By Vivien SchweitzerJanuary 12, 2007
Ramon Humet, a 38-year-old composer from Barcelona, has won the Olivier Messiaen Prize, the top award in the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal's new composition competition. The results were announced immediately following the finals concert on Wednesday (January 10) at the Théâtre Maisonneuve in Montreal's Place des Arts, where the OSM, led by conductor Jean-François Rivest, performed the work of Humet and four other finalists.This year's event (the inaugural edition) attracted entries from 243 composers of 45 different nationalities. The competition, which was announced by OSM music director Kent Nagano in March 2005, is open to candidates under the age of 40 from any country.
The jury included Nagano and composers Unsuk Chin (Korea/Germany), Peter Eötvös (Hungary), Gilles Tremblay (Canada) and Gilbert Amy (France).
The International Promise Prize (for the second-place work) was awarded to Raphaël Cendo of France, and the Claude Vivier National Prize (for the best Canadian work) was presented to Paul Frehner, the only Canadian among the finalists.
The Messiaen Prize consists of a C$25,000 scholarship, an OSM commission, radio broadcast of the work by Espace musique (the classical network of Radio-Canada, the nation's francophone broadcast service), a recording of the work on compact disc (on the CBC Records label), performance of an orchestral work written by the winner by one of Radio France's orchestras, and a commission of a work for piano to be performed during an upcoming Olivier Messiaen International Piano Competition.
A C$15,000 scholarship accompanies the International Promise Prize, which also includes a radio broadcast of the work by Espace musique.
The Claude Vivier National Prize includes a C$10,000 scholarship, radio broadcast of the work by Espace musique and a recording of the work.
This fall, the OSM and Nagano will present a gala concert at which the works of the winners of the Olivier Messiaen International Prize and the Claude Vivier National Prize will be performed.
Messiaen Prize winner Ramon Humet is a graduate of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and has won several international composition prizes. He teaches composition at the Conservatory of Vila-seca and acoustics and music technology at the Conservatori del Liceu in Barcelona.
Raphaël Cendo studied at the École Normale de Musique and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris. He has written works for the Orchestre National d’Île de France and the Ensemble Intercontemporain; he currently studies at IRCAM.
Paul Frehner has a doctorate in music from McGill University; he holds the posts of Composer in Residence at Montreal's Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur and assistant professor of composition at the University of Western Ontario.