C ontents 02 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 03 REGIONAL POSTCARDS 05 ONTARIO REGION uPDATE 09 COMPOSER NEWS 13 THE NATIONAL VIEW 14 CANADIAN REPERTOIRE: AN OXYMORON? 17 INFLUENCES OF MANY MUSICS 18 HEAR THE MUSIC 21 INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES 24 milestones and Congratulations 27 IN MEMORIAM 28 NEW TITLES
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GOLDEN MEMORIES: The Canadian Music Centre at 50
From a collection of musical scores housed in one composer’s basement to a national office and five regional centres representing the work of Canadian composers worldwide, the CMC has developed over the past 50 years from the dream of a few dedicated individuals into a foundational force in the Canadian music sector. From its early days, the CMC has grown to hold over 18,000 scores by more than 700 Associate Composers, and continues to acquire some 800 new works per year. CMC Music Services sells and rents thousands of scores every season to performers and ensembles around the globe, and is now branching out to become a more fully-fledged publisher of CMC Associates’ music. The Centrediscs label, unique in its dedication to Canadian composition, continues to grow its 100+ award-winning catalogue by a dozen new releases each year. Improved access to Canadian music, through web download, podcast and the new 8,000 audio track CentreStreams project are just a few examples of CMC’s leadership in digital music management. The combined result is a positive profile of Canadian music that has continued to increase in prominence and recognition the world over. As CMC celebrates its 50th anniversary, the occasion begs us to take a moment to look back on past successes. What is always apparent in reflecting on our achievements is that they are only possible through the inspiration and ingenuity of CMC’s Associate Composers. And so, at the beginning of this golden jubilee year, we invite Associates to share stories of the role that the CMC has played in their lives. John Beckwith
In 1956 or 1957, John Weinzweig and I were asked by the then-new Canadian League of Composers to draw up a report for the then-expected establishment of the Canada Council. Our report envisioned a composer support centre – a library of scores and recordings, plus promotional apparatus – such as we knew existed in other countries. From score submissions by CLC members for our concert programs, we had assembled a small collection (maybe a couple of hundred scores). With the 1959 founding of CMC, this collection, originally stored in my basement, became the nucleus of its holdings. photo: André Leduc The Centre’s first home was the upper floor of a mansion at Avenue Road and St. Clair Ave. West in Toronto, whose main occupant was the music branch of the Toronto Public Library. Symbolizing the then-close relations between composers and CBC, the first four Executive Secretaries were all former CBC music producers. Jean-Marie Beaudet served only a short term; his successor, John Adaskin, forged links with music education of lasting importance. On Adaskin’s continues on page 30
Mission Statement The Canadian Music Centre exists to promote the music of its Associate Composers, to encourage the performance and appreciation of Canadian music, and to make this music available throughout Canada and around the world. photo: Andrea Ayotte
Letter from the
Editor Some of you may be saying “now there’s a familiar face!” Last winter, in these pages, I had bid you all farewell as I set off to tackle a new project at the University of Toronto. With that project now successfully launched, I am extremely pleased to be invited back to CMC-Ontario. I hope to bring the experiences of my year away to contribute to CMC’s ever-ambitious agenda of promoting the music of Canada’s composers. If you are newly exploring Canadian composers’ music, or are reconnecting to it after some time away, there seems no be no better time to do so than now. In bringing together all the items that we hope make this publication an interesting and informative read, we were gobsmacked to find a huge number of new works, repeat performances and international tours taking CMC Associates’ music around the world. Meanwhile, the advances that CMC has made in its business plan – the launch of the long-awaited (a widely appreciated) CentreStreams online audio service, and a new push to get our Associate’s music into film, television and new media – are ensuring that Canadian composers’ music is reaching a much wider audience outside the concert hall. As John Beckwith suggests in our cover article, the gap in public recognition between Canadian popular music and that “other” music is starting to close. Milestone anniversaries abound in the music community this year. Our cover article makes no secret of the fact that CMC is celebrating its golden jubilee. And so, we invite you to celebrate with us through a range of concerts, international conferences and gala events. There are a lot of surprises waiting in the wings, so keep your eyes and ears open. To get the party started, we have asked our Associate Composers to share with us their CMC stories. Without their ingenuity and persistence, CMC would never have been created; and so we welcome their personal perspectives on the last 50 years.
But this is not just CMC’s year. R. Murray Schafer’s 75th celebrations continue strongly, with numerous upcoming performances and a world premiere by the National Arts Centre Orchestra. However, the pinnacle may very well be the world premiere of The Children’s Crusade – a new 150-performer theatrical piece commissioned by Soundstreams Canada and Luminato, which will launch this summer in Toronto. Murray is joined by numerous other Associates in milestone birthdays this year, including Norma Beecroft (75), Alfred Kunz (80), Phil Nimmons (85) and Istvan Anhalt (90). You can read more about the ensuing celebrations in the Milestones section. Despite all the reasons to celebrate, there is still work to be done. Larry Lake reminds us that we continue to face challenges in building a Canadian orchestral repertoire. What are the reasons for this? What are the possible solutions? You can discover them in our centre article. As always, Ontario Notations is not only a forum to share news and views, but to spark inspiration, thought and response. Do you have an anectode to contribute to CMC’s celebrations? Or a possible solution to the Canadian repertoire challenge? Call us, e-mail us, text us, join in on a discussion on our Facebook page… we’re always eager to hear from you! Until next time,
Jason van Eyk, Ontario Regional Director
CA N A D I A N M U S I C C E N T R E WINTER 2009, Vol. 15, No. 1 The Canadian Music Centre, Ontario Region, produces Ontario Notations and distributes it to supporters of Canadian music. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily the opinions of the Canadian Music Centre. Regional Director: Jason van Eyk Design: Soapbox Design Communications Inc. National Office Chalmers House 20 St. Joseph St. Toronto, ON M4Y 1J9 T 416.961.6601 F 416.961.7198 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ontario Region Chalmers House 20 St. Joseph St. Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1J9 T 416.961.6601 ext. 207 F 416.961.7198 email@example.com
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Postcards Ontario Outlook It’s an eventful time for the Ontario Region. First of all, we have a new Regional Director at the helm. Well, he’s not exactly new to the job. We are welcoming back Jason van Eyk. Jason left the Regional Directorship in the fall of 2007 to take a new position at the University of Toronto. We’re pleased that he has rejoined us. Jason has an unparalleled skill set, both as an administrator and as an ambassador for Canadian music. Under his leadership, our region has grown not just in numbers but also in stature. Those of us on the Ontario Regional Council look forward to working with Jason once again. The CMC has grown nationwide from a fairly small organization into a major entity. We now have 30 staff members in our national office and five centres. However, there’s still more work than our staff can manage, and this brings up one of my favourite topics: volunteerism. The CMC depends greatly on its volunteers. Juliet Palmer, the chair of our fundraising committee, estimates that she and her volunteers spent at least 350 hours working on the most recent Norman Burgess Memorial Fund event. We thank them deeply for contributing to the CMC’s success. But there is always more to be done. If you’d like to help, please let us know. Larry Lake Chair, CMC Ontario Regional Council
Postcard from Kitchener–Waterloo
by peter hatch
New music, including works by CMC Associate Composers, finds a regular home in almost all of K-W’s classical and postclassical groups, including those such as the Penderecki String Quartet, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, Wilfrid Laurier University, Da Capo Singers and the KitchenerWaterloo Symphony (with its adventurous music director Edwin Outwater). The local Music Times, a bi-monthly periodical, is very good at identifying activity. Waterloo Region’s longest running new music series, NUMUS, recently announced the appointment of a new director, Glenn Buhr, who comes with a wealth of experience and is especially known for his work in helping create the renowned Winnipeg New Music Festival. A highlight for the next period (if I do say so myself – I am artistic director) must be the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound, which runs from April 24th – May 3rd and features dozens of concerts, installations, workshops and symposia, and over a dozen world premieres, including works by Jim Harley, Todd Harrop, Micheline Roi and Gayle Young.
Postcard from OTTAWA
by MAYA BADIAN
I invite you to enjoy the music of Canadian composers to be performed during the 2008-2009 National Arts Centre Orchestra season. On February 18th and 19th the NACO will premiere a new work by Scott Good, who is currently Composer-inResidence with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. On May 1st, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will be in Ottawa for the BC Scene festival, when they will perform Jeffrey Ryan’s Linearity of Light. Other BC Scene concerts include the NACO performing music by BC composers on April 30th, including Rodney Sharman and Jocelyn Morlock. On May 20th and 21st the Orchestra will premiere a new work by R. Murray Schafer in celebration of his 75th birthday. The NACO’s commissioned Infinite Sky with Birds by Alexina Louie will be performed on the Orchestra’s Western Canada Tour. At the University of Ottawa, the Ives Ensemble will perform works by Xenakis, Andriessen and Canada’s own Allison Cameron as part of the SHIFT festival on February 26th, and local composer Steven Gellman will be honoured with a solo concert on February 27th. Over the summer, we can also expect new Canadian works will be featured during the NACO’s 7th Annual Composers Program led by Gary Kulesha. The Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, which runs July 25th to August 8th, will no doubt hold some Canadian gems as well.
Postcard from THUNDER BAY
by darlene chepil reid
In the early part of 2009, Thunder Bay has experienced some notable premieres by local composers, as well as an abundance of performances of works by Canadian composers. In January, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra performed Aurora Borealis by Evelyn Stroobach, and the Lumina concert series presented violinist Julie-Anne Derome in an all Canadian program of works by Ana Sokolovic, Chris Paul Harman, Dorothy Chan, Margareta Jeric and Yannick Plamondon. New Music North presented a concert of music for saxophone, piano and live electronics in February that included works by Ontario composers Aris Carastathis, Darlene Chepil Reid, Robert Lemay and Mark Nerenberg. Later in February, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra premiered a saxophone concerto by Aris Carastathis. Looking ahead, New Music North brings flautist Chenoa Anderson to Thunder Bay in April to perform an all-Canadian program of works by Darlene Chepil Reid, Ian Crutchley, Piotr Grella-Mozejko, Jocelyn Morlock and Barry Truax.
