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Shoshana Wasser

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Russell Braun receives Oskar Morawetz Award

February 14, 2020

Operatic baritone Russell Braun is the recipient of the Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance. He will receive the award on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, following that evening’s performance of the Canadian Opera Company’s Hansel & Gretel, in which he is performing the role of Peter.

About Russell Braun

Russell Braun
  • Russell Braun is renowned for his luminous voice, described in the Toronto Star as “capable of the most powerful explosions as well as the gentlest covered notes.”
  • He has performed at many of the world’s greatest venues and festivals, including The Metropolitan Opera in New York, l’Opéra national de Paris, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, La Scala in Milan, and the Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals.
  • Russell also has a significant presence in the Canadian opera community. Among his recent highlights was playing the title role of the Canadian Opera Company’s new production of Louis Riel as part of the celebrations surrounding the country’s 150th anniversary.
  • His discography features the GRAMMY Award–nominated Das Lied von der Erde (Dorian), JUNO Award winners Mozart: Arie e Duetti (CBC) and Apollo e Daphne (Dorian), and JUNO Award nominee Winterreise (CBC).


“Russell’s powerful voice and strong stage presence have made him a highly sought-after artist by the world’s major opera companies,” stated the jurors, who were unanimous in their selection. “Along with his stellar international reputation, he also makes it a point to maintain his commitment and connection to Canadian music and composers – including Oskar Morawetz.”

“It fills me with a great sense of honour to receive the Oskar Morawetz Award. I am humbled to be in the company of other esteemed Canadian artists who have received this prize,” said laureate Russell Braun. “I had the great privilege to meet Oskar Morawetz, and I saw how, through his keen sense of storytelling, he was able to express Canada’s place in history in a way that was informed by his own personal experience, empathy and sense of humour. Thank you to the award jurors, the Morawetz family and to all brave composers who express their voice and entrust artists to speak eternally for them.”

About the Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance

  • Established in 2007, the award honours the legacy of Oskar Morawetz – one of Canada's leading composers of contemporary music, whose career spanned more than 50 years. Learn more about Dr. Morawetz.
  • It is presented biennially to an outstanding Canadian performer, in the field of classical music, recognizing talent and commitment to Canadian music.
  • Previous winners are conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin (2017) and Bramwell Tovey (2015); mezzo-soprano Judith Forst (2013), cellist Shauna Rolston (2011); and flutist Robert Cram (2009).
  • The Ontario Arts Council administers the jury process for the Oskar Morawetz Award. This year’s jury consisted of Ramona Luengen (Burnaby, B.C.), Glen Carruthers (Waterloo, ON) and Shimon Walt (Halifax, N.S.).