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  3. Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music

Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music

Portrait of Vahram Sarkissian

Vahram Sarkissian

Photographer(s): Arman Karakhanyan

Current winner

Vahram Sargsyan (Sarkissian) for his composition, “Quiet Songs” (2023).

Vahram Sargsyan is an Armenian-Canadian composer and conductor residing in Montréal. 

His musical language seamlessly combines ancient European and non-Western traditions and innovative performance techniques. His compositions have been widely performed across Europe, Asia and North America. Commissioners of Sarkissian’s music include Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Germany), CBC Radio, Oxford University Press (UK) and many others. He has received various honours, including the POLYPHONOS 2017 Competition Award (USA) and the Third BCE Commission Competition Award (USA, 2010), to name a few.

His composition Joyful Լight has been performed more than a hundred times around the world. His arrangement of an Armenian chant, Great Mystery, is part of the OUP anthology World Carols for Choirs, and has been recorded by the BBC Singers. Sarkissian’s instrumental piece, Hunting the Hunter, premiered at Carnegie Hall, conducted by the composer himself. His expertise in extended vocal techniques is regularly showcased at international choral festivals and symposia.

The prize

Awarded annually, the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music is a competition for composers from Canada, designed to encourage the creation of new chamber music.


To be in the running for this prize, you must submit an application to the Canada Council for the Arts.


The prize was established in 1978 by the Right Honourable Jules Léger, then Governor General of Canada.

Additional information


1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 6004


June 1, 2024

Annual competition




Guidelines will be updated and posted two months before the deadline.

Send applications to juleslegerprizes@canadacouncil.ca

Cumulative list of winners

The Canada Council is committed to equity in all its activities, including the administration of our prizes and awards.


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