It is with tremendous emotion and enthusiasm that we begin 2008, the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Music Competition. The theme for the year is “Growing with Music.”
During this celebratory year, we are privileged to have Marc-André Hamelin, the internationally renowned pianist, as our Artistic Ambassador. He graciously accepted our invitation, which was also our way of paying tribute to him for his most remarkable career. Earlier this year, the Phono-Académie awarded him the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis for his entire discography. I invite you to read his message that speaks to his stimulating experience and his appreciation of the Canadian Music Competition.
The 2008 edition of the competition will also include the International Stepping Stone. This very prestigious competition is held every two years and welcomes young musicians just starting out on their career. Of these young musicians, 50 will be chosen by a selection committee to perform before five judges during the first elimination that will run from June 15 to 20, 2008. The judges will select 16 musicians to perform in the Semi-Final on June 21 and 22, and six will then go on to the Final on the evenings of June 24 and 25. All of the eliminations will take place at Université Laval’s Louis-Jacques-Casault pavilion in Quebec City. Cash prizes totalling $17,750 will be provided by BMO Financial Group. In addition to the $8,000 first place prize, the grand prize winner will undertake a three-week residency at The Banff Centre and perform with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, conducted by Maestro Yoav Talmi, during the gala concert, to be held on July 8, 2008 at Palais Montcalm, that will provide a brilliant closing to the Stepping Stone and the National Final. The National Tour will take place from March 23 to June 7. The Canadian Music Competition’s National Final and International Stepping Stone are part of the official programme of festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of the City of Quebec.
A new component for 2008 is the Junior Program. It allows young musicians to register solely for the regional round in order to become accustomed to and experience the Canadian Music Competition. Also this year, two instruments are being added to the Stepping Stone, these being the harpsichord and the harp, bringing to 18 the number of instruments to which the Stepping Stone is open.
As you may have noticed, we have refreshed the Competition’s image, including a special colour for its 50th year. The new logo recalls the five lines of a musical staff in the form of a butterfly taking flight, like a musician who blossoms and is fulfilled after having invested much time and energy. This new look also reflects the spirit of our organization, which pursues its work with confidence in the future.
Using the calendar, you can keep track of the different events taking place throughout the year and stay informed of important dates. Remember that the registration deadline for the International Stepping Stone, the Canadian Music Competition and the Junior Program is November 22, 2007.
The Canadian Music Competition is already in its 50th year, but we sincerely hope that several more generations of young musicians will be able to benefit from this experience. To all participants in the 2008 edition, I wish you the best of luck and hope that you will be rewarded for your efforts and the quality of your preparatory work.
I look forward to meeting you!