LSM Newswire

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Canadian Oboe Quartets: New CD

The Gallery Players of Niagara

Debut CD Features Works by Canadian Composers

John Abram Peter Hatch Michael Oesterle James Rolfe

The Gallery Players of Niagara proudly announce the release of their first CD, CANADIAN OBOE QUARTETS, featuring four original works by renowned Canadian composers James Rolfe, Michael Oesterle, Peter Hatch and John Abram. Violinist Julie Baumgartel, violist Patrick Jordan, cellist Margaret Gay and James Mason, one of Canadaĺ─˘s finest oboe players have generated a small but hopefully meaningful addition to the repertoire for this slightly under-represented grouping of instruments.

ĺ─˙The four pieces collected on this CD are in some ways obviously disparate and perhaps more closely connected than is immediately apparentĺ─¨, comments Margaret Gay, artistic director of the Gallery Players of Niagara. Three of the works, Michael Oesterleĺ─˘s Sunspot Letters, James Rolfeĺ─˘s Oboe Quartet and Peter Hatchĺ─˘s Wiki Mozart, all composed in 2006, were commissioned by the Gallery Players in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozartĺ─˘s birth. ĺ─˙Our request to the composers was to revisit and respond as literally or as figuratively as they chose to Mozartĺ─˘s Oboe Quartet in F Major K.370. John Abramĺ─˘s Oboe Quartet, composed in 2002 for the same group of players, is a revisiting of an earlier piece of his own composition. The results of these collaborations have been enormously gratifying to the Gallery Players and our audiencesĺ─¨, adds Ms. Gay.

The Gallery Players of Niagara - a collective of musicians that presents chamber music in the Niagara Region - has committed itself to the commissioning and performance of new Canadian works since the group was formed in 1993. The groupĺ─˘s goal is to present these new works as part of both traditional concert settings as well as in novel situations, making the works available to wider audiences.

Canadian Oboe Quartets was recorded in May 2008 at Humbercrest United Church in Toronto (Keith Horner, producer; Ron Searles, engineer).

The CD is available through,, CD Baby and iTunes

The performers on this CD are core members of The Gallery Players of Niagara.

James Mason is recognized as one of Canadaĺ─˘s finest oboe players. He has been principal oboe with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since 1979. He has recorded for broadcast much of the chamber and solo repertoire for his instrument. Mr. Mason is on the faculty of Wilfrid Laurier University. Julie Baumgartel (violin) performs with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Nota Bene Period Orchestra. Other activities include appearances with the Gallery Players, and at the Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound, ON) and the Elora Festival. She conducts the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Youth Sinfonia, and teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Patrick Jordan (viola) is a member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Gallery Players and the Eybler Quartet. He is principal viola of the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, California, and has served as principal viola in The Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra. He appears regularly with the Toronto Consort and Opera Atelier. Margaret Gay (cello) performs regularly with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, Opera Atelier, the Eybler Quartet, and Ensemble Polaris, a group exploring the traditional music of various Nordic countries. She is Artistic Director of the Gallery Players of Niagara.

ĺ─˙Thereĺ─˘s no greater tribute to the musicianship of these four players than that they were able to hold the audienceĺ─˘s attention securely and solidlyĺ─¨ - The Globe and Mail

ĺ─˙Since scouring the Niagara peninsula for excellence in the professional performing-arts scene for almost a year, I have never had such a satisfying outingĺ─¨ - James Wegg Review

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