Viggo Mortensen to Chair the
Twelfth Glenn Gould Prize Jury

An Extraordinary Global Panel Convenes in Toronto April 11-13
to Choose Next Glenn Gould Prize Laureate

The Glenn Gould Foundation is honoured to announce the members of the Twelfth Glenn Gould Prize Jury, convening April 11 - April 13, 2018 in Toronto to select the next Prize Laureate.

Viggo Mortensen, acclaimed actor, writer, poet, musician, painter, photographer and publisher will chair.

The Glenn Gould Foundation has assembled a diverse panel of outstanding artists and world citizens who bring a broad and multi-disciplinary range of perspectives to their deliberations.  The Foundation believes that the combined wisdom and experience of these remarkable jurors will ensure that the tradition of The Glenn Gould Prize is not only honoured, but also extended.

The Foundation thanks those members of the public who took the time to submit nominations.  Your hard work will be reviewed by our Jurors and will receive their careful consideration.

The jury will engage in a lively, thoughtful and intellectually rigorous process to weigh the exceptional and diverse achievements of the nominees.


JOIN US - on Friday April 13 at the Leslie and Anna Dan Galleria at Koerner Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music at 12:30 p.m. for a public press conference in which the jury will announce their selection for the Laureate of The Glenn Gould Prize (free admission).
A celebratory concert in honour of the jury will take place April 13 at 8:00 p.m., Koerner Hall, details to be announced.

 The 12th Glenn Gould Prize Jury:

The Jurors

  • Viggo Mortensen (Denmark/USA) - actor, poet, painter, photographer, musician, publisher
  • François Girard (Canada) - award-winning film and opera director (32 Short Films About Glenn Gould)
  • Ute Lemper (Germany) - singer and actress, the premier cabaret artist of our time
  • The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, PC (Canada), former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, novelist
  • Foday Musa Suso - (Gambia/USA) - musician, composer, kora virtuoso
  • Naeemeh Naeemaei (Iran) - painter and conservationist
  • Sondra Radvanovsky (Canada / USA) - internationally acclaimed operatic soprano
  • Howard Shore, OC (Canada) - Academy Award-winning composer of over 80 film scores and concert works
  • Kat Von D (Mexico/USA) - celebrated tattoo artist, television personality, musician, makeup entrepreneur and style icon
  • Professor Ye Xiaogang (China) - internationally renowned composer, Vice President of the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music

Meet the Jurors

Click here for the press releases:

Viggo Mortensen - Jury Chair

Viggo Mortensen - Jury Chair, born in New York City in 1958 and a citizen of the USA and Denmark, has been a professional actor for nearly four decades. He has had the good fortune to work with many internationally renowned directors, including three times with David Cronenberg, and has been recognised by various film academies and critics’ organisations for his work. Apart from acting in movies and plays, he is also a poet, photographer, musician, and painter. He founded and is the editor of Perceval Press, an independent company that has offered a wide range of publications - including poetry, photography, painting, music, and critical writing - since 2002. This year he plans to make his debut as a writer/director with an adaptation of Mari Sandoz’ The Horsecatcher.

Francois Girard

FRANÇOIS GIRARD gained notoriety as much for his filmmaking as for his staging of operas and theatre plays.

In 1993, his feature film THIRTY TWO SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD would go on to garner international success. Five years later he directed THE RED VIOLIN, featuring Samuel L. Jackson, which received an Academy Award for best original score and enshrined Girard as an important player on the international movie scene. SILK, which he later directed, was adapted from Alessandro Baricco’s best-selling book, and was released worldwide in 2007. BOYCHOIR, featuring Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates and Eddie Izzard among others was released in 2015. HOCHELAGA, LAND OF SOULS, his most recent feature film was selected to represent Canada  in the shortlist of the Oscar 2018 in the category « Best Foreign Language Film ».

