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 2020.
Andrée Azar began her violin studies at the age of seven and regularly participated in the Canadian Music Competition. She entered the Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau at age thirteen and was awarded a Premier prix at the end of her studies. Grants from the Ontario and Canada Council for the Arts enabled her to further her studies in the United States, at the Indiana University and the Michigan University. She was a member of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal from 1987 to 1992, during which time she made her Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with the orchestra. In 1992, she devotes herself to teaching the violin while participating in concerts and tours with Les Violons du Roy. She has taught at the Conservatoires de musique du Québec in Chicoutimi and Québec city and is now professor at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. Her students have won numerous awards at competitions such as the Concours de la Capitale in Québec City, the Classical Music Festival of Montréal and the Canadian Music Competition. During the summer, she is regularly invited to teach at music workshops, namely at the Domaine Forget and the Camp musical des Laurentides.
Pianist Maxim Bernard has already established himself as one of today’s most promising young artists. Critics have praised his commendable technique, surprising maturity, boundless imagination, and rare musical sensitivity. The Canada Council for the Arts awarded him a grant to study with pianists André Laplante and Marc Durand at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he earned an Artist Diploma. He also completed his master’s and doctoral studies with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he taught for five years. Invited to perform solo recitals, chamber music, and concerti in Canada and the United States, Maxim Bernard has worked with many esteemed conductors such as Kerry Stratton, Ronald Zollman and Yoav Talmi. He has distinguished himself at several piano competitions including the Canadian Music Competition’s Stepping Stone, where he was awarded first prize in 2006. Prize winner at the CBC/Radio-Canada National Competition for Young Performers and at the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition, he also received the first prize at Indiana University’s prestigious Concerto Competition.
After receiving a Premier prix from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Rémi Boucher completed his studies in Spain, in Belgium and in Switzerland with the help of grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts, including the prestigious Sylva-Gelber Award, making Rémi Boucher the first guitarist in 30 years to win this honor. Native of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, his international concert career was launched after he became the first prize winner of five of the most important international guitar competitions in less than 18 months: Alessandria in Italy, Andrès Segovia in Palma de Mallorca in Spain, Havana in Cuba, Mauro Giuliani in Turin, and Fernando Sor in Rome. Since then, Rémi Boucher has appeared in recital and with major orchestras throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, as well as recording regularly for both radio and television. His numerous discs have been praised for their artistic excellence by the international press and he is regularly invited to give master classes and to sit on juries at international competitions. In addition, Rémi Boucher teaches at the music faculty of the Université Laval and at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec.
Percussionist Anne-Julie Caron is recognized for her sensitivity, depth, and wide spectrum of tonal colors. She won the 2007 Opus Prize as “Discovery of the Year”, the 2nd Prize at the 2006 International Marimba Competition in Linz, the 2005 OSM Standard Life Competition and the 2004 Prix d’Europe. Highlights of her career include her New York debut in 2007 and appearances at PASIC (USA), at the IV Festival Internacional de Percusión Tamborimba (Colombia), the Zeltsman Marimba Festival (USA), the PerKumania Percussion Festival (France), the Festival Internacional de Marimbistas (Mexico) and at numerous Canadian festivals (Ottawa, Cool Drumming, Lanaudière, Vancouver, and Ideacity). Active as an orchestral musician, she has also performed as a soloist with several orchestras including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain and the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. Following her studies at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, Anne-Julie Caron pursued her studies with the internationally renowned marimbists Nancy Zeltsman, Bogdan Bacanu, and Keiko Abe. An enthusiastic teacher, she has also been invited to give master classes throughout Canada, in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, and France. She is the professor of percussions at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec.
Acclaimed tenor Torin Chiles has appeared with many opera companies in a myriad of major roles both nationally and internationally. He has sung with Opera Lyra, Opéra de Montréal, Arizona Opera, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Toronto Operetta, Edmonton Opera, Manitoba Opera Association, Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera Company, among others. Mr. Chiles has also been involved with the development and premiers of new operas such as Louis Applebaum’s Erewhon, John Beckwith’s Taptoo and Timothy Sullivan’s The Lady of the Lamp. Most recently, he was featured on CBC Television’s Opening Night program in the new Canadian opera, Filumena by John Estacio. A seasoned artist, Mr. Chiles has performed as soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Regina Symphony, Windsor Symphony and the Festival Orchestra at Festival of the Sound. He was also featured on a CBC SM5000 recording titled A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala with the Winnipeg Symphony under the baton of Bramwell Tovey. Mr. Chiles is often heard on the CBC radio’s acclaimed program Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, as both an artist and guest panelist. As a pedagogue, adjudicator, examiner and clinician, Mr. Chiles is in ever increasing demand. He is currently a full-time faculty member at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario (UWO). A vocal pedagogy specialist, he frequently presents lectures and workshops to groups such as Alberta Music Teachers Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Ontario, Conservatory Canada, interdisciplinary Music and Medicine series and Schulich Faculty of Medicine at UWO. A NATS member since 1999, Mr. Chiles is the Past President of the Ontario Chapter and currently serves as District Governor. He is also the Director of Music for a thriving music ministry at New St. James Presbyterian Church in London. Torin Chiles resides in London, ON with his wife, Lesley and their two sons, Nawton and Tennyson.
