THE CFMTA YOUNG ARTIST COMPETITION
Held in even-numbered years only
Next Competition 2018
The Young Artist Series, which is sponsored by the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations, had its beginnings in 1941 when Lyell Gustin (1895-1988), a prominent Saskatoon music teacher, implemented his idea of a concert tour to provide experience for budding young musicians in the West. In that year, an exchange was arranged between his studio and that of Myrtle Ruttan Patterson of Winnipeg. Neil Cote, who was to become a leading Canadian music personality, represented the Lyell Gustin Studio and Gordon Usher, pianist, well-known through his association with the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, assisted by James Duncan, baritone, represented the Winnipeg studio. The following year, Gustin approached the Canadian Federation at its convention and the series was launched, taking in, eventually, all four Western provinces. For a number of years there were two recitals one in the Fall and the other in Winter and, for a while, the tour included Ontario with one set of artists representing the West and the East being represented at the following tour. The East-West arrangement proved to be somewhat unwieldy and the tour settled back to the Western region only.
In 1980, however, Ontario began its own series that was followed by the Maritimes region in 1985. At present, therefore, there are three areas promoting the Young Artist Series, Atlantic, Ontario and Western (minus B.C. and Alberta), thereby expanding Lyell Gustin’s original vision into a national concept.
Young Artists must be studying with a Registered Music Teacher. Auditions are held in the spring in each region and an artist is chosen from those auditioning. The majority of artists have been pianists but violinists, cellists and vocalists have also been selected for the tour. On one occasion a piano duo team from Winnipeg were the Young Artists.
Invariably the touring artist finds the tour an exhilarating and artistically profiting experience and the sponsoring centers, most of which are off the beaten track of professional concerts, find the artists presenting a high standard of performance brimming with youthful freshness. Through the years Young Artists have entered the music field as professional performers or have located in centers where they have become leading teachers either privately or in music schools and universities. Some recent performers before the public eye that have been Young Artists include Angela Cheng, Andrew Dawes, his sister Marylou Dawes, Valdine Anderson, and the list includes some 140 names. One would like to think that Lyell Gustin would be most gratified that his original idea has developed to its present-day scope and that the series will continue to provide deserving young performers with a rewarding experience helping them find direction in their early musical careers.
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2016 - Luis Ramirez, Brandon, MB (piano)
2014 - Lindsay Gable, mezzo-soprano & Allison Walmsley, soprano
2012 - Jinsung Kim, Brandon, MB (piano)
2010 - Chelsea Mahan, Soprano
2008 - Michelle Price, Brandon, MB (piano)
Last Updated: December 7, 2015