The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition is the most important annually held contemporary music competition for exceptional emerging Canadian performing artists in piano, voice, and strings.

Who, What and Why:

Manitoba virtuoso violinist, pianist, and composer, S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté (1899–1974) envisioned a unique competition that would celebrate both Canadian compositions and performing excellence. The first E-Gré competition took place in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba.

For 40 years, the annual E-Gré Competition and Winner’s Tour have played a significant role in the early careers of performers recognized nationally and internationally for their achievements in music. E-Gré prize winners include Officers of the Order of Canada Jon Kimura Parker, Ben Heppner, Louise Bessette, and James Ehnes.

The E-Gré Competition fosters the creation of new music by living Canadian composers through the commissioning of a test piece each year. By supporting the creation of 35 new works and encouraging performances of Canadian compositions since 1976, the E-Gré Competition is helping to build a musical cultural legacy for Canada.

How the competition works:

The E-Gré is open to performing musicians who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents between the ages of 18 and 30 years (35 years of age for singers). The categories of piano, voice, and strings rotate annually. There are three levels of the competition. First, nationally prominent jurors evaluate anonymous recordings of preliminary competitors in December. The jurors’ rankings are averaged to select the top eight or nine competitors who are then invited to perform in the live semi-final round. Second, a panel of nationally renowned jurors hears the live semi-final round and selects the top three competitors to advance to the final round. The third level of the competition is the final round where the top three semi-finalists perform a second recital for the jury after which the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes are awarded. Both the semi-final and final rounds are held during the first weekend of May in Brandon, Manitoba, in front of public audiences.

In all rounds of the competition, at least 50% of the performance repertoire must be Canadian. The commissioned Canadian test piece is performed in each recital in both the semi-final and final rounds.

Each year, a Winner’s Tour of ten to twelve concerts across Canada is awarded as part of the 1st-prize package. The commissioned work is performed at each concert.

***This is our 41st year and the competition is changing! For more information on how the competition will be working keep your eyes on the 2017 competition page for updates.***