After an impressive performance this afternoon, a jury of musicians at the National Arts Centre named Lara Deutsch winner of the 2014 NAC Orchestra Bursary Competition.

National Capital Region music students who are studying for careers as orchestral musicians competed for prizes totaling over $19,000. The eight finalists were selected by a jury of six NAC Orchestra musicians and two special guests over the preceding weekend.

The NAC Orchestra Bursary Competition winners:
2014 NAC Orchestra Bursary ($7,000) – Lara Deutsch
Harold Crabtree Foundation Award ($5,000) – Bryan Cheng
Friends of the NAC Orchestra Award ($3,000) – Erica Zheng
The NAC Orchestra Vic Pomer Award ($2,000) – Christian Paquette
The Piccolo Prix ($1,000) – Roland Gjernes 
The NAC Orchestra Special Prize for the best performance of prescribed orchestral excerpts ($1,000) – Lara Deutsch
Honourable mentions ($225 each) – Antoine Malette-Chénier, Olivier Brisson, Isabella Czyrnyj

The Bursary Committee and Jury were chaired by Roderick Bell, passionate music lover, former Canadian Ambassador to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and an active volunteer at the National Arts Centre.


The NAC Orchestra Bursary was established in 1979 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and to thank the people of the National Capital Region for their support during the Orchestra’s first decade. The first competition took place in 1981.

Eligible applicants are music students aged 16 to 24 who are following a recognized course of music study in preparation for careers as professional orchestral musicians. They must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Their family or principal residence must be in the National Capital Region (NCR), or their principal residence must have been in the NCR for one year immediately prior to applying, or they must have been studying under a recognized orchestral instrument teacher in one of the music schools of the NCR over that year.

The NAC Orchestra Bursary Competition is supported by Corus Entertainment Inc., The Harold Crabtree Foundation, the Friends of the NAC Orchestra, Cavaliere Pasqualina Pat Adamo, the NAC Foundation and individual donors to the NAC Orchestra Trust Fund.


Many members of the NAC Orchestra are active teachers. Pinchas Zukerman, the NAC’s Music Director since 1999, pioneered distance learning from the National Arts Centre through the creation of  – the high-tech real-time videoconference facility named the Hexagon Studio; since 2006, teachers and students around the globe have connected in hundreds of hours of music instruction and mentoring.


Maestro Zukerman created the Summer Music Institute (SMI) and numerous music education programs for young Canadian and international artists. Each year, the SMI welcomes remarkable young talent from around the world, and through an audition process, a cohort is selected to participate in the three-week intensive training programs offered by Maestro Zukerman, Patty Kopec, and the musical faculty and staff who create each year’s program around those young artists and their competencies. Concerts are open to the public, and some masterclasses are also open, so that Canadians can watch the high-calibre, performance-based teaching that is offered by faculty – some of whom are musicians in the NAC Orchestra.

Over the past few years, several of the prize winners of the Bursary Competition have also trained at the National Arts Centre’s Summer Music Institute, and have performed in NAC Orchestra concerts – adding to their training and development opportunities as young artists. These programs are open to all Canadian students who audition and meet musical and educational requirements.

The 2014 SMI schedule runs from June 5-28, 2014. A schedule of concerts and masterclasses is online at

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Andrea Hossack
NAC Orchestra

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