LSM Newswire

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The VSO's Exciting Season Finale!

The VSOs Season Finale is a real barn-burner: Carl Orffs extraordinary masterpiece Carmina Burana is a musical setting of medieval poetry, from the sacred to the profane, from devotional love and piety to drinking songs and debauchery! It also happens to be one of the wildest live concert experiences you can possibly have. Combined with Stravinskys Symphony of Psalms, this concert is a magnificent Season Finale for Lower Mainland audiences, and a prelude to the excitement of the 2009/2010 Season!

Maestro Bramwell Tovey wields the baton in this massive concert that features soprano Laura Whalen, tenor Colin Ainsworth, baritone Hugh Russell, the Vancouver Bach Choir, and the Vancouver Bach Childrens Chorus. Concerts take place on Saturday and Monday, June 13th and 15th, 8pm at the Orpheum Theatre.

Carmina Burana was German composer Carl Orffs first and greatest success. It is a scenic cantata composed between 1935 and 1936 based on 24 of the poems found in the medieval collection of the same name. In 1803, at the monastery of Benediktbeuern in Upper Bavaria, musicologist J. A. Schmeller discovered a manuscript collection of lyrics, dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and eventually published it in 1847. The polite side of the collection includes six plays based on the Christmas, Passion and Easter mysteries. The earthier part contains some 200 drinking songs, love lyrics and recruiting songs.

When Orff came across the manuscript in 1935, he saw in it the ideal vehicle to express the kind of basic, uncomplicated human emotions he had in mind. Choosing two dozen poems from the collection, with the assistance of Michel Hofmann, he matched them with equally direct music, featuring simple yet striking rhythms, melodies and harmonies. Its not sophisticated, not intellectual, he wrote, and the themes of my work are themes that everyone knowsĶThere is a spiritual power behind my work, thats why it is accepted throughout the world. The premiere took place in Frankfurt on June 8, 1937.

The illuminated pictures that accompanied the original poems intrigued Orff virtually as much as the words. The cover showed luck as a revolving wheel, blindly governing peoples destinies. Orff begins his Carmina Burana with a grandiose hymn, Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (Luck, Empress of the World), saluting this inscrutable, unpredictable concept. O Fortuna is one of the grandest statements in all of music, and has become famous world-wide. This extraordinary music from the beginning of Carmina Burana has been used in movies, commercials, and in sports arenas around the world as a trigger for creating feelings of drama and thrilling anticipation. Primo vere (In Springtime), follows. It deals, mostly in quiet, mysterious fashion, with the anticipated arrival of that season. Joy eventually breaks forth as Spring itself appears. It is celebrated in the section entitled Uf dem anger (On the Green).

The next segment, In Taberna (In the Tavern) salutes the juice of the grape in riotous fashion. The tenor soloist, singing in falsetto, takes the role of a swan roasting slowly and sadly on a spit. The baritone is an Abbot who launches the men of the choir into a rollicking ode to drink.

Cour damours (Court of Love) brings several of Orffs loveliest, most lyrical moments. The soprano solo In trutina (In the Balance) a glowing anticipation of fulfillment, is a particular highlight. After the ecstatic fervor of Blanziflor et Helena (Blanchefleur and Helen, the principal characters in a medieval romance), Orffs ode to luck returns, to close Carmina Burana as majestically as it began.

Igor Stravinskys Symphony of Psalms was commissioned in 1929 by conductor Serge Koussevitzky, for the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He used this opportunity to realize a project he had been considering for some time: a setting of selected Biblical Psalms for chorus and orchestra.

I began with Psalm 150, Stravinsky wrote. After finishing the fast-tempo sections, I went back to compose the first and second movementsĶThe first movement, Hear my prayer, O Lord, (Psalm 39) was composed in a state of religious and musical symbolism in any of my music before The Flood. It consists of an upside-down pyramid of fugues.

The Allegro in Psalm 150 (Finale of the Symphony) was inspired by a vision of Elijahs chariot climbing to the heavens; never before had I written anything quite so literal as the triplets for horns and piano to suggest the horses and chariot. In setting the words of this final hymn, I cared above all for the sounds of the syllables, and I have indulged my besetting pleasure of regulating prosody in my own way.

Stravinsky, who had become a regular communicant of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1926, inscribed the score of Symphony of Psalms To the Glory of God. The orchestration includes enlarged wind and brass sections, but excludes violins and violas.


Masterworks Diamond Series:

Carmina Burana!

