Inspiring excellence

Inspiring excellence

By Communications Staff

April 25, 2017


[Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition]
Seven semifinalists will compete at the Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition starting Wednesday. Clockwise from top left: Yolanda Bruno, Ji Soo Choi, Ewald Cheung, Esther Hwang, Dasol Jeong, Catherine Poplyansky, and Lucy Wang. (Supplied Photos)  

The top young virtuosi from across Canada will be taking to the stage at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts starting Wednesday with the chance to win the inaugural Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition.

Seven semifinalists have been chosen to perform at the Isabel on Wednesday and Thursday. Three finalists will be chosen for the concerto round (with piano) on Saturday.

The semifinalists – Yolanda Bruno, Ji Soo Choi, Ewald Cheung, Esther Hwang, Dasol Jeong, Catherine Poplyansky, and Lucy Wang – were chosen through an adjudication process with jury members comprising leading violinists across Canada.

“This competition was created to inspire excellence and to provide world-class Canadian violinists with a great professional development opportunity,” says Tricia Baldwin, Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. “We are passionate about championing the next generation of artists, and have established an ongoing relationship with the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Honens International Piano Competition. Our next leap forward has been to establish our own competition here at Queen’s University to foster Canada’s top talent and to provide substantial and much needed support to extraordinarily gifted young Canadian violinists who aspire to a concert career.”

The winner will receive the Marion Overton Dick Memorial Violin Prize worth $20,000 CAD, a future engagement to perform with the Kingston Symphony, and a future engagement to perform a recital at the Isabel that will be recorded by CBC Radio 2 for national broadcast. Second place will be awarded the Clifford Overton Prize worth $4,000 while third will be awarded the Marg Foster and Heather Dick Prize worth $2,000.

After the three finalists perform on Saturday the audience will vote for their favourite player of the evening, who will receive the Bader Family Audience Prize for $1,000.

All semifinalists will perform a new work by Canadian composer and Queen’s professor John Burge Twitter Etudes No. 1 - a short virtuosic work consisting of six short etudes each of which limits the number of notes in each movement to just 140 distinctive attacks.

The Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition is made possible through the generosity of Alfred and Isabel Bader, whose vision, imagination and generosity will enable gifted emerging musicians to learn, inspire, perform, and develop their careers.

Day passes are $6/$10/$12. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 613-533-2424 (M-F, 12:30-4:30 pm).

For a full schedule visit

The award-winning Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts brings together exceptional arts spaces and programs with a captivating sense of place to create a dynamic venue for Queen’s students and the community. In addition to the Performance Hall, the other spaces in the 90,000 square foot venue include a studio theatre, a film screening room and a music rehearsal hall. Embracing the principles of interactivity and integration, the School of Drama and Music and the Department of Film and Media share teaching and performance spaces within the Isabel. The Isabel was designed by Oslo/New York-based firm Snøhetta and Ottawa’s N45, with acoustics and theatre design by ARUP and Theatre Projects Consultants. Anchored by a transformational gift to the Initiative Campaign from Drs. Alfred and Isabel Bader, the Isabel was inspired by the Bader’s love – of the arts, of Queen’s, and of each other – and is named in Isabel’s honour.