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Press Releases

Jury Announced For Inaugural Edition of the Graham Sommer Competition For Young Composers

November 14, 2017 | By Shira Gilbert
Shira Gilbert PR

New Works for Piano Quintet to be Performed on September 29, 2018

by Pianist Sara Laimon & The Molinari Quartet

 

CANADIAN COMPOSERS UNDER AGE 35 INVITED TO APPLY BY DECEMBER 1

 

For Immediate Release, November 10, 2017, Montreal, QC … The Schulich School of Music is pleased to announce the prestigious jury for the inaugural edition of the Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers. The new national competition for Canadian composers under the age of 35 is the gift of the late Dr. Graham Sommer, an alumnus of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and an accomplished pianist and devoted music lover. Five composers will be chosen to create new works for piano quintet, earning prizes ranging from $5,000-$15,000 as well as a concert premiere at the Schulich School of Music on September 29, 2018.

The competition jury is chaired by Dr. Brenda Ravenscroft, Dean at the Schulich School of Music, and a specialist in the music of 20th and 21st-century American composers. The jury comprises two Canadian composers, one international composer, a distinguished member of the musical community, and an internationally-recognized performer:

  • Alexina Louie – Well-known Toronto-based composer, whose works written for many of the country’s leading soloists and ensembles have become part of the standard repertoire.
  • Ana Sokolovic – Award-winning composer and Professor of Composition at the University of Montreal. The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) celebrated of her body of work “for the originality of her approach” and for “her appeal to audiences of all ages”.
  • Kinan Azmeh – Virtuoso clarinetist and composer across many genres, and composer-in-residence with the international organization Classical Movements for the 2017-2018 season. 
  • David Pay – Founder and Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Music on Main as well as Artistic Director of ISCM World New Music Days 2017.
  • Barry Shiffman – Acclaimed violinist and violist, Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music at the Glenn Gould School, and Executive Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

A sixth jurist, who will be a member of the concert-going public with a passion for musical creation, will be announced at a later date.

Also now confirmed are the musicians who will premiere the finalists’ works in concert on September 29, 2018:

  • Sara Laimon – Pianist who has performed and recorded internationally, founding member and co-artistic director of the acclaimed New York-based group Sequitur, and faculty member at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.
  • Molinari Quartet – Praised by The Strad (UK) for its “distinctive sound” and “bracing insight,” the string quartet is devoted to the repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries, has commissioned numerous new works, and is the recipient of 18 Opus Prizes from the Conseil Québecois de la musique.

 

About the Competition:

Canadian composers under the age of 35 (born after December 1, 1982), are invited to submit three scores for any standard chamber music configuration by December 1st. On February 15, 2018, the jury will select five composers to create an original work for piano quintet to be completed by August 1. The five new works will be performed in concert at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music on September 29, 2018, which will also be webcast. Each of the composers will receive cash prizes ranging from $5,000-$15,000 each, as well as an additional $5,000 People’s Choice Award. For further information and the application procedure, please see: www.mcgill.ca/gsc

 

About Dr. Graham Sommer:

Dr. Sommer died on October 2, 2016 leaving a legacy of excellence in medicine and an abiding love for the transformative power of music. A native of British Columbia, Sommer graduated from McGill’s Faculty of Medicine in 1972 and went on to positions at Yale and Stanford Universities, becoming a world class researcher for 37 years.  Dr. Sommer’s enduring passion for music has resonated at McGill notably through the Dr. Graham Sommer Piano Fund, which supported the restoration of pianos in McGill residences and the purchase of a new piano for Douglas Hall. While Sommer excelled in his chosen field of medicine, he was inspired by a lifelong love of music fostered by his own accomplishments as a classical pianist and composer.

 

mcgill.ca/gsc/organization

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Shira Gilbert, Press Relations

shira@shiragilbertPR.com 

514.585.3868

 

FOR THE SCHULICH SCHOOL OF MUSIC:

Annie Saumier, Managing Director – Communications and Production

annie.saumier@mcgill.ca

514-398-8933


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