Mayor's Arts Award for Music

Profile images of Giorgio Magnanensi and Stefan Maier

2017 recipients

Giorgio Magnanensi


Giorgio Magnanensi is an Italian Canadian composer of orchestral, chamber and multimedia works that have been performed throughout Europe and elsewhere. He is also active as a conductor and live electronics performer.

As a conductor, he served in many permanent positions in Italy, and as principal conductor of the Vancouver New Music Ensemble since 2000. As a guest conductor, he has conducted in Europe, Japan, and Canada. Giorgio taught composition in various positions in Italy from 1984-1999, and lectured at the College of Music in Tokyo in 1996 and 1998. He is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Community College, and is the artistic director of Vancouver New Music.

Stefan Maier

Emerging artist

Stefan Maier (b. 1990) is an artist from Vancouver, Canada. His compositions have been presented by: Fonema Consort, Chicago; G(o)ng Tomorrow, Copenhagen; Vancouver New Music; Experimental Studio des SWR, Freiburg; ECLAT, Stuttgart; Talea Ensemble, New York; and Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, Montreal. He has exhibited at 67, New York and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.

Upcoming projects include new works for: Vertixe Sonora, Santiago de Compostela and No Hay Banda, Montreal, and an appearance at the Ultima festival, Oslo. In 2014, he was a fellow at the Harvard Summer Composition Institute. In 2016, his concert-installation Music for Organs, written in collaboration with Ragnhild May, was recognized as an outstanding composition of the year by the Danish Arts Council.

Past recipients

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Jocelyn Morlock


 Alternate text	Jocelyn Morlock (left) and Marina Hasselberg (right), Mayor's Arts Award for Music honoree and emerging artist, respectivelyJuno-nominated composer Jocelyn Morlock has been Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s composer in residence since 2014, after completing a term as composer in residence for Music on Main. Jocelyn’s musical accolades include: 2002 International Rostrum of Composers (Top 10); 2003 CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composers competition(winner); Mayor’s Arts Awards Emerging Artist (2008); and Juno Nomination for Classical Composition of the Year (2011). Her first full-length CD, Cobalt, was nominated for three Western Canadian Music Awards and won Classical Composition of the Year (2015).

Recent highlights include My Name is Amanda Todd for the National Arts Centre’s Life, Reflected; Earthfall for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; Big Raven for the Emily Carr String Quartet; Ornithomancy, a concerto for flutist Paolo Bortolussi and the Vancouver Island Symphony; Aeromancy, a double concerto for cellists Yegor Dyachkov and Yuri Hooker with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; and Three Meditations on Light for the Couloir duo.

Marina Hasselberg

Emerging artist

Marina Hasselberg’s musical career led her from her birth country of Portugal to the University of Western Ontario, where she earned a Master’s in Literature and Performance (completed in 2010 with distinction), and then to Vancouver’s eclectic music scene. Starting as a chamber musician specializing in classical music, her passions have expanded to include baroque music, new music, and interdisciplinary works that cross genre boundaries.

Marina has worked as a cellist in dance, film, and theatre, played for numerous orchestras and chamber music ensembles, and performed with stars like Michael Bublé, Rod Stewart, and Mariah Carey. As the artistic director of NOVO Ensemble, she advocates for new works, especially those by Canadian composers,and has premiered dozens of new works,many of which were written for and dedicated to her.

Veda Hille


Veda Hille has been writing music, making records, and performing since 1992.

She is at home in the indie, theatre, and dance scene, and in the library. Veda enjoys creating with friends, which has led her to some pretty odd musicals, rock songs for children, electro-acoustic experiments, and very good meals.

Her most recent recording is Peter Panties, a wild document of a legendary theatre piece. The musical A Craigslist Cantata, co-written with Bill Richardson and Amiel Gladstone, is currently in development for production in New York.

Other new projects include a rewrite of Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin, another round of the beloved East Van Panto, a Neworld Theatre production of King Arthur, and a new album of love songs written in Berlin.

Adrian Teacher

Emerging artist

Adrian Teacher is a Vancouver songwriter and performer best known for his work with Apollo Ghosts, COOL TV, and as a back-up musician for several independent bands.