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SOPRANO NEEMA BICKERSTETH IN STITCH (2008).
photo: Juliet Palmer
Associate Operas Make Toronto Top Picks In the end-of-year articles that bring together 2008’s picks and pans, new opera in Toronto came out on top. In publishing his year-end selections, Toronto Star music critic John Terauds asserted “nowhere was the creative spirit as keenly felt…as in some of the small-scale opera productions…” His top picks? Stitch, created by composer Juliet Palmer and librettist Anna Chatterton, Opera on the Rocks by composer David Ogborn and a quartet of Toronto-based playwrights, and Pandora’s Locker by new CMC Associate Dean Burry. Stitch was selected as the best of this year’s Toronto operas. The small-scale production called for a trio of female voices, matched by the sights and sounds of a sewing sweatshop, to explore issues of liberation, exploitation, imagination and individuality. Stitch received two Dora nominations (Toronto’s performing arts awards) – one for Outstanding Production and the other for Outstanding New Musical/Opera. Stitch’s premiere run was a co-production of urbanvessel and The Theatre Centre, presented by The FreeFall Festival in partnership with Harbourfront Centre’s 2008 World Stage. The production took place at Lennox Contemporary, the site of a former sweatshop. To learn more about Stitch, visit www.urbanvessel.wordpress.com.
Second on the list was Opera on the Rocks, which was initially developed as part of the CMC’s New Music in New Places series and received its premiere in the popular Pauper’s Pub. The various operatic scenes, tackled by willing young singers, weaved together the stories of urban singletons in the most natural of settings – the local bar. After further development, Opera on the Rocks went on to an eleven performance run at the 2008 Toronto Fringe Festival. To learn more about Opera on the Rocks, visit www.operaontherocks.ca. Rounding out the list is Pandora’s Locker, the first major operatic commission by the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould Professional School. Pandora’s Locker weaves together Greek Myth and contemporary issues through a musical score of traditional instrumentation and modern turntablism. The opera, which received its world premiere in the RCM’s new Telus Centre for Performance and Learning, has been described as “relevant and accessible… powerful and uncompromising in its honesty and inspiration.” To learn more about Dean Burry and his operatic work, visit www.deanburry.com.
Ping! A Success for Norman Burgess Fund This year’s event for the Norman Burgess Memorial Fund was named Ping! and attracted a diverse audience of all ages. Re-designed as a community-oriented event, Ping! succeeded in its aims: to promote new works for young players; to celebrate creativity; and to build community support for the Fund’s vision. Ping! launched two new Fund-commissioned works for young string players by Andrew Staniland and Abigail Richardson. Listeners of all ages packed into Gallery 345 on October 26th to hear Staniland’s Night Spirit Suite in the world premiere performance by young guitarist Daniel Lee. The talented young players of Schulte Strings, under the baton of Michael Schulte, gave a captivating performance of Richardson’s Labyrinth. Special guests The St. Lawrence String Quartet gave a spell-binding performance of R. Murray Schafer’s raucous and sublime String Quartet No. 3, while Pianists Eve Egoyan and Gregory Oh treated the audience to Linda C. Smith’s delicate and sensual Velvet. Thanks to additional support from the Arts Education Partnership Initiative, administered by the OAC Foundation, the Fund had an exceptional year of commissioning, adding two additional works to those created by Abigail and Andrew.
DANIEL LEE PREMIERES NIGHT SPIRIT SUITE BY ANDREW STANILAND.
by JULIET PALMER
These are: Bossa Antiqua for string orchestra by Kye Marshall and Encounters for viola and guitar (or piano) by Aris Carastathis. Both works will receive their world premiere at a future Fund showcase. We are grateful as well to our collaborating educators, who provided invaluable advice to this year’s composers: William Beauvais, Catherine Jillings, Alan Torok and David Visentin. The efforts of CMC volunteers, through a remarkable commitment of 350 hours of their time, ensured that Ping! was a success. Fundraising Chair Juliet Palmer coordinated the intricate logistics of the event while also assisting publicist Francine Labelle in a new outreach campaign. CMC-Ontario Regional Councilors and Voting Members were actively involved with the schlepping, shopping and schmoozing required in making any event look effortless. From the welcoming atmosphere to the stunning performances, Ping! was an event that truly celebrated creativity and cooperation. For more information about future Norman Burgess Memorial Fund events, commissions, and how to get involved, please visit www.musiccentre.ca or contact the CMC Ontario office.
a full house gathers for ping! photos: COLIN SAVAGE
Toronto Songbook Features CMC Composers The Toronto-based Plangère publishing company has recently expanded its Canadian Composer Series though an open call for vocal scores. The response to this inaugural initiative apparently was outstanding. The result is the Toronto Songbook 2009, a unique collection of song cycles and individual works by Toronto-based composers, including CMC Associates Colin Eatock, Alice Ho, David Passmore and Robert Rival. The collection was released this January 2009 and is available for purchase through the Plangère website at www.plangere.com. Plangère specializes in the publication of keyboard music from the early Renaissance to present day. All Plangère publications are prepared from the earliest available manuscript source or first edition and are presented in their Urtext form. Every publication is augmented with information pertaining to the work – articles, conventions of performance and in some cases introductory lessons. For more information visit the Plangère website. A FULL HOUSE GATHERS FOR PING! w int e r 9
the cast of opera briefs 8 perform “the bluffs” at the word on the street.
New Music in New Places Expands The Canadian Music Centre’s long-running New Music in New Places series continues into 2009 with unique projects designed to take Canadian composers’ works out of the concert hall and into the community where they work and live. Upcoming Ontario projects include Emergence by composer/performer David Ogborn, created for the Personal Computer Museum in Brantford. On February 14th, David and a singing robot named CESARE will perform a series of newly composed songs. Curious? Perhaps. Intriguing? Definitely! During the Open Ears Festival in Kitchener-Waterloo (April 24th – May 3rd) Micheline Roi offers Obsolescence, a sitespecific audio installation that uses an electronically-modified antique piano and composed electro-acoustic soundscape made up of past and present sounds from the Waterloo Region. The idea is to resurrect this old piano by modifying it with modern sounds, older sounds, and reflective soundscapes. Micheline’s past site-specific projects – Wandering Sacred and Unearthed – were big hits. But
they run only for a very limited time. So, get out and experience Obsolescence at the Walper Terrace Gallery while you can. One more special New Music in New Places project, created specifically to celebrate the CMC’s 50th anniversary, is currently in development. Keep your ears and eyes open for this unique event that will musically revive a Toronto site of historical significance to the CMC. New Music in New Places is a nation-wide CMC initiative that provides Associate Composers with the opportunity to take their music out of the concert hall and into communities throughout Canada. New Music in New Places is made possible through the generous support of the SOCAN Foundation and the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Music Fund. All New Music in New Places events are free and open to the public. For more details please visit to the New Music in New Places social network at http://nmnp08.ning.com/.
CentreVisits Hosts Largest Group Yet On December 15th CMC welcomed the largest CentreVisit it has ever hosted. Sixty band students from Mary Shadd Public School in Scarborough took over Chalmers House for a morning of alternating composer workshops and library research. CMC Associate Andrew Staniland delivered back-to-back presentations on the career of a composer, which stimulated a lot of interest (and a huge number of questions!) from these young musicians. Each workshop was followed by a research session, led by National Librarian Michelle Arbuckle, involving score study and listening exercises. Each student left with a score in hand and plenty of information to complete their class assignments. CMC’s CentreVisit program is designed to help build awareness, strengthen understanding and increase appreciation of Canadian composers and their work. As such, it is extremely flexible and adaptable to a wide variety of curricular and group learning
students from mary shadd ps visit the cmc.
photo: John Gray
requirements. Groups are encouraged to book their CentreVisit early to avoid disappointment – spaces fill up quickly! For more information, or to make arrangements for your own CentreVisit, call CMC-Ontario at 416.961.6601 ext. 207 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
to our New Ontario Associate Composers
Kevork Andonian Kevork Andonian (b. 1978) is a composer, pianist, arranger and educator currently pursuing his Ph.D. in composition at UCLA. Inspired to compose at an early age, Kevork has gone on to create music for the concert hall, theatre and film. He writes in a neo-tonal style that stresses the importance of melody and rich harmonies, drawing influences from classical, world, jazz and pop genres. His music has been performed in Canada, the United States, France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic and Armenia. Recent projects include a Carnegie Hall debut and CD releases with Naxos and other labels. Kevork is a recipient of the Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal among other honours.
Dean Burry Born and raised on the East Coast, Dean Burry (b. 1972) was always surrounded by music as a child, but it wasn’t until a local teacher inspired him to compose that his passion for music was ignited. Theatre became another great interest and soon Dean was merging the two disciplines in various projects during both high school and undergraduate studies and Mount Allison University. Following composition studies at the University of Toronto, Dean began to work for the Canadian Opera Company while composing music for small theatrical productions. While working as an educator with the COC, he was commissioned to write an opera for a school tour. The result was The Brothers Grimm, which has gone on to be seen by over 90,000 children since 2001. From there, Dean has gone on to compose many other major works for stage and screen. Recent projects include the critically acclaimed youth opera Pandora’s Locker for the Royal Conservatory of Music. Current projects include Children of the Moon, set to a lost opera libretto by Robertson Davies, a radio-opera for CBC, and projects for the Toronto Masque Theatre and the Rising Tide Theatre of Newfoundland.
John Butler Born in Edmonton (b. 1944), John Butler completed both Bachelor and Master degrees at the University of Alberta. He expanded his studies at the Juilliard School of Music and the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg. He has served as accompanist/assistant chorus master with the Edmonton Opera Association and accompanist/assistant conductor with the Mozarteum choir. John also has served three summer seasons as the assistant musical director of the Musical Theatre department of the Banff Centre for the Arts. After his year at the Mozarteum, John settled in St. Catharines, where he served two years as a music teacher at Ridley College. Since then, he has worked as a freelance musician in the St. Catharines area, having held four church organist/choirmaster positions, taught in the music department at Brock University and served as resident composer for the Niagara Children’s Chorus, among other experiences. John Butler’s love of choral music began at the age of 8 when he joined the boy’s choir of All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral in Edmonton. With the exception of a few works for voice and piano, he has dedicated himself to composition for choral ensembles. His music has been performed and recorded in Canada, the United States, England, Ireland, Germany and Austria. notations
Kevin Lau Kevin Lau (b. 1982) composes for the concert stage, theatre, film and TV. He holds fifteen film scores to his credit, including a recent score for a documentary film broadcast on the History Channel. His score to the musical theatre work Box Office was premiered at the Tarragon Theatre in 2006. The last few years of Kevin’s career have seen commissions from a number of orchestras and ensembles, including the Esprit Orchestra and the Cecilia Quartet. Other works have been read and recorded by renowned artists, such as violinist Scott St. John, and eminent ensembles such as Eighth Blackbird, the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Kevin is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, where is also director and co-founder of the Sneak Peek Orchestra.
