Awards and Announcements

UBC alumni named Hot 30 Under 30 Classical Musicians

Nicole Linaksita

Nicole Linaksita

Two UBC School of Music alumni have been named to the 2019 CBC Music "Hot 30 Classical Musicians Under 30" List.

The annual list, which celebrates some of Canada's most accomplished young singers, composers, and instrumentalists, features pianist Nicole Linaksita (BSc/BMus'16) and composer and conductor Jaelem Bhate (BMus'17, MMus'19)

It's been a breakthrough year for both Nicole and Jaelem. Nicole won first prize at the Canadian Music Competition's 2019 Stepping Stone final as well as the Canimex Group Prize for best performance of a Canadian work. She placed third at the prestigious 2019 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (Piano)in April and won the Orford Music Prize at the recent OSM Manulife Piano Competition. She will perform with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra this season.

Jaelem Bhate

Jaelem Bhate

Jaelem released his first album, On the Edge with the Jaelem Bhate Jazz Orchestra, this spring, and while finishing his MMus degree was awarded the 2019 Nestor Korchinsky Student Leadership Award at the UBC Student Leadership Conference, in recognition of his work as a conductor and composer. In November Jaelem will conduct the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in their Wall to Wall percussion show.

Congratulations, Nicole and Jaelem!

Announcing the 2019–20 concert season

From Bach to Steampunk, Beethoven to experimental chamber music, the new UBC School of Music season features world-renowned special guests and exciting student performers

This coming season, the UBC School of Music is finding its place on the cutting edge and rejoicing in the musical shake-ups of masters then and now. Our concert offerings explore change: how previous master composers changed music, what’s changing music now, and our own evolutionary changes happening here at the School. 

With masterful guest artists and our own large and small ensembles, faculty and guest artists this season promises much to explore as it unfolds. 

The Piano – Masters from near and far perform in Barnett Hall 

Bach changed music forever. Three centuries later his music is still the gold standard. Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt, an internationally acknowledged master of the keyboard works of Bach, comes to the UBC School of Music February 26th and 27th as the Dal Grauer Memorial Lecturer in Music for 2020. She will give a solo recital and two masterclasses. Her program, which she calls The Bach Odyssey, will be presented in the intimate acoustic space of Barnett Hall.  

“Beethoven jolted music out of itself,” wrote Philip Clark in Gramophone. It would be impossible for us to imagine where music would be today without Beethoven, who altered the direction of music. At his famed Beethoven Bootcamps, world-renowned Irish pianist John O’Conor works intensely with young pianists on Beethoven’s sonatas and concerti. This season we will have a glimpse into some of them when O’Conor performs a Beethoven 250 tribute: The Great Last Three Sonatas (Op. 109 - 111) on January 31st. O’Conor will also work with UBC piano students in a masterclass the day before. Pianist Jane Coop, internationally acclaimed UBC Professor Emerita also graces Barnett Hall in recital October 30th in her program: Bagatelles (Beethoven and Beyond)

Mastering Change: New energy and perspectives 

The School of Music is evolving fast! Along with very recent additions in the last couple of years, we’re pleased to welcome new faculty members this season: violist Marina Thibeault and composer T. Patrick Carrabré, incoming director of the School. Thibeault has her debut recital October 9th with solo and chamber repertoire inviting her partners in Trio Saint-Laurent to perform with her. She will also perform other concerts throughout the season. The October 25th Music on the Point concert Music & Life: A Journey with the School’s New Director will be an evening hosted by Carrabré with a curated selection of his works performed by faculty members, the University Singers and guest artists including his daughter M. Gillian (violin) and son Ariel (cello). The UBC Symphony Orchestra and UBC Choirs will also present works by Carrabré in their first concerts of the season.

Steampunk — What’s that? It looks like change! 

