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Volume 28 Issue 1 | September 20 - November 8, 2022

Our 28th season in print! “And Now, Back to Live Action”; a symphonic-sized listings section, compared to last season; clubs “On the move” ; FuturesStops Festival and Nuit Blanche; “Pianistic high-wire acts”; Season announcements include full-sized choral works like Mendelssohn’s Elijah; “Icons, innovators and renegades” pulling out all the stops.

Our 28th season in print! “And Now, Back to Live Action”; a symphonic-sized listings section, compared to last season; clubs “On the move” ; FuturesStops Festival and Nuit Blanche; “Pianistic high-wire acts”; Season announcements include full-sized choral works like Mendelssohn’s Elijah; “Icons, innovators and renegades” pulling out all the stops.

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He stressed how important clear and accurate notation is when

writing orchestral music due to limited rehearsal time. He firmly

believes that this is the composer’s responsibility and he has learned

to write everything into the parts that will help the orchestra work

things out as fast as possible. An earlier work of Lindberg’s, Arena II,

composed in 1995, is being performed on October 25 by the University

of Toronto’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, a concert that includes

other contemporary work by Finnish composer Sampo Haapamaki

and American composer Mason Bates.

Chin’s longtime champions

Returning to the music of Unsuk Chin, Esprit Orchestra will be

programming SPIRA, her Concerto for orchestra in their October 27

concert. Esprit are longtime champions of Chin’s music, introducing

Toronto audiences to her compositional language that is steeped in

strong gestures, clear musical ideas, shimmering colours and a range

of cultural perspectives. The earliest Esprit performance of a work by

Unsuk Chin that we could locate was February 6, 2009 when Esprit

played her Double Concerto for piano and percussion in a program

titled Breathless. SPIRA, composed in 2019 and premiered by the Los

Angeles Philharmonic, is inspired by the mathematical “spira mirabilis”

or growth spiral seen in various natural forms such as a snail

shell. True to the image, the music begins with the sounds of two

bowed vibraphones that unleash a series of overtones picked up by the

other instruments in an unfurling of explosive and shimmering detail,

resulting in textures of both robust energy and quiet stillness.

Upcoming concerts by the U of T Wind Ensemble and Wind

Symphony, October 14 and 15 respectively, are also signs of healthy

change: very few of the 12 composers listed were familiar to me.

Digging deeper, I discovered a wide range of new voices, ranging from

Waterloo-based Cait Nishimura, a prominent voice in the concert band

community, to composers from Australia, the USA, Russia, Belgium

and Spain. Can we more confidently say that contemporary music is

establishing a more natural place in the life of concert music?

QUICK PICKS

SEP 24, 3&8PM: Confluence

Concerts. Music Gallery.

Although occurring early

in this cycle, this concert

combining the rich and diverse

voices of Marion Newman,

Patricia O’Callaghan and Suba

Sankaran promises to raise the

roof. They will be performing

various works, including

the world premiere of The

Drawing Room by Ian Cusson

and André Alexis. Cusson, of

Métis and French extraction,

is well known for his operatic

works, having recently

Ian Cusson

been composer-in-residence

for the Canadian Opera Company from 2019 to 2021. After the

successful premiere of Fantasma, his opera for young people, in

March 2022, this new work created with Trinidad-born Canadian

author André Alexis for the voices of Newman, O’Callaghan and

Sankaran promises to be a rich sonic adventure.

OCT 22, 7&9:30PM: Soundstreams. Surface Tension. Universal

Music. This concert presents six world premieres for percussion

composed by participants in Soundstreams’ emerging composer

program who will be mentored by Irish composer Donnacha

Dennehy in the week leading up to the concert. Dennehy’s work,

Surface Tension for percussion ensemble, will be performed

in the second half of the concert. The piece was inspired by the

percussion instruments at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of

Art and the techniques used to play the bodhrán, the traditional

Irish frame drum. TorQ Percussion Quartet will perform all the

works on the program.

OCT 22, 8PM: Sinfonia Toronto. Dvořák & Doubles. George

Weston Recital Hall. Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico will

perform two concertos for piano, violin and string orchestra –

Alice Ping Yee Ho’s Capriccio Ballo and Arabesque by Christos

Hatzis. In recent news, Petrowska received a large grant from

the Canada Council to have composer Frank Horvat create a

solo piano suite, More Rivers, for her to record and tour, and for

further projects relating to music and the environment. Horvat’s

intensely emotional music explores a range of themes including

social justice issues and concern for the environment.

OCT 23, 8PM: Against the Grain Theatre. Identity: A Song Cycle.

ONLINE, streaming October 23–April 23. This streamed film will

showcase the song cycle created by composer Dinuk Wijeratne

and poet Shauntay Grant in its

current state of development.

The work is based on a moving

social media post written in

early June 2020 by baritone

Elliot Madore about his struggles

with how to express his

identity as a biracial person.

Madore, who will perform in

the work, has expressed how

his personal struggles are a

common theme in society that

hasn’t been fully explored. The

film will feature five newly

composed songs woven together

with stories from Elliot’s life.

Elliot Madore

JOHN ARANO

CYRILL MATTER

Wendalyn Bartley is a Toronto-based composer and

electro-vocal sound artist. sounddreaming!@gmail.com.

22 | September 20 - November 8, 2022 thewholenote.com

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2022-09-18 8:10:15 PM

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