artsongLAB

Welcome to ECM's artsongLAB

Our 6-week artsongLAB comprises of writing a new song collaborating with our ensemble-in-residence and mentor (with audio and video premiere recordings).
See below for full details on lectures, guest speakers and more!


  • Work with high-profile musicians

  • Compose a piece for our ensemble-in-residence with world premieres (online video premieres)

  • Become an alumni MEMBER (free of charge) - see Membership benefits

  • Guest lecturers on composing, finding your voice and career talks

  • 6-week Mentorship program

  • Ensemble readings and workshops with our ensemble-in-residence prior to world premieres

  • Social media highlights and long-term alumni at ECM

  • All workshops, lectures and readings are online via Zoom

Maghan McPhee
Faculty of Music, Carleton University
Soprano

Valerie Dueck
International Solo and Collaborative
Pianist

Dr. Vincent Ho, Guest lecturer
Multi-award winning composer

Dr. Ho has taught at the University of Calgary and currently serves as Artistic Director to Land’s End Ensemble and New Music Advisor to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. His works are published and managed by Promethean Editions Ltd and Peters Edition.

Guest lecturer: Ronald Royer
Composer & Music Director with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra

Performed by over 70 orchestras.

With Career talk, working with an orchestra, studio recordings and copyright, communicating with an orchestra including commissions and the logistics on composer-in-residence positions

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh, Mentor
Composer-in-Residence, Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra

Mentorship throughout the festival. Lectures on composition techniques, orchestration, idiomatic writing, notation standards and career guidance.

artsongLAB (Fall)

About the Festival

Our festival is a 6-week mentorship and ensemble collaboration program. Up to eight (8) composers will be selected to produce new works for our ensemble-in-residence, this round being works for Soprano and Piano duo, with an online video premiere release. During this workshop, readings and mentorship is offered by both our Ensemble-in-Residence and our Composer-in-Residence, preparing each composer's work for its premiere. All video premieres will be posted on ECM's YouTube channel and may be shared and re-posted publicly. All shareable links will be given out.

Accepted participants will be expected to write a 4 minute art song using the selected poem (see below). This festival is intended to further the compositional and collaborative skills of emerging and early-career composers as well as to provide them with an opportunity to have their music reach audiences across the globe. At the festival, composers will have a chance to connect with high-profile musicians, opening up possibilities for future commissions and collaborations. Guest lecturer, Dr. Vincent Ho, speaks on finding your unique voice and on incorporating your identity into your music. Guest artist, Ronald Royer from the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, will give talks on career opportunities, becoming composer-in-residence, receiving commissions, studio recordings and much more.


Schedule (all meetings will be virtual using Zoom): all times are Eastern Time (ET)

  • Monday October 24 at 11am: meet the ensemble - lecture on the voice and writing for art song

  • Tuesday October 25: Composers begin writing for the duo (start sketches) and in contact with Mentor

  • Monday October 31: first drafts due

  • Thursday November 3 at 11am-12:30pm, Lecture on Composition and Notation by Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh (composition, technique, texture, orchestration & idiomatic writing, notation standards: Score & Part preparation)

  • Monday November 7: second drafts due

  • Monday November 14 at 11am: Ensemble Workshop: taking a look at your drafts

  • Tuesday November 22 at 12pm: Talks on Finding your Voice with Guest Lecturer Dr. Vincent Ho

  • Tuesday November 29 at 11:30am: Talks on Career with Guest Lecturer Ron Royer (being a composer in the 21st century, career talk, collaboration and working with an ensemble and orchestra, and more)

  • Friday November 25: third drafts due (in preparation for the readings)

  • Monday December 5 at 11am: Ensemble Workshop: Reading of art songs

  • Thursday December 8: Final scores due (in preparation for the premieres)

  • Ensemble prepares final pieces during the month of December in preparation for a January recording - premieres to be set for shortly after recording and production of videos


Poem to be used:

Who Has Seen the Wind? by Christina Rossetti


Who has seen the wind?

Neither I nor you.

But when the leaves hang trembling,

The wind is passing through.


Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I.

But when the trees bow down their heads,

The wind is passing by.

