August 8, 2018: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and Interim Artistic Director Sir Andrew Davis proudly announce that Canadian composer Emilie LeBel has been selected as the TSO’s new Affiliate Composer. Described as having a “deft compositional hand, unwilling to hurry ideas,” and a style that is “impressively subtle and sensuous,” Emilie LeBel specializes in concert-music composition focusing on textural landscapes, resonance, and variances in colour.
The Affiliate Composer position is the most significant and prestigious opportunity for an emerging composer in Canada, as it provides a chance to compose two works for one of the country’s finest orchestras, allows them to gain insights into the complexities of programming at the highest artistic level, and catapults them into [inter]national prominence. In the role of TSO Affiliate Composer, Emilie LeBel will be fully integrated into all areas of the organization, with access to the inner workings of a major symphony orchestra. Earlier this year, the TSO had an open call for applications that was met with an overwhelming response. A highly sought-after position, this two-year residency fosters the development of artists and represents an important investment in the Canadian arts community. Ms. LeBel succeeds Jordan Pal, who held the position of RBC Affiliate Composer with the TSO from September 2015 to August 2018. Mr. Pal is now enjoying a thriving career, and working on a number of commissions—including a new work for the TSO to première in May 2019.
As the TSO Affiliate Composer, Emilie LeBel will work closely with Sir Andrew Davis, Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha, and the artistic staff of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. During her term with the TSO, Emilie will compose at least two works for the Orchestra. Her first work will première in January 2019. She will also participate in educational work with young audiences as part of the TSO’s community-engagement programs.
“Emilie is one of the most exciting young talents in the world of contemporary composition. Her music reflects her intelligence and audaciousness,” says Sir Andrew Davis. “Emilie brings to us her exceptional energy and versatility. Already known as an engaging communicator and respected for her passionate advocacy work, she will be a brilliant ambassador for the TSO. I am thrilled to welcome Emilie to the TSO’s artistic team.”
Emilie LeBel’s compositions have been performed/recorded across North and South America, Europe, and the UK, by Mark Takeshi McGregor, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Cecilia String Quartet, Plumes Ensemble, Quatuor Bozzini, Arditti Quartet, Land’s End Ensemble, Awea Duo, Luciane Cardassi, Mira Benjamin, Black House Collective, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Onyx Trio, 21C Festival, Winnipeg New Music Festival, and junctQín keyboard collective, among others. Emilie’s artistic practice has been recognized through significant awards, including the Land’s End Ensemble Composer Competition (2016), Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award (2015), Canadian Music Centre Toronto Emerging Composer Award (2012), and the Canadian Federation of University Women Elizabeth Massey Award (2012). Her work has received support through grants from the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, The Banff Centre, Canadian Music Centre, University of Toronto, University of Montana, and the SOCAN Foundation.
Emilie completed a Doctorate in composition at the University of Toronto, a BFA and MA in music at York University, and an Honours Diploma in audio engineering at Harris Institute for the Arts. In July 2018, she began her appointment as Assistant Professor of Composition at MacEwan University. She previously taught at the University of Montana, University of Toronto Scarborough, McMaster University, and the Regent Park School of Music. She presently serves on the Canadian Music Centre Ontario Regional Advisory Council.
The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.
The TSO gratefully acknowledges the RBC Foundation for its generous support of emerging artists through the RBC Resident Conductor and RBC Affiliate Composer.
Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s foremost cultural institutions. The TSO has distinguished itself as an active supporter of new Canadian and international works. Since 2008, the Orchestra has released eight recordings under its self-produced label, tsoLive, and three recordings with Chandos Records. Over the past decade, the TSO has toured throughout Canada and internationally. Recent tour highlights include the Orchestra’s performance at Reykjavik’s Harpa Hall in 2014, and the TSO’s first-ever performances in Israel and residency at the Prague Spring International Music Festival in 2017. Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall has been the TSO’s home since 1982. The TSO also serves the larger community with TSOUNDCHECK, the original under-35 ticket program; the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra; and music-education programs that reach tens of thousands of students each year.