Pentland Awards

Dedicated to BC Legacy Composer Barbara Pentland, the Pentland Awards seek to recognize extraordinary contributions to Canadian music, excellence in composition, and best performances of Canadian music within the Province of BC through five distinct awards.

Awards of Excellence

Awards of Excellence recognize individuals and organizations throughout the Province of BC that have made an extraordinary contribution to Canadian music.

Outstanding Composition Award

Outstanding Composition Awards are presented to winners of affiliated composition competitions sponsored by recognized music institutions in the province of BC.

Outstanding Performance Award

Outstanding Performance Awards are presented for the best performance of a Canadian work at respected competitions sponsored by established music organizations within the province of BC, such as the BC Registered Music Teachers Association annual conference, Kathaumixw International Choral Festival, or Kiwanis Festivals.

Pentland Prize

The Pentland Prize is a $1,000 scholarship awarded annually to a BC graduate student in Composition at the School of Music at the University of Victoria, the School of Music at the University of British Columbia, or SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. The Prize rotates between those three schools each year, with the graduate student to be presented the award selected by the Composition faculty of that school. The Pentland Prize is generously sponsored by Dr. Geoffrey Newman.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is an annual award which seeks to recognize extraordinary contributions to Canadian music by an individual over a lifetime of service and/or through a body of work.

Barbara Pentland (1912 – 2000)

A musical maverick, composer Barbara Pentland was completely self-invented and actualized. Her early work was neoclassical in spirit, inspired, if not influenced, by Copland, with whom she studied, as well as Stravinsky and Bartok, with whom she corresponded. Pentland began to adopt serial techniques in the late 1940s after being introduced to the music of Webern, and came to see herself as a committed high modernist with a distinctly original language and approach.

She taught composition at UBC, was awarded the Diplôme d’honneur by the Canadian Conference of the Arts; was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1989; and in 1993 became the first composer named to the Order of British Columbia. She was also a founding member of the Canadian Music Centre and the Canadian League of Composers, and our CMC BC library bears her name.