The Azrieli Music Project is pleased to introduce its international panel of jurors:
Maestro Boris Brott is one of the most internationally recognized Canadian conductors, and enjoys an international career as guest conductor, educator, motivational speaker and cultural ambassador. He is Artistic Director of the McGill Chamber Orchestra in Montreal, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Petruzzelli Theatre in Bari, Italy. He is also Artistic Director of the Brott Musical Festivals in Ontario and Founding Music Director of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles. Boris Brott served as Assistant Conductor to the New York Philharmonic under the late Leonard Bernstein, was Music Director and Conductor for the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, Chief Conductor of the BBC National Symphony of Wales, and Music Director of the Northern Sinfonia of England. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Member of the Order of Ontario and Grand officier de l’Ordre national du Quebec. Photo Credit: Bob Hatcher
One of today’s most frequently performed composers, Pulitzer and Grawemeyer Award winner Aaron Jay Kernis (born 1960) has been commissioned by America’s foremost performing organizations and artists. He received Northwestern’s Nemmers Prize and is a member of the Classical Music Hall of Fame and American Academy of Arts and Letters. The multiple Grammy nominee is the workshop director of the Nashville Symphony’s Composer Lab; was new music adviser to the Minnesota Orchestra, with which he co-founded and directed its Composer Institute for 15 years; and serves on Yale’s composition faculty. He has been commissioned by a who’s who of the music world and has conducted in cities including Rome, Washington, and Portland. Leta Miller’s book-length portrait of Kernis and his work was published in 2014 by University of Illinois Press. His music can be heard on the Nonesuch, Naxos, Signum, Koch, Argo labels, among others. Photo Credit: Richard Bowditch
Neil W. Levin is recognized as one of the leading authorities in the field of Jewish music and is in much demand as a lecturer and presenter at university seminars and academic conferences throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel. Since 1993, he has been Artistic Director of the Milken Archive, which was founded to document, preserve, and disseminate the vast body of music that pertains to the American Jewish experience, and is also known for its groundbreaking 50-CD series released on the Naxos label. He has been professor of Jewish music on the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York since 1982. Dr. Levin is also an accomplished pianist and a highly regarded choral conductor. He is the creator of “Vanished Voices,” a Holocaust commemoration incorporating his research into the music traditions of German-speaking Jewry, which was performed under his baton in 1996 at London’s Barbican Centre as well as in Los Angeles and New York.
Maestro Steven Mercurio is an internationally acclaimed conductor and composer whose musical versatility encompasses the symphonic and operatic worlds. He has conducted more than forty-five different operas at many of the world’s best loved opera houses. As a symphonic conductor, he has led the London Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, among others, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra where he was Music Director. Maestro Mercurio has conducted numerous historic telecasts, including the “Christmas in Vienna” series with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for Sony Classical, highlighted by the 1999 concert featuring “The Three Tenors;” and the PBS special “American Dream–Andrea Bocelli’s Statue of Liberty Concert” with the New Jersey Symphony. Mercurio also led the worldwide tour of Sting, featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and culminating in the DVD “Live in Berlin.” Also a composer, Mercurio’s “For Lost Loved Ones” was premiered by Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic. Photo Credit: David Muller
Serbian born composer Ana Sokolovic is currently a Professor of Composition at the University of Montreal. Active in Canada since the mid-1990s, she has written for many of Canada’s orchestras and chamber ensembles, including performances throughout Europe and North America. She was the recipient of a National Arts Centre Award in 2009, and the SOCAN Jan V. Matejcek Award in 2008, 2012, and 2013. Professor Sokolovic has also been honoured with major awards from the Conseil québecois de la musique, the Canada Council for the Arts and the CBC Young Composer’s Competition. The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) marked the 20th anniversary of Ana Sokolovic’s arrival in Quebec with a celebration of her body of work; more than 200 events were presented in her honour across Canada. She has just received a prestigious commission from the Canadian Opera Company for a main-stage opera that will be premiered during the 2019/20 season.