Winners: Nicholas Ma and Anita Pari
Nicholas Ma (b. 2001) is a pianist-composer studying at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, pursuing a double major in Piano Performance and Composition in addition to a minor in Music Theory.
At McGill, Nicholas obtained two consecutive Composer-in-Residence positions for the McGill Schulich Singers (2023/24) and Brass Quintet (2022/23). He also received the Paul-Marcel Gélinas et Verna-Marie Parr Gélinas Piano Award, the Vladimir J Elgart Award, the Sir William Peterson Memorial Scholarship, the J.W. McConnell Scholarships, and was the two-time awardee of the Anna Paull Gertler Scholarships, enabling him to further his studies under the tutelage of Canadian composers Jean Lesage and Chris Paul Harman, as well as Georgian concert pianist Marina Mdivani.
He is currently experimenting with creating larger-scale instrumental works that are able to convey humor and meaning while exploring the boundaries between gestures, intertextuality, and motivic evolution.
Anita Pari is a composer, pianist, and cellist from Ottawa, currently pursuing a PhD in Composition at McGill University. In recent years, Anita’s music has taken inspiration from a variety of themes, ranging from mental health to the study of birdsongs that she has encountered while birdwatching. Through her creative work, she often reflects on and reimagines aspects of her lived experience, drawing from circumstances and events that have shaped her identity.
Anita’s compositional output includes music for orchestra, wind ensemble, choir, various chamber groups, solo piano, and fixed media electronics. Her compositions have been performed by the McGill Wind Orchestra (“Bright Distance Blurring”), the Composer-Performer Orchestration Research Ensemble (“To A Lullaby”), the Cecilia Quartet (“Nocturne for Strings”), and the Harmonia Choir (Worlds Apart: Pappy's Song"), among other groups.
Winner: Zhuosheng Jin
Zhuosheng Jin’s music is described as “powerful” and “haunting” (The New York Times). His composition emphasizes relationships between literature, especially poetry, and sonic texture. His compositional awards include the 2020 Matan Givol Composers Competition (1st prize, Israel), 2020 Salvatore Martirano Award (1st prize, US), 2019 Toru Takemitsu Composition Award (3rd prize, Japan), among others.
Jin's music has appeared in major festivals and has been performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Klangforum Wien (soloists), Ensemble MusikFabrik (soloists), Meitar Ensemble, Quatuor Béla, Ensemble Mdi, Syntax Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, and more. He has worked with conductors including Pierre-André Valade, Jean-Philippe Wurtz, Guillaume Bourgogne, and Kanako Abe.
Having begun piano studies at the age of seven and composition at thirteen, Jin holds degrees from Oberlin College (BMus’15) and Boston University (MMus’17). He is currently a DMus fellow at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, studying with Philippe Leroux. He also followed private lessons and masterclasses with Helmut Lachenmann, Beat Furrer, Pierluigi Billone, and Stefano Gervasoni, among others.
Winner: Henri Colombat
Franco-American composer Henri Colombat (b. 1997) grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Colombat’s recent works use accumulations of smaller musical objects, with characteristic personalities, which are combined to form cumulative musical identities. Through this process he hopes to provide his listeners with multiple paths of listening, each with its own sequence of twists and turns. Colombat’s work has been featured in such programs as the Canadian Music Days Festival, Quatuor Bozzini’s Vancouver lab, SICPP at NEC, LMCML, and soundSCAPE. Colombat is currently completing his undergraduate degrees in composition and theory at McGill where he studies with Jean Lesage and John Rea.
Winner: Doyoon Kim
Premiered on October 12, 2018 during Piano Homecoming Welcome Concert
DOYOON KIM Motanka, Quodlibet pour deux pianos / for two pianos
Christophe Alvarez, Timothy Ledger, piano