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Volume 19 Issue 4 - December 2013

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LAWRENCE CHERNEY: Inter-Nationalist | continued from page 8an international composer, the resultingtaped performances of Canadian musicsubsequently finding their way to the farcorners of the globe through the EuropeanBroadcasting Union. The exposure provedinvaluable.Invaluable yet temporary. With a gradualdiminishing of CBC participation, Soundstreams(as Cherney’s enterprise was bythen known) began using larger venues,such as Metropolitan United Church, andmounting larger projects.Its largest project to date took placein 1997, the festival known as NorthernEncounters. As its architect recalls:“I happened to be in Copenhagen in 1995in the offices of the Nordic Council of Ministersand unknown to me the council hadjust decided to make North America, andespecially Canada, a priority. I wound upwalking out of the offices with 0,000.The individual countries each added moreand we managed to mount a .4 milllionfestival with .6 million of it coming fromthe Nordic Council.”An acknowledged success, NorthernEnounters led to a whole series of internationalinitiatives over the next severalyears, from a festival of music theatre foryoung people to a showcase of aboriginalarts to a celebration of brass music, withliterally thousands of foreign artists comingto Toronto to take part.Not that he used so crass a term as“payback time” but through the largenumber of contacts established throughthese activities, Cherney began a few yearsago to envision projects mounted in Canadathat could be taken abroad.“There are only six of us on staff in theoffice,” he admits, “And although we canexpand on a project basis there is an obvious limit to what we can do.”Bringing Chris Lorway, former artistic director of Toronto’s LuminatoFestival, on board as executive director has obviously made a difference.Like his oboe-playing colleague, Lorway owns a rolodex full ofinternational contacts. The two worked in tandem on this year’s tourto Taipei and Beijing.The tour involved taking an instrumental ensemble and music by ahalf dozen Canadian composers (Dorothy Chang, Brian Current, AlexinaLouie, Michael Oesterle, R. Murray Schafer and Gilles Tremblay) to twoof Asia’s major music centres and represented, according to Cherney,the largest concentrated exposure ever given Canadian music on thatsprawling continent.The invitation to Taipei’s National Concert Hall came about throughthe good offices of Taiwan’s Chai Found Music Workshop, an ensembleplaying contemporary music on traditional instruments, previouslybrought to Toronto by Soundstreams and recruited for the tour to helpperform Distances, a specially commissioned new work by the Chinesecomposer Fuhong Shi.The invitation to Beijing’s Modern Music Festival came from its artisticdirector, Xiaogang Ye, vice president of the city’s prestigious CentralConservatory, who has been reciprocally invited to Toronto this coming“If I had just tried to bean oboe soloist I wouldhave starved to death”spring to work with six young composers aspart of Soundstreams’ Emerging ComposersWorkshop.Reciprocity of this kind is now the Soundstreamsgame, taking Canadian music andmusicians abroad as well as bringing foreignmusic and musicians to Canada. Havingcommissioned, premiered and touredthrough Ontario a Cree language chamberopera, Pimooteewin, by composer MelissaHui and librettist Tomson Highway, Cherneyand his colleagues are now looking forwardto its export in a couple of years to Scandinavia,to be paired with a work for thesame performing forces under developmentthere, drawing on Suomi culture.“This is a good example of our work asan ambassador,” Cherney suggests. “We arealways looking for links into other communities,in this case through aboriginalculture. It is the inspiration of a Canadianwork that has led directly to the creation ofa new Scandinavian work.”Soundstreams has commissioned morethan 150 works over the course of its30-year history and excerpts of 80 of themare available online, through its new Sound-Makers program, to be sampled and used byanyone as material for composition.Its Toronto concerts are now beingstreamed live as well. Thousands moreheard the season’s opening concert celebrationof the music of Arvo Pärt than could besqueezed into Koerner Hall, these listeners comingfrom as far away as Europe and Japan.The Toronto series continues to espouse connections.November’s “Reimagining Flamenco” programincorporated new arrangements by Serouj Kradjianinfluenced by jazz and even klezmer, reflectinghow, in this “one world” of ours, cultures inevitablyinteract.The next concert in the series, February 2 at Koerner Hall, followssuit. Although billed as a “Canadian Choral Celebration” — Ontario’sElmer Iseler Singers, British Columbia’s Vancouver Chamber Choir andAlberta’s Pro Coro Canada are the performers — the actual program pairsMiserere by Poland’s Henryk Górecki with the premiere of a new work,Hear the Sounds go Round, by Canada’s R. Murray Schafer.“I’m increasingly drawn to what contemporary composers are doing,”Cherney explains. “We are trying to show living traditions. On oneprogram we did a new setting by Paul Frehner of the Seven Last Words(of Christ), another setting by Sofia Gubaidulina, and combined themwith two Bach motets to show the universality of the theme.”Nor is this activity going unnoticed elsewhere. This past summerSoundstreams received a visit by a delegation from the Shanghai ConcertHall. Looking toward opening up their programming to contemporarymusic, the Chinese are seeking Canadian advice to help showthem the way.“We think internationalism is a priority for the growth of Canadianmusic,” Lawrence Cherney argues. The rest of the world mayyet agree.William Littler is a Toronto-based writer focusing on music.Subscribe to HALFTONESThe WholeNote mid-month e-letterBreaking news, just-in listings, “mystery tracks” CD contest, ticket give-aways,discount window, member offers, and more.Scan this, or visit to register.78 | December 1, 2013 – February 7, 2014

SEASON PRESENTING SPONSORMozart@258 FestivalThe TSO celebrates the 258th birthday of Mozartwith three sublime concerts in his honourLOUIS LORTIEHILARY HAHNMOZARTSymphony 39SAT, JANUARY 11 AT 7:30pmSUN, JANUARY 12 AT 3:00pm*Ignat Solzhenitsyn, conductor & pianoMozart: Overture to La clemenza di TitoMozart: Piano Concerto No. 18, K. 456Mozart: Symphony No. 39, K. 543* Jan 12 at George Weston Recital Hall,Toronto Centre for the Arts. For tickets, visit TSO.CAor call Ticketmaster at 1.855.985.2787Coronation MassWED, JANUARY 15 AT 8:00pmTHU, JANUARY 16 AT 8:00pmPeter Oundjian, conductorHilary Hahn, violinLeslie Ann Bradley, sopranoLauren Segal, mezzo-sopranoLawrence Wiliford, tenorGordon Bintner, bass-baritoneAmadeus ChoirMozart: Violin Concerto No. 5, K. 219 “Turkish”Mozart: “Laudate Dominum” from Vesperaesolennes de confessore, K. 339Mozart: Missa in C major, K. 317 “Coronation”Lortie Plays and ConductsWED, JANUARY 22 AT 8:00pmTHU, JANUARY 23 AT 8:00pmLouis Lortie, conductor & pianoJonathan Crow, violinMozart: Serenade No. 10, K. 370a/361“Gran Partita”Mozart: Violin Sonata No. 18, K. 301/293aMozart: Piano Concerto No. 22, K. 482LOUIS LORTIEPost-concert party in the lobby on Jan 11.Informative intermission chats in the lobby on Jan 15 – 23.CONCERTS AT ROY THOMSON HALL | Tickets start at | 416.593.4828 | TSO.CAMOZART SERIES SPONSORBOB & ANN CORCORANOFFICIAL AIRLINE & JANUARY 11 SPONSORSEASON PATRONS

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