He has been self-releasing music for more than 10 years. His album Mount Benson was nominated for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize and he was the Sappyfest songwriter in residence in 2011.

Adrian teaches elementary school in east Vancouver.

Brad Turner


Brad Turner, 2014 Mayor's Arts Award for Music honoureeBrad Turner has become one of Canada’s most in-demand and highly esteemed musicians through his talents as a trumpeter, pianist, drummer, and composer.

Brad has released seven albums, six as a trumpeter with his quartet, and one as a pianist with his trio. Three of those releases have been nominated for Juno awards. He has performed and recorded with many renowned artists such as Roy Haynes and Tony Bennett.

He won the 1997 and 1998 Juno Awards for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, the National Jazz Award for Jazz Composer of the Year in 2000 and 2002, and the 2006 Victor Lynch-Staunton Prize for Excellence in Musical Achievement. His release What Is won Best Jazz Album at the 2006 Western Canadian Music Awards.

Brad is a member of the jazz studies faculty at Capilano University.

Matt Choboter

Emerging artist

Matt Choboter, 2014 Mayor's Arts Award for Music emerging artist
Photo by Justin Choboter
Matt Choboter was born and raised in Vancouver and is a pianist and composer. He recently earned his bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from Capilano University, where he studied with outstanding performing musicians and educators including Brad Turner, Ross Taggart, Andre Lachance, Lorne Kellett, and Jared Borrows. He was awarded the 2014 Fraser Macpherson Scholarship, which goes to BC’s most promising young jazz musicians.

Matt is currently leading two small ensembles which help him pursue his vision of becoming distinctive as an improvising pianist and composer. He has performed at many venues in Greater Vancouver, including the Cellar Jazz Club and the Blue Shore Financial Centre for Performing Arts.

He also hopes to pursue graduate studies in composition and performance in the future.

Peggy Lee


2013 Music Honouree Peggy LeePeggy Lee, cellist, improviser, and composer, makes her home in Vancouver where she is part of a rich, creative music community. She records and performs with longtime musical associates including Tony Wilson, Ron Samworth, Dylan van der Schyff, John Korsrud, Veda Hille, Lisa Miller, Wayne Horvitz, and Robin Holcomb.

Lee also leads or co-leads a number of musical projects: The Peggy Lee Band, Film in Music, Waxwing (with Tony Wilson and Jon Bentley), and Beautiful Tool (with Mary Margaret O’Hara). Other performing credits include the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and the new music ensemble Standing Wave.

Lee has collaborated extensively in theatre and dance with companies and artists such as Ruby Slippers, Rumble Theatre, Presentation House, David Hudgins, EDAM, Kokoro Dance, Delia Brett, and Ziyian Kwan. Peggy has received previous awards including the Freddie Stone Award for integrity and innovation in music (2005) and a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for outstanding composition (2010).

Cole Schmidt

Emerging artist

2013 Music Emerging Artist Cole SchmidtCole Schmidt is an active participant in Vancouver's creative music scene. In addition to curating the weekly music series “NoSchMo,” which features original, improvising groups, he regularly performs with such local mentors as Peggy Lee, Ron Samworth, and Tony Wilson.

As a composer, Schmidt spends the majority of his time writing and recording with 2013 Juno Award winners Pugs and Crows and the newly formed group Sick Boss. He can also be heard alongside other local artists such as Debra-Jean Creelman, Copilots, Karen Foster, and Soft Morning City.

He was awarded the Galaxy Rising Star Award in 2010 for his performance with Pugs and Crows, and was a participant in the 2011 Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. Schmidt has toured throughout North America and Europe, including a five-week tour with Drip Audio's DarkBlueWorld in Eastern Europe and Russia, and the Vilnius Jazz Festival.

