Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Friday, June 17, 2011

Winner of the 2011 NewWorks Competition Announced

The DaCapo Chamber Choir, and director Leonard Enns, are pleased to announce Patrick Murray as the winner of this year's NewWorks national choral composition competition.

For the second year in a row, a strong list of submissions to the competition were received from all across Canada.   It is particularly gratifying that our winner, in this absolutely blind competition, turned out to be one of our youngest entrants.  Patrick Murray is entering his final year in an undergraduate program in Music at U of T this fall, and already writes with a maturity and confidence that promises the emergence of a new and important Canadian compositional voice. Congratulations Patrick!

As this year's NewWorks choral composition competition winner, Patrick will receive $1,500 and attend the premiere of his composition.  The Echo will be premiered at DaCapo's November 2011 concert, at which time the choir will host a gala reception for winner Patrick Murray.

For more information about the competition, please visit our web site.
Director Leonard Enns comments on the winning selection:

The text, by Christina Rossetti is strong, and the setting is compelling, mature, and chorally fitting.  One of our three national jurors commented on the "idiomatic and subtle setting of text," while another juror wrote: "The text presentation and pacing is fantastic, expressing the emotion through texture, harmony and pacing. Both on the page and on the ear, this piece is very successful."

A number of other young composers entered the competition, and four of these compositions will be highlighted at our Young Composers Reading Sessions (YCRS) - to be held in April 2012.  A list of composers and further details will be released later this summer.

The NewWorks submissions were evaluated by a cross-Canada panel of jurors (Elroy Friesen - Winnipeg, MB, Susan Quinn - St. John's, NL and Leonard Ratzlaff - Edmonton, AB) and director Leonard Enns.  As stipulated in the competition guidelines, all information related to the names and locations of composers was kept confidential from the jurors and director Leonard Enns until after the final decision was made.

Patrick Murray

Patrick Murray is a multi-talented young composer, conductor and pianist. Patrick's original works have premiered at the Gardiner Museum, the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, the KW Kiwanis Music Festival, The Varsity newspaper podcasts, and the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine (July 2011). As a conductor, Patrick recently completed a two-month apprenticeship with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, receiving tutelage from Noel Edison and conducting works in rehearsal. A proud supporter of emerging artists in all disciplines, Patrick has conducted the premieres of many new works by young composers, guest conducted the Hart House Choir, and served as music director for community productions of the Broadway musicals Chicago and City of Angels. Patrick currently studies music at the University of Toronto with Henri-Paul Sicsic (piano), Norbert Palej and Gary Kulesha (composition), and Ivars Taurins (conducting). He is the recipient of the 2008 Lyrical Lines Arts Advocacy Scholarship and a KW Arts Award in the Leading Edge category. Patrick is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate diploma program at Cameron Heights in Kitchener. 

Notes on The Echo from composer Patrick Murray

"Choral music played an important role in my musical upbringing, and I'm continually drawn back to the medium as a vehicle for personal expression. In The Echo by Christina Rossetti - a powerful meditation on the passing of a loved one - I discovered such a complex depth of unresolved emotion that I felt compelled to explore its musical possibilities. The result is a haunting landscape of half-remembered fragments of melody and harmonies alternately sweet and brittle, an aural echo of fragility and loss as evoked by the poet.

I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with Leonard Enns and DaCapo on this piece. Their commitment to artistic excellence and promoting new choral music is a continuous inspiration to composers across this country."

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