Audition Week for the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank
It’s audition week for the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank!
Every three years we organize these auditions to give talented, Canadian, professional, classical musicians the opportunity to compete for the chance to borrow one of 24 legendary instruments from our Musical Instrument Bank (MIB). This year’s competition takes place between September 16 and 21 at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, and the results will be made public on September 26.
The instruments become close companions for the winners, and help them reach the next level in their performance careers. But before the winners get their instruments, they have to go through a rigorous—and often stressful—assessment process.
It begins with an application, in which the musicians write about their past achievements and how they think an instrument loan will have an impact on their development as an artist. From these applications, a select few will be offered an audition in Toronto.
Here’s how audition week works:
DAY ONE: The cello finalists begin their auditions first. Each finalist plays two pieces for a peer assessment committee of classical musicians who will decide the MIB winners.
After each finalist performs, the committee asks questions about her or his aspirations, plans, and goals.
DAY TWO: The cellists’ auditions continue.
At the end of the day, the peer assessment committee decides the cello winners. They’ll have to wait for the violin competition to take place—which begins the next day—before they get to select their instruments.
DAYS THREE AND FOUR: The violinists’ auditions take place.
DAY FOUR, AFTERNOON: The peer assessment committee meets to decide the violin winners.
DAY SIX: This is the big day: the winners select their instruments. Each person is given 20 minutes to select an instrument from the collection, according to the order of a priority list decided on by the peer assessment committee.
The day is exciting, but also stressful as each musician must wait her or his turn.
After signing legal agreements, the finalists take part in an instrument care workshop given by our luthier. After that, they can bring their new instruments home—and out into the world for performances.