The SOCAN Foundation recently announced 15 recipients of the 21ST Annual SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers. This year’s competition attracted 167 entries, awarding $29,250 to 15 prizewinners. This year, for the first time ever, a female composer, Zosha Di Castri was co-winner of The John Weinzweig Grand Prize, along with Adam Basanta. The Annual SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers recognize Canadian composers 30 years of age and under for specific musical works in five categories of concert music. The awards will be presented June 20th at an intimate gathering in Montreal.
The SOCAN Foundation competition was judged anonymously in Toronto over three days in May, by a jury of three prominent composers: Alex Pauk of Toronto (music director of that city’s Esprit Orchestra), Laurie Radford (senior instructor in the Department of Music at the University of Calgary), and Chris Paul Harman (professor of composition in the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal).
“When a jury such as this is looking at and listening to so many works,” says jury member Alex Pauk, “the ones that show the highest quality take a definite and clear place at the top of the list in each category. And you wonder, ‘How can this be topped year after year?’ But what it really reveals is that Canadian music is alive and well.”
The John Weinzweig Grand Prize awarded jointly to Quebec-based composers Zosha Di Castri and Adam Basanta celebrates the best overall work submitted in the competition, and is valued at $3,000. The two composers were recognized respectively for their works: Alba, for orchestra (by Di Castri, which also took the $3,000 top prize in the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards category) and Three Myths of Liberalism (an electroacoustic work by Basanta that also won the $3,000 first prize in the Hugh Le Caine Awards category).
First prizes in the remaining categories went to Matthew Ricketts for Graffiti Songs (Serge Garant Awards); Frédéric Le Bel for Maniké (Pierre Mercure Awards); and Marielle Groven for Inondation (Godfrey Ridout Awards).
Additional Award recipients include: Brian Harman (second prize) and Adam Scime (third prize) in the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards; Christopher Goddard and Alec Hall (shared second prize) and Duncan Schouten (third prize) in the Serge Garant Awards; Luke Nickel (second prize) and Ashkan Behzadi (third prize) in the Pierre Mercure Awards; Alec Hall and Christopher Goddard (shared second prize) and Vahram Sargsyan (third prize) in the Godfrey Ridout Awards; and Simon Chioini (second prize) and Guillaume Barrette (third prize) in the Hugh Le Caine Awards. (Recipients’ bios and awards categories attached.)
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to honour and celebrate Canada’s young composers through our annual competition,” says Rick MacMillan, Manager, SOCAN Foundation. “This competition, which is unique in Canada, has enjoyed a long history of cultivating the careers of young composers and we offer our heartfelt congratulations to this year’s award winners. We would also like to express our gratitude to this year’s jury for their dedication to the awards.”