In 1997, François Girard made his opera directorial debut with OEDIPUS REX / SYMPHONY OF PSALMS by Stravinsky and Cocteau and later directed Wagner’s SIEGFRIED at the Canadian Opera Company, Weill/Brecht’s SEVEN DEADLY SINS / LINDBERGFLUGH and Saariaho/Maalouf’s EMILIE. His most recent opera work, PARSIFAL, earned him and the Metropolitan Opera Company a remarkable critical success.

For the stage, Girard also directed Alessandro Barrico’s NOVECENTO, Franz Kafka’s TRIAL, Yasushih Inoue’s HUNTING GUN and Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT. In recent years, Cirque du Soleil’s commissioned Girard to write and direct ZED, their first permanent show in Tokyo; and ZARKANA which opened at Radio City Music Hall, played at the Kremlin Theatre and in Las Vegas.

To date, François Girard’s accomplishments have earned him over one hundred international awards and public acclaim the world over.

Ute Lemper

Ute Lemper’s  career has grown out of a passionate and enduring commitment to art, politics and history, as well as a contentious and complicated relationship with her homeland and its past, and has led to international acclaim as a recording artist and in theatre, cabaret and film worlds, including Velma Kelly in Chicago (London, New York, Las Vegas), Cabaret in Paris; in solo concerts like Kurt Weill Recital and Berlin Cabaret Evening; in symphony concerts, including The Seven Deadly Sins and Songs from Kurt Weill; and in Pina Bausch’s Kurt Weill Revue. Although she is perhaps best known for her interpretations of music of the Weimar Republic era, her edgy aesthetic and repertoire also reach far beyond Germany. She has explored the French chanson of Edith Piaf, Jacques Prévert, Joseph Kosma and Serge Gainsbourg, and Belgian poet Jacques Brel, as well as contemporary alternative rock music - from Tom Waits and Elvis Costello to Nick Cave, as well as Philip Glass, on her Punishing Kiss album - and she has created her own original material which can be heard on numerous albums like But One Day, Between Yesterday and Tomorrow and The Bukowski Project, a rather avant-garde, adventurous collage she created in music and songs of the poetry of Charles Bukowski. She collaborated with Wynton Marsalis on three extraordinary concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center in NY. (Wynton had created fifteen exclusive arrangements for his big band and Ms Lemper, a superb homage to the music of Kurt Weill.) Her newest project is Ultimo Tango, presenting the music of the composer of Nuevo Tango, Astor Piazzolla, and the lyrics of Horacio Ferrer. Her solo concerts reflect these pan-European and international interests, and include Songs from Piaf & Dietrich; Illusions (also material associated with Edith Piaf and  Marlene Dietrich); Songbook, consisting of settings by Michael Nyman of texts by Romanian Holocaust poet Paul Celan; and City of Strangers, with chansons of Prévert side-by-side songs of Sondheim. Ms. Lemper’s extraordinarily supple and expressive voice does not provide her only creative outlet. She has appeared in many international movies. Maurice Béjart created a ballet for her, La Mort Subite, which premiered in Paris in 1990. Her paintings have been shown at the German Consulate in New York, the Goethe Institute in Washington and at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris.

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, PC

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin spent her formative years in Pincher Creek, Alberta and was educated at the University of Alberta, where she received a B.A. (Honours) in Philosophy in 1965. She pursued her studies at the University of Alberta and, in 1968, received both an M.A. in Philosophy and an LL.B. She was called to the Alberta Bar in 1969 and to the British Columbia Bar in 1971 and practised law in Alberta and British Columbia. Commencing in 1974, she taught for seven years in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia as a tenured Associate Professor. Her judicial career began in April 1981 when she was appointed to the Vancouver County Court. In September 1981, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. She was elevated to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in December 1985 and was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in September 1988. Seven months later, in April 1989, she was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. On January 7, 2000, she was appointed Chief Justice of Canada. She is the first woman in Canada to hold this position. In addition to her judicial duties at the Supreme Court, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin has chaired the Canadian Judicial Council, the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada and the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute. She is the author of numerous articles and publications. She retired on December 15, 2017. Her debut mystery novel, Full Disclosure, is set to be published in the spring.

