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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
December 5, 2016
Canadian Excellence



Faculty of Music

Grad, former voice instructor Daniel Cabena awarded Canada Council Prize

Jun 8/12

The 2012 Virginia Parker Prize has been awarded to rising classical singer Daniel Cabena. The Canada Council for the Arts announced that the countertenor is the recipient of the $25,000 prize, established in 1982 by music lover Virginia Parker and funded by an annual donation from the Virginia Parker Foundation. The award is for Canadian classical musicians under the age of 32 who demonstrate outstanding talent and musicianship.

“Daniel Cabena is part of a new generation of artists helping to put Canada on the world stage,” said Robert Sirman, Canada Council Director and CEO. “The Canada Council’s Virginia Parker Prize recognizes Daniel’s achievements as a singer of great expressive power and will help to assure the brilliant career that lies ahead.”

Daniel Cabena was selected by a Canada Council peer assessment committee composed of Valdine Anderson, Jacques Boucher and Daniel Gress. The peer assessment committee members made the following comments: “The voice of Daniel Cabena is pure and he devotes considerable energy to detail. His singing is relaxed and natural. He has impeccable style and the intelligence of his musical thought is apparent, as is his musical curiosity. The artist’s desire to enrich the repertoire for countertenors is commendable.”

Daniel Cabena will use the funds from the Virginia Parker Prize towards two goals: the continuation of his interpretive work into a wider repertoire and the continued exploration of his professional possibilities in Canada and Europe.

Cabena taught voice at Laurier from 2008 to 2010 . A native of Waterloo, he grew up in a deeply musical family, his father a composer, organist and professor emeritus at Laurier where Cabena earned his first music degree (Honours bachelor in music) in 2004. He also holds a doctorate in music from l’Université de Montréal.

Cabena has participated in numerous workshops and academies, including the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, l’Académie Internationale de Musique de Comminges, l’Académie Baroque Européenne d’Ambronay, and the Briten Pears Young Artist Programme, for which he was assisted by the Canadian Aldeburgh Foundation. Cabena has also taken part in broadcasts for CBC/Radio-Canada, National Public Radio in the United States, Schweizer Radio in Switzerland, and for France Musique in France. He has collaborated with many Canadian ensembles, and he was awarded the 2010 Bernard Diamant Prize by the Canada Council for the Arts. 

Cabena is currently studying at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland, under the tutelage of German tenor Gerd Türk, with the help of the Canada Council for the Arts Grants to Professional Musicians program. His engagements this season include appearances with Le Parlement de Musique, Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu of Lyon, Berlin Baroque, Le Concert Spirituel, l’Ensemble Gilles Binchois, Musica Fiorita and La Cetra of Basel, and the Ensemble Weser Renaissance of Bremen.

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