The 2018 Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music has been awarded to Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy. The biennial award, first granted in 2015, includes a $50,000 prize, described as the largest of its kind in Canada.
It is based on a new work that expresses an aspect of the Jewish experience and displays creativity, artistry, and musical excellence.
Murphy’s winning submission, a double concerto for cello and harp, is described as an exploration of Sephardic music and how it has influenced other cultures as migrating Jews settled in North Africa and Europe.
Murphy has earned a PhD in composition from the University of Leeds and now teaches as an adjunct professor in the School of Music at the University of Ottawa. Along with other Azrieli prize-winning works, Murphy’s concerto is to be performed October 15 by the McGill Chamber Orchestra, conducted for the occasion by Yoav Talmi, at the Azrieli Music Gala Concert, Maison symphonique de Montréal.
The foundation, established 25 years ago by the late Canadian-Israeli real-estate developer David Azrieli, supports music and the arts, scientific and medical research, higher education, youth empowerment and school perseverance, architecture, Holocaust education and quality of life initiatives for people with developmental disabilities.
Submissions for the 2018 prize for Jewish Music are being received until November 5.