Thank you to all those who have applied to the 2017 competition — applicant videos can be viewed here. Good luck to all!

In 2011, Orchestra Toronto established the Orchestra Toronto Concerto Competition in memory of Marta Hidy, one of Canada’s foremost violinists. The competition is an annual event for Canadian virtuosos aged 23 and younger that focuses on a different instrument every year. It offers a scholarship of $1,000 and an opportunity to perform as a soloist with Orchestra Toronto at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. The 2011 prize was for violin, 2012 prize for cello, 2013 prize was for piano, 2014 was for brass, 2015 prize was for woodwind, 2016 prize for percussion and the 2017 prize will be for low strings (Double Bass, Cello and Viola). The prize was established to honour Marta Hidy’s legacy as a solo artist, orchestral and chamber musician, conductor, teacher and music professor. Marta Hidy’s passion for music and for young talent influenced the lives of generations of musicians and the Orchestra Toronto Concerto Competition’s mission is to continue that influence. Supported by the Hidy Fund, the competition aims primarily to showcase talented young Canadians and help them make the transition to professional life.

The 2017 competition will be for low Strings — Double Bass, Cello and Viola.  Please download the following PDFs:

Marta Hidy Biographymarty-hidy-768x1024
Marta Hidy studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Hungary, where, in 1943, she won the Reményi Competition as the academy’s eminent violin student. She subsequently played in the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, led a prize-winning string quartet in the 1950 Prague International Chamber Music Competition, was a winner in the 1952 International Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poland, and was a Hungarian State Soloist from 1953 to ’57, during which time she appeared with orchestras in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania.

Marta Hidy immigrated to Canada with her musician husband, Antal Dvorák, and her two children in 1957. Her son, John, has been a member of Orchestra Toronto since 1984.

The family settled in Winnipeg and she established the Hidy String Quartet, served as concertmaster of the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra, as associate concertmaster of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and as a member of the Hidy Trio. She left Winnipeg for Hamilton, Ontario, in 1965 to become one of the founding professors of the Faculty of Music at McMaster University, where she taught violin, chamber music, conducting, Kodály Method and several other courses. During this period she also served as concertmaster and assistant conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra until 1974. She also served from 1967 to ’77 as artistic director of the Philharmonic Children’s School in Hamilton.

Despite a busy regimen of teaching, orchestral playing, chamber music performance and conducting, Marta Hidy maintained a significant solo career, giving many recitals in public and for CBC radio and television. Following her retirement from McMaster University in 1992, she was named Professor Emeritus. In partnership with the university, in 1993 Marta Hidy started a chamber music series featuring Trio Canada as a core group. The series continued as Marta Hidy and Friends, performing a large variety of chamber works. The last concert of the series was on March 30, 2003, at which time Marta Hidy retired from the concert stage.  For more than 25 years, Marta Hidy was a regular audience member at Orchestra Toronto concerts, attending to support and enjoy the music made by her son, John, her grandson Matthew and the many musicians in the orchestra who had been her students over her long teaching career.  Marta Hidy died in Hamilton on November 4, 2010.

The Required Application & Audition Process
An application form must be downloaded above, filled in and submitted by February 1st, 2017. $35 registration fee must be made out by cheque to Orchestra Toronto and mailed, along with a printed copy of the application form, to Concerto Competition, Orchestra Toronto, 5040 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M2N 6R8. It must be postmarked by February 1st, 2017. After receiving the application and fee, Orchestra Toronto will e-mail competitors specific instructions on how to upload an audition video.

The video audition
Applicants must upload an audition video of themselves playing three pieces. Two of the pieces must be of contrasting tempi and style and showcase the flexibility and agility as well as expressiveness of the applicant.  The third piece must be a movement from a concerto.  The maximum length of the video is fifteen minutes.  The video must begin with the competitor identifying himself or herself and giving the names of the pieces to be played and their composers.  By participating and uploading an audition video, competitors are giving their consent to have their videos viewed by the competition judges and to have their videos publicly available through the Orchestra Toronto website and Facebook pages.
Members of the concerto competition jury will be looking for artistry, musicianship, technical skills and stage presence. The deadline for uploading the audition video is February 17th, 2017.

The live competition
The live final competition will take place on Sunday, March 19th, 2017, in the Upper Gallery at The Toronto Centre for the Arts.  Those selected for it must be available on this date.  Up to six finalists will be asked to perform the entire concerto that they wish to perform with Orchestra Toronto. (Candidates will be notified well in advance as to whether their choice of concerto has been approved.)  Finalists must bring their own piano accompanist.  The audition will be open to the public.

