Orchestra conductor Karl Hirzer won the 2022 Heinz Unger Award

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dated: 2022-11-25 05:19:20 .

Most recently, Karl Hirzer was a music student at NWSS. Now his career is on the rise.

The native classical music talent from New Westminster is recognized as Canada’s most promising rising conductor.

Karl Hirzer, a 2007 graduate of New Westminster High School, was just named the winner of the Heinz Unger Award. The $8,000 award, which is privately funded and administered by the Ontario Arts Council, is awarded every two years to an individual deemed to be “the most promising emerging conductor,” according to an Ontario Arts Council press release.

Hirzer is Associate Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He will receive the award at the orchestra’s concert on Saturday, November 26, where he will conduct a program that includes Stravinsky Phoenix and other works inspired by dance.

He recently made headlines when he returned to New Westminster to conduct the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 traditional Christmas concert at the Massey Theatre, his old NWSS venue.

During his musical career, Hirzer also served as assistant conductor for the National Academy Orchestra of Canada and the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. He worked with the Giovanile Italiana Orchestra of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and the Gstaad Festival Orchestra.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he combined his passion for film and learning by creating a video series, An orchestral adventure, which introduces children to classical music and orchestral instruments. It has since been broadcast by PBS in the United States and Canada and has more than 100,000 views on YouTube.

A trained pianist with a Masters in Performance from McGill University, Hirzer also composes his own music. His first album of original material is scheduled to be released in spring 2023.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemacellan.
Email Julie, [email protected]

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Orchestra conductor Karl Hirzer won the 2022 Heinz Unger Award

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