THE SCOOP | Toronto’s Suad Bushnaq Awarded Kathleen McMorrow Music Award

By Michael Vincent on January 17, 2022

Suad Bushnaq (Photo courtesy of the artist)
Suad Bushnaq (Photo courtesy of the artist)

The Ontario Arts Foundation has announced Toronto-based composer Suad Bushnaq, this year’s Kathleen McMorrow Music Award winner.

The award recognizes the composition and presentation of contemporary classical music by Ontario composers.

This year’s award is in recognition of Bushnaq’s SinBach. The work was initially commissioned by the Mississauga-based Canadian Arabic Orchestra (CAO), which plans to perform it on tour in 2022.

Previous award winners include Parisa Sabet (2020), Jordan Pal (2019), and Chan Ka Nin (2018).

About the composer

  • Suad Bushnaq is a first-generation Jordanian-Canadian composer of Bosnian, Syrian, and Palestinian roots.
  • She is active in both film and concert music. With 35 film credits to date, she has scored award-winning features and shorts screened at festivals including the Locarno, Hot Docs, Edinburgh, Dubai, Red Sea, and Seattle International Film Festivals.
  • Studied Music Composition at McGill University

For a taste of her unique style, listen to a performance of her score The Borrowed Dress performed by The Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra at Konzertsaal Universität der Künste Berlin, October 3, 2017.

Fun Fact

If you’ve ever been a music student at the University of Toronto sometime in the past four decades, you would have known Kathleen McMorrow.

As one of Canada’s largest music libraries, McMorrow headed the Music Library from 1974 to 2013, with particular responsibilities for building the recordings collections and special collections. During her tenure, she increased the holdings from about 100,000 to nearly 500,000, books, recordings, and scores.

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Michael Vincent
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