Canadian Music Competition 2015 / Evaluation Committee

Historical Information

The information contained on this page is related to an older edition of the competition. It is made available for archival purposes only. For the most current information, please go to Canadian Music Competition 2021.

Caron Allen

Caron Allen graduated from Queen’s University School of Music as a double performance major in cello and flute. After receiving her Bachelor of Music she travelled to Vienna and performed in the Kursalon orchestra as a flautist. After travelling throughout Europe, she relocated to Kingston, earned her Bachelor of Education and founded two string programs, as well as teaching music in the public school system. As a cellist she played in the Kingston Symphony, freelanced, and taught cello and flute privately.

Upon moving to Mississauga, she founded two more string programs in the Peel District School Board, in addition to teaching choral and band music. Caron has performed as a professional freelance cellist in orchestras across Ontario, including Kingston, Windsor, Niagara, Oshawa-Durham and the Royal Opera Canada Orchestras. In 2011 she embarked on a Yangtze Triangle tour of China as a cellist with the Ontario Festival Symphony Orchestra.

At present Caron lives in Mississauga, Ontario and continues to freelance and teach cello and flute privately. She also conducts the Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra which is a division of the Halton Mississauga Youth Orchestra. In 2012 the Philharmonia travelled to California to perform in the West Coast Youth Orchestra Festival held at Disney Hall and many of her members participated in the Festival Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Markand Thakar. Her orchestras, concert bands and jazz bands have earned gold standings at both the provincial and national levels over the span of her teaching career, most recently at the Nationals at Musicfest in Toronto. Caron is also sought after as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Ontario.

Jane Coop

Pianist Jane Coop, one of Canada's most prominent and distinguished artists, has toured extensively throughout North America, Asia and Europe, performing in Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center, Roy Thomson Hall, Salle Gaveau, the Singapore Cultural Center and the Bolshoi Hall of St. Petersburg. She has been soloist with the principal orchestras of Canada, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Seattle and Portland Symphonies, the Hong Kong Symphony and the Radio Orchestras of Bavaria and Holland, in some forty concerti.

Ms. Coop has received international praise for her 15 releases on the Skylark, CBC and Centaur labels in repertoire ranging from Bach to Barber and beyond. Three times she has been nominated for Canada's prestigious Juno Award for her recordings, and her radio broadcasts have been heard in Britain, Hong Kong, Poland, Holland, Germany, the USA and Canada.

An invited jury member for many international piano competitions in Calgary (Honens), Maryland (Kapell), Dublin, Hilton Head, Washington (DC), New York and Shanghai, she is a regular artist at both the Orford Academy in Quebec and the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine, performing with members of the Juilliard Quartet, and has collaborated with such eminent musicians as Barry Tuckwell, Andrew Dawes, Lawrence Lesser, Donald Weilerstein and James Campbell at chamber music festivals in Canada, Europe, the USA and Japan.

Jane Coop was Professor of Piano and Chamber Music, and Head of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver for over thirty years, and now devotes herself full time to performing. In 2012 she was awarded the Order of Canada, for her lifetime achievement and contribution to her country in the arts.

Ms. Coop is a Steinway Artist.

Céline Dussault


First and only lyric artist to have taken top honours in the CMC’s Stepping Stone competition, Céline Dussault has been recognized for her wide versatility, ranging from opera and oratorios to recitals. Her musical pursuits have taken her across the country with Jeunesses Musicales Canada and to the States with the Vermont Opera Theater and The Little Orchestra Society at the Lincoln Center in New York.

In 1977, she headed to Belgium, where she was part of the Centre lyrique de Wallonie for three seasons, in which she sung the lead role in the world premiere of Paul Francy’s Alice in Wonderland as well as many other leads. On her return, she performed as guest soloist with numerous orchestras, including the OSM, under the direction of Charles Dutoit. In Québec, she has sung a number of prestigious roles with the Opéra de Québec, the Opéra de Montréal, the Théâtre de la Poudrière and the Nouvelles Variétés Lyriques.

Since 1979, Céline Dussault has also been working as a voice teacher, at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, the National Theatre School of Canada and Collège Lionel-Groulx.

Lance Elbeck


Hailing from Illinois, Lance Elbeck began his violin studies in Chicago with the renowned George Perlman. After graduating from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with Ivan Galamian and Paul Makanowitsky, he soon drew the attention of well-known musicians and conductors, including Leonard Bernstein. Under Bernstein, Elbeck was a soloist with the New York Philharmonic.