Saturday & Monday, June 13 & 15, 8pm, Orpheum Theatre

Bramwell Tovey, conductor

Laura Whalen, soprano

Colin Ainsworth, tenor

Hugh Russell, baritone

Vancouver Bach Choir

Vancouver Bach Childrens Chorus

Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms

Orff Carmina Burana

Tickets $25 to $78.50 (Student, Senior and Subscriber discounts available)

Tickets available by phone at 604.876.3434 or online at

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Memphis Symphony Orchestra Agrees on Innovative Contract

Memphis Symphony Orchestra Agrees on Innovative Contract

Memphis, TN --The musicians and board of directors for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra (MSO) recently approved a new employment contract for the 2008-2009 season that reflects a deepening engagement of professional musicians within the Memphis community.

This contract supports our mission of creating meaningful experiences through music, said Ryan Fleur, MSO president and chief executive officer. It has the potential to transform the way our orchestra will serve the community in the future by allowing us to develop new and diverse partnerships and activities that will have a positive impact on peoples lives.

A key component of the contract, Fleur said, is the opportunity for musicians to do community engagement work this season via an optional engagement contract. Full-time musicians who opt-in to the contract can receive up to 3 % incentive pay based on the number of community engagement activities they participate in.

I feel that the days of our job is to play the music, their job is to pay for it are long over, said Scott Moore, MSO principal trumpet player. It is to everyones benefit when musicians are able to more actively engage in the process.

Examples of community engagement services are mentoring at The Soulsville Charter School and the creation of Leading from Every ChairѢ, a seminar developed and led by MSO musicians who use music to actively teach teamwork, creativity and leadership skills to corporations and non-profit organizations.

This agreement combines an innovative way of increasing the pay for our musicians while providing a valuable service to our community, said John Sprott, MSO principal percussionist and president of the local musicians union. We will be using our talents and training to help others in addition to performing in concerts.

Working in teams to plan, implement and evaluate community activities, each musician can participate in up to 25 community engagement services during the 2008-2009 season. A service is a unit of time traditionally used exclusively to rehearse and perform as a group. Musicians who do not participate in a community engagement contract experience a pay freeze from the 2007-2008 season.

According to Moore, musicians are valuable resources who individually possess knowledge and expertise beyond their abilities on their instruments.

This unique and innovative new partnership allows musicians and management to work together to find effective ways to connect with our community, and more importantly, to have a positive impact on lives, Moore said.

In this experimental season, 28 of the Memphis Symphonys 36 full-time musicians have chosen to participate in the engagement contract.

The ingenuity of this contract is that it allows us to more fully utilize the services of the musicians to re-define orchestra services for creative partnerships, Fleur said.

Engagement services are governed by an Engagement Oversight Committee, a team of three elected musicians, three MSO staff members, the music director and board members. The committee will ensure that all re-defined services are artistically meaningful and need-fulfilling for community partners, and are tied to a new revenue source for the Memphis Symphony.

Our engagement oversight committee permits us to direct services toward planning and evaluation, and ultimately, the delivery of new projects, Sprott said. This means our musicians actively influence and shape our community activities, creating a sense of identity, ownership and commitment that is unprecedented.

This contract is a marvelous example of what is possible when an orchestras stakeholders work collaboratively and creatively; a win-win for the Memphis Symphony family and for their community, said Jesse Rosen, president of the League of American Orchestras. This agreement puts Memphis in the forefront of American orchestras exciting movement toward stronger relationships with their communities.

The new contract was born out of the Memphis Symphonys planning process in which the organization took a critical look at how it deploys resources and time.

Musicians, board members, staff and community partners looked at each community engagement to see if it is artistically fulfilling to the musicians, meets the needs of the partner organization, is beneficial to the greater Memphis community and can be tied to new revenue sources for the symphony. Out of this dialogue grew the need to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement to address the issue of re-defining orchestra services.

The language of the existing union contract severely restricted musician time to a simple formula of rehearsals, concerts and education ensemble performances, Fleur said. With our evolving community engagement partnerships, we needed flexibility for new kinds of services that stepped beyond the traditional.

Since 1952 the Memphis Symphony Orchestra has created meaningful experiences through music in the Mid-South. Today more than 400 musicians, staff and volunteers in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Chorus and the Memphis Symphony League operate education programs, organize community engagement events and present concerts within a $4 million budget.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas with Holly Cole and the Victoria Symphony

Holly Cole ends her Canadian holiday tour in Victoria

Victoria, BC On December 20, Juno award-winning Holly Cole, completes her Canadian holiday tour in Victoria with a performance with the Victoria Symphony. Conducted by Giuseppe Pietraroia, this Christmas special features Coles signature style on such Christmas favourites as Santa Baby, Christmas Is and Ill be home for Christmas. There will be only one performance at the Royal Theatre, December 20 at 8:00pm.

