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2020 Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert Reaches Unprecedented Heights

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On October 22, the Azrieli Foundation presented its third biennial Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) Gala Concert.

2020 Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert Reaches Unprecedented Heights

On October 22, the Azrieli Foundation presented its third biennial Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) Gala Concert to an expanded and enthusiastic audience on Medici TV and Facebook - reaching an audience more than 25 times that of its last gala concert in 2018. Viewers from across 65 countries tuned in to the performance, which has gained more than 50,000 views as of November 9.

Per tradition, the gala concert featured world premieres by the current AMP Laureates. This year, Keiko Devaux (Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music), Yotam Haber (Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music) and Yitzhak Yedid (Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music) heard their compositions played for the first time by Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne under the direction of Lorraine Vaillancourt with guest mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó joining for Yotam Haber's piece and soprano Sharon Azrieli – a visionary for the AMP – joining for an additional piece Dissidence by Pierre Mercure, arranged by Jonathan Monro. Despite the challenges the pandemic presented, the performance took place at Bourgie Hall in Montréal on its original date and was broadcast around the world with the help of AMP's livestream production partner, Prodcan Inc.

These world premiere performances form part of the total prize package each AMP Laureate receives - valued at over $200,000 CAD - which also includes a cash award of $50,000 CAD; two subsequent international performances; and a recording of the winning work released on Analekta.

The gala concert is still available to watch for free on Medici TV until January 23, 2021 or on the Azrieli Music Prize's Facebook page.


Yitzhak Yedid: Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed (2020 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music)
Pierre Mercure (arr. by Jonathan Monro): Dissidence
Yotam Haber: Estro poetico-armonico III for mezzo-soprano solo, chamber orchestra and pre-recorded audio (2020 Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music)
Keiko Devaux: Arras (2020 Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music)

About Keiko Devaux, 2020 Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music Winner
Keiko Devaux is a Montréal-based composer who writes for ensembles, dance and film. Her compositions focus on musical 'translations' of experience through the interpretation of extra-musical form and patterns. She holds a Master's in Instrumental Composition from the University of Montréal and is currently completing a Doctorate in Composition under the direction of Ana Sokolovi? and Pierre Michaud. She has been awarded several distinctions, including the 2019 Jan V. Matejcek Award from the SOCAN Foundation and the audience and jury prizes of the 2017 Accès Arkea Competition. She was the 2016-18 composer in residence with Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and is currently a Carrefour composer-in-residence with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

About Yotam Haber, 2020 Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music Winner
Yotam Haber was born in Holland and grew up in Israel, Nigeria and Milwaukee. He is the recipient of many prestigious prizes, residencies and commissions, and is widely performed by the leading new music groups around the world. Haber is Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory and Artistic Director Emeritus of MATA, the non-profit organization founded by Philip Glass that, since 1996, has been dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works by young composers from around the world.

About Yitzhak Yedid, 2020 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music Winner
The multi award-winning Yitzhak Yedid melds the music of his ancestral Syrian and Iraqi Jewish background with Western art music. His musical style is eclectic, multicultural and very personal, blending jazz and Jewish cantorial music with classic European and avant-garde techniques. His added experience as an improvising concert pianist allows him to create a highly expressive, eclectic and alluring new Jewish music. Yedid studied piano at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, continued his schooling at the New England Conservatory and earned a Ph.D. from Monash University. He currently lectures in composition and piano at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Brisbane. Most recently, Yedid was named a 2021 Prelude Composer in Residence at Gallop House in Australia.

About Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne
Guided by a duty to interpret the great modern and contemporary repertoire and by a desire to stimulate the creation of original works, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Le NEM)'s mission is to disseminate and to promote the music of our time. An essential leader in both Canada and on the international scene, Le NEM is recognized for its modernism and excellence in all aspects of the interpretation, creation and preservation of musical works of the 20th and 21st centuries. In residence at the University of Montréal's Faculty of Music, Le NEM has performed in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Japan, Australia, China, Singapore and eight European countries. Since its inception, more than 185 pieces have been written specifically for the Ensemble.

About the Azrieli Music Prizes
Established in 2014, the biennial Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) seek to fulfill the Azrieli Foundation's pursuit of its belief in music as a vital human endeavour that allows humankind to express its creativity; to expand its worldview; and to foster positive cultural exchanges. Open to the international music community, AMP accepts nominations for works from individuals and institutions of all nationalities, faiths, backgrounds and affiliations, which are then submitted to its two expert juries through a biennial open call for scores and proposals.

The three AMP prize packages - valued at $200,000 CAD per Laureate - currently makes it the largest competition for music composition in Canada and one of the largest in the world. Past prize-winners include Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman (2018), Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy (2018), Canadian composer Brian Current (2016) and US-based Polish composer Wlad Marhulets (2016).

About The Azrieli Foundation
One of the largest philanthropic foundations in Canada and in Israel, the Azrieli Foundation fulfills the philanthropic legacy of David J. Azrieli and has been funding institutions as well as operating programs since 1989. Driven by a strong belief in the powerful role and responsibility of philanthropy, the foundation empowers and supports a broad range of organizations in the fields of Education, Research, Healthcare and the Arts.

Through the Azrieli Music Initiatives (AMI), of which AMP is a part, the Foundation is committed to discovering, elevating and amplifying artistic voices, granting broad access to meaningful musical experiences that both exhibit artistic excellence and advance a shared pursuit of learning and wellness. AMI creates meaningful and practical realizations of the Foundation's mission to improve the lives of present and future generations

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