Ottawa Symphony
Alain Trudel, Music Director | Directeur artistique

Senécal Mozart Prize


Ottawa Symphony – Senécal Mozart Prize


Ottawa Symphony Orchestra
announces the winner of the
Ottawa Symphony Orchestra – Senécal Mozart Prize

 — Soprano Elizabeth Polese of Toronto, winner of $2,500 Performance Prize —

OTTAWA, 9 January 2019—The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra today announced the winner of the 2018-19 Ottawa Symphony Orchestra – Senécal Mozart Prize. Toronto native Elizabeth Polese, Soprano, was selected by a panel of judges including established Canadian soprano and international soloist, Nathalie Paulin, Ottawa Symphony Concert Master Mary-Elizabeth Brown, and Ottawa Symphony Music Director, Alain Trudel.

Ms. Polese will receive the $2,500 Ottawa Symphony – Senécal Mozart Prize when she delivers her prize-winning performance of Exsultate, jubilate; K.165, on Monday 21 January at 7:30 pm at the Ottawa Symphony’s first concert of 2019, and first concert in the Carleton Performance Space, formerly Dominion-Chalmers.

Ms. Polese is an alumna of the University of Toronto, where she studied under the tutelage of celebrated Canadian soprano Mary Morrison (OC), and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Voice Performance. Now living in Montréal, Polese is continuing her training in the young artist ensemble at Opéra de Montréal, l’Atelier Lyrique for the 2018-19 season.

Recent highlights of Ms. Polese’s young career include second prize and the award for best performance of a Canadian work at the Concours Manuvie Orchestra Symphonique de Montréal, and role debuts in Die Zauberflöte as Erste Dame, Le Nozze di Figaro as Susanna, Così fan tutte as Despina, Kaffee Kantate and Carmina Burana. She was awarded a Rebanks Family Fellowship at the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) during the 2016-17 season.

The 21 January concert will also feature the UOttawa Orchestra alongside members of the Ottawa Symphony performing Bruckner’s Symphony no. 7. With over 100 musicians on the newly expanded stage, this promises to be a concert to remember!

As with every Ottawa Symphony concert, Ottawa Symphony musicians include participants of the Ottawa Symphony - uOttawa Mentorship program. This unique-in-North-America program selects 20-25 talented UOttawa School of Music students to learn and play alongside local professionals, allowing them to develop the skill and professionalism required for successful orchestral careers.


About the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra - Senécal Mozart Prize

Named for Nicole Senécal, a classical music passionée, this prize affords one young musician each year, a unique and coveted opportunity to perform an instrumental solo before a live audience, accompanied by a large-scale, professional orchestra. In addition to the cash prize, travel and accommodation, and performance opportunity, this award is a valuable showcase to drive a budding professional career. The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra – Senécal Mozart Prize encourages young musicians—in spirit and materially—in their pursuit of performance excellence.

About Nicole Senécal

Ever since she studied piano as a child, Nicole Senécal has been passionate about music. After classical college and university, she became a lawyer specializing in international public law. She taught law for two years, then joined the Department of External Affairs as a diplomat. Later in her career, she held a number of senior executive positions in the federal public service. In retirement, she has set as her goal to give back the generous support she received in her youth to the next generation.

Available for interview:

· Alain Trudel, Ottawa Symphony Music Director
· Elizabeth Polese, Winner, Ottawa Symphony 2018-19 Senécal Mozart Prize


Kate Holmes
General Manager, Ottawa Symphony
Mobile/text: 613.769.9773