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Watch the finals of McGill's 2017 Golden Violin Competition

Chris Maskell

On Sunday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m. ET, watch the final round of McGill University's Golden Violin Competition live from Pollack Hall in Montreal.

Performing will be some of Canada's most talented string students, all of whom were nominated by professors at McGill's Schulich School of Music for a chance to compete for the prestigious award. Competition is fierce and the standards are high — previous Golden Violin winners include Emmanuel Vukovitch (2006), Ewald Cheung (2011), Isaac Chalk (2012) and Joshua Morris (2017).

Established in 2006 through a landmark gift from philanthropist Seymour Schulich, the Golden Violin Competition ranks as one of the most substantial music prizes in the country. Competition finalists perform a 30-minute program of their choice for a panel comprising Schulich School of Music professors and an invited guest, who are all highly accomplished musicians in their own right.

In addition to a $25,000 cash prize and various post-victory recital engagements, the grand prize winner gets to tote the Golden Violin statue for a day. Watch the webcast below and scroll down for information on the three finalists and their programs.

Carmen Bruno.

Finalist: Carmen Bruno, cellist

Canadian–Dutch cellist Carmen Bruno began her musical studies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau at the age of five. She obtained her bachelor's degree from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in 2015. In 2017, she completed her master's studies at McGill University's Schulich School of Music with Matt Haimovitz, where she was the recipient of the Schulich Scholarship, and in the fall of 2017, she began her doctorate at McGill.

In May 2016, Bruno was awarded the Vic Pomer Award from the NACO Bursary Competition, and as of the 2016-2017 season, she is a cellist with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

She plays a French cello, c. 1880, made by Théophile Pierre, and generously loaned to her by the Carlsen Cello Foundation.


Franz Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata, D. 821
I. Allegro moderato

Gilles Tremblay: Cèdres en voiles (Thrène pour le Liban)

Samuel Barber: Cello Sonata, Op. 6
III. Allegro appasinoto

Maïthéna Girault

Finalist: Maïthéna Girault, violinist

Maïthéna Girault was admitted to the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal at age eight where she spent 10 years studying with Helmut Lipsky. In 2014, she entered McGill University's Schulich School of Music where she began studies with Andrew Wan and Alexander Read. Since September 2016, she has studied with Axel Strauss. Recipient of the 2016-2017 Lloyd Carr-Harris Scholarship, Girault obtained a licentiate in music and is currently completing a graduate diploma in performance.

Girault has won first prizes at the Canadian Music Competition, the Festival de musique du Royaume and the Concours de musique classique de Pierre-De Saurel. In 2013 and 2014, she was the grand prize winner of the MSYO Concerto Competition and the Sandra Wilson Prize.


Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata No. 5 in F Major for Piano and Violin, Op. 24
I. Allegro

Gabriel Fauré: Sonata No. 1 in A Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 13
I. Allegro molto

Maurice Ravel: Tzigane

Marina Thibeault

Finalist: Marina Thibeault, violist

Marina Thibeault travels the world as a recitalist, chamber musician and soloist. She is an ardent ambassador for new music and seeks to champion diversity and innovation in the classical world.

Thibeault is the recipient of numerous honours, most recently Radio-Canada's classical "Révélation" for 2016-2017, a Sylva Gelber Foundation Award (2016) and first prize in the string category of both the Prix d’Europe (2015) and the McGill Concerto Competition (2015). She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a master’s degree with André Roy at McGill University, where she started her doctoral studies in September.

Marina plays on an 1854 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume viola and a W.E Hill Sons bow, generously loaned by Canimex.


J.S. Bach: Sonata in G Major for Viola da gamba and Harpsichord, BWV 1027
I. Adagio
II. Allegro ma non tanto

Rebecca Clarke: Sonata for Viola and Piano​
I. Impetuoso

Ana​ ​Sokolovic​: Prélude

George​ ​Enescu: Konzertstück for Viola and Piano

More to explore:

Timothy Chooi's violin videos are a love letter to Montreal

Listen to Montréal symphonique, the outdoor concert that drew 80,000 people

Watch Couloir play music by Camille Saint-Saëns and Heitor Villa-Lobos