Hnatyshyn Foundation Christa and Franz-Paul Decker Fellowship in Conducting

To honor the memory of the late Christa and Franz-Paul Decker, a fellowship has been created at McGill University through the initiative of the Hnatyshyn Foundation and the Decker family. Starting in 2018-19, the fellowship will be awarded to a Canadian graduate student in conducting at the Schulich School of Music who shows exceptional talent and potential. The total value of the Fellowship will be $15,000.

Application deadline

  • There is no application for the Fellowship
  • All students who are Canadian or permanent residents and accepted into the M.Mus. or D.Mus. degree in conducting will be considered

Deadline to apply to the M.Mus. or D. Mus. degree in conducting is December 1st.

To learn more about the program and the application process, visit the admissions area page. 

Award acceptance requirements

  • Enrolled full-time in the M.Mus. or D.Mus. conducting program at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University
  • Grant award can be applied towards the costs of tuition, course materials or living expenses


Schulich School of Music Dean Brenda Ravenscroft with Arabella Decker; Gerda Hnatyhsyn; Prof. Alexis Hauser; Ariadne Decker of the Hnatyshyn Foundation

At the fellowship announcement in Pollack Hall. Photo (l-r): Brenda Ravenscroft; Arabella Decker; Prof. Alexis Hauser; Gerda Hnatyshyn; Ariadne Decker (Photo credit: Owen Egan)

About Christa and Franz-Paul Decker

In 2014, Maestro Franz-Paul Decker passed away, leaving a legacy of musical excellence with audiences from around the world. Throughout his conducting career, he was supported and inspired by his wife of 45 years, Christa Decker, also a passionate music love, who passed away in 2017.

Remembered as a distinguished musician passionately committed to music as an educational force, Maestro Decker had particularly strong ties to Montreal and to Canada. After holding positions with orchestras in Germany and Holland, he was chosen in 1967 to succeed Zubin Mehta as Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, a position he held for nine years. He also held positions at the symphony orchestras in Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton, and with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa.

On the international stage, Franz-Paul Decker held conducting positions with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona and was a frequent invited to the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

Franz-Paul Decker was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from McGill University in 2002.

About the Hnatyshyn Foundation

The Hnatyshyn Foundation is a private charity established by the late Right Honorable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada’s twenty-fourth Governor General, to assist emerging and established artists in all disciplines with their schooling, training and career development, and promote to the Canadian public the importance of the arts in our society. Its programs are funded by donations from government, foundations, corporations and individuals.

The Foundation began awarding grants to developing artists in the performing arts in 2005 and has since expanded its programming to include awards and residencies for emerging and mid-career artists and curators in Canada through grants, prizes and residencies valued at over $200,000 annually.

Learn more about the Hnatyshyn Foundation

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