TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian is pleased to announce Earl Lee as the RBC Resident Conductor. After an open call for Canadian applications, five finalists were chosen to audition by conducting the Orchestra in rehearsal. Following the audition, each member of the Orchestra cast their vote. These ballots, in combination with selection committee interviews, resulted in the appointment of Earl to the position. Earl takes the TSO podium immediately, making his TSO conducting début in the January 27-30, 2015 Student Concert programmes. The RBC Resident Conductor position is part of the larger RBC Emerging Artists Project, designed to help develop the next generation of Canadian artists.
"Through the RBC Emerging Artists Project, we are proud to support the TSO's RBC Resident Conductor and congratulate Earl Lee for achieving this honour at such an early stage in his career," said George Lewis, Group Head, RBC Wealth Management & RBC Insurance. "In addition to offering professional experience and the opportunity to work with some of the world's best conductors, programmes like this enable the next generation of artists to bridge the gap from the academic to the professional world."
"The TSO is committed to elevating the orchestral art form by renewing the tradition of musical excellence with the very best and brightest talents," said TSO President & C.E.O. Jeff Melanson. "Investing in the future of Canadian culture and artists is critically important and we are pleased to partner with RBC to share our organization's opportunities and resources."
"I have had the pleasure of watching Earl develop as a musician over the past decade," said TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian. "As an accomplished cellist, he performed with great sensitivity and brilliant artistry. He brings these same instincts to his conducting. He has been expertly taught by Hugh Wolff, and I, along with the musicians of the TSO, am thrilled to be a part of the development of Earl's considerable talent."
As the TSO's RBC Resident Conductor, Earl will work closely with Music Director Peter Oundjian and the Artistic staff of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with complete access to all TSO rehearsals and performances. He will also work with TSO guest conductors for consultation, coaching, and discussion. Earl makes his TSO conducting début in the January 27-30, 2015 Student Concert programmes, and his public début leading the TSO Young People's Concert on Saturday, February 7, 2015, with TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian. In the 2014/2015 season, he will also lead the June 13 and 14 Light Classics series Pan American Rhythms concert.
ABOUT EARL LEE: Born in Korea, Earl was raised in Toronto where he was a member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra cello section. An accomplished cellist, Earl is currently pursuing a career as a conductor. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School with degrees in cello performance, and he began his conducting studies in 2010 with Ignat Solzhenitsyn. He went on to study with George Manahan at the Manhattan School of Music, from where he recently graduated. Earl currently studies with Hugh Wolff at the New England Conservatory of Music. Earl received the 2013 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship to study with Kurt Masur in Leipzig, and was also awarded a 2013 Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors by the American Austrian Foundation. In February 2014, he participated in the 5th International Conducting Masterclass with David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich.
ABOUT THE RBC EMERGING ARTISTS PROGRAMME AT THE TSO: Along with the RBC Affiliate Composer position, the RBC Resident Conductor represents an important investment in the Canadian arts community by fostering the development of artists and leaders. This investment is supported by special project grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and a multi-year commitment from the RBC Foundation that began in 2012. Both positions are fully integrated into all areas of the organization, with full access to the inner workings of a major symphony orchestra. The RBC Resident Conductor position is a two-year term and the RBC Affiliate Composer position is extended to a third year
Since his appointment as RBC Affiliate Composer in 2012, Kevin Lau has had two new works performed by the TSO, and he is currently working on his third commission for the Orchestra. Other recent projects have included a commission by the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, written to commemorate Canada's role in the First World War and recently premièred in Vienna, and a new work for the Afiara String Quartet in collaboration with DJ Skratch Bastid. Currently, he is composing the score for an original full-length ballet entitled Le Petit Prince, commissioned by the National Ballet of Canada (to be premièred in 2016). Former RBC Resident Conductor Shalom Bard continues as part of the TSO Artistic Leadership team as the current Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Conductor and will be making his début with Orchestra London in February 2015. Shalom made his conducting débuts with the Calgary Philharmonic in 2013 and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in October 2014.
ABOUT THE TSO: Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada's most important cultural institutions, recognized internationally as an outstanding orchestra. Music Director Peter Oundjian leads the TSO with a commitment to innovative programming and audience development through a broad range of performances that showcase the exceptional talents of the Orchestra along with a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. The TSO also serves the larger community with TSOUNDCHECK, the original under-35 ticket programme; the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra; and music education programmes that reach over 50,000 students each year. TSO.CA
About RBC's Commitment to Community and Sustainability: Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) is Canada's largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We employ approximately 78,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 38 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com. RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, and one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations. RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability.
RBC Resident Conductor and RBC Affiliate Composer are part of the RBC Emerging Artists Project, supported by the RBC Foundation. These positions are also supported in part by the Canada Council for the Arts.
The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.
The TSO Official Airline is Air Canada.
The TSO Season Patrons are Pam and Chris Hodgson.
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