The Geringas Scholarship
The Geringas Memorial Scholarship supports the education of gifted and committed young classical musicians in the Greater Toronto area, aged 12-17. The scholarship is awarded in partnership with Off Centre Music Salon, and allows recipients to study with the teacher of their choice, at any musical institution. It consists of a cash award of $4000, and the opportunity to perform at a concert produced by Off Centre Music Salon. The competition will alternate annually between piano and strings, starting with piano in 2018.
Although this is not a purely needs-based award, preference will be given to applicants for whom the prize would make a substantial financial difference.
The scholarship is named after musicians and teachers Marina and Yaakov Geringas, recognizing their contribution to music education.
Marina and Yaakov came to Canada from the Soviet Union in 1975, and quickly became mainstays in the classical music community in Toronto.
Yaakov played violin in the Toronto Symphony, and taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music, where he directed the Junior Orchestra. Although he died in 1990, his book Shifting: Thirty Progressive Studies for Violinists is still popular among teachers and students today.
Marina, a pianist, soon developed a reputation as one of Canada’s top music teachers. Her students at the Royal Conservatory went on to study at Juilliard, the Curtis Institute, Yale, and other top institutions, and to international careers as performers and teachers. Her piano pedagogy course at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, as well as her teaching workshops, influenced literally hundreds of teachers. She died in the summer of 2016.
Marina and Yaakov's goal was not to produce professional classical musicians. It was to promote the love of music and the pursuit of excellence – qualities that could be transferred to any field of study or career. Among their graduates there are probably as many doctors as professional musicians, as well as teachers, lawyers, diplomats, etc.
The scholarship is awarded with their ideals in mind. It is an unusual award in that it's independent: it's not tied to any specific school, but is awarded to a promising young musician to use at any music school in the GTA. We recognize that a high-quality music education can be a financial hardship for families, and we want to make it at least a little bit easier.
Marina Geringas, 1939-2016 Yaakov Geringas, 1938-1990