The MIMC creates an improvisation prize The MIMC creates an improvisation prize


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The Montreal International Musical Competition (MIMC) announces the creation of the Richard Lupien Improvisation Prize, a new classical piano improvisation prize. The competitive round will be open to the public and will take place on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Tanna Schulich Hall of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, as a prelude to the Piano Edition of the MIMC, which will take place from May 26 to June 6. The public is invited to attend free of charge. The international jury will be made up of three versatile musicians who enjoy illustrious careers in a variety of musical styles: pianist and improviser Gabriela Montero (United States); pianist, conductor, arranger, and composer Bruno Fontaine (France); and composer, conductor, orchestrator, broadcaster, and producer François Dompierre (Canada), who will also act as jury president and media spokesperson. Ms. Montero will also give a recital on Tuesday, May 20 at 8 pm, and Mr. Fontaine will give a free workshop on classical improvisation for the piano on Wednesday, May 21; these two events will be presented respectively in Pollack Hall and Tanna Schulich Hall of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.

With this new award, the MIMC is seeking to promote classical piano improvisation, a traditional discipline still taught in some higher music education institutions. The award will be given out every three years, alongside editions of the MIMC dedicated to piano. The winner will receive a $5,000 grant. According to its General and Artistic Director Christiane LeBlanc: “The MIMC stands out among the 126 competitions in the World Federation of International Music Competitions by being the first to offer such an award. We are also very enthusiastic at the thought of having audiences re-discover this art form.” For the president of the jury, Mr. Dompierre, improvisation is music’s twin sister, and both were born a very long time ago: “At the dawn of time, to fill his solitude, primitive man improvised a rhythm on his drum made of taut animal skin. Is God himself an improviser?”

The creation of this award was made possible through the generous contribution of Mr. Richard Lupien, who is seeking “to reward a pianist who can restore the glory of improvisation in the field of classical music”. Said Mr. André Bourbeau, President and Co-founder of the MIMC: “This competition is fortunate to be able to rely on a board of directors whose members are very dynamic. Mr. Lupien has been the Vice-President and a Portfolio Manager at National Bank Financial, but he is also a great music-lover and a musician in his spare time. We are very grateful for his support.

The competition for this award is open to classically trained pianists of all nationalities, aged 35 years old or less on January 1, 2014. An initial selection is made based on a video accompanying the completed application, which must be submitted no later than February 24, 2014. A maximum of 10 participants will be selected to compete, and will be provided with transportation and lodging. Potential candidates for the 2014 Piano Edition of the MIMC may also register, on a voluntary basis, to compete for this new award. Rules and conditions of participation, the registration form, and complete details are available online at

“The Queen of Improvisation” (The Associated Press), Gabriela Montero leads a magnificent international career, appearing in the world’s greatest performance halls, often with a program made up entirely of on-the-spot improvisations based on audience suggestions. This is exactly what she promises us here in Montreal, on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at 8 pm, in Pollack Hall of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. Get your tickets today and take advantage of the 20% discount, valid until February 14.

Pollack Hall of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, 555 Sherbrooke St. W.
PHONE: 514-398-4547 (Monday to Friday, noon to 6 pm)
TICKETS: $25-35 (regular prices, service charges excluded)

20% discount valid until February 14

More details:

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The MIMC plays a key role in the finest tradition of classical concert music. The Competition seeks to discover and support young singers, violinists, and pianists who have distinguished themselves as masters of their art.  Presented by Hydro-Québec, the Montreal International Musical competition is proud to count on the support of such major artistic partners as the Government of Québec, Hydro-Québec, Radio-Canada, and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. The MIMC is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, and of the Alink-Argerich Foundation.


Source: Montreal International Musical Competition
Isabelle Ligot
Communications Manager
+1 514-845-4108, extension 236

Press relations: Martin Boucher
+1 514-464-6719