Steampunk fashion looks like change in action. Growing out of a subgenre in science fiction, steampunk is a modern clothing trend mixing Victorian era styles with industrial revolution steam powered mechanical elements. What might that sound like? David Bruce thought about it and has written a mixed octet called Steampunk. On March 6, 2020 a chamber ensemble of UBC faculty and select students will perform the piece as part of our Music on the Point series. Partnered with Steampunk will be Luciano Berio’s Opus Number Zoo.

A new partnership sending young performers out into the community 

The UBC School of Music is thrilled to be involved in the new Sunday Socials Concerts at Knox: The UBC & EMV Young Performers Series. This new outreach initiative is sending student performers and early career professionals into the community. The series features several solo and small chamber music performances by students from the UBC School of Music and recipients of Early Music Vancouver’s scholarships for early career musicians and professional-track music students as well as the EMV/UBC Baroque Mentorship Orchestra. Created in partnership with Early Music Vancouver and Knox United Church, there are eight concerts in the beautiful, historic Knox United Church on Vancouver’s west side with a complimentary social bar (snacks and time to mingle) afterwards. 

The power of music to change the world — Auschwitz at 75

 The UBC Opera Ensemble presents three fully staged operas this season including Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Pasażerka (The Passenger) with opening night January 30, 2020 being the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Artists like Weinberg remind mankind not to repeat horrors of the past and inspire us to create a better future. As a companion to the opera there will be a symposium held at the Chan Centre exploring topics such as Refugees. Liberation? Freedom?; Reconciliation; and Homework: Have We done It? Lessons We Teach, Lessons We Learn.

The above is a small sampling of our many exciting concerts and events. Please explore our concert calendar for more information!



2019 scholarship winners

The School of Music is pleased to announce the winners of two important scholarships — the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Scholarship and the Joseph and Melitta Kandler Scholarship for Advanced Music Study.

Established by the Johann Strauss Foundation, and augmented by generous annual support from the Hecht Foundation, the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Scholarships support the advanced study of music at public or private institutions in Austria.

The Joseph and Melitta Kandler Scholarship, created by Maurice and Tamako Copithorne, supports the advanced study of music outside of Austria.

Highly competitive, both scholarships provide students with valuable opportunities for learning and cultural exchange. This year’s winners are as follows:

Johann Strauss Foundation/Lotte and John Hecht Scholarships

  • Alyssa Samson, voice ($5000)

  • Amanda Andrishak, piano ($5000)

  • Rachel Park, voice ($5000)

Joseph and Melitta Kandler Scholarship

  • Matthew McLellan, voice ($3000)

Congratulations to all, and good luck with your exciting summer studies! The next round of scholarship auditions will be held in Feb. 2020. Look out for more details in the fall.

Spring award nominations for School of Music faculty and alumni

Two award winners and dozens of finalists —  of Music faculty and alumni have recently made a splash in major Canadian competitions!

This weekend, sopranos Anna Toumine (BMus’12) and Elizabeth Harris (BMus’16, MMus’18) won second and third place, respectively, at Vancouver Opera’s inaugural Vocal Competition. Conceived as a launching pad for young opera singers, the competition brought eight gifted young opera singers from across Canada together in front of a panel of judges that included renowned mezzo-soprano Judith Forst, conductor Jonathan Darlington, and more.

Meanwhile, the just-announced 2019 Western Canadian Music Award nominees include Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver Chamber Choir, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra for Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year, Hard Rubber Orchestra for Jazz Artist/Ensemble of the Year, and Farshid Samandari (MMus’07, DMA’14) for Classical Composer of the Year. All four ensembles feature School of Music faculty and alumni.

Here’s the full list of personnel:

WCMA Classical Artist / Ensemble of the Year

Turning Point Ensemble: UBC faculty Jeremy Berkman (trombone), Brenda Fedoruk (flute), Vern Griffiths (percussion), Ingrid Chiang (bassoon) as well as clarinetist A.K. Coope (BMus’90).

Vancouver Chamber Choir: Matthew Gaskin (MMus’17), Christina Cichos (BMus’12), Emily Cheung (BMus’06), Eric Schwarzhoff (BMus’12, MMus’14), George Roberts (BMus’85), Karyn Way (BMus’96, MMus’98), Madeline Lucy Smith (BMus’07).

