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Volume 25 Issue 1 - September 2019

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  • Theatre
  • Composer
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  • Toronto
  • September
Vol 1 of our 25th season is now here! And speaking of 25, that's how many films in the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival editor Paul Ennis, in our Eighth Annual TIFF TIPS, has chosen to highlight for their particular musical interest. Also inside: Rob Harris looks through the Rear View Mirror at past and present prognostications about the imminent death of classical music; Mysterious Barricades and Systemic Barriers are Lydia Perović's preoccupations in Art of Song; Andrew Timar reflects on the evolving priorities of the Polaris Prize; and elsewhere, it's chocks away as yet another season creaks or roars (depending on the beat) into motion. Welcome back.

BO HUANG Alexina Louie

BO HUANG Alexina Louie at the University of Toronto after my graduation, Neil commissioned me to write Among Friends in 1989 for the Amici Ensemble. The piece won the Juno Award for Best Classical Composition in 1994, and has since been performed numerous times. I am not exaggerating to say that Neil and the CBC were instrumental in launching my career. I always remember him to be a gentle person with thoughtful insights.” Among Friends, and other works that Crory commissioned Chan to compose for the Amici Ensemble, were recorded in Glenn Gould Studio and released on a CBC Records CD titled Majestic Flair. Copies of that CD are available through the Canadian Music Centre. Later on, Chan was among the group of Canadian composers Crory commissioned to write preludes and fugues in honour of a very special Glenn Gould anniversary. Crory wrote: “In searching for a manner in which CBC Radio Two could pay tribute to pianist Glenn Gould on what would have been his 75th birthday (September 25, 2007,) I was reminded of the means by which composers throughout history have honoured the memory of Johann Sebastian Bach – the composer most associated with Glenn Gould. Composers from Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Max Reger to Hanns Eisler, Walter Piston and Nino Rota have all celebrated Bach’s genius with works based upon the letters of his name: B-A-C-H (Note: in German, B equals B flat; and H equals B natural.) In this spirit, CBC Radio 2 commissioned 11 composers, from coast to coast, each to write a prelude and fugue for piano based upon the available letters in Glenn Gould’s name (G-E- G-D). I think that you will be pleasantly surprised by the range and diversity of approaches that our composers have taken in realizing their individual commissions.” In addition to Chan, Crory chose composers Kati Agócs, Malcolm Forsyth, Gary Kulesha, Andrew Paul Macdonald, Diana McIntosh, Jocelyn Morlock, André Ristic and Ana Sokolović, to write for a topflight group of pianists, together with pianist-composers Stewart Goodyear and Heather Schmidt who recorded their own pieces. The resulting CD is also available on the CMC’s Centrediscs label, titled So You Want To Write A Fugue, a title shared with one of Gould’s own compositions. Gould also led Crory to Toronto composer Alexina Louie. In 1982, when Louie was in the midst of composing a string orchestra work for the Faculty of Music of McGill University, she received the news of the Gould’s premature death. Louie’s response took the form of an outpouring of grief expressed through the music as she completed the work. The heartfelt hommage to Gould touched Crory deeply, so much so that thereafter he sought out Louie whenever her works were performed by the TSO. They became friends, and in 1999, Crory commissioned Louie to compose the Gouldberg Fanfares, to be performed at the Glenn Gould Prize ceremony for Yo-Yo Ma. Crory also brought CBC Radio in as a co-commissioner, together with the TSO, of Louie’s 2008 Pursuit, a concerto for string quartet and orchestra written for the Tokyo String Quartet. Louie told me that Crory was an enthusiastic adviser for her whenever she was casting singers for her opera projects. For example, he strongly suggested she cast the rising young tenor, Lawrence Williford in two of her television operas, Burnt Toast (2004) and Mulroney: the Opera (2011.) She remembers visiting him as he was in failing health, and that upon leaving his apartment he handed her a pencil, asking her to autograph the concrete inside the front door. She noticed the wall was filled thick with such autographs. This past summer, at the premiere of her Summer Music, a quintet commissioned by Toronto Summer Music, Louie wrote that the work is, “Dedicated to the memory of my friend, Neil Crory who, as a CBC Music Producer, tirelessly promoted and supported the careers of so many singers, instrumentalists and composers with selfless devotion.” In light of the depth and impact of his work, and to celebrate his extraordinary life and career, a group of Crory’s friends and colleagues have organized a Neil Crory Tribute Concert, scheduled for Friday, October 11, 2019 at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. Participating artists will include Phillip Addis, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Isaiah Bell, Benjamin Butterfield, Tracy Dahl, Nathalie Paulin, Brett Polegato, Jean Stilwell, Krisztina Szabó, Daniel Taylor, Erin Wall and Monica Whicher, along with CBC Radio-Canada personalities Ben Heppner, Eric Friesen, and Françoise Davoine. Fittingly, the concert will be recorded by CBC Radio Music for future broadcast. Tickets and information are available at David Jaeger is a composer, producer and broadcaster based in Toronto. In the Spirit of GLENN GOULD (1932–1982) Returning to the topic of Glenn Gould, the ongoing annual observance of September 25 as Gould’s birthday, will bring with it some announcements by the Glenn Gould Foundation. On this day, the Glenn Gould Foundation will officially open the nomination process for the Thirteenth Glenn Gould Prize, defined by the Foundation as “an international symbol of creative excellence awarded to an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts.” As always, members of the public from anywhere in the world will be invited to submit the name of an artist they passionately believe deserves to become the next Glenn Gould Prize Laureate. Nomination forms are at The Foundation will also offer two presentations to mark the occasion, by renowned professor of political philosophy, Joshua Cohen. On September 25 at 6:30 pm, Cohen will speak on the theme, “Gould’s Variations and the Human Qualities that Foster Remarkable Creativity” at the Al Green Theatre, Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre. And on September 26, at 6:30, he will speak at the Isabel Bader Theatre, University of Toronto, on the topic. “Central Park: A Design for Democracy.” Tickets for both presentations are also available online at 18 | September 2019

Application deadline September 30, 2019 Canadian Composers we want to hear your music! The 2020 edition of the Graham Sommer Competition is now accepting applications Competition finals September 27, 2020 Learn more Prizes awarded range from ,000-,000 Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin Founders & Artistic Directors th ANNIVERSARY SEASON 2019 | 2020 October 6, 2019 Schubertiad: “A day with Schubert” December 1, 2019 “Runaway Waltz” April 19, 2020 “ Beethoven after all” June 14, 2020 “ Intersections” September 2019 | 19

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