Announcing the inaugural PIANO LUNAIRE COMPOSERS’ SYMPOSIUM in 2020


THE PIANO LUNAIRE is a contemporary classical music organization based in Toronto, pursuing the presentation of artistic excellence in the 21st Century.  The company’s portfolio is three-fold: we produce monthly full moonperformances, house a record label, and collaborate with the Canadian musical community at large, in capacity of both fundraising and pedagogical platform.

Correspondingly, our mission comprises three mandates: 1) to present new, dynamic and piano-centric music from the last fifty years to present; 2) to give voice to emerging professionals in the vibrant scene that is Toronto’s musical ecosystem and; 3) to offer audiences a direct, challenging and ultimately supportive concert experience, as they engage with the music of today and the artists of the future.

THE PIANO LUNAIRE provides patronage-tiers for multiple types of concert goer: “Moon Stages” (house concerts seven nights a season); “Main Stages” (Gala shows in elegant spaces three nights a year); “Blue Stages” (Pop-up alternative events in unusual settings, 2 nights a year).

As a new initiative, we look forward to an inaugural workshop for emerging composers. This will prove a dynamic setting for collaboration and educational experience in the craft of composing for solo piano.


The Piano Lunaire: Composers’ Symposium 2020

The Piano Lunaire invites composers who self-identify as early career to apply to
their inaugural Symposium. Looking for a quick immersion into the craft of solo
piano writing? Then consider applying to this workshop! Mentoring with composer
Christopher Mayo, pianists Adam Sherkin and Stephanie Chua, participants in this
intensive weekend symposium will: 1) improve technical skills for contemporary
piano writing (approx. 3 – 8 minutes in length); 2) support composers’ concepts
and ideas in the development of best practice, and: 3) help realize these ideas
through performance.

Minimum age requirement is 18 years and up. The six selected composers
will work with the mentors in three stages:

1. An individual 30-minute video session (Skype call) with Christopher Mayo to take
place late October.

2. An individual 30-minute video session with Adam Sherkin or Stephanie Chua to
take place in late November.

3. Intensive group sessions (Saturday) and a public performance of all works
(Sunday evening), weekend of January 18-19, 2020 in Toronto.*

During the two-day weekend intensive, composers and mentors will participate in
group discussions and presentations of all six new works. The world premiere
performances will be open to the public and recorded live.

* Please note that we are unable to provide for participants’ travel and
accommodation; however, we would be happy to provide a letter of support
towards application of travel grants and bursaries.

Thank you to The Canadian Music Centre for sponsoring the inaugural Composers’ Symposium


Application Process:

1. Submit a document (PDF format) with approximately 100 – 150 words answering
the two following questions: What is your previous experience in writing for the
piano? And: How do you feel you would benefit from this workshop at this point in
your studies/development/career?

2. Submit two works with scores and sound files/links. (It is not necessary to
include the piano but strongly encouraged).

3. Submit a one-page C.V.

4. Application fee: $20 (CAD). This fee solely covers our jurors’ time in assessing
the submitted material.

Deadline: Friday, September 27th at 12:00 midnight (EDT). Selected composers
for the 2020 Symposium will be notified in early October. An $80 (CAD) workshop
fee will be required at this time.

Submit this at the following ONLINE FORM.

Any enquiries can be emailed to:


Biographies of Mentors:

Christopher Mayo (b. 1980) is a Toronto-based composer of orchestral, chamber,
vocal and electronic music. Christopher’s works have been commissioned and performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, London Sinfonietta, Crash Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Aurora Orchestra, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble contemporain de Montreal and Manchester Camerata where he was the Composer-in-Residence from 2012-13. Christopher has taught composition and orchestration at Wilfred Laurier University, McMaster University, and Royal Holloway University of London, as well as leading composition workshops for organizations including the National Youth Orchestra of  Great Britain and Aldeburgh Young Musicians.


Stephanie Chua is an expressive and versatile pianist devoted to presenting and performing contemporary works through musical insight and innovative programming. She has performed in solo and chamber recitals across Canada, Europe and Asia. Recent highlights include a performance at Shanghai New Music Festival and as a featured performer in Soundstreams’ ’Six Pianos’ Main Stage concert at Koerner Hall (Toronto). Stephanie has commissioned and premiered over 60 works for and with piano in her work as part of junctQín keyboard collective, in duo with violinist Véronique Mathieu, and as a soloist. She has worked as a teaching artist in Contact Contemporary Music’s ‘Music from Scratch’, Continuum in the Classroom, and given lectures on contemporary techniques and keyboard repertoire at the University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario. Stephanie’s contemporary repertoire encompasses major solo works of Helmut Lachenmann, Franco Donatoni, and  Rebecca Saunders to those with multi-media and live electronics by Nicole Lizée and Karlheinz Essl.


Pianist/Composer Adam Sherkin has performed at significant venues throughout
Canada, the United States and Britain, enjoying recent premieres of his works in
Mexico, The Netherlands and Vietnam. In addition to maintaining a private
teaching studio for over fifteen years, Sherkin has been featured as guest lecturer
at Mount Allison University (Sackville), University of Guelph and the Royal
Conservatory (Toronto), among others. His solo repertoire includes music from the
Baroque to present-day, with a specialization in music from North America,
including his own. He has worked extensively with new music ensembles, International vocalists and contemporary chamber groups on a regular basis. In 2018, he founded The Piano Lunaire, a Toronto based, not-for-profit organization that presents monthly performances, houses a record label and collaborates with the Canadian musical community at large, in capacity of both fundraising and pedagogical platform. @adamsherkin |

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