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Volume 10 Issue 8 - May 2005

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Toronto
  • Singers
  • Choral
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  • Jazz
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H • . . . . . F .. .J RNATIONAL FF1STIVAI.1 AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO COVER STORY II Two Key Choral. Players by Larry Beckwith IN PREPARING for this special choral issue of WholeNofe, 1 thought it would be interesting to check in with two leading figures in the presentation of choral music in Southern Ontario. Though I can't recall ever hearing either one of them sing a note before, Howard Dyck and Lawrence Cherney have been responsible for organizing and hosting major choral. events in this area for well over 25 years. KNOWN TO long-time CBC Radio listeners as the founding host of Mostly Music and! in more recent times, as the voice of Choral Concert and Saturday Afternoon at the Opera Howard Dyck has simultaneously maintained a busy career as a choral "conductor" in the true sense of that word. He has a wonderful energy about him that attracts people from all walks of life who are interested in, and passionate about, singing. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ].S. Bach in the World Today THE POETRY AND POLITICS OF BACH'S EARLY CANTATAS HELMUTH RILLING FESTIVAL CONDUCTOR AND LECTURER THE NICHOLAS GOLDSCHMIDT VISITING CONDUCTOR-IN-RESIDENCE DOREEN RAO ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Exploring rhe arristic, educational and social benefirs of Bach's universal voice, rhe 2005 Festival will celebrare rhe imporrant poerry and polirics in Bach's early cantatas wirh a special focus on rhe ancient and modern polirics of te Old Testament, the poetry of the Psalms and related rheological perspectives for the 21" century. JOIN US! OCTOBER 1-9, 2005 For more information, call 416-862-BACH (2224) or email rhebachfesrivalq!luroronro.ca FACULTY •/MUSIC r Nt UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO One of my first questions during a very pleasant, recent phone conversation, was how he found the time to keep up as both a broadcaster and busy musician. "Well, I've always found them mutually reinforcing", came the re-. ply. "From the beginning, for me, I felt that I needed to be involved in music-making. It brings a certain authenticity to me as a broadcaster ... that I'm not simply coming from the sidelines. Plus, conducting keeps me up-to-date with what's going on in the musical community." As a conductor, Howard's home base has been the Kitchener-Waterloo Philharmonic Choir, with ·its pristine concert hall, Kitchener's Centre in the Square. 'Tm in my 33rd season in Kitchener, with the choir in its 83rd season. We have a total of 3.50 singers in the organization, with the children's choirs and a youth choir in a couple of different groupings." While "The Phil", as they're known, has a core repertoire of the large choral works of Bach, Verdi, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Handel, they are also known for premiering more modern, populist works such as the Liverpool Oratorio by Paul McCartney and contemporary Canadian pieces by the likes of Christos Hatzis and Glenn Buhr. They're at it again at the beginning of June, presenting the Canadian premiere of Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings "choral symphony" in Toronto and. Kitchener. "It's atmospheric music. The choir has a lot of elvish stuff to sing! ' We look at it as a fun way to build audiences." It is indeed this relaxed approach that I've always admired in Howard. He has very high standards, make no mistake, but likes everyone to enjoy themselves while making music. One of the last topics we discussed is why the Kitchener area has been able to sustain a choral organization of the magnitude of The Phil for so long. WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM MAY 1 - ]UNE 7 2005

"Well, in the late l 9th century, when Kitchener was known as Berlin. there was Berlin Philharmonic and they would sponsor a Singers Festival. Singers would come from all over and it was a real centre for choral music-making. In more recent times, we've benefited from the Mennonite presence - of course singing is a big part of their culture - and the confluence of other European traditions in the city. Plus, we are now a leading centre for the high tech companies, who bring bright, sophisticated young people to the area, and a lot of them are joining the choir." With his other project. Consort Caritatis. Howard has been busy touring the world and organizing musical efforts that will raise money for charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. He is indeed a busy man, with a powerful desire to use choral music to effect change in his community. ROBERT LOWREY Proudly Introduces F/1ZIOLI® I Grandi ltaliani I HA VE FOND memories of exceptional choral programs that Lawrence Cherney used to present at the Sharon Festival in the 1980s. For over I 0 years, the Festival explored Canadian heritage, other significant, historical choral repertoire and new works in a magical setting: the Sharon Temple, the l 9th century home of the Quaker Children of Peace, for whom music was a central part of worship and everyday life. More recently, Lawrence has been artistic director of Souildstreams Canada, known for their "Encounters" series, which in each concert pairs a Canadian composer with an international figure in music-making. And, increasingly. Soundstreams has been actively engaged in helping realize choral extravaganza events, such as the biennial University Voices gathering of Canadian University choirs, and last year's phenomenal coming-together of 6 of Canada's professional choirs in the Atrium of the CBC for a significant premiere of a mesmerizing piece by Canada's R Murray Schafer. \ This June, Lawrence is organizing a conference and festival whose inspiration is the arts and culture of "northern countries": Canada, Scandinavia. Iceland, etc. Like any good impresario, he is most excited with the "here and now", sounding almost giddy as he outlines the fascinating array of guest choirs and conductors. ''I'm very impressed with a young conductor, Peter Dijkstra, the winner of the 2003 Eric Ericson Prize. He's not yet 30 years old, but he's one of the big stars of choral music to watch. He's already conducted the RIAS Chamber Choir, and is the permanent guest conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Choir. He will conduct the gala closing concert of the festival, with three great choirs participating." The festival will invigorate the city for nine days in early June. With visiting composers, including Sir John Tavener, and exciting conductors and choirs, such as Frieder Bernius (conducting the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir), "The Screaming Men" from Finland and the six-voice Nordic Voices, Cherney has assembled a knock-out line-up of choral talent. Howard Dyck and Lawrence Cherney: two choral players at the absolute top of their games, ' as far as impresario work goes. We need more of their kind of vision and vigour. Now only in Toronto (and nowhere else in North America) Can you compare The World's finest pianos Side - By - Side ii 11 Pn b.o ttf Ptt BECHS·TEIN F/1ZIOLr '>t:!:::f SCHIMMEL Plus BECHSTEIN FAMILY OF :PIANOS C. Bechstein •Wm. Knabe • Sohmer •Kohler & Campbell •Hazelton Five other new brands and lk )Roland .. DIGITAL PIANOS All backed by our 20 person service facility Tour our famous piano workshops • Concert Rentals • Appraisals • Rebuilding ROBERT LOWREY'S -- PIANO EXPERTS i tt i i 943 Eglinton Ave. East 416 423"-0434 pianoexperts.com MAY 1 - )UNE 7 2005 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 13

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