Naeemeh Naeemaei

Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1984, Naeemeh Naeemaei received her BA in art from Tehran Art University in 2006, where her major was sculpture. After graduation she participated in numerous individual and group shows in Tehran, both in sculpture and painting, including the 5th Tehran Contemporary Sculpture Biennial, at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2009, she began a series of paintings about endangered species, which eventually led to her first solo exhibition titled “Dreams Before Extinction” at the Henna Gallery in Tehran in 2011. Reproductions of the twelve paintings in this series later appeared in her book Dreams Before Extinction, a bilingual edition published by the Los Angeles publisher Percival Press in 2013. Painted in a dreamlike, figurative style, these artworks used religious beliefs and customs, as well as folk tales and traditional culture, to give emotional force and broad cultural meaning to the issue of her country’s endangered species. She combined these innovative artistic ideas with hands-on involvement with children’s education in Iran, working to raise awareness in communities in close proximity to endangered species. In addition, she became highly skilled in digital graphics as an illustrator for children’s books like Mr. Samad and the Little Black Fish, a modern classic in contemporary Iranian culture. In 2016, she was the category winner in painting in the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition, sponsored by the David Shepherd Foundation in London. In 2017 she came to Portland, Oregon, where she now resides, to broaden her education in the arts and to continue her career as a painter.

Sondra Radvanovsky

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky is a globally celebrated artist. The depth and exquisite colour of her voice are matched by her dramatic acting ability and versatility across a remarkable range of repertoire. She is widely regarded as one of the premiere Verdi sopranos alive today, as well as one of the premiere interpreters of bel canto.

Ms Radvanovsky opened the season for the Metropolitan Opera with a new production of Norma - which was transmitted in cinemas throughout the world.  Later this season, Ms Radvanovsky returns to some of her beloved Verdi parts, as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera and Leonora in Il trovatore, both at the Paris Opera. At the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, she makes two role debuts: as Paolina in Donizetti’s Poliuto and as Maddalena in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, opposite Jonas Kaufman. Other season highlights includes recitals at Opera Philadelphia and the Grand Théâtre de Québec and Anna Bolena at the Canadian Opera Company.

She has performed in every major opera house in the world, including the Royal Opera House, Teatro alla Scala, Opernhaus Zürich, and numerous others. She trained at the Metropolitan Opera in the late 1990s in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. After performances in smaller roles there, Radvanovsky caught the attention of critics as Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann and was singled out as a soprano to watch.

Her recordings include Verdi Arias and an album of Verdi opera scenes with Dmitri Hvorostovsky. She also stars in a Naxos DVD of Cyrano de Bergerac alongside Plácido Domingo, and in transmissions of Il trovatore, Un ballo in maschera, and Roberto Devereux for the wildly popular “Met: Live in HD” series.

Howard Shore

Composer Howard Shore has won three Academy Awards for The Lord of the Rings as well as four Grammys, three Golden Globes and numerous critic and festival awards for his music. He is an officer of the Order of Canada, an Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la France and the recipient of Canada’s Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. Recently Shore wrote the scores for the film Denial and the Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight. He has scored over 80 films and collaborated with many esteemed directors: David Cronenberg, Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, David Fincher, Jonathan Demme, Tim Burton, Arnaud Desplechin, Sydney Lumet, James Gray, and Barbet Schroeder. La Cinémathèque Française recently presented a retrospective of his scores in Paris. His opera, The Fly (2008) premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and at Los Angeles Opera. Other recent works include the piano concerto Ruin and Memory for Lang Lang (2010), the song cycle A Palace Upon the Ruins featuring mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano (2014), a cello concerto Mythic Gardens featuring Sophie Shao (2012), Fanfare for the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia (2008), Sea to Sea (2017) in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, and The Forest a guitar concerto composed for Miloš to premiere in 2019 for the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The song cycle L’Aube premiered in October 2017 performed by Susan Platts and commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Foday Musa Suso

Foday Musa Suso is an internationally recognized musician and a Mandingo griot from the West African nation of Gambia. Griots are the oral historians and musicians of the Mandingo people, who live in several West African nations. Griots are a living library for the community, providing history, entertainment, and wisdom while playing and singing their songs. The history of empires and kingdoms, tribal conflicts, cultural heroes, and family lineage are all part of a griot’s traditional repertoire. It is an extensive verbal and musical heritage that can only be passed down within a griot family.

