Imposed Canadian Work

Violin 2023: the Imposed Canadian work – Luna Pearl Woolf

Violin 2023 - All content


The Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) is delighted to announce the imposed Canadian work for the Violin 2023 edition, by Canadian- American composer Luna Pearl Woolf.

”L’inconnu.e bouleversant.e” (loosely translated as “An Astonishing Stranger”) is a new work for solo violin. The twelve competitors who advance following the first round will perform the new work during the semi-final, taking place on April 29 and 30, at 2pm at 7:30 pm each day, at Salle Bourgie. 

At the end of the competition, the jury will award the André-Bachand Prize, accompanied by a $2,500 scholarship offered by Claudette Hould, for the best performance of the imposed Canadian work, “L’inconnu.e bouleversant.e.” 

Luna Pearl Woolf will present her work and her compositional approach during a pre-concert talk, hosted by Kelly Rice and taking place on Saturday, April 29 at 1: 15 pm. Admission to the talk is free.


ABOUT THE imposed Canadian Work

“L’inconnu.e bouleversant.e” is inspired by Woolf’s earlier work “Mélange à trois”, composed for violin, cello, and percussion, which was first presented at a composer-portrait evening at Salle Bourgie in 2016. In the original trio, the violin represents an enticing stranger, encountered at a moment of crisis in the relationship of a couple, embodied by the cello and percussion. 

“The music of L’inconnu.e bouleversante” touches on the enticing stranger’s entrance, the conflict between the rivals, and ultimately the love that develops between them,” says Woolf. “As a solo work, the piece incorporates musical elements from all three characters and emerges as its own statement of flamboyant virtuosity, fiery passion, and intense intimacy.” 

ABOUT Luna pearl Woolf 

Montreal-based composer, producer and dramaturg Luna Pearl Woolf has long used her creative voice to advocate for social and political change. Her work has been praised as “brilliant, wrenching … profoundly moving” (Opera Going Toronto) and for its “psychological nuances and emotional depth” (The New York Times). Woolf’s composer-portrait album on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series, Luna Pearl Woolf: Fire and Flood, was nominated for a 2021 GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Compendium. 

Woolf’s Dora Award-winning opera Jacqueline, based on the life of cellist Jacqueline DuPré and written for Toronto’s Tapestry Opera with librettist Royce Vavrek, was called an “extraordinary piece, one that deserves an unquestioned place in the 21st- century canon” (The Globe and Mail). Additional operas include Better Gods, for Washington National Opera; Opera America’s Discovery Grant winner The Pillar; and The Limit of the Sun, developed with Opera McGill. 

Acclaimed works by Woolf include Angel Heart, for narrator and cello ensemble, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons and featuring Frederica von Stade, released on the PENTATONE label alongside a new German-language edition with author Cornelia Funke narrating. Her Après moi, le déluge, a concerto for cello and choir written in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, has been performed more than a dozen times in eight cities across the US and Canada, including New Orleans and at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2012. In 2016, Salle Bourgie presented a composer-portrait evening featuring her wordless opera Mélange à Trois, as well as a new work, One to One to One, commissioned for the event by Arte Musica. 

Woolf is President and co-founder of the ground-breaking Oxingale Records, and founder of publisher Oxingale Music. An accomplished recording producer, she has produced albums for the Analekta, Atma, and Leaf labels, as well as for Oxingale. As a dramaturg and teacher, she shepherds new opera projects and lectures on the intersection of music and text, working closely with Montreal’s Musique 3 Femmes, as well as the National Theater School of Canada. Upcoming events include performances by Boston’s Radius Ensemble and San Francisco’s West Edge Opera. 

CBC Music recently highlighted Woolf’s Contact, commissioned by Montreal string ensemble Collectif9 for their 2022 album Vagues et Ombres (Alpha Classics), naming the recording CBC’s #1 Classical Album of the year. 

A dual Canadian-American citizen, Woolf was born Western Massachusetts and has made her home in Montreal since 2004. 



The CMIM invited the public to discover a captivating new work for solo violin, L’inconnu.e bouleversant.e (loosely translated as “An Astonishing Stranger”), and its composer, Luna Pearl Woolf. 

Saturday, April 29th, at 1:15 pm, at Bourgie Hall 

Free entrance


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Le CMIM remercie madame Claudette Hould,
partenaire du Prix André-Bachand pour la meilleure interprétation de l’œuvre canadienne imposée

ainsi que le Centre de musique canadienne au Québec pour sa précieuse collaboration.