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THE SCOOP | Everything You Need To Know About The TSO's New Creations Festival

By Michael Vincent on February 8, 2017

Following yesterday’s big announcement at RCM’s flagship 21C Music Festival, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra are not to be outdone with an announcement of their own.

Sent quietly via email under the subject “March 2017 at the TSO”, it was almost missed, but we were sure glad we didn’t. Spanning three main concerts, the overall programming is very compelling thanks to the curation by Canadian composer, singer and violinist Owen Pallet, with ancillary events curated by composer Abigail Richardson-Schulte.

Taking place March 4–11, the 13th annual New Creations Festival will feature frequent collaborators with Pallet, including Nico Muhly, who is arguably the most talked about and polarizing composer since Phillip Glass.

Highlights include the premiere of Qiksaaktuq by vocalist and Canadian throat singer extraordinaire Tanya Tagaq. Written in collaboration with Christine Duncan and Jean Martin, with orchestration by Christopher Mayo — this is a do-not-miss opportunity to hear one the most important artists of our generation.

Conductor André de Ridder — who will be sharing the podium with Peter Oundjian — will present the Première of Reflections on O Canada after Truth and Reconciliation—a Sesquie for Canada’s 150th by Andrew Staniland, and a work by TSO’s RBC Affiliate Composer, Jordan Pal.

If that wasn’t enough, Jörg Widmann’s Trauermarsch will be performed with the legendary Yefim Bronfman at the keys.

Day two opens on March 8th with Shadows Radiant—a Sesquie for Canada’s 150th by Harry Stafylakis. The concert will also include Nico Muhly’s Mixed Messages — a smoldering piece with more orchestral colours than a book of paint swatches.

There will also be a new work written for violinist James Ehnes by Pulitzer Prize–winner Aaron Jay Kernis, and a premiere of Owen Pallett’s Songs from an Island sung by Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch.

The festival closes on March 11th with Nicole Lizée, the Kronos Quartet, and Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason.  There will also be the premiere of a piece called Round by Canadian composer Cassandra Miller.

You can get a taste of Miller’s unique voice below, with Duet for Cello and Orchestra:

Festival pass (three concerts for $30) available at TSO.CA.

For more CLASSICAL MUSIC NEWS, visit HERE.

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Michael Vincent
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Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. He has worked as a senior editor for over fifteen years and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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