LSM Newswire

Friday, October 9, 2009

Continuum Contemporary Music presents start : stop Launching Continuum’Äôs 25th season

Sunday, October 25, 2009, 8 pm at The Music Gallery
Part of the Music Gallery’Äôs Xavant Festival

Toronto, October 1, 2009: Continuum Contemporary Music celebrates its 25th anniversary this season, beginning with start : stop on Sunday October 25th at the Music Gallery. The evening’Äôs program examines beginnings and endings, and things between and beyond: a definition of Continuum.

Chris Paul Harman’Äôs Incipits distills Domenico Scarlatti’Äôs keyboard sonatas into a sense of perpetual inception; Samuel Andreyev dissolves and truncates in Stopping. Between the beginning and the end is the fluttering state of energy of Encore/Da Capo by Italian composer Luca Francesconi and the propulsive rhythms of Juan Trigos’Äôs Pulsaciˆ„n y Resonancias. Beyond are the subtly shifting colours of Fuhong Shi’Äôs Emanations. These last two pieces were discovered in Continuum’Äôs 2007 biennial Call for Scores. Continuum’Äôs ensemble is joined by Colleen Cook (bass clarinet), Diane Leung (viola), Paul Rogers (double bass), and Mark Duggan (percussion), with David Fallis conducting.

The composers and works
’Ä¢ Canadian composer Chris Paul Harman writes, ’ÄúAn incipit is the series of words that appears at the beginning of a poem or other literary piece. The term is also applied to music where one may view the opening measure or measures of a piece of music in the context of an index. In this work Incipits, I postulated what it might be like if a musician seated at the piano never cared to leave the index page of musical examples -- that is to say what if this reference page was a complete musical statement in and of itself?’Äù The resulting work by Chris Paul Harman follows his interest in recent years in working in sections ’Äì creating full and complete statements sometimes in under one minute.
’Ä¢ ’ÄúThe tension between continuation and cessation forms the crux of Stopping,’Äù writes oboist, composer and poet Samuel Andreyev. Written for two vibraphones because of the potential for treating attack, resonance and the cessation of sound, the work is made up of gestures that are strongly inclined to their own dissolution. Stopping contains sudden proliferations of seemingly alien material, which are just as likely to disappear as to dominate.
’Ä¢ Born in 1956, Luca Francesconi has studied composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio. His compositions have won numerous international awards. He has taught as visiting or guest professor at Rotterdam Conservatory and at l’ÄôUniversitˆ© de Montrˆ©al, and has served as composer-in-residence with numerous international organizations. Encore/Dacapo is a work that builds up of the fibrillating relationship between layered instruments, over time coalescing into rhythm and broader gestures.
’Ä¢ Mexican composer and conductor Juan Trigos received his musical training in Mexico and in Italy. His music is in general characterized by a primal "pulsation", articulated by obsessive rhythmic gears and a "Concertante" relationship between instrumental forces, in Pulsascione y Resonancias between piano and percussion. His recent work has centered on the creation of a new genre, which he calls ’ÄúHemofiction Opera’Äù. ’ÄúHemofiction’Äù, is a literary aesthetic invented by his father, the Mexican play writer and novelist Juan Trigos S. Mr. Trigos maintains a busy schedule of composing and conducting from his home base of Toronto.
’Ä¢ Emanation, by Toronto-based Chinese composer Fuhong Shi, is inspired by the ancient Chinese text Yijing (the Book of Changes) and Mongolian folk music. Yang and yin archetypal forces are represented in the contrasting timbres of the string instruments and percussion. Ms. Shi writes, ’Äúaccording to the eight basic tri-grams in Yijing ’Ķ music expresses the character of life everlasting.’Äù This is a piece that goes beyond start : stop to the eternal universe. The recipient of numerous awards in China, Taiwan and Canada for young composers, Fuhong Shi studied composition in Beijing, Victoria and Toronto.

