LSM Newswire

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

NACO 2009 Bursary Competition winners announced.


The National Arts Centre (NAC) has announced the winners of the 2009 NAC Orchestra Bursary Competition following the finals held on Tuesday, May 19 in the NAC Salon. Eight finalists had been chosen from the 32 contestants heard in preliminary auditions held on May 16 and 17. The grand prize-winner of the 2009 NACO Bursary ($7,000) is Daniel Parker, cello (age 16).

This year’s winner of the Harold Crabtree Foundation Award of $5,000 is Antoine Malette-Chénier, harp (age 17). The Friends of the NAC Orchestra Award ($3,000) went to Lara Deutsch, flute (age 18), while Christopher Graham, trombone (age 22) won the NAC Vic Pomer Award ($2,000). The Piccolo Prix ($1,000) went to Denise Sun, bassoon (age 23). The NACO Special Prize for the best performance of prescribed orchestral excerpts went to Christopher Graham, trombone (age 22).

Honourable mentions of $150 went to Yolanda Bruno, violin (age 19), Emilie Grimes, viola (age 19) and Tamsin Johnston, English horn (age 24).

The Bursary Committee and Jury were chaired by Vernon G. Turner, Canada’s former Ambassador to the USSR and to Israel, and an active volunteer at the National Arts Centre.

The 2009 Bursary Committee consisted of NAC Orchestra concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki, violin Jessica Linnebach (upper strings), bassist Murielle Bruneau (lower strings), flutist Emily Smethurst (winds), French horn Jill Kirwan (brass and percussion), and Ross Francis, (Friends of NACO representative). The Committee included Kelly Abercrombie as the NAC Music representative. The Jury included Turner and Francis (non-voting members), and also included special guests Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer (music critic) and Rosalind Sartori (former NACO cellist), and special advisors Lucile Brais and Kenneth Simpson (non-voting members). Violinist Sally Benson replaced Jessica Linnebach who withdrew for conflict of interest.

The National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) Bursary Competition was first held in 1981. The NACO Bursary was created by the musicians of the NAC Orchestra as a gesture of appreciation to the audiences who had been so supportive to the Orchestra during its first decade. It is meant to provide recognition and financial support to help further the development of young Canadian orchestral musicians who have connections to the National Capital Region (NCR). In subsequent years thanks to the generosity of additional organizations and individuals, other prizes have been added for a total in 2009 of $18,750. These prizes, in addition to the NACO Bursary, are the Harold Crabtree Foundation Award, created in 2003 by this Foundation which strongly believes in the importance of helping young people; the Friends of the NAC Orchestra Award created in 1993 to celebrate the Orchestra’s 25th anniversary season; the NAC Vic Pomer Award commemorating one of the founding violinists of NACO and a dedicated teacher who died in 2001 at age 70; the Piccolo Prix provided “to encourage and support our young artists” by NAC volunteer and Donors Circle member Cav. Pasqualina Pat Adamo, and the NACO Special Prize for the best performance of prescribed orchestral excerpts.

All prizes are intended for music students aged 16 to 24 whose principal or family residence is in the National Capital Region, or who have been following a recognized course of music study in the NCR in the previous year in preparation for careers as professional orchestral musicians. Each year, a jury identifies deserving recipients through audition and selection.

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