The Victoria Symphony’s 10th Annual New Music Festival Puts New Spin on Favorites From Many Genres

Victoria, BC – April 13, 2016

VS Orchestra Members Terence Tam, Victoria Lindsay, and Tzenka Dianova take the stage under the baton of Maestra Tania Miller in the finale concert of the Victoria Symphony’s 2016 New Music Festival on April 23.

Designed to showcase the ever-changing nature of orchestral music, the 10th annual New Music Festival presents a riveting selection of powerful and innovative works exploring the ways in which music reflects themes of current social media and communication. The New Music Festival, programmed by Victoria Symphony Composer-in-Residence Jared Miller, features work from both emerging and established Canadian and International composers performed by beloved local arts groups and the musicians of the Victoria Symphony.

The festival opens with a unique performance by UVic’s Sonic Lab Ensemble on April 15, followed by a recital featuring internationally renowned harpsichordist Colin Tilney in “Then and Now”, a fascinating exploration of the continuing evolutions of harpsichord repertoire on April 20. A performance of “New Guitars” at the Open Space Gallery on April 22 presents another opportunity for community engagement in a unique venue.

To conclude the festival, the Victoria Symphony will present an innovative and colorful concert at the Alix Goolden performance Hall on April 23. Featuring composers including Eugene Astapov, Christopher Mayo, Brett Dean, Nicole Lizée, and Alfred Schnittke, the concert delves into the art of inspiration, creation, and music making as witnessed through the lens of social media. Including throwbacks to Bach’s famous concertos and the musical The Sound of Music, this interweaving of past and present provides a unique and intimate look at social “media” in all its forms.

Friday, April 15, 8pm – University of Victoria Sonic Lab
Phillip T. Young Recital Hall
Ajtony Csaba, conductor

Wednesday, April 20, 8pmThen and Now: Colin Tilney in Recital
Oak Bay United Church

Friday, April 22, 8pm – New Guitars
Open Space

Saturday, April 23, 8pmVictoria Symphony
Alix Goolden Performance Hall
Tania Miller, conductor Terence Tam & Victoria Lindsay, violin Tzenka Dianova, piano & harpsichord

 

Concerts $20 each

Festival Pass $25 each

UVic Sonic Lab by donation

Triple ECMA Award Nominee to Record with 10 Symphonies in 3 Months For Upcoming True North: The Canadian Songbook 

TORONTO, March 9, 2016 /CNW/ – Eleanor McCain is about to make history.

In an unparalleled and ambitious move to celebrate the country’s 150th birthday with her upcoming True North: The Canadian Songbook, the three-time East Coast Music Association Award nominee is traveling across Canada from St. John’s, NL to Victoria, BCto record with 10 orchestras for inclusion on her 33-song recording project.

“The idea for this project began in January 2014 and was to reimagine some of our most iconic Canadian songs in new arrangements for orchestra in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday,” said McCain. “But if you plan on recording with a Canadian symphony, how do you choose only one? That’s when the dream happened: wouldn’t it be great to do this with orchestras across the country and make it Pan-Canadian.”

To fulfill this dream, Florenceville, NB native McCain will be trekking across the nation between the months of March and June with Emmy Award-winning album producer Don Breithaupt (The Breithaupt Brothers Songbook), conductor Martin MacDonald, and orchestral recording engineer Jeremy Tusz  to capture the dynamic and powerful sounds of 40-plus-piece orchestras based on arrangements provided by such stellar arrangers as Shelly Berger, Peter Cardinali, Darren Fung, Lou Pomanti, and Sarah Slean, to name a few.

True North: The Canadian Songbook, is a musical celebration of 32 of the nation’s best-known songs, plus 1 original, as interpreted by Eleanor McCain. It will feature some of the country’s most distinguished performers and recording artists as special guests.

“When I created the song list for this project, I wanted a cross section of styles and songs from across the country. Yet they also had to be songs consistent with my style,” said McCain, a classical crossover artist with a five album catalogue.