Continuum’Äôs 25th anniversary season
Continuum’Äôs 2009-2010 season continues on January 24th with an open workshop at Gallery 345 for local emerging composers, with guest conductor/commentator Christopher Butterfield. On February 28th Continuum performs chamber works by James Rolfe at The Royal Conservatory’Äôs Mazzoleni Hall, in preparation for a Centredisc recording of Rolfe’Äôs works; and the season concludes with performances May 20th, as part of the free concert series at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, and May 21st at the Music Gallery, both featuring soprano Carla Huhtanen, the latter headlining actor RH Thomson as narrator in works by Tom Johnson and a commission by Juliet Palmer on a text by Thomas King.

Led by artistic director Jennifer Waring, Continuum presents concerts featuring the core ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, as well as unusual instrumental combinations. The organization has commissioned and premiered more than 100 new works from emerging Canadian and international composers, and also established composers charting new territory. Increasingly the group engages in collaboration and interdisciplinary work. Continuum has toured to Banff, Brandon, Kitchener, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg; touring twice to Europe, it has appeared in Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Ghent, Huddersfield, Leeuwarden, London, and ’Äòs-Hertogenbosch. The group has recorded two CDs on its own label, formed the recording ensemble for a Centrediscs release of works by Chris Paul Harman and is soon to record a CD of works by James Rolfe, also for Centrediscs. Interdisciplinary projects have paired music with dance, installation, film, architecture and philosophy. In 2005 Continuum presented l’ÄôOreille Fine, three days of concerts and a symposium featuring philosophers, poets, critics and a psychologist dealing with the subject of contemporary expression in a classical art form. Last season Continuum mounted SHIFT, a festival of Canadian and Dutch music, film and literature, in Amsterdam and Toronto.

Continuum is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, SOCAN Foundation, the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation through its Strategic Initiatives programme and many private donors.

Continuum Contemporary Music presents
start : stop
Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 8 pm at The Music Gallery
197 John Street, north of Queen
Tickets ($20 regular/$15 senior & arts workers/$10 student)
are available at the door on the night of the concert.

For more information on this concert please visit,
email or call (416) 924-4945.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences & Music Education Charity of Canada announces 2009-2010 officers and Board of Directors

Toronto, ON - The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and the Music Education Charity of Canada (MusiCounts) announced today its 2009-2010 Officers, Board of Directors and incoming Chair following its Annual General Meeting.

CARAS and MusiCounts announced the appointment of Ed Robinson as Chair to the Board of Directors. With a long and distinguished career in the Canadian television industry, including many years of association with the JUNO Awards at both CTV and CBC, Robinson brings to CARAS a wealth of knowledge and experience. Robinson recently retired from CTV where he was the Executive Vice-President for Programming, as well as President and General Manager of The Comedy Network and SPACE: The Imagination Station. His career in entertainment began at CBC Television in 1980 as Deputy Creative Head for their Arts, Music, Science and Variety Department.

"This is a real honour," said Robinson. "I have incredible respect for CARAS and the great work it does on behalf of our music industry. CARAS plays a critical role in not only promoting Canadian music around the world but also by helping foster new talent from coast to coast. I'm looking forward to learning all aspects of the music industry during my tenure as Chair."

In a related announcement, Melanie Berry, President, has been promoted to the title of President & CEO of The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and the Music Education Charity of Canada (MusiCounts).

"Ed is a perfect fit as Chair of the Board," said Berry. "This position requires someone who will take an active, hands-on role while blazing a trail for CARAS in the coming years. Ed's exemplary leadership skills and passion for the music industry will ensure that we continue to steer this organization towards a bright future."

CARAS and MusiCounts gratefully acknowledges the commitment of its Board members who continue to proactively impact Canada's music industry and bring forth their expertise, insights and leadership to the organizations.

