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Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017

  • Text
  • February
  • Toronto
  • Symphony
  • Arts
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Quartet
  • Orchestra
  • Performing
  • Theatre
In this issue: an interview with composer/vocalist Jeremy Dutcher, on his upcoming debut album and unique compositional voice; a conversation with Boston Symphony hornist James Sommerville, as as the BSO gets ready to come to his hometown; Stuart Hamilton, fondly remembered; and an inside look at Hugh’s Room, as it enters a complicated chapter in the story of its life in the complex fabric of our musical city. These and other stories, as we celebrate the past and look forward to the rest of 2016/17, the first glimpses of 2017/18, and beyond!

CBC Radio Two: The

CBC Radio Two: The Living Legacy Harry Freedman’s Orchestral Works DAVID JAEGER A long awaited and impressive new Centrediscs CD filled with distinctive orchestral compositions by Harry Freedman (1922- 2005) will be launched Friday, February 10, at Chalmers House, the national headquarters of the Canadian Music Centre. Freedman was a master of orchestration, an art that was informed by the 25 years he served as English horn soloist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1945-1970). He wrote for many other genres, including art song, ballet, chamber music, choral and film music, as well as incidental music for the theatre. But his orchestral music contains much of his very finest work, creating a canon of compositions that is not only large, but also diverse, both in style and creative approach. This Centrediscs compilation of Freedman’s orchestral works displays five vivid examples of his imaginative takes on orchestral composition, all beautifully recorded in live performances for broadcast on CBC Radio. The new CD is titled Harry Freedman: The Concert Recordings. In 2002, in a broadcast interview on the national CBC Radio Two series I created, Two New Hours, Freedman spoke of how his skill with orchestration had developed during his time with the TSO. He told program host Larry Lake, “You’re sitting in the middle of an orchestra. Anything you hear that strikes your ear, thinking, ‘Oh wow, how’d he do that?’, well you can just go find out how he did it – there’s a score sitting right up on the conductor’s podium. And when I was writing and had a problem with, say something for the trombone, I could go to the trombonist and ask, ‘Can you do this? What if you did this? Would that be OK?’ And you find out so many things in the orchestra you just can’t get from reading an orchestration text. There’s no better way to learn.” Largely as a result of all this practical experience, Freedman’s orchestral compositions show refinement and sophistication and are stunningly effective works in the Canadian repertoire. Many of Freedman’s works were the result of commissions from CBC Radio Music. I remember the first time I commissioned him, in 1977. The occasion was the approaching 50th birthday of Freedman’s good friend, the famous baritone saxophonist, Gerry Mulligan. Freedman himself was approaching his 55th birthday, but his point was, he wanted to compose a concerto for Mulligan to celebrate the soloist’s own half century milestone. Harry and I discussed the project, and I checked with Radio Music senior managers to get their support for the idea. They liked the concept of a concerto for Mulligan and orchestra and we went ahead with it. The hidden factor in this conversation was that, at this very time, I was preparing to launch Two New Hours, the new national contemporary music series on what was then called the CBC FM Network (and eventually CBC Radio Two.) We knew we would need plenty of content to support a weekly network series in which everything would be new. Freedman, who was president of the Canadian League of Composers at the time, was well aware that these plans were in the works, and he was pleased to be one of the earliest collaborators with the new series. The premiere of Celebration, Freedman’s new concerto for continues to page 86 On Our Cover Targeted Marketing LAUNCHING 2017/18 DAVID PERLMAN We tend to hear a lot these days about presenters experimenting: tinkering with the traditional concert form, making imaginative changes to programming and presentation. We hear (or care) less about the constant tinkering and re-imagining that goes on at the marketing end of things, although the creative and promotional aspects of things are inextricably intertwined. As the poet (Thomas Gray) put it, “full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air.” Translation: great concert, but the seats needed bums. For marketers, it’s no easy task to keep up: audiences’ personal information-gathering preferences change; new sources of information and devices emerge; new ways of searching and sorting the endless stream of invitations and demands on precious, nonexpanding time. The temptation is to grasp at each new straw as it rushes by on the tide – to declare that tried and true methods of garnering audiences have had their day. An example: going into this decade, there was a lot of gloomy prognostication on the PR and marketing side of things – predicting that season ticket sales and subscriptions were about to go into a precipitous decline. Audiences are no longer in a position to lock themselves into a whole season’s worth of performances months in advance, the argument went. Not with the health of parents, the welfare of children, and our own increasingly creaky bodies making it harder to predict, months in advance, what the demands on our time and other resources are going to be on any given day. Instead, it seems that for many, with so much uncertainty, from personal to geopolitical, rocking our worlds, looking at a calendar stretching six to eighteen months into the future has become even more important: a way of saying “well at least I know where I will be on THAT day, right down to the specific music I will be losing (or finding) myself in.” All this is not to say that the season launch and its accompanying rituals remain monolithically unchanged, any more than the concert form itself. Timing; whether to have a launch event and if you do who to invite – previous subscribers, sponsors, donors, the public; whether to live-stream it; whether to tie it to a particular concert in the current season; what kinds of packages, series and sub-series and February 16 at eybler quartet concert Early Birds (Jan-March): SOFT OR HARD (ie launch event or release only) The COC announced their 2017/18 season on January 12. READER ACCESS TO INFO: please provide best link/way for readers Toronto Symphony Orchestra: January 25, no event; to get the details and how soon after launch will it be available? Tafelmusik: February 13; or 416-964-6337. Music-toronto .com 416-366-7723. Music Toronto: February 16 (at their Eybler Quartet concert); Music toronto or 416-366-7723). SO Art of Time Ensemble: February 15; (PROJECTED) DATE OF YOUR LAUNCH/ANNOUNCEMENT) Soundstreams: March 1 by media release. For advance notice, sign We won’t be hosting an event, as we did in the past. The press up for their email newsletter, at release is slated to go out next Wed., Jan. 25. All details will be on our Toronto Consort: March 3-4, at their March concert; brochures website by then: available at the show, and details at I can probably send you the info under embargo by Monday, if you Women’s Musical Club of Toronto: March 9, at their March think that would help. concert; online (by e-newsletter at on March 16. SOFT OR HARD (ie launch event or release only) Isabel Bader Centre (Kingston): end of March; READER ACCESS TO INFO: please provide best link/way for readers Spring (April-June): to get the details and how soon after launch will it be available? Esprit Orchestra: April 2, at concert; updates at espritorchestra. KOERNER com, with a full season brochure in late summer/early fall. (PROJECTED) DATE OF YOUR LAUNCH/ANNOUNCEMENT) Toronto Mendelssohn Choir: April; press release, with a brochure SOFT OR HARD (ie launch event or release only) in May/June and website updates by the summer. READER ACCESS TO INFO: please provide best link/way for readers Flato Markham Theatre: An official event the first Monday of May to get the details and how soon after launch will it be available? (with other hints beforehand); Karen) Orpheus Choir of Toronto: around May 15 (media release and at 8 | February 1, 2017 - March 7, 2017

