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Class of 2023 Celebrations include the Naming of Four Honorary Fellows

Class of 2023 Celebrations include the Naming of Four Honorary Fellows

Published on December 15, 2023

Jordan de Souza, Ryan de Souza, Edward Han Jiang, and Dr. Terence Tam were made Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory 

Dr. Peter Simon with RCM grad

Convocation ceremonies for the Class of 2023 were recently held in Toronto and Vancouver for ARCT (Associate) and LRCM (Licentiate) graduates of the RCM Certificate Program. “Today we celebrate your achievements and are very proud of everything you have achieved through your many hours spent practicing and deepening your love of music" said Dr. Peter Simon, President of The Royal Conservatory, in his final address to graduates in Toronto before his retirement in August 2024. He continued, "I can assure you that for the rest of your life, the fact that you can make music will be a major source of pleasure and happiness. I urge each of you to be advocates of music and the arts – to keep the arts in your lives and remember how glorious a gift it is to all people.”

The ceremonies were also an occasion to confer Honorary Fellowships of The Royal Conservatory of Music (FRCMT) to four outstanding individuals. Honorary Fellowships  are The Royal Conservatory's highest designation and is awarded to those who have made extraordinary cultural contributions across Canada and around the world.  Honorary Fellows include Oscar Peterson, Eugene Levy, Chris Hadfield, and The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson.

Said Alexander Brose, RCM President Designate, at the Convocation ceremony in Vancouver: “One of the fundamental reasons for our gathering today is the celebration of excellence — excellence found not only in you, our new graduates and alumni, but also across the wider RCM family of individuals who, collectively, have made a substantial and notable contribution to music education and the arts.” 

Our four new Honorary Fellows, Jordan de Souza, Ryan de Souza, Edward Han Jiang, and Dr. Terence Tam, are united by their connection to the RCM Certificate Program. As alumni, teachers, and composers, they exemplify the gold standard of the world's finest program of music study and assessment. 

Alexander Brose, Ryan de Souza, and Dr. Peter Simon

Ryan de Souza and Jordan de Souza received their Fellowships from Dr. Peter Simon at the Toronto ceremony and are the first siblings to ever be conferred the FRCMT.

Ryan de Souza is in his 23rd season as the Associate Music Director and Company Pianist at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and has also had roles as their Music Director, Conductor, Composer, Sound Designer. He has created orchestrations and arrangements for new Canadian musicals including Tomson Highway’s Mary Jane Mosquito and Hawksley Workman’s Almost A Full Moon, and has had the pleasure of working with theatres across the country including The Citadel Theatre, The Grand Theatre, Mirvish Productions, Ross Petty Productions, Theatre Calgary, Theatre New Brunswick and the Stratford Festival. An RCM Certificate Program alumnus, having completed both Level 10 Piano and Level 9 Organ, Ryan has worked with international recording artists Jennifer Hudson, Andrea Bocelli, and The Tenors, and is a proud graduate of St. Michael’s Choir School. Said Ryan: “The RCM was where I started music – it was my first introduction. It gave me a foundation to learn how to learn music, how to perfect music, how to make melodies sing.” 

Alexander Brose, Jordan de Souza, and Dr. Peter Simon

Jordan de Souza is also an alumnus of the RCM Certificate Program having completed both Level 10 Piano and Organ and was appointed the Cathedral Organist for St. Michael’s Choir School at the age of 15. He continued his studies at McGill University, where he discovered a passion for symphonic and operatic music, and when he was19, Jordan earned the Fellowship Degree from the Royal Canadian College of Organists. In 2016, Jordan served as Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (2017-2020), and is now the Designated General Music Director of Opernhaus Dortmund and Chief Conductor of the Dortmund Philharmonic, beginning in 2025. Conducting highlights include performances with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Orchestra della Toscana, Lyric Opera Chicago, and Bayerische Staatsoper. He has also led top orchestras at international festivals such as the BBC Proms, Adelaide Festival, Grant Park Music Festival, the Bregenz Festival, and the Glyndebourne Festival. Said Jordan, “I am what I am because of my identity as a musician. We have a responsibility as musicians and lovers of music to care for this ecosystem that exists, and to share that gift of music that we’ve been given, with everyone else.” 

Barry Shiffman and Dr. Terence Tam

Dr. Terence Tam was conferred his Fellowship by Barry Shiffman, Associate Dean of The Glenn Gould School and Director of The Taylor Academy at the Toronto ceremony. Terence is an alumnus of the RCM Certificate Program where he earned his ARCT in Piano Performance, as well as an alumnus of both The Royal Conservatory's Taylor Academy and Glenn Gould School studying piano and violin. A top prizewinner of multiple international competitions, he has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Europe, Australia and across Canada and his performances have been heard on Canadian and Australian national radio and television. Terence made his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1994, his Paris concerto debut in 2000, and his recording of Zwaag’s Violin Concerto was chosen as one of CBC In Concert’s best classical recordings of 2011. In 2008, he was offered the position of Concertmaster with the Victoria Symphony and has since become a fixture of the Victoria arts scene. Prior to this, he was Concertmaster of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in Australia and Symphony Nova Scotia in Canada. In addition to his career as one of Canada's most successful concert artists, he is also the ER Physician at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital in British Columbia.

Edward Han Jiang and Alexander Brose

Edward Han Jiang is a composer, pianist, and Steinway artist and was conferred his Fellowship at the Vancouver ceremony by Alexander Brose. Critics have hailed his performances in prestigious venues worldwide, including at New York’s Carnegie Hall, as "striking golden sparks" and as having "wide-ranging sound disposition with dramatic impact." His extensive discography, which includes a recent release on Naxos Records entitled "Piano Miniatures from China", represents a commitment to preserving and promoting the diverse tapestry of Chinese culture through music. Edward's impact as a composer has left an indelible print on the musical lives of many with a voice that is a fusion of his Chinese heritage and the rich, natural landscapes of British Columbia. His work has earned recognition from such diverse institutions as the China Youth Symphony Orchestra, Ablaze Records, and The Royal Conservatory of Music, where he has contributed more than seven compositions to the Piano Syllabus, 2022 Edition. Additionally, his dedication to nurturing and guiding emerging talent is evidenced through his connection with the Pacific Rim International Music and Education Society, where he currently serves as a Board Member.