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

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Creating a Hybrid Bach

When Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (or Weihnachts-Oratorium) was brought to my attention I knew that it had to be the source material. It was not only timely for the season and a beautiful piece of music, but it also has some extra-musical meaning that influenced my choice. This work is a mixture of the sacred and…  Read More

Artist Q&A: Serouj Kradjian

We have been developing our relationship with pianist Serouj Kradjian over the past four years, as a performer in Ashes in the Wind (2010) and Piano Ecstasy (2013), as well as in Tango! (2011), for which he was also a featured composer with his piece Tango Melancolio. We spoke to Serouj via e-mail about his…  Read More

Program Notes: Reimagining Flamenco

One of Soundstreams’ aspirations is to offer our audiences a rich concert experience displaying contrasting musical styles and cross-cultural creative connections, such as the Tango! presentation in 2011 or last season’s Music for China. Tonight, we are pleased to have the collaboration of Russian guitarist Grisha Goryachev, Armenian/Canadian pianist Serouj Kradjian, Spanish cantaora Antonia Contreras and Canadian composer André…  Read More

Are Orchestras in Crisis?

In his article America's Orchestras are in Crisis,  Philip Kennicott raises a number of valid issues in his critique of programming by American orchestras and others. He argues that the attempt to make the 21st century orchestra “relevant” by downplaying the importance of attentive listening in concert halls is damaging the very institution they hope…  Read More

Composer Q&A: Riho Esko Maimets

Lawrence has been following the work of Riho since attending a performance of his Karen Kieser Prize-winning composition, squall, in 2011. He was immediately struck by the young composer’s talent and knew that he wanted to support and encourage his talent. Ave Maria is Riho’s first commission from Soundstreams. We chatted with Riho, who was…  Read More

What’s With Walt Whitman?

I guess I like working with Walt Whitman. My new work Open Road is our fifth collaboration. Soundstreams has commissioned Six Songs (2001) and When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd (2007). And before that came Four Songs (1989) and Come Lovely and Soothing Death (2000). What is it about Whitman that makes beautiful music?…  Read More

Meet Grisha Goryachev: Reimagining Flamenco

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Grisha Goryachev is renowned for his extraordinary musical sensitivity and technical virtuosity in both classical and flamenco styles. Grisha is one of very few guitarists in the world who is reviving the tradition of solo flamenco guitar in a concert setting that was practiced by legendary flamenco masters such…  Read More

Airline Icarus, a new opera: Inspiration & History

Airline Icarus is about the intersecting thoughts of passengers aboard a commercial airplane. It explores themes of hubris mixed with technology, the forced intimacy of strangers and flying too close to the sun. Over the course of the work, the plane becomes brighter and eventually vanishes.  Composer Brian Current In September of 1983, a Korean…  Read More

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