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Taylor Academy Students win Awards at Prestigious Classical Music Competitions

Taylor Academy Students win Awards at Prestigious Classical Music Competitions

Published on June 14, 2022

OMNI Music Competition; Canadian Music Competition; Classicalia Competition

Students and alumni of The Royal Conservatory’s Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists have once again earned top prizes at some of the most prestigious national and international classical music competitions.

Emad Zolfaghar
Emad Zolfaghari

OMNI Music Competition

Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain announced winners of its fourth edition OMNI Music Competition on June 11, and students and alumni of The Taylor Academy earned prizes in several of the top categories, including the highest honour, the François Schubert Grand Prize which was awarded to violist and alumnus of The Taylor Academy Emad Zolfaghari in the age 15-17 category.

Other winners included violinist Salma Khakimov who won the Wilder & Davis Study Prize in the age 7-11 category; violinist Jessie Sun who won the Wilder & Davis Study Prize in the 12-14 category; pianist Kevin Wang who won the Bolduc Pianos Prize in the age 15-17 category and pianist Megan Lo won the Hydro-Québec Grand Prize scholarship in the age 12-14 category.

The competition offers young musicians across Canada between the ages of 7 and 17 an opportunity to showcase their talent for a chance to earn more than $22,000 in scholarship prizes. Musicians each submitted a video performance and winners were announced via the Orchestre Métropolitain’s YouTube channel.

Vivian Kukiel
Vivian Kukiel

Canadian Music Competition

The Canadian Music Competition brings together young Canadian musicians to support their study of classical music, nurture their passion and talent, and encourage the perseverance and discipline required for the achievement of excellence.

This year, violinist Vivian Kukiel, an alumna of The Taylor Academy, won first prize in the International Stepping Stone Division, while violinist and violist Leslie Ashworth, also an alumna of The Taylor Academy and The Glenn Gould School won third prize. Ms. Ashworth was also named to CBC’s top 30 classical musicians under 30 years old in 2021.

Deren Ji, a student of The Taylor Academy who studies piano with David Louie, is also the Grand Prize winner in the 15-18 year old category. Deren will perform in the Gala Concert on July 4 in Montreal and will have the chance to share the stage with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec.
This marks the 64th year of the competition, which featured competitors from 65 cities vying for more than $100,000 in prizes. Each of the six finalists gave live performances at Université Laval in Quebec City.

Classicalia Competition – Finalists Announced

In early June, the Classicalia global music competition announced the 12 finalists who will travel to Vienna in 2023 to perform at its inaugural competition in the stunning Grand Saal of the Vienna Konzerthaus with a symphony orchestra.

Among the finalists are Taylor Academy alumni Sunny Ritter, Andrew Sijie Li, and Thomas Torok, and the competition — which will be featured in upcoming programming on PBS — will be evaluated by an international roster of judges who are also acclaimed performers and music pedagogues.