John Korsrud


2012 Honouree Artist John KorsrudJohn Korsrud is a composer, bandleader, trumpet player, and educator. He studied composition with Louis Andriessen in Amsterdam from 1995 to 1997. Composition commissions include the Vancouver Symphony, the CBC Radio Orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble, and several Dutch ensembles. His film scores have received Leo and Yorkton Awards and Gemini nominations. Korsrud’s career highlight was performing his trumpet concerto at Carnegie Hall, commissioned and performed by the American Composers Orchestra in 2010. 

Korsrud composes for and leads his 18-piece Hard Rubber Orchestra, the 14-piece Drum and Light Orchestra, and the 20-piece Goma Dura. He has produced nearly 100 concerts including operas, TV specials, multimedia, CBC Radio broadcasts, raves, and an ice show for the 2010 Winter Games. 

Korsrud is the recipient of the Canada Council’s Joseph S. Stauffer Award, the 2005 Alcan Arts Award and is the second Canadian to receive a fellowship to the Civitella Ranieri in Umbria, Italy. As a trumpet player, he has played almost every genre, from lead trumpet with the Vancouver Symphony to rock bands such as Matthew Good and DOA to new music with Anthony Braxton. Korsrud teaches at Vancouver Community College.

Eli Bennett

Emerging artist

2012 Emerging Artist Eli BennettEli Bennett, an international award-winning saxophonist and emerging film composer, is Canada’s most recognized emerging jazz artist. At only 23, Bennett is a two-time recipient of the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award from the National Jazz Awards, and has been named a Rico Reeds Artist and a Yamaha Young Performing Artist.

He has performed twice at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles and shared the stage with jazz legends Oscar Peterson, Dave Holland, Hank Jones, and Terence Blanchard. Recently, Bennett was awarded the Fred Sheratt Award from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and received a 2012 Leo nomination for his additional music for the film Nash - the Documentary. In 2012, Bennett launched Eli Bennett Publishing with the release of his first eBook of jazz saxophone solos, which has sold in over 26 countries.

Currently, Bennett is scoring films for up-and-coming directors from New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Vancouver. Born and raised in Vancouver, Bennett is an active member of the local music scene and is extensively involved with music and media at Coastal Church in downtown Vancouver.

The 2012 peer jury was Colin Miles, Sal Ferreras, and Jeremy Berkman.

Jeremy Berkman


2011 Music Honouree Jeremy BerkmanJeremy Berkman is a trombonist and founding co-artistic director/ensemble member of Turning Point Ensemble (TPE). He has had a varied career in both musical performance and backstage production.

Currently principal trombonist for Vancouver Opera Orchestra, he also makes music with outstanding colleagues in Touch of Brass Quintet, cellist Peggy Lee's octet, and big bands lead by John Korsrud, Fred Stride, Jill Townsend, and Jesse Cahill. With TPE, Jeremy has co-led partnerships with community groups, public schools, and other arts organizations.

Having contributed to over 25 recordings by orchestras, jazz ensembles, and singer-songwriters, this season he will record and tour with fellow TPE co-artistic director Owen Underhill's Trombone Quintet with Montreal's Bozzini String Quartet.

An advocate for including musical composition with creative writing, dance, and visual arts as part of a comprehensive education, he has co-produced an exciting youth program, Creating Composers, with TPE in Burnaby, Vancouver, and North Vancouver.

Iman Habibi

Emerging artist

2011 Music Emerging Artist Iman HabibiIman Habibi is an award-winning composer and pianist whose music has been programmed by numerous concert organizations, such as The Marilyn Horne Foundation (New York), The Canadian Opera Company (Toronto), Tapestry New Opera (Toronto), Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), the BC Scene Festival (Ottawa), the Powell Street Festival (Vancouver), and Vox Novus (New York).

His awards include second prize at the 2008 Vancouver Back Choir's National Competition, and first prize at the 2009 Guelph Chamber Choir's national competition. His music and interviews are broadcast regularly on radio across North America, such as CBC and WQXR (New York).

Iman is also well-known for his collaborations with pianist Deborah Grimmett. Their piano duo known as Piano Pinnacle won third prize and The Audience Choice Award at the debut at the International Northwest Piano Ensemble Competition.

The 2011 peer jury was Colin Miles, Denise Ball, and Sal Ferreras.