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Patricia Morehead Composer, oboist and professor Patricia Morehead (b. 1940) holds a PhD in composition from the University of Chicago, the city that she also calls home. She is leader of the Composers Forum at the Merit School of Music, where she teaches composition and theory. She also teaches music history at Columbia College and composition online via the Vermont MIDI program for young musicians. In Canada, Patricia is known as cofounder of the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop (1982) with Samuel Dolin, the Beach Society for the Visual and Performing Arts (1979), the Beach Arts Centre (1980), and Bach in the Beach (1981). Her many compositions, commissions and grants have led to an extensive roster of international world premieres and audio recordings by leading performers and ensembles. As a performer, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1977 and has since concertized extensively in Brazil, Canada, Europe and the United States. She has also served in senior board positions with New Music Chicago, New European Music Overseas, American Women Composers Midwest and the International Alliance of Women in Music.
Christopher Mayo Christopher Mayo (b. 1980) lives and works in London, England, where he has served as the first composer-in-residence for Tatton Park and is a member of the Camberwell Composers’ Collective. The collective is currently the New Music Associate of Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. A multiple prize-winner both in Canada and the UK, Christopher is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Supported by various grants, he has also attended numerous prestigious courses such as the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, The Young Composers’ Meeting in Apeldoorn, the BrittenPears Programme, Dartington International Summer School and the arraymusic Young Composers’ Workshop. Christopher’s music has been performed at festivals in Canada, the United States and the UK and in venues as diverse as Wigmore Hall, the Miami Art Museum and the Monkey in New York City. Recent projects include commission from the Esprit Orchestra, the St. Paul’s Sinfonia, the Dante Quartet and the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming projects include a contribution to a new oratorio for the London Handel Festival, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death.
Lavinia Kell Parker A featured composer of festival and benefit concerts in Canada, The United States and France, Lavinia Kell Parker (b. 1977) composes intensely spiritual music in part to facilitate awareness and invite introspection into pressing current issues. Lavinia’s compositions, which ranges from piano improvisation to multi-media stage works, tackle such topics as women’s issues and mental illness. An avid interest in choral writing has been fostered in part by her experience as both a choral singer and choir director. Her choral works have been performed by numerous professional and amateur choirs, and her most recent work will appear as the title track of the CD She Sings!, which is set for a 2009 release. Most recently Lavinia served as Co-Artistic Director of the Brockport Festival of Music, which highlighted Canadian and especially women composers in a format accessible to all ages. She currently lives in the United States with her husband, pianist Brad Parker, and their two children.
Adam Sherkin Composer and pianist Adam Sherkin (b.1982) is a versatile musician who commands a multi-dimensional approach to classical performance and composition. Having only recently returned to Canada, Adam was resident in London, England for several years, where he completed a Master of Music degree in composition at the Royal College of Music. While in England, he received several performances of his work in Manchester and Norfolk, as well as at St. James Picadilly and the National Portrait Gallery. Recital activity as a pianist took him to St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Covent Garden and the Royal Albert Hall. Since returning to Canada, Adam has had several premieres of new works for string orchestra and piano, including Southern Frames, which was premiered during the 2008 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto. Current projects include a new work for viola and piano, which is scheduled for a world premiere in Boston this March.
Matthew Tran-Adams Matthew Tran-Adams (b. 1977) is a Toronto-based composer whose works are performed throughout North America. His interest in world music and folk song influence a body of unique works that integrate the influences of various cultures. Matthew’s experience is quite broad, including extensive experience working as a composer, performer, educator, historian, writer and editor. He has explored the topic of antiracism in music education and often uses his passion for Canadian history to inspire his musical work. For example, his recent work, Gold Mountain Elegy, is dedicated to Chinese-Canadians who risked their lives building the railroad across Canada. Matthew currently works as a Development Editor in educational publishing, as Associate Editor of Wholenote Magazine, as a teacher at Parkdale Collegiate Institute and as the Director of Music and Liturgical Arts at the Church of the Messiah in Toronto.
n o t a t i o n s
National View First of all I would like to
extend a warm welcome to Jason van Eyk, who returns to us after a year helping establish the new University of Toronto ArtsZone office. Jason has taken up once again the helm at CMC-Ontario. The CMC team and Board is happy to have him back. This is a momentous year for CMC as we are celebrating our 50th anniversary. Several concerts and events in CMC’s honour have taken place already in major cities across the country. Many more are waiting in the wings, including a gala celebration at the National Arts Centre in the fall and a first-time visit from our Music Information Centre colleagues from around the world. We are most honoured to have been chosen as the host for the 2009 IAMIC Conference, to be held in Toronto and Vancouver June 4th to 10th. Part of the conference will be a one-day public symposium in Toronto on June 6th, exploring the 21st Century challenges being faced by the new music community and contemporary composers, and their possible solutions.
It is with great excitement that I announce the newest member of the CMC family, CentreStreams. Born on December 8th and giving full access to over 8,000 recordings, our online archival audio library is now launched and ready for streaming at www.musiccentre.ca. It was an extensive, laborious process but I think that you will be pleased with the result. After a quick sign-in process, CentreStreams can be accessed from several different points within the CMC site. There is a browse feature on the main page, which allows you to listen to random
CMC has made further progress in implementing its new Business Plan, including a revised Associate agreement that will permit us to act as an exclusive publishing administrator of works held in our collections, and to deliver new services in the area of music synchronization and digital licensing. This is indeed new territory for CMC staff, but we are learning very quickly and making good inroads with the support of Aideen O’Brien, a former Director at BMG Music Publishing. Please stay tuned for more news. Finally, CMC’s National office said goodbye to two key staff members: Steven Foster and Travis McCauley. We extend our sincere thanks for their much valued contributions. Both have accepted excellent new positions and we wish them well. Please help me welcome their successors: Web Developer & IT Architect, Steve McNabb and Angela Nelson-Heesch, CMC’s new Development & Communications Manager. As for me, I am just back from MIDEM, the world’s largest music trade show, where CMC continued to ensure that our composers’ music gets distributed world-wide. Elisabeth Bihl Executive Director, CMC
works within a set instrumentation. If you’re seeking a specific composer, we’ve also placed links within each of our composer pages. The library catalogue gives you more search options still – including title, duration, keyword and instrumentation. One tip: when performing this type of search make sure that the “Audio/Score” field is set to “Full Audio.” That will restrict your search to archival audio. CentreStreams may be experiencing growing pains over the coming months, so we ask that you bear with us. And please alert me to any discrepancies or problems that you come across. Still, I’m confident that this service is going to positively affect the way that you interact with our site. It’s only the beginning of several new exciting additions to the CMC family. Michelle Arbuckle National Librarian, CMC
n o t a t i o n s
C a n a d i a n R e p e rt o i re :
An Oxymoron? by Larry Lake
“There is no Canadian repertoire.” The first time I heard that phrase was from John Weinzweig, nearly 40 years ago. As many of his former students know, the late Dean of Canadian Composers was prone to making such sweeping statements, many of which were made for effect, but they were all too often true. This particular one was true then, and it’s unfortunately true today, as many composers and performers will ruefully agree.
Recently, the general public was made aware of the lack of a Canadian repertoire in an article by Paul Wells, which appeared in the December 2008 issue of Maclean’s. In his article, Our Orchestral one-night stands, Mr. Wells asks the question, “When 90 per cent of Canadian compositions are played only once, where’s our heritage?” Where indeed. I’ve spent most of my adult life working to disseminate and promote Canadian music, and most of that music has not found its way into the repertoire. I don’t claim to have a solution to this problem, but I have a number of thoughts on the issue. The fact that I was a doctoral student at the University of Toronto so long ago establishes the fact that I am not young. The fact that I’ve spent so many years working on behalf of Canadian music gives me opinions. Being both old and opinionated, I offer some points for discussion. First of all, what is a repertoire? The commonly accepted definition is “the stock of songs, plays, operas, readings, or other pieces that a player or company is prepared to perform.” Why is the company prepared to perform them? Mostly because an audience expects to hear them. How do works get into the repertoire? They’ve been heard more than once; a lot more than once. Performers believe in these works. Therefore audiences come to believe in them. Is it enough for musicians to believe in these works? There are Canadian performers who are devoted to our composers’ music.
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In every major city in the country, there are performing organizations, mainly chamber groups, dedicated to new music. They make up what has been called the “new music ghetto.” We’d rather think of it as a “community” than as a “ghetto,” but the term holds, since most of the concert-going public has no idea that it even exists. Yet, it’s a thriving scene with a devoted, although relatively small, public. This community sprang up around 40 years ago, and it’s grown remarkably from the old guard of Montreal’s SMCQ, Toronto’s New Music Concerts and the Vancouver New Music Society, to a burgeoning field of new music collectives, presenters, ensembles and curators. In addition to this ghetto, there are chamber groups such as the Gryphon Trio and the Molinari Quartet that consistently campaign for Canadian works, as do many soloists, such as accordionist Joseph Petric, oboist Lawrence Cherney and pianist Eve Egoyan, to name but a few. As a result, there is at least the beginning of a repertoire of Canadian solo and chamber music. Orchestras, not so much. It’s cheaper to put together a chamber group than an orchestra, and new music budgets are notoriously small. There is but one brave, full-sized new music orchestra, the Esprit Orchestra, and they do an admirable job. But mainstream orchestras with large budgets, staff and audiences to worry about, see new music as risky business. Hence, our musical history is filled with the orchestral “one-night stands” mentioned by Mr. Wells.
