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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Esprit Orchestra launches 2008-09 season with Inspired by Traditions

Inspired by Traditions

Esprit Orchestra launches its 2008-09 season

Toronto, ON (November 5, 2008)ĶEsprit Orchestra opens its 2008-09 season on Sunday, November 23, 2008 with Inspired by Traditions, a concert of electrifying music exploring diverse styles from jazz to late-Romanticsm. Alex Pauk, Esprits founding music director will conduct the program which features pianist Andrew Burashko and violinist Marie Brard, Concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.

Inspired by Traditions includes John Adams exhilarating Short Ride in a Fast Machine, R. Murray Schafers romantic Dream Rainbow, Dream Thunder, the North American premiere of Valentin Silvestrovs Dedication and Aaron Coplands rarely-performed, jazz-inflected Piano Concerto No. 1.

John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine is a thrilling, joyfully exuberant piece in the established tradition of minimal music. One of Americas most admired and performed living composers, Adams has built a huge audience worldwide through the immediacy and sincerity of his music. Short Ride in a Fast Machine, with its steady beat, and repeating and shifting rhythmic patterns, has become one of the most frequently requested and performed compositions in American concert-halls.

One of Canadas most highly ranked classical composers, R. Murray Schafer needs no introduction. His work titled Dream Rainbow, Dream Thunder is a sumptuous fantasy for orchestra inspired by Schafers visit to Neuschwanstein, King Ludwigs magnificent Bavarian castle built as an homage to Richard Wagner. Wagners influence is detectable in Schafers work, as are the styles of other composers. Esprit Orchestras recording of Dream Rainbow, Dream Thunder won a Juno Award in 1986.

Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov is beginning to become better known in the West, whereas in the former Soviet Union he has long earned the respect of such contemporary heavyweights as Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Prt. His Dedication, a symphony for violin and orchestra, is a broadly sweeping, lyrical piece which explores the phenomenon of melody as a symbol of gratitude. In the composers words, melody, in its widest sense, has always been entrusted to us, simply as Gods gift to music. Joining Esprit in presenting this North American premiere of Silvestrovs masterpiece will be violin soloist Marie Brard.

American composer Aaron Copland helped define a twentieth century American sound by creating a musical style that combined the myths of the American West and the styles of Latin American music. His works have great impact and resonance in North America and he has exerted tremendous influence on a huge number of American composers including the likes of Leonard Bernstein. A distinct, Gershwin-like style comes through strongly in Coplands Piano Concerto No. 1 which will be performed by the accomplished pianist Andrew Burashko.

Concert and Ticket Details

Inspired by Traditions takes place on Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 8 p.m. at the Jane Mallett Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (27 Front Street East). A pre-concert talk begins at 7:15 p.m. Tickets to Inspired by Traditions are $15 for students, $24 for seniors and $32 for adults. Group rates (8+ people) are $25. Subscriptions to Esprit Orchestras 2008-09 season start at $45. For tickets or subscriptions contact the St. Lawrence Centre Box Office at 416-366-7723 or .

About Esprit Orchestra

Esprit Orchestra is Canadas only orchestra devoted exclusively to performing new orchestral music and developing a legacy of Canadian orchestral music. Founded by composer/conductor Alex Pauk in 1983, Esprit Orchestra is comprised of a core of 45 dedicated musicians with the special skills required to perform contemporary orchestral music. Esprit commissions and premieres new works each season and ensures continued public access to these works through encore performances, radio broadcasts, compact disc and film recordings, and national and international tours. For more information visit

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