There is intelligence and sophistication to Holly Coles singing that sets her apart. Coles singing has all the things associated with great jazz soloists and instrumentalists. Her voice is smoky, though not quite sultry; as sly as it is sexy; and brimming with adventure bordering on recklessness.
The Wall Street Journal.

View Holly Cole singing Baby its cold outside on YouTube:

If there is anything that remains consistent from album to album with Colewho has sold over a million units worldwideit has been her desire to explore the entire spectrum of human emotions. She imbues well-worn standards and eclectic songs with an uncanny combination of sensuality, innocence, originality and sheer musicality. Cole has just returned from a tour of Germany and this is her first visit back to Victoria since she won Vocal Jazz Album of the year at this years Junos.

The Victoria Symphony is Vancouver Islands largest and most active arts organization offering its audiences 68 years of tradition, a commitment to fostering new music and a dedication to community involvement through music education. Showcasing the outstanding talents of its musicians and guest artists the Victoria Symphonys 2008-2009 season offers a diverse and exciting line-up of over 50 concerts led by its vibrant Music Director Tania Miller.

Holly Cole performs with Maestro Giuseppe Pietraroia and the Victoria Symphony at the

Royal Theatre on Saturday December 20 at 8:00pm. Tickets start at $35.00 and can be purchased by calling 250.385.6515 or 250.386.6121 or online at

For complete programming details of the 2008-2009 season please visit

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Canada's Julian Kuerti Saves the Day with Boston Symphony Orchestra

Torontos Julian Kuerti has just scored another triumph! Kuerti is in his second season as assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

At very short notice, the young maestro (in his early 30s) has filled in for famed Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, in a lengthy and demanding program. Lynn Harrell, one of the worlds leading cellists, was soloist.

The Boston Globe was truly impressed! See

More info on the concert is at

TORONTO NOTE: Julian Kuerti conducts his father, internationally acclaimed pianist Anton Kuerti, in their first joint Toronto performance, at Mooredale Concerts, Sunday, January 11, 2009, 3 p.m. The concert takes place at the MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queens Park Crescent, and features the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Kuerti father and son join forces with the HPO in two works by Felix Mendelssohn for piano and orchestra the Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor and the Capriccio Brillante. Also on the program are Beethovens Symphony No. 8 in F and Hungarian Sketches by Bela Bartok.

Tickets, $35; $30 for seniors and students; and information may be obtained by phoning 416-922-3714, ext. 103, or visiting

Anton Kuerti is artistic director of Mooredale Concerts. The series, celebrating its 20th season, was founded by Kristine Bogyo, late wife of Anton Kuerti and mother of Julian and his brother, cellist Rafael Kuerti.

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Nielsen's "The Inextinguishable" and Elgar's Cello Concerto both performed in one incredible Victoria Symphony concert

Raging timpani battle highlights Nielsen Symphony No. 4, The Inextinguishable

Victoria, BC On December 7 and 8, Maestra Tania Miller conducts the Victoria Symphonys premiere performance of Carl Nielsens Symphony no.4, The Inextinguishable. Solo performances on timpani create a dramatic and grand finale to this acclaimed work. Canadian cellist John Friesen is the featured guest soloist performing Elgars beautifulCello Concerto.

Nielsen Symphony no. 4 begins with a violent and expansive principal theme that links the entire work together. The title The Inextinguishable reflects Nielsens personal motto: Music is life, and, like life, inextinguishable. The second movement opens passionately with a long line in the violins and climaxes to an oboe solo by Principal Oboe Mike Byrne. The highlight of the final movement is the timpani solos that pit mentor against student; Principal Timpani Bill Linwood and his student Corey Rae. View the finale movement as performed by the BBC Orchestra:

Canadian cellist John Friesen known for his exciting and passionate playing ability performs Edward Elgars Cello Concerto in E minor. His four solo recordings, and his latest disc, Ascendance have been met with critical acclaim for their beauty of tone and depth of expression. Music from his recordings appears in Oscar winning actor, Sir Ben Kingsleys, latest movie Fifty Dead Men Walking scheduled for release in 2009.

Elgars Cello Concerto in E minor is a cornerstone of the cello repertoire and is also said to be Elgars last great success. The cello opens the work with a darkly dramatic theme, recurrent as the emotional force, binding the concerto together. Opposing minor and major key signatures creates a tonal instability in sharp contrast with the lyrical melodies heard both in the orchestra and the solo cello. Yo-Yo Ma can be viewed on youtube playing the concerto:

The 2008-2009 season marks Tania Millers sixth as music director of the Victoria Symphony, an appointment that made her the first woman to hold such a significant position in Canada. Her vibrancy and dynamic approach to music making have inspired many innovations with the Victoria Symphony and a new era of artistic growth for
the orchestra.

