Composer Wlad Marhulets Wins Inaugural Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music
The Azrieli Music Project (AMP) is proud to announce that composer Wlad Marhulets is the winner of the inaugural Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music for his Klezmer Clarinet Concerto. Marhulets, who submitted a completed orchestral work on a Jewish theme or subject - along with applicants from around the world - has been granted the second of two $50,000 prizes, which were offered for the first time by the Azrieli Foundation.
Dr. Sharon Azrieli Perez, noted operatic soprano and scholar in Jewish and cantorial music, created the new prize in 2015 to bring new Jewish music into the world. In September 2015, the Azrieli Music Project announced that Brian Current was the winner of the inaugural Azrieli Commissioning Competition for Canadian composers. Marhulets's 2009 concerto and Current's newly created work, The Seven Heavenly Halls, will both be performed at the Azrieli Music Project Inaugural Concert by Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Maestro Kent Nagano onWednesday, October 19, 2016 at Maison symphonique de Montréal.
Wlad Marhulets (b. 1986) describes his Klezmer Clarinet Concerto as the most important work of his career. Born in Minsk, Marhulets moved with his family to Gdansk, Poland, as a child. It was there, at the age of 16, that he first heard a recording by the acclaimed klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer. "Listening to this modern reinvention of klezmer music changed my life," says Marhulets, who immediately picked up the clarinet and formed his own klezmer band.
Before travelling to New York City, with the goal of meeting Krakauer, the 20-year-old composer - who barely spoke a word of English - also sent his compositions to John Corigliano. The Oscar- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer immediately took Marhulets under his wing at the Juilliard School. Marhulets's Klezmer Clarinet Concerto was premiered by David Krakauer and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2009, under the baton of Maestro Andrew Litton. The concerto has since been performed by the National Orchestra of Lyon and the Bialystok Symphony in Poland.
"The discovery of Jewish music as a teenager truly turned my life around," comments Marhulets. "It inspired me to become a musician and to explore my own roots and culture through music. Since then, I've been trying to give back by writing music that is primarily inspired by Jewish culture. I'm thrilled and honoured to be the winner of the Azrieli Prize and I could not be more grateful to the Azrieli Foundation. I can't wait to hear the concerto performed by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Maestro Nagano!"