Song titles and guest artists will be announced at a later date.

The orchestral portions of the recording kick off with the 56-piece Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in Edmonton, Alberta on March 22.  The project then relocates to the East Coast later that week to Halifax and Saint John for sessions with Symphony Nova Scotia and Symphony New Brunswick respectively.

April will be bookended by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Winnipeg and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra in St. John’s, while the first 13 days in May will include visits to the Victoria Symphony in Victoria, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in Vancouver, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Kitchener-Waterloo and L’orchestre symphonique de Québec in Quebec City.

The orchestra sessions will be wrapped in Ottawa on June 13-14 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

In addition to the recording, a coffee table book featuring picturesque Canadian landscapes captured by nationally prominent photographers will accompany the double CD. The album is also being offered as a stand-alone double CD with an enhanced booklet and as a digital download. The album and book are scheduled for release on Retriever Records  in the spring of 2017 in time forCanada’s Sesquicentennial birthday.

The project will also be captured on film for a companion documentary.

“I am so excited to start the orchestra recording sessions and to eventually share these wonderful arrangements of some of Canada’smost iconic songs with everyone,” McCain enthused.

Please visit www.EleanorMcCain.ca for further details.

True North: The Canadian Songbook participating orchestras and dates:

Date: March 22 (Edmonton)
Orchestra: Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

Date: March 24 (Halifax)
Orchestra: Symphony Nova Scotia

Date: March 26 (St John, NB)
Orchestra: Symphony New Brunswick

Date: April 4 (Winnipeg)
Orchestra: Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Date: April 24 (St. John’s, NL)
Orchestra: Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra

Date: May 2 (Victoria)
Orchestra: Victoria Symphony

Date: May 4 (Vancouver)
Orchestra: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Date: May 10 (Kitchener-Waterloo)
Orchestra: Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony

Date: May 13 (Québec City)
Orchestra: L’orchestre symphonique de Québec

Date: June 13-14 (Ottawa)
Orchestra: National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra

SOURCE Deb McCain Communications

Image with caption: “Eleanor McCain (Photo Credit: Greg Locke) (CNW Group/Deb McCain Communications)”. Image available at:http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160309_C8835_PHOTO_EN_638913.jpg

For further information: For further information, images and to arrange interviews with Eleanor McCain, please contact: Deb McCain, 416-402-5681, [email protected]; Wonjay Chang, 647-349-2899, [email protected]

Angela Cheng Performs Entire Cycle of Beethoven’s Piano Concerti in a Single Weekend

Victoria, BC – March 1, 2016

In a rare feat of extraordinary musicianship, Canadian Angela Cheng will perform the entire cycle of Beethoven’s piano concerti in one weekend. Performances take place Friday, March 18, Sunday, March 20 and Monday, March 21, 2016, at the Royal Theatre in Victoria, B.C.

The first concert, March 18 at 8pm, includes Beethoven’s marathon Piano Concerto No. 1 and the rich and beautiful Piano Concerto No. 3. The second concert, March 20 at 2:30pm, includes the light and cheery Piano Concerto No. 2 and his grand Piano Concerto No. 4. The Beethoven Festival concludes March 21 at 8pm, with Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”.

Angela Cheng has been described as “nothing short of magic…a pianist one could listen to for hours”. Victoria Symphony Music Director Tania Miller says, “Some of the most deeply satisfying concertos of my tenure with the Victoria Symphony have come in the artistry and eloquence of Angela Cheng’s interpretations of music. Knowing how sensitive and expressive she is with composers such as Mozart and Brahms, I am curious about how she will approach the enormously beautiful piano concerti of Beethoven – at times delicate and sweet, classical and intimate, and at others, bold and virtuosic. To encounter all of the Beethoven concerti in one weekend is to experience first-hand the development of Beethoven’s extraordinary mind and musical path, and to be awestruck by their force and passion. The fact that Angela Cheng dares to attempt them all in three days is miraculous and daring, and will be a thrill for all.”

