Industry News: October 2016

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by: Shira Gilbert and Kiersten van Vliet

Orchestral Changeups

Conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay is the new Music Director of Montreal’s Orchestre de chambre Appassionata. Daniel Myssyk, also an associate professor and orchestra conductor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, has stepped down from the post after founding the orchestra 15 years ago. Tremblay also remains at the helm of Orchestre de la francophonie.

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Education News

Tim Price is the new Chair of the Board of Directors at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Price is currently also active on two corporate boards, Canadian Tire Corporation and Fairfax Financial Holdings Inc. Dr. Peter Simon, President and CEO of The Royal Conservatory, praised departing Board Chair Michael Foulkes for his seven years of dedicated service.

The Royal Conservatory has also announced a major new initiative: the formation of the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra. The orchestra bring together 10 to 15 musicians from all over the world – all of whom now reside in Toronto – in a special residency throughout the 2016–17 concert season, which will be led by  Juno Award-winning trumpeter, composer, and bandleader David Buchbinder as Artistic Director. The orchestra’s activities will culminate in a concert at Toronto’s Koerner Hall on June 2, in celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial. The musicians will play on instruments from every corner of the globe. Applicants to the unique project included more than 100 musicians from 47 countries.

Major New Prize

The Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) announced a major new addition to its roster of prizes. The Azrieli Foundation has funded the new Joseph-Rouleau Career Development Grant, a $50,000 prize for the next three editions: piano 2017, voice 2018, and violin 2019. This grant will be awarded to the First Prize winner, who will also receive $30,000 in cash from the Ville de Montréal, bringing the total value of the First Prize to $80,000. This career development grant has been created to honour internationally renowned bass Joseph Rouleau, co-founder of the CMIM, for his devotion and contribution to music in Quebec and Canada, and for never ceasing to encourage musical careers. With the creation of the Joseph-Rouleau Career Development Grant, total prizes and awards for the upcoming piano edition exceeds $130,000.


Cellist Joshua Morris is the winner of this year’s Peter Mendell Award from the Jeunesses Musicales Canada Foundation. The $2,500 scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time string student enrolled in a classical music program at one of Quebec’s universities or at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec. A native of Vermont, Morris is currently pursuing a Master’s in Cello Performance with Brian Manker at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music.

On November 26, American minimalist composer Philip Glass will receive The Eleventh Glenn Gould Prize. The biannual prize, presented by the Glenn Gould Foundation and the National Arts Centre is considered “The Nobel Prize of the Arts” because it is given to an individual who has made a “unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts.” The award evening, entitled The Genius of Philip Glass, includes a performance of Glass’s Symphony No. 2 by the NAC Orchestra as well as a performance by young American composer and pianist Timo Andres. Glass has chosen Andres to receive The City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize, valued at $15,000. KVV

Operatic Innovations

Joel Ivany, Photo: Darryl Block

Joel Ivany, Photo: Darryl Block

Along with their 2016–17 season, Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre collective announced a new residency with the Canadian Opera Company. Founder and Artistic Director Joel Ivany’s ground-breaking company will be given a leg up by the well-established COC with access to resources that will help AtG grow and sustain itself in the future. If the residency is successful, COC General Director Alexander Neef has highlighted the possibility of extending the COC’s reach to other independent opera companies in the city. KVV

Vancouver Opera has announced their programming for the inaugural Vancouver Opera Festival, which runs April 28 to May 13, 2017. This change was made in the hopes of appealing to a global audience, taking advantage of Vancouver’s status as a destination city. The Festival will feature three new productions: Verdi’s Otello designed by Erhard Rom, Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking directed by Joel Ivany, and The Marriage of Figaro directed by Rachel Peake and conducted by Leslie Dala. In addition to the productions, the festival has commissioned “Five Octave Range,” an art installation by award-winning Canadian artist Paul Wong that integrates five decades of VO archival materials. Other attractions include vocal performances by German singer and actress Ute Lemper (May 4 & 5) and Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq (May 12), opera choruses by the VO Chorus and VO Orchestra (May 3), documentaries, masterclasses, young composer workshops, and family-friendly programming. KVV

Young Artist Programs

The Atelier lyrique de l’Opera de Montreal welcomes the following young artists for their 2016–17 season: sopranos Myriam Leblanc, Lauren Margison, and Chelsea Rus; mezzo-sopranos Katie Miller and Caroline Gélinas; tenor Keven Geddes; baritones Geoffroy Salvas and Max van Wyck; bass-baritone Nathan Keoughan; pianist Carol-Anne Fraser and stage director and tenor Isabeau Proulx-Lemire. KVV

The COC welcomes seven new additions to their 2016–17 Ensemble Studio: sopranos Danika Lorèn and Samantha Pickett, mezzo-sopranos Emily D’Angelo, Lauren Eberwein, and Megan Quick, baritone Bruno Roy, and pianist Stéphane Mayer. Tenors Aaron Sheppard and Charles Sy, and pianist Hyejin Kwon are returning members. KVV

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