Manitoba Chamber Orchestra: concertmaster Karl Stobbe (BMus’94).

WCMA Jazz Artist /Ensemble of the Year

Hard Rubber Orchestra
Artistic director and composer John Korsrud (BMus’89); trumpeters Alan Matheson (faculty), Jamie Hovorka (BMus’95), Robin Shier (BEd’02), Bill Clark (BEd’99); trombonists Jeremy Berkman (faculty), Dennis Esson (faculty), Rob McKenzie (BMus’77, MMus’89), Bob Rogers (BMus86, BEd’92); saxophonists Mike Braverman (BMus’92, BEd’93, MEd’02), Monik Nordine (BMus’92); pianists Allen Stiles (BMus’84, MMus’86), Chie Nagatani (BMus’91), Adrienne Park (BMus’91); string players Finn Manniche (BMus’86), Cameron Wilson (BMus’88), Bob Clark (BMus’86), Sandy Fiddes (BMus’87); vocalists Siphiwe McKenzie (BMus’95), Elizabeth Skillings (BMus’95); percussionist Phil Belanger (BMus’77); and composers Keith Hamel (faculty), John Oliver (BMus’82), Bob Pritchard (faculty), Fred Stride, Cameron Wilson, Sandy Fiddes, Rob McKenzie.

WCMA Classical Composer of the Year
Farshid Samandari (MMus’07, DMA’14)

Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees!

Introducing Marina Thibeault

Photo: Matthew Perrin

Photo: Matthew Perrin

The UBC School of Music is pleased to announce that Marina Thibeault will join the faculty as Assistant Professor of Viola and Chamber Music, beginning in the 2019–20 academic year.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Marina Thibeault to UBC. A versatile and accomplished musician, she promises to bring great energy and artistry to this position, and will be in a position to make profound contributions for years to come,” said Dr. Alexander Fisher, Acting Director of the School of Music.

A renowned Canadian violist, Thibeault has won numerous honours and distinctions, including prizes from the Père-Lindsay Foundation (2017), "Révélation Radio-Canada" (2016-2017), CBC’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30” (2016), and the Sylva Gelber Foundation (2016). She has released two albums, Toquade (2017) and ELLES (2018), to critical acclaim. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a master’s degree from McGill University, where she is currently completing her doctoral studies.

“The School of Music has a long and exciting history of producing some of Canada’s top violists and we feel very fortunate to have Marina to carry on this tradition. Ms. Thibeault brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our division and will be a wonderful addition to the School of Music. The future certainly looks bright for the School!” added Prof. Jasper Wood, head of the School’s Strings Division.

Thibeault will play an important role at the School of Music. Her duties will include undergraduate and graduate studio instruction, chamber music coaching and coordination, and the development of strings curriculum. She will also support and strengthen the School of Music’s close ties to the Vancouver music community, working with our team of VSO principals and other top musicians in the city.

“I am thrilled and honoured to join the established and innovative UBC School of Music as Assistant Professor of Viola and Chamber Music,” she said. “I very much look forward to working and collaborating with the outstanding faculty and students, developing research and contributing to the rich music scene of Vancouver and British Columbia!"

Her début recital at UBC will happen on Oct. 9th at Roy Barnett Recital Hall, as part of the School of Music’s Wednesday Noon Hour series.

 Welcome to UBC, Marina!

WATCH: Marina Thibeault performs Ana Sokolovic’s Prelude



Marina Thibeault holds numerous honours and distinctions, including prizes from the Père-Lindsay Foundation (2017), "Révélation Radio-Canada" (2016-2017), CBC’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30” (2016), and the Sylva Gelber Foundation (2016). She won first prize in the string category of Prix d’Europe (2015), the McGill Concerto Competition (2015), the Radio-Canada “Young Artist” prize (2007) as well a special prize at the Beethoven Hradec International Viola Competition (2008).

