TORONTO, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Arts Council today announced that Toronto-based cellist Shauna Rolston is the recipient of the Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance. The $20,000 award will be presented on Monday, January 30, 2012 at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's New Music Festival. Shauna will perform a world premiere of Vincent Ho's cello concerto City Suites at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg.
About the recipient:
- Award-winning cellist Shauna Rolston is considered one of Canada's most unique musical talents, recognized for her technique and her ability to capture the audience's imagination.
- Shauna's passion and gift for music has led to the commission and creation of more than 50 new works for her, including several cello concerti by Canada's leading composers.
- She has performed in many of the world's major concert halls including Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and was the featured artist at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
- She has performed with artists such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir Andrew Davis, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, Keith Lockhart, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Hans Graf, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andrey Boreyko, and Menahem Pressler, and undertaken collaborations with Veronica Tennant, Evelyn Hart, and Peggy Baker.
- Shauna's most recent CD, "Dreamscape", features her work as soloist with cello orchestra in arrangements of popular classical favourites.
- In addition to her touring and performance schedule, Shauna is also Professor of Cello and Head of Strings at the University of Toronto and a Visiting Artist for the Music and Sound Programs at The Banff Centre.
"I am deeply honoured and touched to receive this award. Oskar was such an inspiration to me and many others. I will forever cherish the memories of our times together, working on his great music and sharing many laughs. He was an extraordinary man and artist and a fabulous story teller with a remarkable sense of humour. Thank you to the OAC for this special recognition." -Shauna Rolston
The jury unanimously selected Shauna for the award, and noted: "Shauna Rolston is a compelling performer and champion of new Canadian music, continually daring to try new things and genres. She has shown a keen understanding of Morawetz's work, as seen in her excellent interpretation of the concerto "Memorial to Martin Luther King." She is also a dedicated educator with innovative approaches to teaching."
A national selection panel comprised of three recognized music professionals was responsible for nominating all the candidates and the final selection of the winner. The jurors were: Elisabeth Bihl (Toronto, ON); Patrick Carrabré (Brandon, MB) and Katherine Duncan (Calgary, AB).
About the Award:
- The Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance was established at the Ontario Arts Council in 2007.
- It recognizes an outstanding Canadian performer, including conductors, in the field of classical music who demonstrate a talent and commitment to Canadian music and musical life in Canada, and who may have reached a degree of international recognition through recordings and performances.
- The biennial award was officially inaugurated in 2009 by Oskar Morawetz's daughter Claudia Morawetz, in memory of her father.
- Oskar Morawetz was one of Canada's leading composers of contemporary music. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Morawetz composed over 100 orchestral and chamber works which have been performed on five continents, earning him international acclaim, and awards. He was named to the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada and received a Golden Jubilee medal among other distinctions.
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. In 2010-2011, the Ontario Arts Council funded 1,720 individual artists and 1,057 organizations in 223 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.3 million.
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For further information:
About the Award
Ontario Arts Council
Director of Communications, OAC
416-969-7403 / 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7403
About Recipient Shauna Rolston
Dr. Michael Dufresne
Michael Gerard Management Group