The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Ian Cusson, the current Composer-in-Residence for the COC, have been recognized in the 2021 SOCAN Awards.
The TSO has been lauded for its stringent practise of upholding the principles of fair and ethical music licensing by SOCAN. The SOCAN Licensed To Play Award is given to a Canadian business that has a history of consistently respecting music licensing, both in a legal and an ethical sense.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO Matthew Loden is quoted in a media release. “We’re very proud to receive the Licensed To Play SOCAN Award,” he said. “We continue to program rich and diverse music artists, including composers who evolve our artform. The TSO’s Principal Librarian Gary Corrin has been unwavering in his commitment to composers and our relationship with SOCAN — it’s one more way we can support the artists with whom we work.”
A statement by SOCAN notes the TSO’s commitment to programming the music of its members on a consistent basis, continuing the practise in their digital performances during the COVID pandemic.
“This award recognizes that the TSO continues to programme extraordinary musical talent, both in-person and digitally, with fair compensation,” said Kit Wheeler, SOCAN Vice President of Royalty Collections. “It’s an honour for SOCAN to continue our great partnership with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on behalf of our more than 175,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers.”
SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, is a national organization that represents performing rights for composers, music publishers, and songwriters, collecting and distributing royalties for over 175,000 members. As part of its mandate, the organization works with businesses, trade associations, municipalities, and other entities to promote the rights of licensees, and to encourage them to keep music licenses up to date.
Ian Cusson, Composer-in-Residence for the Canadian Opera Company for 2019-2021, received the 2021 Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music SOCAN Award. The honour is given to recognize outstanding composers of new music.
Cusson composes opera, art song, and orchestral pieces. The Métis/French Canadian composer’s work revolves around the Canadian Indigenous experience, including that of mix-race identity and the Métis people. He has written Fantasma, a chamber opera, with librettist Colleen Murphy, as a commission for the COC, the premiere of which has been delayed by the pandemic.
In 2019, he was commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company and National Arts Centre to write Dodo, mon tout petit, an aria for soprano and orchestra composed with Mavor Moore as librettist, to replace an aria in the opera Louis Riel. The decision to rewrite the portion of the opera was made after consulting with various First Nations, and involved a Nisga’a song that had been misused.
Cusson talks about his composition process in the video below.
The 2021 SOCAN Awards are being held digitally this year due to pandemic restrictions.
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