The Canada Council for the Arts has announced that harpist Caroline Cole is the recipient of the 2014 Virginia Parker Prize.
The cash prize of $25,000 is awarded annually to a Canadian classical musician, instrumentalist or conductor, under the age of 32, who demonstrates outstanding talent and musicianship. Cole joins a list of prominent names who have won the award since it was established in 1982, including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, James Ehnes and Karina Gauvin. Her prize will be officially awarded this fall, when she will become the first harpist to win this prize.
Cole is a Peterborough, Ont., native, now living in New York City. She has a master's degree from the Juilliard School and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto studying with Judy Loman, who praised her former student's excellent aptitude and willingness to work for perfection in an email to CBC Music.
The young harpist received second prize at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Standard Life Competition in both 2007 and 2010, and became the first harpist to win the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award in 2009. Caroline Cole will be performing a solo performance at Northumberland Orchestra & Choir's Christmas concert and tickets are on sale.