Skip to main content

21C Festival of newly minted music May 21 to 25 2014 in Toronto

From a media release:

21C Festival
of newly minted music
May 21 to 25, 2014
at Koerner Hall, Toronto

TORONTO -
In this festival of newly-minted music, today’s most fearless musicians and composers bring us fresh new sounds and ideas. Over five nights, eight concerts featuring mostly music composed in the 21st century will be presented as part of Koerner Hall’s fifth anniversary concert season, which will include 12 world, one North American, two Canadian, and five Toronto premieres, in addition to five more works by John Cage, Michael Colgrass, Morton Feldman, Leo Ornstein, and Canadian icon R. Murray Schafer. The Royal Conservatory of Music has commissioned four pieces (Javier Limón’s Requiem Flamenco, Chilly Gonzales’s Suite from “The Shadow,” Trichy Sankaran’s HAMSA, and Jennifer Higdon’s Dooryard Bloom) and co-commissioned four more (by Jia Guoping, Shi Fuhong, Zosha Di Castri, and Christopher Mayo). The works traverse the worlds of classical, jazz, pop, and South Asian genres. 

“Michael and Sonja Koerner have been champions of the creative process and commissioners of new works for much of their lives. It came as no surprise that Koerner Hall, named in their honour, was opened in 2009 with Beethoven, but also solo piano works by Györgi Ligeti and a new orchestral and choral work by their long-time friend, R. Murray Schafer. The Conservatory is extremely grateful for Michael and Sonja’s support and encouragement that enabled us to launch an annual festival of new works,” said Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts at The Royal Conservatory.

Michael Koerner remarked: “Charles Ives, the American composer-iconoclast wrote outrageously courageous music about 100 years ago and when asked what he was up to, he would say “I want to stretch your ears.” This 21C Music Festival is just about that: ear stretching.”



On Thursday, May 22, a concert titled FASTER STILL ANAÏS NIN will include a world premiere of String Quartet No. 3 (The Questioning) by Canadian composer Christos Hatzis, written for and played by the Afiara String Quartet, The Conservatory’s quartet-in-residence. The Toronto premiere of Canadian composer Brian Current’s Faster Still, a piece that is part of a series of works that feature constantly changing tempos, will be performed by the Nyx Quartet (ensemble formed by students of The Glenn Gould School), Véronique Mathieu on violin, and Claudia Chan on piano. Both Ms. Mathieu and Ms. Chan are Royal Conservatory alumnae. The Canadian premiere of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s Anaïs Nin, a semi-staged work for chamber ensemble, video, and soprano, based on the diary entries of Anaïs Nin, will be performed by Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta and 21C Ensemble. The work is staged by Liza Balkan, with the help of videographer Valerie Buhagiar. This very special evening also serves as a celebration of the 80th birthday of R. Murray Schafer, who has been composer-in-residence at The Conservatory since 2010, with the performance of his Quintet for Piano and Strings, played by The Conservatory’s own ARC Ensemble.

chilly eve of lemon cane on Friday, May 23, features three world premieres – by Canadian, Spanish, and American composers – that stretch the boundaries of classical music. Grammy Award nominated jazz pianist Uri Caine will offer a piano quintet (commissioned by The Banff Centre) to be played by the Afiara String Quartet and himself, titled Jagged Edges, inspired by the dramatic landscape of The Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies. 2013 Grammy Award winner (for his work with Daft Punk), pianist, producer of numerous artists including Feist and Drake, provocateur, and Royal Conservatory alumnus, Chilly Gonzales, debuts his Suite from “The Shadow” (commissioned by The Royal Conservatory), written for a chamber ensemble that includes the composer at the piano. Gonzales said: “For years I’ve entertained the idea of writing some dramatic music around this fairy tale for adults by Hans Christian Andersen. Somehow, I haven’t managed to compose the full Wagnerian blockbuster this deserves to be. But in the meantime, here is a suite for chamber ensemble depicting a man at odds with his own shadow. It contains my first self-conscious waltz, a few glaring “leitmotifs,” and some sentimentality that I just couldn’t resist adding.”



Flamenco guitarist and producer Javier Limón, who made his Koerner Hall debut during the 2012-13 concert season with Amanda Martinez, debuts his first string quartet, Requiem Flamenco (commissioned by The Royal Conservatory), performed by the Afiara String Quartet and Alberto Suarez on the cajón. Finally, Toronto-based pianist/composer Eve Egoyan teams up with visual artist David Rokeby for the Toronto premiere of their piece, Surface Tension, a collaborative work for disklavier piano (an acoustic piano with a computer interface) and interactive video.