The result is that Canadian concert listeners know more about the orchestral music of England, France, Germany, Italy or even the United States than they know about our own music. They hear more of it, and they hear it more often. There have been efforts to place more Canadian music on our orchestral stages – to create repertoire by fiat. For instance, funding bodies such as arts councils have required quotas of Canadian works from their clients. Unfortunately, this has led to the proliferation of a uniquely Canadian category known disparagingly as the “pièce de garage,” a short work used to open a concert while patrons may still be parking their cars. Even more unfortunate is a tendency to treat such new pieces as disposable. Imagine how you’d feel if you’d spent months of your life creating something only to see it shelved permanently after one presentation. That is the reality of many Canadian composers. For some reason, orchestras seem to be afraid to repeat a Canadian piece. They go through Canadian pieces like teenagers go through clothes. They’re even more reluctant to play a piece premiered by another orchestra. Let’s say that a new work is premiered by Orchestra A and that the premiere is a major success. The music director of Orchestra B reads the reviews and perhaps even hears a broadcast of the piece. What does he do? Rather than play the piece that’s a proven success, he commissions another piece from the same composer. This may or may not lead to the creation of another successful work. To use a sports analogy, not even Babe Ruth hit every pitch out of the park. Here’s another example. When the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra chose to include a composers’ competition as part of its new music festival, the rules stipulated that all entries must not have been previously performed. The works were premiered at the festival and the prize for the winning composer was, you guessed it, a commission for a new piece. I’m not against rewarding a composer. I’m certainly not against giving a composer a commission. But it might have been more appropriate to say, “You wrote a great piece, so we’re going to perform that one again next season, and we’ll commission you to write another one.” That didn’t happen. On the subject of new music festivals, those sponsored by orchestras can be good or bad for Canadian repertoire. Usually, they’re like the curate’s egg: parts of them are excellent. On the positive side, as the WSO has demonstrated, the PR machine of a large mainstream organization can create a heck of a buzz for a festival – more hype than Canadian new music ever gets anywhere else. On the negative side, an orchestra may choose to move all or most contemporary music from its main series to the festival so that subscribers can easily avoid it. This simply adds another edifice to our new music ghetto. Then there’s the fact that, while foreign pieces presented on the festival often have been well heard elsewhere – they are entering the repertoire – most often the Canadian works are premieres. What happens to these new pieces after the festival? They usually take their place on the shelf with the others. I hate to sound cynical, even if I am, but it seems to me that a
new music festival is often a convenient way for orchestral managers to have their cake and eat it too. They are seen to present Canadian content, but it’s done in a manner that doesn’t disturb their subscribers. As orchestra audiences decline, especially in our current economic climate, management is justifiably nervous. They certainly don’t want paying customers alienated by some unfamiliar piece. However, as William Littler suggested some years ago in the Toronto Star, the failure of orchestras to attract a new audience might be partly caused by that very conservatism: playing the same old stuff over and over. The world is not the same place it was 40 years ago and, so, the repertoire needs to evolve to reflect that. It’s time for a different approach to orchestral programming, especially of Canadian music. It shouldn’t be all that difficult for programmers to find out about the new Canadian works played by orchestras across the country. Wouldn’t it be nice for orchestral conductors and managers to tell their colleagues about new pieces they think are really hot? And if they’re curious about a piece, they could ask the Canadian Music Centre for more information. It’s likely that the score and a recording will be at the CMC. Orchestras also need to be less afraid of programming larger Canadian works. There are many major Canadian works on the CMC’s shelves and quite a few of them had great premieres but no second performance. Playing these pieces again would not only benefit the orchestra, it would be a step toward the development of a real Canadian orchestral repertoire. One thing is for sure: there will never be a Canadian orchestral repertoire until orchestras believe in these works, so that audiences can come to believe in them too. And this will not happen until our music is performed and heard. More than once. A lot more often. Larry Lake is a composer, performer and broadcaster, who is perhaps best known as the host of Two New Hours, which was cancelled by CBC Radio after 29 years on the air. He is also Artistic Director of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, the world’s oldest active live electronic music group. Larry chairs the CMC Ontario Regional Council and serves on the CMC National Board.
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OF MANY MUSICS In our last issue we introduced you to the Influences of Many Musics project (IOMM) – an evolving online initiative that celebrates Canada’s diverse cultural identity through the music of its composers. By May 2009, the IOMM website will double in size to feature the stories of 80 first generation composers who now call Canada home. These online composer portraits offer a multimedia approach to understanding the unique multicultural nature of music creation in Canada, through audio, video, text and image, all of which streams from the CMC website at www.musiccentre.ca. Last time, we explored four of the IOMM project’s five themes: Distant Timbres, Voices Afar, Cultural Inspiration and Reflecting Canada. This time we present the final theme: Other Musics.
Stefanos Karabekos Other Musics
Music is a vital part of all cultures. In Other Musics one can discover how composers integrate music from their cultural heritage into their present-day compositions. Some include the rhythm of a traditional dance, while others quote a popular melody, folk song, or religious music. All these musical elements allow composers to explore their past, share their memories, and evoke the sensations of other places for the listener.
From Greece to Canada “The culturally rich Greek folk music has influenced me to the point that I unconsciously incorporate elements of this music (rhythms and melodic structure…) into almost every piece of my music. Canadian culture affected my music through the harmonious multicultural society…and the spectacular Canadian landscape.” – S.K. Karabekos describes the cultural heritage of a small village in Greece from which he draws influences, including social celebrations such as dances and family parties, participating in spirited folk songs and dances, the sounds of the clarinet and lute, and the stories of Greek history told through love stories and heroic texts. He writes: “I remember weddings, [where] people were dancing, singing, eating and drinking for three days in a row.” As for his own musical identity, Karabekos clearly identifies with his Greek heritage, particularly the rhythmic, harmonic and melodic features of the folk music and dances. In Rhapsody Thessaloniki, Karabekos has deliberately created a more multicultural work, appropriate to its function in the international festival for which it was commissioned. Canada is represented in the Rhapsody, in the depiction of the vastness of the country at the beginning of the piece. There are also clear markers of his Greek heritage, in his use of the clarinet and a slow Greek dance that emerges as the music develops. Recommended Listening: Stefanos Karabekos, Rhapsody Thessaloniki
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Hear the Music
Where to hear the works of Ontario Associate Composers
Composer Event Information
February 14, 2009 David Ogborn “Emergence” – David Ogborn and robot singer – Personal Computer Museum, Brantford, ON part of New Music in New Places February 15, 2009 Aris Carastathis
“Cantilena” for Alto Saxophone – Stathis Mavrommatis (saxophone) – Gallery 345, 7 pm
February 18&19, 2009
Scott Good New Work (premiere) – NAC Orchestra, David Lockington (conductor) – National Arts Centre
February 20&22, March 19&21, 2009
R. Murray Schafer “String Quartet No. 11” – Molinari String Quartet – various locations ar ound the island of Montreal
February 21, 2009
Peter Paul Koprowski “Ancestral Voices” – Orchestra London, Grzegorz Nowak (conductor) – Centennial Hall
February 21&22, 2009 Ron Royer
“Short Stories” (premiere) – Louise DiTullio (flutes), Niagara Symphony, Daniel Swift (conductor) – Brock University
St. Catharines, ON
February 22 – March 1, 2009
“Inês” (premiere) – Queen of Puddings Music Theatre – Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront Centre
“4 postcards” – Ives Ensemble – Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa, part of SHIFT festival
February 26, 2009 Allison Cameron February 27, 2009
Chris Paul Harman New Work (premiere) – Toca Loca – Music Gallery, part of SHIFT festival
February 27, 2009 Steven Gellman
“A Celebration of the Music of Steven Gellman”, various chamber works including “Madrigal for Choir” (premiere) – Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa
February 28, 2009
“Emergence” – David Ogborn and Robot Singer – Neutral Ground
February 28, 2009
“raW” – Continuum – Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre, part of SHIFT festival
February 28, 2009 Ron Royer “Short Stories” (premiere) – Louise DiTullio (flutes), Scarborough Philharmonic, Ron Royer (conductor) – Birchmount C.I.
March 1, 2009 Allison Cameron “4 postcards” – Ives Ensemble – Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Wilfrid Laurier University, part of SHIFT festival
March 1, 2009 Erik Ross “Echo” (premiere) – Liam Teague (steelpan), Hannaford Street Silver Band, Curtis Metcalf (conductor) – Jane Mallet Theatre
March 1, 2009
“Short Stories” (premiere) – Louise DiTullio (flutes), Sinfonia Toronto, Ron Royer (conductor) – Hart House
March 4, 2009 Carol Ann Weaver “Sea and Sand,” “Waiting Birth,” “Beer Pounding Song”– Rebecca Campbell (vocals), Carol Ann Weaver (piano) – Conrad Grebel University College Chapel
March 5, 2009 Alice Ho “Glistening Pianos” (premiere) – Lydia Wong (piano) and Midori Koga (piano) – Walter Hall, University of Toronto
March 5, 2009 Carol Ann Weaver A Series of Songs – Rebecca Campbell (vocals), Carol Ann Weaver (piano) – Auditorium, MacKinnon Building, University of Guelph
March 5 – 7, 2009 Linda C. Smith “String Quartet #4: Gondola” (premiere) – Del Sol String Quartet – part of the Other Minds Festival, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
March 7, 2009
“Annunciation” – Penderecki String Quartet – Bethel Mennonite Church, part of Groundswell season
March 7, 2009 Alexina Louie “Pursuit” (premiere) – Tokyo String Quartet, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Peter Oundjian (conductor) – Roy Thomson Hall
March 7, 2009 Paul McIntyre “Sometimes I hear the dreamy whitethroat” (premiere) – Counterpoint Community Orchestra, Terry Kowalczuk (conductor) – St. Luke’s United Church
March 11, 2009 Gary Kulesha “Cello Concerto” – Shauna Rolston (cello), Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Peter Oundjian (conductor) – Roy Thomson Hall
March 12, 2009 Linda C. Smith “Velvet” – Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo – Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Wilfrid Laurier University – part of NUMUS season
March 15, 18 Paul Frehner “Trance” – Bozzini String Quartet – Salle Pasteur, Musée des moulages, Salle Olivier Messiaen Monpellier, Lyon and & 21, 2009 Paris, FRANCE March 17, 2009
“Before & After the Bath” – Kaprizma Ensemble – Jerusalem Music Centre
March 18, 2009 Ron Royer “Dances with Time” – Martti Rousi (cello), Sinfonia Finlandia, Patrick Gallois (flute and conductor) – Jyväskylä City Theate, part of periFÉRIA Festival
March 21, 2009 Jan Jarvlepp “Double Concerto” (premiere) – Pascale Margely (flute), Frédéric Hodgson (English Horn), Gatineau Symphony Orchestra, Yves Leveille (conductor) – La Maison de la Culture
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Composer Event Information
March 24&25, 2009 Alexina Louie “Take The Dog Sled” (premiere) – Evie Mark, Taqralik Partridge (Inuit throat singers), Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano (conductor) – Wilfrid-Pelletier Hall, Place des Arts
March 26, 2009 Andrew Staniland “Big Bang!” (premiere) – Aiyun Huang (percussion), Esprit Orchestra, Alex Pauk (conductor) – Jane Mallet Theatre
March 26, 2009
“Trope” – Esprit Orchestra, Alex Pauk (conductor) – Jane Mallet Theatre
March 28, 2009 Andrew Staniland “Sudoku” – Parmela Attariwala (violin), Shawn Mativesky (tabla) – Music Gallery
March 29, 2009 Alice Ho “Lamia” (premiere) – Polish Radio Choir, Wlodzimierz Siedlik (director) – Tongyeong Arts Centre, part of 2009 Asian Contemporary Music Festival.
