THE SCOOP | Godwin Friesen wins first prize at the 83rd OSM Competition
The Orchester symphonique de Montréal has announced the grand prize of the 2022 OSM Competition, pianist Godwin Friesen.
The 83rd edition of the competition was held from November 8 to 12. Open to young Canadian musicians, the OSM Competition has often been the precursor both to more victories on the international circuit and to fruitful performing careers.
Friesen takes the Barbara Bronfman Prize of $20,000, named after a devoted patron of the OSM. In addition to the prize money, he can expect other Grand Prize benefits.
- Invitations to three shows on the OSM calendar: Classical Spree 2023, recitals and/or chamber music;
- The Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel Prize (Belgium): A residency at the Chapel during the 2023-2024 season offered by Mrs Marina Gusti.
Second and third prize winners are also awarded.
- Second prize: Jaeden Izik-Dzurko wins a $12,000 prize offered in collaboration by the Marjorie and Gérald Bronfman Foundation and the Succession Lambert-Gagnon-Fortier.
- Third Prize: Jonathan Mac wins a $7,500 prize offered by the Paul A. Fournier Fund.
The final took place on stage with the Orchester symphonique de Montréal and conductor Jacques Lacombe, and the winners were announced at a gala at the Maison Symphonique.
Here are some of the additional prizes awarded during the contest.
- Award for Best Performance of a Canadian Work: Godwin Friesen ($3,000 grant offered by the OSM Volunteer Association)
- JS Bach Special Tour Prize: Jaeden Izik-Dzurko (Prize of $5,000 donated by Ms. Juliana Pleines)
- Orford Music Prize: Hamilton Lau, Jean-Christophe Melancon, Jessica Yuma (Prize of $5,000 donated by Ms. Juliana Pleines)
- Price Domaine Forget: Godwin Friesen, Jonathan Mac, Victoria Wang (Three scholarships including accommodation for a professional development program at the Domaine Forget International Academy of Music and Dance in 2023.)
- Michelle Pare Award: Jaeden Izik-Dzurko (Prize of $5,000 recognizing the commitment of a candidate in the community to promote music and make it accessible to all. This prize is offered by Mr. Jean Paré.)
- Semi-finalist prize: $500 prize offered by the OSM Musicians’ Association for the 7 non-finalist candidates.
The full list of winners is available here.
Godwin Friesen Grand Prize Winner
Godwin Friesen was born into the Friesen Family Band. He traveled around the country with the family ensemble, comprising five siblings, performing as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist from an early age. They recorded three albums as a group. He describes himself as “a performer, composer and collaborative artist”.
Saturday’s victory is not his first.
- First Prize at the National Music Festival 2015;
- Received the Mary Gardiner Senior National Award in Canadian Contemporary Music also in 2015;
- One of ten pianists selected to participate in the 2018 North American PianoArts Competition in Milwaukee, where he won the Audience Communication Award.
Alongside his work as a performer, Friesen is a composer. His first work for orchestra, titled Pilgrimage, was premiered by the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra. He is on the faculty of the Summer Academy for Voice and Piano in Saskatoon and has performed with the Milwaukee, Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras. With his Trio Mykola, he participated in the International Academy of Chamber Music in Trondheim, Norway. The Mykola Trio recently won first prize at the Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition.
Godwin studied at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto on a full scholarship under John O’Conor from 2016 to 2022. He earned a bachelor’s degree and an artist diploma from the institution. He began his master’s studies at the University of Montreal in the fall of 2022 as a student of Henry Kramer.
Friesen still makes time to play with his family members.
Congratulations to a young artist who we will undoubtedly hear much more about in the years to come.
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