The Complete List of the 2009-2010 CARAS and MusiCounts Officers and Board of Directors:

Chair: Ed Robinson: CARAS & MusiCounts Chair
1st Vice-President: Steve Kane: President, Warner Music Canada
2nd Vice-President: Randy Lennox: President & CEO, Universal Music Canada
Secretary/Treasurer: Humphrey Kadaner: President, HMV Canada
Melanie Berry: President & CEO, CARAS & MusiCounts
Bruce Allen: President, Bruce Allen Talent
Vivian Barclay: General Manager, Warner Chappell Music Canada Ltd.
Deane Cameron: President, EMI Music Canada
Shane Carter: Co-President, SONY Music Entertainment Canada Inc.
Vinny Cinquemani: President, SL Feldman & Associates
Rob Farina: Executive Vice President, Content for Astral Media Radio
Paul Haagenson: President, Canada, West, Live Nation
Ralph James: President, The Agency Group Canada
Aideen O'Brien: President, Mighty Craic
Julien Paquin: President ’Äì Agency Division, Paquin Entertainment Group
Ed Robertson: Artist, Barenaked Ladies
Patti-Anne Tarlton: VP Live Entertainment, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
Chris Taylor: Owner & Founder, Taylor Mitsopulos Klein Oballa
Louis Thomas: President & CEO, Sonic Entertainment Group

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences/L'academie canadienne des arts et des sciences de l'enregistrement (CARAS) is a not-for-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the Canadian music and recording industries and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards. The main focus of CARAS is the exploration and development of opportunities to showcase and promote Canadian artists and music through vehicles such as The JUNO Awards. For more information on the 39th Annual JUNO Awards or The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) please visit our websites at and

About MusiCounts
MusiCounts, the music education charity of Canada associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, is helping to keep music alive in schools across Canada. MusiCounts continues to inspire young Canadians through its mandate to ensure that every student has the opportunity to receive quality music education, develop their talent and build self-esteem. MusiCounts provides grants, fosters music programs and awards scholarships. Since the Program's establishment in 1997, over $3 million has been donated impacting close to 200,000 students, their schools and communities from coast to coast. MusiCounts has also honoured four extraordinary music teachers through the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. MusiCounts is supported by various initiatives such as the JUNO Award nominee compilation CD; annual contributions by CTVglobemedia; EMI Music Canada Inc.; Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.; Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada Ltd.; as well as Songwriters' Circle sponsored by CMPA and SOCAN; Juno Cup sponsored by The Keg Steakhouse and Bar; and individual and corporate contributions, including Astral Media, Rogers Broadcasting Limited and SIRIUS Canada Inc. For more information, please visit:

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nurhan Arman conducts opening concert of Spanish Festival


Nurhan Arman, Music Director of Sinfonia Toronto, will lead the opening concert of Spain's 29th International Montserrat Festival. Maestro Arman will be on the podium on July 20th to conduct the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra in a program of Haydn, Mendelssohn and Schubert. German violinist Karl-Heintz Schulz will be the soloist in Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

The opening concert of the popular festival will celebrate the anniversaries of two great composers: Haydn with his Symphony No. 49 (La Passione) and Mendelssohn with his violin concerto.

Maestro Arman is a frequent guest conductor in Europe. He has appeared in most of the countries of Europe with numerous European orchestras in cultural centres like Paris, Lisbon, Budapest, Milan, Brussels, Ljubljana and Bucharest. Last November he led Sinfonia Toronto in a five-city tour in Germany.
This spring he conducted an all-Haydn program with Italy's Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico, and he will return to Italy in October for concerts with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Bari. Other European appearances next season will include a series of concerts with Kammerphilharmonie Munchen in Munich and other German cities.

Nurhan Arman's next Toronto appearance will be the opening concert of Sinfonia Toronto's Masterpiece Series on October 23, in their 'Violin Diva' concert with renowned Canadian violinist Lara St. John.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Juno Award-Winning Canadian Composer John Burge

US Premiere of Juno Award-Nominated Composer John Burge’Äôs Mass for Prisoners of Conscience at Lincoln Center, April 5, 2009

’ÄúIn attempting to communicate the suffering of political prisoners, to pay tribute to Amnesty International’Äôs role in ending it and to write a large piece, the young composer set himself a challenging task’ĶJohn Burge’Äôs Mass for Prisoners of Conscience is a triumph.’Äù-- Kingston Whig Standard

A classical and a modern Mass

A recording of the music of John Burge, Flanders Fields Reflections, by the Sinfonia Toronto, conducted by Nurhan Arman, has been nominated for a 2008 Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys, in the category of Best Canadian Classical Music Composition. The US premiere of the Burge Mass for Prisoners of Conscience will be presented in a performance dedicated to human rights organization Amnesty International, at Lincoln Center’Äôs Avery Fisher Hall, Sunday, April 5, at 2:00 PM. Conductor Laureate Doreen Rao will conduct musicians and singers from the University of Toronto, where she is Director of Choral Programs, and Queen’Äôs University in Ontario, where Dr. Burge is Director of the School of Music.