Sal Ferreras


2010 Honouree Artist Sal FerrarsDr Salvador Ferreras is first and foremost a percussionist, but also a dedicated music educator and producer. He is artistic director of the Literary Cabaret at the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival, dean of the Vancouver Community College School of Music, former member of the British Columbia Arts Council, and a regular advisor on cultural policy with various organization in Canada.

In 2003, Sal was inducted into the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame, and in 2005 he was awarded the Willan Prize for outstanding contributions to choral music in British Columbia.

He has collaborated in almost every musical genre on the Canadian music scene and currently tours with his Persian-based trio Safa and the Latin American trio, The Southern Cross. He has released three solo recordings: To Drive in LA (1986), Invisible Minority (1994), and Woodcuts (2001).

Evan Arntzen

Emerging artist

2010 Emergin Artist Evan ArntzenEvan Arntzen is a saxophonist, clarinetist, and vocalist born and raised in Vancouver. Coming from a musical family, he was instructed by his grandfather, Lloyd Arntzen, who taught him New Orleans jazz from the time he was seven years old. He completed the Capilano University Jazz Studies program in 2007 and has been establishing himself as a powerful young voice in the Canadian jazz scene.

He is in demand as a soloist and performer in the realms of traditional jazz, and improvised music. He now performs regularly with such bands as the October Trio, the Amanda Tosoff Quartet, and Bria Skonberg's Hot Five. Evan will continue to pursue music full-time, while residing in Vancouver.

The 2010 peer jury was David Pay, Colin Miles, and Denise Ball.

Colin Miles


2009 Honouree Artist Colin MilesColin Miles has, for over three decades, been a tireless advocate for Canadian music and composers. Based in Vancouver, he has championed generations of our city's composers and provided leadership not only in our city and our region, but also abroad for the promotion of our country's music.

In addition to his 31 years as BC's regional director for the Canadian Music Centre, Mr Miles has been an active violist in the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, hosted countless salons at home with his wife Winnie Nowell, and sat on numerous boards and committees, both within and outside the music community.

At a time in his life and career when many other people are slowing down, and on the eve of his retirement from the CMC, Mr Miles has becomes one of Vancouver's most vocal advocates for the essential role the arts play in our lives. He led the movement to save the CBC Radio Orchestra, is spearheading the music community's advocacy at the provincial level, and has always spoken with great passion on behalf of the arts community.

Jordan Nobles

Emerging artist

2009 Emerging Artist Jordan Nobles Jordan Nobles, known for creating music filled with an "unearthly beauty" (Mondomagazine), has emerged as one of Canada's finest composers. Known for his commitment to spatial music, he often takes performers and audiences away from traditional concert experiences. Whether surrounding audiences with ten flutes, filling museums with live musicians on multiple floors, or inviting players to move across the stage during performances, he adds an extra, and often emotional, level of conversation to musical thought.

His music has won First Prize in the Vancouver Bach Choir's National Competition for Large Choirs, and been premiered in Toronto, New York, Vancouver, Calgary, and Lima, Peru. Canada's leading orchestras, choirs chamber ensembles and soloists regularly perform his works, as do groups as diverse as the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, Cologne's Kammercho CONSONO, and New York's Flexible Orchestra. In February 2010, Mr Nobles will collaborate with Aeriosa Dance as part of the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad.

The 2009 peer jury was Charles Barber, Morna Edmundson, and David Pay.

Denise Ball


A CBC music producer, Ms Ball has spent more than two decades working with some of Canada's finest musicians, producing, for example, the award-winning recording of concerti by Barber, Korngold, and Walton, featuring the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for CBC Records (winner of the Grammy, Juno, and Western Canadian Music Awards for best classical release of 2007).

Since 1991, she has been the producer and manager of the CBC Radio Orchestra. She was also co-founder and co-artistic director of Vancouver's Curio Ensemble.

The 2008 peer jury was John Alleyne, Joy Coghill, Sal Ferreras, Jane Heyman, Michael Noon, Robert Sunter, Alexander Varty, Donna Wong-Juliani, and Max Wyman.