Montreal violinist wins $15K Michael Measures Prize

Bénédicte Lauzière of Montreal is the inaugural winner of the Michael Measures Prize, a new $15,000 award to recognize promising young Canadian performers of classical music.
Violinist Bénédicte Lauzière of Montreal has won the first Micheal Measures Prize. (Canada Council)

Bénédicte Lauzière of Montreal is the inaugural winner of the Michael Measures Prize, a new $15,000 award to recognize promising young Canadian performers of classical music.

The 21-year-old violinist will be presented with her award Friday by the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the co-sponsors of the prize.

The fledgling honour was established last Septemberthrough a $1-million bequest from Michael Measures, an Ottawa classical music lover who died in 2008.

Barbara Smith, executive director of the NYOC, called Lauzière "one of the most promising string players in the country" and said she expects the young violinist to make an impact on the world of classical music.

Lauzière began learning the violin at the age of five and started studying at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with Helmut Lipsky at age 10.

She won the first prize in her age category at the Canadian Music Competition from 2006 to 2008. Also in 2008, she played Prokofiev's First Concerto as a soloist with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra.

She is currently studying at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal.

Lauzière has participated in master classes with top violinists, including  Salvatore Accardo, Martin Beaver, Pinchas Zukerman, Alexandre Da Costa, Régis Pasquier and Leonidas Kavakos.