Victoria Symphony is
Vancouver Islands largest and most active arts organization offering its audiences 68 years of tradition, a commitment to fostering new music and a dedication to community involvement through music education. Showcasing the outstanding talents of its musicians and guest artists the Victoria Symphonys 2008-2009 season offers a diverse and exciting line-up of over 50 concerts led by its vibrant Music Director
Tania Miller.

The Victoria Symphony led by Maestra Tania Miller performs The Inextinguishable and Elgars Cello Concerto featuring soloist John Friesen on Sunday, December 7 at 2:30pm and Monday, December 8 at 8:00pm at the Royal Theatre. Tickets from $28.50 for adults, $16.00 for students can be purchased by calling 250.385.6515 or 250.386.6121 or online at

The Victoria Symphony wishes to thank and acknowledge concert sponsor
The Wedgewood Hotel based in
Vancouver, BC.

For complete programming details of the 2008-2009 season please visit

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David Briskin leads UTSO in Bernstein, Brahms, Dvorak


TORONTO On Friday, November 28, conductor David Briskin will lead the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra in its second concert of the season. The program begins with Leonard Bernsteins Overture to Candide in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the composers birth, followed by Brahms Violin Concerto in D featuring student soloist Luri Lee. Rounding out the program is Dvoks Symphony No. 9 (From the New World). The concert takes place at 7:30 pm in MacMillan Theatre in the Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queens Park. Tickets ($18 adults and $10 seniors/students) can be purchased at the box office in person or by calling 416-978-3744.

Internationally recognized as a conductor of extraordinary versatility and discernment, DAVID BRISKIN currently serves as Music Director and Principal Conductor of The National Ballet of Canada. For seven years he served as Conductor with American and is now a frequent guest conductor with some of the worlds leading Ballet companies including New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, among others. He also served as Music Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for three years and Conductor for the The Juilliard Schools Dance Division for 12. On the concert stage, Mr. Briskin has appeared with the Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baltimore, Cincinnati Pops and Singapore Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica. He has also served for six years as the Music Director of the Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra in New York City, performing annually at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Briskin was appointed Director of Orchestral Studies and Conductor of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra on July 1, 2008.

LURI LEE is a fourth year student at the University of Toronto, completing her Bachelor of Music degree in Performance. She began studying the violin at the age of 6 in Korea, and completed music studies at the Claude Watson Arts Program and the Young Artist Performance Academy Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She currently studies with Erika Raum and appears as a soloist at this concert as a winner of the student concerto competition. She has been the top prize winners of the Korean National Youth Musician Competition and the Canadian Music Competition. Luri has performed in master classes for David Stewart, Annalee Patipatanakoon, and Mayumi Seiler. She has also performed chamber music with Steve Dann and Jean-Michel Fonteneau at the Domain Forget Chamber Music Festival. She has received the Maime May scholarship from the University of Toronto (2005-7) and the Lorand Fenyves String scholarship in 2007.

Part of Canadas top university, the University of Toronto FACULTY OF MUSIC has an illustrious history as one of North Americas leading centres for the scholarly and professional study of music, offering a rich array of degree and diploma programs from the undergraduate to post-graduate levels. Many of this countrys greatest musicians such as John Weinzweig, Lois Marshall, Elmer Iseler, Adrienne Pieczonka, Russell Braun, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet have studied or taught at the Faculty. With over 100 events featuring students, faculty and distinguished guests, the Facultys performance season embodies its commitment to an education that champions diversity, depth and explorations. Highlights of the 2008-09 season include cellists Steven Isserlis and Shauna Rolston, baritone Sherrill Milnes, composer Maria Schneider, conductors David Briskin and Miah Im, jazz great Phil Nimmons, the Mir, and St. Lawrence String Quartets, the Gryphon Trio and Nexus.

For more information on this or other Faculty of Music concert series, please visit our website at or contact the Box Office at 416-978-3744.


