Robert Cram first recipient of $20,000 award named for composer Oskar

TORONTO, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - Flutist Robert Cram is the first recipient of the Ontario Arts Council's Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance. The presentation of this national biennial award will be on Friday, October 16, during the opening concert of the University of Ottawa Orchestra's 2009-10 season.

    About Robert Cram

    -   Robert Cram is a native of Montreal who studied at the Juilliard
        School of Music in New York and in France.
    -   He was the principal flutist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra
        for 23 years and as soloist he appeared regularly with the NACO both
        at home and on tour in Canada and abroad. He has also appeared as
        soloist with the Montreal Symphony, the Quebec Symphony, the Toronto
        Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, and many others orchestras.
    -   Robert is the founder and artistic director of the Pierrot Concerts,
        an organization devoted to developing and performing contemporary
        Canadian music and music theatre works.
    -   A dozen or more pieces have been written for him by composers
        including Harry Somers, Gilles Tremblay, Jacques Hétu, Steven
        Gellman, Patrick Cardy and Melissa Hui.
    -   Robert is the artistic director and executive producer of the Somers
        Recording Project.
    -   He is currently a professor at the University of Ottawa.
    -   He has been President of the board of the National Youth Orchestra of
    -   In 1998 he was named Chevalier de l'ordre des arts et des lettres by
        the French Government.
    -   In 2004 he won a Juno Award for his recording of the Flute Concerto
        by Jacques Hétu.

    Nominating and Selection Panel

The nominating and selection panel consisted of artistic director Lawrence Cherney (Toronto), broadcaster, David Jaeger, (Toronto), historian, Elaine Keillor (Ottawa), and composer Michael Parker (Sackville).

Here is what they had to say:

"Robert Cram is a role model for Canadian performers - one whose artistic gifts are balanced by a very true and noble purpose in seeing that the best of Canadian repertoire is kept alive through performance and teaching."

About the award

The Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music recognizes an outstanding Canadian performer, including conductors, in the field of classical music. Nominees must have proven musicianship or conducting skills; contributed to the musical life of Canada; demonstrated a commitment to Canadian music and knowledge of Oskar Morawetz's contribution to Canadian music.

    About Oskar Morawetz

    -   Oskar Morawetz, C.M., O.Ont., Mus.Doc., composer and music professor,
        was one of Canada's leading composers of contemporary music. During
        his 50 year career, he composed over 100 orchestral and chamber works
        which have been performed by artists such as Zubin Mehta, Seiji
        Ozawa, Glenn Gould, Yo-Yo Ma, Maureen Forrester and Ben Heppner.
    -   His compositions have been commissioned by artists such as Mstislav
        Rostropovich, Jeanne Baxtresser, Dorothy Maynor, James Campbell,
        Julian Milkis and Angela Hewitt. They have been recorded by the
        leading labels and have been broadcast numerous times. Morawetz'
        compositions have garnered him several awards, including two Junos
        for Best Classical Composition. In his lifetime, he received many
        distinctions, among them, the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada,
        and the Golden Jubilee Medal.
    -   For more information:

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is the province of Ontario's primary funding body for professional arts activity. Since 1963, the OAC has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts and artists for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians.

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SOURCE Ontario Arts Council

For further information: For further information: MEDIA INQUIRIES: Kirsten Gunter, Director of Communications, Ontario Arts Council, (416) 969-7403, 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7403,; Hali Krawchuk, Coordinator of Cultural Activities, School of Music, University of Ottawa, 50 University (103D), Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5, Tel: (613) 562-5800, Fax: (613) 562-5140,,

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