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Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Prize

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Sir Ernest MacMillan was a Companion of the Order of Canada, and recipient of the only knighthood conferred on a Canadian musician. He was the President of the RCCO from 1927 to 1928, and among his many other accomplishments in music, he was also a virtuoso organist. He began organ lessons at the age of eight and was appearing publicly in Toronto as an organist by the age of ten. He later toured widely as an organist and composed a number of pieces for the instrument, including the fine concert piece Cortège académique (1953). MacMillan wrote about his career as an organist in the article “The Organ Was My First Love,” published in the Canadian Journal of Music in 1959.

Sir Ernest's extraordinary contributions to the development of music in Canada, in virtually all aspects, as orchestral and choral conductor, organist, chamber musician, composer, arranger, administrator, lecturer, adjudicator, writer, and statesman, are unparalleled.

Funded by the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation and administered by the RCCO, this prestigious award of $7,500 is given in memory of this legendary Canadian musician and organist. The prize is to be awarded every two years (in odd numbered years) to support the artistic development and career advancement of a young organist.

Candidates should be at an advanced stage of their musical education, must be under thirty years of age as of the deadline date for application, hold either Canadian citizenship or permanent residency of Canada, and be a member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

Candidates are expected to prepare a program of no more than 40 minutes of music drawn from three categories:

  • 1) the works of J. S. Bach: - a slow and fast movement from one of Trio Sonatas III, IV, V, or VI;
  • 2) the French symphonic school: - two contrasting movements from any of the six Symphonies of Louis Vierne;
  • 3) contemporary Canadian organ music: - works of Raymond Daveluy:
          one of these movements from the Sonatas:
                   3rd Sonata : Chaconne, 2nd Movement
                   4th Sonata : Fantasy, 1st Movement
                   4th Sonata : Fugue, 3rd Movement
                   5th Sonata : Scherzo, 2nd Movement
                   5th Sonata : Final, 4th Movement
                   6th Sonata : Toccata, 4th Movement
                   Epilogue on "Nun Danket" and "Ballerma"

The winner will be selected by recorded audition and references, adjudicated by a jury of representatives from the RCCO and the wider musical world. Candidates must be under 30 years of age as of the application deadline date.

The audition performance should be recorded in MP3 format with all playing done at the same session on the same organ. Each work must be presented with no editing and preferably should not be taken from a concert or church performance. No identification may be on the recording except the names of the pieces in the order recorded. The recording must be accompanied by a written statement, signed by a witness who is a member of the RCCO, that the recording is the applicant’s own work.

The application deadline is April 30 in odd numbered years.

Click here for an application form.

Click here for information on the Sir Ernest MacMillan Foundation.

414 - 15 Case Goods Lane
Toronto, ON
M5A 3C4

Phone: 416.929.6400
Email: info@rcco.ca
414 - 15 Case Goods Lane
Toronto, ON
M5A 3C4

Téléphone : 416.929.6400
Courriel : info@rcco.ca

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