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CBC: 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30, 2017 edition

August 8, 2017 — 

Current student Paul Williamson and recent grad Gregory Lewis, both from the Desautels Faculty of Music, were named to CBC’s list of upcoming classical musicians.

Here it is: our fifth annual list of Canada’s emerging classical music talent!

They’re young, highly skilled, creative, disciplined and determined to make their mark in the world of classical music — and we think they’re amazing…

Paul Williamson, pianist

Age: 21
Mission, B.C.

In April, Paul Williamson cleaned up at the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association National Piano Competition, winning not only first prize, but also special prizes for Chopin, baroque music and Canadian music, bringing his total prize earlings to $9,500. A month later, he gave a solo recital for the Valley Concert Society in Abbotsford, B.C., and in June he played Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Fraser Valley Symphony. This summer, he’s taking part in the young artist program at the Kniesel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine — where he may have time to indulge his passion for hiking — before returning to Winnipeg for year 4 of his bachelor of music at the University of Manitoba. Audiences there can catch him in recital with violinist Gregory Lewis (see below) with the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg in October.

Gregory Lewis, violinist

Age: 20
Thunder Bay, Ont.

In April, Gregory Lewis got a call from the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, whose violin soloist was delayed due to a snow storm. Could he play Brahms’ Violin Concerto on 24 hours’ notice? “I hadn’t performed the concerto in over two months, but I was able to bring the concerto back and give a great performance,” he recalls. In May and June, Lewis was in New York attending the Starling-DeLay Symposium at Juilliard. “Only 12 student artists are selected every two years, and a Canadian hadn’t been selected since 2011, so I was thrilled to participate this year.” Lewis, who’ll start his master’s degree at Yale University this fall, is motivated by his older sister’s example: she overcame epilepsy to become an advocate for research into that disease. “She has fought through terrible odds and has dedicated her life to bettering the lives of others. I can’t think of how someone could get more inspiring.”

Read the full list here

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