March 29, 2009
“Red Moon and Other Songs of War” – Gregory Wiest (tenor), Nicole Winter (piano) – Movimento
March 31, 2009
“Piano Trio” – Gryphon Trio – Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre
March 31, 2009 Robert Rival “Schubert Fantasy” – Lynn Kou (violin) and Marianna Humetska (piano) – Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre
April 3, 2009 Allison Cameron New Work (premiere) – CONTACT – Music Gallery
April 14, 2009 Phil McConnell
“A piece” – Rachel Mercer (cello), Dennis Patrick (electronics) – Gallery 345
April 14, 2009
“Squamish” – Lynn Kuo (violin), Dennis Patrick (electronics) – Gallery 345
April 14, 2009 Andrew Staniland “Piano Preludes” – Marianna Humetska (piano), Dennis Patrick (electronics) – Gallery 345 April 16, 2009
Evelyn Stroobach “Aurora Borealis” – Ploiesti State Philharmonic Ploiesti, ROMANIA
April 21, 2009 Michael Pepa “FANFARE”, “Variations” – Marianna Humetska (piano), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Raitcho Christov (conductor)
April 22, 2009
Emily Hall Duo – Bradyworks – Chapelle historique de Bon-Pasteur
April 22, 2009
Linda C. Smith New Work for electric guitar and piano (premiere) – Bradyworks – Chapelle historique de Bon-Pasteur
April 22, 2009 Paul McIntyre “Those Wild Canadian Mountain Streams” (premiere) – Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Simon Streatfeild (conductor) – Westminster United Church
April 22, 24&25, 2009 R. Murray Schafer “The Darkly Splendid Earth: The Lonely Traveller” – Stephen Sitarksi (violin), Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Edwin Outwater (conductor) – River Run Centre (April 22), Centre in the Square (April 24&25)
Guelph & Kitchener, ON
April 23, 2009 Phil McConnell
“A piece” – Rachel Mercer (cello), Dennis Patrick (electronics) – Mimara Museum, part of Zagreb Biennale
April 23, 2009 Marjan Mozetich “Hymn of Ascension” – Penderecki String Quartet, Joseph Macerollo (accordion) – Mimara Museum, part of Zagreb Biennale
April 23, 2009
“Squamish” – Lynn Kuo (violin), Dennis Patrick (electronics) – Mimara Museum, part of Zagreb Biennale
April 23, 2009
“String Quartet No. 4” – Penderecki String Quartet – Mimara Museum, part of Zagreb Biennale
April 23, 2009 Michael Pepa “ISOMORPHE” – Les Amis, Joseph Macerollo (accordion), Cantus Ensemble, Berislav Sipus (conductor) – Vatroslav Lisinski Hall, part of Zagreb Biennale
April 23, 2009 Andrew Staniland “Piano Preludes” – Marianna Humetska (piano), Dennis Patrick (electronics) – Mimara Museum, part of Zagreb Biennale
April 24 – May 3, 2009 Micheline Roi “Obsolescence” (premiere) – Walper Terrace Gallery – part of New Music in New Places and Open Ears Festival
April 25, 2009
North Bay, ON
“Oiseau de givre” – Yoko Hirota (piano), North Bay Symphony, Thomas Jones (conductor) – Capitol Theatre
April 25, 2009 Phil McConnell
“A piece” – Rachel Mercer (cello), Dennis Patrick (electronics) – International Festival of Modern Art
April 26, 2009 Alexina Louie
“In a Flash” – Jamie Parker (piano) – Auditorium, National Gallery of Canada – part of the BC Scene festival
April 26, 2009
“Hymn of Ascension” – Penderecki String Quartet, Joseph Macerollo (accordion)
April 26, 2009
“String Quartet No. 4” – Penderecki String Quartet
April 27, 2009
“Hymn of Ascension” – Penderecki String Quartet, Joseph Macerollo (accordion) Belgrade, SERBIA
April 27, 2009
“String Quartet No. 4” – Pendercki String Quartet Belgrade, SERBIA
April 28, 2009 Todd Harrop “Calypso” – tranSpectra (clarinets), Todd Harrop (percussion, electronics), Yvonne Ng (dance) – Registry Theatre, part of Open Ears Festival
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Hear the Music
Where to hear the works of Ontario Associate Composers ... continued
Composer Event Information
April 28, 2009 Gayle Young “Forest Periphery” – tranSpectra (clarinets), Gayle Young (amaranth), Rick Sacks (percussion), Reinhard Reitzenstein (video) – Registry Theatre, part of Open Ears Festival
April 30, 2009 Omar Daniel “Penelope and Odysseus” (premiere) – Penderecki String Quartet with singers and dancers – King Street Theatre – part of Open Ears Festival
May 1, 2009 Chris Paul Harman “Concerto for Harp and Orchestra” (premiere) – Erica Goodman (harp), Esprit Orchestra, Alex Pauk (conductor) – Jane Mallett Theatre
May 2, 2009
“Remember” – Bell’Arte Singers, Margot Rejskind (director) – Christ Church Deer Park
May 3, 2009 Jim Harley “Wild Fruits 2”, “~spin!~” – Ellen Waterman (amplified flute), James Harley (electronics) – part of Open Ears Festival
May 3, 2009 Bill Gilliam
“Poems from a Love Triangle” – W.R. Rodgers (poet), Gregory Oh (music director) – Music Gallery
May 5, 2009 Howard Cable
“Rana’s Pond: A Green Musical” – Students of R.I. Baker School – R.I. Baker Middle School
May 9, 2009 Robert Lemay “Oiseau de givre” – Yoko Hirota (piano), Timmons Symphony Orchestra, Matthew Jones (conductor) – Charles Fournier Auditorium May 14, 2009
Coaldale, AB Timmins, ON
“Structure/paysage…homage a Eli Bornstein” (premiere) – Molinari Quartet – Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur Montreal, QC
May 16, 2009 Alexina Louie “Take The Dog Sled” – Evie Mark, Taqralik Partridge (Inuit throat singers), Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano (conductor) – Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Centre
Santa Monica, CA
May 20&21, 2009
R. Murray Schafer New Work (premiere) – NAC Orchestra, Patrick Summers (conductor) – National Arts Centre
May 21 – 30, 2009
“The Shadow” (premiere) – Tapestry New Opera Works – Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs
May 29&30, 2009 Scott Good “between the rooms” – Larry Larson (trumpet), Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Edwin Outwater (conductor) – Centre in the Square
June 5 – 14, 2009 R. Murray Schafer “The Children’s Crusade” (premiere) – Soundstreams Canada with Toronto Children’s Opera Company and Toronto Consort – part of Luminato Festival
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Canadian Music Focus of Zagreb Biennale Canadian music and musicians will receive special attention at the 2009 Zagreb Music Biennale. April 23rd is Canada Day in Zagreb, featuring three consecutive Canadian composer concerts. Members of the Les Amis ensemble will be joined by accordionist Joe Macerollo in an electro-acoustic program curated by Dennis Patrick. The program includes works by Les Amis Artistic Director (and CMC Associate) Michael Pepa and Dennis Patrick, alongside world premieres by Andrew Staniland and Phil McConnell. The same evening, the Penderecki String Quartet is joined by Macerollo for an All-Canadian program of recent works by Ana Sokolovic, Katerina Curcin, Marjan Mozetich and Michael Pepa. Les Amis tackle a mixed late-night program of Croatian and Canadian music, featuring two new commissions. On April 24th, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre takes the late night spotlight to present their most recent production, the one-woman opera Love Songs by Ana Sokolovic. The 50-minute work is a spectacularly virtuosic tour de force based on the composer’s favourite love poems from many different languages. After a very successful premiere in Toronto last March, Love Songs is now touring internationally. And so are Les Amis and the Penderecki. Both ensembles will take their Zagreb programs to Bulgaria, the Ukraine, Romania and Serbia. For more information visit www.lesamisconcerts.org.
Linda C. Smith in San Francisco Linda Catlin Smith will be a guest composer for the 14th Other Minds Festival, an international new music gathering held in San Francisco since 1993. During the festival, which runs March 5th to 7th, the Del Sol Quartet will premiere Linda’s String Quartet #4 (Gondola). The San Francisco-based quartet has been described as “masters of all musical things they survey… playing with a combination of ferocious attack, riveting interplay and silken splendour.” The Other Minds Festival is organized by Other Minds, a global new music community where composers, students and listeners discover and learn about innovative music by composers from all over the world. For more information visit www.otherminds.org. To learn more about Linda Caltin Smith, visit the CMC website or www.catlinsmith.com. The Del Sol Quartet can be found online at www.delsolquartet.com.
