Women’s Musical Club of Toronto (WMCT) has announced accordionist Michael Bridge as the winner of the 2021 Career Development Award.
Awarded every three years, the winner receives a $25,000 cash prize plus a recital as part of the WMCT’s Music in the Afternoon series.
Bridge was selected from a total of nine candidates from across Canada. The Jury included CBC producers Alison Howard and Guylaine Picard, violinist Mark Fewer, conductor Naomi Woo, and soprano Christina Haldane.
Hailing from Calgary, Bridge has made a name for himself as a go-to accordionist challenging the perception of the instrument. Bridge has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops, National Orchestra of Brazil, Edmonton Symphony, Ontario Philharmonic, Lethbridge and the Regina Symphony. He is also a member of Toronto’s Ladom Ensemble.
Despite a busy performance schedule, he has been working towards a Doctorate in music at the University of Toronto. Bridge first appeared in a virtual concert with Music in the Afternoon on November 12 last year.
“With such a talented and versatile performer as Michael, we eagerly look forward to hearing him again (and in person!) for his CDA-winner recital in our 2022-23 Music in the Afternoon season,” writes the WMCT in a statement.
Former winners include:
- 2018 – Blake Pouliot, violin
- 2015 – Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano with second prize to cellist, Stéphane Tétreault, and third prize to pianist, Pierre André Doucet
- 2012 – Vincent Lauzer, recorder
- 2009 – Darrett Zusko, piano
- 2006 – Shannon Mercer, soprano
- 2003 – Sonia Chan, piano
- 2000 – Yegor Dyachkov, cello
- 1997 – Jeanie Chung, piano
- 1994 – Karina Gauvin, soprano
- 1992 – James Ehnes, violin
- 1990 – Francine Kay, piano
Congratulations Michael Bridge!
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