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The Folks Behind It All
Lawrence Cherney | Artistic Director
Led by Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney and Executive Director Susan Worthington, Soundstreams is a Toronto-based music presenter that commissions, develops, and showcases the work of contemporary Canadian composers and their international counterparts.
These innovative collaborations are performed by the finest artists from Canada and around the world, and are presented in an annual concert series, our monthly Salon 21 series at The Gardiner Museum, in national and international tours, and through a variety of education and outreach activities. To mark its 30th anniversary season in 2012/13, Soundstreams launched SoundMakers, an innovative website and smartphone app that invites music lovers to explore and create with Soundstreams’ commissioned works.
Over the past three decades, Soundstreams commissions have added more than 150 works to the musical repertoire worldwide, reflecting a diverse variety of genres and cultural traditions. Projects have included festivals and conferences such as the Northern Encounters festival, University Voices, and Cool Drummings percussion festival and conference, as well as new productions such as Thomson Highway and Melissa Hui’s Cree opera Pimooteewin: The Journey, R. Murray Schafer’s Dora Award-winning site-specific opera The Children’s Crusade, and Brian Current’s opera Airline Icarus.
2014/2015 CONCERT SERIES
November 25, 2014, at 8:00 pm, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
Nearly four centuries separate Claudio Monteverdi’s monumental Renaissance masterpiece Vespro della Beata Vergine from Gilles Tremblay’s Les Vêpres de la Vierge, commissioned to celebrate the 850th anniversary of France’s Notre-Dame de Sylvanès Abbey in 1986. Yet despite the striking juxtaposition of period and instrumentation, these two magnificent choral works—both taking their titles from Vespers, the Catholic Church’s sunset prayer service, and both evoking the medieval world—express the same profound spirituality. Soprano Shannon Mercer joins Choir 21 and chamber orchestra conducted by the Toronto Consort’s David Fallis in this transcendent evening of choral music.
The Whisper Opera
February 26 to March 1, 2015, The Theatre Centre
Feb 26 at 8pm, Feb 27 at 7pm & 10pm, Feb 28 at 2pm & 7pm and Mar 1 at 2pm
Using a libretto compiled from search-engine responses to such prompts as “When I think of you, I think of…,” Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang explores the tension between our private and online selves in a work that demands the most intimate live performance possible. Reprising their successes at Lincoln Center and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, soprano Tony Arnold and Chicago’s International Contemporary Ensemble—hailed by The New York Times as “one of the most adventurous and accomplished groups in new music”—make their Canadian debuts in an opera so quiet, so delicate, that it can be experienced by just 52 people at a time.
Song for Athene
April 16, 2015, at 8:00 pm, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
Performed at the funeral of Princess Diana, Song for Athene is perhaps the best-known work by one of contemporary music’s most popular composers. Britain’s John Tavener, who died in November 2013, twice visited Toronto as the guest of Soundstreams, which commissioned and premiered his 2005 Invocations and Last Word. Now, to commemorate his passing, Choir 21 and the Toronto Children’s Chorus collaborate in a program of highlights that also includes selections by his late compatriot Jonathan Harvey and Canada’s Christos Hatzis—composers with whom Tavener shared his passion for the universal power of spiritual expression through music.
May 24, 2015, at 3:00 pm, Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre
Presented in partnership with the Royal Conservatory’s 21C Music Festival
Sultry and sensual, the music of Latin cultures urges countless couples toward dance floors around the world—and continues to exert a potent influence on other genres. Tango, flamenco, bossa nova, fandango, klezmer, afro-samba, and jazz are among the styles featured in an evening of musical “encounters” featuring internationally acclaimed guitar virtuosos Grisha Goryachev and Fabio Zanon. The all-star lineup also includes Argentinian bandoneon player Hector del Curto and Juno Award-winning pianist and composer Serouj Kradjian. Co-produced with the Royal Conservatory as part of its 21C Music Festival, and including the world premiere of a new piece for two guitars by Canadian composer Andrew Staniland, this colourful event also pays tribute to Toronto’s hosting of the 2015 Pan American Games.