Native of Sherbrooke, Monique De Margerie graduated from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and the Staattliche Hochschule für Musik in Munich. Renowned for her musical sensitivity and her rich and refined sonority, Monique De Margerie has given many concerts in Germany, Japan and India. Closer to home, she has been heard at the Festival de musique de chambre de Sainte-Pétronille and has recently been invited to perform in recital with bassoonist Fraser Jackson at Indiana University and at the University of Toronto. She has made many broadcasts with the national radios of Germany, Switzerland and Canada, and has one solo recording on the Koch Records label. Her enthusiasm for teaching has led her to work at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, at the Conservatoire Américain Koenig in Paris and at the Université Laval in Québec City from 2003 to 2011. Current projects involve accompanying students at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and teaching at CAMMAC during the summer.
Philippe Djokic is one of Canada’s leading soloists and chamber musicians. He received his musical training at The Juilliard School where he studied with the great violin pedagogue Ivan Galamian. Upon completion of his Master of Music degree, he was awarded the coveted Fritz Kreisler Prize by The Juilliard School. Mr. Djokic has won major prizes at many international competitions, among them the Jacques Thibauld (Paris, 1975), Sibelius (Helsinki, 1977), Vaclav Huml (Zagreb, 1977) and Paganini (Genoa, 1982). In Canada, he is also a former first prize winner (in strings) of the CBC Radio’s Young Performers Competition. As both recitalist and concerto soloist with major orchestras, his performances have taken him throughout Europe and North America. Also in demand as a chamber musician, he regularly performs at summer music festivals in Amsterdam, Munich, Montreal, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Utah, Ottawa and Alaska. As a member of the Dalart Trio, he has performed extensively throughout Canada and recorded for many CBC radio broadcasts. The trio has also commissioned and premiered several new Canadian compositions. Mr. Djokic has also played as concertmaster of the National Orchestra of New York, Symphony Nova Scotia and in 1987, he was guest concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for their cross Canada and Northern Territories tour. Mr. Djokic can be heard on various recordings and has been broadcast across Canada and internationally. His recording of the Delius Violin Concerto, first released on the CBC label and now reissued on the Naxos label, has been winning praises around the world and was given a five-star rating by BBC Magazine. Mr. Djokic has adjudicated music festivals throughout Canada and has served on the juries of the Canada Council and several national music competitions. He has been Professor of Violin at Dalhousie University since 1975 and has taught many of Canada’s leading orchestral, solo and chamber musicians. He performs on a rare Guarnerius violin from 1740.
“Luxuriant in sound”, “highly individual" and "compelling" are just some of the ways in which pianist Francine Kay has been described. An active performer, she has appeared at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium, and at festivals like Montréal International Festival, Newport Festival, Saratoga Chamber Music Festival and Icicle Creek International Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Kay’s concerto performances include appearances with Princeton Symphony, New York’s West Side Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, Victoria Symphony, Orchestra London, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, and Calgary Philharmonic. In recital, she has performed across Canada and internationally in China, England and Norway. Ms. Kay’s performances have been broadcast on NPR, BBC, Radio France, Chicago’s WFMT, CBC and Bravo! Television. Her CDs have received great acclaim from the Canadian press as well as Germany’s Fonoforum, France’s Repertoire, and the American Record Guide. Her Debussy recording on the Audio-Ideas label was nominated for a JUNO Award. Ms. Kay’s early studies were at the École de Musique Vincent D’Indy where she was a student of Yvonne Hubert. She also attended the Juillets Musical in St. Germain-en-Laye, France under the tutelage of Yvonne Lefébure. Ms. Kay furthered her education at The Juilliard School where she studied on scholarship with Adele Marcus and received both a Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. She has also received an Artist Diploma from The Glenn Gould School in Toronto and completed her Doctor of Musical Arts at SUNY Stony Brook. Ms. Kay was a fellowship recipient of the Tanglewood Institute and a participant of The Banff Centre programs for many years. Her other musical mentors include Gilbert Kalish, Leon Fleisher, Marek Jablonski and György Sebók. Currently, Francine Kay is on the performance faculty at Princeton University, where she performs as part of the Composers Ensemble and the Richardson Chamber Players.
