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Watch the Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers

Robert Rowat

The Schulich School of Music of McGill University is hosting the inaugural Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers, whose final concert and awards gala will take place Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. ET.

The Molinari String Quartet and pianist Sara Laimon will perform the works of the five finalist composers: Ashkan Behzadi, Taylor Brook, Christopher Goddard, Alison Yun-Fei Jiang and Thierry Tidrow. After the performances, the jury will deliberate and announce the prize winners. There's a total of $45,000 up for grabs, including a $5,000 People's Choice Award. (Vote here for your favourite piece.)

Watch the concert and awards gala below, and scoll down for further information on the prizes, jury and program.


Ashkan Behzadi: Calluna

Taylor Brook: Idioms

Christopher Goddard: Piano Quintet


Alison Yun-Fei Jiang: In Absent Waters

Thierry Tidrow: Quicksilver


  • Kinan Azmeh, clarinettist and composer in residence with Classical Movements
  • Robert Everett-Green, novelist and feature-writer for The Globe and Mail
  • Alexina Louie, composer
  • David Pay, artistic director of Vancouver's Music on Main
  • Barry Shiffman, violinist and associate dean of The Royal Conservatory of Music's Glenn Goud School
  • Ana Sokolović, composer and professor of composition at the University of Montreal
  • Brenda Ravenscroft, jury chair and dean of McGill's Schulich School of Music


First prize: $15,000
Second prize: $10,000
Third prize: $5,000
Fourth prize: $5,000
Fifth prize: $5,000

People's Choice Award: $5,000

The Graham Sommer National Competition for Young Composers was established thanks to a gift from the late Graham Sommer, B.C. native and professor of radiology at Stanford University.


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