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THE SCOOP | Robert Conquer & Arin Sarkissian Awarded 2022 Michael Measures Prizes

By Anya Wassenberg on July 20, 2022

Robert Conquer (Photo: Shayne Gray); Arin Sarkissian (Photo: Katelyn Holm)
Robert Conquer (Photo: Shayne Gray); Arin Sarkissian (Photo: Katelyn Holm)

The Canada Council for the Arts announced the winners of the 2022 Michael Measures prizes, an award that recognizes the talents of young musicians enrolled in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) summer program.

The summer program for the NYOC has proven to be an important training ground for the next generation of Canadian orchestral musicians over its 60+ years of existence. It provides classical musicians between the ages of 15 and 28 the opportunity to perform as they learn, and get a real taste of what it is to be a professional artist.

The 2022 winners

1st Prize: Robert Conquer

The Michael Measures first prize went to trombonist Robert Conquer. The native of Scarborough, Ontario receives $25,000.

  • Currently a Presser Scholar at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying with Nitzan Haroz and Matthew Vaughn;
  • Has previously performed with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra;
  • Was previously Acting Principal trombonist of the Hannaford Street Silver Band;
  • Winner of the 2020 Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Competition, including a full scholarship to attend Domaine Forget de Charlevoix and the prize for best interpretation of a Canadian work in the semi-final round;
  • In 2021, he was the second-prize winner of the Michael Measures Prize;
  • Also in 2021, named as one of CBC Classical Music’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30.”

Robert is a proponent of new music, and has collaborated with composers Elise Arancio and Elizabeth Younan, among others.

2nd Prize: Ari Sarkissian

Flutist and native Torontonian Arin Sarkissian received the Michael Measures second prize of $15,000.

  • Recently studied with Jim Walker at the Colburn School;
  • Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music;
  • He has performed with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in Washington, D.C., and Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra;
  • Won Third Prize at the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition;
  • A 2020 Fellow at the Music Academy of the West’s summer festival;
  • First prizes in the 2020 Young Texas Artists Music Competition (W.B.P.H.G. Category) and in the 2019 Mika Hasler Competition;
  • First place and the Audience Choice Award in the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal’s 2020 Concours Competition.

In the fall of 2022, he will join the Victoria Symphony in the chair of Principal Flute.

Prizes will be awarded to the winners in person at the NYO Canada concert on Monday, July 25 as part of Ottawa Chamberfest.

To attend the concert and prize presentation, either in person or virtually, you can buy a ticket here.

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