Application

Composers should send a google (or other cloud) link to a shared folder containing 1 pdf resume, 2 pdf scores and 2 recordings (MIDI files are acceptable) and a portrait photo of the applicant. PLEASE DO NOT SEND FILES DIRECTLY AS ATTACHMENTS - only links to pdfs and audios will be accepted. Youtube and SoundCloud links are also acceptable. Please make sure the access to the links are not set to private, and that multiple emails can access the files.
Scores should showcase the ability to compose for solo or small chamber ensemble.

Application fee: none
Tuition: $950 CAD

Submission deadline: October 14, 2022
Send everything to: music@eastchamber.com
Email Subject line should read:
artsongLAB

Have questions? Send us an email: music@eastchamber.com

We are proud to announce our production parnternership with the Ottawa Pianos

More about our Mentors

Maghan McPhee

Soprano
Faculty of Music, Carleton University

The soaring voice of Maghan McPhee’s soprano has been described as “brilliant, with warm lyricism” (Times Argus). Her instrument seems tailor-made to the brilliance and difficulty in the Mozartian opera roles , including Ilia in Idomeneo, Susanna and Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni. Other signature roles are Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, and Berta in Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia where she made her mark and “immediately had the public holding their breath during her brief but remarkable solo”.(LeDroit)

Maghan was featured with the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra, singing Mozart concert arias with National Art Centre violinist, Donnie Deacon. She worked with Maestro Alexander Shelley and actor Colm Feore in Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and was the featured soprano soloist in their Messiah.

Highlights of past seasons include being featured with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra and making her Carnegie Hall debut in the world premiere of a work by American composer Ryan Carter. Operatic highlights include creating the role of Hope in the Tapestry New Opera/Edmonton Opera production of Shelter by Juliet Palmer. Ms. McPhee is also a founding member of Carmen on Tap (Micaëla), a travelling production based on Bizet’s original score. Carmen on Tap has appeared across Ontario, including Ottawa’s Chamberfest, the Stratford Summer Music Festival, Toronto, and the Prince Edward County Music Festival. An accomplished chamber musician, she has been engaged by various presenters including the Ottawa Chamberfest, Thirteen Strings and The Juilliard School in New York.

Competition credits include the Eckhardt Gramatte Competition (silver prize winner), the Montreal International Voice Competition (semi-finalist), the Louis Quilico Voice Competition (Bronze prize winner), and won a monetary prize as well as an honourable mention at the Académie International d'été de Nice (France) Competition. An honours graduate of the University of Toronto, Ms. McPhee earned a Master’s degree from the University of Ottawa. She currently teaches voice at Carleton University.

International Solo & Collaborative Pianist
valeriedueck.com

Valerie Dueck

International Solo & Collaborative Pianist
Has taught at the International School of Geneva, the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Art, and Haileybury Astana.

Pianist Valerie Dueck grew up in Kleefeld, Manitoba on a street that housed an internationally renowned soprano and two leading vocal conductors. Given the neighbourhood, a career in vocal accompanying seemed an entirely rational choice.

Now an internationally active pianist, Valerie has distinguished herself as a solo and collaborative performer while living on three continents. She has prepared both young singers and professionals in roles for such companies as Opera NUOVA, Opera Lyra, Wiener Volksoper, Wiener Staatsoper, Seattle Opera and Houston Grand Opera. She has been employed by the Grand Thèâtre de Genève, Thirteen Strings in Ottawa, Schlosstheater Schönbrunn in Vienna and the Conservatoire de musique de Genève, and has been invited to perform in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, the Music and Beyond festival in Ottawa, the Five Boroughs Music Festival in New York and three successive tours of China. Her performances have been broadcast by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Kazakh National Television.

Engaged as piano professor for the Conservatoire de musique de Genève, Valerie has also taught piano at the International School of Geneva, the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Art, and Haileybury Astana. Her formative piano teachers at university were David Lutz, Stéphane Lemelin, Judy Kehler Siebert and Garth Beckett. Intensive studies with Dalton Baldwin and Rena Sharon were influential in her training as a vocal coach.

