Header - Services

NYO Canada awarded the 2015 Friends of Canadian Music Award

NYO Canada awarded the 2015 Friends of Canadian Music Award

October 21, 2015

21 OCTOBER 2015 (Toronto) – The Canadian League of Composers (CLC) and the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) are pleased to announce the National Youth Orchestra of Canada as the recipient of the 2015 Friends of Canadian Music Award. The annual Friends of Canadian Music Award is a joint venture between the CLC and the CMC honouring those who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to Canadian composers and their music. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of $2,000.

Each year, the recipient is asked to split the award with an emerging composer of their choice. After careful deliberation, NYO Canada has chosen to share this honour with composer Christopher Goddard.

The joint awards will be presented to NYO Canada and Chris Goddard on November 17, 6:00 pm, at the Canadian Music Centre, 20 St Joseph St, Toronto. This event is free but space is limited.

Please RSVP to rsvp@musiccentre.ca to guarantee seating

A national jury comprised of Howard Bashaw, André Ristic, and Linda Catlin Smith, chaired by Richard Gibson (non-voting), assessed the nominations. CLC General Manager, Elisha Denburg, was present as an observer. Juror Linda Catlin Smith notes: “The National Youth Orchestra has a long history of including work by living composers on their programs. In our view, the idea of involving young performers in the interpretation of music by living Canadian composers is a vital and important role for this orchestra. We believe that young performers benefit from knowing about music written in Canada, sometimes by their peers, and their high-level performances give all kinds of audiences insight into the various voices of Canadian composers.”


For more than fifty years, NYO Canada has enjoyed an iconic reputation as Canada’s orchestral finishing school, providing the most comprehensive and in-depth training program available to our country’s best young classical musicians. As the bridge between music education and a music career, NYO Canada trains well-rounded and skilled orchestral musicians who are able to thrive in a variety of performance environments.

Since 1960, NYO Canada has commissioned more than 50 new works. Between its chamber music and orchestral programs, it has performed more than 300 existing Canadian compositions. For the past two years, NYO Canada has offered orchestral readings of existing works by emerging composers, providing them with high-quality recordings for the development of their careers. Since 2005, NYO Canada has included the Canadian works that it has commissioned and performed on its national tour on a professionally recorded and widely distributed CD.

More performers in Canada’s professional orchestras are alumni of NYO Canada than any other institute or university. Approximately one third of Canadian professional orchestral musicians are alumni of NYO Canada. Each year, NYO Canada auditions about five hundred students between the ages of 16 and 28. From those auditions, we select 90-100 of Canada’s most promising young orchestral musicians to participate in our summer training institute, where they will benefit from rigorous individual, sectional, chamber and orchestral instruction; training in health and injury prevention; and workshops ranging from audition techniques to the skills required to market one’s musical career. The institute culminates in a cross-country tour with performances in Canada’s most prestigious concert halls, as well as a session in a state of-the-art recording studio at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, with the audio available for sale to NYO Canada fans and classical music lovers worldwide.

NYO Canada is proud to host Canada’s only summer institute that offers a comprehensive training program, concert tour, and recording session to participants with no tuition required. Each student chosen from auditions is supported by scholarship funding provided by NYO Canada’s generous donors.

The NYO Canada’s concert tours have included every major Canadian city as well as occasional trips to the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 1996, the delegates to the World Youth Orchestra Conference in Tokyo, who represented 39 countries, voted to award the NYO Canada the title “Best Youth Orchestra in the World”. The NYO Canada returned to Japan and toured China in 2002.

For more information, visit www.nyoc.org.


Christopher Goddard is a Canadian composer and pianist currently based in Montreal.

As a composer, Christopher Goddard has collaborated with the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, l’Orchestre de la Francophonie, the Larkin Singers, TAK Ensemble, andPlay duo, Da Camera of Houston, the Guidonian Hand, ‘No Exit’ quartet, the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, and pianist Andrew Staupe. He was selected for the 11th International Forum for Young Composers with the NEM, and has participated in the Wellesley Composers Conference, the National Arts Centre Young Composers Program, the Domaine Forget Rencontres de musique nouvelle and the Czech-American Summer Music Institute. His work has been recognized by the SOCAN Young Composer Awards, the Robert Avalon Competition for Young Composers, and the Cooper Prize at Rice University. He has studied with composers Pierre Jalbert, Karim Al-Zand, Chris Paul Harman and Brian Cherney.

As a performer and advocate of contemporary music, Christopher Goddard has presented dozens of premieres by his colleagues, appearing with new music groups such as Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, Columbia Composers, Penn Composers Guild, the Wet Ink Ensemble and others. He has participated in the Samos Young Artist Festival, the Avant Music Festival in New York and was a member of the 2013 Lucerne Festival Academy. He performed with TACTUS, the contemporary music ensemble at the Manhattan School of Music, while studying with pianists Christopher Oldfather and Anthony de Mare. Previous piano studies took place with Nicole Presentey in Ottawa and Kyoko Hashimoto in Montreal. He is also active as an organist, having been engaged recently at St. Matthew’s Church, St. Andrew’s Church and Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa.

Christopher Goddard holds a Master’s degree in contemporary performance from the Manhattan School of Music, a Master’s degree in composition from Rice University, and a Bachelor’s degree in composition and theory from McGill University. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in composition with Professor John Rea at McGill University.

Christopher Goddard is a native of Ottawa, Ontario. For more information, please visit christophergoddard.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Canadian Music Centre
Allegra Swanson
Director of Communications and Centrediscs

Canadian League of Composers
Elisha Denburg
General Manager