The Festival will also include the orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s highly dramatic Coriolan Overture, the classical-era Symphony No. 1, with which he burst on to the world stage, and his Symphony No. 3, the powerful and radiant “Eroica”. All concerts are conducted by Maestra Tania Miller. For a complete program and detailed www.victoriasymphony.ca/beethovenfestival

THE KING: A tribute to Elvis (Sans sideburns or sequins)

Victoria, BC – February 10, 2016

A tribute to Elvis with no Elvis impersonators. The Victoria Symphony welcomes four veteran Broadway performers for a tribute to the music of the King, Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 at 8pm, with a matinee March 5 at 2pm. All performances are at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria.

Elvis is a musical icon, with a record nine solo albums reaching the number one spot on music charts around the world. His music now comes to the symphony stage as the Victoria Symphony plays glorious new arrangements of the music that he made famous.

Conducted by Giuseppe Pietraroia and featuring singers Brian Wilson, Lee Lessack, Johnny Rodgers, and Scott Coulter, the orchestra performs gospel, blues, and rock n’ roll classics including Blue Suede Shoes, Heartbreak Hotel, It’s Now or Never, Crying in the Chapel, All Shook Up, Jailhouse Blues, Love me Tender, and many more.

Originally from Nashville, bass/baritone Brian Wilson has toured the US and Canada with the Broadway musical CATS. Lyric baritone Lee Lessack is a concert performer who has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe. Johnny Rodgers has earned numerous awards for his outstanding performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Centre and New York City clubs. He was a featured songwriter and performer with Liza Minnelli in the Tony-award winning Liza at the Palace, which now airs on PBS television. Scott Coulter is an award-winning cabaret performer who has toured in a number of Broadway musicals and with composer Stephen Schwartz in the revue Stephen Schwartz & Friends.

This outstanding quartet pays tribute to the king with sincere and energetic performances that display the great diversity of Elvis’ music and its universal appeal.

Youth-focused Victoria Symphony Concert Features 23-Year-Old Guest Conductor and Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra

Victoria, BC – January 11, 2016

23-year-old prodigy Alexander Prior comes to Victoria January 23 & 24 to conduct a concert featuring teenaged guest musicians from the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra.

Though Alexander Prior is but 23, his experience in the orchestral world is already great. Initially known as a composer, he was recognized by the BBC at 12 and he was just 14 when the Moscow State Ballet commissioned his ballet Moqgli: The Jungle Book. When he conducted its premiere in 2008, he became known for both; and at 17 he graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory with two Masters Degrees in Conducting and Composition. In 2009/10, he completed a fellowship as Assistant to the Conductor with the Seattle Symphony, and since then, he has been regularly engaged as a conductor, including appearances with the Edmonton Symphony, the Northern German Radio Symphony, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Royal Danish Orchestra with nine sell-out performances.

The two performances he will lead in Victoria open with Canadian composer Harry Stafylakis’s Brittle Fracture, a work depicting a musical representation of material fractures from tensile stress. Later Prior will work with Victoria-born and Julliard-trained pianist Lorraine Min on Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1. This exquisitely beautiful work shows Chopin’s mastery of the instrument as well as the incredible skill of the performer. For the final work of the evening, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, the VS will be joined onstage by members of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra (GVYO).

The incredibly keen youth musicians in the GVYO range from 13 years old to 25, though most are in high school. Yariv Aloni, Music Director of the group, said that the youth are “extremely excited – they can’t wait!” to take part. When one young musician realized that he would be playing next to a former GVYO member who now plays professionally for the VS, his eyes doubled in size. “He connected the dots that there is a professional future sitting right next to him,” said Aloni. The opportunity to play on a professional stage while still in high school is an exceptional experience for the young musicians. “To sit near a professional and play – they become the symphony for one night. They learn how one behaves, how one plays, how one reacts, all of those things are so incredible and so different from playing on your own. And of course, there’s the thrill of the music … the most important thing is to be able to play this phenomenal masterpiece,” Aloni said over the phone in early January.