“pick- your-own” mini-packages to offer; where (if anywhere) the media (if there are any left) fit in… All questions to be answered. And hardest question of all: how do we best capture, in a few precious pages or minutes, our prospective audiences’ attention to the essence of a whole year’s inspired creative endeavour that has been months or years in the planning? Take the Opera Atelier photograph on this issue’s cover as an example. It looks like a production shot, and in a way it is. But the production in question is not either of the two mainstage shows around which 2017/18 will revolve. Rather, it is the season itself. OA senior communications manager Bronwen Bradley explains: “We always do a photoshoot in December specifically to create images for our upcoming season. Marshall [Pynkoski] and our set designer Gerard Gauci are typically working on the concept and art direction months in advance! Meghan [Lindsay]and Eric [da Silva] are wearing Martha Mann’s Dora Award-winning costumes from Figaro, and are loosely representing Figaro and Susanna. The photo is tied to our season theme of ‘Taking Aim at Your Heart’ as Love is the driving force in our two operas next season.” Impeccably shot by Bruce Zinger, OA’s resident photographer since the early 2000s, the photograph is instantly recognizable as Opera Atelier’s to anyone who knows OA’s work. Meticulous gestural language, minutely detailed staging, opulently detailed, yet at the same time tantalizingly non-specific. Lindsay, a company regular, is in this spring’s Medea and will return next season, but not in Figaro. Da Silva, a member of the Atelier Ballet, uncharacteristically thrust into the foreground, strikes a characteristically balletic pose. All in all it is trademark Opera Atelier, selling the brand, not a specific product: “For those of you who know us, 2017/18 is business as usual! But for those of you who don’t, oh what lovely business it is!” As mentioned, no one size or style or date of subscription drive or season launch fits all. What follows is a somewhat random sampling of information from presenters likely to be known to our readers. It’s a handy guide to how, and when, you’ll be able to start planning out next season’s long-term musical certainties amid the vagaries of daily life. And be sure to check back on this story online for updates and additions to the list as they become available. t of Time Ensemble (emld), and at their May 14 concert). We’ll be launching our 17/18 Season via media release on Burlington Performing Arts Centre (Burlington): mid-May, with a February 15. Readers can access information by visiting our website at special event; Elmer Iseler Singers: May or June; by press release, brochure, and Elmer Iseler Singers at PROJECTED DATE OF YOUR LAUNCH/ANNOUNCEMENT: May or FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (St. Catharines): end May/ June early June, media (and possibly public) event ; EVENT (please specify), OR MEDIA RELEASE ONLY?: press release, Living Arts Centre (Mississauga): June 5 to the public at 11am brochure (with a private preview event on May 30); or READER ACCESS TO INFO: please provide best link/way for readers 905-306-6000. to get the details and how soon after launch they will be available: Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts: May 8 (at 6:42pm, website, printed brochure to be precise!); And those keeping us guessing: New Music Concerts sometime in the spring, (, and to their mailing list. A brochure will be available in August. U of T Faculty of Music: August 14, before the start of the new school year; Ilya Poletaev performing Bach, Enescu, and Schumann Tuesday February 7 Eybler Quartet Vanhal, Asplmayr, Haydn, and Beethoven Thursday, February 16 th Pražák Quartet Thursday, March 2nd Hear the rare Bruckner quartet, plus Haydn and Dvořák at the Jane Mallett Theatre St. LAWRENCE CENTRE 416-366-7723 th FOR THE ARTS Work for an ensemble, music presenter or performing arts venue and want to add your name to this list? Send us an email at Canadian Heritage Patrimoine canadien February 1, 2017 - March 7, 2017 | 9

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