Ticket sales and general inquiries:
Faculty of Music Box Office
Hours: 1 7 pm, Monday to Friday, with extended hours on performance nights.
Phone: 416-978-3744
Address: Lobby level, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queens Park, Toronto ON M5S 2C5

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Indianapolis Symphony Releases New Classical Holiday CD


ISOs First Classical Holiday Recording Features Soprano Elizabeth Futral

INDIANAPOLIS The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Laureate Raymond Leppard announced the release of the Orchestras limited edition recording of holiday classical works, English folksongs and Medieval carols that have been performed in the ISOs annual Classical Christmas concerts over the past ten years. The disc, which was recorded in June at the Hilbert Circle Theatre, is the tenth recording by the Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Leppard and the 39th album in the ISOs rich recording history that dates back to 1941. This recording was made possible through the generous support of Christel DeHaan and The Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and donors to the ISOs Maestro Society and Conductor Laureate Endowment Fund.

The nine works featured on this compact disc span nearly 400 years of music, from Medieval times to the early 20th century, were all orchestrated or adapted for chamber orchestral performance by Maestro Leppard, who is internationally renowned as a musician, conductor, composer, arranger, and music scholar and has earned numerous honors for his artistry, including five Grammy Awards and the esteemed Edison Prize, among others. The classical works include Sir Edward Elgars A Christmas Greeting, Joachim Raffs Lullaby from the Octet for Strings featuring lyrics by Leppard and sung by soprano Elizabeth Futral, and Claudio Monteverdis Currite populi: In Praise of St. Nicholas sung by tenor Alan Bennett.

Other traditional folksongs and Medieval carols that have been arranged by Leppard include A Childs Christmas by Peter Cornelius and Past Three OClock: A Sequence of Carols, both featuring Miss Futral as soloist, Percy Graingers The Sussex Mummers Carol that spotlights ISO Principal Horn Robert Danforth, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day with baritone Kenneth Pereira, the Fantasia on Old Words and Tunes for Christmas with soprano Carolina Castells and mezzo-soprano Julie Grindle, and the Medieval carol Angelus ad Virginem with baritone Adam Ewing. All of the works feature the Apollos Voice Chamber Chorus, who have performed in many of the annual Classical Christmas concerts over the past ten years under the direction of Jan Harrington.

Commenting on the disc, Leppard said, In 1998 I created a new program for the Christmas season that was intended, in conjunction with the ISO, to complement the usual commercial holiday fare by offering perhaps a different way to consider the season. Ive put together a variety of tunes that we have performed in these concerts over the past 10 years, some known and others not so well known, but all to do with Christmas and as with the gifts we give each other at this time, there may be a few delightful surprises.

The ISOs Classical Christmas compact disc is priced at $19 each, and are on sale now by visiting the Orchestras Symphony Store at any ISO concert, or by ordering on-line at In the future, other local outlets may carry the recording, and those locations will be announced in the future.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

The Victoria Symphony presents Viva el Flamenco! November 6,7 & 8

An unprecedented performance takes place when Halifax based El Viento Flamenco

makes its Westcoast debut with over 50 musicians from the Victoria Symphony!

Victoria, BC On November 6, 7 and 8, the Halifax based El Viento Flamenco makes their first symphony appearance west of Quebec. In a performance with the Victoria Symphony and Principal Pops Conductor Brian Jackson, they bring their award winning and unique style of flamenco to the Royal Theatre in a passionate performance of song, dance and music titled Viva El Flamenco!

El Viento Flamenco brings its own, very distinct voice to the art of Flamenco. With a singer and guitarist who hail from rock and roll, a percussionist who is involved in everything from Newfoundland folk to African drumming and Punk rock, and dancers who have lived all over the world, the group stands subtly but resolutely outside of flamenco tradition. Having performed to rave reviews with Symphony Nova Scotia and Orchestre symphonique de Qubec, the Victoria Symphony is bring El Viento Flamenco to Victoria.

Dancer Evelyne Benais first encountered flamenco in 1993 at the Don Quixote, a flamenco tavern in Toronto, where she would later start her career under the direction of Carmen Romero. She then moved to Newfoundland where she convinced St. John's rock guitarist Bob Sutherby to plunge into the genre, and in 1996, El Viento Flamenco was born on the wind-swept shores of the Avalon Peninsula. The entire troupe, including singer Sean Harris and percussionist Tony Tucker, moved to Halifax in 2001, where they added dancers/singers Maral Perk and Megan Matheson. They have all pursued flamenco with a passion --traveling repeatedly to Seville to study with masters and steeping themselves in this rich cultural tradition.

In the last five years El Viento Flamenco has toured extensively throughout Atlantic Canada, including all the Atlantic Presenters and Arts and Culture Centres. They have performed at the National Arts Centre in
Ottawa; made several regional and national appearances on CBC radio and television as well at Government House for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. They have had their music arranged for orchestra for two concerts with Symphony Nova Scotia, and they have been featured in a half-hour documentary on Bravo Television.