Marina's first album, Toquade, was released in April 2017 on the ATMA label and was nominated for Album of the Year at the ADISQ (2017) and the Prix Opus (2018). ELLES, her second opus, was recently released on March 2018, and has been critically acclaimed. Her 2017-2018 solo debuts include the "Orchestre Métropolitain," the Agora Symphony, the Appassionata Chamber Orchestra, and the "Orchestre Symphonique de Drummondville."

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with professors Michael Tree and Roberto Diaz, and a Master’s degree with André Roy at McGill University, where she is completing her doctoral studies and served as viola and chamber music instructor. Since the summer of 2018, Marina has coordinated the chamber music program at Domaine Forget, QC, where she will also begin teaching viola in the summer of 2019.

This summer, Marina will be the soloist in residence of the Orchestre de la Francophonie, with conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay. You can hear her in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Kerson Leong and in Gilles Tremblay’s En Partage at the Domaine Forget and at the National Arts Center. 2019-2020 highlights include Harold in Italy with the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a tour of the Vasks Concerto with the Agora Chamber Orchestra and Nicolas Ellis, a Prairie Debut tour with the Trio Saint-Laurent and the start of a new position as Assistant Professor of viola at the UBC School of Music.

Marina plays on an 1767 Carlo Ferdinand Landolfi, with a W.E Hill Sons bow, generously loaned by Canimex.

Meet Dr. T. Patrick Carrabré, UBC School of Music's new director

Dr. Patrick Carrabré

Dr. Patrick Carrabré

The University of British Columbia welcomes Dr. T. Patrick Carrabré as the new Director of the School of Music. An internationally renowned composer, teacher, and media personality, Dr. Carrabré will assume the role starting July 1st, 2019.  

“I am delighted that Dr. Carrabré will take on the leadership of the School of Music. His impressive track record as an artist and administrator at the highest levels will make him a tremendous asset to our students, to our renowned School of Music, and to the UBC Arts and Culture District as a whole,” said Dr. Gage Averill, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at UBC. 

Dr. Carrabré comes to UBC from Brandon University, where he has served as Dean of Music and Vice-President, Academic and Research. He takes over at the School of Music for Acting Director Dr. Alexander Fisher. 

“We all look forward to working with Pat as we embrace the many opportunities in front of us,” said Dr. Fisher. “Times of transition always involve some uncertainty, but Pat’s steady hand and brilliant mind give all of us confidence that we will have great years ahead under his leadership,” Dr. Fisher said. 

Dr. Carrabré joins the UBC School of Music at a time of growth and excitement. With a 110-student symphony orchestra, ambitious opera, choir and band ensembles, and thriving musicology, ethnomusicology, theory and composition programs, it is one of the largest and most exciting music schools in Canada. Every year the School of Music graduates artists, scholars, producers, and educators who go on to win international awards and perform on some of the world’s biggest stages.  

“I feel privileged and excited to take on this role of supporting the outstanding faculty, students and staff in the School of Music,” Dr. Carrabré said. “I’m also looking forward to developing connections with Vancouver’s vibrant artistic community.” 

Dr. Carrabré is an acclaimed artist-researcher in his own right. Construction of identity is a long-term theme, manifesting in his compositions, concert and radio programming, and administrative activities. The creation of shared musical spaces with indigenous and non-western musicians has also been a significant theme of his work since before the dawn of the Truth and Reconciliation era.

For well over a decade, he worked closely with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, including six seasons as composer-in-residence and co-curator of the orchestra’s New Music Festival. Carrabré’s best known compositions include Inuit Games, for throat singers (katajjak) and orchestra, Sonata No. 1, The Penitent, for violin and piano, From the Dark Reaches, and A Hammer For Your Thoughts….

Together these works have earned two Juno nominations, a recommendation at the International Rostrum of Composers (2003), a Western Canadian Music Award (Best Classical Composition) and two other WCMA nominations.

