8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 5 - February 2009

BEAT BY BEATQuoolibetby

BEAT BY BEATQuoolibetby Allan PulkerTwo Cities, Four Orchestras,a Flutist and her NephewTHE CITIES ARE Toronto and Los Angeles; the orchestras are the Niagara Symphony, the ScarboroughPhilharmonic, Sinfonia Toronto and the New American Orchestra; theflutist is LouiseDi Tullio, and her nephew is Toronto composer and teacher, Ron Royer.Let's start with the flutist. You have probably never heard of Louise Di Tullio, but if youever watch American movies you are almost sure to have heard her play. Since she beganplaying professionally in 1958 Ms. Di Tullio has been theflutist or principalflutist in at least1200 films. She has played the music of all the great American film composers - Jerry Goldsmith,John Williams, Henry Mancini, David Rose, John Barry, Danny Elfman - the listgoes on and on.She was born into a family of musicians in Los Angeles, and grew upin a highly cultivated musical milieu. Her father and three uncleswere all members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's string sectionas young men. Father, Joseph Di Tullio, and his brother-in-law KurtReher later became first stand partners in the cello section of the20th Century Fox orchestra. Reher later returned to the L.A Philharmonicas the principal cellist.In the 1940s when Louise was still a child, her father and uncleswere instrumental figures in a series of concerts of contemporarymusic, "Evenings on the Roof, " on the roof deck of the home ofconcert pianist Francis Mullen Yates and her husband Pete Yates,which overlooked the city. The series became popular with a host ofthe century 's most prestigious composers who had come from Europein the 1930s seeking refuge from Nazi persecution. They includedIgor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Erich Korngold , DariusMilhaud, Max Stein, Nadia Boulanger, Ernst Krenek, Sergei Rachmaninoffand a good many others. It was in this stimulating andnurturing environment that she grew up and at an early age beganpiano lessons, but at the age of eleven began playing the flute .Her instruction on flute was highly unorthodox. Her first andprimary teacher was her father, who was a cellist, not a flutist:"Dad was instrumental in keeping me on the straight and narrow.He helped me a great deal." His methods were highly original , aswhen he taught her how to produce a vibrato. He simply demonstratedvibrato on the cello and asked her to do the same thing on theflute. This was so effective that none of the flutists with whom shelater studied ever asked her to change the way she produced vibrato.In her teens she studied briefly with several flutist-teachers, one foronly six months, but "I've never worked so hard in my life as whenI studied with him," and gained secure technique. Another introducedher to a lot of repertoire.About the same time she, her sister Virginia and her fatherformed the Di Tullio Trio, which performed chamber music all overCalifornia and gave her a love of playing with others. Louise andVirginia would play their newest repertoire at family get-togethers,enabling her to practise in front of a very supportive but highlydiscerning audience.In her late teens and early twenties she played in the Los AngelesPhilharmonic and various other orchestras. In the early 1960s,the music contractor Phil Kahgan introduced her to Stravinsky, ameeting which resulted in her playing principal flute for the recordingsof his music done in California under his supervision. Eventuallyshe left the Los Angeles Philharmonic to pursue a free-lance careerwhich allowed her the freedom to take advantage of the vastand varied musical opportunities in L.A. which included both classicalperformance and recording for films, TV and records.This brings us to Louise' s nephew, the son of her pianist sister,Virginia, Ron Royer. Himself a studio musician in L.A., Ron'smarriage to clarinettist Kaye Powell brought him to Ontario in thelate 1980s. He played cello as a TSO sub for a year, among otherthings, before a repetitive strain injury curtailed his ability to play.He became the string teacher at UTS and continued his education atthe Faculty of Music at U of T, graduating in 1997 with a Ph.D. incomposition. Since then he has maintained a multi-faceted career asa teacher, composer and conductor.Back in the early 1980s Ron and his Aunt Louise both played inthe first of our story's four orchestras, The New American Orchestrawas founded in 1979 by conductors, Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson,to perform contemporary American music. It was, accordingto Ron, an amazing orchestra and a really incredible experience toplay in it, rubbing shoulders not only with the creme de la creme ofLos Angeles musicians but also with leading composers who conductedworks they had been commissioned to write for it. Louise,who was the principal flute, with Elliott' s blessing asked DavidRose , one of the best and most prolific Hollywood composers of thetime, to write a work for her to perform with the orchestra. Hewrote Le Papillon, which she performed several times with TheNew American Orchestra as well as with the Boston Pops. Thework, however, was never published and never recorded.Fast forward to Toronto in late 2008 .Louise wanted to get the work out into the world so that it couldtake its place in the flute repertoire, be performed and receive therecognition it deserved. Family and friends had been urging her tomake a CD. There was, of course, the question of what else shouldbe on such a recording. All the mainstream flute repertoire has beenrecorded many times over, but what hadn't been recorded, andwhich had been such a central part of her life, were flute solos fromHollywood soundtracks.She talked to Ron (who had just recently been involved in anotherrecording project, and also had just finished writing the score forthe film "Gooby") about the idea of making a CD which wouldinclude Le Papillon, concert arrangements of some of her favouritemovie themes, and something for all four flutes that she frequentlyis called upon to play in recording sessions: the "normal" flute, thepiccolo, the alto, and the bass flute. Ron agreed to write arrangementsof the film music, to re-orchestrate the Le Papillon for chamberorchestra (thereby making it possible for more organizations todo) , and to write a new work - a suite in which each of the fourmovements would be played on a different flute.The other indispensable person on the team would be producer,musicologist, composer and author, Jeannie Pool, who, with myriadcontacts in the film and music industries, has been able to arrangethe rights to perform and record the music.This is where the other three orchestras come in. Ron is composer-in-residenceof Sinfonia Toronto, interim conductor of the ScarboroughPhilharmonic, and has had a long association with the NiagaraSymphony, which has commissioned his work and in which hiswife, Kaye, plays clarinet.What has been arranged is that Louise and Jeannie are coming toToronto in mid February. Louise will play two concerts with the14 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM FEBR UA RY 1 - M ARCH 7 2009

