Composition Competition News and New Projects on the Horizon

We are officially in the fall hear in Ontario Canada, and things are getting busier on the composition end of things!  First of all, I am delighted to announce that I was selected for two composition competitions recently: my work “Glorify!” was the winner of the inaugural Vancouver Bach Choir Composition Competition, and I was also selected as a finalist for the 2019 Lyra Costello Composition Competition at the Curtis Institute.  “Glorify!” will see its Canadian premiere on December 2 at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.

Some exciting new pieces coming up include a new solo harp piece for the Lyra Society, a new piece for the Interro Quartet, a fanfare for the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra celebrating the Faculty of Music’s 100th anniversary and a large orchestral work.  So much to do and not enough time!  Stay tuned for more details…

Ontario Arts Council & Interro String Quartet Commissions new work

I am happy to announce that I have been awarded an Ontario Arts Council Music Creation grant to write a new quartet for the lovely Interro String Quartet!  My colleague and violinist extraordinaire Steve Koh approached me with a new idea for this project (details to be announced) and I am so happy to be starting a new work specifically for these talented performers to be performed sometime in 2019/2020.  Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for supporting this project!

Regent Park School of Music Commissions three works for Voice and Piano

Starting in August, I will be working on a brand new set of art songs for voice and piano, set to brand new poetry by students at the Regent Park School of Music (in Toronto)!  It is a very meaningful project pairing young poets with composers in the community to set their words to music, resulting in three new works which will be published as part of a song book anthology by the Canadian Music Center next year.  Look out for a performance of these art songs in concert for May 2019!

Winner of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award

I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected to receive the prestigious Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award!  I am thankful that the LG Arts Awards Foundation has selected me for this incredible honor, and I am humbled to join 9 other incredible Albertan artists for this year’s celebrations!  Below is a short video that CTV put together to showcase my work:


Alberta’s 2018 Emerging Artists named

Edmonton (June 1, 2018)…The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation today announced awards totaling $100,000 to the 10 recipients of its 2018 Emerging Artist Award.

Foundation Chair Ken Regan says “We are so pleased to be able to invest in advancing the careers of these outstanding young artists who truly will make a difference across Alberta – and Canada.”

  • Ali Bryan, writer, Calgary
  • Emily Marisabel, theatre artist, Claresholm (Edmonton)
  • Brett Dahl, theater artists, Calgary
  • Lizzie Derksen, writer, Edmonton
  • Pamma FitzGerald, visual artist, Calgary
  • Jared Darcy Tailfeathers, multidisciplinary artists, Calgary
  • Jenna K. Rodgers, theatre artist, Calgary
  • Timothy Brennan Steeves, violinist, Strathmore
  • Kelton Stepanowich, filmmaker, Ft. McMurray
  • Roydon Tse, composer, Edmonton (Toronto)

Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta presented the medals and awards at a private ceremony at Government House in Edmonton June 1.

The 10 recipients were selected from 147 applications in a two-tiered adjudication process overseen by The Banff Centre. The adjudication panel included: Mark Bellamy, theatre director;  Mel Kirby, manager, Calgary Opera Emerging Artist Development Program; Jane Ash Poitras, visual artist,  Lieutenant Governor of Alberta 2011 Distinguished Artist; Thomas Trofimuk, novelist, poet. 

Contact: Kathy Classen 780-222-7943

“Dots and Lines” for L’Orchestre De La Francophonie

I am currently writing a new work for the l’Orchestre de la Francophonie and conductor Simon Rivard that will receive a Premiere at the Société des arts technologiques in Montreal on June 18!  This new 5 minute work will be part of a larger concert, featuring music by Linda Bouchard, Simon Bertrand, Gabriel Prokofiev, and three fellow young composers.  Tickets are only $10!  Looking forward to sharing a new orchestral piece with everyone!

Prince George Symphony Orchestra Review – April/May Updates


The Prince George Symphony Orchestra and its new director Michael Hall recently programmed and performed my triptych for chamber orchestra “Three Musings” in their April 14 concert.  The following review came out on the Prince George Citizen regarding the performance:

“The concert opened with a short suite of very accessible, contemporary pieces entitled Three Musings by prodigious Canadian composer Roydon Tse. Even though its first position on the program felt somewhat like a warm-up stretch, I was immediately impressed by the delicacy and elegance with which the orchestra handled Tse’s almost Mozartian orchestral transparency. Already in the first five minutes of the program I had one eyebrow raised. Something sounded and looked different about the PGSO.”

Prince George Symphony Orchestra


In other news, the performance recording of my new choral work, “The Stream” is now available for listening on Soundcloud!  It was recently premiered on April 14 by the Central Bucks West Choir in Toronto’s beautiful Metropolitan United Church, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Ohrt.

And finally, some exciting upcoming performances and premieres of note:

  • National Youth Band of Canada directed by Dr. Wendy McCallum performs “Flow”, for large wind symphony.  May 13, 2018, Montreal.
  • Nicole Li and Corey Hamm of the Piano & Erhu Project takes “Blues n’Grooves” to Europe for the international Classical:NEXT conference.  May 18, 2018, Rotterdam Netherlands.
  • Spectrum Music Collective presents the world premiere of “Remembering Home” for erhu, yangqin, guzheng, performed by TCO members.  June 2, 2018, Toronto.
  • Paris Opera Orchestra members Nicolas Lethuillier and David Lootvoet performs “Memories” for harp and marimba at the Amphitheatre Bastille.  June 15, 2018, Paris France.

Review of “Black Waltz” and Recap of the 2018 Winnipeg Symphony New Music Festival

The 2018 New Music Festival (#wnmf18) ended almost two weeks ago, but the experience of it remains just as fresh.  For more than a week, myself and 6 other emerging composers were welcomed backstage to witness the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra create their renowned annual festival and learnt so much about orchestral music from mentor composers Harry Stafylakis, Samy Moussa, Karen Sunabacka, and Octavio Vazquez.  Only in its 2nd year, the Composers’ Institute offers in my opinion the most comprehensive form of education for aspiring composers anywhere, from masterclasses with mentor composers, private lessons and several panel talks on the business of music, to full access to the new music festival concerts culminating in a live performance of our pieces with the WSO.  Amazing stuff!

Recently, a nice article came out from “I Care if You” about the concert featuring the works of the emerging composers.  Here is what contributor Kevin Balwin wrote about my short piece on the program:

Black Waltz by Roydon Tse displayed intense fragments of gesture exquisitely layered to create a sound world best described as “if Ives went dancing to the waltz,” showing off impeccable control of structure and orchestration.

A big thank you to the team behind the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for their substantial investment in the next generation of composers!

Newly Commissioned Work for SATB Youth Choir

2018 has been a busy year thus far, and I am pleased to announce that my first work for the year is a piece for advanced SATB Youth Choir titled “The Stream“.  The work was commissioned by Dr. Joseph Ohrt for the Central Bucks High School West Choir, whowill perform it (along with a set of commissioned works by Toronto based composer) in Toronto in April.  Using the stream as a starting point, I wrote a text that revolved around environmental issues and set that to music.  Check out the concert if you’re around!