Tuesday, June 27, 2006

FESTIVAL://NAC Young Composers Programme 2006

New Music is presented in two Celebration of Future Classics concerts June 21 and 28

By M Collins
From OttawaStart.com - June 21, 2006

The National Arts Centre will present two "Celebration of Future Classics" new music concerts connected to its Young Composers Programme. The first of these on Wednesday, June 21 at 19:30 in NAC Rehearsal Hall B is a warm-up to the 2006 edition of the NAC Young Composers Programme which begins June 20. It features works by two alumni of the Programme - Andrew Staniland and Maxime McKinley - and one by Samuel Barber. The second concert on Wednesday, June 28 at 19:30 in Southam Hall, with the audience seated on stage with the musicians, will feature works by the five participating composers in the 2006 edition of the programme; one by Gary Kulesha, the Lead Composer of this year's edition; and one by Guest Composer Augusta Read Thomas. The performers for both concerts are drawn from l'Orchestre de la francophonie canadienne, with additional musicians from the NAC Young Artists Programme on June 21 and from the National Arts Centre Orchestra on June 28.

The Young Composers Programme is one component of Pinchas Zukerman's NAC Summer Music Institute which is supported by private donations and the NAC's National Youthand Education Trust (Founding Partner TELUS), including major support from: Scotiabank, TransAlta, Universal, University of Ottawa, and Galaxie - the Continuous Music Network through its Galaxie Rising Stars Program of the CBC. Over the course of ten days, Gary Kulesha will lead the five chosen participants in composition workshops to put the finishing touches on their works-in-progress. They will have at their disposal an ensemble of virtuoso musicians from l'Orchestre de la francophonie canadienne (OFC) led by Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Music Director of the OFC and the NAC Orchestra's former Apprentice Conductor after graduating from the NAC Conductors Programme.
Gary Kulesha enjoys a multi-faceted career as pianist, organist, conductor, choir director, teacher, CBC producer, broadcaster, musical journalist and composer. His works have been performed across North America as well as in Europe and Australia. Since 2002, he has been one of three NAC Award Composers under its New Music Programme. His commissions under the Programme include the Violin Concerto No. 2 premiered in July 2003, and The Boughs of Music premiered in October 2005 and performed during the NAC Orchestra's Alberta-Saskatchewan Tour in November 2005. He accompanied the Orchestra on tour in Atlantic Canada in 2002 and in Alberta-Saskatchewan. His Symphony No. 3 "Serenissima" will be premiered by the NACOrchestra in May 2007. He is currently Composer-Advisor to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the University of Toronto.

Augusta Read Thomas, who will join the Young Composers Programme as Guest Composer for the final three days, is Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1997-2006) and, until 2008, Chair of the Board of the American Music Center, on which she has served for the past five years. This year Thomas resigned from her position as the Wyatt Professor of Music at Northwestern University to devote her time exclusively to composition. Conductors who have programmed her works include Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Oliver Knussen, Marin Alsop, and Leonard Slatkin. Premieres this season have included two new concerti for the Chicago Symphony, a work commissioned by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Music Library Association in honour of its 75th Anniversary, and two new solo piano etudes for a total of six presented by Stephen Gosling in New York City.


June 21 Celebration of Future Classics I

Gary Kulesha and Andrew Staniland, hosts Jean-Philippe Tremblay, conductor
Ensembles of the Orchestre de la francophonie canadienne and the NAC Young Artists
ANDREW STANILAND Protestmusik (originally composed during the NAC Young Artists Programme in 2003 and recomposed for orchestra in 2004)
MAXIME McKINLEY Wirkunst - Fellini (composed during the NAC Young Composers Programme in 2005)
SAMUEL BARBER Summer Music for Wind Quintet
Rehearsal Hall B at 19:30 (Enter at the NAC Stage Door)
(This concert and discussion is approximately 1 hour in duration; no intermission)

June 28 Celebration of Future Classics II

Jean-Philippe Tremblay, conductor Gary Kulesha, conductor
Ensembles of the Orchestre de la francophonie canadienne and the NAC Orchestra
GARY KULESHA Variations on a theme of Benjamin Britten
CHRISTOPHER PIERCE Melody with Gesture
FUHONG SHI In the Timeless Air
JIM O'LEARY Music by a Living Composer
AUGUSTA READ THOMAS Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour
Southam Hall onstage seating 19:30
(This concert is approximately 2 hours in duration, including intermission.)