Niagara Symphony on February 21 and 22, before which Ron, Jeannieand Louise will give a pre-concert talk, and in which Ron willguest conduct the premiere of his piece, Short Stories for Flutes, andhis arrangement of Le Papillon. The following Saturday, February28, Ron will conduct the Scarborough Philharmonic in a similar program,and the next day, Sunday March 1, he will conduct SinfoniaToronto, again in a similar program at Hart House.On Monday and Tuesday, Louise and Sinfonia Toronto with Ronconducting will record the whole program at Kick Audio's studio withengineer, Jeff Wolpert. The CD will be released by Cambria MasterRecordings in California.Thus Louise De Tullio, probably the flutist whose playing hasbeen heard by more people than any other flutist ever, will give theworld a truly unique recording of solo flute music that has never beenrecorded beyond the soundtracks that brought it into being, and willprovide a memento of her long and fascinating musical journey. Fortunatelyfor us, and thanks in large part to Ron Royer, we will havethe opportunity to experience Ms. Di Tullio's remarkable playing atthese four concerts he has arranged.Two More Visiting ArtistsThere are two other visitors I'dlike to mention here. First, Russianviola virtuoso, Yuri Bashmet,and the Moscow Soloistswill perform at Roy ThomsonHall on February 17.Led by the charismatic Bashmet,the Moscow Soloists iscomprised of exceptional youngmusicians nominated by professorsat the Moscow Conservatoryas the very best of their generation.Formed in 1992 it is one ofthe world's most highly acclaimedchamber ensembles, andhas thrilled audiences in Moscow,Athens, London, Amsterdamand Paris. Their program will include Grieg's Holberg Suite,Stravinsky's Apollo Concerto in D (for which the Moscow Soloistswon the 2008 Grammy Award in the Best Small Ensemble Performancecategory), Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence and Bruch's KolNidrei and Paganini's Concertina in A Minor, in both of which Bashmetwill be the viola soloist.Just two days later on February 19 at Glenn Gould Studio Americanpianist Ivan Ilic will make his debut Canadian recital with a programmethat includes new works by Canadian composers as well assix of Debussy's Preludes, of which he has just released a CD (reviewedin this issue of the magazine on page 56). In addition, part ofthe program will be repertoire for the left hand alone, works whichaccording to Ilic are rarely played but are enriching for the performer.Canadian composer, Brian Current, whose composition, Banjo/Continuum, is being premiered at the recital, will give a pre-concertchat at 7:30.Geo.11, D~ & Co. LimitedCONSERVATORS & PURVEYORSOF Fine & Rare ViolinsI the Musi,cGalleryFRIDAY FEBRUARY 10SECONDE NATURE:MARILYN LERNER& DIANE LABROSSEFree Improvisation for Piano & Electronics(Toronto/Montreal)SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11MOTIONENSEMBLENew Music on Tourfrom New BrunswickBECOME A MUSIC GALLERY MEMBER AND SAVEON TICKET PRICES! Email info@musicgallery.orgThe Music Gallery · 197 John St. · Toronto M5T 1X6416-204-1080 · www.musicgallery.orgAl>, Canada Council Conseil des Arts© for the Arts du Canadatorontdartsbounci IAn :u m·,. lenql h body o f !1111 CU~ ol to, onlo/ ·~I"*-I Canadian...,... HeritagePatrlmolnecanadlen~r§ZF~~~~/ ~ ~ PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF'\"A tragic love storybased on thePortuguese legendoflnes de CastroMusic byJAMES ROLFELibretto byPAUL BENTLEYEnwave TheatreFebruary 22 toMarch 1, 2009In association withHarbourfront Centre416.973.4000www.harbourfrontcentre.com201 Church St.. Toronto. ON. M58 1Y7 E m ail: ghcl @idirect.comTel: 416-363-0093 • Fax: 416-363-0053www.georgeheinl.comCanada•s foremost violin experts.Proud o f our heritage. Excited about the future.FEBRUARY 1 - MARCH 7 2009 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE,COM 15

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