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2024 Grand Jury Members

Our grand jury members comprise of internationally acclaimed and highly distinguished concert artists, conductors, professors and pedagogues who are excited to share their expertise and musicianship with participants, as well as offer them support in their musical journey.

Professor Amélie Fradette - Canada / USA

Canadian-American cellist Amelie Fradette was born in Saguenay, Quebec where she studied at le Conservatoire de musique de Chicoutimi. She obtained her bachelor’s of music and master’s of music degrees from le Conservatoire de musique de Montreal with Guy Fouquet. She was honored with le Prix avec Grande Distinction, the conservatory’s most prestigious award. Amelie continued her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Richard Aaron and at Yale University with Aldo Parisot. Since 2001, she has been a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. As a soloist, Amelie has performed with l’Orchestre Symphonique du Saguenay Lac-St-Jean, l’Orchestre de chambre de Montreal, l’Orchestre du Conservatoire de musique de Montreal, Ars Nova chamber orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic orchestra. The Buffalo News praised her as “a spectacularly gifted cellist”. As a recitalist, she played several times for les Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and recorded live recitals for “Espace Musique” the network of Radio-Canada. She received the “Excellence” scholarship from l’Institut des Arts au Saguenay and was the 1st prizewinner at le Concours de Musique du Royaume. Amelie has participated in numerous festivals, including le Domaine Forget, Festival de musique de chambre de Montreal, le Centre d’Arts Orford, Sarasota Music Festival and the Banff Centre for the Arts. She attended Music Academy of the West on full scholarship and was awarded a fellowship to study at the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado. A sought-after chamber music player, Amelie regularly performs with the Buffalo Chamber Players, Trio con Fuoco and also in a cello ensemble with other members of the BPO. Amelie often plays concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony orchestra during the summer months.

Amelie Fradette

​Dr.  Julie-Anne Derome - Canada
(Violinist & Founder Violinist from Fibonacci Trio)

Julie-Anne Derome started playing the violin at the age of three. She has studied with Taras Gabora and Sonia Jelinkova at the Montreal Conservatoire, Christopher Rowland at the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK and Mitchell Stern at the Hartt School in the USA.

Awards & Recognition

  • Virginia Parker Prize 2003

  • Loan of a Pressenda violin from the Canada Council for the Arts instrument bank from 2003–2006

  • Loan of a Rocca violin from the Canada Council for the Arts instrument bank from 2000–2003

  • Loan of an Amati violin from the Royal Northern College of Music from 1992–1995

  • Prix opus in 2001 with Trio Fibonacci (shining abroad )

  • Mendelssohn Trust Award, UK, in 1995

  • Special prize for "Anthèmes" by Pierre Boulez at the Yehudi Menuhin competition, Paris, France in 1991

Julie-Anne Derome prioritizes a scintillating technique, a rigorous bow and original poetic colours. She gave the world première of the revised version of the Berg Violin Concerto with the symphony orchestra of the RNCM in 1992, which triggered her passion for 20th Century Music. She regularly premieres concertos by Canadian composers and solo works with ensembles.

In 1998 Julie-Anne founded the Trio Fibonacci. The group plays music for piano trio of all eras, being particularly recognised for its brilliant performances of contemporary repertoire. The group has played on all continents with the exception of Oceania and premiered over fifty works by Canadian and International composers such as Mauricio Kagel, Enno Poppe, Michael Finnissy, Pascal Dusapin and Jonathan Harvey.

Julie-Anne Derome

Massimilian Valenti (Italy)
Prof. Massimiliano Valenti began his studies at age of 4 and then continued his musical studies at the Musical Institute "V. Bellini" in Catania with Professor Ms Mariapia Tricoli, graduating with top honors. Subsequently furthered his potential in Germany with the masters Paul Buch in Stuttgart, and later on in Monaco with the scholar Gerhard Oppitz . In 2000 he met Maestro Aldo Ciccolini in Paris with whom he begins an in-depth analysis of the French repertoire and finally in Romania with Diana Apan. Other Masters who have also contributed to his development are Oxana Yablonskaja, Marian Mika, Luigi Mostacci , Massimiliano Damerini and Dana Borsan.

