About

The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition for the performance of Canadian and contemporary music is a memorial to composer, pianist, and violinist S.C. (Sonia) Eckhardt-Gramatté, who spent the last twenty-one years of her life in Manitoba. It fulfills her lifelong dream of creating a means by which the music of contemporary composers could make its presence felt by young musicians on the threshold of their careers. The E-Gré National Music Competition has been held annually since 1976 at Brandon University.
Consacré en particulier à la performance d’oeuvres musicales canadiennes et contemporaine, le Concours national de musique Eckhardt-Gramatté est dédié à la mémoire de S.C. (Sonia) Eckhardt-Gramtté, composatrice, pianist et violinist, ayant passé les vingt et unes dernière annés de sa vie en Manitoba. Ce concours realise le rêve de toute sa vie, soit d’introduire la musique des compositeurs contemporains aux jeunes interprètes au debut de leur carrière. Étable en 1976, ce concours national annuel a lieu à L’Université de Brandon.
Brief History
The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (E-Gré) for the performance of Canadian and contemporary music has been held annually since 1976 at Brandon University. Named in memory of the Canadian composer S.C. (Sonia) Eckhardt-Gramatté, the competition fulfils her dream of creating a means by which the music of contemporary composers could make its presence felt upon young artists on the threshold of their careers. It is a non-profit organizations managed by a Board of Directors with the assistance of a national advisory council.
The Competition is held in three rounds: the preliminary round is recorded, while the second and third rounds are held live. The performance categories of Piano, Voice and Strings alternate annually, and are adjudicated by nationally recognized teachers and performers. Prizes awarded are $8,000, a 3-week residency and debut recital at the Cassalmaggiore International Music Festival, as well as a national recital tour, $3,000 for second place, $2,000 for third place and $1,000 for 4th, 5th and 6th places. In addition, $1,000 is awarded for the best performance of an annually commissioned work. This work is required as a test piece in the second and third rounds.
The Competition weekend also includes a Gala Recital, masterclasses and a presentation by the commissioned composer.
The primary goal of the Competition is to nurture Canadian music and young musicians by promoting—in a single venture—composer, performers and new audiences. In its more than forty year history, the competition has succeeded beyond all expectations, not only in promoting the careers of the finest young Canadian musical talent, but also in ensuring the development of a Canadian repertoire in the next generation of Canadian concert artists. As a result of the E-Gré Competition, each year many of the most talented young musicians learn and perfor4m a significant repertoire of music by Canadian composers. They carry this repertoire to their audiences at home and abroad and their teachers pass it along to other students.
Through national performance tours, performance broadcasts and special concerts, the E-Gré Competition has played a significant role in the early careers of many major Canadian performers, including Jon Kimura Parker, Jamie Parker, James Ehnes, Gwen Hoebig, Nancy Argenta, Ben Heppner, Nikki Einfeld and Brian Yoon, to name but a few. An impressive number of past competitors are now making a significant impact on Canadian musical life. Additionally, the many Canadian compositions commissioned by the E-Gré have added significantly to the repertoire of our leading performers. Through the competition, these works have become known to teachers and performers throughout the country and have helped to establish a firm connection between composers and those who can bring their works to life in the concert hall and on recordings.