LSM Newswire

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sunday Showcase series is Taking Flight with utmost musicianship - Oct. 18

Sunday Showcase: Promising young talent and a composer from the ESOs ranks propel series opener

Taking Flight
Sunday, October 18th 2:00 pm

October 8th, 2009 - Edmonton, AB Ķ Performing timeless musical works, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) and Music Director William Eddins kick-off the newly formatted Sunday Showcase series by Taking Flight at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music. Bringing a new, unique essence to the series, these matinee concerts can be considered the perfect stepping stone for families with teens and young adults.

In this diverse and lyrical showcase of music, 17-year-old prodigious Canadian violinist and student at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, Maia Cabeza, demonstrates the technically brilliant style of Glazunovs Violin Concerto. ESO Principal Trombone John McPherson will be featured soloist in his own composition Walk in Beauty, and Bill Eddins and the orchestra bring natures music to the concert hall with Respighis sparkling suite Gli uccelli (The Birds). Mozarts Prague Symphony, written in gratitude for the people of Bohemia, closes the series opening concert.

Following the performance, join Resident Conductor Lucas Waldin and violinist Maia Cabeza in the main lobby for our Sunday Coffee Shop. Audience members are invited to ask questions about the performance in a casual, relaxed, and fun atmosphere.

In appreciation of educators in our community, the ESO welcomes Kathy Goudreau, new principal of A. Blair McPherson School to the matinee concert. Ms. Goudreau will be available to speak with students, their parents, and all ESO patrons. Join her to learn about the progress on the building and discover her unique vision for the school, which opens in September, 2010. It was previously announced that John McPhersons father, a strong advocate and volunteer for public education, would be granted a namesake school.

Many of the ESO musicians are also educators, active in the community as private music lesson instructors. An online directory of these musicians and their current instruction offerings is now available on the ESO website.

Ticket prices for Taking Flight range from $20 $65 (agency fees apply), and are available through the Winspear Centre Box Office. Youth tickets are only $20 (plus fees). Call (780) 428-1414, toll-free 1-800-563-5081, or purchase online at

The next performance of the Sunday Showcase series takes place on January 17th, 2010. ESO Principal Trumpet Robin Doyon and Canadian pianist Daniel Fung create music of medieval magic and folk-art celebration, together with Bill Eddins, in European Inspirations.

The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, marking its 58th season in 2009-2010, has taken its place as one of Canada's foremost orchestral ensemble. Its current roster includes 56 musicians from Canada and around the world, performing a wide-ranging repertoire from the great classical masterworks to pops and children's concerts. The presence of the orchestra and its enrichment of the community's quality of life are key elements in the stature and profile of Edmonton on the national and international scene.


Canadian violinist Maia Cabeza started violin studies in Toronto at the age of four. Accepted at 13, she is currently a student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where Ida Kavafian and Joseph Silverstein are her violin teachers. She had her first soloist performance with orchestra at the age of 10, and more recently, she performed with the Reno Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony at Meadow Brook Music Festival, and with the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra. In 2004, she was loaned an 1892 Gragnani violin by the Stradivari Society of Chicago, and in 2005, she was awarded a fellowship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development towards advancing musical studies. A finalist in the 2009 Albert M. Greenfield Philadelphia Orchestra Competition and a semi-finalist in the 2008 Yehudi Menuhin International violin competition, Ms. Cabeza has won prizes in numerous competitions.

Now 17, Maia Cabeza has performed as a soloist with several orchestras, including the Orquesta Academica del Teatro Coln in Buenos Aires, the Chapel Hill Philharmonia, the Duke String School Chamber Orchestra, the Danville Symphony, and the Triangle Youth Philharmonic. She was the concertmaster of the Triangle Youth Philharmonic for the 2005-2006 season, and has worked under conductors such as Simon Rattle, Christoph Eschenbach, and Charles Dutoit as a member of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. Past violin teachers include Patinka Kopec (Manhattan School of Music), Richard Luby (UNC), and Robert Lipsett. Maia has attended several prestigious summer festivals including the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland, Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, Encore School for Strings, and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

This is Ms. Cabezas debut with the ESO.

Since 1980, John McPherson has been Principal Trombone of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. A native Edmontonian, John has been both a trombone and euphonium soloist with the ESO. In addition, the orchestra has performed many of his compositions. Previous orchestral experience includes the Toronto Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, and the Canadian Opera Orchestra.

An active musician in many areas, John has played with the Tommy Banks Band, the New Orleans Connection, the Canadian Hot Stars Dixieland Band, the Alberta Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Bad for Business Big Band and many others. As a chamber musician, John has performed and recorded as a member of the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, the Malcolm Forsyth Trombone Ensemble, the Albertasauras Tuba Quartet, the Old Strathcona Town Band, and the Plumbers Union. He is a founding member of E-SWAT, a tactical musical strike team of the ESO which launches surgical attacks of music where its least expected.

As an educator John has been part of the ESOs Adopt a Player program, taught at numerous music camps, and since 1985 has been Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone and Euphonium at the University of Alberta.

Composition has become an increasingly important part of Johns career. He has received commissions from Grande Prairie Regional College, the Wild Rose String Quartet, and the Alberta Foundation for the Performing Arts. His works have been performed by such groups as the Edmonton Symphony, the Hammerhead Consort, Take 3, the NOWage Orchestra, the Beau String Quartet of Calgary, Basstiality of Toronto, and the Festival City Pops Orchestra. Many of these performances have been recorded and broadcast on programs such as Arts National, Two New Hours, and Alberta In Concert.

Under Music Director William Eddins charismatic and energetic direction, the Edmonton Symphony has attained a level of musicianship and profile in the community it has rarely achieved. He has conducted performances in nearly every subscription series the ESO has presented, as well as a wide variety of special concerts and galas.

Bills musical life began at age five when his parents bought a Wurlitzer Grand piano at a garage sale. He attended the Eastman School of Music, graduating at age eighteen, making him the youngest graduate in the history of the institution. He also studied conducting with Daniel Lewis at the University of Southern California. Previous positions include a five-year tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of the RT National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland) and as Resident Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra.

Bill Eddins continues to pursue many varied interests, both personally and professionally. While conducting has been his principal pursuit, he continues to perform on piano in Edmonton and elsewhere. He recently built a state of the art recording studio and has begun work on a series of chamber music recordings. He blogs regularly on and has done a series of podcasts called Classical Connections available at

Committed to his leadership of the ESO, Mr. Eddins accepts a limited number of guest appearances elsewhere. He led a highly-acclaimed production of Porgy and Bess for Opra de Lyon in June 2008, which he will reprise during the summer of 2010, and most recently toured South Africa in August 2009 with the stunning soprano Rene Fleming and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. His latest recording, of American music for Cello and Piano, has been released on the Naxos label.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Bill currently resides in Minneapolis with his wife Jen, a clarinetist, and their two boys, Raef and Riley.

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