At the start of the millennium, he was fresh out of studies, creating fun musical projects from scratch in Berlin and apprenticing at the side of Ivan Fischer, founding music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
The Alberta native who called Toronto home for many years has been leading a new and fascinating life as a composer for film and video games in Hollywood, while still pursuing her original passion for concert composition and playing the piano.
These gear- and circuit-heads have their own symphony orchestra — the Skule Orchestra — and chamber ensembles. They rehearse every week and give a handful of concerts every school year. At the auditions in September, 14 clarinet players showed up to vie for the two customary positions.
That dream turns into reality — via years of planning and months of preparation — at Koerner Hall on Sunday afternoon, as Martin leads her 120-singer Pax Christi Chorale, 48-piece orchestra and a worthy clutch of soloists in the first Canadian performance of the work in a quarter century.
The London-based, Ottawa-born bass-baritone has a thriving career on the world’s finest opera stages, but his heart belongs to the songs and ballads of England, the United States, Germany, Austria and France.
Russian culture is entirely Western, so little distances it conceptually from its neighbours to the west. But a different alphabet and 70 years of isolation within the Soviet Union and its former satellite nations has left a lingering whiff of cultural separateness.