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November 23, 2000 Oscar Peterson delivers



Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson, when attending ceremonies in his honour in 1999.

Photo: Shaun Perry


David Jolin

At left, scholarship winner David Jolin.

Photo: Neil Schwartzman


Peterson Concert Hall

This is the interior of the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, not the photo we published in CTR's December 7 issue. Our apologies for the error.

Photo: Gheri Celin

Delayed donation received, jazz scholarship awarded

by John Jordan

Concordia University’s Department of Music has finally received a gift from jazz pianist Oscar Peterson that was lost by the courier service.

The $40,000, 24-track Otari Radar digital recorder was a generous donation from Peterson for the use of students, and was much anticipated. It was sent from Peterson’s home in Mississauga on October 2, but got lost in transit while being shipped by Federal Express.

Peterson quickly took it upon himself to remedy the situation when, after several conversations with FedEx, it became apparent that the equipment was most likely lost for good.

“It’s not just a lost package, it’s a personal embarrassment and an inconvenience to me,” he told the Montreal Gazette October 21. “I’m going to take care of this one way or the other.”

Peterson contacted his own insurance company to replace the recorder and further pursue the matter with the couriers.

The Otari Radar will share its new residence in the concert hall recording studio alongside another donation from Canada’s living legend of jazz.

Shortly after the inauguration of the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall in October 1999, Peterson donated a Tascam TMD-8000 digital audio mixing console to the Department of Music. Both the console and the recorder had been part of Peterson’s home recording studio. They will be used by Music students to produce high-quality digital recordings of their performances in the hall.

One student in particular was a beneficiary of Peterson’s generosity to Concordia. On December 12, the Faculty of Fine Arts presented the first Dr. Oscar Peterson Jazz Scholarship to David Jolin, a saxophonist and second-year Music student.

The $2,000 award, which was established in honour of Peterson’s 75th birthday by Verve Music Group Canada, was presented during a Jazz Improvisation I concert directed by Professor Rémi Bolduc. The scholarship will continue to be awarded annually to a student of the Jazz Performance program whose commitment and spirit towards music reflect the values exemplified by Dr. Peterson.

2000 was a busy year for the active performer and composer, who celebrated his 75th birthday in August.

He unveiled his Trail of Dreams Suite, a celebration of the Trans-Canada Trail, in an April concert in Toronto featuring his quartet and a chamber orchestra.

The National Library of Canada in Ottawa opened its exhibit Oscar Peterson: A Jazz Sensation on Canada Day; it will be on display until September 2001.

Also in July, Dr. Peterson became the first Canadian to be the recipient of the International Music Council UNESCO Prize, an award acknowledging a musician who has contributed to the development and enrichment of music and has served peace and understanding around the world.

John Jordan is in charge of promotions for the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, on Concordia’s west-end campus. For listings of events at the Concert Hall, please consult the Back Page.