Valerie’s collaborative endeavours include the Air, Strings and Keys trio with thereminist Thorwald Jørgensen and violinist Marc Djokic. In 2020, Valerie created the online live interview series Well-Tempered Bernadette: A Piano’s Tale of 5 Cities, where she hosted guests such as Joyce El-Khoury, Julie Nesrallah, David Stewart and Paule Préfontaine, and for which she received a Canada Council for the Arts grant. Valerie and her piano Bernadette are currently living in Ottawa.

Guest lecturer
vinceho.com

Dr. Vincent Ho

International Solo & Collaborative Pianist
Has taught at the International School of Geneva, the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Art, and Haileybury Astana.

Vincent Ho is a multi-award winning composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and theatre music. His works have been described as “brilliant and compelling” by The New York Times and hailed for their profound expressiveness and textural beauty, leaving audiences talking about them with great enthusiasm. His many awards and recognitions have included three Juno Award nominations, Harvard University’s Fromm Music Commission, The Canada Council for the Arts’ “Robert Fleming Prize”, ASCAP’s “Morton Gould Young Composer Award”, four SOCAN Young Composers Awards, and CBC Radio’s Audience Choice Award (2009 Young Composers’ Competition).

During the period of 2007-2014, Dr. Ho has served as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s composer-in-residence and had presented a number of large-scale works that have generated much excitement and critical praise. His Arctic Symphony has been described “as a beautiful work that evokes the Far North in a very special way” (John Corigliano), and “a mature and atmospheric work that firmly establishes Ho among North American composers of note” (Winnipeg Free Press). His percussion concerto, titled The Shaman, composed for Dame Evelyn Glennie was hailed as a triumph, receiving unanimous acclaim and declared by critics as “Spectacular” (The New York Classical Review), “A powerhouse work” (The Winnipeg Free Press), and “Rocking/mesmerizing…downright gorgeous” (The Pittsburgh Gazette). His second concerto for Glennie titled From Darkness To Light, Ho’s musical response to the cancer illness, was lauded as “a lasting masterpiece of sensitivity and perception” (Winnipeg Free Press). His cello concerto, City Suite, composed for Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston, has received similar praise with critics calling it “Thrilling” (Windsor Star) and “Overflowing with striking ideas…The most successful piece heard at this year’s Festival” (Classical Voice America).

Born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1975, Vincent Ho began his musical training through Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music where he earned his Associate Diploma in Piano Performance. He gained his Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary, his Master of Music from the University of Toronto, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California. His mentors have included Allan Bell, David Eagle, Christos Hatzis, Walter Buczynski, and Stephen Hartke. In 1997, he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Schola Cantorum Summer Composition Program in Paris, where he received further training in analysis, composition, counterpoint, and harmony, supervised by David Diamond, Philip Lasser, and Narcis Bonet.

In his free time, he enjoys running, reading, traveling, dancing, hiking, playing chess, and learning the keyboard works of Bach, Beethoven, Ravel, and Ligeti (among many others). He is also an enthusiast of old-time radio shows, photography, crime noir, Zen art, jazz, Jimi Hendrix, graphic novels, and Stanley Kubrick films.

Dr. Ho has taught at the University of Calgary and currently serves as Artistic Director to Land’s End Ensemble and New Music Advisor to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. His works are published and managed by Promethean Editions Ltd and Peters Edition.


Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh

Composer & Mentor
Harmony | Counterpoint | Composition | Orchestration
Composer-in-Residence, Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra
D.M.A. - University of Toronto
M.A. - University of OttawaB.A. - University of Ottawa​

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh (DMA, University of Toronto) is currently based in the Greater Toronto Area and is the Composer-in-Residence for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been involved in both national and international festival series. He is regularly commissioned and holds numerous performances in Europe and North America. His works have had global exposure and have been broadcasted across Canada and the US including appearance as guest composer on CBC Radio.


Together with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, Mehdizadeh kickstarted a new podcast series, SPOGreatMusic, helping develop new community partnerships including Scarborough Arts, Stratford Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Music Centre, Canadian Sinfonietta, the Brantford Symphony Orchestra, and the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra. As a result, the orchestra was awarded the Canadian Music Centre's 2021 Beckwith Award.

