Competition Finalists

Five finalists have been selected by our jury to participate in the final round of the inaugural Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers. They will compose works for piano quintet (piano and string quartet) that will be premiered at a concert and prize gala on September 29, 2018 at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. That same evening, the jury will award a $15,000 grand prize, a $10,000 second place prize, and $5,000 prizes for third, fourth, and fifth place, plus an additional $5,000 People’s Choice Award. The finalists' works will be performed by pianist Sara Laimon and the Molinari Quartet.

Ashkan Behzadi

Portrait of Ashkan Behzadi

Ashkan Behzadi currently resides in New York City where he is a doctoral student at Columbia University. A graduate of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in composition and music theory, his music has been performed by Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM) and the Esprit Orchestra, among other ensembles.

Watch a performance of Till-Still-Again (2016), one of Ashkan's compositions, on Vimeo.

Taylor Brook

Often integrating electronics and new technologies, Taylor Brook’s music has been described as “gripping” and “engrossing” by the New York Times. The winner of several SOCAN Young Composers awards, he holds a master’s degree in composition from the Schulich School of Music of McGill University and is currently completing a doctorate in music composition at Columbia University with Fred Lerdahl. 

Watch a performance of Amalgam (2016), one of Taylor's compositions, on YouTube.

Christopher Goddard

The National Youth Orchestra of Canada’s Emerging Composer-in-Residence for 2016, Christopher Goddard has written new works for Koerner Hall’s 21C Festival and many other events and ensembles in both Canada and Europe. He holds master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and Rice University, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in composition with Professor John Rea at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.

Listen to Winter Rings (2017), one of Chris' compositions, on Soundcloud.

Alison Yun-Fei Jiang

A winner of the 2016 Toronto Symphony Orchestra Call for Scores, Alison Jiang is the commissioned composer for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada's 2018 season. Her music has been performed and workshopped by the TSO, JACK Quartet, Imani Winds, the Wet Ink Ensemble and the American String Quartet, among many others. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in music composition at University of Chicago. 

Listen to Birds Reincarnate (2016), one of Alison's compositions, on Soundcloud.

Thierry Tidrow

A winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Jules-Léger Prize, Thierry Tidrow currently resides in Cologne, Germany. His studies at McGill University's Schulich School of Music were followed by a master’s degree in composition from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and an Advanced Studies diploma at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg. Thierry has collaborated with many performers across Europe and North America, and was selected for the ECM+ Generation 2018 tour.

Watch a performance of Au fond du cloître humide (2014), one of Thierry's compositions, on YouTube.