The Honens Pro-Am is a friendly and fun piano competition which is open to accomplished amateur musicians who earn their living in other ways than performing music full-time. Five pianists will unleash their creative energy and competitive spirit to raise $50,000 for Honens. Each pianist performs a 15 to 20-minute recital and is evaluated by a panel of experts.
The 2021 Pro-Am Jurors are:
When Denise Ball recently retired as an Executive Producer at CBC Music, one celebrated musician called her a “warrior” for classical music. She couldn’t have asked for a better label.
Ball began her professional life as a fairly decent violinist, then turned to journalism before joining CBC in 1985 as the junior classical music producer in Regina. She worked all over the country, settling in Vancouver in 2000 for the dream job of all time—running the CBC Radio Orchestra. Imagine having an orchestra at your disposal with one objective—program and record brilliant live concerts and studio sessions. Produce CDs with Janina Fialkowska and Jon Kimura Parker. Commission great Canadian composers.
Along the way, Ball picked up awards: In 2008 the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Music. A Grammy (a Grammy!) for her recording with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and violinist James Ehnes. A couple of JUNOs and a Western Canadian Music Award. In 2018, she was named a Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music, joining the likes of Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Oscar Peterson, and David Foster.
Her focus the last decade has been to kick the stuffing out of CBC’s classical music radio with hosts Ben Heppner and Paolo Pietropaolo. And those shows won awards, including a Prix Italia for best radio series on music. Ball made CBC Music a place of joy and discovery for listeners and a creative hothouse for musicians. And today, she’s using her warrior’s arsenal to benefit the “private sector,” producing records and livestreams and helping young artists discover their musical voice. The campaign continues!
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 to 2014, Dr. Ho 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). For 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, Ho began his musical training through Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music where he received 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. While still an undergraduate student, Ho was awarded a scholarship to attend the Schola Cantorum Summer Composition Program in Paris, France, where he received tuition from Juilliard School of Music and the Paris Conservatoire tutors. 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. 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 and Peters Edition.
Patricia Price is Managing Director of 8VA Music Consultancy, where she specializes in international public relations, music marketing, and non-profit strategy.
In 2018, New York’s Observer named 8VA “one of the most powerful entertainment and PR firms.” Price represents some of the world’s top soloists, conductors, composers, orchestras, festivals, and competitions, and she has worked with Honens for the past three years.
Prior to starting the Consultancy, Price was the Executive Director of Portland Piano International and the Classical Product Manager for Allegro Media Group. During her time in the record industry, she managed 70 classical record labels and was the Executive Producer for more than 75 albums.
A Vienna-trained pianist herself, Price has been heard on public radio and in venues throughout Europe and the US. She has a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Master’s in Business Administration. Price was featured in the J.Jill women’s apparel brand national “Inspired Women” ad campaign, and she appears as a lecturer at leading arts institutions including Chamber Music America, The Juilliard School, and The Cliburn Competition.
Price is based in New York City.