The Art Song Foundation of Canada has grown out of the Canadian Aldeburgh Foundation, which was established in 1975 under the patronage of Sir Peter Pears by Françoise and Marshall Sutton and a group of like-minded friends and donors. It was created to provide travel bursaries for young musicians accepted into the Britten-Pears Young Artists’ Programme in Aldeburgh, England.
In its 40-year history, the Canadian Aldeburgh Foundation provided nearly $390,000 to 340 young Canadian musicians. Several of these bursary recipients have gone on to illustrious international careers on the recital and opera stages of the world. They include:
Renowned instrumentalists supported by the Canadian Aldeburgh Foundation include Ivars Taurins of Tafelmusik, pianists Anne Larlee and Carol Wong, violinist Wendy Rose, and cellists Ofra Harnoy, Shauna Rolston, and Winona Zelenka.
From the beginning, art song was always dearest to the hearts of the founders and donors. In the summer of 2015, this led to the decision to recast the Canadian Aldeburgh Foundation as the Art Song Foundation of Canada and to focus its support on singers and collaborative pianists accepted into any art-song program in the world.