Career Development Award

2015 marked the tenth presentation of the WMCT’s Career Development Award (CDA). Established in 1989 and presented every three years, the CDA assists exceptional young Canadian musicians who are already engaged in a professional performing career through a cash award and a recital in the Music in the Afternoon concert series. The CDA is a project of the WMCT, funded by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Foundation, and organized in partnership with CBC Radio Music and Espace Musique de Radio-Canada.

Since 2000 the ten candidates for each competition have been selected by CBC regional producers. The candidates are adjudicated by five jurors who come from all over Canada, and who are chosen for their varying musical expertise. They do not confer or meet, but instead they individually rank all the candidates based solely on their written and audio materials.

Host Julie Nezrallah of CBC Radio Two’s classical music program Tempo

In celebration of the tenth presentation of the CDA in 2015, the WMCT concluded the selection process with a live competition for the three finalists. Thus, the five jurors selected their top three musicians based on audio and written materials and those three came to Walter Hall in Toronto on April 26, 2015, for a live competition. Three different jurors adjudicated the live competition in Walter Hall, which was hosted by Julie Nezrallah (of CBC Radio Two’s morning classical music programme, Tempo). And, instead of just one prize for the winner, each of the three finalists performing in the live competition won a cash award: $20,000 for the first prize (and a recital in the WMCT’s 2016-2017 Music in the Afternoon concert series); $10,000 for the second prize; and $5,000 for the third prize. Pianist Pierre-André Doucet placed third, cellist Stéphane Tétreault placed second, and the winner was pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin.

If you would like to donate to the CDA and offer your support to the finest of young Canadian musicians please contact the WMCT office at 416-923-7052. An official donation receipt for income tax purposes will be issued for all donations.

2015 Career Development Award Winners

First place: Pianist, Charles Richard-Hamelin
$20,000, plus a recital engagement in the WMCT’s Music in the Afternoon concert series in 2016-17

WMCT President Annette Sanger and first place winner pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin

Charles Richard-Hamelin is one of today’s most promising young Canadian pianists, already in great demand on the world stage. Just a few months after winning the WMCT’s CDA, Charles went on to great success in the prestigious International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in October 2015, garnering both the Silver Medal and the Krystian Zimerman prize for the best sonata performance. Previously he won the second prize at the Montreal International Musical Competition. As a soloist, Charles has performed with various ensembles including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain, Korean Symphony Orchestra, I Musici de Montréal, McGill Symphony Orchestra, Lanaudière Sinfonia, and Orchestra Toronto. Originally from Lanaudière in Québec, Charles Richard-Hamelin studied with Paul Surdulescu, Richard Raymond, Sara Laimon and Boris Berman. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Performance from McGill University in 2011 and a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Music in 2013 – on full scholarships in both institutions. Charles is now studying at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with André Laplante.


Second place: Cellist, Stéphane Tétreault

Second place: Cellist, Stéphane Tétreault

Cello prodigy Stéphane Tétreault first made international headlines as the recipient of Bernard Greenhouse’s cello, the 1707 “Countess of Stainlein, Ex-Paganini” Stradivarius, on generous loan from Mrs. Jacqueline Desmarais. He was the laureate of the first Fernand-Lindsay Career Award as well as Jeunesses Musicales of Canada’s Choquette-Symcox Award in 2013. His debut CD, released on the Analekta label and recorded with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and conductor Fabien Gabel, was nominated as the “Best Classical Album of the Year” at the 2013 ADISQ Gala, and earned rave reviews from The Strad and Gramophone magazines. As the first Soloist-in-Residence of the Orchestre Métropolitain, he performed alongside Yannick Nézet-Séguin during the 2014-2015 season and made his debut at the Auditorium of the Louvre Museum in March 2015. Now 22 years old, Stéphane was a student of the late cellist and conductor Yuli Turovsky for more than 10 years. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Music Performance at the Université de Montréal.

Third Place: Pianist, Pierre-André Doucet

Acadian pianist and writer Pierre-André Doucet is presently a doctoral candidate at l’Université de Montréal, where he studies with Maneli Pirzadeh. He has also participated in masterclasses with such luminaries as Robert McDonald, John Perry and Paul Stewart (piano), and Elly Ameling, Marilyn Horne, Kiri Te Kanawa, Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, Warren Jones and Roger Vignoles (vocal piano). Winner of the Knigge Piano Competition (2013), Mr. Doucet has also been awarded top prizes for his performances of contemporary works, namely at the Ibiza International Piano Competition (2013) and the Prix d’Europe (2014). Recent projects have seen him travel throughout Canada, as well as to the United States, Austria, France, Germany, Lebanon, Spain, South Africa and his native New Brunswick, where he was named Co-Artistic Director of Barachois Summer Music in 2012.

 Career Development Award Winners:

  • 2015 – Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano
    • with second prize to cellist, Stéphane Tétreault, and third prize to pianist, Pierre André Doucet
  • 2012 – Vincent Lauzer, recorder
  • 2009 – Darrett Zusko, piano
  • 2006 – Shannon Mercer, soprano
  • 2003 – Sonia Chan, piano
  • 2000 – Yegor Dyachkov, cello
  • 1997 – Jeanie Chung, piano
  • 1994 – Karina Gauvin, soprano
  • 1992 – James Ehnes, violin
  • 1990 – Francine Kay, piano




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