As a counterpoint to the Burge Mass, the evening will also feature the Mass No. 12 in B minor ("Theresienmesse") of Franz Josef Haydn, under the baton of Guest Conductor Eric Johnson. This work features the Distinguished Orchestra International and the Distinguished Singers International, which consists of vocalists from all corners of the United States and abroad. Guest soloists for this section of the program will be Orna Ariana, Soprano, Shannon McGee, Mezzo, John Tiranno, Tenor, and Samuel Smith, Baritone.

Previous recognition; First musical setting for world-famous poem

John Burge has written a large body of vocal, chamber, and orchestral compositions. His piece, Angels’Äô Voices, for choir and orchestra, received the 2006 Outstanding New Choral Composition Award from the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors and was performed in New York City’Äôs Carnegie Hall in 2005. As a long-serving past-President of the Canadian League of Composers, Burge has been a passionate advocate for contemporary music and Canadian music in particular. His oeuvre contains many works that are inspired by Canadian poetry and landscape, such as One Sail, based upon a poem by Canadian poet Margaret Avison. Regarding the Juno-nominated Flanders Fields Reflections, based on the iconic poem by Canadian military officer John McCrae, conductor Nurhan Arman said, ’ÄúRecording these works was a real labour of love for us, and we are delighted that now people’Ķwill be able to listen to these remarkable compositions’Ķit’Äôs a great privilege to help pieces as beautiful as these become better known.’Äù

The Program

Mass for Prisoners of Conscience, commissioned in 1987 by Vancouver’Äôs Christ Church Cathedral Choir, is scored for baritone, mezzo-soprano and child soloists, accompanied by choir and a small instrumental ensemble of four solo woodwind instruments, two pianos and percussion. The text material for the soloists consists entirely of settings of first-hand accounts of political prisoners and their families sung in English. These accounts or testimonials are drawn from material provided by Amnesty International. The choir sings sections from the liturgical Mass in Latin, and comments on the emotions and situations expressed in the solo movements. Musically, the work is highly dramatic in the way that it combines percussively angular passages with lyrical vocal writing. The work was premiered by the University of Toronto Symphony Chorus, Dr. Doreen Rao, conductor, on November 9th, 1990.

The Theresienmesse was composed following Haydn’Äôs tenure in England, where he had secured his reputation as the greatest living composer of his day. He would write no more symphonies, but did accept a commission from Nicholas II, the fourth of the Esterhˆ°zy princes whom he had served, to write a Mass each year celebrating the name day of Nicholas’Äôs wife. The Theresa Mass is written for four vocal soloists, chorus, and a somewhat unusual orchestra consisting of two clarinets, bassoon, two trumpets, timpani and strings.


To obtain tickets or further information regarding this event, please visit the Distinguished Concerts web site, Tickets can also be purchased by calling the DCINY box office, 212.707.8566, x 307 or directly from the concert venue.

Premiere works

In just two short years, DCINY has joined the ranks of major classical music production companies in America, nearly doubling its roster of participating ensembles and attracting talent from all over the globe. Among the events DCINY is honored to present this season are: one world and two US premiere performances of major new works by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, which took place on January 19, and the world premiere of a new choral piece by American composer Eric Whitacre on June 28. Please visit for details regarding other highlights of DCINY’Äôs 2009/2010 Season.

Interviews can be arranged by contacting Mindi Rayner Public Relations, at 718.377.4720, or For press tickets please contact Gene Wisniewski of Distinguished Concerts International, at 212.707.8566, ext. 306, or

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

'Cellissimo!' - Denise Djokic Plays Saint-Saens


Sinfonia Toronto will present a Masterpiece Series concert on Friday, March 6, at 8 pm at Grace Church on-the-Hill (300 Lonsdale Road). Titled 'Cellissimo!' the concert will feature the brilliant Canadian cello sensation Denise Djokic. Orchestra's Music Director Nurhan Arman will conduct.

