What a fantastic and revealing week it was serving on the jury for the 2012 competition of the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank! I have now sat on both sides of the table, so to speak…
As a past competitor, I know first-hand what each applicant vying for one of the Canada Council’s instruments goes through. In 2000, I was successful in the competition and was given the privilege of playing on the 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivarius for three years. Now, with my recent jury experience, I’m also aware of the difficult task and responsibility of awarding our next generation of performers the same privilege.
All of us at some point dream of performing on a fine instrument – what the endless possibilities and potential of improving our sound and color palette might be. Personally, the contributions were immeasurable; for me and my chamber group, for my career and for my own sound offerings which I then brought to my own instrument when it was time to return the Windsor-Weinstein Strad.
The Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank and its process for awarding instruments to our talented musicians are unique and should be celebrated. Listening to the auditions of this year’s finalists over the past week has revealed to me how much talent this country has and continues to yield. I applaud the teachers of those young players in their infancy, the teachers who nurture the young musicians during their adolescence, and finally, the mentors who prepare to send these individuals into the professional world.
We, the musical community in Canada – and indeed all Canadians – receive the benefits of enjoying performances by these talented players and we proudly applaud their recognition abroad. I was honored to have heard so much talent and expect that, whether the candidates were successful or not, all we heard will be valued contributors to our musical scene wherever they might call home.
For more information on the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank, including the 2012 winners, visit: instrumentbank.canadacouncil.ca.