Yolanda Bruno, BMus'11, wins First Prize of the Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition


Violinist Yolanda Bruno, BMus'11, was awarded the First Prize and the Audience Choice Prize at the inaugural Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition, organized by the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University. This national competition was open to Canadian violinists from the age of 18 to 29. While studying at the Schulich School of Music, she was a violin student of Jonathan Crow.  The awards she received include: The Marion Overton Dick Memorial Violin Prize for $20,000 CAD, a future engagement to perform with the Kingston Symphony, and a future engagement to perform a recital at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts that will be recorded by CBC Radio 2 for national broadcast, and finally, the Bader Family Audience Prize for $1,000 CAD. She was also offered professional advice sessions with Andrew Kwan of Andrew Kwan Artists Management.

Yolanda Bruno performed the demanding Bartok Violin Concerto No. 2 in the final round on the 1700 Taft Stradivari on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. She has been praised for "total control of her instrument, articulation and perfect intonation with infinite variety in the sound palette" ( La Presse), and was recently named on CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30.” Raised in Ottawa, she has performed across North America and Europe including solos with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, L'Orchestre Métropolitain, Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the London Mozart Players. A devoted chamber musician, Yolanda has collaborated with Pinchas Zukerman, Menahem Pressler and Levon Chilingirian. She is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, most recently winning the Canada Council’s Virginia Parker Award (2015) as well as the grand prize at the OSM Standard Life Competition (2013)  and best performed work by a Canadian composer. She has also been a recipient of the Sylva Gelber Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts. 

“Yolanda is a brilliantly talented young violinist, with a vast range of expression and maturity far beyond her years. Her performance was magnificent. All the finalists demonstrated mastery of their instrument and intense musicality. It was a very emotional evening, as it is clear that the future of classical music in Canada and beyond is bright with this outstanding level of talent and musical commitment. We were all so inspired by the performances of these gifted musicians,” stated Tricia Baldwin, Director, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

The link to Yolanda Bruno’s Competition performance of the Bartok Violin Concerto No. 2 is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWRkREFRHJw (start time at 2 hr., 54 min.).


Read the article in The Strad on Yolanda Bruno here
"Bruno, who played Bartók‘s Second Violin Concerto in the competition’s final round, performs on the 1700 ‘Taft’ Stradivari on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. She is a graduate of McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she studied with David Takeno."