2020 Jury

The jury for this competition is made up of two Canadian composers, one international composer, a distinguished member of the musical community, an internationally recognized performer, and a member of the concert-going public with a passion for musical creation.

Portrait of Prof. Douglas McNabney

Douglas McNabney,
Jury Chair

Native of Toronto, violist Douglas McNabney is one of Canada’s distinguished chamber musicians. An international performing career has taken him across Europe, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in addition to his appearances in festivals throughout Canada and the U.S.A.

A renowned arts administrator, Douglas McNabney was Artistic Director of the Domaine Forget Music Festival and Academy from 2001 until 2005. Also Artistic Director of Toronto Summer Music Festival from 2010 until 2016, he was responsible for developing new Chamber Music and Art Song programs for emerging artists.

Douglas McNabney is currently Associate Dean of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University and he pursues a busy schedule of appearances as soloist and guest artist in festivals and with chamber music societies and ensembles across North America and in Europe.

Dr. Darius Bägli

Dr. Darius Bägli

Though born in the US, Dr. Darius Bägli is a native of Montreal and of McGill University where he received his MDCM in 1984, and both his L.Mus. in Piano-Performance and B.Sc. in Physiology in 1980.

He began studying piano at the age of 4, first privately with the late Ken Woodman and later with the late Dorothy Morton for many years before entering the Faculty of Music under Professor Morton. Dr. Bägli trained professionally in Molecular Biology and Urologic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and in children's urology at the University of Washington. Currently Dr. Bagli is Professor of Surgery & Physiology at the University of Toronto, and a Senior Pediatric Urologic Surgeon, the Associate Surgeon in Chief, and a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

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Dr. Bägli has remained active in music throughout his medical career. He has performed at numerous university and professional events in Boston, Toronto, and overseas, including performances of Carmina Burana and Bach with the Longwood Symphony featuring Yo-Yo Ma. In 2002, Dr. Bägli was a participant in the Van Cliburn International Competition for Outstanding Amateurs.

In recent years, Dr. Bägli has been active as a chamber musician with the Toronto Summer Music Festival annually since 2014. He has also performed recitals at the childrens’ hospitals in Toronto with TSO concertmaster Jonathan Crow and in Montreal with MSO concertmaster Andrew Wan. In Toronto in 2016 and 2018, Dr. Bagli performed four-hand recitals with visiting artist Emanuel Ax, and they will be performing together again in 2020. Dr. Bagli is passionate about supporting and collaborating with young emerging professional musicians and is currently on the Board of Directors of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Charlotte Bray

Charlotte Bray

The composer Charlotte Bray has emerged as a distinctive and outstanding talent of her generation. Exhibiting uninhibited ambition and desire to communicate, her music is exhilarating, inherently vivid, and richly expressive with lyrical intensity. Bray has been championed by numerous world-class ensembles and orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London Sinfonietta and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Her work has featured at the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Tanglewood, Aix-en-Provence and Verbier Festival.

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Several renowned conductors have performed her work and these include Sir Mark Elder, Oliver Knussen, Sakari Oramo and Jessica Cottis. Recent premieres include: triple concerto Germinate (May 2019), Sitkovetsky Trio and the Philharmonia, Investec International Music Festival; Red Swans Floating (June 2019), notabu.ensemble and Spectra Ensemble, Tonhalle Düsseldorf; Bring Me All Your Dreams (June 2019), Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Aldeburgh Festival; Reflections In Time (May 2018), London Sinfonietta; Mid-Oceaned (viola and cello), Ralf Ehlers and Lucas Fels (Arditti Quartet), Hepner Foundation; In Black Light (July 2018), Tabea Zimmerman, Aix-en-Provence Festival. Bray’s second recording, a disc of chamber and solo works, was released in 2018 on the RTF Classical label. At the Speed of Stillness, Bray’s debut recording, is available on NMC Records.

Dorothy Chang

Dorothy Chang

Described as "evocative and kaleidoscopic," the music of composer Dorothy Chang often reflects an eclectic mix of musical influences ranging from popular and folk music to elements of traditional Chinese music. Many of her works are inspired by place, time, memory and personal histories.

Dorothy’s catalog includes over seventy works for solo, chamber and large ensembles with a particular interest in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. Recent projects including a radio play adaptation of Gertrude Stein’s White Wines, several works for mixed Chinese and Western ensembles, and a collaboration with four other composers and choreographer Yukichi Hattori for the True North Symphonic Ballet premiered by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

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For the 2019-2020 season, she is collaborating with composer Owen Underhill, Wen Wei Dance, the Turning Point Ensemble and the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra on Flying White, a work inspired by Chinese calligraphy that will be premiered at the 2020 PuSh Festival in Vancouver.

