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THE SCOOP | Banff Centre Announces Revamped Summer Classical Music Program For 2017

By Michael Vincent on November 24, 2016

Banff Centre Summer Classical Music Co-Artistic Directors Claire Chase and Steven Schick explain why they're excited for a summer of amazing programming and what you can expect as a participant.
Banff Centre Summer Music Residency Co-Artistic Directors Claire Chase and Steven Schick explain why they’re excited for a summer of amazing programming.

Since being appointed Co-Artistic Directors of the Summer Music Residency program at Banff Centre commencing 2017, Claire Chase and Steven Schick have gone back to the drawing board with a totally redesigned summer classical music program.

Announced today, the Banff Centre will feature five new chamber music programs that will include lessons, masterclasses, seminars, and rehearsals with leading musicians. According to Claire Chase, what defines and houses the program this summer is the idea of an ‘ARC’, which spelled backward stands for “Create,” “Refine,” and “Amplify.”

Evolution Ensemble (June 19 – July 1)

Starting mid-June is Evolution Ensemble: an exploration of the evolution of ensembles through the in-depth examination of new and old arrangements.

Participants will work with Vijay Iyer, Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music Workshop, to develop, Radhe Radhe, a piece inspired by Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps and India’s Rites of Holi.

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and soloists Cory Smythe and Tyshawn Sorey will also be on hand to present a new work by resident faculty Canadian composer Zosha di Castri. There will also be a special Canada 150 marathon concert presented by ICE and guests.

Chamber Music (July 3–15)

The chamber music program will explore intersections between Schubert and Beethoven, Ravel and Mozart, and composers Sabrina Schroeder and Erin Gee (USA). Faculty will include Tafelmusik Baroque violinist Aislinn Nosky, Imani Winds, Miró String Quartet, JACK Quartet, as well as ICE members, Rebekah Heller Joshua Rubin, and Ryan Muncy.

Roots and Rhizomes Percussion Residency (July 17 – 29)

Of particular note is a new percussion program lead by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. Over two weeks, participants will work on composer Michael Pisaro’s “A Wave and Waves,” a monumental work for one hundred performers. Canadian composer Vivian Fung will also workshop a new piece for solo percussion.

Pianist-Composer Collaborative (July 24 – August 5 )

The collection between composers and pianists has an extraordinary history which continues today with Canadian pianists Winston Choi and Vicky Chow. Vancouver’s Remy Siu will be resident faculty composer, along with improvising New York duo Craig Taborn and Cory Smythe. British pianist Nicolas Hodges and the Toronto’s Toy Piano Composers member Phyllis Chen will also be there.

An Improviser’s View of Notated Music (July 31 – August 12 )

While the idea of notation and improvisation may seem at odds with each other, text scores have become an interesting gray area for exploring both approaches. Participants will work with Swedish-Ethiopian vocalist/composer Sofia Jernberg and composer Pauline Oliveros. Musicians will also work on developing skills to help coalesce the relationships between improviser-choreographer with violinist–vocalist–composer Carla Kihlstedt and Banff Centre’s Summer Dance Program participants.

All five programs are open to individual participants, pre-formed groups, and composers with active careers in the performance of contemporary and/or classical music. Deadline to apply is February 01, 2017. See here, for all the details.

[Update: Sept 14, 2021. A previous version confused two composers by the same name, Erin Gee, each from Canada and the US. The composer referenced here is American, not Canadian.]


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Michael Vincent
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