Also active in the media, Dr. Carrabré served two seasons as the weekend host of CBC Radio 2’s contemporary music show The Signal. 

For media interviews, please contact Erik Rolfson at UBC Public Affairs.

WATCH: Throat singers Inukshuk Aksalnik and Pauline Pemik perform Dr. Patrick Carrabré’s Inuit Games with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Beyond the Gates: Performances in North America and Asia, a conducting residency, and choral music galore

Corey Hamm and Nicole Ge Li of the Piano and Erhu Project

Corey Hamm and Nicole Ge Li of the Piano and Erhu Project

Dr. Corey Hamm, Professor of Piano, won UBC’s Dorothy Somerset Award for excellence in performance. The award recognizes faculty who have made outstanding contributions to art, music, creative writing, theatre or film. With PEP (Piano and Erhu Project), Dr. Hamm and Nicole Ge Li premiered the full orchestra version of Dr. Dorothy Chang’s double concerto Gateways in Seattle with conductor Julia Tai and Philharmonia Northwest. He also embarked on several tours: a solo piano tour of Asia (Hong Kong, Chonburi, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing) with masterclasses and lectures, and a debut Atlantic tour with PEP. He performed Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in Minneapolis with conductor Yuri Ivan, gave three solo recitals with masterclasses in Alberta, and was the pianist for an educational outreach composition program with Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble.

In March, Dr. Graeme Langager and the University Singers performed with famed soprano Sarah Brightman at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.

Dr. Jonathan Girard conducting the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Jonathan Girard conducting the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Jonathan Girard, Director of Orchestral Activities, led the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra in a concert in Kodak Hall in Rochester, New York in February.  The program included Poulenc’s Orchestral Suite from Les Animaux Modeles, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major (featuring Fantee Jones, piano), and Franck’s Symphony in D Minor. The concert was the culmination of Dr. Girard’s residency as a visiting professor of conducting at Eastman, where he taught the graduate orchestral conducting students of Neil Varon.

Dr. Girard and Dr. Robert Taylor, Professor of Conducting and Ensembles, presented a special session at the College Band Directors National Association Conference. The session, titled “Maestro Media: Harnessing technology in the evolution of the 21st Century ensemble program,” highlighted the cutting-edge technology they are using with conducting courses and large ensembles at UBC.

In March and April, many different works by Dr. Stephen Chatman, Professor of Composition, were performed across North America. Highlights include the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus performance of Time Pieces in New York, Tapestry Choir and York Chamber Ensemble’s performance of Peace in Newmarket, Ontario, and a special performance of Proud Music of the Storm by the Chorale, an oratorio choir of 150 singers from Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

Research and Publications: Rossini, 'Repeated Borrowing,' and RRC residencies

Balinese composer Dewa Alit

Balinese composer Dewa Alit

The Rhythm Research Cluster (RRC) closed its initial funded period with two exciting residences that brought innovative Balinese composer Dewa Alit, and the popular music scholar Anne Danielsen, director of the RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion (Norwegian Centre of Excellence, Oslo) to the School of Music. Organized by Prof. Michael Tenzer, Alit’s residence culminated with a public performance at Western Front by School of Music students and alumni of works by Alit and others — including the world premiere of Alit’s RRC-commissioned work, “Simalakama.” During Danielsen’s residence, graduate students and faculty participated in a workshop on micro-rhythmic analysis; the residence closed with a Music Colloquium Series lecture on the impact of digitization on rhythm and groove in African-American popular music. 


Prof. David Metzer published “Repeated Borrowing: The Case of ‘Es ist genug’” in the Journal of the American Musicological Society. The article explores “a group of songs that musicians have frequently taken up in creating new works, from the chanson ‘L’homme armé’ in Renaissance masses to ‘Apache’ in hip hop tracks… and provide[s] the first study of repeated borrowing and trace[s] it across centuries and genres.”

