Pianist Claudia Chan wins 2010 E-Gré National Music Competition in Piano

May 11, 2010

Brandon, MB The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition for the performance of Canadian and contemporary music is pleased to announce its 2010 prizewinners:  

1st Prize – Claudia Chan

2nd Prize and City of Brandon Prize – Andrea Lodge

3rd Prize – Christopher Morano

Audience Choice Prize – Everett Hopfner

The annual “E-Gré Competition,” now in its 33rd year, took place in Lorne Watson Recital Hall at the Brandon University School of Music April 30 to May 2. This year’s competition was for pianists. Nine semi-finalists performed public recitals on April 30 & May 1, after which three were chosen to advance to the finals and perform completely different programs on May 2.

  Focusing on Canadian and contemporary music and exceptional performance, the E-Gré Competition was created as a tribute to composer and pianist/violinist Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté. It is open only to Canadian musicians between the ages of 18 and 30 (35 for voice). The 2011 competition will be for voice.

  Winner of the $5000 first prize is Claudia Chan, originally from Ottawa, Ontario, and now studying in Toronto. The 1st Prize also includes a cross-Canada recital tour (which provides up to $5,000 in performance fees). During the tour, the CBC will record and broadcast the November 14th Winnipeg concert presented by the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg.

  The 2nd Prize of $3,000 was awarded to Andrea Lodge, who originally hails from Bonavista, Newfoundland, and is now studying in East Setauket, New York. Andrea also received the City of Brandon prize, awarded to the performer who, in the jury’s opinion, gave the best performance of the commissioned piece, Curlicue by Winnipeg composer Karen Sunabacka.

  Christopher Morano, presently of Vancouver but originally from Sault Ste. Maria, Ontario, received the 3rd Prize of $2,000.

  Saturday evening’s gala concert featured renowned pianist Eve Egoyan from Toronto, as well as pianist Judy Kehler Siebert with saxophonist Allen Harrington, both from Winnipeg. Eve Egoyan and Judy Kehler Siebert also served as jurors for the competition, along with Canadian pianist Connie Shih. The jury chair for 2010 was Andrew J. Kwan, of Andrew Kwan Artists Management, Inc.

  CBC Radio Two will broadcast the gala concert on The Signal with Laurie Brown on Saturday, June 19th. The Signal airs nightly, Monday to Saturday, at 10 pm on CBC Radio 2 (98.3 in Winnipeg, 92.7 in Brandon).

  First Prize winner Claudia Chan says, “I think this is a ground-breaking competition. You have to be here to believe that so many people are behind contemporary music. I’ve been interested in contemporary music for a long time. Not everyone is so supportive. This has really encouraged me to continue with this music that I love. It’s shown me that the honesty of this music can really speak to people.”

  Audience Choice Prize winner Everett Hopfner says, “I’ve been coming to this competition and volunteering for the E-Gré Competition for years. Its inspiring to meet so many amazing new musicians and hear them play. The E-Gré is a unique competition with repertoire that I’m passionate about. It’s such a thrill to a part of it this year, on my last year at Brandon University. It’s a great way to go out.”

  The jurors for the recorded preliminary round of the competition, which took place in Fall 2009, were Philip Adamson (pianist, University of Windsor), Stephen Clarke (musician and composer, Toronto), and Kevin Fitz-Gerald (pianist, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music).

  Past E-Gré Competition prizewinners of note include violinist James Ehnes, as well as Nancy Argenta, Ingrid Attrot, Louise Bessette, Angela Cheng, Douglas Finch, Ben Heppner, Desmond Hoebig, Gwen Hoebig, James Parker, Jon Kimura Parker, Annalee Patipatanakoon, Hugh Russell, and Heather Schmidt.

  The E-Gré Competition gratefully acknowledges the support of Brandon University and the E-Gré Development Fund, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, the City of Brandon, The Whitehead Foundation, CBC Radio-Canada, Yamaha Music Canada, and many other corporate and private donors.

  The 34th E-Gré Competition will be held April 29 to May 1, 2011. It is open to vocalists. For information, rules and/or an application form email eckhardt@brandonu.ca or call 204-728-8212.

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For more information please contact the Eckhardt-Gramatté (E-Gré) Competition Office:

  • Aimee Coueslan, Administrative Officer
  • 204-728-8212
  • eckhardt@brandonu.ca