Robert Rival Premieres in Germany The American tenor Gregory Wiest, currently based in Germany, performs Robert’s song cycle Red Moon and Other Songs of War in a solo recital at Movimento in Munich on March 29th. The concert is the latest in a series of programs devoted to contemporary song in English. Pianist Nicole Winter will accompany Mr. Wiest. This performance marks Robert’s German premiere. For more info visit www.robertrival.com or www.gregorywiest.com.
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Alice Ho in Asia On March 29th the Polish Radio Choir, directed by Włodzimierz Siedlik, will premiere Alice’s Lamia for double chorus and piano at the 2009 Asian Contemporary Music Festival in Tongyeong, Korea. The seven-day festival is organized biennially by the Asian Composers League and this year is hosted by ACL-Korea in the cities of Tongyeong and Seoul. For full festival details visit www.acl2009.org. Six months later, Alice’s Elysian Fields, a concerto for piano and orchestra, will be performed at the Taipei National Concert Hall. The performance is part of the Chinese Women Composers’ Orchestral Concert. These two concerts continue a string of interest in Alice Ho’s music in Asia, including two recent concerts of large ensemble works in both Beijing and Hong Kong this past spring. For more information about Alice and her music please visit the CMC website or www.alicepingyeeho.com.
photo: JAEL k.
Patrick gallois and ron royer in the forests of finland.
Ron Royer in Finland Finland continues its fascination with the work of Ronald Royer on March 18th when the Sinfonia Finlandia performs his Dances with Time, Concerto for flute, cello and orchestra. Patrick Gallois serves double duty as conductor and flute soloist alongside cello soloist Martti Rousi. The concert takes place at Jyväskylä City Theatre as part of the periFÉRIA festival and the Concert of the Day of Jyväskylä. More information about Ronald Royer may be found at www.ronaldroyer.com or on the CMC website. The Sinfonia Finlandia may be found online at www.jyvaskylasinfonia.fi.
Evelyn Stroobach in Romania Evelyn Stroobach continues to have success in Europe with her orchestral works. Her Aurora Borealis will be performed in Ploiesti, Romania by the Ploiesti State Philharmonic on April 16th. Evelyn’s orchestral works received five European concert performances in 2008. Aurora Borealis can be heard on Evelyn’s CD of the same title, available through the CMC Boutique, or through the CentreStreams online audio service at www.musiccentre.ca.
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Gideon Kim in Israel Gideon Gee-Bum Kim continues his long-standing relationship with the Kaprizma Ensemble of Israel with his latest work Before & After the Bath for flute and guitar. The work is inspired by Canadian painter Paul Peel’s two paintings, “Before the Bath” and “After the Bath”, and is written especially for the Kaprizma Ensemble’s “Music after Paintings” project. Ensemble members Hanan Feinstein (guitar) and Ruth Ron (flute) will deliver the world premiere at the Jerusalem Music Centre in Jerusalem on March 17th. For more information about Gideon Kim and his work please visit the CMC website.
SHIFT a Success in Europe by Jennifer Waring
photoS: Josh Grossman
With the successful completion of activities in Amsterdam, this ambitious festival of Canadian and Dutch music, film and literature now SHIFTs from Europe to North America. Yes, the name says it all as the festival follows centuries of migration, transforming and continuing in Canada what began in Europe. But it’s more than that. The greater shift was to be in understanding between the Netherlands and Canada. Surprise is the currency of such an undertaking – one cannot know beforehand which new discoveries will resonate most. Our first concert was performed by the Asko Ensemble with Canadian super-star soprano and former Continuum member Barbara Hannigan, conducted by Etienne Siebens. Premieres of works by Michael Oesterle and James Rolfe, the first ever Canadian commissions by the Asko, as well as the Dutch premiere of Lettura di Dante by Claude Vivier and a new piece by Corrie van Binsbergen provided an auspicious beginning. On Day 2 Quatuor Bozzini performed a dazzling program that included premieres of two Dutch works by Hanna Kulenty and Richard Ayres. Other string quartets were by Martijn Voorvelt, Michael Oesterle and Martin Arnold. Jarko Aikens, Artistic Coordinator of the Muziekgebouw, declared that before the year was out he would have Dutch string quartets performing Arnold’s contact;vault. After Friday night’s film and live music event, which included a new work by Arnold, Jarko pronounced him the discovery of the festival. Continuum’s concert with the Ives Ensemble included works for the combined ensembles by Linda Bouchard and Guus Janssen, works for each ensemble alone by Mayke Nas (for Continuum) and Gyula Csapo (for Ives), while Continuum performed a work from its touring repertoire, raW by James Rolfe. In my opinion, this was the gravitational centre of the festival. Two ensembles from different
The ensemble explores the sonic possibilities of a single piano.
musical cultures came together, not always easily but with huge good will and a determination to make the pieces work; the result was a concert that was proclaimed “schitterand” (dazzling), by a member of the audience sitting close by. The technical complexity of the film and live music event the following day taxed even the resources of the Muziekgebouw. What brought it all together was a marathon technical and dress rehearsal, the tireless assistance of our colleagues at Images Festival, Greg Oh’s brilliance as conductor, and, by Day 6 of non-stop rehearsing and performing, the musicians’ stamina. Before and after SHIFT, Continuum performed at other major European festivals. In Aberdeen we played to a small but enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience in the last days of the remarkable S O U N D festival. Then, after installing ourselves in our home base of Amsterdam, we made a run out to s’Hertogenbosch in Brabant for two concerts as part of November Music, a tri-national festival that takes place also in Ghent, Belgium and Aachen, Germany. Following SHIFT, our tour concluded in Huddersfield where we played two works that we’d just premiered in Amsterdam, as well as Nicole Lizée’s Marsh Chapel Experiment and works by Martin Arnold and James Rolfe. There, we bumped into Rick Sacks, Quatuor Bozzini and Eve Egoyan. One senses the growing reach of Canadian music. SHIFTing to Canada what can we look forward to? From February 25th to March 3rd there will be readings and discussions at Harbourfront Centre involving some of the most compelling Dutch writers working today (February 25); a concert by Dutch jazz pianist Guus Jansen at Gallery 345; screenings at Harbourfront of works by Dutch filmmakers (February 26); a repeat of the extraordinary Amsterdam concerts by Ives Ensemble and Continuum at the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront and Quatuor Bozzini at the Music Gallery (February 28 and March 1, respectively); and the always remarkable Gregory Oh and Toca Loca performing works by Dutch and Canadian composers at the Music Gallery (February 27). All the details are available at www.shift-festival.ca.
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Milestones & Congratulations Norma Beecroft at 75 On April 11th pioneering Canadian composer Norma Beecroft will turn 75. To celebrate, the Visual Arts Centre in Bowmanville is planning a concert of her music on September 26th alongside pieces by composers that have influenced Norma’s work. Flautist Robert Aitken and harpist Erica Goodman will be the featured performers, and Norma will compose a new piece for the duo to mark the occasion. In addition, the Oshawa Durham Symphony Orchestra has commissioned Norma to write a new work for their 2009-2010 season, Oshawa being Norma’s birthplace. Norma has enjoyed an active life in music as a composer, producer, broadcaster and administrator. In her illustrious career she is well noted for her award-winning contributions to music broadcasting and production, but more so as a pioneer
Alfred Kunz at 80 Artistic Director, conductor, publisher, arranger and composer Dr. Alfred Kunz will celebrate his 80th birthday on May 26th. As noted in the University of Waterloo citation for his honorary doctorate, Alfred is: “a national treasure in the field of composition and choral conducting. He has contributed his enormous creative and organizational energies to the musical culture of the German Canadian community, in general, and to the Kitchener-Waterloo community, in particular, since 1955. For a decade and a half during the early years of the University of Waterloo, Alfred Kunz was involved in music making with the campus community. During this time he organized choirs and presented many challenging performances. As a composer, his works have been performed by various professional and amateur organizations across Canada and, indeed, in Europe. Alfred Kunz is committed to the concept of music as a life skill. His work has consistently demonstrated his unflagging commitment to the very ideal of music and to music itself as a necessity for a truly humane society. As a composer, choral director, arranger, and music coach, Mr. Kunz has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to make music not for the few but for the many: the common property of all.” With over 50 years of dedication to the music field, Alfred shows no signs of slowing down. We wish him all the best as he approaches his 80th, and for many more years to come.
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of electronic music and a proponent of composition that marries electronic sound with live instruments. Norma’s musical aesthetic was first influenced by the music of Debussy, then later by her teachers Weinzweig, Petrassi and Maderna. During her years in Europe, she was impressed by the work of Karlheinz Stockhausen, one of the first composers to combine electronic music with live instruments. As an admin istrator, she is well known as founder, with Robert Aitken, of New Music Concerts, with which she served as President and General Manager until 1989. For all her efforts, Norma has been honoured twice with the Canada Council’s Lynch-Staunton Award for composition, an honourary doctorate from York University and an Honourary Membership from the Canadian Electroacoustic Community. After a lengthy hiatus, Norma is back in the business of composing. We eagerly await to hear the results.
Phil Nimmons at 85 At a point in his career where others might be enjoying retirement, Phil Nimmons continues to work with energy and commitment as a composer, performer and educator. Shortly after his 85th birthday on June 3rd, he was getting ready for the 2nd lap of his tour with David Braid, which took him to Vancouver and Whitehorse, and then straight across the Prairie provinces. In a brilliant career spanning six decades, jazz musician, composer and educator Phil Nimmons has made an indelible contribution to the cultural life of Canada. He is largely responsible for bringing jazz into the mainstream in Canada through radio performances, concerts and workshops with Nimmons ‘N Nine and other groups. Best known in the early part of his career as a jazz clarinetist, bandleader, composer and arranger, he has also been a tireless advocate of jazz as a significant North American art form. He has been a key figure in Canadian music education, founding numerous jazz programs including the one at the University of Toronto (where he is currently Director Emeritus of Jazz Studies), and has always been willing to help and encourage other musicians, particularly those just beginning their studies and careers. Beyond numerous prestigious commissions, a body of work of over 400 compositions and dozens of studio recordings, Phil holds an enviable number of accolades, including the first Juno Award ever given in jazz, multiple National Jazz Awards, the first Toronto Arts Award for music, membership in the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada, and the Governor General’s Award. A belated Happy Birthday, Phil! Here’s to many more. photo: Mark Miller
Istvan Anhalt at 90 On April 12th CMC Associate Istvan Anhalt will mark his 90th birthday. Born into a Jewish family in Budapest in 1919, Istvan studied with Zoltan Kodaly, Nadia Boulanger and Soulima Stravinsky before emigrating to Canada in 1949, where he has been an important figure in the Canadian music scene for nearly sixty years. As a composer he is known for a large body of works encompassing opera, orchestral, chamber and electronic music. He has also come to be well respected as an educator, author and administrator. Recent years have seen a number of memorable honours for Istvan. In 2001, the book Istvan Anhalt: Pathways and Memory was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. Edited by Robin Elliott and Gordon E. Smith, this valuable publication includes biographical information on Anhalt’s life in Europe and Canada, as well as critical articles on his music and writings. In 2003, Istvan
was inducted into the Order of Canada and in 2004, he joined the ranks of pioneering Canadian composers as part of the Centrediscs Canadian Composer Portraits Series. Most recently, in November 2008, Istvan was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Election to Fellowship in the Society is the highest academic accolade in Canada. photo: Walter Curtin The School of Music at Queen’s University, where Istvan was Head from 1971-81, will mark the occasion of his 90th birthday with a tribute concert in May. For further details, be sure to visit the School of Music website at www.queensu.ca/music. To learn more about Istvan visit the CMC website.