Following a performance with Orchestre symphonique de Qubec who reengaged El Viento Flamenco a second time after receiving audience accolades and rave reviews, Richard Boisvert for Le Soleil wrote:

"Carried by a somehow severe grace that is softened by stunning curves, Evelyne Benais, founder of the ensemble with guitarist Bob Sutherby, has developed a technique of dance that is absolutely astounding. Given the precision and quality of the sound of her feet, one can literally speak of music. Some of the pieces accompanied by the Orchestre symphonique de Qubec were like veritable concertos for heels and points.

Flamenco is the traditional music and dance of the Roma gypsies of Southern Spain. It has developed over the last 250 years, with influences from various cultures, including Latin American and the Middle-East. Today, the vast spectrum of Flamenco styles is kept alive and vibrant in Spain as well as by artists of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds around the world.

Maestro Brian Jackson is the Principal Pops conductor of the Victoria Symphony, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and Orchestra London Canada. At the age of 25 Jackson was the youngest Music Director in Canada (Peterborough Symphony) and since that time he has conducted all the major Canadian orchestras. He has also led orchestras in the UK, Europe, the United States and South America. Jackson has performed all major symphony and choral literature as well as being recognized as a champion of Canadian composers.

The Victoria Symphony is Vancouver Islands largest and most active arts organization offering its audiences 68 years of tradition, a commitment to fostering new music and a dedication to community involvement through music education. Showcasing the outstanding talents of its musicians and guest artists the Victoria Symphonys 2008-2009 season offers a diverse and exciting line-up of over 50 concerts led by its vibrant Music Director Tania Miller.

Viva El Flamenco! featuring El Viento Flamenco, Maestro Brian Jackson and the Victoria Symphony takes place at the Royal Theatre on Thursday, November 6 at 2:00pm and again on Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 at 8:00pm. Come early on Friday November 7th and join in on a Flamenco dance lesson with members of Alma de Espana dance studio beginning at 7:15pm. Tickets from $26.50 to $68.50. Students save 50%. Call 250.385.6515 or 250.386.6121 or online at

The Victoria Symphony wishes to acknowledge the generous support of Beltone Better Hearing Centre for these performances.

For complete programming details of the 2008-2009 season please visit

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Rumon Gamba

Rumon Gamba becomes Chief Conductor in Ume

The British conductor Rumon Gamba will be the next Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra at NorrlandsOperan in Ume, Sweden.

With Rumon Gamba as Chief Conductor and Music Director we will strengthen our artistic strategy. His ability to enthuse, to work with both musical wholeness and detail will make our orchestra take at least one step further in its' artistic development, says Marco Feklistoff, Manager of the Symphony Orchestra at NorrlandsOperan.

Rumon Gamba is currently Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and guest conducts widely within Europe and abroad. Last year he made a guest appearance at NorrlandsOperan conducting English music, a concert that made such an impression that he later was asked to take on the artistic responsibility of the orchestra. An offer that he gladly accepted.

This is such an interesting place. The quality of the orchestra is already excellent and there is so much under one roof dance, music, opera, visual arts... I look forward to doing things cross discipline, rather than just running an orchestra. People here are very forward thinking, says Rumon Gamba.

Rumon Gambas' assignment
Rumon Gambas' assignment at NorrlandsOperan starts in july 2009 and continues until June 2012. Within these three years he has the opportunity to conduct one opera per year and six concerts per year. He will also be a leading member of the artistic directorate deciding on repertoire both regarding opera and concert. He will also be in charge of the artistic development of the Symphony Orchestra.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Richard Egarr joins Handel and Haydn Society for "Mozart and Beethoven"

Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music Joins Society for a Program of Beethoven and Mozart

Richard Egarr conducts symphonies and leads a Mozart piano concerto from the fortepiano

WHEN: Friday, November 7, 2008, at 8pm

Sunday, November 9, 2008, at 3pm

WHERE: Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

WHAT: Richard Egarr, Music Director of the UKs Academy of Ancient Music, joins the Handel and Haydn Society in the second program of its Celebration 2009 Season, which commemorates the legacies of its two namesake composers. Hailed as The Bernstein of Early Music by National Public Radio, Egarr will lead Mozarts virtuosic Piano Concert No. 23 from the fortepiano. Egarr will also conduct the Handel and Haydn Period-Instrument Orchestra in symphonies by Mozart and Beethoven, as well as the dramatic overture to Beethovens only full ballet score, Creatures of Prometheus.

