Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert

The Azrieli Foundation will present an exhilarating evening of musical discovery, unveiling two world premiere works by the winners of the 2018 Azrieli Music Prizes. Inventive orchestral colour and virtuosic flair are on display for Israeli-born composer Avner Dorman’s Nigunim for Violin and Orchestra, while Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy explores a wealth of Sephardic music in her En el escuro es todo uno (In the Darkness All is One), a unique double concerto for harp and cello.

Maestro Yoav Talmi will conduct an expanded McGill Chamber Orchestra (MCO) for this varied programme, which includes two Hebrew songs arranged especially for soprano Sharon Azrieli and Mendelssohn’s brilliant Symphony No. 4 “Italian.” Other soloists will be; Erica Goodman (harp), Rachel Mercer (cello) and Lara St. John (violin).The Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert takes place on Monday, October 15 at 8:00 pm at Maison symphonique de Montréal.

The Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) support the creation, performance and celebration of new Jewish Music. They are also the largest international music composition competition in Canada. Every two years, two deserving composers each receive a significant prize package including a $50,000 cash award and a commercial recording release of their music, all supported by a significant promotional campaign.

Azrieli Music - Avner Dorman

Avner Dorman is a recipient of the 2018 Azrieli Music Prize

Winner of the 2018 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music, Israeli-born composer Avner Dorman now lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. An acclaimed artist whose works are performed regularly around the world, Dorman’s career was launched when he became the youngest composer to win Israel’s prestigious Prime Minister’s Award for his Ellef Symphony. His Nigunim for Violin and Orchestra, expanded and revised from its original version for violin and piano, explores the music of various Jewish traditions from around the world. In selecting Nigunim for the prize, jury member and Pultzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis remarked, “Avner Dorman’s music is marked by soulful expression joined to rich, inventive orchestral colour and virtuosic flair. Acclaimed Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John – described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad – will be the soloist.

The 2018 Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music was awarded to Ottawa-based composer Kelly-Marie Murphy. One of the most recognized voices on the Canadian music scene, Kelly-Marie Murphy’s music has been described as “imaginative and expressive” (The National Post) and “striking … full of brilliant tours” (The Globe and Mail). Her new work, En el escuro es todo uno (In the Darkness All is One), is an innovative double concerto for harp and cello that explores Sephardic music and how it has impacted other cultures as the Jewish diaspora settled in Morocco, Tunisia and parts of Europe.

The soloists include harpist Erica Goodman, considered “not only Canada’s preeminent harp player, but one of the most celebrated in the world” (Ottawa Citizen); and cellist Rachel Mercer, who creates “moments of pure magic” (Toronto Star) as a renowned soloist, chamber musician and as Principal Cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Maestro Yoav Talmi is celebrated as one of Israel’s most distinguished conductor-composers on the international scene. In addition to his thirteen-year tenure as Artistic Director of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra (1988–2011), Maestro Talmi has held major positions with the Hamburg Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Munich Philharmonic, the Arnhem Philharmonic, and as Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra as well the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv.

The week leading up to the Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert will include two related public events, in addition to workshops and master classes with the artists. On Tuesday, October 9 at 7:30 pm, Arte Musica and the Azrieli Foundation will present Kelly-Marie Murphy: Sur les pas de la lune.

The following evening, on Wednesday October 10 at 6 pm, the McCord Museum, in collaboration with the Azrieli Foundation and KlezKanada, presents A Conversation with the Winners of the 2018 Azrieli Music Prizes. Dr. Judah Cohen, Associate Professor of Musicology and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, moderates this discussion with Avner Dorman and Kelly-Marie Murphy, who will discuss their award-winning pieces and the creative process behind them.

The Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert on Monday, October 15, 8 pm, at Maison symphonique de Montréal, 1600 St. Urbain Street. Tickets: $20-99 at the Place des Arts Box Office or by calling: 514-842-2112 or 1-866-842-2112 or  Related Events: Tuesday, October 9, 7:30 pm at Salle Bourgie; Kelly-Marie Murphy: Sur les pas de la lune. Tickets: $18-$34 Presented by Arte Musica in collaboration with the Azrieli Foundation. Wednesday October 6 pm at the McCord Museum; A conversation with the winners of the 2018 Azrieli Music Prizes. Free Admission. Seating is limited.