Motivated by a strong desire to help emerging young musicians reach their full potential, Royal Conservatory alumni Mr. Ian Ihnatowycz and Dr. Marta Witer made a transformational gift in 2013 to name The Ihnatowycz Piano Program. Thanks to Mr. Ihnatowycz and Dr. Witer’s extraordinary investment, The Glenn Gould School (GGS) has become an international destination for high-level piano studies.
The Ihnatowycz Piano Program includes The Ihnatowycz Chair in Piano and The Ihnatowycz Prize in Piano. The inaugural Ihnatowycz Chair in Piano was held by legendary pianist Leon Fleisher (1928-2020), who represented the highest standard of musicianship and brought tremendous pedagogical insight to students and faculty alike. The prestigious Ihnatowycz Prize in Piano — the single largest award of its kind at the GGS — is given to a piano student with exceptional potential. This young artist receives full-tuition and living support for the duration of their studies, eliminating the financial burden associated with advanced music studies, and giving them valuable opportunities to develop their skills and artistry, including a solo appearance with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra. The current recipient is Rossina Grieco, while internationally acclaimed performing and recording artist, Jan Lisiecki, is a past beneficiary. The Ihnatowycz Piano Program also supports the GGS piano faculty and visiting artists, and the maintenance and restoration of The Conservatory’s piano collection.
Mr. Ihnatowycz and Dr. Witer’s generosity also benefits GGS students in other disciplines. Nine Ihnatowycz Emerging Artist Scholarships provide full-tuition support to the top students across all disciplines, enabling them to focus on their training and career preparation. Many past scholarship recipients have found professional success as performers in leading ensembles and orchestras.
The Royal Conservatory is deeply grateful to Mr. Ihnatowycz and Dr. Witer for their tremendous generosity and ongoing commitment. Their contributions have enhanced The Glenn Gould School’s mission to nurture the next generation of great artists, ultimately fostering a more creative society for the benefit of all Canadians.
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