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WNMF Composers Institute creates incredible opportunities for up-and-coming composers

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Rebecca Adams, Nolan Hildebrand, Thomas Joiner, Eliazer Kramer, Jessica MacIsaac, Liam Ritz, Darren Xu, Isaac Zee, Gregory Parth

Rebecca Adams (Springvale, Prince Edward Island) – Lion’s Den
Nolan Hildebrand (Toronto) – ArtDiesSoundsRepeat
Thomas JoinerDawn (2022 CMC Winner)
Eliazer Kramer (Montreal) – Fantasy for Orchestra
Jessica MacIsaac (Mi’gma’gi,Nova Scotia) – Thirteen
Liam Ritz (Toronto) – Kaleidoscope
Darren Xu (Vancouver) – To Liberate
Isaac ZeeDay of Judgement (2021 CMC Winner)
Gregory ParthTeutoburg (2023 CMCWinner)

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s fifth annual WNMF Composers Institute was held at the Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall during the Winnipeg New Music Festival, January 26 – February 3, 2023. The Composers Institute was an intense and prestigious experience for six Canadian emerging composers and three winners of the Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition. A very exciting aspect of the Institute is the world premieres of their orchestral compositions being performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the WNMF Showcase – Launchpad, which opened the festival.

Writing for orchestra is one of the great accomplishments of a composer’s creative life. There are, however, few practical, hands-on opportunities for Canadian composers in the early stages of their careers. The symphony orchestra presents many challenges for composers, including effectively balancing the orchestra’s many instruments and communicating clearly with the conductor, musicians, and audience.

The WNMF Composers Institute provides a unique professional training opportunity for young composers. At the Institute, they are mentored by some of Canada’s leading orchestral composers and experience close integration with the renowned Winnipeg New Music Festival.

Emerging composers from across Canada were selected to participate in the 2023 WNMF Composers Institute and have their orchestral works premiered by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2023 Winnipeg New Music Festival. In collaboration with the Canadian Music Centre, the winner of the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition also participates in the WNMF Composers Institute, has their work performed and wins a cash prize of $1,000. Winners of the 2021 and 2022 Emerging Composer Competition also took part this year.

The participants experienced the week-long Winnipeg New Music Festival from behind the scenes, attending rehearsals and concerts. Professional development workshops were held throughout the festival, led by WSO’s Composer-in-Residence Haralabos [Harry] Stafylakis and the 2023 Composers Institute mentor composers, Kelly-Marie Murphy and Eliot Britton. Panels, workshops, lessons, and masterclasses featured several of WNMF’s guest composers visiting from throughout Canada and abroad.

Mentor composer Eliot Britton, Composer-in-Residence Haralabos [Harry] Stafylakis and mentor composer Kelly-Marie Murphy.