Vancouver, BC – The Canadian Music Centre in British Columbia (CMC BC) has presented the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) with an Award of Excellence for the VSO’s extraordinary contribution to Canadian Music at the closing night of their New Music Festival on Sunday, January 29,  in the Orpheum Theatre. The award was presented to Maestro Bramwell Tovey, VSO Music Director, by Sean Bickerton, BC Director of the Canadian Music Centre.

“The Grammy Award-winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has been a world leader in commissioning, performing, and recording Canadian music for decades now. The symphony has commissioned an astounding 77 new works since the year 2000,” said Sean Bickerton, BC Director of the Canadian Music Centre.

Their innovative annual score-reading workshops dedicated to BC Legacy Composer Jean Coulthard demonstrate their exemplary commitment to developing the next generation of Canadian composers,” Bickerton observed. “Since 1998, when the program was first initiated by the VSO’s first Composer-In-Residence, Rodney Sharman, more than 120 new compositions have been performed by the VSO under this program.”

(Photo L-R) Jeffrey Ryan, Sean Bickerton, Jocelyn Morlock, Bramwell Tovey, Marcus Goddard, Rodney Sharman. Photo by Tom Hudock

Rodney Sharman (1997-2001) was followed in the position by Jeffrey Ryan, who served as Composer-In-Residence from 2002 – 2007, then Composer Laureate until 2009. Scott Good was appointed from 2008 – 2011, followed by Edward Top, who served in that capacity from 2011 – 2014. Current Composer-in-Residence Jocelyn Morlock was appointed in 2014, the same year VSO Trumpeter  Marcus Goddard was appointed to a new position created for him, of Composer-in-Association.

“Maestro Bramwell Tovey, the VSO’s Music Director, is an internationally-acclaimed composer in his own right, and has been an inveterate champion of Canadian music since he first came to Canada in 1989,” said Bickerton. It was Maestro Tovey who launched the VSO’s first New Music Festival in 2014.

“For all of these reasons and more, the Canadian Music Centre in BC is pleased to honour the Vancouver Symphony for their extraordinary contribution to Canadian Music with this Award of Excellence,” said Bickerton at the live presentation to Maestro Tovey, who was joined onstage by composers Jocelyn Morlock, Jeffrey Ryan, Rodney Sharman and Marcus Goddard.

The VSO’s New Music Festival this year was the most ambitious ever, featuring six performances,cluding a ground-breaking partnership with Early Music VancouverNew Music for Old Instruments. Premieres by CMC Associate Composers include Jeffrey Ryan’s AfghanistanRequiem for the Next Generation; Jocelyn Morlock’s Corvid, and Hullabaloo!; and Marcus Goddard’s Spooky Action at a Distance among others. The Festival also features works by CMC Associate composers John Korsrud, Rodney Sharman, Christopher Reiche, Murray Adaskin, Linda Caitlin Smith, Peter Hannan, Glenn Buhr, and Nikolai Korndorf among others.