Eight vocalists will be singing for the crown in the 37th Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition this spring in Brandon.
Also known as the E-Gré Competition, this annual event focuses on the exceptional performance of contemporary music by Canada’s top emerging artists. Created as a tribute to composer and pianist/violinist Sonia Eckhardt-Gramatté, the competition highlights Canadian music.
This year, the competition is open to Canadian vocalists between the ages of 18 and 35 — and it will be an all-female competition.
Vying for the top prize will be Catherine Anne Daniel from Edmonton; Dorothea Hayley, based in Vancouver (from Ottawa); Camille Hesketh of the Netherlands (hometown Vancouver); Sarah Kirsch, Winnipeg (from Cranbrook, B.C.); Andréanne Paquin from Montréal; Brittany Rae, Toronto (from Calgary); Alexandra Smither, Toronto (from London, Ont.); and Stephanie Tritchew, Toronto (from St. Catharines, Ont.).
Nationally recognized for its high standards, the E-Gré Competition offers its competitors excellent opportunities.
This year, the first prize includes a cash award of $10,000, a Canadian recital tour (which provides another $5,000 in artist fees for the winner and collaborative pianist), and a three-week residency at Casalmaggiore International Festival in Italy.
A second prize of $5,000 and a third prize of $3,000 are also awarded, in addition to the City of Brandon Prize. This special prize of $1,000 honours the best performance of the annual commissioned work. The 2014 E-Gré commissioned work is “Execution Songs” by Andrew Staniland.
The jurors for the preliminary round of the competition, which took place in November 2013, were Cathy Fern Lewis, Michiel Schrey and John Tessier.
The jurors for the live semifinal and final recital rounds of the 2014 E-Gré Competition that will take place in Brandon from May 2-4 are Valdine Anderson, Benoit Boutet and Pauline Vaillancourt.
Tenor Benoit Boutet will also perform the Gala Concert on May 3 at 8 p.m. in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall at the Brandon University School of Music.
Held annually on the first weekend in May, the E-Gré alternates between voice (2014), strings (2015), and piano (2016). Past prize winners include Ben Heppner, James Parker, Jon Kimura-Parker and Annalee Patipatanakoon.
The 2014 competition acknowledges the support of the RBC Emerging Artists Project, Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council, SOCAN Foundation, Brandon University and the E-Gré Development Fund, City of Brandon and many corporate and private donors.
All events take place in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall in the Queen Elizabeth II Music Building. There is an admission charge for recitals and tickets can be purchased at the door.