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Volume 13 - Issue 10 - July/August 2008

tired, and I went

tired, and I went downtown for lunch, whereI ran into the Mayor. He asked what I wasdoing back in town and when I told him,remarked, "Great, so when can we havemusic again in the summers?"Later, in 1999, when Yo-Yo Ma was toreceive the annual Gould Prize, the cellistand his family came to Stratford to see aperformance of David Young's play, Glenn,after which Yo-Yo and I stayed up very lateone night at his B&B while I outlined myvision for what music could be in this city."You get it started", he said, "and I promiseI will come." (We've not arranged this yet,but we will!)Well, all those episodes kept percolatingin my mind and I was always dreaming uppotential seasons of artists and repertoire. By2000 the fantasies were so consuming thatmy partner, Andrey, told me this was beginningto bother him. "Fish, or cut bait," hesaid strongly- and that was all the impetus Ineeded to begin organizing a Board andcalling some artists I knew. Our first seasonof two modest weeks took flight in 2001 andnow we're at four weeks with a Board and acommunity anxious to see Summer Music grow.Again, I must tip my hat to the legacy oftheatre in Stratford. Scores of people want toperform in this city because they know itstands for the best in the arts. I've had sensationalproposals from artists and composers,sometimes via embassies, tourists andvisitors. This summer, for instance,we're welcoming Bob McGrath, acelebrated American musicianknown for his commitments to musiceducation and to young peoplethrough the music on his tv show,"Sesame Street". His visit cameabout because the leader of a NewYork-based trio, which had workedwith McGrath for many years,dropped by my office, unannounced,last August, when he was walkingdowntown during his annual StratfordFestival visit. This chap askedto speak with me about his group andwhether they could be part of afuture Summer Music season. Theresult is two concerts for childrenthis August and McGrath will alsodeliver our annual Harry SomersLecture, about his personal passion: the importanceof music in every education program.If there's any downside to the "theatrelegacy" aspect, it would be how many proposalsI get featuring Shakespearean texts putto music, thinking this is what our audienceswill want. Regrettably, however, such themeslead to the very sort of public identificationwhich I outlined above as our nemesis.Overall the kismet of who visits, and whathappens in Stratford, is extremely importantin helping me build a season. (And I have aStratford's Music Bargesecret weapon! - the Bed & Breakfast homeowners, many of whom quietly tell me of thefamous musicians staying in their establishmentswho have slipped into Stratford toenjoy the theatre. I won't name names -they'll show up in future concerts!) And thecalendar of course also sometimes tells youwhat to do. Our co-operation with the Austriangovernment and airline, leading to the visitof the Marionette Opera Theatre of SchonbrunnPalace in Vienna, came about as part ofthe international salute to Mozart in 2006.Our tribute programming honouring Glenn12WWW. THEWHOLENOTE. COMJ U LY 1 - S EPT 7 2008

MUSIC FESTIVALMark Fewer ~ Virgi nia BarronArtistic Direct or \) A ss oc. Artistic DirectorFRJDAY, SEPT. 19 SATURDAY, SEPT. 20 SUNDAY, SEPT. 21LEITH CHURCH DIVlSION ST. LEITH CHURCHSpm UNITED CHURCH,2pmOWEN SOUND•t/l.at d l0-'l l l, Ll 'i.',li

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