This repertoire highlights the historical relationship of Mozart and Beethoven to the earlier works of Handel and to their Classical contemporary Haydn: Haydn and Mozart had a close personal relationship, Beethoven studied with Haydn for a brief time, and Handels works were quite popular in Vienna. Beethoven and Mozart built upon the musical ideas of the Societys namesake composers to further develop the sound of the Classical orchestra.


Mozart: Symphony No. 1

Piano Concerto No. 23

Beethoven: Overture to Creatures of Prometheus

Symphony No. 8

WHO: Richard Egarr, conductor/fortepiano

Handel and Haydn Society Period-Instrument Orchestra

HOW: Tickets range from $20-$75, and may be purchased online at, by phone at 617 266 3605, or in person at the Handel and Haydn office, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M-F 10am-6pm).


Richard Egarr

Richard Egarr has performed keyboard music from fifteenth-century organ intabulations to Dussek and Chopin on early pianos, to Berg and Maxwell Davies on modern piano. He is in great demand as a soloist; as orchestral soloist he has worked with the Academy of Ancient Music, English Concert, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Orchestra of the 18th Century and the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra. With violinist Andrew Manze he has toured extensively throughout Europe, North-America, Korea and Japan.

As a conductor Richard has worked with specialised ensembles and modern orchestras alike, in repertoire from Bachs St. Matthew Passion to Taverners Ikon of Light. In 2006, he was appointed Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music. Richard has directed many oratorios and operas, notably from Handel. He has conducted the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Flemish Radio Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Portland Baroque and Tafelmusik. Next year Richard will conduct the Residentie Orchestra, the Brabant Orchestra, the Flemish Radio Orchestra and Choir and Collegium Vocale Ghent.

Richard Egarr records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi USA. Recent additions to his vast discography are Bachs Goldberg Variations, his Well-Tempered Clavier and Sonatas by Mozart and Schubert with Andrew Manze. With the AAM he has recorded the Bach harpsichord concertos and an entire set of Handel discs including the Concerti grossi Op. 3, the Organ Concertos Op. 4 and 7 and his Sonatas Op. 1 and 5.

The Handel and Haydn Society is a professional chorus and period-instrument orchestra and an internationally recognized leader in the field of historically-informed performance. Founded in Boston in 1815, the Society is the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States, with a long history of innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handels Messiah (1818), Haydns The Creation (1819), Verdis Requiem (1878), Bachs Mass in B Minor (1887), and Bachs St. Matthew Passion (1889). The Society today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Designate Harry Christophers, Artistic Advisor Sir Roger Norrington, Principal Conductor Grant Llewellyn, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Hogwood, is committed to its mission to perform Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence and to share that music with as large and diverse an audience as possible. The Massachusetts Cultural Council has lauded the organization for its willingness to take risks and explore new musical horizons.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

American Public Media Presents Live Broadcast of "The Last Night of the Proms"

American Public Media Presents Live Broadcast of The Last Night of the Proms from the BBC Proms on September 13

(St. Paul, Minn.) September 9, 2008American Public MediaѢ, creator of distinctive, signature programs for public radio and one of medias most active champions of classical music, today announced a special live broadcast of The Last Night of the Proms from the BBC Proms on Saturday, September 13, 2008, at 2 p.m. CT 3 p.m. ET. The BBC Proms is the worlds largest and best known classical music festival, drawing exceptional orchestras and soloists for performances in Londons historic Royal Albert Hall.


BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Singers
Sir Roger Norrington, conductor
Helene Grimaud, piano
Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone

BEETHOVEN: Creatures of Prometheus (Overture)

WAGNER: O du, mein holder Abendstern from Tannhauser

PUCCINI: Tre sbirrii, un carozza from Tosca

BEETHOVEN: Choral Fantasy (for piano, choir and orchestra)

VERDI: Ehi! Paggio! from Falstaff

DENZA: Funiculi, funicula"

ELGAR: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1

HENRY WOOD: Fantasia on British Sea Songs

PARRY: Jerusalem

HENRY WOOD: National Anthem (UK)

Brian Newhouse, host of American Public Medias SymphonyCastѢ and a renowned classical music producer, will be in London to present "The Last Night of the Proms and provide context for the performances.

Since 2003, American Public Media has been proud to bring concerts from the BBC Proms to classical music listeners worldwide, said Newhouse. The Proms is one of classical music's magnificent international events. We are delighted once again to share these grand performances.

TUNE IN: "The Last Night of the Proms" will broadcast on public radio stations nationwide on Saturday, September 13 at 2 p.m. CT 3 p.m. ET. Check local listings for availability.

