Students and alumni of The Royal Conservatory excelled at the 79th OSM Manulife Competition, held in Montreal from November 14-17, 2018. Artists with a Conservatory connection won the top prize in every category, as well as the competition’s Grand Prize.
Vancouver pianist Carter Johnson won the Grand Prize as well as the top prize in the senior piano division (performers aged 18 to 25). Carter earned $20,000 in scholarships as well as concert engagements throughout North America.
Carter studied music through the acclaimed curriculum of The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program. He is second alumnus in three years to win the top prize at the celebrated competition; violinist Blake Pouliot earned the honour in 2016.
Fellow Certificate Program alumnus Henry From won the top prize in the junior piano division (performers 17 and under), earning him a $10,000 scholarship. Clara Wang, a student of The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School, also won a $10,000 scholarship for winning the harp category.
Other notable prizewinners included J J Bui, a student of The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, who won the audience prize as well as the award for the best performance of a Canadian work among the competitors in the junior piano category. Rebanks Fellow Kevin Ahfat and Glenn Gould School student Phoebe Powell were named the top performers of the Canadian work in the senior piano and harp categories, respectively.
The OSM Manulife Competition is Canada’s most prestigious competition for young classical musicians. Past prizewinners include violinist James Ehnes, as well as pianists and Royal Conservatory alumni Angela Hewitt and Jan Lisiecki.