Elbeck was also a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Philadelphia Chamber Players with whom he performed in various parts of Europe and North America. Elbeck was also concertmaster with the ballet companies of the Kirov and Bolshoï theatres during their North American tours, as well as the Hamilton Philharmonic from 1978 to 2012. He is currently concertmaster with the Toronto Concert Orchestra and the Grand Salon Orchestra.

Lance Elbeck has been a guest lecturer at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris and teacher at the Meadowmount School of Music, Philadelphia’s New School of Music, McMaster University (1990 to 2012), as well as the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts. He currently teaches privately in Ottawa.

Marie Fabi


Hailed by pianist Menahem Pressler as an “exceptional chamber player,” Marie Fabi has given many concerts in Canada, the USA and Europe. Whether with the Trio Lyrika, which she founded in 1985, Trio Hochelaga, or as a performer in various concert series, her performances have garnered rave reviews from the critics for her passion, tenderness and extraordinary tone.

After completing her studies under Yvonne Hubert, at the École de musique Vincent-d’Indy in Montréal, she studied for two years with Maria Curcio in London. She was then accepted into the University of Indiana, where she obtained a master’s degree in piano under the aegis of Menaham Pressler, with whom she also completed her studies in chamber music.

She has been featured at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, Toronto’s prestigious Glenn Gould Studio, Montréal’s Place des Arts and in the OSM’s Mozart Plus series. Much in demand as a teacher, she has taught piano and chamber music at the Université Laval in Québec City and chamber music at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She also regularly gives master classes and is often invited to adjudicate national competitions. Marie Fabi has been a Steinway artist since 1989.

Matthieu Fortin


Praised for his versatility and musicality, pianist Matthieu Fortin is equally fluent in both the classical and contemporary repertoires. In 2004, he won the Joseph-Rouleau Award from the Montréal International Music Competition, awarding the competition’s top Québec artist, and in the following year was winner of the CBC Galaxie Rising Star award. Fortin has also been awarded grants from various organizations, such as the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts and Jeunesses Musicales Canada. His main teachers have been Louise Bessette, Jacinthe Couture, Marc Durand, Jacques Rouvier and Paul Stewart.

Matthieu Fortin has been featured as orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist in Europe, the USA, China and Canada, including appearances at the international festivals of Lanaudière and Domaine Forget. Fortin enjoys working with composers of his generation and has commissioned and premiered many works.

Also dedicating part of his time to teaching and being an active collaborative pianist, Fortin is a faculty member at École de musique Vincent-d’Indy as well as the music department at UQAM.

Agnès Grossmann

Internationally acclaimed conductor Agnes Grossmann has had an outstanding musical career. Critics have unanimously praised her powerful musical interpretations, the imaginative design of her programming and the extraordinary connection created with her audience.

As a pianist, concert tours took her across Europe, North America and Japan, and earned her the Mozart Interpretation Prize, Vienna.

She has been Artistic Director and conductor of the Chamber Players of Toronto (1984-1991), the Orchestre Métropolitain (1986-1995), the Centre d’arts Orford (1989-1995 and 1999-2004), and the Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival (2005-2010), a prestigious institution founded by Ms. Grossmann that has featured the world’s top artists.

She has conducted all major orchestras in Canada, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, The Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Tokyo New City Orchestra, the Osaka Chamber Orchestra, the Kyoto Symphony Orchestras and the Taiwan National Orchestra.

With extensive vocal knowledge and special focus on choral voice production, Agnes Grossmann has led prestigious choirs and brought them all to new heights. These are the Wiener Singakademie, the Vienna Choir Boys, with whom she toured North America for their 500th anniversary in 1998 and Pro Coro Canada. Since 2006, her career has been concentrated in Asia, where she regularly directs the Kyoto Gewandhaus Choir, the Osaka Gewandhaus Choir, the Tokai Male Choir and the Taiwan National Choir.

Ms. Grossmann has received many honours, including the Silver Cross for Outstanding Achievements in the Arts from the Austrian Government (1992), the Golden Cross of the City of Vienna (1995), an Honorary Doctorate from Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (1994) and Ottawa University (2004), and the "Chevalier de la Pléiade" conferred by the Québec Government (2003).