Ronald Royer

Composer & Music DirectorScarborough Philharmonic Orchestra

With numerous performances, commissions and commercial recordings, Ronald Royer is a prominent Canadian composer who strives to connect with audiences. Justin O’Dell of The Clarinet magazine writes: “Ronald Royer’s music is beautifully appealing and communicative”, while Stanley Fefferman of Showtimemagazine.ca contributes, “These masterful and witty pieces live up to Royer’s reputation for music that is both entertaining and imaginative.”

His concert music has been performed by more than 70 orchestras, including the international iPalpiti Orchestra in Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, USA), Sinfonia Finlandia (Finland), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), Athens La Camerata (Greece), Joensuu City Orchestra (Finland), and Members of the Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra (Germany). Canadian performances have included the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Orchestra London, Niagara Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony and Symphony New Brunswick. The Ontario Festival Symphony Orchestra performed his composition Exuberance on tour in China (available on YouTube). He has served as the composer-in-residence for Sinfonia Toronto, Mississauga Symphony (supported by the Canada Council for the Arts), Toronto Sinfonietta, Scarborough Philharmonic and the Brantford Symphony.

His music has been performed by such notables as French flute soloist and conductor, Patrick Gallois, Hungarian viola soloist and former Principal Violist of the Berlin Philharmonic Máté Szűcs, Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston, as well as ensembles such as the Gryphon Trio, St. Lawrence Quartet, and The Elmer Iseler Singers.

Mr. Royer has worked in film and theatre, and this includes (with co-composer Kevin Lau) the score for Gooby, starring Robbie Coltrane and Eugene Levy. He composed music for the theatrical production (and commercial recording) of The Storyteller’s Bag. He was commissioned to write a work for Canada Day celebrations at Niagara Falls. His work, Water and Light for live orchestra with fireworks was heard on July 1, 2006 by over 20,000 people.

Mr. Royer’s music is featured on 14 commercial recordings, with 6 on the Cambria Master Recordings label (distributed by Naxos). He has consistently received positive and enthusiastic reviews for his music. Performers on recordings include the Los Angeles Studio Orchestra (Jorge Mester, conductor), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, (Tomas Koutnik), iPalpiti Orchestra (Eduard Schmieder), Sinfonia Toronto (Ronald Royer), 13 Strings of Ottawa (Simon Streatfeild), Toronto Sinfonietta (Matthew Jaskiewicz), HornPipes Duo, Chamber Music Society of Mississauga, Triofus, flutists Louise DiTullio and Nora Shulman, oboist Sarah Jeffrey, clarinets Tibi Cziger, Kaye Royer and Jerome Summers, violinists Conrad Chow and Aaron Schwebel, cellists Coenraad Bloemendal, Yves Dharamraj and Simon Fryer, trumpeters Brunette Dillon, Barton Woomert and Steven Woomert, hornist Gabriel Radford, and pianists Aaron Dou, Rachel Kerr and Lydia Wong. His commercial recordings and live performance recordings are regularly heard on radio, including the CBC and The New Classical FM in Canada and a number of NPR stations in the USA.

Born in Los Angeles into a family of professional musicians, he began his career as a cellist, performing with such ensembles as the Toronto Symphony, Utah Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, as well as working in the Motion Picture and Television Industry in Los Angeles during the 1980’s. Having been inspired by working with a number of concert and film composers, Mr. Royer began serious studies in composition in the 1990’s, receiving a master’s degree in composition from the University of Toronto in 1997. His principal composition teachers were Alexander Rapoport, Walter Buczynski and Lothar Klein. Mr. Royer has received commissioning grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Laidlaw Foundation and more. He is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

In addition to composing, Mr. Royer is presently serving as the music director and conductor of the Scarborough Philharmonic and has guest conducted a number of orchestras. For 21 years, he worked as an Instructor of Music for the University of Toronto Schools. He continues to teach private lessons and be an advocate for music education. Mr. Royer is married to clarinetist Kaye Royer and has composed several works for her.