The Marta Hidy Prize
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.
Marta Hidy Biography
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 2020 Marta Hidy Prize for Cello
The 2020 Orchestra Toronto Concerto Competition will be for cello. Orchestra Toronto will begin accepting applications in October, 2019.