Prof. John Roeder published “Lines in Harmony: Types of Cooperation in Four Recent Chinese Compositions” (“和声中的声部线条:近期中国四部音乐作品中的声部协作类型” translated by Zheng Yan) in Music Research, the leading peer-reviewed academic journal of music theory in China. And, picking up on an item from the last issue of High Notes, Prof. Roeder’s keynote address to the Meter Symposium 3 in Sydney, Australia is now available to watch here. 

Dr. Brandon Konoval published a new article, "From Sexuality to Governmentality: The Oedipus Complex of Michel Foucault," in Modern Intellectual History. The article looks at how “Foucault's attention to classical texts—in particular the Oedipus Tyrannos of Sophocles and the Republic of Plato—thereby helped to clear a critical pathway through the conventional Marxism embraced by the “repressive hypothesis,” and to arrive at a Nietzschean genealogy of sexuality and power.”



Dr. Claudio Vellutini published a new essay, "Rossini's Operas in Vienna and the Politics of Translation, 1816-1822," in Gioachino Rossini 1868-2018, a new volume celebrating the 150th anniversary of Rossini's death (Pesaro, Italy: Fondazione Rossini, 2019). Dr. Vellutini also presented a paper on the composer, "Rossini's German Singers (Vienna, ca. 1817-1825)," at the international conference Beethoven und Rossini in ihrer Epoche organized by the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn and the University for Music and Dance in Cologne. 


Catching Up with Our Students: Concerto Competition winners, NYO positions, and student leadership awards

Aydan Con and Dean Gage Averill

Aydan Con and Dean Gage Averill

In March, dual BMus/BSc student Aydan Con won the Dean’s Outstanding Leadership Award for Contribution to the UBC Community and Beyond, for playing “a crucial role in two projects involving curricular redesign. Through these projects, [he] supported the introduction of new evaluation and teaching methods to deepen Music students’ connections to transferrable workplace skills, as well as evaluation of undergraduate student mental and physical wellbeing in relation to academic workload demands.” Aydan helped launch ChamberFest in February and also volunteered at the Downtown Eastside Saint James Music Academy and the Canadian Blood Services. This is the first time a UBC Music student has received the distinction. The award was given by Faculty of Arts Dean Gage Averill at the Dean’s Reception for Graduating Arts Student Leaders.

A number of School of Music students have won spots with the 2019 National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC). Congratulations to BMus students Jonathan López (clarinet), Katelynn Whittle (oboe), Jesse Guo (percussion), Nina Weber (viola), Alexander Knopp (violin), and Alexander Beggs (viola)! The NYOC Residency runs from June to August, with the orchestra embarking on a two-month tour across Canada and Spain.   

MMus conducting student Jaelem Bhate

MMus conducting student Jaelem Bhate

MMus conducting student Jaelem Bhate (BMus’17) was awarded the 2019 Nestor Korchinsky Student Leadership Award at the UBC Student Leadership Conference, in recognition for his work as a conductor (National Academy Orchestra, UBC Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Philharmonic), with the 45th Ave Jazz Band, and as a composer. Bhate also released his first album, On the Edge with the Jaelem Bhate Jazz Orchestra in March.


DMA student Benjamin Hopkins advanced to the semi-finals of the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition held this March in New York.

BMus students Nina Weber (viola), Markus Masaites (piano) and Jonathan Lopéz (clarinet) performing at the Friends of Chamber Music competition

In March, two School of Music chamber groups won prizes at the Friends of Chamber Music’s 65th Annual Young Musicians Competition. Genesis Trio, featuring BMus students Nina Weber, viola, Jonathan López, clarinet, and Marcus Masaites, piano, won co-First Prize in the Senior Group (up to age 26), for their performance of Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B flat major, Op. 11, No. 3. Third Prize (and the Audience Prize) went to MMus students Carlos Savall-Guardiola, clarinet, Susie Jiwon Yoo (BMus’18), cello, and BMus student Ayunia Indri Saputro, piano. They performed Brahms’s Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114. The competition was adjudicated by Prof. Sara Laimon, Director of the McGill Conservatory of Music.