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Long-Awaited Release of Sonic Mosaics
cover design: Alan Brownoff
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CMC Associate Paul Steenhuisen, beyond being a highly accomplished composer, is also a recognized interviewer of his creative colleagues. Over numerous years he has conducted and recorded dozens of one-on-one conversations with some of our country’s leading composers. Now, after much anticipation, these insightful interviews are available in one volume: Sonic Mosaics: Conversations with Composers, published by the University of Alberta Press, Steenhuisen calls on his own experience as a composer to lend these 32 interviews – the vast majority of which are CMC Associate Composers – a colleague’s honesty, insight and expertise. These rare intimations afford fellow composers, researchers, educators, students and enthusiasts a comparative look into the lives of the people who write some of the most innovative music today. Composers interviewed include: R. Murray Schafer; Robert Normandeau; Chris Paul Harman; Linda Catlin Smith; Alexina Louie; Omar Daniel; John Weinzweig; Udo Kasemets; James Rolfe; John Beckwith; Yannick Plamondon and Marc Couroux; Peter Hatch; John Oswald; Francis Dhomont; Juliet Palmer; John Rea; Gary Kulesha; Howard Bashaw; Christopher Butterfield; Keith Hamel; Jean Piché; James Harley; and Hildegard Westerkamp. Sonic Mosaics: Conversations with Composers will be officially released on February 18th. It is available for purchase through the Canadian Music Centre, the University of Alberta Press website at www.uap.ualberta.ca, and through Amazon and Indigo online stores. 50% of the royalties generated from sales of the book will be donated to the Canadian Music Centre, in celebration of its 50th Anniversary.
b In Memoriam by evan ware
The summer I turned eighteen was the summer I had heard of Eldon Rathburn. At the time I was making my first contact with the world of professional classical music and deciding it was my future. In order to immerse myself in my chosen vocation, I volunteered at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, which was in its second year of operation. In an early meeting with its charismatic and seemingly ubiquitous commander-in-chief, Julian Armour, I particularly remember the enthusiasm he expressed for a former NFB composer who he had found living and working in Ottawa. At the time, I was amazed that such a person would actually live in Ottawa, being that it was a town of civil servants and people who worked for an organization called the “Canada Council,” which was mysterious to me. So, it was that in the summer of 1995 I made a special effort to go and hear the Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet play a piece called Turbo (1978) written by Eldon Rathburn. At the time I had no idea who Eldon Rathburn was, beyond being the author of a crackling and lively wit that clearly inhabited his music. Turbo, it turned out, was a piece about the ill-fated, highspeed VIA train that ran between Montreal and Toronto. The music careened around unstably, bursting forward with rushes of speed only to be stymied by sudden and inexplicable complications that, after a few attempts, fizzled out into a final gasp of steam. I would later find out the man’s history. Eldon Rathburn was a great lover of trains and had written many pieces about them, or inspired by them. He was born April 21, 1916 in Queenstown, New Brunswick, received his Licentiate of Music at McGill University in 1937 and the following year won the Canadian Performing Rights Society
Scholarship Competition. From 1938-39 he studied composition at the Toronto Conservatory of Music with Healey Willan. In 1944 he became a staff composer with the National Film Board (NFB), where he worked for over thirty years. Before retiring from the NFB in 1976, Eldon had written over 100 film scores including Labyrinthe, the multi-screen extravanganza for which a special theatre was built at the Montréal Expo ‘67. Other films for which Eldon has composed include: Circus World (Imax), Skyward (Imax), Transition (3D Imax film Expo ‘86), Who Has Seen The Wind?, Canada’s Sweetheart (CBC TV-NFB), and the MacKenzie King Chronicles (CBC TV-NFB). Despite learning of these facts late, I have the measure of the man’s work and his obvious love for it, resulting in a string of compositions that include Schoenberg vs. Gershwin: a tennis match (1991), Ottawa Suite (1996/2001), and Diabolus in Musica (2007). Eldon Rathburn had something that so few Canadian composers ever have: a champion. And thanks to Julian Armour’s constant support, Eldon did something else that is remarkable for a Canadian composer: he came to prominence with the public. Whether for a single piece, or at the Gala that Julian threw for Eldon’s 90th birthday (August 1, 2006 at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival) people from all walks would turn up in good numbers to hear his works. There was something wonderful about the outside chance he represented – a retired NFB staff composer, living in Ottawa, writing contemporary music – these are not elements that normally make one a success. But Eldon, through his artistry, his craft, his charm, and his humour, came to be just that. What a success.
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NEW TITLES New Recordings Cover Wide Range of Works 2008 closed out with a great grouping of new releases showcasing the work of Ontario Associate Composers. With the Centrediscs label already poised to release some more exciting projects featuring Ontario Associates, 2009 is off to a good start for Canadian composers’ music on disc (and online.) All the recordings below are available for audition and sale through the CMC Boutique at www.musiccentre.ca or through your nearest CMC regional office.
a Celebration of Canadian Music
Contrasts in Love
This CD has been a long-time dream of pianist Toshiko Tampo. After performing a concert in Victoria that highlighted many compositions by Japanese composers, Toshiko was asked whether Canadian composers were often played in Japan. Realizing that there was little exposure to new Canadian composers in Japan, and desiring to share the music of her new home, Toshiko has developed this recording. The result is a collection of chamber music by Jean Ethridge, Sylvia Rickard, Victor Davies, Heather Schmidt and Murray Adaksin that highlights how composers hear music in all aspects of life, including shooting stars, the sound of a cell phone turning on, and Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park.
Chesnut Hill Music’s latest release devotes two CDs to the vocal and instrumental chamber music of Kitchener-Waterloo based composer Michael Purves-Smith. The selection of works is intended to allow for reflection on the beauty of music joined with poetry, whether through its setting in song or as an inspiration for instrumental works. Purves-Smith believes that the re-exploration of the whole of music creation is the way forward for new music. Therefore, the listener will experience a mixed range of musical languages – from neo-tonal and progressive music to non-tonal and minimalist influences. Over thirty emerging and established artists are featured on the disc, all of them having some tie to the composer and the Waterloo region.
Classical Fairy Tales
Flanders Fields Reflections
This independent recording by the CMSM Concert Theatre for Kids is dedicated to two settings of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales – “The Snow Queen” and “The Little Mermaid” – composed for narrator(s) and ensemble by the late Patrick Cardy. The recording is the result of a promise made by CMSM Artistic Director Peggy Hill to Dr. Cardy to record these wonderful works that introduce young and new audiences to the concert hall experience. The ensembles recorded here are comprised of some of the best musicians to be found in Canada.
This Marquis release showcases large ensemble works written within the last 15 years by Kingston-based composer John Burge. Sinfonia Toronto, led by conductor Nurhan Arman, are joined by cello soloist Shauna Rolston for the premiere commercial recordings of these works inspired by Canadian history and poetry.
This double CD release, the sixth in the Collection Quatuor Bozzini series, pays homage to the Canadian-American composer James Tenney with performances of his complete quartets and quintets. These works were composed over a period of more than 50 years, from the first string quartet (written at age 21) to the last quartet (released posthumously.) Through various acoustic and musical phenomena, Tenney creates broad, open musical spaces, making music that is both rigorous and sensual. Quatuor Bozzini are joined by special guests Eve Egoyan (piano), Rick Sacks (percussion) and Miriam Shalinsky (double bass).
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Nimmons ‘n Nine…Now
The Mike Cado Tentet, which debuted back in 2003 to mark composer and clarinetist Phil Nimmon’s 80th birthday, as well as the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Nimmon ‘n Nine, sets a “then and now” theme for their first commercial recording. A selection of Nimmons’ compositions that haven’t been heard for over 40 years are performed in their original arrangements alongside original compositions by various group members, penned specifically for this unique instrumentation.
The latest release in Carleton University’s carleton sound series features violinist Ralitsa Tcholakova and pianist Elaine Keillor in a chamber recital of music from the 20th and 21st centuries. Bulgarian composer Pantcho Vladiguerov is featured prominently alongside a wide range of CMC Associate Composers, including works by Gena Branscombe, Violet Archer, Patrick Cardy and Mary Gardiner.
So You Want to Write a Fugue?
This Centrediscs release documents a unique celebration of Glenn Gould on what would have been the pianist and composer’s 75th birthday. In searching for a manner in which to mark this milestone, CBC music producer Neil Crory was reminded of the manner in which many great composers have honoured the memory of Johann Sebastian Bach – by creating works based on the musical translation of his last name. In this same spirit, CBC Radio 2 commissioned eleven composers, from coast to coast, each to write a prelude and fugue for piano based on a four-note motif inspired by Glenn Gould’s name. The resulting works, including those by CMC Ontario Associates Chan Ka Nin, Heather Schmidt and Gary Kulesha, show the range of creativity that can be extracted from such simple materials.
