Darren James Russo wins SOCAN Foundation's John Weinzweig Grand Prize

TORONTO, Aug. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - The SOCAN Foundation today announced 15 recipients of the 24th Annual SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers.

This year's competition attracted 187 entries, awarding $29,250 to the prizewinners. "The jury chose to award the grand prize this year to Montreal-based composer Darren James Russo, for his ambitious 72-minute opera Storybook," said Rick MacMillan, Manager, SOCAN Foundation.

The Annual SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers recognize Canadian composers 30 years of age and under for specific musical works in five categories of concert music. The submissions were judged anonymously by a jury of three prominent composers with decades of experience teaching composition in the university milieu: Dr. Keith Hamel of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Dr. Eric Morin of l'Université Laval in Quebec City, and Dr. John Burge of Queen's University in Kingston, ON, a SOCAN Foundation Board member.

"I feel it has pretty much everything in it," says Eric Morin of Russo's Storybook. "Looking at it from any perspective, it is full of imagination and inventiveness, both pleasing and fulfilling." Keith Hamel calls it "an exquisite, sophisticated work, showing superb control and pacing at every turn."

The John Weinzweig Grand Prize celebrates the best overall work submitted in the competition, and is valued at $3,000. Russo's work was also recognized with the $3,000 first prize in the competition's Godfrey Ridout Awards.

Other major winners include Matthew Ricketts, who took the $3,000 first prize in the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards category for Flat Line, the $1,500 second prize in the Serge Garant Awards category for In Partial View, and a three-way shared third prize ($750 to each co-winner) in the Godfrey Ridout Awards for Women Well Met; Philippe Macnab-Séguin, who took the $3,000 first prize in the Serge Garant Awards category for his Percussion Sextet, and the $750 third prize in the Hugh Le Caine Awards category for Through the Cracks; Christopher Goddard, who shared second prize ($1,500 to each co-winner) in the Pierre Mercure Awards category for And Chase, and took the $750 third prize in the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards category for Janus Turns; and Michael Lukaszuk, who took the $3,000 first prize in the Hugh Le Caine Awards for Ritus.

Other award winners include: Isaac Hunter Coblentz (second prize) in the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards; Stephen Spencer and Patrick Giguère (shared third prizes) in the Serge Garant Awards; Roydon Tse (shared second prize with Christopher Goddard), and Jared Miller and Brian Lee Topp (shared third prizes) in the Pierre Mercure Awards; Lucas Mitchell Oickle and Iman Habibi (shared third prizes with Matthew Ricketts) in the Godfrey Ridout Awards; and Alexis Langevin-Tétrault (third prize) in the Hugh Le Caine Awards.

About the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers
The SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers is open to Canadian citizens 30 years of age and under.

About SOCAN Foundation
Founded in 1992, SOCAN Foundation is dedicated to fostering musical creativity and promoting a better understanding of the role of music creators in today's society. The Foundation is an independent organization guided by its own board of directors. The board, which consists of composers, songwriters and music publishers, reflects concert music and popular music genres as well as the geographic and linguistic regions of Canada. It is closely aligned to the interests of the members of SOCAN - the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.

2015 SOCAN FOUNDATION AWARDS FOR YOUNG COMPOSERS RECIPIENT LIST

View winners' biographies

The John Weinzweig Grand Prize
Grand Prize awarded for the best overall work submitted in the competition

$3,000 - Darren James Russo, 30, Montreal, QC - Storybook, an opera in two acts for five singers and 11 performers (libretto by the composer, with texts by William Blake, Lauren J. Rogener and Anusree Roy)

The Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards
For compositions for no fewer than thirteen performers up to a full symphony orchestra, which may include vocal participation and may be scored to include electroacoustics

First Prize: $3,000 - Matthew Ricketts, 29, New York, NY - Flat Line, for chamber ensemble of 15 players

Second Prize: $1,500 - Isaac Hunter Coblentz, 27, London, UK - Tempus Edax Rerum, for large ensemble

Third Prize: $750 - Christopher Goddard, 28, Montreal, QC - Janus Turns, for chamber orchestra

The Serge Garant Awards
For instrumental compositions for a minimum of three performers to a maximum of twelve, with or without voices and/or electroacoustics

First Prize: $3,000 - Philippe Macnab-Séguin, 22, Montreal, QC - Percussion Sextet

Second Prize: $1,500 - Matthew Ricketts, 29, New York, NY - In Partial View, for string quartet

Third Prize (shared): $750 - Stephen Spencer, 24, Montreal, QC - ALLOYS, for seven players

Third Prize (shared): $750 - Patrick Giguère, 28, L'Ange-Gardien, QC - Le sel de la terre, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and vibraphone

The Pierre Mercure Awards
For solo or duet compositions, with or without voices and/or electroacoustics

First Prize: Not awarded

Second Prize (shared): $1,500 - Roydon Tse, 24, Edmonton, AB - Memories, for harp and marimba

Second Prize (shared): $1,500 - Christopher Goddard, 28, Montreal, QC - And Chase, for violin and viola

Third Prize (shared): $750 - Jared Miller, 26, New York, NY - Retour aux sources: Grand Pré, for solo piano

Third Prize (shared): $750 - Brian Lee Topp, 25, Vancouver, BC - Insomnia, for flute, tape and live electronics

The Godfrey Ridout Awards
For works of any number of voices with or without instrumentation and/or electroacoustics

First Prize: $3,000 - Darren James Russo, 30, Montreal, QC - Storybook, an opera in two acts for five singers and 11 performers

Second Prize: Not awarded

Third Prize (shared among three winners): $750 - Lucas Mitchell Oickle, 24, Vancouver, BC - Three Songs on Poems by Vancouver Downtown Eastside Poets, for soprano, tenor and baritone, with piano (poetry by Ruth Dato, Henry Doyle and Joan Morelli)

Third Prize (shared among three winners): $750 - Iman Habibi, 29, Ann Arbor, MI - The Rose of Midnight, for mixed choir (poetry by Vachel Lindsay)

Third Prize (shared among three winners): $750 - Matthew Ricketts, 29, New York, NY - Women Well Met, for vocal sextet (poetry by Lauren J. Rogener)

The Hugh Le Caine Awards
For live or recorded electroacoustics, where the intended performance is, at least in part, through loudspeakers. Works in this category may be multi-media and may include acoustic instruments or voices, live or pre-recorded. The principal element in the work must be electroacoustic.

First Prize: $3,000 - Michael Lukaszuk, 25, Kingston, ON - Ritus, electroacoustic music

Second Prize: $1,500 - Alexis Langevin-Tétrault, 30, Montreal, QC - Défibrillation, electroacoustic music

Third Prize: $750 - Philippe Macnab-Séguin, 22, Montreal, QC - Through the Cracks, for electric guitar and live electronics


SOURCE SOCAN Foundation

For further information:

Media Contact: Rick MacMillan, 416-445-8700, ext. 3815, macmillanr@socan.ca

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