OAF News

Jazz Pianist and Composer Hilario Durán Awarded the Louis Applebaum Composers Award

Toronto, February 6, 2019 - Cuban born Hilario Durán is this year’s recipient of the Louis Applebaum Composers Award. This year’s $15,000 award recognizes excellence in a body of work by an artist in the field of jazz, and will be presented on Saturday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m., at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s concert featuring Hilario Durán and his Latin Jazz Big Band at Koerner Hall.

About Hilario Durán 
Hilario Durán has been based in Toronto for the past two decades, but his musical heart and soul have remained closely connected to the land of his birth. Durán grew up in Havana in a musical family surrounded by a variety of diverse musical influences. He began working as a professional musician in Cuba’s Los Papa Cun-Cun Ensemble and was Chucho Valdés’ chosen successor in Cuba's most modern big band, ‘Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna’. In the nineties, as part of the Arturo Sandoval band, Durán toured worldwide and had the opportunity to perform with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Michel Legrand, among many others.

Since arriving in Canada, Durán has established himself in his own name. He is a multi Juno Award winner and nominee; a Grammy nominee; a multi-Canadian National Jazz Award winner & nominee; and recipient of the 2007 Chico O’Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award from Latin Jazz USA for his outstanding contributions to Afro Cuban Jazz and Latin Jazz. Durán is a fixture on the Toronto music scene and was named ‘One of the 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians’ in 2009, Best Artist of the Year 2013 by the Toronto Musicians’ Association and the 2014 Best Vision Award Winner (Premio a la Trayectoria) for his work as entrepreneur leading his company ES MI MUSICA PRODUCTIONS.

Durán is an adjunct piano professor and ensemble director in the jazz faculty at Humber College.  


 Listen to:
“Ontario's Memories” composed by Hilario Durán
Momvement from the Suite to celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary


Jury Comments
“Durán’s compositions are sonically complex and lush. His music is both lyrical and melodic, with beautiful harmonies and passionate results. His contribution to the art form and his artistic voice are so critical today, both in Canada and around the world. His music is rooted in tradition but he is continually pushing himself forward. Durán’s compositions don’t just warm your mind but also your soul.”

This year’s jury consisted of Alexis Baro, musician (Toronto), Kellylee Evans, singer (Ottawa), and Allan Walsh, musician, educator and festival programmer (Sudbury).

About the Award
The Louis Applebaum Composers Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation in 1998 by Louis Applebaum to recognize excellence in music composition. The award is made biennially in the following alternating genres: film and television; theatre, music theatre, dance or opera; jazz; and composition for young people.

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award. The award winner is chosen through a nominating and adjudication process managed by the Ontario Arts Council.

Previous recipients include Alice Ping Yee Ho (2016), Mychael Danna (2014), and Dean Burry (2011). See the full list of previous recipients.


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For more information, please contact:
Alan Walker, Executive Director
Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413  awalker@oafdn.ca

Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2017-2018, the OAF paid over $3.35 million in endowment income and $260,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 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 2017-2018 the Ontario Arts Council invested $58.7 million in 231 communities across Ontario through 2,294 grants to individual artists and 1,474 grants to organizations. 

 Ce document existe ègalement en français.

 

2019 Christina and Louis Quilico Awards vocal competition announced

Toronto – January 25, 2019 – The Ontario Arts Foundation is pleased to announce the fifth biennial Christina and Louis Quilico Awards, a vocal competition featuring the rising young stars of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. 

2018/2019 COC Ensemble Studio, photo: Gaetz Photography

The competition will take place on February 11, 2019 from 5:30 p.m.to 7:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, as a part of the COC's Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. The competition will be adjudicated by a panel composed of Alexander Neef, General Director of the COC, Tracy Dahl, Canadian coloratura soprano, and Russell Braun, Canadian baritone.  The young artists featured in the February 11th competition will perform for cash prizes singing one aria of their choice and one aria selected by the judges.

“Louis had wanted to establish this (award) before he died,” says Christina Petrowska Quilico.  “It was really his vision to help young opera singers. Launching an award was something we could do to leave a legacy in memory of Louis’ success as a singer and as a support to future generations.”

Past winners include Rihab Chaieb (former member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program and 2018 Operalia Third Prize winner), Emily D’Angelo (winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Finals, and 2018 Operalia winner of the First Prize, Zarzuela Prize, Birgit Nilsson Prize, and Audience Prize), and Claire de Sévigné (JUNO award nominee for Classical Album of the Year).

This event is free and open to the public, with doors opening at 5 p.m. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and is limited.