Abe Kestenberg


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Abe Kestenberg a fait ses études à l’Université McGill et à la Manhattan School of Music. Ses professeurs ont été Rafaelle Masella et Herb Blayman (clarinette), Arthur Romano et Gerald Danovitch (saxophone), Gail Grimstead et Max Shoenfeld (flûte). Abe Kestenberg est l’un des membres fondateurs du Gerald Danovitch Saxophone Quartet (GDSQ), avec qui il s’est produit pendant près de trente ans, donnant des concerts un peu partout au Canada, aux États-Unis, en Europe, en Asie et aux Caraïbes, tout en jouant pour de nombreuses émissions pour la télé et la radio nationale. Abe Kestenberg a participé à de nombreuses tournées avec des compagnies de ballet, des spectacles Broadway et des orchestres dont l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, l’Orchestre du Centre national des Arts, le Symphony Nova Scotia, l’Orchestre Métropolitain, la Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, l’Orchestre de la Scala de Milan et l’Orchestre National du Théâtre Bolchoï.

Abe Kestenberg a été directeur du secteur des bois à l’École de musique Schulich de l’Université McGill pendant 20 ans, où il enseigne toujours le saxophone, la clarinette, la flûte, la musique de chambre et un cours intitulé Introduction à la vie de musicien professionnel.

Shawn Mativetsky

Keyboard Percussion

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Musicien dynamique, Shawn Mativetsky est tout aussi à l’aise dans la musique traditionnelle de l’Inde et la musique du monde que dans la musique occidentale classique, contemporaine et actuelle. Donnant des conférences, des ateliers et des prestations au Canada et à l’international, il s’engage à faire connaître le tabla et la musique traditionnelle du nord de l’Inde. Établi à Montréal, il enseigne le tabla et les percussions à l’Université McGill.

Shawn a présenté de nombreux récitals solo à travers le Canada, les États-Unis, le Royaume- Uni et l’Inde. Il est également monté sur scène dans le cadre de séries comme le Windsor Canadian Music Festival, Pontio Music@Bangor, New Music in New Spaces, Groundswell, Festival Montréal Baroque, Jusqu’aux Oreilles, Évolutions, Voyages: Montréal-New York, Festival International du Domaine Forget et New Works Calgary. Également reconnu comme chambriste, Shawn Mativetsky collabore à des projets des plus variés.

En plus de ses études en musique indienne, Shawn Mativetsky a reçu une formation de percussions classiques occidentales avec Pierre Béluse, D’Arcy Gray, Andrei Malashenko et Robert Slapcoff, ainsi qu’en percussions de la danse-théâtre kathakali avec Bruno Paquet. Il détient une maîtrise en musique de l’Université McGill.

Julia Nolan


A versatile saxophonist, Julia Nolan maintains an active performing schedule committed to promoting new works for saxophone. She has commissioned works by many Canadian composers including Denis Bédard, Robert Buckley, Dorothy Chang, Stephen Chatman, Neal Currie and Matthew Emery. A featured artist for the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival (BC) in August 2014, Julia Nolan performed Dynamic Sequences for saxophone and piano by the composer Kelly-Marie Murphy. She premiered Jeffrey Ryan’s concerto, Brazen, with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony in April 2012.

Ms. Nolan has been a guest artist/teacher at the International Saxophone Workshop in Taiwan and in Hong Kong and performs regularly at the World Saxophone Congress. Nolan is a frequent adjudicator for music festivals and served as an international judge at the Adolphe Sax International Saxophone Competition (Belgium) in 2010. She was the head judge at the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (USA) in 2012 and 2014.

Ms. Nolan earned a Master’s degree in Performance from the Indiana University as a student of Dr. Eugene Rousseau, and a Ph. D from the University of British Columbia.

Jean-Luc Plourde


Violist Jean-Luc Plourde has pursued a career as performer, educator and chamber musician with numerous ensembles for the past 30 years.

After graduating from the Conservatoire de Québec in 1984, he became assistant concertmaster and concertmaster of the Pommersfelden Academy Orchestra in Germany. He has also played in a variety of musical settings, such as Radio-Canada's Sinfonietta, the Artis Quartet and Les Violons du Roy. With over 500 concerts to his name, Plourde has taken many stages across Canada and abroad, including venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and several major international festivals. He has also collaborated with the likes of James Campbell, Anton Kuerti, Marc-André Hamelin, Janos Starker, the Gryphon Trio, as well as the Kocian and Shostakovitch Quartets. He is a founding member of the Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc, which began in 1988.

Plourde has taught at Domaine Forget on numerous occasions. He is currently a guest professor and musician in residence at the Université Laval music department.

Jacynthe Riverin

Jacynthe Riverin has established herself as a soloist and chamber musician both through classical and contemporary repertoire. She studied at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Montréal, and later earned a Master's degree from Université Laval. Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec have enabled her to perfect her craft with Dominique Weber in Geneva.