This year, other concerts from the BBC Proms are featured on broadcasts of SymphonyCast, American Public Medias two-hour weekly radio program featuring a full-length concert by a national or international symphony orchestra. To hear these performances, visit The BBC Proms has also been integrated into broadcasts of Performance Today, American Public Medias two-hour daily radio program featuring performances recorded in American Public Media studios and at sites across the nation and around the world. Performance Today is on the Web at

Through global partnerships with leading music organizations, the European Broadcasting Union, the BBC, orchestras, festivals, vocal ensembles, and artists, American Public Medias classical music service delivers performances from around the world to its listeners. With the largest broadcast audience reach of any classical music radio producer in the United States and streaming audiences around the globe, American Public Media sets the standard for connecting audiences with the best in classical music.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Michel Rivard et l'Orchestre Symphonique de Laval

Michel Rivard sur scne avec lOrchestre symphonique de Laval

dans le cadre de Sainte-Rose en Bleu

Laval, le 5 aot 2008 Alain Trudel, directeur artistique et chef de lOrchestre symphonique de Laval, propose une rencontre exceptionnelle entre son orchestre et Michel Rivard. Ainsi, les musiciens de lOSL se feront complices de lun des plus fascinants crateurs qubcois, le temps de revisiter ses plus belles chansons et de leur donner une saveur toute symphonique ! Beethoven, Verdi, Brahms, Bizet et Dvorak seront galement au programme, alors que lOSL donnera un avant-got de la saison venir en prsentant des extraits de la programmation 2008-2009. Ce concert champtre unique sera prsent gratuitement dans le cadre de Sainte-Rose en Bleu, le dimanche 10 aot 16 h, devant lglise Sainte-Rose-de-Lima.

Touche--tout de gnie salu par la francophonie toute entire, Michel Rivard a plusieurs cordes son arc ! Auteur-compositeur, musicien, chanteur, comdien et animateur, il partage depuis plus de 30 ans ses nombreuses passions avec toujours ce mme bonheur contagieux et un talent fou. Incontournable de la scne musicale, on peut affirmer quil a, dans la foule des Leclerc, Vigneault et Ferland, contribu faire voluer la chanson dici vers de nouvelles formes et de nouveaux horizons. De laventure de Beau Dommage aux albums solo, en passant par le cinma, la tlvision, le thtre et la Ligue Nationale dimprovisation, Michel Rivard sest impos comme une figure majeure de la scne culturelle qubcoise.

Chevalier de lOrdre national du Qubec, Grand Prix international du disque Paul Gilson de lAcadmie Charles Cros, Prix Wallonie-Bruxelles du disque de chansons 1989, Gmeau du Meilleur spcial de varits, et plusieurs Flix, dont un pour lensemble de sa carrire, voil quelques-unes des nombreuses distinctions qui sont venues souligner lexcellence de son travail.

Michel Rivard et lOSL partagent la scne le temps dun concert inoubliable, le dimanche 10 aot ds 16 h, devant lglise Sainte-Rose-de-Lima. Noubliez pas vos chaises!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PSO Presents "Summer Serenades" Series, Beginning July 19


PORTLAND, Maine This July, The Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is delighted to present a series of chamber orchestra concerts entitled Summer Serenades, featuring a guest appearance by MPBN's newest voice, Tom Porter. A great way to spend a summer evening with the whole family while enjoying music in enchanting Southern Maine settings, concerts will take place in Boothbay (July 25), Old Orchard Beach (July 27) and Harrison (July 29).

Summer Serenades will showcase Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Tom Porter. The programs also include Rossini's Overture to Barber of Seville, a favorite from the operatic repertoire, and Mendelssohn's delightful Symphony No. 4, also known as "the Italian."

Conducting the Summer Serenades will be Matthew Fritz, who has studied conducting under PSO Music Director Robert Moody.

A native of Birmingham, England, Tom Porter comes from a family of British journalists. He worked for nearly eight years at Bloomberg Television and Radio in London as a reporter and news producer. He is also a trained jazz pianist.

The schedule and ticket information is as follows:

  • July 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM
    Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens | 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
    For tickets call (207) 633-4333 or visit
  • July 27, 2008 at 6:00 PM
    Salvation Army Pavilion | 17 Prospect Street, Old Orchard Beach
    For tickets call (207) 934-2024 or visit
  • July 29, 2008 at 7:30 PM
    Sebago Long Lake Music Festival | Deertrees Theatre, 156 Deertrees Road, Harrison
    For tickets call (207) 583-6747 or visit

For more information about the Portland Symphony Orchestra call (207) 773-6128 or visit

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