Remarks from the jury of the CDA competition on April 26

CDA Jury Remarks

Thank you to our many members (and their friends and families) who attended the WMCT’s Career Development Award competition on Sunday, April 26. Feedback from everyone has been unanimously positive – it was definitely a very important and special afternoon in the musical life of the Club, Toronto, and Canada. The three finalists were all consummate performers and it was clearly a challenge for the jury to choose between them for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes.

The jury has compiled some remarks that we would like to share with you.

You may also be interested in the following review in Audiophilia


It was our great honour and privilege to hear three outstanding musicians on April 26th for the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Career Development Award Competition. Each of the musicians has a promising career trajectory before him, and we can be sure that they will all be representing Canada on national and international stages throughout the upcoming years.

Pierre-André Doucet began the afternoon with works by Haydn, Liszt and Carl Vine. He is an intellectual and thoughtful performer, which was particularly evident in the challenging Vine sonata. One juror was impressed with his capacity for understanding and presenting this complex music with such authority and ease. The Haydn was well-structured and competently performed but lacked some colour and character. We all thought that the performance of “Isolde’s Liebestod” by Liszt was compelling and, as one juror remarked, “memorable”.

Stéphane Tétreault and Marie-Ève Scarfone charmed us all with their strong communicative skills both with each other and with those of us in the audience. It was such a pleasure to hear their interaction and superb ensemble expertise. We thought that the approach to rubato, particularly in the Haydn, was somewhat excessive and took away from the pure, pristine elements of this style. Both are natural performers with a special gift for delighting audience members.

Charles Richard-Hamelin immediately captured our interest with a depth of musicianship and maturity that was evident from the opening of the Bach Partita. The tone that he produced from the piano was beyond the capabilities of the actual instrument. In turn, he created sounds that were orchestral and soloistic, and wove intricate and beautifully voiced lines as a seasoned string quartet might. His structural and musical understanding of the large-scale Chopin sonata was exceptional, and as one juror remarked “perhaps one of the finest performances of this work I have ever heard on any professional stage”.

The task of deciding 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards was an extremely challenging one as each musician presented a truly special and unique voice. Having said this, the jury was unanimous in the decision to award 1st prize to Charles Richard-Hamelin, 2nd prize to Stéphane Tétreault, and 3rd prize to Pierre-André Doucet. We wish all three extraordinary young performers continued success in their future endeavours.

Midori Koga – Professor of Piano & Piano Pedagogy, University of Toronto

Kerry Stratton – Conductor and Music Director, Toronto Concert Orchestra, Wish Opera, Programme host Classical 96.3 FM

Winona Zelenka – Assistant Principal Cellist, Toronto Symphony Orchestra