LSM Newswire

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Royal Conservatory Alumna See-Do Park Wins Inaugural Zara Nelsova Memorial Award for Canadian Cellists

Alumna Karen Ouzounian One of Two Other Finalists

Dr. Peter Simon, President of The Royal Conservatory, proudly congratulates Royal Conservatory alumna See-Do Park on winning the 2011 Zara Nelsova Memorial Award for Canadian Cellists, and Karen Ouzounian on being one of two finalists for the award, at the inaugural International Cello Festival of Canada, having occurred June 15-19 in Winnipeg.

“A wonderfully talented musician, Ms. Park is set to become a rising star among classically-trained performers,” says Dr. Simon.

The award is presented to an emerging artist transitioning from student to professional cellist. Award winners receive a solo performance on the final day of the festival, and a performance fee. The winner is also offered a professional debut recital in the Winnipeg Virtuosi Series 2012-13 season and in Winnipeg’s 2012 Music and Beyond Festival. The award jury consists of three renowned cellists, including Desmond Hoebig of Rice University, and Yuri Hooker, Principal Cellist, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Born in California and raised in Korea and Toronto, Ms. Park began playing cello at eight years old. Classically trained at The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory under the tutelage of Bryan Epperson, Ms. Park has performed with The Royal Conservatory Orchestra, the In-Eum Symphony Orchestra of Seoul, and the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, among others. She has also appeared at numerous festivals, including the Banff Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. Ms. Park is currently pursuing her master's degree on a full scholarship at The Juilliard School, and returned to Mr. Epperson in preparation for this festival.

Karen Ouzounian, also a Toronto resident, was one of two finalists for the award. Holding Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, Ms. Ouzounian served as principal cellist of The Juilliard Symphony and has received recognition at the Canadian Music Competition and the Ontario Music Festival. She has also performed at the Marlboro Festival, Casalmaggiore International Festival in Italy, and the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Zara Nelsova, a world-renowned cellist born in Winnipeg who passed away in 2002, enjoyed a prestigious career spanning seven decades, and in 1966 became the first North American cellist to perform in the Soviet Union.

The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performance, and teacher education, the programs of The Royal Conservatory have had a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people globally. In addition, The Royal Conservatory has helped to train a number of internationally celebrated artists including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, David Foster, Sarah McLachlan, Angela Hewitt, and Diana Krall. Motivated by its powerful mission to develop human potential through music and the arts, The Royal Conservatory has emerged over the last two decades as a leader in the development of arts-based programs that address a wide range of social issues. For more information, please visit

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