Our judges for the 2021 National Performance Awards are David Gordon Duke and Jialiang Zhu. Read more about the judges below.
David Gordon Duke was born in Vancouver and has degrees in historical musicology from the University of British Columbia, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Victoria. He also studied composition with the pioneer British Columbia composer, Jean Coulthard. Though he has written music in many genres, he is probably best known for his many published educational works. He currently teaches at the School of Music, Vancouver Community College and contributes essays and reviews to The Vancouver Sun and the journal of the North American Music Critics Association, Classical Voice North America.
Chinese pianist Jialiang Zhu passionately embraces solo performance, vocal collaboration, and chamber music. She is the winner of the 2019 University of Toronto Doctoral of Musical Arts
Recital Competition. She performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy as a featured soloist with York Chamber Ensemble under the baton of Maestro Trevor Dearham. An enthusiastic collaborative pianist, she co-founded the Bedford Trio with violinist Alessia Disimino and cellist Andrew Ascenzo in 2016. They are the inaugural Irene R. Miller Piano Trio in Residency at U of T’s Faculty of Music. The trio is a champion of contemporary music and a keen collaborator with fellow artists. Their 2021-2022 concert season includes a recital that features six brand new pieces by Canadian emerging young composers dedicated to the trio and combines the music with digital/visual art by local artists. Jialiang’s latest vocal collaboration projects include recording Chinese-Canadian composer Alice Ping Yee Ho’s latest album A Woman’s Voice for high voices and piano; presenting a lecture recital at U of T on Chinese art song with both native and non-native Chinese-speaking vocalists; joining forces with soprano Xin Wang in recital at the Beijing Modern Music Festival and giving the Chinese premiere of Tanzer Lieder by Canadian composer Ana Sokolović.
The Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects announces a Call-for-Scores of works for strings (violin, viola, cello, or double bass, for solo or solo with accompaniment) for inclusion in their Contemporary Showcase Syllabus.
The Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects (ACNMP) is an organization dedicated to the promotion of Canadian contemporary music. Throughout our history, it has been our mission to encourage teachers to teach Canadian contemporary music, to motivate students to study and perform this music, and to encourage Canadian composers to write music for students of all levels from the most junior to the paraprofessional.
Our Mission is to commission, promote, and preserve Canadian contemporary music as a cornerstone of our national heritage by fostering its performance among students, teachers, and performers through education, festivals, and workshops.
Presented annually by ACNMP for the past 53 years, Contemporary Showcase is a national non-competitive festival featuring 100% Canadian contemporary works taking place in fourteen centres across five provinces. Contemporary Showcase is wholly educational and inclusive, and aims to develop and disseminate Canadian compositions.
ACNMP has compiled a wide-ranging and varied syllabus of over 2,200 Canadian works for a variety of solo instruments (from piano to double bass to soprano saxophone) and ensembles (from brass quintet and string quartet to full-sized choirs and wind bands) spanning over 100 years. These works are scrutinized pedagogically by ACNMP’s repertoire reviewers and divided into different levels for students to study, present and perform in a master class format for expert adjudicators.
Call-for-Scores: Strings 2021
Submissions to the Contemporary Showcase syllabus should ideally:
Have musical, educational, and pedagogical value for both teacher and performer
Contain new ideas or techniques introduced or presented in a novel or interesting way
Strike an appropriate balance between composition length and difficulty, keeping the skill and ability level of the intended performer in mind
Represent and/or contribute to the cultural fabric of Canada
Composers must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Please carefully read submission details from the documents below. Fill out and submit to email@example.com.
Every year, we invite a Canadian composer to write an open letter for the program pages of the Contemporary Showcase Festivals taking place across the country. This year’s composer is Maria Corley.
Greetings from Lancaster, PA, where I’ve lived for about twenty-two years. I’m honored that ACNMP invited me to reach out to you. As I write this, the world truly feels crazy, making the arts even more important to our sanity. Kudos to ACNMP for tirelessly championing the new music that is carrying us forward, and kudos to each of you for being vessels through which this music lives and breathes.
I moved to Amish country after six years on the faculty of Florida A & M, a historically black university in Tallahassee; and six years before that in New York City, getting Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in piano performance from The Juilliard School. I’ve spent a lot of time in the United States, but I was shaped by growing up in Leduc, Alberta, a community just outside of Edmonton. My parents are immigrants from Bermuda and Jamaica (where I was born). There were about three thousand people in Leduc when my dad became one of the town’s two dentists. Only a handful of Leduc’s residents were black, and some of the others weren’t always welcoming. My childhood helped me to learn that fitting in is sometimes impossible, and attempting to do so can be personally detrimental.
In my family, playing the piano was mandatory. Luckily for me, I didn’t mind at all. My mom insisted that we study classical music but also exposed us to hymns, calypso and spirituals. My dad’s favorites included Bob Marley, great jazz singers (like Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald) and popular music luminaries (like Ray Charles, and Simon and Garfunkel). In addition to the songs we heard on the radio, my friends and I imbibed as much African American popular music as we could. I didn’t dwell on a hierarchy: I remain awe-struck by Beethoven and Stevie Wonder in equal amounts, for the same reason -both of these great geniuses touch my core.
Given my eclectic musical tastes, I suspect my zigzag life comes as no surprise. I’m a solo and collaborative pianist, organist, teacher, composer, writer, life coach, and voice actor. I spin a lot of plates, but they aren’t random: The through-line is communication, without limits, or “shoulds.”
Shaking off limiting thoughts isn’t always easy. While I have extensive experience as a musician, my compositional training lasted a year, when I was about 13. Because of this, my self-identification as a composer is very recent, even though I’ve actually been either composing or arranging (often as I go along), for quite a while. Somehow, I bought into the idea that I hadn’t earned the right to say I was a composer. The thing is, if you compose, you’re a composer, whether or not anybody else knows about it, or likes it. As in all things, it’s only by doing that anybody learns and grows.
This statement also applies to the art of interpretation. Every piece of music gives us a chance to not only learn and grow, but also to explore. We may feel an instant affinity with the terrain, we may grow to love it later on, or we may never feel at home, however, the experience of exploration allows us to discover more about not only music, but ourselves. Whether I’m creating my own music or translating someone else’s “dots on a page” into sound, I strive to share a story, an emotional landscape, a miniature world that connects with the listener, even if my only audience is me. I hope that each of you will find the process of inhabiting the musical worlds that await you exciting, fulfilling, and joyful. If you strive to do your personal best, the process may be challenging, but the rewards are many.
I mentioned avoiding “shoulds,” but here’s an exception: music should be healing, both to the musician and to anyone with whom it is shared. I fervently hope that each of you will be fortunate enough to find the truth in this statement for yourselves.