Our Spring Newsletter is Here

Read all the latest WMCT news with contributions from our Artistic Director, our Board President and other members of the WMCT community

  • “What’s on the Horizon for Music in the Afternoon”
  • News on Award & Scholarship Winners
  • “Imagine a Volunteer from the Past”, “The Year of Living Virtually” & More

Michael Bridge : 2021 Career Development Award Winner

The WMCT is delighted to announce its 2021 Career Development award winner. The CDA is presented every three years to a young and exceptional Canadian musician embarking on a the WMCT, in partnership with CBC Radio Music and Espace musique de Radio-Canada, and it is funded by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Foundation.

Photo: Bo Huang

The 2021 CDA winner is accordionist, Michael Bridge. Our audience will remember Michael from his brilliant Music in the Afternoon concert live-streamed on November 12 last year. Actually, this CDA award represents two firsts – the first accordionist, and the first awardee who has performed for us in advance of receiving the CDA!  But with such a talented and versatile performer as Michael we eagerly look forward to hearing him again (in person!) in his CDA-winner recital in our 2022-23 Music in the Afternoon season.

Michael hails from Calgary and is now based in Toronto. He is currently in the final stages of his Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Toronto and on the cusp of a full-time performing career, though already he has toured every Canadian province, nearly half of the American states, and several regions in Europe and South America.

Hearty congratulations to Michael Bridge!

WMCT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

In the summer of 2020, as millions of people in Canada, the US and around the world united to protest racism and discrimination – particularly in the Black community – the WMCT decided it was time to reflect and resolve to take steps towards being more proactive in promoting the goals of anti-racism, access, and equity. As a largely white organization, the WMCT acknowledges its privilege, as well as the need to listen, learn, and actively engage in bringing about change.

With that goal in mind, in July 2020 the WMCT created a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee of the Board. In January 2021 Board members attended an online workshop given by Renée Bazile-Jones, President of Diversity Grand Dame, and former Senior Director of Learning at the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.

In consultation with the DEI Committee, the WMCT will:

  1. Aim for diverse and under-represented communities to have equitable access to our concerts, awards and scholarships, and committee and board membership
  2. Aim for broader representation of equity-seeking groups among performers in Music in the Afternoon concerts
  3. Work towards ensuring our programs and decision-making are more inclusive and reflect the make-up of the Toronto community

 February, 2021

Congratulations to Kelly-Marie Murphy

Kelly-Marie Murphy, pictured here with Artistic Director Simon Fryer, has won this year’s Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. Her composition titled Coffee Will be Served in the Living Room, for 8 cellos, was commissioned by the WMCT, and premiered on May 3, 2018 at CelloDrama!, in Music in the Afternoon‘s 120th season.

The prize, administered by the Canada Council, was established in 1978 by the Right Honourable Jules Léger, then Governor General of Canada.

Other WMCT-commissioned composers who have won this prize are Christos Hatzis, Chris Paul Harman, and Zosha di Castri.

2021 Career Development Award | Finalists announced

The WMCT is delighted to announce the candidates and the jurors for its 2021 Career Development Award. The nine finalists are all exceptionally talented young musicians embarking on careers performing classical music. They were selected by CBC producers from across Canada. Each candidate has submitted audio-visual and written materials for review by a five-person jury and the announcement of the winner will be made at the Music in the Afternoon concert on March 4, 2021. The award is worth $25,000 and includes a performance in the WMCT’s concert series in 2022-23.

The Candidates

Kevin Ahfat, piano (Toronto, ON)

Michael Bridge, accordion (Calgary, AB)

Matthew Cairns, tenor (St. Catharine’s, ON)

Marcel D’Entremont, tenor (Merigomish, NS)

Simona Genga, mezzo-soprano (Woodbridge, ON)

“Meagan & Amy” – Amy Hillis, violin, and Meagan Milatz, piano (Regina, SK)

Jaden Izik-Dzurko, piano (Salmon Arm, BC)

Alice Lee, violin (Victoria, BC)

Anna-Sophie Neher, soprano (Gatineau, PQ)

The Jury

Each year the jury includes two CBC producers, Alison Howard (Toronto) and Guylaine Picard (Montreal), who is also the jury chair. Special thanks also to Alison Howard for collating all the candidates’ materials and sending them out to the jurors. Three other jurors were selected for the 2021 award based on their musical/instrument expertise, experience with adjudication and representation from across Canada. They are:

Mark Fewer: violinist, chamber musician, new music promoter, Artistic/Festival Director, Professor at the University of Toronto.