Concerto Competition winner D’Arcy Blunston (Photo: Takumi Hayashi)

Concerto Competition winner D’Arcy Blunston (Photo: Takumi Hayashi)

Congratulations to everyone who competed in the 2018–19 UBC Concerto Competition! Open to all School of Music students, the annual competition is an opportunity for young musicians to earn a coveted spot as a solo performer with the UBC Symphony Orchestra. This year’s winner was lyric soprano D’Arcy Blunston. She performed Britten’s Les Illuminations de Rimbaud, Op. 18. First runner-up was pianist Markus Masaites, who performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto in No. 18 in B-flat major, K. 456. Second runner-up was pianist Yu-Hsien Lin. She performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54. D’Arcy will perform with the UBC Symphony Orchestra on April 6th at the Chan Centre.

UBC student Andrea Wong demonstrates CHIMIRA, a kind of interactive mixing board that combines LEGO Duplo, a webcam, and code

Kinesiology major and Music and Technology student Andrea Wong recently received one of six sound Place and Sound artist residencies from the Media Arts Committee, for her Applied Music Technology capstone project. Inspired by people who experience synaesthesia, Andrea designed an instrument that translates data associated with specific colours into sonic effects — which she has dubbed CHIMIRA (Colour-Hearing Interface + Motion-Image Relaying Apparatus). Andrea provided a simple example of how the instrument might work when it’s completed: “When CHIMIRA ‘sees’ a red object, this could trigger, say, bell sounds, and moving the red object up and down would cause the sounds to move up and down in pitch. This could be volume, amount of reverb, or any other aspect of sound that can be manipulated. Several red objects could create a denser, more rich texture of bells that, when moved, change in that processed aspect of their sound. There are countless combinations of audiovisual art this instrument can produce!” She will demonstrate the instrument at the UBC Bang! Festival on April 17th.

UBC alumni win at the 2019 Juno Awards

James Parker

James Parker

Congratulations to pianist James Parker (BMus’85) and baritone Tyler Duncan (BMus’98) for their wins at the 2019 Juno Awards!

With his group the Gryphon Trio, Parker won the 2019 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber for their album The End of Flowers: Works by Clarke and Ravel (Analekta). The Gryphon Trio were also nominated in the Classical Album: Large Ensemble category, for their collaboration with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra on Into the Wonder.

Duncan (BMus’98) appeared as a soloist on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Vaughan Williams: Piano Concerto; Oboe Concerto; Serenade to Music; Flos Campi (Chandos), which won the Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble. The album was earlier nominated for a Grammy Award.

The awards were held in London, Ontario on March 17th, 2019 and hosted by Sarah MacLachlan.

Success stories for International Women's Day

It’s International Women's Day! Let’s pause to celebrate the incredible women who have graduated from the School of Music over the years. Here are recent profiles of just a few of the musicians, composers, producers, and other alumni from the School:

Dr. Laurel Parsons and Dr. Brenda Ravenscroft

Dr. Brenda Ravenscroft, left, and Dr. Laurel Parsons, right

Dr. Brenda Ravenscroft, left, and Dr. Laurel Parsons, right

 “There’s so much wonderful music that you learn in university. Not to take anything away from that, but once you start looking for music by women, or people who are not white men, in particular because classical music is such a Eurocentric discipline, it really becomes shocking to see how narrow that representation of composers really is... we wanted to change that.”

–Dr. Laurel Parsons (MA’91, PhD’03) talks about Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers, the award-winning book she co-edited with Dr. Brenda Ravenscroft (PhD’93) which tackles the problem of representation in the Western musical canon.

Read more

Hildegard Westerkamp and Kiran Bhumber

Kiran Bhumber (left) and Hildegard Westerkamp (right)

Kiran Bhumber (left) and Hildegard Westerkamp (right)

“Listen to where your passion is located, where your skill is located and how that resonates with which part of society. Trust your own ears, trust your own inclination on, especially for women, where your interests lie.”