The soaring melodies of Saint-Saens' Cello Concerto in A Minor and Shostakovich's Sinfonia op. 73 will be heard, along with Sonatina and Partita Danzante by Czech composer Jan Slimacek.

One of the most captivating young artists of her generation, cellist Denise Djokic has thrilled audiences and critics worldwide with the passion, vigor, and sensitivity of her playing. Already one of North America's most sought after soloists, she has performed as guest soloist with every leading orchestra in Canada, including the orchestras of Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. She has also appeared with many orchestras in the United States and in Mexico.

As a recitalist and chamber musician, Denise performs throughout North America and Europe. She has performed in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Cologne, Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, at Chicago's Dame Myra Hess Series, at Bargemusic and with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players in New York, in addition to all major Canadian centers. Her avid involvement in chamber music brings her to many festivals yearly, including the chamber festivals of Caramoor, Ottawa, Vancouver, Park City, Parry Sound, Domaine Forget, and Ravinia.

Denise has toured Canada extensively, during which she was featured as the subject of the documentary film "Seven Days, Seven Nights", which aired on Bravo TV and was screened at the Atlantic Film Festival. She was also named by MacLean's magazine as one of "25 Young Canadians who are changing our World", and by ELLE magazine as one of "Canada's 30 most Powerful Women".

Denise's debut recording was released in 2002 on the Sony Classical label to great critical acclaim, and won her an East Coast Music Award for "Best Classical Recording of the Year". During the same year, Denise was a featured performer at the 2002 Grammy Awards. She recently released her second recording, entitled "Folklore", on the Allegro/Endeavor label, which was featured on NPR's renowned "All Things Considered" program.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, into a large musical family, Denise began her studies with Olive Shaw and Shimon Walt. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music's "Young Artist Program", where she was a student of Richard Aaron, and later continued her studies in Boston with Paul Katz and Laurence Lesser.

There will be a free post-concert reception, giving audience members a chance to meet the orchestra members, conductor and soloist.

Online discount tickets are $35 adult, $27 senior, $7 student (16-29) and can be purchased at
or at regular price by phone 416-499-0403 or at the door.
Buy tickets and CDs at
Sinfonia Toronto
3901 Don Mills Road, Box 5
Toronto, ON M2H 2S7
Tel/Fax: 416.499.0403

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Monday, January 5, 2009

The Glory of Baroque Concerti


'The Glory of Baroque Concerti' is Sinfonia Toronto's warm and colourful program to melt the midwinter chill. This Masterpiece Series concert will take place on Friday, February 6, 2009 at 8 pm in Grace Church on-the-Hill (300 Lonsdale Road).

Conductor Nurhan Arman will lead the concert that will feature several members of the orchestra in brilliant baroque concertos. Canada will be well represented among the baroque masters as Violist Julian Knight will play the world-premiere of a Viola Concerto written in a baroque style by Toronto composer Ronald Royer.

Other soloists will be Xiaohan Guo in Bach's E Major Violin Concerto; Violinist Phoebe Tsang in Vitali's Chaconne; Cellist Andras Weber in a brilliant Tartini concerto. Sinfonia Toronto's concertmaster Mary-Elizabeth Brown will team up with Emily Hau in Bach's Double Concerto in D Minor.

In commenting on the program Nurhan Arman said "It is a brilliant program that will feature some incredible music and highlight the virtuosity of our orchestra's musicians as five of them will be appearing as soloists. Also of great interest is the creation of a neo-baroque viola concerto by our composer-in-residence Ronald Royer."

There will be a free post-concert reception, giving audience members a chance to meet members of the orchestra, the conductor and the soloist.

Online discount tickets are $35 adult, $27 senior, $7 student (16-29) and can be purchased at or at regular price by phone 416-499-0403 or at the door.

Buy tickets and CDs at
Sinfonia Toronto
3901 Don Mills Road, Box 5
Toronto, ON M2H 2S7
Tel/Fax: 416.499.0403
Tickets: 905-825-9477

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