GÉNÉRATION2016: The jury and the audience crown two winners!

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Montreal, November 7, 2016 – Last Thursday, at Quebec City’s Espace Hypérion, Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+), conducted by Véronique Lacroix, held the final of nine concerts of the Generation2016 Tour after a journey in the country’s major cities and a 5-day residency at the Banff Centre, all of which started on October 15. This performance marked the end of this 9th Canadian tour of its kind since 2000 and the beginning of a national career for four Canadian composers. At the end of the tour, two coveted prizes were also awarded: The Generation National JURY Award – a commission from ECM+ along with a $5,000 grant, awarded by votes from 42 experts[1] from the Canadian new music world and spread out through the tour’s nine concerts – and the Generation National AUDIENCE Choice Award – a $1,500 grant, awarded by the cumulative votes of the audience throughout the tour.


National JURY Award

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It was the concertante work of Alberta’s Taylor Brook, Tirant lo Blanc, that brought home the honours with the Generation National JURY Award. With flute and piccolo soloist Marie-Hélène Breault in the forefront accompanied by nine musicians from the ECM+, this piece explores a micro-tonal universe based on principles of “ just intonation ”, all sustained by a slight scordatura of the strings. The jury saluted the piece which, with its harmonic materials ranging from “ pure consonance to the most complex chords ”, unfolds seamlessly and allows the impressive and seductive micro-tonal line of the flute to take flight. With the piece also showing a brilliant orchestration, the composer shows an “ inventive imagination and a great sense of direction ”.

Alberta’s Taylor Brook […] sure knows where he is going. The title of his piece is drawn from a chivalrous Hispanic novel, but his project consists of exploring, through a flute and piccolo concerto (both played by the same instrumentalist) and an orchestra comprising detuned strings, the use of smaller intervals than the tempered ones (microtones). The flutist is solicited from the beginning to the end, and the unusual intervals give place to intriguing moods.

Christophe Huss, Le Devoir, October 28, 2016, Montreal


National AUDIENCE Choice Award

The public was seduced by Bone Games – shy Garden, by Sabrina Schroeder, a piece half-way between the acoustic and electronic worlds characterized by a scarce use of resources which emphasized the “ abyssal and mysterious character of the different sound grains, in fifty shades of gray ” (Christophe Huss, Le Devoir).

Sabrina Schroeder’s piece marked the end of concert […] This piece made the room, along with the hearts of the Toronto audience, who warmly applauded, vibrate.

Normand Babin, cettevilleetrange.org, November 2, 2016


Generation National LAUNCH Grant:

The two other composers, Symon Henry (QC) and Adam Scime (ON), each received a Generation National LAUNCH Grant of $500 to highlight their full commitment to the project as well as the remarkable quality of their respective pieces, debout, un respir grand comme and Liminal Pathways.


The Canadian tour in review

During this cross-country journey, a total of 832 spectators attended the ECM+’s Generation2016 concerts. The program, hosted with expertise and humour by composer and vocalist Gabriel Dharmoo, fired the enthusiasm of the different audiences and jury members who mentioned the high level of each of the Generation2016 pieces as well as the now-recognized essential nature of the ECM+ project in developing Canada’s young musical creativity.

If I had to choose another winner amongst this iteration of Generation2016, my vote would go to ECM+ and its Artistic director, Véronique Lacroix. […] one can only recognize that her ensemble, along with what she does with it, is, at all times, ground-breaking.

Normand Babin, cettevilleetrange.org, November 2, 2016

Hats off to the ECM+, to Véronique Lacroix and to her musicians […] for their commitment and for their choice of substrate [the composers], of an interesting variety.

Christophe Huss, Le Devoir, October 28, 2016


A few words about Taylor Brook

Originally from Alberta, Taylor Brook currently lives in New York, where he is finishing a doctorate in composition at Columbia University, with Fred Lerdahl. He also holds a master’s degree from McGill University. His pieces, presented around the world, have been described as “ stunning ” and “ captivating ” by the New York Times. Amongst the numerous ensembles which interpreted his music, let’s name the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+), the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), the Bozzini Quartet, the JACK Quartet, the MIVOS quartet, the Talea ensemble and the Ascolta ensemble. His current projects include the composition of a new piece for the New Thread Saxophone Quartet as well as a new strings quartet for the JACK Quartet. For more details, visit www.taylorbrookmusic.com.

A few words about Sabrina Schroeder

Originally from the West coast, Sabrina Schroeder is actively involved in collective initiatives for composers and performers who show written and improvised pieces. She has also worked as a coordinator for teen music groups and has taught sound and media art at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in upstate New York. This year, she will tackle projects with the International Contemporary Ensemble (New York/Chicago), the Americas Society (New York), the Distractfold Ensemble (UK), Steve Schick, the ICE ensemble and the JACK Quartet. She currently resides in Manchester, in the UK, where she teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music. For more details, visit www.sabrinaschroeder.com.

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Voting members of the Generation2016 National JURY Award


Nicolas Gilbert, Composer and Professor – Conservatoire de musique de Montréal

Manon Lafrance, Director – Conservatoire de musique de Montréal

Philippe Leroux, Composer and Professor – McGill University

Jean Lesage, Composer and Professor – McGill University

Pierre Michaud, Composer, Professor and Head of the mixed composition program – University of Montreal

John Rea, Composer and Professor – McGill University

Pierre-Olivier Roy, Artistic Director – Erreur de Type 27

ECM+ musicians (3 votes)


Robert Aitken, Artistic Director and Founder – New Music Concerts

John Armstrong, Composer and Professor – University of Ottawa

Paul Frehner, Composer and Professor – Western University

Adrian Fung, Vice-President, Innovation – Toronto Symphony Orchestra

James Harley, Composer and Professor, University of Kitchener-Waterloo

David Jaeger, Producer, retired – CBC / Radio-Canada

Gary Kulesha, Composer and Professor – University of Toronto

Kelly-Marie Murphy – Composer

Dáirine Ní Mheadhra, Artistic Director – Queen of Puddings Music Theatre

Gregory Oh, Artistic Director – Toca Loca

Norbert Palej, Composer, Professor and Head of the composition department – University of Toronto

Annalee Patipatanakoon, Violinist – Gryphon Trio

Alex Pauk, Musical Director, Head and Founder – Esprit Orchestra

Sean Rice, Clarinettist – National Arts Centre Orchestra

Stefani Truant, Associate Artistic Administrator – National Arts Centre Orchestra 


Ian Crutchley, Composer

Scott Smallwood, Composer and Professor – University of Alberta

  1. Andrew Stewart, Composer and Professor – University of Lethbridge

Andriy Talpash, Composer, Professor and Head of New Compositions – University of Alberta

Mark Wold, General Manager – Banff Centre


Dániel Peter Biro, Composer and Professor – University of Victoria

Christopher Butterfield, Composer and Professor – University of Victoria

Dorothy Chang, Composer and Professor – University of British Columbia

Keith Hamel, Composer and Professor – University of British Columbia

Jeff Ryan, Composer

Jocelyn Morlock, Composer

David Pay, Artistic Director – Music on Main

Bob Pritchard, Composer and Professor – University of British Columbia

Joseph Salem, Assistant Professor – University of Victoria

Farshid Samandari, Artistic Director – Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra

Rodney Sharman, Composer

Owen Underhill, Composer and Professor – Simon Fraser University

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