 

About the COC Ensemble Studio

The COC Ensemble Studio is Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. Since the inception of the program in 1980, over 220 young professional Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors have acquired their first major professional operatic experience through the Ensemble Studio. Former members include Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, Wendy Nielsen, Joseph Kaiser, David Pomeroy, Allyson McHardy, and Krisztina Szabó.

The members of the Ensemble Studio are the COC’s resident artists and important ambassadors for the company. They receive a blend of advanced study and practical experience through an individually tailored, multi-year program, involving understudying and performing mainstage roles, intensive vocal coaching, language and acting studies, and career skills development, as well as participation in masterclasses with internationally renowned opera professionals.

 

About the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards

Christina Petrowska-Quilico established the Christina and Louis Quilico Fund in 2000 to honour her late husband, renowned baritone, Louis Quilico, and to recognize outstanding young singers, pianists and composers for voice. During his 45 years on the stage, Louis Quilico shared performing credits with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Joan Sutherland and Renata Tebaldi. He was instrumental in furthering the careers of many young singers through his teaching and master classes. The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards.

 

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For information, please contact: 

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413
awalker@oafdn.ca

Kristin McKinnon
Publicist and Content Producer,
Canadian Opera Company
Tel: (416) 306-2383
kmckinnon@coc.ca

 

Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2017-2018, the OAF paid over $3.35 million in endowment income and $260,000 in awards and scholarships.

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. For more information on the COC, visit coc.ca.

 Ce document existe également en français. 

Algonquin Master Canoe Builder Honoured with Ontario Arts Foundation Artist Educator Award

Toronto, January 21, 2019 - Chuck Commanda is the recipient of the $10,000 Ontario Arts Foundation Artist Educator AwardThe award is given annually to an Ontario resident who exemplifies excellence in arts education, and was presented today at a Birch Bark Basket workshop led by Commanda at the Kumik Elders Lodge in Gatineau, Quebec.


About Chuck Commanda

Chuck Commanda (fourth from left) with students from Smith Falls District Collegiate Institute, birch bark canoe workshop, 2018.

Commanda is an Algonquin Master Canoe Builder from the community of Kitigan Zibi, where he spent time on the land and learned to build birch bark canoes as a child under the guidance of his grandparents. He has been building canoes as a full-time artist for the past ten years and shares this passion with his students. He has a strong commitment to equity, drawn from the seven sacred teachings - love, wisdom, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth. He believes that his medium of canoe-building lends itself to inclusive artistic and pedagogical practices that can at once raise awareness of Indigenous culture, art and life while also bringing people of all backgrounds together.

For Commanda, canoe building allows him to connect with his ancestors and revitalize Algonquin communities and languages and as an educator he then passes this knowledge on to younger generations. In addition to producing beautiful pieces of art of incredible cultural functional and artistic value, canoe-building also embodies the use of cultural arts to transmit Indigenous knowledge among peoples and between generations in the spirit of reconciliation.

Jury Comments

The jury was deeply moved by this artist and his work, and stated, “In his work with young learners, Commanda teaches skill and technique but more importantly he teaches respect and connection – connection to land, to stories, to culture and to people. Commanda’s practice is rooted in reconciliation and is inclusive of all. You can see the impact on the faces of the participants when they get to try out the canoe in real life. It’s amazing!”

This year’s jury consisted of Christian Chapman, artist educator, mixed-media artist (Fort William First Nation), Audrey Hudson, artist, arts educator and researcher (Toronto), and Michelle Soullière, multidisciplinary artist educator (Windsor).

About the Award

The Ontario Arts Foundation established and manages the endowment that funds the Artist Educator Award. The award recognizes an Ontario resident who exemplifies excellence in arts education, demonstrates a unique approach to their arts education practice, creates meaningful learning experiences for young people, inspires connections to the arts beyond the classroom and continues to maintain an active arts practice.

The winner is chosen through a nominating and adjudication process managed by the Ontario Arts Council. OAC juries nominate artists from the current year’s applicants to the OAC Engaging Communities and Schools programs.

Previous recipients include Lorrie Gallant (2015), Jamaal Rogers (2016), and Yaovi Hoyi (2017).


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 For more information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413
awalker@oafdn.ca

 Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2017-2018, the OAF paid over $3.35 million in endowment income and $260,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 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 2017-2018 the Ontario Arts Council invested $58.7 million in 231 communities across Ontario through 2,294 grants to individual artists and 1,474 grants to organizations. 

 Ce document existe ègalement en français.

 

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