Compulsory Work

Compulsory Canadian Work

Twenty-four Preludes

All competitors taking part in the 2021 Piano edition must prepare to perform three of Canadian composer John Burge’s Twenty-four Preludes as part of the final round.

These three pieces have been selected from John Burge’s work entitled Twenty-four Preludes, inspired by Chopin’s Opus 28, as well as Debussy’s two books of Preludes.

  • The first piece, “Allegro energico” produces an effect of continuous movement with its incessant 16th-note passages.
  • The second prelude selected from the work (“Spring Thaw”), a tribute to Canadian poet Margaret Avison, gives rise to contrasting melodies and colours.
  • In the final prelude (“Off-beat Waltz”), John Burge overlays several rhythmic and lyrical layers to create a waltz, as its name implies, that calls to mind the musical motifs of the preceding preludes.


John Burge

Juno Award winning Canadian composer John Burge has earned an enviable reputation for the originality and versatility of his musical language. John Burge is also a pianist, regularly appearing as a soloist or with various ensembles. Since 1987, he has also been a professor of composition and musical theory at Queen’s University.

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The $2,000 André Bachand Award will be presented to the competitor giving the best performance of the compulsory Canadian work. The CMIM thanks Ms. Claudette Hould for her generosity, allowing the CMIM to offer the award.



John Burge website


• Canadian Music Centre Shop – John Burge: Score and recordings for sale

• Canadian Music Centre Music Library – John Burge Composer Showcase