The first round of the Geringas Scholarship is adjudicated by musicians based outside Toronto, to eliminate the chances of a conflict of interest. The 2019 First Round jury is:
KAREN OUZOUNIAN, Cellist, Aizuri Quartet
Described as “radiant” and “expressive” (The New York Times) and “nothing less than gorgeous” (Memphis Commercial Appeal), cellist Karen Ouzounian approaches music-making with a deeply communicative and passionate spirit. Winner of the S&R Foundation's 2016 Washington Award and at home in diverse musical settings, she is drawn towards unusual collaborations and eclectic contemporary repertoire. Karen is a founding member of the Aizuri Quartet. Its debut album, Blueprinting, was released by New Amsterdam Records in Fall 2018 and nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award. In addition to her work with Aizuri, Karen performs with Silkroad, the organization founded by Yo-Yo Ma to create music that engages difference. Born and raised in Toronto, Karen was a prizewinner at the 2012 Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank Competition.
MASUMI PER ROSTAD, Associate Professor of Viola, Eastman School of Music
The Grammy Award-winning violist Masumi Per Rostad has received praise for his rich and expressive tone, energy, and commanding presence, and has been described by critics as an “electrifying, poetic and sensitive musician.” In addition to performing, Rostad teaches and has contributed to online and print publications. As a member of the Pacifica Quartet, Masumi has performed and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In 2009, the quartet received a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance and was named Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year. Rostad has served on the faculties of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University, and given numerous solo and chamber music master classes.
JESSICA TONG, Assistant Professor of Violin, Fredonia School of Music
Lauded for her "lyrical intensity" (Baltimore Sun) and her "performances to remember" (Woodstock Times), violinist Jessica Tong has garnered international acclaim as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. A recipient of the Canada Council Grant for Professional Musicians, she is also a DAAD Scholar and has also been a top prizewinner at the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, the Toronto Symphony, Canadian Music and Yellow Springs International Chamber Music Competitions. Most recently, she held the post of Artist-in-Residence at the University of Evansville and concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra in Indiana. Her debut album of chamber works by Stephan Krehl with the Larchmere Quartet and clarinetist Wonkak Kim was released in 2016 by Naxos Records to critical acclaim. In 2019, she is taking up a professorship in violin at SUNY Fredonia in Western New York.