OAF News

Composer Suad Bushnaq is awarded the Kathleen McMorrow Music Award

Toronto, January 17, 2022 -  Suad Bushnaq (Toronto) is the recipient of this year’s $10,000 Kathleen McMorrow Music Award. The award recognizes the composition and presentation of contemporary classical music by Ontario composers.  This award is in support of Suad’s composition SinBach commissioned by the Mississauga-based Canadian Arabic Orchestra (CAO) which will perform and tour the work in 2022. 

About Suad Bushnaq

Hailed as an ‘incredible artist’ by the legendary Hans Zimmer, Suad Bushnaq is an award-winning, musically multi-lingual first-generation Jordanian-Canadian composer of Bosnian, Syrian, and Palestinian roots. She is active in both the film and concert world with her music performed worldwide. With 35 film credits to date, she has scored award-winning features and shorts that have screened at festivals including the Locarno, Hot Docs, Edinburgh, Dubai, Red Sea, and Seattle International Film Festivals. Her compositions which include works for solo piano, chamber ensemble, choir, and electroacoustics have been performed in venues from Hawaii to Dubai, including Carnegie Hall. 

In addition to her commission SinBach for the Canadian Arabic Orchestra, she is currently scoring a CBC Nature of Things documentary, as well as a commission for the Boston Children’s Chorus. Recently, she was commissioned by the Vermont Symphony for a Cello Concerto which premiered in October 2021, and by Betty Productions to compose music for the 48th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates, subsequently recorded by the London Symphony.

Suad has won several prestigious film score awards and residencies, including the Canadian Film Centre Slaight Music Residency.  She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University in Music Composition.

Music from the Original Soundtrack of "The Borrowed Dress", The Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra live at Konzertsaal Universität der Künste Berlin, October 3, 2017.  Composed and Orchestrated by Suad Bushnaq.  Conducted by Ghassan Alaboud, with Manfred Leuchter, Accordion and Salah Namek, Cello.

About the Award
The Kathleen McMorrow Music Award was established in 2015. Kathleen McMorrow headed the Music Library at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music from 1974 to 2013. She established the award to recognize and encourage the composition and presentation of Canadian contemporary classical music.

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award. The Ontario Arts Council is responsible for the selection process. The award recipient is selected from the applicants to the Ontario Arts Council Music Creation Projects program deadlines.

Previous award winners include Parisa Sabet (2020), Jordan Pal (2019), and Chan Ka Nin (2018).


 For more information, please contact:

Bruce Bennett
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413

 Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2020-2021, the OAF paid over $5.2 million in endowment income and $220,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 55 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2020-2021 the Ontario Arts Council invested $78.6 million in 206 communities across Ontario through 2,176 grants to individual artists and 1,312 grants to organizations. 

 Ce document existe ègalement en français.


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