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The Toronto Symphony Orchestra Presents the Sixth Annual New Creatons Festival

By Tightrope Books | February 11th, 2010 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment


February 22 – March 3, 2010
Spotlight on composer Osvaldo Golijov
Toronto, February 9, 2010 – The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Peter Oundjian celebrate the best in contemporary orchestral music, with the sixth annual New Creations Festival, this February 22 through March 3, 2010. In collaboration with Soundstreams Canada and the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, this year’s festival celebrates music inspired by words, highlighted through the works of Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov. The 2010 New Creations Festival features North American and Canadian première performances of works from Osvaldo Golijov, world première performances from Canadian composers including Jacques Hétu, and opportunities to interact with guest artists including a masterclass with soprano Dawn Upshaw and composer forums with Osvaldo Golijov.
The 2010 New Creations Festival highlights works from Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov, whose music has been hailed by the New York Times as “standing the whole world on its ear”. Known as a globally collaborative artist, Golijov brings his muse, four-time Grammy award-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw to perform the Canadian Première of Three Songs (February 25 at Roy Thomson Hall), young virtuoso cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who performs Azul for Cello and Orchestra (Canadian première February 25 at Roy Thomson Hall) which will be conducted by Golijov’s long-time friend and collaborator, Peruvian conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Golijov’s works often bring world instruments into the orchestral setting, adding a different colour to orchestral music, along with their performer specialists, including here in Toronto the world’s only hyper-accordion player Michael Ward-Bergeman (performing in Azul), as well as percussionists from Latin America.

Spotlight on composer Osvaldo Golijov
World Premières of TSO Commissions
Connect with great artists from our time
Golijov’s works are performed throughout the festival, including Last Round (performed by the TSO on March 3 at Roy Thomson Hall), the Suite from La Pasión según San Marcos, a Golijov work re-imagined by Gonzalo Grau (North American première performed by the TSO and French pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque on February 27 at Roy Thomson Hall) and various Golijov works performed by members of the Amici Ensemble (featuring TSO Principal Clarinet Joaquin Valdepeñas and TSO Assistant Principal Cello David Hetherington) at a performance presented by Soundstreams Canada, Artistic Director, Lawrence Cherney (programme titled Ashes in the Wind, February 24 at the Jane Mallet Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts).
Always edgy, the New Creations Festival pushes the boundaries of sound with premières from today’s most exciting composers. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Peter Oundjian, performs the world première of a TSO commission from Canadian composer Andrew P. Macdonald titled Ode to the West Wind, featuring Canadian actor Colm Feore (February 27 at Roy Thomson Hall). On March 3 at Roy Thomson Hall, Peter Oundjian conducts the TSO in the world première of a TSO commission of a major symphonic work from preeminent Quebecois composer Jacques Hétu. The TSO performs a co-commission along with the Aspen Music Festival & School from Peter Lieberson titled Suite from Ashoka’s Dream, a piece from the composer’s Opera of the same name (February 27 at Roy Thomson Hall).
In a rare Canadian appearance, Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan who is currently lighting up stages in Europe, is the soloist in the Canadian première performance of Irish composer Gerald Barry’s La Plus Forte (March 3 at Roy Thomson Hall), a piece the composer wrote for the soprano after collaborating on his mini-opera, La Plus Forte (“The Stronger”), a work based on a play by the revered Swedish playwright, August Strindberg.
The New Creations Festival takes advantage of having exceptional contemporary artists in Toronto for the duration of the festival by connecting them with local audiences and artists in engaging and participatory events. The Festival kicks off on February 22 with a masterclass featuring world-renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw for University of Toronto Music Faculty students. In this free admission event, watch Ms Upshaw guide and inspire students in a masterclass at Walter Hall, University of Toronto.
Connect with great artists from our time cont..
Explore music inspired by words Celebrate with New Creations Festival events

Also that evening, Osvaldo Golijov speaks in the Soundstreams Salon 21 series at the Gardiner Museum. On February 23, TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian sits down with Osvaldo Golijov as part of the TSO’s OffStage! Series at the Drake Hotel, for an intimate and enlightening chat about contemporary music (admission free for 8pm chat, details at tso.ca/offstage). For a focused talk on composition with working composers and University of Toronto composition students, Oslvaldo Golijov speaks in a Composers’ Forum at the University of Toronto’s Walter Hall on February 26.

