika Switzer giving recitals in Canada, Germany, Sweden, France and South Africa. Radio recordings can often be heard on the CBC and BR (Bavarian Radio) as well as a recent performance on WGBH Boston. He recently won the 2008 Oratorio Society of New York's Lyndon Woodside Solo Competition. In the 2008/2009 season, his performances will include John Blows Venus and Adonis for the Boston Early Music Festival, Haydns Creation with Orchestre symphonique de Qubec, and Bachs Ich habe genug with Symphony Nova Scotia. www.tylerduncan.ca

Michelle Yelin Nam, pianist

Canadian Korean pianist Michelle Yelin Nam debuted professionally with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 2006. She has completed her undergraduate studies at McGill University and is currently pursuing her Masters degree at the Juilliard School. Since 2006, she has received scholarships from Anne Burrows Fund, Winspear Foundation. She is in demand as soloist in Canada and abroad. Praised for her silvery clarity, (Montreal Gazette) she has been described as playing in the manner of the greats, before reaching their age (La Presse).

Ms. Nam recently won the grand prize at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montral Standard Life Competition (2006) and has since played regularly with the OSM, under the conducting of Heinrich Schiff and Jacques Lacombe. She was featured in a DVD for CBC Records and has had solo appearances at the House of Jeunesses Musicales of Canada (2007) and Orford Art center (2008). In May 2009, she will work with the OSM and perform Mozart Triple Piano Concerto under the direction of Kent Nagano along with Andr Laplante and Alain Lefvre, and will also interpret a world premiere of a commissioned concerto by Jacques Htu.

Jean-Philippe Sylvestre, pianist

Sainte-Julie pianist Jean-Philippe Sylvestre, 26, came to recognition in 2000, winning first prize at the Montreal Symphony Competition and the Peoples Choice Award. The next year, he won second prize at the CBC Young Performer Competition. Since then, Jean-Philippe continued to win awards such as first prize in the Canadian Music Competition and many concerto competitions including the Orchestre Symphonique de la Montrgie, Glenn Gould Schools Concerto Competition and Concertino Praga Competition. Recently, Mr. Sylvestre won first prize at the Concours des Journes de la Musique Franaise. Ķthe young Sylvestre already possesses a complete technique, an extremely powerful playing with a great sonority" (Claude Gingras, Montreals La Presse).

He has appeared at such venues as the Concertgebouw, Salle Wilfrid Pelletier and Salle Pierre-Mercure, Bradshaws Amphitheatre, George Weston Hall and Ottawas NAC and performed with the Montreal Symphony, Orchestre Metropolitan, Longueuil, Trois-Rivire and Royal Conservatory Orchestra. Jean-Philippe has been broadcast by BravoTV, CBC and SRC. A graduate of cole de musique Vincent-dIndy and University of Montreal, he obtained a Bachelor and an Artist Diploma from Torontos Glenn Gould School. He studied at the International Accademia Pianistica in Italy. Equally comfortable in jazz, he lives in Berlin, studying with Louis Lortie. www.jeanphilippesylvestre.com

General information

In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts, the Canada Council for the Arts administers and awards many prizes and fellowships in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, engineering, and arts management. These prizes and fellowships recognize the achievements of outstanding Canadian artists, scholars, and administrators. The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to raising public awareness and celebration of these exceptional people and organizations on both a national and international level.

Please visit our website (www.canadacouncil.ca) for a complete listing of these awards.


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