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“CMC’s innovative vision is vital for fostering and developing links between composers, performers and the larger community.” – Paul Frehner
untimely death, Keith MacMillan assumed the post and oversaw moves to Edward Street and then to Bay Street near Yorkville. His successor, John Roberts, with his international flair, favored the title “Director General”; “Executive Director” is now the term used. The fifty-year history is reflected in the scores on CMC’s shelves. Under the expertise of Henry Mutsaers, copyist/librarian of early years, these pages were reproduced from composers’ ink transparencies. Ozolid offset methods gave way to Xerox photocopies. The pervasive impact of computer notation programs dates only from the last couple of decades. A few oldies like me still prefer photocopying from soft-pencil originals. From my membership on the board in the 70s, I recall two significant ventures. My 1969 article in Musicanada, the CMC newsletter, had noted the dearth of reference materials about Canadian composers’ music. MacMillan proposed, and the board accepted, that the newsletter budget be converted into a fund for a series of monographs on individual composers as well as a biographical dictionary. I was general editor for the monograph series (only four of a planned twelve actually appeared), and MacMillan and I co-edited the dictionary (Contemporary Canadian Composers, OUP, 1975). The other venture was the establishment of CMC regional offices. In the board’s deliberations, Dick Johnston argued for one in Calgary, and gained strong support from Paul Baby, whose main aim was to see one in Montreal. I took the minority view that the expansion would put a dangerous strain on available funding, but I was a skeptic. The regional offices have succeeded brilliantly, but the national overview in music remains elusive. The subsequent history is impressive – astonishing growth in Associate enrolment and library holdings; the distribution service and the Centrediscs label; digitization and increased accessibility of the collection. Nowadays in education, the media, and elsewhere, the distinction between popular music and what Phil Nimmons calls “the other kind” is hardly discernable. The CMC pointedly and aggressively makes it clear. For that, surely, all composers should raise a glass this anniversary year.
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As a new composer in Canada in the earlyto-mid 80s, it took me a while to become an Associate of the Canadian Music Centre, as in those days the assessment criteria were different than now. For many years I did not deposit many of my scores at the CMC because I was always in the habit of revising my scores constantly and felt uncomfortable with my work existing as a final document anywhere except in my own studio. I have since managed to cure myself of this problem. My first real engagement with CMC was years later through my first CD, Byzantium, which was produced and released by Centrediscs. My involvement with every stage of the production was an invaluable experience, particularly in connection with subsequent recording projects with other labels. This project helped me understand how important the electronic dissemination of concert music was to contemporary music’s survival, something that was not as obvious for my generation as it is for younger composers today. While subsequent recording projects with commercial labels have already gone out of print, Centrediscs’ commitment to their repertory has kept Byzantium in circulation for more than 15 years, an important distinction between it and other labels. Steven Gellman
In the spring of 1983 the Toronto Symphony embarked on a tour of Europe. Andrew Davis had commissioned me for a new concert overture and I had composed Awakening. My work would be featured on concerts throughout England, France, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. I was very excited about it. When John Miller, then director of CMC, heard about it he asked me “If your piece is going on tour with the Symphony, why aren’t you going too?” I was stymied and answered that I didn’t know that was an option. He said “Leave it to me.” He made some phone calls and called me back several days later. “Guess what? I’ve got funding for your air ticket, train travel, hotels and a per diem.” I was thrilled and thanked John profusely. I bought a ticket for my wife and she was able to join me and the TSO on the tour. I had the great pleasure of hearing my music performed beautifully many times and in many places. And the per diem was just about enough for the two of us to have some very fine meals! It was a wonderful time for us and one of the happiest memories of my career.
CMC is 50… and I’m 45. I guess that makes us colleagues. Trying to think of the most significant role that CMC has played in my life/career has made me conclude there is not one particular thing but an ongoing group of things that continue to accumulate, as we both get older. Undeniably one of my favorite things (and something I often use) is the CMC website. As it continues to grow and change, it’s a great way to introduce oneself to other composers while keeping one’s own work up to date. Congratulations to CMC in its 50th year for many jobs well done in the service of composers! Daria Dbrochna Kwiatkowska
My experience with CMC started in a very pleasant and rewarding way, when I was chosen as the recipient of the Toronto Emerging Composer Award in 2003. There I was, a new Canadian resident, having arrived in Toronto just a few months before, and anxious to be recognized in the busy and colourful local new music scene. To be frank, being in limbo while waiting for a residence permit doesn’t exactly boost one’s self-confidence, so the Award wasn’t only an honour to me – it was a life saver! But most importantly it was the wonderful people – Executive Director Elisabeth Bihl, Ontario Regional Director Don Tjart and his successor Jason vanEyk, to mention just a few – that made this experience very special and personal. I would like to thank all people involved with CMC for their friendship and help – you’re doing a great job!
“The CMC has been a major part of my life since the beginnings of my composition studies.” – Abigail Richardson
CMC has been a major part of my life since the beginnings of my composition studies. While taking Canadian music courses with Allan Bell at the University of Calgary, I spent much of my time at photo: Michael Shulte the Prairie Regional Centre. I later moved to Toronto for graduate studies, and having learned about the figureheads of our serious music heritage, I was awed to find them sitting beside me at concerts. Needless to say, I was thrilled to become an Associate of CMC myself. My husband has described my sound as particularly Canadian, and I know why that is. My award from the International Rostrum of Composers was exciting news, but just news, as it didn’t happen close to home. CMC responded by hosting a celebration, which meant a lot to me. The CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition win also helped cement my feeling of being accepted and supported in this organization I “grew up” with. CMC recently administrated a Norman Burgess Memorial Fund commission that introduced young players to Canadian composers. I saw first hand how these students took to the music and made it their own in repeated performances. With such initiatives, CMC continues to bring our music to the country, just as it continues to be a generous resource and support system for me and my career. Paul Frehner
As a young composer I was largely unaware of the scope of the Canadian new music community. Encouraged by one of my professors, I made a trip to the CMC in Montreal. What occurred on this visit was the experience of a young composer getting a panoramic view of the national new music scene for the first time. The locale was full of information: concert fliers and composer opportunities posted on billboards, scores everywhere, recordings to listen to, and the latest CD releases of various performers and composers available for purchase. Pierre Chiasson, who worked in the atelier at the time, was fantastic. He was always happy to share information or a story about Canadian composers. The trip was an eye-opener. Since then it has been exciting to follow CMC’s initiatives to bring Canadian music to a wider audience. New Music in New Places is just one example of a program that is redefining the notion of the concert experience. Today, my own composition students are thrilled to be able to login to the CMC website, order scores and listen to works through CentreStreams. In a time when cutbacks in the arts are rampant, CMC’s innovative vision is vital for fostering and developing links between composers, performers and the larger community. Happy 50th CMC and thank you.
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ontario regional council Trevor Clark
Larry Lake, Chair
James Harley, CLC Rep.
Juliet Kiri Palmer
Andrew Staniland, Vice-Chair
ontario region voting members Lydia Adams
Robert Aitken CM
Bernard W. Andrews
Juliet Kiri Palmer
Christina Petrowska Quilico
Clare Mazzoleni Piller
Alexina Louie OC, O.Ont
Stacy Allison Cassin
Lawrence Cherney CM
John G.W. McIntyre
“The Canadian Music Centre is now the major resource in the country for the promotion and dissemination of concert and staged works by Canadian composers. The CMC offers a full range of services to the music community that must be consolidated and strengthened now more than ever. I became a CMC Voting Member not only to support this vital work on behalf of composers, but to help the CMC to develop strategies that truly reflect the needs and aspirations of the entire community. The CMC’s continued prosperity depends on the active involvement of its Voting Membership. How will you get involved in the future of Canadian composers’ music?” – Lawrence Cherney, Artistic Director, Soundstreams Canada.
Donors and Supporters Of the CMC Ontario Region
IN GOOD STANDING AS OF December 31, 2008
Composer’s Circle ($5,000 +)
PATRONS ($500 – 999) Lawrence Cherney, CM Elaine Keillor Lee Willingham SUSTAINERS ($250 – 499) Larry Lake Christian Perry CONTRIBUTORS ($100 – 249) Robert Aitken, CM Bernard W. Andrews Jean Anderson-Wuensch William Andrews Istvan Anhalt, OC John Barnum Rodger Beatty
John Beckwith, CM John Caldwell Daniel Cooper Robin Elliott Jessie Iseler Catherine Jillings Kay Kanbayashi Morris Kates Eileen Keown Andrew Kwan Catherine Jillings Glen Mallory Roger Moore Mary Morrison, OC Stan Witkin FRIENDS (UP TO $99) Andrea Alexander Bernard W. Andrews
Julian Armour Jack Behrens Mario Bernardi, CC Damiana Bratuz Arden Broadhurst Susan Chenette Austin Clarkson Ulla Colgrass Jean Collins Gilles Comeau Gwen Ebbett David Goldbloom Susan Haig Susan Hamblin Dennis Christine Hansen Richard Henninger Charles Hill Jill Kelman Karl Larson Sherry Lee
Joseph Lipson Daniel McConnachie Nora Mular-Richards Music for Young Children Dina Namer David Olds David Perlman Doreen Allison Ryan Patricia Sauerbrei Patricia Shand Peter Stoll Don Sweete
NORMAN BURGESS FUND DONORS commissioners ($1,000+) Ann Southam Ruth Watson Henderson PARTNERS ($500 – 999) Mary Burgess SUPPORTERS ($250 – 499) William & Yi Ching Fedkenheuer Ann Laplante Colin Ripley David & Carol Wishart Wholenote Media Inc.
DONORS ($100 – 249) Joan Barrett Jack Behrens Lawrence Cherney, CM Ezra Schabas, CM David Jaeger Roger Moore ARTISTS (up to $99) Austin Clarkson Jean Collins Susan Despinic Caroline Hughey Christien Ledroit David Olds Laurie Wilcox
VOLUNTEERS Joan Barrett Eve Egoyan Jim Harley Yara Jakymiw Christien Ledroit Daniel Lee Jim Montgomery Gregory Oh Abby Richardson Micheline Roi James Rolfe The St. Lawrence String Quartet Michael Schulte Members of Schulte Strings and their families Andrew Staniland Soren Truhlar
Published on Jun 3, 2009
new [publicaiton of the Canadian Music Centre - Ontario Region: news, views, issues, accolades and memories of some of Canada's best music c...