At a very young age Valenti won numerous national and international competitions in all parts of Italy. Thus he began a brilliant concert activity which led him to perform in Festivals in main Italian cities. In 2004 debut in Brasov ( Romania ) he was described by the critics : "A talent out of the ordinary, who places himself on the path of the great pianism”. Soon he is invited to perform at the Banatul Philharmonic of Timisoara and Sibiu, European Capital of Culture at that time, at the International Festival " Carl Filtsch " in the State Philharmonic. Progressively he obtains appreciation from the international scene, performing at Festivals in prestigious European and overseas halls including: Berlin, Vienna, London, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Porto, Leon, Detroit, Baltimore, Toronto, Montreal and Seoul. since 2016 he has been a regular guest of the most important theaters of China, while 2019 opens the door to Japan. He is regularly invited to give courses of Advanced Piano in Italy and abroad including : the University of Aveiro Music Conservatory of Oporto (Portugal) , the University of Virginia Tech, Radford and Greenville (USA), the Department of Music in Timisoara (Romania) and the National University of Music in Seoul (Korea).

His programs, span all works for keyboard which comprehends the classical period, romantic and modern with a particular predilection for avant-garde music. Massimiliano Valenti does not follow the score but he dominates it through his reading of the music which grasps the most hidden movements. His personality is expressed through sound refinement and endless colours that are not written on paper but are set alive in the music halls: "It is not enough to follow the score, but you must master it all to render adequately the enthusiasm and the recollections”. He continuously manages to astonish and amaze his audience, who cannot but feel immediately overwhelmed by his stage presence. A presence only great artists are able to produce, the real ones , who transcend from superficial acrobatic techniques or artificial exhibitionists, aiming to the true and profound nature of the music.

Massimiliano Valenti

Professor Warren Cohen - USA 

Warren Cohen has been music director of the MusicaNova Orchestra since its founding in 2003. Under his leadership the orchestra has developed an international reputation for its performances and recordings of new and unjustly neglected music.
In addition to his work with MusicaNova, Warren is artistic director of the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestras. He previously was music director of the Scottsdale Baroque Orchestra, the Fine Arts String Orchestra, and the Southern Arizona Orchestra, where he was appointed music director laureate in 2005.

Warren began his musical career as a pianist and composer. His early positions included a stint as a ballet accompanist for Honolulu City Ballet and as music director of the Kumu Kahua Theatre in Honolulu, where his work in theatre and opera led to his becoming a conductor. Over the past two decades he has conducted more than 1,000 orchestral, operatic, and choral works.
He divides his time between New Jersey and Arizona with his wife, soprano Carolyn Whitaker, and his 18-year-old son Graham, an award winning composer and violist (and frequent presenter on MNO educational outreach visits), now at the Juilliard School in New York.

Warren Cohen

Board of Adjudicators (Members):
Maestro Adam Johnson (USA / CAnada)
Prof. Alan Fraser (Serbia & Canada)
Prof. Aline Kutan (Canada)
Prof. Amelie Fradette (USA)
Prof. Andrea Cardinale (Italy)
Dr. Anna Szpilberg (Professor, Concordia University)
Prof. Ankhbayar Bayarsaikhan (Mongolia)
Prof.  Avguste Antonov (USA)
Prof. Chaerim Kim (USA / South Korea)
Dr. Derek Yaple-Schobert (Canada)
Dr. Gabriel Prynn (Co-director, Fibonacci Trio)
Prof. Izaskun Erdocia Uranga (Spain / currently located in Hong Kong)
Prof. Janette Wolff  (Canada)
Prof Jorge Chaminé (International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation,  Président fondateur du CEM- Centre Européen de Musique)
Prof. Julie-Anne Derome (Canada)
Maestro Maximiliano Valenti (Italy)
Dr. MingMei Yip (USA) 
Prof. Nancy Loo (Hong Kong) 
Prof. Stephen Wong (Prof. of HKAPA, Chinese University (Hong Kong), Baptist University HK)
Prof. Sebastian Di Bin (Italy)
Dr.  Sungho Park (South Korea)
Prof. Suzanne Benoit (France)
Prof. Takahiro Hoshino (Japan)
Prof. Teresa Tang (McGill University, University of Toronto)
Dr.  Tien Feng (China)
Dr. Thomas Green (Chief Examiner of Royal Conservatory of Music) 
Prof. Tom Plaunt (Canada) - Retired Chair of Music department at McGill University
Prof. Victor Khotulev (Russia)
Prof. Warren Cohen (USA)
Prof. Wei He (China)
Dr.  Yeh Wei Ding (China)
Dr. Yoonie Han (South Korea, Hong Kong)
Prof. Yulia Nesterenko (Canada)


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