The five participants in the 2006 Young Composers Programme are:

Christopher William Pierce: Melody with Gesture
Born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1974, Pierce studied at Arizona State University, and later at the Peabody Conservatory and the Aspen Music Festival and School as a composition fellow under Christopher Rouse and Nicholas Maw. He has also studied with Christopher Theofanidis, Chinary Ung and John Corigliano, and is now a Doctoral student at the University of Toronto under Gary Kulesha. He has received top prize in the Macht Orchestral Composition Competition, the Virginia Carty de-Lillo Prizefor chamber music, P. Bruce Blair Award in Composition, and an ASCAP award, among others. His work is performed frequently throughout the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe.

Brian Harmon: sink
Born in Montreal in 1981, Brian Harman received his Honours BA in Composition from the University of Toronto in 2004, studying with Larysa Kuzmenko and Chan Ka Nin. He is currently completing his Master of Music in Composition at McGill University, studying with Brian Cherney. He has written orchestral, chamber, vocal, electronic and film music. He has been a winner in the Canadian University Music Society's Composition Competition, and a finalist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's New Creations Competition in 2004. He won a position in the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop in 2006. He is a founder and artistic coordinator of the Montreal organization Musique Maintenant.

Fuhong Shi: In the Timeless Air
Born in 1976 in Shenyang, China, Fuhong Shi began to study composition at fourteen. She graduated from Shenyang Conservatory of Music in 1995, received a BA from the Central Conservatory of Music in 2000, and a Master's degree in composition at the University of Victoria, BC, in 2005. Now she studies with Gary Kulesha at U of Toronto on a full University fellowship. Her numerous awards include First Prize at the Yanhuang Cup Composition Competition (People's Republic of China) in 1998, and Traditional Music Composition Contest of National Chinese Orchestra (Taiwan) in 2002. Her work was performed during a concert by the China Youth Chinese Music Orchestra, celebrating the 55th Anniversary of China Central Conservatory of Music at Beijing Concert Hall, also in 2005.

Jim O'Leary: Music by a Living Composer
A native of Windsor, Newfoundland, Jim studied percussion at the University of Prince Edward Island, and in 2000, completed his Masters in Composition at the School of Music in Pitea, Sweden. His music has been performed by, among others, the Umea Symphony Orchestra, the Motion Ensemble, the Winnipeg and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras as well as New Music Concerts. In 2001, he placed second in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's composer competition, and recently received Stockholm county's Culture Prize 2002. He is currently a graduate student in Composition at the University of Cambridge, England.

Alex Eddington: Sin Mar a Bha
Born in 1980 in Toronto, Alex Eddington recently completed a Master's degree in composition at the University of Alberta, after undergraduate training was at the University of Toronto. His works have been commissioned and performed in Canada and internationally by such artists as the Talisker Players, the Sudbury Symphony Ensemble, the Edmonton Saxophone Quartet, the Toronto Chamber Choir, the Da Camera Singers, and soprano Kristin Mueller. In 2004, Alex Eddington received a SOCAN award for his monodrama Death to the Butterfly Dictator! His first orchestral work, Dance Attack!, was a finalist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's 2004 "New Creations" young composers' competition. He has collaborated with such Edmonton organizations as Mile Zero Dance and the Fringe festival circuit.

Celebration of Future Classics I concert takes place on Wednesday, June 21 at19:30 in NAC Rehearsal Hall B (enter by stage door).
Celebration of Future Classics II takes place on Wednesday, June 28 at 19:30 on the stage of Southam Hall.
Ticketsare $12 for each concert, or $15 for both. They are on sale now at the NAC Box Office or NAC website at www.nac-cna.ca, or through Ticketmaster at (613) 755-1111.
For more information about Summer Music at the NAC, including the public events ofthe Summer Music Institute, visit the NAC website at www.nac-cna.ca.

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