Leslie Kinton was born in Toronto and studied the piano with Pierre Souvairan and Boris Berlin, as well as composition with Samuel Dolin. He pursued his piano studies in New York City with Jeaneane Dowis and Karl Ulrich Schnabel. Leslie Kinton also holds a PhD in music theory from the University of Toronto. As a member of the Anagnoson & Kinton piano duo since 1976, Leslie Kinton has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. The duo has played with major orchestras across Canada including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Symphony Nova Scotia, the Victoria Symphony, and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra. Leslie Kinton is one of Canada’s best-known and most sought-after chamber musicians. Fellow artists he has performed with include the St. Lawrence Quartet, Joel Quarrington, Erika Raum, Mark Fewer, Dennis Brott, James Sommerville, James Campbell, and Joaquin Valdepeñas. Dr. Kinton is a professor of piano performance at the University of Western Ontario.
Winner of a Prix Opus for best contemporary music concert of the year, Claire Marchand is one of Québec’s most sought-after flutist. She studied flute at the Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau with Gail Grimstead, then in Paris with Patrick Gallois and Pierre-Yves Artaud, in New York with Robert Dick and with Mario Caroli in Strasbourg. She has performed as a soloist at numerous festivals, including the Ars Musica in Belgium and the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez in Mexico. She has given concerts and master classes in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia, and her concerts are regularly broadcasted on CBC/Radio-Canada. Claire Marchand can be heard on the ATMA label with a recording of twentieth century music for solo flute. She taught at the McGill Conservatory for 18 years, and was the Suzuki flute class coordinator for nearly 10 years. Claire Marchand is now actively involved in flute and Suzuki pedagogy through her teaching studio in Montréal.
Lance Ouellette grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick and participated in local and provincial music festivals, winning numerous awards for violin, piano and voice. While still in high school, he was a violinist with Symphony New Brunswick as well as concertmaster of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. He was also concertmaster of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for two consecutive years while touring Canada and Japan. While studying violin with Atis Bankas at the University of Toronto, Lance Ouellette won first prize at the national finals of the Canadian Music Competition and first prize at the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals National Festival. Since 2003, Lance Ouellette has been the 2nd Associate Concertmaster of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. He has also performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet, and the Toronto Philharmonia. An active teacher, his students have won numerous awards as well as scholarships to universities across Ontario. Lance Ouellette has served as a mentor for the National Academy Orchestra and now coaches orchestral and chamber music for the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Orchestra.
Québec oboist Louise Pellerin enjoys an exceptional international career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. A competition winner, Ms. Pellerin has won first prizes at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Competition and internationally in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland and Belgrade, Serbia. Receiving two Premiers Prix from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, she went on to study with Heinz Holliger in Freiburg, Germany and obtained the prestigious Solistendiplom with high distinction. Since then, Ms. Pellerin has become an internationally recognised performer and is regularly invited to perform in cities such as Athens, Buenos Aires, Lucerne, Zürich, Salzburg, Vienna, Berlin, London, Paris, Rome, Singapore, Tokyo, San Francisco, Montréal, and Toronto. As an orchestral musician, Ms. Pellerin has performed with the Cologne Radio Orchestra, Camerata Bern, Camerata Zürich, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Collegium Novum, Festival Orchestra Budapest, Württembergisches Kammerorchester and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. She is currently Principal Oboe of two international groups: Camerata Salzburg and Cappella Andrea Barca. With these two ensembles she performs alongside many renowned musicians including Heinz Holliger, Andras Schiff, Erich Höbarth, Leonidas Kavakos, Radovan Vlatkovic, Denes Varjon, Jörg Widmann and others. In Québec, Ms. Pellerin has performed with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Les Violons du Roy and I Musici de Montréal and has worked with conductors including Jean-François Rivest and Jacques Lacombe. An avid collaborator, Ms. Pellerin has performed and recorded with many established musicians including Quatuor Alcan, Dom André Laberge, Luc Beauséjour, Olivier Godin, and Robert Langevin to name a few. She has recorded for Atma, Decca, Denon, DGG, Novalis, Philips, Radio-Canada, WDR and Arte labels. A passionate teacher, Louise Pellerin is a professor at the Zürich University of Arts and during the summer months, serves on faculty at the Orford Academy, QC. She has received many grants and scholarships from the Canada Council for the Arts, Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and the Government of Québec.
