The nominees for the 23rd Prix Opus were announced last week, and Schulich students, faculty, and alumni are everywhere on the list of finalists! Not only are they well represented in orchestras, choirs, and young artist programs in Montreal and across the province, but many appeared as featured artists on nominated performances, and a number of Schulich-founded and Schulich-led ensembles have been singled out as well.
Below, you’ll find a list of nominees with connections to Schulich in fifteen different categories. We’re sure to have missed a few, though, so feel free to contact us at publicity.music [at] mcgill.ca!
The Prix Opus comprise more than 20 different award categories and 20 additional special prizes, highlighting outstanding concerts, new releases, and publications in the Quebec music scene! Winners will be announced at the Prix Opus Gala on January 19, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. in Bourgie Hall. See a complete list of nominees here. Congratulations to all the finalists!
Concert de l'année – Montréal
Alumnus Michèle Losier was the mezzo-soprano soloist in Bartók’s opera Le Château de Barbe-Bleue (Bluebeard’s Castle) with the Orchestre Métropolitain. Arion Baroque, which was nominated three times in total, is also up for this award. Many McGill early musicians are involved with this ensemble, notably founding member and Schulich harpsichord professor Hank Knox.
Concert de l'année – Québec
Martin Dubé, who studied with Marina Mdivani during his MMus at Schulich, has been nominated for his lieder recital with mezzo-soprano Caroline Gélinas.
Concert de l'année - musique médiévale, de la Renaissance, baroque
Nominees for this category include two Schulich-led ensembles. Directed by McGill alums Jean-François Daignault and Dorothéa Ventura, La Nef’s concert Carpe Diem featured Annabelle Renzo, harp, and Ghislaine Deschaumbault, soprano, both Schulich BMus graduates. Pallade Musica brings together four outstanding members of the Schulich community: Tanya Laperrière, violin, Elinor Frey, cello, and Mélisande McNabney, harpsichord, all graduate alumni, and Schulich instructor and lutenist Esteban La Rotta. They were nominated for their concert of Bach harpsichord concertos.
Concert de l'année - musique classique, romantique, postromantique, impressionniste
The Nouvel Ensemble Moderne’s 30th anniversary concert was a collaboration with Sixtrum Percussion Ensemble. Sixtrum brings together six virtuosic percussionists, including McGill alumns Philip Hornsey and Olivier Tremblay-Noël, and our very own Schulich percussion faculty Kristie Ibrahim and Fabrice Marandola.
Concert de l'année - musique moderne, contemporaine
QUASAR Saxophone Quartet received three different nominations for three different concerts in the modern / contemporary, current / electroacoustic, and Premiere of the Year categories. Schulich saxophone faculty Marie-Chantal Leclair has been QUASAR’s Artistic Director since the ensemble’s inception in 1991.
Concert de l'année - Répertoires multiples
Our very own chamber choir, the Schulich Singers, was nominated as part of I Musici’s concert Portraits de femmes! The Orchestre Métropolitain’s Chants de louange concert also featured McGill graduate Myriam Leblanc, soprano.
Concert de l’année – Jazz
Benjamin Deschamps, saxophone, McGill alumnus, and Révélation Radio-Canada jazz 2017-2018, was nominated for his concert No Codes with the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Production de l'année - Jeune Public
McGill alum Nicolas Ellis conducted the Orchestre Métropolitain in a kid-friendly exploration of movie music. The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Bal des enfants, conducted by McGill honorary doctorate recipient Kent Nagano, was also nominated in this category; both orchestras have strong Schulich alumni and faculty contingents.
Créations de l'année
Alone/Unalone by sound artist, composer, and McGill alum James O’Callaghan was premiered by Ensemble Paramirabo in March, and in April, the Orchestre symphonique de Laval premiered MauerFall Lieder for orchestra and multimedia images by Schulich graduate Nicole Lizée.
Disque de l'année - musique médiévale, de la Renaissance, baroque
Schulich’s early music community is once again strongly represented in this category. Infusion Baroque, nominated for their album Kreüsser: 6 Quintettos, Opus 10, comprises outstanding Schulich grads Alexa Raine-Wright, Baroque flute and recorder, Sallynee Amawat, Baroque violin, Andrea Stewart, Baroque cello, and Rona Nadler, harpsichord. Nicandro e Fileno is the first recording of a pastoral opera by Paolo Lorenzani; the album was a collaboration between Le Nouvel Opéra, founded in 2000 by Schulich faculty member Suzie Leblanc, and Les Boréades, which features a number of Schulich period players.
Disque de l'année - musique classique, romantique, postromantique, impressionniste
All three nominees in this category have a Schulich connection. Renowned conductor Yannick Nézét-Séguin holds an honorary doctorate from McGill, string ensemble collectif9 features a number of Schulich alums, and cellist Chloé Dominguez is an alumnus and Golden Violin winner!
Disque de l'année - musique moderne, contemporaine
Violist Frédéric Lambert, an alumnus and current Schulich instructor, is a member of the Quatuor Molinari, which devotes itself to twentieth and twenty-first century works. The quartet was nominated for their album of works by composer John Zorn.
Disque de l’année – Jazz
We're proud to have a strong Schulich alumnus contingent in this category! The 2018 album Equilibrium by saxophonist Samuel Blais is one of the nominees in this category; his most recent disc Four Visions was featured on a recent Schulich Release Radar. Guitarist Sam Kirmayer is a featured on High and Low, and trumpeter Jacques Kuba Séguin was nominated for his album Migrations.
Disque de l’année - Musiques du monde
Skye Consort’s joint album with Emma Björling was nominated for this category. Featuring McGill alums Amanda Keesmat and Alex Kehler, this disc appeared on the Leaf Music label, a Halifax-based production company founded by McGill alum Jeremy VanSlyke.
Livre de l'année
A collaboration between two outstanding Schulich faculty members was nominated for Book of the Year—Perspectives on Early Keyboard Music and Revival in the Twentieth Century by Rachelle Taylor and Hank Knox.