In 2000 Riverin won the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal concerto competition and made her debut with this orchestra the same year with a performance of Prokofieff’s Concerto No. 2, making her talent known to the public and critics. She was invited to perform with the orchestra the following year, under the direction of Charles Dutoit. Since then she has appeared with a number of orchestras in works by Mozart, Ravel, Beethoven, Chopin and Shostakovitch. Recent highlights include an acclaimed performance of Michel Gonneville’s Adonwe for piano and orchestra at the MNM Festival and the premiere of Analia Lludgar's piano concerto Que sommes-nous?, commissioned by Radio-Canada, with the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal.

Through performances of both classical and contemporary music, Riverin has made her mark on the musical world with a highly varied repertoire, including Chinese music with George Gao, and South American music with flutist René Orea. She has taken up the cause of music of all ages, with particular attention to new works and performances of contemporary music from both here and abroad. An active and sought-after chamber musician, she has performed for a number of years with saxophonist Mathieu Gaulin, with whom she took part in the 2008-09 Jeunesses Musicales Canada tour.

Jacynthe Riverin currently works and lives in Montréal. Her musical pursuits are diverse, ranging from teaching, coaching, choral conducting and concerts to special multidisciplinary projects.

Vicki St. Pierre


Vicki St. Pierre’s warm, lush contralto voice “invitingly combines clarity of expression and beauty of tone,” and is described as “rich with both a darkness and brightness.”

Past concert highlights include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with the Toronto Consort, Zelenka’s St. Cecilia Mass with Tafelmusik, and Bach’s Magnificat with the Toronto Bach Consort. On the operatic stage, Vicki has appeared in Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, and L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Charpentier’s Actéon, as well as Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Recent and upcoming engagements include the role of the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Les Violons du Roy at Carnegie Hall, Messiah with Orchestra London, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with 13 Strings and Splendors of the Emperor’s Chapel with The Toronto Consort.

Vicki is Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, teaches voice at Wilfrid Laurier University, and most recently, was on faculty at COSI, a summer opera training program in Sulmona, Italy. She completed her doctoral studies in performance at the University of Toronto in 2014 under the tutelage of Dr. Darryl Edwards.

Jean Sutherland


Jean Sutherland studied piano at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal with Lubka Kolessa and Jean Leduc, as well as accompaniment pedagogy with Claudette Denys and Janine Lachance. After graduating with a Master’s degree in 1977, Ms. Sutherland first obtained a position as a piano teacher and an accompanist at the Conservatoire de musique de Saguenay, and, in 1995, at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec.

Ms. Sutherland has given many concerts as a chamber player throughout Canada and the United States. Since 2006, she has been performing on a regular basis at the Domaine Forget with worldrenowned musicians such as Øystein Baadsvik, Gustavo Núñez, Paul Ellison, Gail Williams, and James Watson.

Since retiring from the Conservatoire in 2013, she has continued to give private piano lessons, and is currently completing a book on sight-reading and a method for rapid learning.

Ms. Sutherland remains very much in-demand as a pianist on the Québec classical music scene. Her engaging personality and professionalism go hand in hand with her great musical talent.

John Thompson

John Thompson joined the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) in 1971 after completing his musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. During his tenure, he performed as soloist with the orchestra on many occasions and has appeared on CBC Radio and Television. He recently retired from his position after more than 40 seasons with the CPO. He also maintained an active playing career as a chamber musician, collaborating with many local and visiting artists while also performing regularly with the Kensington Sinfonia, the Alberta Chamber Players, the Beau Quartet and Aubade.

John has had a long tenure as an educator at Calgary’s Mount Royal University Conservatory as a viola instructor, chamber music coach and conductor. For many years he has had a passion for youth orchestras having directed the Calgary Philharmonic Junior Strings, the Mount Royal Junior Strings and the Calgary Youth Orchestra. As music director of the CYO , he travelled with the orchestra to many parts of the world, performing at international music and youth festivals. He is currently the director of the Conservatory Strings and coordinates and coaches chamber music for the Conservatory’s Academy Program for Gifted Youth.

He has also taught at the University of Calgary and is a frequent clinician and adjudicator across Canada. This summer he will continue to coach chamber music at the Morningside Music Bridge at the Mount Royal Conservatory.

In recognition of his services to music, John has received an Alberta Achievement Award from the Province of Alberta and a Distinguished Faculty Award from Mount Royal University.