Naomi Woo: conductor (opera & orchestra) pianist, opera coach, musicologist, Professor at the University of Manitoba. 

Christina Haldane: soprano, international performer and educator. Professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Many thanks to all the candidates, the jurors, the CDA committee (Tamar Nelson, Holde Gerlach, Kathy Halliday and Alison Howard) as well as our very generous donors who have all contributed to making this significant and impactful award possible.

Annette Sanger

Chair, Career Development Award

Scholarship Winners 2020-21

Emily Bosenius currently studies violin with Jonathan Crow, in her third year at the University of Toronto‘s Faculty of Music, where she holds Principal and Concertmaster positions in the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Emily has performed under the baton of Jonathan Darlington, Anton Kuerti and Peter Oundjian, participated in the Orford Music Academy and Domaine Forget’s International Academy, and toured Germany and Scotland with the 2018 National Youth Orchestra of Canada. The COVID shutdown cancelled her planned engagements this year with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra, and UTSO, and her planned attendance at the 2020 Aspen Music Festival. Coronavirus restrictions also prevented the winner of the WMCT Centennial Scholarship from performing at our AGM, but you can sample her artistry in this video.

With degrees from the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School, violinist Hee-Soo Yoon is a new student at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, supported by the WMCT and WMCTF 110th Anniversary Scholarship. Hee-Soo Yoon began playing violin at age 3. An avid chamber musician, she has performed with members of the Borromeo and Cleveland Quartets and has worked with members of the Brentano, Miró, and Juilliard Quartets. She made her solo debut performing Vivaldi’s Spring with the Vancouver Symphony with maestro Bramwell Tovey. She has collaborated with Sofia Gubaidulina, Julian Anderson, Stephen Chatman, and Eduardo Caballero. Here is a video excerpt of her April graduation recital, held in confined quarters because of COVID-19.

A note from Hee-Soo

I am so incredibly honoured to be a recipient of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto and the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Foundation 110th Anniversary Scholarship! It was so wonderful to meet you earlier this month, and I wanted to write to you to express my gratitude for your generosity, and share a bit about my background and why this scholarship is so important to me.
As you know, I just recently moved back to Canada to start the Artist Diploma Program at The Glenn Gould School to study with Mayumi Seiler. I was born in Victoria and grew up near Vancouver, but much of my musical education took place in the US. Even throughout high school, I found myself taking lessons and attending festivals across the border. Despite this, I have been wanting to return home to Canada and refamiliarize myself with the diverse musical scene here. GGS is the perfect place for young musicians like myself to explore our own artistry, and here it is easy to find inspiration from my colleagues and the city itself. Much of the curriculum is online for now, but I already feel like I am part of the community and I look forward to being a part of it in person! Currently, in addition to attending school I am working on a couple of personal musical projects, all collaborative in nature. While COVID-19 has made the execution of these projects a bit tricky, I hope to see them come to fruition soon.
Thank you so much for your gift and for supporting my education. It means so much to have this opportunity to be a part of the musical community in Toronto and at The Glenn Gould School, and I am very grateful to you for making this possible. I look forward to seeing how my career evolves from here!
Hee-Soo Yoon

Charles Richard-Hamelin opens the season

Les Violons du Roy are among the many Québec-province musical presenters embarking on live performance series. Their first concert takes place September 25 in the Salle Raoul-Jobin in the old city of Québec, including Mozart’s Piano concerto no. 23, with soloist 2015 WMCT CDA winner Charles Richard-Hamelin.

Charles will also play a recital of the complete Chopin Preludes in the Palais Montcalm, on October19 and 20.