LSM Newswire

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sinfonia Toronto Acclaimed in Germany

Toronto - Sinfonia Toronto's five-city concert tour in the central German state of Hesse drew raves for each concert. The 'Heart of Germany' tour included performances in Kassel, Fulda, Bensheim, Warburg and FląŹrsheim-am-Main. The Hessischer Rundfunk radio network was a co-sponsor of the tour and recorded the orchestra's performance in Fulda for broadcast on January 9. The tour repertoire included compositions by Elgar, Janacek, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Canadian composer Sir Ernest MacMillan. The orchestra's concertmaster Mary-Elizabeth Brown was the featured violin soloist in works by Schubert and Sarasate.

Johannes Mundry's review of the Kassel concert in the Hessich Niedersachsische Allgemeine summed up Sinfonia Toronto's performance by saying, "What was heard was truly rewarding, as quality of this calibre has not been heard here for a long time; the quality of this standing ensemble's performance was impressively high."

Mikolaus Frey headlined his Fuldaer Zeitung review "Musical Ambassadors with a Penchant for Ecstasy," and wrote, "To start with the audience heard the Serenade in E-Major Opus 20 by Elgar. This piece was performed by an ensemble from Prague in the Furstensaal a few days ago. But how different the work sounded this time: the three movements unfolded their themes with a wealth of lyrical expression, filling the hall with full string sound and still maintaining the clarity of the structure." He spoke of Nurhan Arman's "spirited yet sensitive leadership" and included a second headline, "Conductor makes magic."

Burkard Battran of the Neue Westfalische News said that "Sinfonia Toronto is a real success, satisfying even the most demanding musical connoisseurs."

Peter Ernst in the Westfallen Blatt commented on Tchaikowsky's Souvenir de Florence, "Conductor Nurhan Arman directed and guided his musicians through the idiosyncratic and challenging score with almost boundless energy. The interpretation we heard was the result of intensive rehearsals paying attention to inner details and it was sensitive, committed and well conceived."

Karin Pfeifer of the Bergstraser Anzeiger commented on the performance of Tchaikovsky's Serenade in Benshiem that "this compelling interpretation formed a final high point of this evening."

In the Rhein Main Presse Daniel Honsack wrote "Lightly and intensely, the orchestra played with great consistency. Silvery soft passages whirled through the church, the musicians thoroughly delighted in sweet sections. The characters of individual phrases were vividly conveyed - such as the sparkling Presto, a lyrical Adagio or the demanding and dramatic intensely interpreted final Andante."

The 'Heart of Germany' tour was supported by an International Touring Assistance in Music Pilot Project Program grant from the Canada Council, a National and International Touring Pilot Program grant from the Ontario Arts Council, the Hessischer Rundfunk radio network, Lufthansa, the Deutsch-Kanadische Gesellschaft, the Canadian Embassy in Berlin and Kasseler Bank.

During the 2008-2009 season Sinfonia Toronto is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The orchestra presents a seven-concert Masterpiece Series in Toronto's Grace Church on-the-Hill each season and a number of community/outreach performances. Marquis Records has just issued Sinfonia Toronto's new CD, Flanders Fields Reflections.

For the full texts of 'Heart of Germany' concert reviews or additional information on the tour dates, locations and programs please refer to or contact the orchestra as above.
Next Toronto performance of Sinfonia Toronto is this Friday, December 12, 8 p.m. at Grace Church on-the-Hill, the concert will be under the baton of guest conductor Rista Savic. Clarinet virtuoso Darko Brlek will appear as soloist.

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