In NIGHT BLOOMS on Saturday, May 24, Marc-André Hamelin, one of Canada’s most prodigious piano talents, is featured in works that look back to 20th century stalwarts and forward with a new piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon. Hamelin plays The Perilous Night, a solo work for prepared piano by John Cage, and is joined by the Pacifica Quartet for Leo Orenstein’s Piano Quintet, a still thoroughly modern piece, written in 1927. Finally, Hamelin and the Pacifica Quartet are joined by a Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins for the Canadian premiere of a work by Higdon, titled Dooryard Bloom (commissioned by The Royal Conservatory). Dooryard Bloom is based on Walt Whitman’s poem “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” which he wrote in response to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Marc-André Hamelin appears for the second time during the 21C Music Festival on Sunday, May 25, in a concert titled HUSH!, which features a rare performance of For Bunita Marcus, a 70-minute work for solo piano marked entirely triple piano by the late American composer Morton Feldman.         

On two evenings, following mainstage Koerner Hall performances, Festival After Hours concerts will be held in Conservatory Theatre, featuring new works in a causal setting. A cash bar will be open. On May 23, two Toronto-based Indian artists, Trichy Sankaran (mrdangam) and Gurpreet Chana (tabla), will perform. Mr. Chana, known as “The Tabla Guy,” presents his ground-breaking integration of tabla and technology that will start in a classical mode and then turn the Conservatory Theatre into a club as he morphs into dance beats. Internationally revered percussion master Sankaran performs the world premiere of Hamsa, commissioned by The Conservatory. On May 24, the Pacifica Quartet will perform the world premiere of Shulamit Ran’s String Quartet No. 3 – GLITTER, DOOM, SHARDS, MEMORY for string quartet; flutists Susan Hoeppner and Leslie Newman play Andrew Staniland’s Flute vs Flute; and Sanya Eng (harp) and Ryan Scott (percussion) perform Michael Colgrass’s Pan Trio (steel player to be announced shortly).



The Royal Conservatory has partnered with New Music Concerts Ensemble (under the direction of Founding Artistic Director Robert Aitken) and Esprit Orchestra (conducted by Founding Music Director Alex Pauk) who will present two of their respective season’s concerts as part of the inaugural edition of the 21C Music Festival. On May 21, New Music Concerts presents New Beijing will feature pipa virtuoso Lan Weiwei, who coordinates a contemporary music program at the Beijing Conservatory. New Music Concerts has invited Weiwei’s colleagues Jia Guoping, Shi Fuhong, and Chen Xiaoyong to compose new works for her (commissioned by New Music Concerts with funding from The Royal Conservatory and Roger D. Moore), featuring pipa in combination with western instruments. Shi Fuhong’s piece is titled Mountains and Seas, and the concert will also include Chinese-Canadian composer and Conservatory alumna Alexina Louie’s Imaginary Opera. On May 25, Esprit Orchestra presents Mysteries will include premieres of new works by two important emerging Canadian composers living and working abroad: Zosha Di Castri (world premiere) and Christopher Mayo (world premiere of a work for soprano, two mezzo-sopranos, alto, and orchestra). The program will also feature the North American premiere of Mysteriën, a new piece by Louis Andriessen, as well as the Toronto premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Out of Black Dust.

Additional events:
All of the performances starting at 8:00pm will also include either a pre- or post-concert artist/composer chats, with the pre-concert events starting at 7:15pm. Additionally, Chilly Gonzales launches his Re-Introduction Etudes, a book of études for solo piano, with a discussion and selections performed by students from The Royal Conservatory, on Saturday, May 24, at 2:00pm in Mazzoleni Concert Hall, located in the historic Ihnatowycz Hall.

NB - since these are premieres, naturally the videos present earlier works by these artists.

Comments

What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you

Review: Night of the Kings / La Nuit des Rois by Philippe Lacôte

Review:  Night of the Kings La Nuit des Rois by Philippe Lacôte A France, Côte d'Ivoire, Canada and Senegal co-production Now Playing In The New York Film Festival ImageAfter Venice and the Toronto Film Festival, Philippe Lacôte's Night of the Kings has moved on to conquer New York City.  Image Courtesy of TIFF A young pickpocket (Koné Bakary), is incarcerated in the giant La MACA prison, the largest in Côte d’Ivoire. The prison offers a hostile atmosphere, where the guards have long given up keeping order and the prisoners run the show, albeit confined within the prison walls. They dance, sing, and mingle at will in a common area called The Jungle.  There is a violent power struggle between Lord Blackbeard (Steve Tientcheu), who runs things, and the younger leaders of other factions. Blackbeard is old and infirm, and he knows he can't hold on forever. But, he does want to hold on long enough to leave on his own terms.  Image courtesy of TIFF Blackbeard designates the new

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020)

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020) New York City based singer and songwriter Shihori's new single Soul Trip is atmospheric and ambient. Interesting rhythms and interwoven melodic vocal lines showcase jazzy harmonic progressions in a slow groove mode.  As a songwriter, she uses electronic effects with impeccable musical taste. As a singer, her flexible vocals range from a sweet soprano to a strong mid-range. A veteran of the Japanese pop scene, Shihori moved to New York City in 2018, a move she talks about in a media release. "I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, 'oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn't know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas...I am so