The judges
The winner of the Orchestra Toronto Concerto Competition will be decided by a six member panel of judges. They are:
Kevin Mallon, the Music Director of Orchestra Toronto
John Dvorak, Orchestra Toronto cellist and son of Marta Hidy
Elizabeth Morris, Orchestra Toronto Principal Viola
John Weiner, Orchestra Toronto Principal Double Bass
Winona Zelenka, Assistant Principal Cello, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Paul Rogers, Double Bass, Toronto Symphony Orchestra

 Rules and regulations

  1. Eligibility
    The 2017 Competition is open to low strings players (double bass, cello and viola): Canadian citizens and permanent residents, Proof of citizenship or permanent resident status might be required.  Candidates must be aged 23 or younger on March 19th, 2017. Proof of age may be required.
    A parent or legal guardian of a candidate who is under the legal age of majority (18) must ensure that the competitor will comply with these rules and warrant that the competitor is capable of agreeing to these rules and giving the necessary consents.  The parent or legal guardian of the competitor must agree to indemnify Orchestra Toronto for and against: (a) any claims made by the competitor, his or her legal guardian, or any member of his or her family against Orchestra Toronto in connection with the competition; and (b) any losses (including any liability) caused by any conduct of the candidate that is inconsistent with these rules.
  2. Registration Fee & Application Form
    Applicants must pay a $35 CAD registration fee in the form of a cheque
    made payable to Orchestra Toronto.
    The cheque and a copy of the application form must be mailed to:
         Concerto Competition
         Orchestra Toronto
         5040 Yonge Street
         Toronto, Ontario  M2N 6R8

  3. Registration
    The registration form is available for download above.
  1. Deadline
    The completed registration form must be submitted online, and the $35 registration fee must be postmarked no later than February 1st, 2017.
    Registration forms received after this date will not be accepted.
  2. Video Audition & Finals Repertoire guidelines
    Each candidate must upload an audition video playing three pieces. Two of the pieces must be of contrasting tempi and style and showcase the flexibility and agility as well as expressiveness of the applicant.  The third piece must be a movement from a concerto.  The video must be no longer than fifteen minutes in length.
    For the Finals Live Competition, candidates will play the concerto they wish to perform with Orchestra Toronto. (Candidates will be notified well in advance as to whether their choice of concerto has been approved.)
    Adjudicators may ask the competitors to stop and start during this part of the competition. Finalists must provide their own piano accompanist.Creative criteria
    Candidates will be evaluated based on:
  • Artistry
  • Musicianship
  • Flexibility
  • Technical skills
  • Finalists will also be evaluated on stage presence.
  1. Personal data & Consent
    The initial round of this competition is held online through the use of YouTube. Personal information collected from competitors will be used in accordance with the YouTube Privacy Policy, it is available at and in addition as otherwise set out in these rules for the purpose of administering this competition. Each competitor expressly agrees to the use of his or her personal information for such purposes.
    The following information will be collected from each competitor for the purpose of administering the competition: YouTube Username, Video ID, and date/time of entry. Orchestra Toronto will not sell, share or otherwise disclose information collected in any manner with third parties, other than those parties necessary to fulfill the above purposes, unless the competitor has given his or her prior express consent to receive additional information from a third party.
  2. Competition Dates & Deadlines
    There are two rounds in the competition:
    1.  Video Auditions, which must be uploaded by February 17th, 2017.
    2.   A live finals competition for up to six selected finalists will perform on
    March 19th, 2017.

    Other Deadlines:
    1.  February 1st, 2017: Deadline for mailing the application form and $30 registration fee.
    2.  February 24th, 2017:     Finalist candidates are selected and told of their status.
  3. Punctuality
    Candidates must be present at least fifteen minutes before the time set for the Finals Live Competition
  4. Results
    Candidates will be evaluated by six adjudicators. Based on the applications and video audition uploads submitted by February 17th, 2017, the finalists for the Finals Live Competition on March 20th, 2016, will be announced by February 24th, 2017. The winner will be announced live at the end of the Final Competition and published on the Orchestra Toronto website. The results will also be sent by e-mail to all finalists following the Finals Live Audition.  Should no candidate meet the standards of the judges, Orchestra Toronto reserves the right not to award the prize.
  5. Expenses
    All travel and lodging expenses, as well as accompanists’ fees, are the candidates’ responsibility.
  6. Cancellation
    Should it become necessary for a candidate to cancel, the candidate must notify Orchestra Toronto.   Alternate dates for the Live Competition cannot be accommodated.
  7. Disqualification
    Candidates who do not comply with these rules will be disqualified.
    Candidates who provide false information in the application will be disqualified.
  8. Other Contingencies
    Any situation not covered by these rules shall be referred to the Orchestra Toronto Board of Directors, whose decision on such matters shall be final.