Dorothy’s music has been featured in concerts and festivals across North America and abroad, with performances by ensembles including the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Victoria Symphony Orchestra, as well as by chamber ensembles including Eighth Blackbird, the Smith Quartet, the Chicago Saxophone Quartet, Collage New Music and Music from China, among others. From 2005-2008 she served as a Music Alive composer-in-residence with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

Born in Winfield, Illinois, Dorothy is currently a Professor of Music at the University of British Columbia.

Brian Current

Brian Current studied music at McGill University and UC Berkeley (PhD). His music, lauded and broadcast in over 35 countries, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Barlow Prize for Orchestral Music (USA), the Premio Fedora (Italy) for Chamber Opera, and a Selected Work (under 30) at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. Brian’s pieces have been programmed by all major symphony orchestras in Canada and by dozens of professional orchestras, ensembles, and opera companies worldwide including the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. His music appears on ten commercial recordings, including three albums devoted exclusively to his works. The Naxos recording of his opera Airline Icarus earned him a 2015 Juno Award for Best Classical Composition of the Year.

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Current is also an in-demand guest conductor and regularly leads orchestral programs of contemporary music. He has championed nearly one hundred works by Canadian composers. Brian has been the main conductor of the Continuum Ensemble since 2011 and has guest conducted with symphony orchestras and ensembles in Canada, the USA and Italy. Starting in 2019-2020 he will begin as co-director of New Music Concerts (NMC) of Toronto. Since 2007 Dr. Current has been director of the New Music Ensemble of the Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory. In 2016 he won the inaugural Azrieli Commissioning Competition, the largest of its kind in Canada at $50,000 and one of the largest in the world, and in 2018 his Shout, Sisyphus, Flock won the Jules-Léger Prize for New Chamber Music.

Danièle LeBlanc

Danièle LeBlanc

A manager in the field of classical music and cultural events for more than 25 years, Danièle LeBlanc is recognized for her ability to lead national events. Executive and Artistic Director of Jeunesses Musicales Canada since 2012, she was also Head of Education for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, coordinating outdoor activities at the official opening of the Maison Symphonique de Montréal, while supervising the educational projects of the OSM in addition to overseeing the OSM Manulife Competition for 4 years. She has also been General Coordinator for the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute.

Her interest in activities dedicated to young audiences as well as young professional artists has marked her career. Prior to her move to corporate management, she led a prominent international career as a guest mezzo with North American, European and Mexican opera houses, broadcasters, and producers.

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She is the recipient of a dozen national and international prizes and scholarships. A guest panelist for radio programs such as “L’Opéra du samedi” et “Art la loi”, she was a cultural reporter for the radio morning show on the Première Chaîne of the French Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Speaker for Femmessor, Danièle LeBlanc is also a host and a performer to young audiences for symphonic concert projects presented with Quebec and Canadian orchestras.

Helmut Lipsky

Helmut Lipsky

A violinist, composer, improviser and pedagogue in classical, jazz, world, tango, and contemporary music, Helmut Lipsky is active in both the national and international music scenes. Born in Germany and raised in Switzerland, Helmut studied violin at the Zurich Conservatory, and then at the Brooklyn College Conservatory with Itzhak Perlman. Now residing in Montreal, he has been a professor at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal since 1995. He has written for cinema, television, theatre, dance, and multimedia exhibitions, as well as special occasions, such as his Harbour Symphony for violin and ship sirens performed at Montreal Harbour.

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A founding member of the group Mélosphère, with whom he has often recorded, Helmut has collaborated with artists such as Andreas Vollenweider, Gilles Vigneault, Karen Young, Suzie LeBlanc, Angèle Dubeau, Michel Donato, and James Gelfand, performing at festivals in North America and Europe, including the Montreux International Jazz Festival. As a member of the renowned group Quartango, he has performed with major orchestras across Canada, as well as at the Orford Festival and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. He has won numerous awards, including Le Prix Opus for Best Album, the Presidential Scholars Award from the Council of the City of New York and First Prize of the Worldwide Community of French Language Radio Stations, and was invited to perform his music at Moses Znaimer’s prestigious Idea City Conference in Toronto in 2005 and 2011.

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