On Saturday, May 14, 2016, the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg held its annual scholarship auditions at the Eva Clare Hall, at the University of Manitoba. The day was filled with many commendable performances from all 18 young Manitoba artists! The WMC congratulates the following winners:

  • WMC Scholarship $3,000 – Gregory Lewis – Violin
  • WMC Scholarship $2,500 – Tony Zhou – Piano
  • Madeleine Gauvin Scholarship $2,000 – David Liam Roberts – Cello
  • Holtby Scholarship – $1,500 – Peter Jo – Violin
  • Berythe Birse Scholarship – $1000 – Emily Rekrut-Pressey – Viola

The WMC scholarship program has been a feature of the Women’s Musical Club mandate since 1915. Hundreds of young musicians have won these scholarships over the years, and many have gone on to achieve international acclaim. The names of the winners and the amounts of the awards are listed in a brochure which is updated yearly.

The five winners will perform and receive their scholarship cheques at the annual WMC Scholarship Winners’ Recital that will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, December 29th, 2016 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The public is invited to attend and be treated to an evening of amazing music from these talented Manitoban performers! Tickets are available through McNally Robinson Booksellers in December, through a subscription, or at the door (by cheque or cash only). Students $5 at the door only.



Left to right:  Gregory Lewis – violin;  Tony Zhou – piano;  David Liam Roberts – cello;  Peter Jo – violin and Emily Rekrut-Pressey – viola.

Gregory Lewis, ViolinAttachment-1-2.  Praised for his “brilliant technique and control” (Chronicle Journal) and “wonderful musical personality” (Winnipeg Free Press), violinist Gregory Lewis has established himself as one of central Canada’s most prominent rising musicians. Growing up in Thunder Bay, Ontario studying with Olga Medvedeva, Gregory is now pursuing an undergraduate degree in Violin Performance at the University of Manitoba with Dr. Oleg Pokhanovski. He has also worked with many of the world’s top pedagogues and artists, including Midori Goto, James Ehnes, Giora Schmidt, Paul Kantor, the Pacifica Quartet, and the Gryphon Trio.  Gregory has been a featured soloist with the Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, and Kitchener-Waterloo symphonies, and has frequent engagements with Canadian chamber and student orchestras. He is a prize winner of many national and international competitions, including the 2016 Enkor International Piano and Violin Competition, the 2015 Canadian Music Competition National Finals, the 2016 Doris McLellan Competition, and the 2015 American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, earning him two recital performances in Carnegie Hall.

In addition to his solo career, Gregory has held distinguished orchestral positions in several of North America’s top summer festival orchestras, including the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the Scotia Festival Orchestra, and the MasterWorks Festival Orchestra. A member of the 2015 National Youth Orchestra of Canada, he was an Award of Excellence recipient and served as concert master on their national tour. As a high demand concert master, Gregory has led orchestras in almost all of Canada’s largest concert halls, including Maison Symphonique in Montreal, Chan Centre in Vancouver, Windspear Centre in Edmonton, and Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg. Gregory is a substitute violinist for the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and a section violinist in the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

An avid chamber musician, Gregory is a founding member and first violin of the Chroma Quartet, a student ensemble formed in 2014. Quickly gaining a reputation as Manitoba’s premier student chamber group, the Chroma Quartet frequently performs in recital throughout Winnipeg, being featured by Virtuosi, the Skywalk Recital Series, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Simkin Centre Recital Series. A competitive ensemble, the Chroma Quartet was selected to represent Manitoba at the 2016 Canadian Music Competition National Finals.

Aside from violin, Gregory formally studied piano performance for sixteen years, and is an accomplished composer, having a symphony premiered by the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in 2013. In his free time, Gregory enjoys reading and travelling, and loves hiking, fishing, and camping in his Northern Ontario hometown.

Tony Zhou, Piano.  Since his orchestral debut at 10, Winnipeg pianist, Tony Zhou has performed as soloist with orchestras such as the Polish Baltic F. Chopin Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He has obtained a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music as a recipient of the Jacobs School’s Premier Young Artist Award, Music Faculty Award, Dorothy L. Herriman Award, and Ernest Hoffzimmer Award. He is now pursuing his Master of Music at the Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music as an Associate Instructor of Piano.
 roberts_0182David Liam Roberts, Cello.  David Liam Roberts has been described as a “Prodigiously gifted young cellist who displays an artistic sensibility well beyond his tender years” (Winnipeg Free Press).

A student of Yuri Hooker, David Liam has been awarded prizes at national competitions such as the Canadian Music Competition and the FCMF National Music Festival, in addition to numerous scholarships and honours from local competitions in Winnipeg. David Liam began his cello studies at the age of three, and by age 12 had been awarded the Victor Feldbrill trophy for the most outstanding string performance at the Winnipeg Music Festival. He has been mentored by many of the great pedagogues of our time, having attended several music festivals including the Morningside Music Bridge program and the Meadowmount School of Music.
As the winner of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s 2016 Student Soloist Competition, he performed as soloist with the WSO in several concerts at local schools as a part of their “Up Close and Orchestral” tour. He has also appeared as soloist with the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra, in which he served as principal cellist for several years. A frequent recitalist, he performed a solo recital for the 2015 Agassiz Chamber Music Festival, in addition to having initiated, organized and performed six public solo recitals in the past. He also spends much of his time as a chamber musician, and has been performing often as a member of the Chroma Quartet since 2014.
Passionate about serving communities, Mr. Roberts is the regional director of the Manitoba region of the “Back to BACH Project”, which has the objective of inspiring children to have vision and determination in achieving excellence in hobbies such as playing a musical instrument. With other young musicians, he has visited many elementary schools in the 2016-2017 year to give performances and presentations as a part of this project. He strives to strengthen communities and to use music as a powerful medium for meaningful communication with audiences. Besides studying music, David Liam is in his final year of high school and is very interested in other fields of study such as philosophy, theology and logic.

img_20161205_220906Peter Jo, Violin.  Peter Jo is currently enrolled in a Masters of Music in Violin Performance at the University of Manitoba studying under Dr. Oleg Pokhanovski. He was formerly a student of Baranova Alessandrovna and Lev Krichkov at the Rimsky- Korsakov music school for the gifted children in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has won numerous awards and scholarships. Recently, he made his soloist debut with Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra. Besides Classical music, he also enjoys playing crossover, jazz, and gospel music. He has produced four gospel recordings which have sold over 2,500 copies in Winnipeg.

Emily Rekrut-Pressey, Viola. Emily Rekrut-Pressey is 18 years old and is currently studying at the University of Toronto after graduating from Kelvin High School this past June. At age six she began violin lessons in the Suzuki program, studying with Laurel Howard. When she was ten she was inspired by Laurel and Joanne Martin to begin playing the viola, studying with Daniel Scholz for the past 3 years in Winnipeg.
This summer Emily played with l’Orchestre de la Francophonie in Montreal and has attended the international Morningside Music Bridge program in Calgary the previous two summers, as well as the Rosamunde Summer Music Academy three times here in Winnipeg. She now studies with Teng Li, principal violist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Emily recently won the Aikins Memorial trophy at this year’s Winnipeg Music Festival and received the Berythe Birse Scholarship through the Women’s Musical Club scholarship competition this May. She held the principal viola position in the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years and has been playing in the orchestras since she was nine, this year she appeared as a soloist with the Youth Orchestra after winning the senior scholarship competition.
The Women’s Musical Club congratulates each of the winners and looks forward to their performances on our stage at the WAG on Thursday, December 29th, 2016 at 7 p.m.  It will be a magical evening!