Career Development Award


 The WMCT’s Career Development Award (CDA) is presented every three years to an exceptional young Canadian musician (or small ensemble) embarking on a professional performing career. The award includes a $20,000 cash prize as well as the opportunity to give a recital in the Music in the Afternoon concert series. The most recent (2015) winner was pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin who subsequently went on to gain the Silver Medal in the prestigious International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. The CDA is a project of the WMCT in partnership with CBC Radio Music and Espace musique de Radio-Canada, and it is funded by the WMCT Foundation.

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.

The process for choosing the 2018 CDA winner is already underway. Ten candidates have been selected from the CBC’s Young Artists of the last three years. As well, the jury is in place, comprising five well-respected and knowledgeable professionals in the world of classical music. They have recently received audio and written materials for each of the candidates and will do their listening and reading over the next few months. The winner will be announced at the Music in the Afternoon concert on March 8, 2018.


Lindsay Bryden, flute, is a freelance musician based in London, UK who earned her MA in flute performance at the Royal Academy of Music in 2015. She has performed in such prestigious venues as St Martin-in-the-Fields and the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room.

Cheng2 Duo (Bryan Cheng, cello, and Sylvie Cheng, piano). This sibling duo has performed in notable venues throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Their debut CD, Violoncelle français, was released on the German classical label audite in 2016 to great acclaim.

Timothy Chooi, violin, is a recipient of the Sylva Gelber Award, Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank, and the Grand Prize Winner of the Montreal Symphony Manulife Competition. He has performed with Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, recorded his debut album, and was featured at Ravinia Festival in Chicago.

Cameron Crozman, cello, received his Master’s degree in cello from the Conservatoire de Paris and is currently continuing his studies there in contemporary repertoire and chamber music. He is 2nd prize laureate of the both the OSM Standard Life and the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competitions.

Emily D’Angelo, mezzo-soprano, recently graduated from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, and was winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera Auditions in New York. D’Angelo was also winner of the 2017 Gerda Lissner International Voice Competition and the 2017 Canadian Opera Company Quilico Awards Competition.

Mehdi Ghazi, piano, was solo finalist in the 2013 International Ferruccio Busoni Competition in Italy and has worked and collaborated with renowned conductors including Daniel Barenboim and Pavel Baleff. He is a graduate of the Montreal Conservatory and the Glenn Gould School.

Scott McIsaac, piano, currently lives in London, UK. He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and holds a Masters of Music degree from Yale University. Among his many awards he recently won the Grand Prize in the Montreal Symphony Manulife Competition.

Boson Mo, violin, is from Montreal and a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree at Rice University under Paul Kantor. He has been featured in recitals by the Banff Centre for the Arts and Aspen Music Festival.

Blake Pouliot, violin, is a versatile artist who is a classical musician, film and television actor and keyboardist in an award-winning pop band. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Aspen, Calgary and Sofia Philharmonics and is recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts 2013 Michael Mesure Prize.

Tony Yike Yang, piano, is just 18 years of age. He won fifth prize at the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015 and is also first prize winner of the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Junior Piano Competition. He studies at Harvard University and the New England Conservatory of Music.


Jane Coop, is a Professor Emerita of piano and chamber music at UBC, and one of Canada’s most distinguished concert pianists who has toured extensively throughout North America, Asia and Europe. She has participated in many international piano competition juries and in 2012 was appointed member of the Order of Canada. 

Adrian Fung, is currently Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Oklahoma’s Weitzenhoffer College of Fine Arts as well as Executive Artistic Director of Music of the Morning Concert Society in Vancouver. He was the founding cellist of the acclaimed Afiara Quartet and a Juno-nominated artist who has performed as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and in recital at Carnegie Hall and Taiwan’s National Concert Hall.

Gordon Gerrard is Music Director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He is a respected collaborative pianist, a gifted educator and lecturer, and much in demand as a conductor of opera, with companies including Opera Lyra Ottawa, Calgary Opera and Opera McGill.

Alison Howard is a Producer at CBC Radio Music in Toronto.

Guylaine Picard (jury chair) is Director-Coordinator at Espace musique de Radio Canada in Montreal.

The WMCT extends thanks to the jurors, and the best of luck to all the candidates!

Annette Sanger
Chair, CDA

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 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.


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.


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