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Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Arts
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Performing
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
Presenters, start your engines! With TIFF and "back-to-work" out of the way, the regular concert season rumbles to life, and, if our Editor's Opener can be trusted, "Seeking Synergies" seems to be the name of the game. Denise Williams' constantly evolving "Walk Together Children" touching down at the Toronto Centre for the Arts; the second annual Festival of Arabic Music and Arts expanding its range; a lesson in Jazz Survival with Steve Wallace; the 150 presenter and performer profiles in our 19th annual Blue Pages directory... this is an issue that is definitely more than the sum of its parts.

FEATURE Nurhan Arman

FEATURE Nurhan Arman conducting the Belgrade Philharmonic BELGRADE PHILHARMONIC Still Dreaming After All These Years Sinfonia Toronto’s NURHAN ARMAN PAUL ENNIS Just over 19 years ago, The WholeNote’s Allan Pulker interviewed conductor Nurhan Arman about the impending launch of chamber orchestra Sinfonia Toronto – an event that Arman described at the time as “the fulfillment of a dream.” Now, as Sinfonia Toronto’s 20th-anniversary season begins, we revisited with Arman to chat about a two-decade journey which has seen Sinfonia Toronto’s world expand from the GTA across Ontario and the globe, culminating in a historic South American tour in April 2018. WN: Congratulations on your 20th anniversary. It’s quite an accomplishment. NA: Thank you, Paul. We are very proud of our accomplishments to date with Sinfonia Toronto. Our goal was to create a chamber orchestra with a specific repertoire that was missing in Toronto. Toronto had Baroque ensembles, symphony orchestras, opera and chamber music, but it was missing an ensemble that could play the string orchestra repertoire by 19th- and 20th-century composers as well as contemporary music. We achieved this goal as we have been performing this repertoire for Torontonians. Many remarkable compositions received their première performances in Toronto by Sinfonia Toronto. Just to name a few, I can mention major works by Kapralova, Vasks, Górecki, Mirzoyan, Hindson, McLean, and of course world premières of works by Canadian composers like Burge, Chan Ka Nin, Mozetich, Schmidt and many others. And we have taken this repertoire to many schools, community centres, retirement homes. My most cherished memory of an outreach performance is from our concert at SickKids (The Hospital for Sick Children). Every season we have performed in other Ontario cities. We have played from Sarnia to Sault Ste-Marie and from Welland to Brockville. We have proudly carried the name of our city and our beautiful repertoire abroad in tours to Germany, Spain, USA, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay. And looking ahead? As music director my goal for the future is to keep building the orchestra, enriching the repertoire and making the orchestra even better known in Canada and abroad. 18 | October 2018 thewholenote.com

Nineteen years ago, you told Allan [Pulker] how much you like the repertoire for string orchestra, calling it “pure music, like a string quartet except bigger and with a double bass.” I attended your concert last April in the Glenn Gould Studio, featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” with Stewart Goodyear as soloist. I can attest to the orchestra’s vigour. The piano was much more exposed in the chamber version and there was textural depth and beauty to Goodyear’s playing. Thank you for your kind words! Yes. There is an amazing amount of shading in the format. The dynamic range is incredible. It is truly a new way for audiences to appreciate familiar works. So, what we can look forward to in your October 20 concert at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. How will you approach Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.4? Will it be performed on the trumpet? On our season-opening concert on October 20, Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.4 will be performed by the incredible Sergei Nakariakov. Sergei plays this work beautifully on flügelhorn, an instrument that looks like a trumpet but is larger, with a wider bore. It works well for the horn concerti. As well, Sergei uses it for cello concerti that he plays! He also plays violin works on regular trumpet; he is amazing! In terms of the other works on the program, the Shostakovich Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Orchestra is delightfully witty. What will the version for strings unearth? And what can we expect from Beethoven’s iconic Kreutzer Sonata? The Shostakovich was written for a string orchestra, so we’ll play it in its original version. For Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, I started with a string quintet version that was made early in the 19th century, possibly by Beethoven’s student, friend and secretary, Ferdinand Ries. I have added a double bass part and made certain changes to the arrangement so that it works better for a string orchestra. Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata is one of the greatest works of the repertoire. As is the case with all masterpieces, the magical message comes across if it is performed well, whether it is played by a quintet, octet or just two musicians. I have been working on this score since May and I am sure my colleagues in Sinfonia Toronto will give their best efforts to perform this magnificent work in this version. Are there other of your own arrangements in this concert? Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto is also my own arrangement. Can you point to any other works in the upcoming season which you think will particularly benefit from the string orchestra format? Many chamber music compositions like trios, quartets, quintets, sextets are enriched when they are arranged for a string orchestra. Great chamber works’ architecture and emotional depth make them good candidates for performance on a larger scale. The rich sonorities of a virtuoso string orchestra bring out the symphonic proportions of those compositions. And some works originally composed for larger instrumentation also sound new and wonderful when played with the great range of tones and textures that can be created by a highly skilled string orchestra. Any particular examples? Consider our November 16 concert which includes Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. We will play the North American premiere of a transcription by the French composer Louis Sauter. On the same concert we’ll play Bruckner’s Adagio from his String Quintet. In Rachmaninoff the transcription reduces the work to its basic elements; Rachmaninoff’s dialogue and thematic ideas are now taken into a more intimate setting. Performing this gorgeous work with an ideal collaborative pianist like Anne Louise-Turgeon will be an exciting new experience for the audience. In Bruckner’s Adagio we will stretch its dimensions. This work has already been transcribed for string orchestra several times, and has been recorded by many string orchestras. Artistic organizations must lead their communities, not only produce what is safe and sells most easily. It seems that transcription is vital for an ensemble of this type. Transcriptions were very common practice until the mid-20th century when suddenly everyone became purists. All the major composers before then often transcribed their works for other combinations. Beethoven’s violin concerto was considered the “concerto of all concertos,” yet Beethoven himself made a version as a piano concerto! Fortunately times have changed again. I am proud of the many transcriptions that I have made and performed with Sinfonia Toronto. Many of them have also been played by other orchestras around the world, 24 orchestras in ten countries, at last count. Almost 20 years ago you mentioned to Allan Pulker that Canadian programming was a goal. Can you give us an idea of the number of Canadian compositions Sinfonia Toronto has played over the years? We have worked very energetically to serve and grow Canadian music. Considering the size of our season and the fact that we don’t specialize in contemporary music, our record is impressive. To date we have given 19 world premières of works by Ontario composers, as well as one by a Quebec composer, along with 11 Ontario or Toronto premières of works by Canadian composers; and we have performed 2018/19 Season QUINTESSENTIAL BOCCHERINI Wed Oct 3 at noon Holy Trinity Church Sat Oct 6 at 2pm Temerty Theatre TELUS Centre Music Director Elisa Citterio’s chamber series debut, featuring the sensuous music of virtuoso cellist Luigi Boccherini. tafelmusik.org/closeencounters CLOSE ENCOUNTERS MEDIA PARTNER thewholenote.com October 2018 | 19

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)