E-Gré National Music Competition announces 2023 Finalists
Brandon, Manitoba – The 46th Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition 2023 in Voice, taking place at Brandon University School of Music from April 21 – 23, 2023, announces that the six selected final vocalists are: Katy Clark (Soprano), London ON; Sydney Clarke (Soprano), Oshawa ON; Rebecca Gray (Soprano), Toronto, ON; Claire Latosinsky (Soprano), Toronto, ON; Sara Schabas (Soprano), Montréal, QC; and McKenzie Warriner (Soprano), Toronto, ON.
Commonly known as the E-Gré, this annual event focuses on the exceptional performance of contemporary music by Canada’s top emerging artists. Created in 1976 as a tribute to composer, pianist and violinist S. C. Eckhardt-Gramatté, the competition highlights Canadian music and has commissioned 42 new works. E-Gré prizewinners include Officers of the Order of Canada Jon Kimura Parker, Ben Heppner, Louise Bessette and James Ehnes. This year, the competition is open to Canadian vocalists between the ages of 18 and 35. Hosted at Brandon University’s School of Music each spring, the E-Gré alternates between Voice (2023), Strings (2024), and Piano (2025).
Nationally recognized for its high standards, the E-Gré Competition offers its competitors excellent opportunities. This year, the first prize total value is ca. $11K, which includes a $6000 cash award and a cross-Canada recital tour which provides an additional ca. $5,000 in artist fees for the winner and ca. $5000 for the winner’s pianist. A second cash prize of $2,500 and a third cash prize of $1,500 are also awarded; the fourth, fifth and sixth finalists will receive a $1,000 prize each. In addition, the City of Brandon Prize of $1,000 honours the best performance of the annual commissioned work. The 2023 E-Gré commissioned work is Breath by composer Keith Hamel with text by Jamaican Canadian poet Olive Senior.
The jurors for the preliminary round of the competition, which took place in January 2023, were sopranos Sarah Hall (Brandon University), Christina Raphaëlle Haldane (Mount Allison University), and Patricia O’Callaghan (Queen’s University). The jurors for the final round and the Gala Artists are Rebecca Cuddy, two-time Dora Award nominated Métis mezzo-soprano, Hugh Russell, internationally renowned baritone from Rivers, MB, and Craig Terry, Grammy Award–winning pianist, who performs with the world’s leading singers and is the Music Director at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The jury chair is Glenn Hodgins, President and CEO of the Canadian Music Centre. The E-Gré Final Round will be hosted by E-Gré Artistic Director Megumi Masaki, from Brandon University’s School of Music in Brandon, Manitoba. Lectures, presentations and the Gala Concert will take place on Friday April 21, 2023. All final recitals will be performed on Saturday, April 22, 2023 in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall, Brandon University School of Music. The Award Ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 23, 2023.
The 2023 E-Gré Competition gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council, SOCAN Foundation, Brandon University and the E-Gré Development Fund, Brandon Area Community Foundation, City of Brandon, Westman Communications Group and many corporate and private donors.
For more information please contact the Eckhardt-Gramatté (E-Gré) Competition Office:
Dianna Neufeld, Administrative Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katy Clark has performed as a soloist across North America with groups including the Amici Chamber Ensemble, the Kitchener-Waterloo and Windsor Symphonies, Michigan Opera Theatre, and the Elora, Indian River, and Stratford Summer Music Festivals. She is a member of the Elora Singers and of Opus8, and has sung with the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, and the Canadian Opera Company Chorus. Katy was the 2019 winner of the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song, and was a recipient of the 2017/18 Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency. She holds a DMA from the University of Toronto, where her research focused on the operas of John Beckwith. Katy teaches Singing and Voice Pedagogy at McMaster University, and operates a private teaching studio in London, Ontario. In addition to her work as a performer and teacher, Katy is the founder and artistic producer of the London-based opera company Village Opera.
Sydney Clarke is a soprano who performs “all-guns blazing” (Opera Canada). She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba’s Desautel Faculty of Music under the tutelage of Tracy Dahl (CM), and is a graduate of the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music (GGS) in Toronto. An interpreter in multiple vocal genres, Sydney recently performed the role of PHOEBE in Dry Cold Productions’ musical production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. She debuted the role of JILL BANFORD in the premiere of Roan Shankaruk’s opera The Fox with the University of Manitoba, and has performed roles including HELENA in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, DONNA ANNA in Don Giovanni, and ELETTRA in Idomeneo. She is also a winner of the 2020 Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg’s McLellan Competition. Sydney is currently based in Oshawa, Ontario, continuing to perform and teach voice.
Rebecca Gray is a soprano, composer and improviser passionate about performing and creating fresh, complex and inclusive new works. As a soprano, she has performed with Pacific Opera Victoria, Esprit Orchestra, Tapestry Opera, Opera Q, and is a member of FAWN chamber creative. She loves contributing to Canada’s queer opera scene as a performer and composer, and has presented interdisciplinary work at the Atlantic Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Westben Centre and Chateau La Napoule in France. She participated in the Canadian League of Composer’s PIVOT mentorship program, and participated in Soundstreams’ Young Composer Workshop in 2021. Together with her sister Rachel, she won the Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes and will compose Raccoon Opera, a fable of the housing crisis, for 2023.
Claire Latosinsky is a performer-researcher who loves to tell new stories about and through music. A 2022 graduate of the Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Toronto, where she studied with Wendy Nielsen, Claire also holds an English major from that institution. Claire is an alumna of Songfest (2019) and Evolution: Classical at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (2022). She also spent a semester studying voice at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland (2020). Performance credits include Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate with the London Community Orchestra (2015), a recital entitled “Notes to Belonging,” which explored nationalism in art song (2022), and as soprano soloist in the premiere of Evan Tanovich’s Missa Solemnis in D (2023). Claire is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Musicology at U of T, supported by a Canadian Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Born and raised in Tkarón:to (Toronto), Sara Schabas (she/her) recently performed as a soloist with Vancouver Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Dayton Opera, Manitoba Opera, and Tapestry Opera, Vienna’s Concentus Musicus, the Dayton Philharmonic, Thirteen Strings Ottawa and Oakville Masterworks, and as a recitalist in the COC Amphitheatre and Zürich Opera House’s Spiegelsaal. She has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition, the Hnatyshyn Foundation, and the IRCPA. In 2020, she was nominated for a Dora Award for her work as Anne Frank in Cecilia Livingston’s Singing Only Softly. Sara is a current member of Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium Young Artists, and holds degrees from the University of Toronto and Roosevelt University with additional studies at Vienna’s Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies at McGill University researching Emmy Heim, a singer who helped bring a legacy of new music to Canada.
McKenzie Warriner is a Saskatchewan-born soprano bringing music and text to life in works ranging from Baroque oratorio to the cutting-edge. In the 22/23 season, McKenzie returned to her home province to sing Messiah with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and is honoured to be a Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist with Vancouver Opera. She is also excited to perform at the 2023 Aldeburgh Festival premiering new works as a Britten Pears Young Artist. Recent credits include Le portrait de Manon (Vancouver Opera), Abigail Richardson-Schulte’s Alligator Pie (Regina Symphony Orchestra), The Shop Girl (COSA Canada), and Der Schauspieldirektor (Eastman Opera Theatre). Passionate about contemporary music, McKenzie co-founded Slow Rise Music in 2021, a Toronto concert series devoted to creating bold new vocal works. McKenzie earned her Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Manitoba.
The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition