The Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert Soloists Announced

April 19, 2018.


The Azrieli Foundation is pleased to announce the soloists for the Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert on October 15, 2018 at 8:00 pm at Maison symphonique de Montréal. The concert features two major works for chamber orchestra by the winners of  the 2018 Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP), two biennial $50,000 awards offering opportunities for the creation, performance and celebration of high quality new Jewish Music. The new works will be performed by the McGill Chamber Orchestra (MCO) led by Guest Conductor Yoav Talmi. Tickets are available for pre-sale starting today via the Place des Arts box office at

Acclaimed violinist Lara St. John is the soloist for Nigunim for Violin and Orchestra by Avner Dorman, winner of the 2018 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music. The Canadian-born St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by the New York Times. Dorman, an Israeli-born composer who now lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, explores the music of various Jewish traditions from around the world in his work: “The diversity and wealth of musical traditions I discovered astounded me, ranging from North African cantillation to Central Asian wedding music, and from Balkan rhythms to ancient prayers.” In selecting Nigunim for the prize, jury member Aaron Jay Kernis remarked,Avner Dorman’s music is marked by soulful expression joined to rich, inventive orchestral colour and virtuosic flair.” 

A world premiere by Kelly-Marie Murphy, winner of the 2018 Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music will feature performances by harpist Erica Goodman and cellist Rachel Mercer. The multi-award-winning Goodman is “not only Canada’s preeminent harp player, she is one of the most celebrated in the world” (Ottawa Citizen), while Mercer creates “moments of pure magic” (Toronto Star) as a soloist and chamber musician across five continents and as Principal Cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Murphy, based in Ottawa, is creating an innovative double concerto for harp and cello that explores Sephardic music and how it impacted other cultures as the diaspora settled in Morocco, Tunisia, and parts of Europe. Murphy is exploring sources from the Bulgarian Sephardi community and immersing herself in Ladino songs and melodic ornamentation, working to integrate folk songs and lullabies from the Sephardic tradition into her new work for chamber orchestra.

Tickets for the Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert ($20-$99) are now available for pre-sale at a discount of 20% with code AZRIELI with the regular sale beginning Thursday, April 26. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Place des Arts box office, by phone at 514 842-2112 or 1 866 842-2112 (toll-free), or at 

About the Azrieli Music Prizes

Established in 2014 by the Azrieli Foundation, the Azrieli Music Prizes offer opportunities for the discovery, performance and celebration of excellence in new Jewish Music. Open to the international music community, works are nominated by individuals and institutions from all nationalities, faiths, backgrounds and affiliations, and submitted to the jury through the biennial open call for scores. Past Prize winners include Canadian composer Brian Current and US-based Polish composer Wlad Marhulets.

About The Azrieli Foundation

For 25 years, the Azrieli Foundation has funded institutions as well as operated programs on the ground in Canada and in Israel. The Foundation supports music and the arts, scientific and medical research, higher education, Holocaust education, youth empowerment and school perseverance, architecture, and quality of life initiatives for people with developmental disabilities.

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Media Contact:

Shira Gilbert


Posted in Press Release