Past Recording Project Competition Winners

2017-2018 Winners

Sarah Rossy, M.Mus. Performance/Jennifer Nulsen, Sound Recording
Project: Jazz in the Balance: Exploring Music Making and Creation in Gender and Genre-Balanced Teams and Environments.

  • This project consists of a suite of original contemporary jazz to be recorded by and produced in collaboration with Jennifer Nulsen. The recording will feature a gender-balanced team of past and current McGill students from both the classical and jazz performance departments. Through careful selection of ensemble members, this sound recording will address the problematic gender imbalance in the jazz setting and will create an opportunity for collaboration between musicians in the classical and jazz areas.

2015-2016 Winners

Juan Sebastián Delgado, D.Mus. Performance/Jack Kelly, Sound Recording
Project: Sacher as Remembered by composer Alberto Ginastera in Puneña No. 2.

  • The work was one of 12 compositions written to celebrate Paul Sacher’s 70th birthday – all of the compositions featured or were based on the “spelling” of Sacher’s name – what is now known as the Sacher hexachord. The Hommage project was initiated by the famous cellist Rostropovitch. The prize winners' interest in the project unfolds on the 100th anniversary of Ginastera. The jury appreciated the vision, the calibre and artistry of the performance as demonstrated both in the demo and  CV, and the way in which thoughts about the recording process itself were incorporated into the project description.

2014-2015 Winners

First Prize: Adrian Foster, D.Mus. Performance
Project: Resurrecting Mauricio Kagel’s Phantastie für Orgel mit Obbligati: Montreal Version.

  • This project is innovative and creative, recreating Kagel’s sound world through the geographical landmarks of Montreal and the ‘historic’ colours of the Redpath organ. The judges appreciated the imagination connecting the different elements that make this project: the re-creation of the taped sounds, the discovery of the organ scoring through the registrations and timbres of the Redpath organ – itself a significant cultural landmark in Montreal’s organ scene – and the challenge involved. His performance skills were recognized as up to the challenge, and he had assembled an excellent sound recording partner to facilitate the process.

Second Prize: Katelyn King, M.Mus. Performance
Project: Visualizing the Theatrical through the Musical.

  • The project seeks to apply musical thinking to the theatrical stage elements of performance through the creation of quality sound and video recordings of rarely performed solos and small chamber works taken from David Roesner’s book on Musical Theatre. The committee was inspired by the idea that, while the works contain many visual elements, she will be developing a musical approach to these elements so that the theatrical does not, to borrow your own words, “overwhelm the musical” that was the original conception and motivating force in each instance. The committee, consequently, appreciated the fact that the works all focus on delicate sounds in which minute shadings of timbre are essential. Her collaboration with award-winning composer, Zihua Tan (D.Mus.) in the composition of a new work was also valued. Before beginning the work, the committee recommends outlining a more detailed strategy for the visual approach.​

Prix de Québec: Steven Cowan, D.Mus. Performance, Guitar/Denis Martin, Ph.D., Sound Recording
Project: 21st Century Guitar Music of Canada.

  • The judges appreciated the “imagination” that connected the different works by Québec composers in this project (Morel, Bergeron, Staniland, Cowan), as well as the exceptional performance skills demonstrated in the sample and the overall project presentation. The audio sample was described as “breath-taking,” “demanding one to want more,” – a very emphatic statement when one considers the “newness” of the repertoire. Steven has also been recommended to apply for a SODEC, Canada Council Recording Grant which reserves 33% of its funding for Quebec artists and projects.​

2013-2014 Winners

First Prize: Gili Loftus, D.Mus. Performance
Project: Thinking through Clara Schumann’s Hands and Ears.

  • Gili Loftus’s project seeks to, as Prof. Tom Beghin puts it, “get into the mind of Clara Schumann.” Working with another doctoral student Jon Hong, and using the Virtual Acoustics Technology created by Prof. Wieslaw Woszczyk for our Multi-media Room, she will be recording some of the free extemporizations that Clara notated for her daughter to explore how she used them to connect various works in her recitals in the different acoustic spaces in which she performed. The committee appreciated the richness of the project, noting its historical, performance-practice, gender and socio-cultural research potential as well as the fine artistry and musicianship that Gili will bring to the project.   Known for dazzling her audience on the forte-piano, harpsichord, and piano all in one concert, she won both Second Prize and the Audience Prize at the prestigious International Fortepiano Competition in Bruges this past summer.

Second Prize: Christian Smith, M.Mus. Performance
Project: Bach in the Context of New Music.

  • As keyboard percussionist, Christian Smith will use this recording project to invite his future listeners to discover connections between new and old never before imagined. At the centre of the recording will be Brian Ferneyhough’s Bone Alphabet. Christian’s performance of this virtuosic work has been described as "being world-class." He will be working with recording engineer Jordan Strum and adding a video element through the expertise of Prof. George Massenburg.  The committee applauded not only his talent, but also the uniqueness of the programming and its artistic vision.

2012-2013 Winners

  • Erik Hove (Jazz Performance)
  • Denis Martin (Sound Engineer)

2011-2012 Winners

  • Elinor Frey (Cello)
  • Mana Shiraishi (Violin)
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