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PREVIEW | The Cathedral Bluffs Orchestra Ends Season With Bruch, Mahler

By Anya Wassenberg on May 13, 2024

L-R: Conductor Martin MacDonald (Photo courtesy of CBSO); the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra (Photo courtesy of CBSO); violinist Joelle Crigger (Photo courtesy of the artist)
L-R: Conductor Martin MacDonald (Photo courtesy of CBSO); the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra (Photo courtesy of CBSO); violinist Joelle Crigger (Photo courtesy of the artist)

The Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra ends its regular season with a program of late Romanticism. Conductor Martin MacDonald will lead the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, and soloist Joelle Crigger, violin, in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.

The concert takes place May 25, showcasing young talent and virtuosity.

The Concert

Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 is among the most beloved and widely performed in the classical repertoire.

Violin Soloist Joelle Crigger

Toronto’s Joelle Crigger is an emerging artist to keep an eye on. She’s become a local audience favourite through her prior appearance with Cathedral Bluffs as well as other area orchestras.

Joelle is an avid fiddle player as well as an accomplished classical violinist. She was one of the winners of the 2022 North York Community Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition, and is also a past winner of The Canadian Open Junior Fiddle Championship. She’s been entertaining people as a fiddler since the age of six.

As a classical musician, she enjoys both orchestral and chamber repertoire, and served as the concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra for three terms.

Other accolades:

  • Received the 2023 Stringray Rising Stars Award through the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra;
  • A recipient of the President’s Scholar of Excellence;
  • Awarded the Kathleen Parlow Scholarship, the Percy Faith Award, and the Nick Gelmych Violin Scholarship.

The Stingray Rising Stars Award is given to a TSYO member to aid in advancing their career. Joelle is currently in her fourth year of studying Violin Performance at the University of Toronto in the studio of Jonathan Crow.

Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major ‘Titan’

The second half of the concert features Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 1, called Titan. Mahler was second conductor at the Leipzig Opera when he wrote his Symphony No. 1 in D major. The work, which contains bits he’d written for other pieces, along with German folk melodies, premiered in 1889 to mediocre to bad reviews. He subsequently revised it, which a series of original manuscripts document.

Mahler called it the Titan symphony for its second and third performances only, but the name stuck with modern reviewers. He added a fourth movement in 1896, the form that’s performed today.

Among its notable moments is the opening of the third movement, featuring an unusual double bass solo of variations on the theme from the familiar song “Frère Jacques”.

  • Find more information, and tickets to the May 25 performance at the P.C. Ho Theatre in Scaroborough, [HERE].

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