7 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 4 - December 2004

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  • Toronto
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  • February

.. I 16 A Christmas

.. I 16 A Christmas Concert, under the direction of Kevin Mallon M.1non Newman. AILo Sunday, December I 2th, 2004, 3 :00 p.m. Tracy Smith Bessette. Soprano St. Paul's Basilica, 8 3 Power Street, Toronco (south of Queen, l block cast of Parliament) free parking Concert to be recorded live ._94.6' stL for later broadcast by CIC rotcho" 1:,L Handel's WATER MUSIC & THE R.OYAL FIR.EWORKS A benefit for C:iscy House Hospice Sund.1y. January 9ch, 2004 3: 3 0 p.m. Unttcd Church r.:;.. · II ,;I CASb' uovsi. 56 Queen Sr. East (at Queen & Church Strc.-cts) Toronco T1Ckcts: S.W.001 .00 s1 udcnts & seniors 1\dv.1.1cc sales: Tickctkmg 416-872-1212 I 1-8()()-461-H H www.(1ckc( by Colin EatocJ... The CMC Picks Up the Tempo For those who might not know, Lhe Canadian Music Centre is a kind of library and information service for Canadian composers. Its Toronto office is located in a sLately old house on St. Joseph Street. containing scores and recordings by more lhan 600 Canadian composers. The problem, lhough. has always been getting those scores out of the library and into the hands of musicians willing to play them - and for some years I've been rather skeptical of the CMC's ability to a11rac1 much auention to itself. In moments of unbridled cynicism, I've even been known to refor to it as the "Tomb of the Unknown Composer." But recent developments indicate that 1he CMC is showing stronger signs of life. November 10, 2004, 10:00 am: I receive a communique in the morning's mail from the Canadian Music Centre's librarian, Stacy Allison­ Cassin, containing some encouraging news about the demand for Canadian scores from the CMC. "We handle hundreds of loans a month through our five libraries. and music is sent across Canada and around the world." And it seems that a substantial number of these requests are coming from beyond Canada's borders - from Swi12erland. Italy and five American states in the last week alone. November JO, 2004, 10:00 pm: Al a post-perfonnance reception for Christos Haczis's Co11stami11ople (an astonishing work, if I may digress), I spot Jason van Eyk, the CMC's Ontario Regional Director. And he confinns that there's been, in the last year, a substantial rise in requests for scores from the Centre: from 50 per week to about 300. He attributes this six-fold increase not to a complex shift in cultural geopolitics, but to something as simple as a website. November 15, 2004: Curious, I decide to drop in on the Canadian Music Centre's offices. to find ou1 more about lhis remarkable phenomenon. There I meet with Allison-Cassin. who confinns that. since the CMC launched its new website a year and a half ago, the number of visits 10 the site has increased from 4,581 in June 2003 10 49,224 in October 2004. The CMC had a website before June 2003, but it was nothing like what now pops up at There you'll find hundreds of biographies, repertoire lists and sound-samples: you can search for a composer, alphabetically. or for compositions by instrumentation. and much more. (Have a look!) Best of all. seems that the effons the Centre put into this massive project are generating results. "It's much easier to obtain the music than it was before - our response-time is much faster through e-mail," explains Allison-Cassin . "But it goes beyond an increased demand for scores: it's also an increased demand for information and resources. We're trying to make our site the main resource for Canadian music." She goes on LO mention a few "for-instances": perfonnances of Canadian works in Wisconsin and Texas that began with on-line inquiries to the CMC; and also a commission for a new work by Montreal composer Timothy Brady from Denmark's Corona Guitar Kvanet. But what impressed me most was a request for information from the Aviv Quartet, for a Canadian piece to include on their February 24 appearance on the Music Toronto concert-series. As a result, this Israeli ensemble will perfonn Sir Ernest MacMillan's Two Sketches for String Quanet, in addition to works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. There's a cradition of louring groups playing works by their host countries - a tradition that's not. unfortunately, observed much here in Canada. Only very rarely do foreign musicians make the effort to pro- gramme a Canadian score while visiting this country. In the case of the Aviv Quartet, their decision probably has something to do with the fact that their cellist, Rachel Mercer, is Canadian. But it's a good start - and A if the folks at the Canadian Music Centre helped make it happen. they·ve earned their week's pay. Colin Eaiock is a composer and ll'riter in Toromo who comribwes to the A RA DI A EN S EM B L E Globe and Mail and other publicaJions. His T. 0. Musical Diary is a regular _ _ monthly feawre of The WholeNote magazine. www. rn EWH Ol ENOT E.coM DE cc M1'"'1r""" 11 -.12""'0""0n4r-_-.F ... E-BR_u_A_Rv-7 2""0""0 ... 5

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