Young musicians can apply to compete in the National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Competition for $20,000 in cash prizes.

OTTAWA-- For emerging young orchestral musicians in the competitive world of classical music, acquiring financial support to jump-start a professional career can be a challenge. That’s why the National Arts Centre Orchestra is pleased to encourage students aged 16-24 to apply for the chance to compete for prizes totaling $20,000 in the Orchestra’s 2017 Bursary Competition.

The 2017 NAC Orchestra Bursary Competition is open to music students who are from and/or are studying in the National Capital Region for careers as orchestral musicians. The 2017 competition is open to students of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, including the flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bassoon, contra-bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, timpani and percussion. Note that students of string instruments will be eligible to compete in 2018.

The application deadline is 5:00pm on Friday, March 17th. Preliminary auditions, closed to the public, will be held on May 12th and 13th at the National Arts Centre. A jury comprised of five NAC Orchestra musicians and two special guests will select up to eight finalists.

Finalists will perform short orchestral excerpts and a movement from a concerto or sonata for their instrument on May 14th, 2017 at 2:00pm in the National Arts Centre’s Studio. This event will be open to the public and is a great way to hear and support the future talents of the NCR.

To learn more about how to apply please visit our website:




The National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Competition was first held in 1981. The prime objective of the competition is to encourage the pursuit of excellence on the part of young instrumentalists aspiring to orchestral careers. Each year, a jury identifies deserving recipients through audition and competition.

The Bursary was created in 1979 by members of the NAC Orchestra as a gesture of appreciation to the audiences who had been so supportive of it during its first decade. It is meant to provide recognition and financial support to help further the development of young musicians who have connections to the National Capital Region (NCR). Funding for the award came originally from two sources: the NAC Orchestra Bursary Fund created in 1979 by the members of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the NAC Orchestra Trust (originally the Capital Trust founded in 1932 to benefit the Ottawa Philharmonic Society which on its demise in 1970 transferred the income to the NAC). It is now known as the NAC Orchestra Trust Fund.

In 1981, one prize of $1,000 – the NAC Orchestra Bursary – was awarded. In subsequent years, thanks to the growth of the Fund as well as the generosity of private organizations and individuals, prizes now total $20,000.


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For More Information Please Contact:


Andrea Ruttan

Agente de communication, Orchestre du CNA
Centre national des Arts
613 947-7000, poste 335

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