Foday is a direct descendent of Jali Madi Wlen Suso, the griot who invented the kora over four centuries ago.  In 1977, he moved to Chicago and became the first kora player to establish himself in the United States. He formed The Mandingo Griot Society, playing a fusion of traditional and jazz now known as “world music.” He has performed as a soloist and with other musicians throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America. Foday has written many original compositions, toured, recorded and collaborated with Herbie Hancock, Bill Laswell, Philip Glass, Jack deJonette, Kronos Quartet and Paul Simon. With Herbie Hancock Foday co-wrote a composition for the Los Angeles Olympics, and with Philip Glass, collaborated on the music for ‘Orion’, a concert work commissioned by the Cultural Oympiad which premiered in Athens Greece preceding the Olympic Games.In addition to his virtuosic kora playing and singing, Foday Musa Suso is very skilled in playing traditional West African drums, as well as many other instruments.

Kat Von D

Artist, Tattooer, Author, Musician, Activist + Founder of Kat Von D Beauty

Kat Von D’s story begins in the rural city of Montemorelos, Mexico where she was born—a heritage she celebrates in her artwork.  She was 6 years old when her family migrated to Southern California in 1988. Kat discovered her passion for drawing and music in early childhood, filling sketchbooks and expressing her world through pencil and paper.  Classically trained in piano from the age of 5, she still plays regularly and counts Beethoven as her greatest inspiration.  She is currently recording her debut album.

Kat started tattooing at the age 14, working throughout Los Angeles.  She opened her own shop in 2007, High Voltage Tattoo in West Hollywood where her clients include celebrities, musicians, and artists.  Kat eventually starred in her own successful TV show, LA Ink.  At High Voltage Tattoo where Kat set the Guinness World Record for doing the most tattoos in 24 hours, donating all proceeds to charity.

In 2008, Kat Von D introduced her extreme-performance makeup collection: Kat Von D Beauty, sold exclusively/internationally through Sephora. With the largest following amongst any beauty brand on social media, Kat shares her vision of inspiring people to freely express themselves through this form of artistry.  She has released three books, each of which has made the NY Times Bestseller List. Kat is a dedicated activist, volunteering and supporting a number of charities dedicated to conservation and ending cruelty to animals.

Ye Xiaogang

Ye Xiaogang is one of China’s leading contemporary composers. He studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in China, and in America at the Eastman School of Music. He has received numerous prizes and awards at home and abroad, including the China Arts Award. He was a fellow of the Metropolitan Life Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2012.

Professor Ye is presently Vice Chairman of China’s Musicians’ Association, Vice President of the Central Conservatory of Music, and Founder and Artistic Director of Beijing Modern Music Festival, the biggest contemporary music festival in the Far East. Ye’s oeuvre comprises symphonic works, chamber music, stage works and film music, and much of his music bears a strong connection to Chinese culture and tradition fused with a personal contemporary language, noteworthy for its love of nature. In The Song of the Earth for soprano and orchestra, premiered in January 2005, Ye uses the original Chinese texts on which Mahler based his symphonic work of the same name. The work has received performances in New York (Avery Fisher Hall), Munich (Philharmonie), Berlin (Konzerthaus), Venice, Rome and Lucerne.  In August 2008, Ye’s piano concerto Starry Sky was premiered during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing by Lang Lang. Accompanied by dance and light shows the live broadcast was watched by 3 billion people worldwide. Ye was the first Chinese composer to sign with the international publishing house, Schott Music. His works have been performed by international orchestras and ensembles including the Munich Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Ensemble Modern.