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Celebrating extraordinary impact at The Royal Occasion

Celebrating extraordinary impact at The Royal Occasion

Published on January 6, 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone this year's Royal Occasion gala event, scheduled for May 26, until such time that social interactions are once again fully possible.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jim & Louise Temerty, and Chilly Gonzales named Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory of Music

Internationally acclaimed conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, life-long philanthropists Jim and Louise Temerty, and genre-defying musician Chilly Gonzales have been named Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory of Music.

“The Honorary Fellow is The Royal Conservatory’s highest designation and is awarded to those who have had a profound impact on society through their contributions to the arts,” said Dr. Peter Simon, Michael and Sonja Koerner President & CEO.

The 2020 honourees will receive their designation on May 26 at The Royal Occasion, The Royal Conservatory’s signature gala event.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin became the third Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York in September 2018. He has held the role of Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, and the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal since 2000. He also became Honorary Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra after being their Music Director from 2008 to 2018. In 2016-17, he joined fellow maestros Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Bernard Haitink to become the third-ever Honorary Member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In September 2019, on the cusp of his 20th season with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, Nézet-Séguin announced the lifetime renewal of his contract with them. He has conducted the Orchestre Métropolitain in Koerner Hall on two occasions.

As philanthropists and senior volunteers, Jim and Louise Temerty have made significant contributions to arts and culture in Canada and abroad. Their generous support of The Royal Conservatory, which includes multiple major gifts and annual scholarships, has been recognized with the naming of Temerty Theatre and the Temerty Orchestral Program at The Glenn Gould School. In 2007, the Royal Ontario Museum named the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of the Dinosaurs in recognition of the couple’s outstanding contribution to the transformative Renaissance ROM campaign. The Temertys maintain and foster strong connections with the Ukrainian community and are devoted to numerous Ukrainian cultural causes across Canada and in Ukraine.

Chilly Gonzales, a Grammy Award-winning Canadian pianist and entertainer, as well as an alumnus of the Conservatory, is known as much for the intimate piano touch of his best-selling Solo Piano album trilogy as for his showmanship and composition for award-winning stars. He performs and writes songs with Jarvis Cocker, Feistand Drake, and holds the Guinness World Record for the longest solo concert at over 27 hours. In 2014, he won a Grammy for his collaboration on Daft Punk’s Best Album of the Year. Most recently, one of Gonzales’ compositions was included in the 2015 RCM Certificate Program piano curriculum, and he also inaugurated his own music school: The Gonzervatory. Gonzales has appeared in concert in Koerner Hall on four occasions and was commissioned by The Royal Conservatory to write a piece for its inaugural 21C Music Festival in 2015. Gonzales starts the Canadian leg of his latest tour on January 13 before going to Europe in March.

Nézet-Séguin, the Temertys, and Gonzales join a distinguished group of Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory of Music that includes Oscar Peterson, k.d. lang, Ben Heppner, David Foster, Chantal Kreviazuk, Leon Fleisher, Denise Donlon, The Tragically Hip, Measha Brueggergosman, and Lang Lang.

The Royal Conservatory thanks George and Rayla Myhal for their invaluable support of The Royal Occasion in their role as event co-chairs.

To purchase gala tickets or tables, please contact Sarah Dineen at 416.408.2824 x447 or [email protected]. Sponsorship opportunities are also available