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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 21, No. 1 September 2015

Industry news

by Shira Gilbert / September 1, 2015

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Charles Olivieri-Munroe

New Appointments
Canadian conductor Charles Olivieri-Munroe has been appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, with a three-year contract starting in the 2015-16 season. The University of Toronto graduate is currently in his fourth year as Principal Conductor of Germany’s Philharmonie Sudwestfalen and is Honorary Principal Conductor of the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, which he has led since 1997. Olivieri-Munroe led the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal in 2008.

William Norris is succeeding Tricia Baldwin as Managing Director of Tafelmusik in Toronto. Norris joins the period orchestra and chorus following 10 years with the UK-based Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Gordon Gerrard will join the Regina Symphony Orchestra as music director beginning next year. Maestro Gerrard is currently Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and previously held the post of Resident Conductor and Repetiteur for Calgary Opera.

Pierre Lassonde has been appointed the new Chair of The Canada Council for the Arts’ Board of Directors. A businessman and philanthropist based in Toronto, Lassonde assumes the role immediately for a five-year term. His selection follows the death, in January, of former Chair Joseph L. Rotman.

Awards & Honours
In August, Montreal-based Baroque flutist and recorder player Alexa Raine-Wright was the winner of the Baroque Artist Competition, at the National Flute Association convention in Washington, DC. The previous month, Raine-Wright took 2nd prize at the Mathieu-Duguay Early Music Competition, part of the 40th anniversary celebrations at this year’s Festival International de Musique Baroque in Lamèque, New Brunswick.

The winners of the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal’s (ECM+) 9th biennial Generation composition contest are Taylor Brook (AB/New York), Symon Henry (QC), Sabrina Schroeder (BC/Manchester, UK) and Adam Scime (ON). The four Generation2016 composers have been commissioned to write a new piece for ECM+ and will join the Ensemble on tour next fall to introduce their music to audiences across Canada. The Generation2016 tour begins with a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts (October 16 to 20, 2016), followed by concerts in Lethbridge, Edmonton, Victoria, Vancouver, Montréal, Québec, Toronto, London, and Ottawa.

The 2015 edition of the Montreal International Music Competition, featuring Voice, attracted a glamourous roster of competitors, as well as jurors – legendary mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, conductor Richard Bonynge, and soprano Sumi Jo among them. Following the final round, where the singers were accompanied by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and guest conductor Johannes Debus, tenor Keonwoo Kim of South Korea was declared the first-prize winner. The twenty-nine-year-old is the recipient of a cash prize of $30,000 offered by the City of Montreal. His compatriot, South Korean soprano Hyesang Park, 26, took second prize, in addition to the $5,000 Radio-Canada People’s Choice Award, which was decided by public vote. The top Canadian was 27-year-old soprano France Bellemare, who was awarded the $10,000 third prize, as well as a $5,000 prize for Best Canadian Artist, and the $5,000 Joseph Rouleau Award, for the best artist from Quebec.

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has launched the Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition. The $1,000 prize will be awarded to an unpublished Canadian composer of any age for a work of less than five minutes in length and for SATB choir. The new prize is supported by recently retired Fleming, who had been a member of the choir for 40 years.

The Quatuor Molinari had an impressive 86 entries for its sixth international composition competition. Among the four winners, who will be invited to work with the Quartet in advance of a concert in April, is Canadian Alexandra Fol.

Classical musicians named to the Order of Canada on July 1 include Jacques Israelievitch, former concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux; and harpist Judy Loman.

Toronto oboist Hugo Lee is the recipient of the 2015 Canada Council Michael Measures Prize, an award granted annually to a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Lee was selected for the $25,000 prize from among the 93 musicians in this year’s orchestra. The 21-year-old intends to use his winnings to complete the final year of his bachelor’s degree at the Juilliard School in New York.

The SOCAN Foundation has granted its annual awards to 15 young composers, all under the age of 30. Montreal-based composer Darren James takes this year’s John Weinzweig Grand Prize ($3,000) for his ambitious 72-minute opera Storybook. Other top awards, each valued at $3,000, went to composers Matthew Ricketts, Philippe Macnab-Séguin, and Michael Lukaszuk.

Canadian harpsichordist Mélisande McNabney was awarded the third prize in the Musica Antiqua International Competition, held this summer in Bruges. McNabney earned her doctorate in harpsichord and pianoforte at McGill University, under the guidance of Hank Knox and Tom Beghin.

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