Tag Archive | "Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra"

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The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that Music Director James Sommerville will be stepping down at the end of the 2013-14 season, his seventh season with the orchestra. Speaking about his pending departure to the Hamilton Spectator, Mr. Sommerville said that his future plans included an expanding role as principal horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, more teaching, and more availability for guest conducting. The HPO has appointed a search committee to begin the process of finding his successor. To read more, please visit thespec.com.

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has announced the appointment of veteran Canadian arts administrator David Shefsiek to the role of General Manager. He will join the orchestra on a consulting basis this fall, and will take on the position on a full-time basis midway through the season. Mr. Shefsiek is currently managing director of Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary, and has held leadership positions at Pacific Opera Victoria, Vancouver Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and New York City’s Big Apple Circus. In addition to his work with the Symphony, David will be a Voice and Musical Theatre Instructor at the University of Lethbridge Conservatory of Music at CASA.

The North Bay Symphony is pleased to welcome Leanne Miners as their new Marketing and Operations Coordinator.  Leanne has held marketing and fundraising positions with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Roy Thomson Hall, and has also served as General Manager for the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.

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The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has announced, with regret, the resignation of Dawn Leite, its Executive Director.

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has announced the appointment of a new Resident Conductor, Julian Pellicano. An American, Mr. Pellicano is on the faculty of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge MA, and a rising guest conductor with a number of prestigious engagements on his calendar.

The Orchestre symphonique de Quebec has announced the appointment of Mme Thérèse Boutin as its new Présidente directrice générale. She will start in the role on May 6. Speaking about the appointment, Olga Farnon, chair of the OSQ board, said, “We are happy to know that we can count on Mme Boutin’s knowledge of the cultural milieu and her significant experience in management : two strengths that will facilitate the growth of the OSQ.” And, of course, Mme Boutin is chair of Orchestras Canada’s board of directors: on behalf of all of us at OC, best wishes to Therese in this new role!

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Opera in Lethbridge

Opera in Lethbridge

Following on the success of last year’s production of The Magic Flute, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra recently partnered with the University of Lethbridge Opera Workshop and VoxMusica to bring fully-staged opera to Lethbridge. This year’s work of choice was Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, and the production featured a 1920s theme, beautiful sets and costumes, and an English translation. The production ran over two nights last weekend, and was conducted by LSO music director Glenn Klassen.

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Chamber Concerts Everywhere!

Chamber Concerts Everywhere!

For the third week in a row, we’re reporting on chamber performances presented by Canadian orchestral musicians under the auspices of their orchestra.

This Friday night, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra presents a program in its long-running chamber series featuring its busy resident string quartet, Musaeus, plus LSO principal clarinetist (and University of Lethbridge instructor, and Director of the Conservatory) Margaret Mezei.  The repertoire includes music by Haydn, Brahms (the Clarinet Quintet) and Behind the Red Door, a work by Alberta composer Arthur Bachmann.   Musaeus—made up of Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra principal string players–was founded in 1982, and gives approximately forty public performances each year, including  the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra’s chamber music concert series and the Musaeus at Noon series performed at the Lethbridge Public Library.  For more information, please visit lethbridgesymphony.org.

Musicians of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal present a chamber music program at the Maison symphonique on November 27, featuring works by Bartók, Martinu, Kodaly, and Ravel performed by OSM members, along with guest performers Sylvie Drapeau (narrator), and pianists Jimmy Brière and Richard Raymond.  For more information, please visit osm.ca.

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New Seasons

New Seasons

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2011-12 season – its 51st! The season includes a five-concert Masters Series, highlighted by a concert performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (in partnership with the University of Lethbridge’s Opera Workshop); a chamber series featuring Musaeus, the orchestra’s core string group (augmented with special guests); and an active education and community engagement program. At the same time, the group has announced an ambitious program of friend- and fund-raising events that include a dinner dance, wine raffle, golf tournament, wine tasting and a Ladies’ Night Out.

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It’s been a big week at I Musici de Montreal. The Montreal-based chamber orchestra has announced the appointment of Jean-Marie Zeitouni as its new music director, effective June 1. He will balance this new role with duties at the Columbus (OH) Symphony, and will lead three concerts in 2011-12 and more in succeeding seasons.

At the same time, I Musici has confirmed the retirement of founding music director Yuli Turovsky, who founded the ensemble 27 years ago, and who is retiring from the role for health reasons following his last concert on May 18. Speaking about Maestro Turovsky’s retirement, IM musician representative said, “All of I Musici’s musicians observe Yuli Turovsky’s departure with great emotion: these past years under his leadership remained engraved on our hearts, a precious heritage and an ongoing source of inspiration.”

