Riho Maimets and Coco Chen Receive Top Graduating Awards
8 August 2012 - The Faculty of Music is proud to announce that composer Riho Maimets (MusM 2012) is the recipient of the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award and violinist Coco Chen (MusBacPerf 2012) is the recipient of the William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award.
Each of the prestigious graduating awards comes with a prize of $25,000, the largest awards given by the Faculty of Music. For consideration of the award, candidates are required to submit an application with letters of recommendation and an outline of future goals.
Established in 2005, the William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award created by Dr. William Waters and the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award created by Dr. John B. Lawson are given to graduating students of the Faculty of Music who are Ontario residents demonstrating financial need who are deemed to have the greatest potential to make an important contribution to the field of music. The awards were created to support and encourage graduating students to achieve their career goals.
The music of Riho Esko Maimets (b. 1988) has been described as "enchantingly beautiful" and having a "unique emotional and communicative impact". Through his music, Riho, who has also worked as a church organist, seeks to provide spiritual nourishment to the listener. He is enjoying increasing exposure in North America and Europe with over 30 public performances of his music in 7 countries in the past year alone. Most recently, Riho has been nominated as an Emerging Artist for the Ontario Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts. In April 2012 he won the Villiers Quartet Competition in the UK in for “Sanctus”, his five-movement string quartet. He has also been awarded the highSCORE Prize 2011 in Pavia, Italy and the 2011 Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian music in addition to have been selected as one of four Canadian composers under the age of 35 to take part in the Génération 2012 project, for which has composed a work for the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal that will be toured in 8 cities across Canada in November 2012.
Riho has also composed a significant amount choral music that has been performed by groups in Estonia, such as the Tartu Academic Women's Choir, Tallinn Chamber Choir and the vocal ensemble Heinavanker ("Haywain"). He was also recently commissioned to write a work for chamber choir and percussion quartet, to be performed by the Larkin Singers and the TorQ Percussion Quartet in Toronto in April 2013.
Riho was born in Toronto, Canada and started composing while enrolled in the Claude Watson Arts program at Earl Haig Secondary School at the age of 15, under the instruction of Alan Torok. He completed undergraduate studies in composition at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn, Estonia, as a pupil of Helena Tulve and René Eespere, while enhancing his connection to his Estonian heritage. He recently completed his Master's degree at the University of Toronto under Christos Hatzis. In September 2012, Riho will continue his studies as a professional diploma student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying with David Ludwig.
Coco (Chang) Chen began playing the violin in China when she was five. After immigrating to Canada in 2001, she enrolled in the Young Artists Performance Program of the Royal Conservatory of Music studying with Erica Davidson. She then went on to study with Annalee Patipatanakoon and Marie Berard at the University of Toronto.
Coco has been concertmaster in seven of the eight orchestras she’s ever participated in Canada, including the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Orford Academy Orchestra. She has appeared as a soloist with the Brampton Symphony Orchestra, the Earl Haig Symphony Orchestra, and University of Toronto’s Contemporary Ensemble.
Coco is a dedicated promoter of contemporary Canadian music. Her premieres of John Weinzweig and Rose Bolton’s works are on CBC Radio and Canadian Music Centre’s archives. She has been premiering and recording pieces by Canadian composers such as Alan Torok for the past three summers.
Aside from devoting her time to school work, Coco has sought opportunities to use music as a tool to help better her community. She was hired as an assistant in Esprit Orchestra’s outreach program Creative Sparks, a mentoring project in new music creation with a goal to improve artistic and leadership skills in inner-city children. She had also helped organize and performed fundraising concerts for Unicef Canada through U of T Chinese Magazine for two years. Her string quartet had volunteered to perform favorite classical tunes at the Sick Kids Hospital for patients and their families.
In addition to her beloved musical life, Coco finds time to read, swim, cook and travel with her family. Coco will begin pursuing her Master’s degree at the Faculty of Music this fall.
Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award
2011 – Leslie Ann Bradley (MusM 2011, OpDip 2002, MusBacPerf 2000)
2010 – Lindsay Barrett (OpDip 2010)
2009 – Christopher Ku (MA Music 2009, MusBac Performance, Organ, 2007)
2008 – Lucille Mok (MusBac 2008)
2007 – Christopher Donnelly (MusM 2007 Jazz Performance, MusBacPerf, Piano, 2005)
2006 – Ryan Jackson (MusBacPerf, Organ, 2006)
William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award
2011 – Laura Silberberg (MusM 2010, MusBac 2008)
2010 – Alex Goodman (MusBacPerf, Jazz Guitar 2010)
2009 – Lauren Sweetman (MA Music, Ethnomusicology 2009, MusBac 2007)
2008 – Katarzyna Sadej (MusM Voice Performance, 2008)
2007 – Stephen Hegedus (MusM Voice Performance 2007, MusBacPerf, Voice, 2005)
2006 – Sarah Nematallah (MusBacPerf, Violin, 2006)