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Soundstreams showcases the work of Canadian and international composers through innovative musical experiences.

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Program Notes: The Music of Arvo Pärt

Soundstreams first brought the music of Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) to audiences in 1993. That earlier concert of music by the world famous Estonian composer included the Canadian premiere of his Berlin Mass, in a rare setting for solo voices and organ. Since then, Soundstreams audiences have heard a great variety of Pärt’s minimalistic music…  Read More

Nic Gotham

Nic Gotham, a wonderfully inventive composer and performer, died last Thursday, July 25, 2013. Nic had an insatiable curiosity about all things musical and otherwise – his enthusiasm was infectious – but above all, he was kind, gentle and thoughtful in all his relationships. I visited Nic at the hospice a couple of weeks ago, and…  Read More

So You Think You Can Listen?

Deep Listening is a practice that is intended to heighten and expand consciousness of sound in as many dimensions of awareness and attentional dynamics as humanly possible. Pauline Oliveros from Deep Listening: A Composers’ Sound Practice Pauline Oliveros’ career spans 50 years of boundary-dissolving music making. In the '50s she was part of a circle…  Read More

A Little Furniture Music

Erik Satie has become a darling of the avant-garde. Brought back from obscurity by John Cage, the 20th century composer enfant terrible, Satie has been an important influence on American experimental and popular music.  His music has become well known since the mid-sixties due to its connection to ambient and meditative music. For example, his…  Read More

A Backstage View of Some of the Finest Concert Halls in Asia

My role on the recent Soundstreams tour to Taiwan and China gave me a different perspective than most of the others. My official role was production manager; in some cases I also functioned as stage manager, lighting designer, percussionist assistant, and harp technician. I expected to experience a certain amount of culture shock on this…  Read More

Learn About Traditional Chinese Instruments

Our Music for China concert on May 14 features performances by Taiwan’s acclaimed Chai Found Music Workshop. Here are some fun facts about the types of instruments that they play, along with a video so that you can know what to listen for at the concert. 1. Ruan The ruan is a Chinese plucked string…  Read More

Minimalism, Radiohead, and a store full of pianos: Steve Reich’s Six Pianos comes to Toronto

On April 26, an ensemble of six acclaimed Canadian pianists will perform Six Pianos, a composition by revered American composer Steve Reich, as part of Soundstreams’ 30th Anniversary season. The Piano Ecstasy concert, taking place at Toronto’s Koerner Hall, features six grand pianos being played simultaneously. There are few places where such a sight could…  Read More

On the Road Again: Soundstreams Tours to China

  This May, Soundstreams will make Canadian music history with the first significant tour of Canadian contemporary music to Taiwan and China. The ensemble, which features Canadian musicians alongside Chinese-born colleagues, will stop in Taipei, Taiwan before continuing on to the prestigious Beijing Modern Music Festival. The event marks the first time Soundstreams has toured…  Read More

James Parker on Music for Multiple Pianos, The Beatles and Career Stamina

James Parker is one of Canada’s most accomplished pianists. As a member of the acclaimed Gryphon Trio, he has become known as a premier performer of contemporary music. On April 26, he will be performing in Soundstreams’ Piano Ecstasy concert alongside eight other pianists. This week, Jamie took some time out of his busy schedule…  Read More

Inside the Music: Letters to God by Akira Miyoshi

We have been enchanted in the office by Haruka Fujii’s copies of the Japanese Children’s Letters to God books. On March 5 at our Fujii Percussion and Voices concert, Rika Fujii will perform Miyoshi’s piece inspired by these books with the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Chorale. Here is a little about the books and a peek…  Read More

Soundstreams Annual Fundraising Gala

Last Tuesday, I had the privilege of participating in Soundstreams’ 30th Anniversary gala, which was held on the glamorous 68th floor of First Canadian Place at King & Bay St. Towering in the heart of the financial district, the tallest skyscraper in Canada is typically known for housing the head offices for the Bank of…  Read More

New Year, New Face at Soundstreams

It’s a new year and Soundstreams is happy to welcome Ben Dietschi to the team as the new Metcalf Foundation Intern. Ben has worked with Soundstreams in a volunteer capacity since this past October and now, thanks to the support of the Metcalf Foundation, Ben’s role has change to a full time position that will…  Read More

The Beauty of Bridges

Five and a Half Bridges, James Rolfe’s new composition, will premiere at The Three Faces of Jerusalem concert on Sunday January 27 at Koerner Hall. James worked with poet André Alexis who wrote the text for this piece using the concept of a bridge “as a metaphor for connection.” Five bridges from around the world…  Read More

A Glimpse into a Percussionist’s World

In the last few decades, the use of percussions has exploded onto the contemporary music scene, redefining the very definition of percussion instruments, as well as percussion composition and performance. To better understand the changing sound-world of percussion instruments in contemporary music, Haruka Fujii, a Japanese multi-percussionist and one of the most prominent solo percussionists…  Read More

Q & A with Composer James Rolfe

James Rolfe’s long history with Soundstreams has included performances of 8 new works. This January, he premieres his latest as part of The Three Faces of Jerusalem concert. He recently shared his inspiration for this work, as well as his advice for turning 30, with Soundstreams.  Your new piece is called Five and a Half…  Read More