Finally, I Musici has announced the appointment of Stephanie Rose as its new directrice générale, effective April 26. A trained musician and arts administrator, Mme Rose has worked as an arts consultant and directrice générale of the Fondation de l’École nationale de cirque.

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has announced the retirement of Lance Elbeck, its Concertmaster of 33 seasons, at the conclusion of the 2011/2012 season. The HPO will audition concertmaster candidates through the 2011/2012 season; however, Mr. Elbeck will officially remain as concertmaster to the conclusion of the 11/12 season. Speaking about Mr. Elbeck, HPO Music Director James Sommerville said, “Lance has always been the kind of co-operative and collaborative colleague that all musicians appreciate. I know his departure will be deeply felt by our loyal audience, as much as by those of us fortunate enough to have shared the stage with him over the course of his long and illustrious Hamilton career.”

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra has announced the retirement of its long-time Concertmaster, Cenek Vrba, for health reasons. He has served in the role for a remarkable 36 years, working with five different CPO music directors through the evolution of the orchestra through that time. Commenting on Mr. Vrba’s contributions to the CPO, Music Director Roberto Minczuk said, “His command of the instrument and his musical leadership of the Orchestra clearly shows an artist who knows his craft entirely and is able to follow every gesture, every nuance in the musical score and convey it very clearly to his section and the Orchestra. “He always made music with a lot of joy. In performance, he never spared himself but always played with all of his energy and heart, in a way that I could personally identify. I will miss him greatly as one of the most important leaders of the CPO.”

Natasha Bood, former executive director of the Regina Symphony, is now Director of Administration & Operations at Toronto Summer Music and Academy.

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has announced the winners of its recent Young Artists Competition. Percussionist Matt Groenheide was the overall winner, and he will perform Michael Daugherty’s Raise the Roof for timpani and orchestra with the Symphony next season as part of the LSO Master Series. Sarah Viejou (horn), and Audrina Steciw (soprano), took second and third place respectively.

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New works from across the country

New works from across the country

On March 28, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra will perform Shadowcatcher, a recently-composed concerto for brass quintet and orchestra by Eric Ewazen. The work was inspired by “the mysterious and beautiful photographs of Native Americans by Edward Curtis”, an American photographer who documented his travels through the American West in the early decades of the 20th Century. www.lethbridgesymphony.org

On March 29, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (led by music director Anne Manson) will give the world premiere performance of a new work by Serouj Kradjian entitled Trobairitz Ysabella. The work will feature Kradjian’s wife, soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, and is inspired, , in Kradjian’s words, “by the lives, poetry and music of the trobairitz, female troubadours of the 12th and 13th centuries in Europe, considered the first known female composers of Western secular music.” The program will then travel to the Banff Centre for a repeat performance on April 1.  www.manitobachamberorchestra.org

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Competitions

Competitions

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra is now accepting entries for its 2011 Young Artist Competition, described as “a unique opportunity for talented young musicians from Southern Alberta to perform in public, with the winner being invited to play as a guest soloist with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra.” The competition runs every two years, and is now celebrating its 25th birthday. Entries are due March 1, and application forms and guidelines are available on the LSO website here.

The UBC School of Music has announced the eight finalists in its fourth annual Knigge Music Competition in Piano, scheduled to take place February 26 and 27. The competition is open to pianists from across Canada, aged 16 – 25, and is funded by a generous gift from Dieter and Hanne-Lore Knigge. The finalists include: Samuel Dharma, WonYong Jo, Helen Kashap, Katsiaryna Khatsko, Connie Kim-Sheng, Rudin Lengo, Alexander Malikov, and SeungWon Suk. The final round jury is made up of William Aide, John O’Conor and Jean Saulnier. As an added feature this year, competitors will get to choose their piano – either the School of Music’s house Steinway (D466), or a Fazioli (F278) piano on loan for the competition.

With the goal of “redefining the world of music competitions for the 21st century”, Calgary’s Honens Competition has just announced a series of enhancements to the 2012 competition, scheduled to run from October 17-26, 2012. The enhancements will affect pianist eligibility, competition length, jury composition, pianists’ requirements, and the cash and artistic and career development awards. Notable changes? A limit to the number of pianists invited to take part in all stages of the competition, an elimination of repertoire restrictions, an enhanced focus on collaborative pianism (demonstrated in a recital setting) and powers of articulation (demonstrated in interviews with a professional arts journalist), changes to jury composition, and a greatly enhanced cash prize for the winner, making the Honens the richest competition in the world of international music competitions for emerging concert artists. As well, the competition will name only one Laureate in 2012 Honens, noting that “by presenting this award to a single Laureate, Honens intensifies its efforts in delivering a transformative experience to a young artist that translates into a meaningful career.” You can learn more about it here.