Each piece in this New Creations Festival has a link to words and text. Be it inspiration from poetry, to the libretto of an opera, the Festival programmes explore how music can be used, sometimes in place of text, to recount a narrative. To recognize this relationship between words and music, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has commissioned new poetry works inspired by the music of Osvaldo Golijov from Toronto Poet Laureate Dionne Brand, poet and professional violinist Phoebe Tsang and Lion and Unicorn award winner JonArno Lawson.

Each New Creations Festival performance at Roy Thomson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra invites audiences to explore and enjoy the world of contemporary culture. During each concert, the electronic sign at Roy Thomson Hall features new animated artworks from New Media Lab students at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Arrive at the hall 40 minutes early to each concert and enjoy pre-concert lobby performances including a poetry slam by the Toronto Poetry Project, and music by Tapestry New Opera and the Elmer Iseler Singers conducted by Lydia Adams. During intermission, join guest artists, composers, and musicians to hear insightful commentary about the performance. And it doesn’t stop when the concert ends! Join the composers, conductors, guest artists and TSO musicians to celebrate the New Creations Festival with audience-wide post-concert parties in the lobby, featuring Tango dancing from Tracie and Daniel accompanied by Spotlight on Piazzolla, and music from Joey’s Confession and the Nathanial Dett Chorale conducted by Brainerd Blyden-Taylor.
For complete details and ticket information for the New Creations Festival, please visit

Composer Osvaldo Golijov and Soprano Dawn Upshaw are in Toronto for the New Creations Festival thanks to a collaboration with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Soundstreams Canada and the University of Toronto.
The TSO is grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts for their support of the New Creations Festival.
Original artwork for the Roy Thomson Hall electronic sign is possible thanks to a collaboration with the Ontario College of Art and Design’s New Media Lab. CBC will be recording the March 3 performance for future broadcast.
To download high-res publicity photos of the TSO, TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian, and New Creations Festival Guest Artists, please visit the media room at tso.ca
For more information, please contact: Senior Manager of Public Relations, Laura Quinn 416.593.7769 x 232 lquinn@tso.ca Marketing and Publicity Coordinator Jessica Parkes 416.593.7769 x 415 jparkes@tso.ca
About the TSO: Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s ma
jor cultural institutions. Under the leadership of Music Director Peter Oundjian, the TSO is committed to innovative programming and showcases a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to providing over 100 concert performances, the TSO serves the community with one of the largest educational programmes in Canada, connecting students throughout Ontario with curriculum-based outreach. www.tso.ca

Thursday February 25 at 8:00pm at Roy Thomson Hall Peter Oundjian, conductor & host Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor Dawn Upshaw, soprano Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Kelly-Marie Murphy: Through the unknown, unremembered gate Osvaldo Golijov: Three Songs (Canadian Première) Osvaldo Golijov: Azul for Cello and Orchestra
Tickets range from $29 – $128 Call TSO’s ticket line at 416.593.4828 or order tickets online at www.tso.ca
La Pasión
Saturday February 27 at 7:30pm at Roy Thomson Hall Peter Oundjian, conductor & host Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor Katia & Marielle Labèque, piano duo Colm Feore, actor
Andrew Paul MacDonald: Ode to the West Wind (World Première/TSO Commission) Peter Lieberson: Suite from Ashoka’s Dream (Canadian Première/TSO Co-Commission) Osvaldo Golijov: Suite from La Pasión según San Marcos – Version for Two Pianos and Orchestra by Gonzalo Grau (North American Première)
Tickets range from $28 – $87 Call TSO’s ticket line at 416.593.4828 or order tickets online at www.tso.ca
La Plus Forte
Wednesday March 3 at 8:00pm at Roy Thomson Hall Peter Oundjian, conductor & host Barbara Hannigan, soprano Amadeus Choir Elmer Iseler Singers
Osvaldo Golijov: Last Round Gerald Barry: La Plus Forte (Canadian Première) Jacques Hétu: Symphony No. 5 (TSO Commission/World Première)
Tickets range from $29 – $128 Call TSO’s ticket line at 416.593.4828 or order tickets online at www.tso.ca

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