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

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Video of The Seasons

Missed our season-opening concert on September 30? Watch our concert footage, filmed Tuesday, September 30, 2014, at Koerner Hall in Toronto. Repertoire: Max Richter: Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi's Four Seasons (Toronto premiere) John Luther Adams: Dream in White on White Paul Frehner: Mojave Dreaming (world premiere) Dream in White on White by John Luther Adams (1995) Sanya Eng, harp…  Read More

Videos from Salon 21: The Four Seasons

Our first Salon 21 of the new season, on Friday, September 19, was a resounding success. A sold-out crowd at the Gardiner Museum enjoyed Vivaldi's Four Seasons reimagined and performed by a group of talented musicians (and one remarkable DJ on the turntables). Spring, arranged by Kyle Brenders, performed by Kyle Brenders Quartet  (Kyle Brenders, Heather…  Read More

Program Notes: The Seasons

Antonio Vivaldi’s Op. 8, published in 1725, is a collection of 12 concertos grouped under the collective title The Contest Between Harmony and Invention. The first four of these concertos are The Four Seasons. Harmony and invention can be understood in this instance as the interplay of absolute music and descriptive music. It’s arguable that…  Read More

From the Seasons to Mojave Dreaming

Music inspired by the seasons or by The Four Seasons. Nature, weather, the seasons, atmospheric phenomena… all have long been sources of inspiration for artists and composers. I can count myself on that list. I remember being a student and telling my composition professor at the time that I wanted to write a piece about…  Read More

Q&A with Susan Worthington

Susan Worthington joins Soundstreams this week, officially taking over as Executive Director at the beginning of September. We chatted with her via email to find out about her inspiration for working in the arts, several of her favourite career moments, and passions outside of the office. Soundstreams: What inspired you to go into music and…  Read More

Composer Q&A: Jordan Pal

Did you know Soundstreams Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC) from 1964-1966? Our Salon 21 on July 17 features five talented young musicians from the 2014 NYOC as well as the music of their 2014 Composer In Residence, Jordan Pal. We chatted with Jordan via email…  Read More

Music and Sport

In the summer we become much more active. The weather is nice and we feel the need to get outside and move around, or attend outdoor games. I know many musicians that are avid bikers, soccer players, swimmers and ultimate Frisbee players. Not to mention our collective obsession with events like Wimbledon and the World…  Read More

Program Notes: Airline Icarus

Airline Icarus was commissioned by a small Vancouver opera company, Opera Breve, in 2001. Soundstreams’ Artistic Director, Lawrence Cherney, was among those who witnessed the project’s first public workshop. The untimely death of Opera Breve’s co-founder John Juliani in 2003 cut short the company’s plans to develop the work. Lawrence and Soundstreams continued to support…  Read More

Artist Q&A: Krisztina Szabó

Hungarian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó has become highly sought after in both North America and Europe as an artist of supreme musicianship and stagecraft. Soundstreams is thrilled to be working with Krisztina for the first time on Airline Icarus, where she is creating the role of the Flight Attendant. We chatted with her via email in…  Read More

Reflections from a Composer and Perpetual Tinkerer

In April the second annual Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop brought six talented composers from across Canada and abroad together in Toronto for an intensive ten-day workshop. The composers spent full days working with our international visiting guest mentor, Ye Xiaogang from China, one of Toronto’s favorite composers, Juliet Palmer, and a handful of other guests…  Read More

What to do when the lights go out

This concert was very different for Soundstreams in that it was one of the first occasions were the music was a mixture of the composed and the improvised. This style of music, coming mainly out of Jazz, but with roots in lots of other music from throughout the world, is created in the moment–through real-time…  Read More

How do you define Improvisation and Composition?

The definition between improvisation and compositions isn’t as objective as you might think. There as many definitions of the two practices as there are people practicing them. There are two ideas that commonly come up: composition uses a pre-conceived idea and improvisation is something that happens in real time. But other than these two simple…  Read More

Artist Q&A: Paul Grabowsky, Australian Art Orchestra

In 1994, Paul, with the assistance of a small group of committed Melbournians, founded the Australian Art Orchestra, and remained its director for almost 20 years before passing the baton to Peter Knight. Paul is recognised as Australia’s pre-eminent jazz pianist, and joins Soundstreams tonight as one of Passion’s composers and performers. We chatted with…  Read More

Program Notes: Passion after St. Matthew

A musical setting of the Passion of Christ can be an ambitious and possibly daunting undertaking. To reinterpret the greatest historical example of such a setting, namely J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, could perhaps be even more so. But this is exactly what tonight’s composers have done, and the results are compelling. The Australian Art…  Read More

Guest Post: Alec Hall and ‘Death in Venice’

Alec Hall, one of the participants in the 2014 Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop, discusses Death in Venice, his new work composed expressly for the workshop and gives us clues that give us context for this piece. Over the past few years, my interests have moved away from music that locates itself within traditional paradigms of…  Read More

Guest Post: André Mestre on ‘Corpo Confesso’

André Mestre is one of the 6 participants in the upcoming Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop under the direction of composers Ye Xiaogang, Juliet Palmer and the Cecilia Quartet as resident ensemble. André discusses Corpo Confesso, the work he will be working during the workshop and gives us an insight into his creative process. Ever since I…  Read More

Artist Q&A: R. Murray Schafer

Soundstreams: Most of the works you've composed for Soundstreams have been for multiple choirs (Death of Shalana, The Soul of God, and The Fall Into Light), how are your choices as a composer affected by the number of singers? R. Murray Schafer: We are very lucky to have an opportunity through Soundstreams to present works…  Read More

Behind the Scenes: Juliet Palmer’s Sweat

Sweat takes place in a contemporary sweatshop, the multilingual libretto conveying the global nature of the garment industry. Departing radically from traditional opera, this piece sheds the orchestra and focuses on the musical and sonic potential of the human voice in counterpoint to the sound world of the sweatshop. Here are some thoughts from Juliet…  Read More

Program Notes: Canadian Choral Celebration

Presenting the masterworks of contemporary choral music has been a priority for Soundstreams from its very beginning. In 1994, when Soundstreams mounted the first Canadian performance of Henryk Górecki’s Miserere, it was with the Bach Elgar Choir, an amateur choir based in Hamilton, Ontario. This season, as we celebrate 60 years of professional choral singing…  Read More

Q&A with Anton Piatigorsky

Anton Piatigorsky is an award-winning writer of fiction, plays and librettos. As a playwright, he is the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore awards for best new play, the Summerworks Prize, and the 2005 Siminovitch protege award for playwrighting. We chatted with him via email to find out how his partnership with Brian Current on…  Read More