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Grand Kick Off to the Lethbridge Symphony’s Masters Series

Grand Kick Off to the Lethbridge Symphony’s Masters Series

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this season, and its Master Series starts in a grand way on November 22 with a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Featured soloists are Janet Youngdahl, soprano; Sandra Stringer, mezzo-soprano; Blaine Hendsbee, tenor; and George Evelyn, bass-baritone, and the large chorus is comprised of Vox Musica, the Lethbridge College Community Choir and the Lethbridge Christian Men’s Choir, all under the leadership of LSO music director Glenn Klassen.

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Younger Audiences

Younger Audiences

Last spring, we updated Orchestra News readers on some research that had been done for Business for the Arts by Ipsos Reid on the attitudes of young, working Canadians towards closer engagement with arts and culture organizations. The study indicated that “three in ten (27%) would like to know more about how they can get involved in the arts and culture sector (compared to 18% of the Canadian general population), and 24% would like to spend more time volunteering in the arts (compared to 16% of the general population)”. In short: it’s good news, but what do we do with it?

A number of Canadian orchestras have risen to the challenge, by launching initiatives to better engage with younger Canadians. Here’s a round up of some initiatives we’ve been hearing about in recent weeks..

The Calgary Philharmonic is launching “Club Wolfgang” this fall with a poolside cocktail party. Club Wolfgang has been designed for music enthusiasts and emerging arts philanthropists between the ages of 20 and 40, and enables them to meet and network over cocktails, concerts, events and more. Similar to the CPO’s long-running Amadeus Patron Program, members receive special advantages including exclusive VIP receptions and recitals, concert ticket discounts and access to a behind-the-scenes rehearsal and tour of the Jack Singer Concert Hall. For a $500 membership contribution, patrons will receive these benefits for themselves and a guest for the entire season, and will be provided with a tax receipt of $250. Guests of the launch festivities will be entertained by the ever-popular Bell’arte Strings, a dynamic string quartet comprised of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra musicians. On a Plexiglas stage over the pool, the ensemble will perform modern music with a classical twist, including Viva La Vida by Coldplay, Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze, picks by Radiohead and The Beatles, and pieces by classical giants Mozart and Beethoven. www.cpo-live.com

A similar program – the TSO Young Leadership Council – has recently launched at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Here’s how it’s described on the TSO’s website: “The Young Leadership Council of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra represents the future leaders and supporters of the TSO. As a community, the YLC targets 30-40 year-old business professionals, providing a transition for those who aspire to greater involvement with the TSO in the future. The YLC hosts access events that enable young professionals to learn about, and deepen their understanding of the TSO and its positive impact on the city, while providing networking opportunities. YLC members also take advantage of the various activities that the TSO has to offer, including pre-concert lobby chats, education activities, and community events.” tso.ca

The Orchestre symphonique de Montreal has embarked on a younger audiences project of its own with a collaboration with MUTEK, linking orchestral music, electronica and video at the Molson Coors brewery at 10 p.m. on October 16. The program (led by Music Director Kent Nagano) starts with Pierre Boulez’s Messagesquisse and Gustav Mahler‘s Symphony No. 1 “Titan”, and then Berlin-based electronic music producer Thomas Fehlmann leads a variation on a theme from Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan,” after which Mr. Fehlmann will do a solo performance, Berlin-based duo Substance & Vainqueur present Scion Versions Live – and Montreal creators Baya Cardell & fils will dress up the walls of the Molson Coors brewery warehouse with their video projections. osm.ca

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has just launched the LSO Access Pass, connecting young audiences with the LSO, and providing easy and affordable access to some of the hottest concerts in town. With funding support from TD Bank Financial Group, the Lethbridge Symphony will offer $12 tickets to patrons aged 15 to 29. lethbridgesymphony.org

And – during a recent teleconference among education and community engagement staff at Canadian orchestras – we were charmed to learn about the Noteworthy Kids program offered by the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra in Nanaimo, designed for music-loving children aged 8-13. The program, a season-long club, gives members the chance to attend orchestra rehearsals, meet musicians and conductors, learn about the instruments of the orchestra, meet like-minded peers, and volunteer at symphony events. And this year, members of the club will also be able to join a choir that will sing with the orchestra at its Christmas concert. vancouverislandsymphony.com

And – for a light-hearted guide on how NOT to attract younger audiences, you can read this insightful blog posting.

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