Juno wins for U of T's Sienna Dahlen, Owen Pallett
Three awards, including Album of the Year
Sienna Dahlen graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Music in 2008 and teaches jazz at the University (photo by Nadine Barileau)
Two University of Toronto musicians were named as winners at the Juno Awards in Winnipeg on March 30: faculty member Sienna Dahlen took the award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year; and alumnus violinist and composer Owen Pallett worked on the album Reflektor for indie-rock group, Arcade Fire, which won both Album of the Year and Alternative Album of the year.
"We are very happy and proud to be recognized for our work," said jazz faculty member Dahlen, who won for her performance on Notes on Montreal alongside composer and guitarist Mike Rud. The album renders works of Mordecai Richler, Gabrielle Roy and other Montreal literary figures within a contemporary jazz song cycle. (Watch Dahlen and Rud perform music from the winning album)
"Sienna is a consummate musician with great versatility as a vocalist, composer and educator. We applaud her for her work on Mike Rud’s Notes on Montreal," said Terry Promane, assistant professor and coordinator of the jazz program. "The U of T Jazz Studies Program is proud of our graduates whose creative work continues to be recognized."
Pallett, who graduated from the Faculty of Music's composition stream in 2002, is a long-time collaborator with Arcade Fire and contributed orchestral arrangements and strings to the winning album, Reflektor. He won the 2006 Polaris Prize for his indie-pop songwriting. His work co-scoring the Spike Jonze film, Her, with Arcade Fire member William Butler was also recognized with a nomination for a 2014 Academy Award.
“Owen's innovative cross-over from classical training to indie performance to film composition reflects an important directional trend showing where music studies are taking our creative entrepreneurial graduates,” said Don McLean, dean of the Faculty of Music, upon news of Pallett’s Academy Award nomination.
"Owen was an extraordinary student with a remarkable background," said Gary Kulesha, an award-winning composer and one of Pallett's teachers at U of T. "His interests ranged everywhere. He was talented and focused, and never failed to challenge ideas if he had questions.”
“I am not at all surprised he has done well."
The three Juno wins represented just a few of the many University of Toronto faculty and alumni included in eleven nominations across a broad range of genres.