Montréal pianist Brigitte Poulin is an active and accomplished soloist, chamber musician, vocal accompanist and teacher. Her repertoire is extensive and covers all periods, from the invention of the piano to the 21st century. She has commissioned and premiered more than thirty works for solo piano, prepared piano and various chamber ensembles. After her studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, at the Banff Centre for the Arts and at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, she obtained a doctorate from the Université de Montréal. A founding member of Ensemble Transmission, she has performed with many Canadian ensembles including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Appassionata Chamber Orchestra, the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, and the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec. She has also appeared in music festivals in Canada, the United States, Belgium and England. Brigitte Poulin has been invited to give master classes at universities throughout Canada and the United States, and has also taught piano, chamber music and musicology at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville. A dedicated pianist-accompanist and coach, she collaborates with string teachers and students at McGill and Montréal universities, as well as at the Domaine Forget during the summer.
James Shields, an active chamber and orchestral musician, is currently the principal clarinetist of both the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, and the New Mexico Philharmonic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has appeared as soloist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Texas Wind Symphony, and the Chatter Chamber Ensemble. He has also performed as principal clarinet with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and the orchestras of the Aspen Music Festival and of the Astoria Music Festival. James Shields is co-artistic director of Chatter, a New Mexico based chamber music organization that presents up to sixty-five concerts annually. A graduate of the Juilliard School, where he studied clarinet with Ricardo Morales, James Shields also received a master’s degree in composition from the University of New Mexico. His works have been performed at the Juilliard School and by the Chatter Chamber Ensemble.
With performances throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia, pianist Lynn Stodola is an active soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist. Her performances have received critical acclaim from the New York Times: “excellent pianist — first class performance, intense and technically commanding” and the Chicago Sun Times: “stunning debut… Ms. Stodola showed herself possessed of intelligence, bravura and beauty of spirit”. As a soloist, Ms. Stodola has appeared on the Symphony Nova Scotia Mozart Series with Maestro Georg Tintner, and with several orchestras in the U.S. including the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Arkansas Philharmonic and the North Shore (Chicago) Philharmonic. She has made appearances at many international music festivals, including Juneau Jazz and Classics in Alaska, Music and Beyond in Ottawa, as a guest artist in the Ateneum Series in Venice, Italy and at the Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax. Recent collaborative projects include the presentation of the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas and Cello Sonatas, as well as the complete works for violin and piano by Stravinsky. In addition to her soloist activities, Ms. Stodola performs regularly with her husband, violinist Philippe Djokic and has received praise from audiences and critics in Canada and abroad. She also enjoys the occasional “family concert” with her daughter and son, cellist and violinist Denise and Marc Djokic. In demand as an adjudicator and pedagogue, Ms. Stodola is Professor of Piano at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she is also founder and director of the Dalhousie Chamber Music Series. Ms. Stodola’s work as collaborative pianist has assisted in the careers of many performing artists and her guidance as teacher and mentor has helped many young artists achieve successful musical careers in the U.S., Canada and abroad. In 2009, she was recipient of the first Hugheen Ferguson Distinguished Teacher Award presented by the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association.
Montréal native tenor Richard Turp grew up in London, England, where he studied voice with his father, the renowned Canadian tenor André Turp. A graduate of London University, he went on to sing various roles, principally in Europe and in Canada. He was the artistic director of the Montréal International Music Festival, director of special projects at the Opéra de Montréal and the artistic director of the André-Turp Musical Society, which he co-founded in 1998. He is also a co-founder of the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute. Presently artistic director of the Lachine Music Festival, he also assumes since 2009 the direction of the vocal program at the Orford Academy. Richard Turp has taught at the music faculties at the Université du Québec à Montréal and at the Université de Montréal, as well as at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. He is regularly invited to adjudicate vocal competitions and awards, most notably the Montréal International Musical Competition, the OSM Standard Life Competition, and the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers.
Style and musical elegance combined with an intuitive theatrical sense are the hallmarks of soprano Monica Whicher’s performances on the concert and opera stage. The varied aspects of her artistry are reflected in recent performances including Richard Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder with Peter Oundjian the Toronto Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Calgary Philharmonic, the title role in Thaïs by Massenet for Pacific Opera Victoria, and Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Further performance credits include appearances with orchestras, opera companies and at festivals across Canada, the United States, Mexico, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and Korea. Winner of the George London Award, Monica Whicher has been nominated for a Juno Award as well as two Dora Mavor Moore awards. Monica Whicher is on the voice faculty of the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and of the University of Toronto.