– Pioneering sound ecologist Hildegard Westerkamp (BMus'72) and up-and-coming composer, producer, and performer Kiran Bhumber (BMus’14) discuss tech, gender, and “trusting your inner voice”

Read more

Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe

Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe

Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe

“I used to play for ballets, musicals, sing in choir, direct things, teach, go to concerts. All of that was just completely washed out when I couldn’t hear anymore. I think composition saved me…. More than anything else I’ve done in music, this makes me the proudest.”

– Musician and educator Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe (BMus’80, DipEd’91, MEd’92, EdD’14) talks about how she lost her hearing and found her true calling — as a composer of children’s operas

Read more 

Awards, fellowships, and new albums

Jocelyn Morlock

Jocelyn Morlock

2018 was a great year all around for our alumni and faculty. Here are some more stories worth celebrating:

Composer and instructor Jocelyn Morlock (MMus’96, DMA’02) won Classical Composer of Year at the 2018 Western Canadian Music Awards, a Juno Award for Best Classical Composition for her orchestral work, “My Name Is Amanda Todd,” and the Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award from SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada).

UBC Opera director Prof. Nancy Hermiston was inducted into the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame and also received the Faculty of Arts 2017-18 Dean of Arts Award, the most prestigious award that the Faculty bestows on a colleague, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to creative research, teaching, and service to UBC and the broader community. As part of the award, she was bestowed with the title of Professor Emerita.

Pianist Nicole Linaksita (BSc/BMus’16) won the Orford Music Prize, a scholarship covering accommodation and tuition for an advanced program at Orford Music in 2019. Her other prizes this year include the Tom Cuff Award for Best Performance of a Canadian Work; the Linda Stobbe Memorial Award as the winner of the National Piano Class; and the Marilyn Wiwcharuk Memorial Scholarship for the Outstanding Performance at the Vancouver Kiwanis Festival. She also won first prize in the Senior Category at the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra’s Clef Concerto Competition and will be playing with the VMO next season.

Simone Osborne

Simone Osborne

Soprano Simone Osborne (DMPS'09) released her debut album, Simone Osborne: Live in Concert with Anne Larlee, and was nominated for the 2018 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance – Female (Opera Division) for her role as Adina in The Elixir of Love with the Canadian Opera Company.

Music theorist Antares Boyle (PhD’18) was awarded the prestigious 2018 SMT-40 Dissertation Fellowship from the Society for Music Theory.  Her dissertation project, “Formation and Process in Repetitive Post-Tonal Music,” theorizes how musical segments, processes, and larger forms arise in recent post-tonal works that feature extensive varied repetition. Dr. Boyle completed her dissertation in August and is now teaching at the University of Northern Colorado.

Mezzo soprano Simran Claire (BMus'18, current MMus student) won a position with the Glimmerglass Ensemble and will begin performing with the ensemble in June 2019.

The 2019 UBC Concerto Competition winners

D’Arcy Blunston

D’Arcy Blunston

Congratulations to everyone who competed in the 2018/19 UBC School of Music Concerto Competition!

Open to all music students, the annual competition is an opportunity for young musicians to earn a coveted spot as a solo performer with the UBC Symphony Orchestra.

Markus Masaites

Markus Masaites

Competitors select virtuoso works which highlight their exceptional technical and expressive abilities as musicians. There were many entries in the competition and the performance level was extremely high, as always.

Yu-Hsien Lin

Yu-Hsien Lin

This year's winner is D’Arcy Blunson (voice) for her lyrical performance of Britten's Les illuminations de Rimbaud, Op. 18

The first runner-up is Markus Masaites (piano), for his excellent performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in No. 18 in B-flat major, K. 456. The second runner-up is Yu-Hsien Lin (piano) for her terrific performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54.

D’Arcy wins the opportunity to perform as the soloist with UBC Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, April 6th at 7:30 p.m.

Photos: Takumi Hayashi/UBC