THE WINNIPEG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA UNVEILS THE 27TH SEASON OF THE WINNIPEG NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL

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ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE, Artistic Director       MATTHEW PATTON, Curator       HARRY STAFYLAKIS, Composer-in-Residence

 

THE WINNIPEG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA UNVEILS THE 27TH SEASON OF THE

WINNIPEG NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL

PRESENTED BY VOLVO

7 DAYS AND NIGHTS OF CULTURAL ADVENTURE AND DISCOVERY

JANUARY 27 – FEBRUARY 2, 2018

WITH PHILIP GLASS IN RESIDENCE

 

15 WORLD PREMIERES INCLUDING GLASS’ STRING QUARTET NO. 8

PERFORMED BY THE JACK QUARTET

7 CANADIAN PREMIERES INCLUDING GLASS’ SYMPHONY NO. 11

 

WITH MUSIC FROM

MICHAEL SNOW    ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH    HILMAR ÖRN HILMARSSON  

CASSANDRA MILLER    HARRY STAFYLAKIS

JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON   SAMY MOUSSA

AND OTHERS PLUS THE WNMF COMPOSERS INSTITUTE

+ ART & HAPPENINGS AND WNMF IN THE COMMUNITY

 

For Immediate Release, November 29, 2017, Winnipeg, MB … Each year, at the peak of its frigid winter, Winnipeg transforms into an oasis of the most inspiring, adventurous, and riveting music of our time. The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival presents its 27th season from January 27 through February 2, 2018, reveling in the music of today, inspiring artists and igniting abundant audiences of all ages. The week-long internationally-acclaimed celebration of creativity is known for bringing together the biggest luminaries in the music and art world – such as Steve Reich, Jim Jarmusch, Dame Evelyn Glennie, and John Corigliano, to name just a few – to explore, debate, and discover. And concert attendance of over 7,000 makes it one of the best attended new music festivals in the world. WSO Artistic Director Alexander Mickelthwate anticipates, “This year will be nothing short of extraordinary, as we bring you the most famous minimalist composer worldwide, the most beautiful Icelandic soundscapes, the most iconic Canadian visual artist, and the most energetic new talent you can imagine.”

The Winnipeg New Music Festival is thrilled to have iconic American composer Philip Glass in residence as composer and performer. The Festival presents the world premiere of Glass’ String Quartet No. 8 with the JACK Quartet – deemed “superheroes of the new music world” by The Boston Globe – as well as the Canadian premiere of the composer’s Symphony No. 11 (2017). Glass will also be among the stellar pianists in an evening of his complete Piano Etudes. “Seeing the work of two decades compressed into an evening [of Piano Etudes] was immensely satisfying, as America’s greatest living composer stakes his claim for immortality,” said The Guardian. Another evening, devoted to choral works, presents excerpts from several of Glass’ operas. Coming off his 80th birthday season, celebrated worldwide with tributes, premieres, and performances at Carnegie Hall, in San Francisco, in London (UK), and elsewhere, as well as several new recordings, Philip Glass continues to expand his extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.

 

On a momentous opening night (Saturday, January 27 at 7:30 pm), the Festival will reunite Philip Glass with Michael Snow, jazz musician, filmmaker, visionary, and “the eminence grise of Canadian art” (Toronto Star). Glass and Snow, along with Steve Reich and Richard Serra, created a revolutionary new minimalist aesthetic in the late 1960s in New York, a touchstone still felt by composers today. On the same program as the Canadian premiere of Glass’ Symphony No. 11 (2017), Snow presents his first-ever work for orchestra, a collaboration with Festival curator and composer Matthew Patton. “Philip Glass and Michael Snow, along with Reich and Serra, changed everything about how art were experienced, bending time with repetitive structures and bending perceptions with radical insight,” says Patton, “To have both men, now in their 80s, together here in Winnipeg to premiere their works, is nothing short of historic.”

 

The WNMF maintains a special connection with the astounding music scene in the tiny country of Iceland, half the population of Winnipeg. The 2018 Festival presents a number of world premieres by Icelandic composers including a major new work for orchestra and choir by Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, about whose emotionally-charged film scores Opus has said: Forget about what you thought beauty was about. [This music will] cut into your heart like a scalpel.” Also featured is a premiere choral work by two-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner for Best Score Jóhann Jóhannsson, and a Canadian premiere by Björk.

 

Several more of today’s major composers join the Festival for striking and unique new works. Montreal-born, Paris/Berlin–based composer and conductor Samy Moussa presents his recent Symphony No. 1, Concordia, commissioned by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal to celebrate the city’s 375th anniversary. The Montreal Gazette praised the “stimulating and ultimately stirring” work by a composer whose “music is rich, communicative.” American composer and Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Symphony No. 3, called a “striking, sumptuous and somber work” (Newsday), was composed for the New York Philharmonic’s 150th anniversary. And, on opening night, the Festival presents the world premiere by WSO Composer-in-Residence and Festival Director Harry Stafylakis. A Parable for End Times is a setting of an apocalyptic text by Winnipeg-raised author Steven Erikson, for choir and orchestra.

 

Stafylakis comments, “WNMF 2018 features a remarkable range of musical styles and sound worlds. I’m equally thrilled by our lineup of world-class guest artists. The WSO continues its commitment to contemporary Canadian art with the WNMF Composers Institute, an evening devoted to world premieres of six emerging composers from across the country, plus the winner of the CMC Prairie Region’s Emerging Composer Competition, Luis Ramirez. I can’t think of a place I’d rather be in the heart of winter!”

 

And, for the first time, WNMF is stepping out into the daylight for bite-sized performances during the lunch hour. Join us around Winnipeg during the Festival for free concerts. See the schedule at wnmf.ca/in-the-community

 

Festival goers will also have the opportunity to discover Portal Zero, a new 16-foot installation residing in the lobby of Centennial Concert Hall throughout WNMF. Part maze, part listening booth, part architectural marvel, Portal Zero is created in collaboration with StorefrontMB.

 

Directly following the official festival is the premiere of a new, live film score to Dawson City: Frozen Time. Film director Bill Morrison pieces together the bizarre, true history of a long-lost collection of 533 nitrate film prints from the early 1990s. Located just south of the Arctic Circle, Dawson City was the final stop for a distribution chain that sent prints and newsreels to the Yukon. The films were seldom returned. The Dawson City Collection was uncovered in 1978 when a bulldozer dug up a horde of film cans. These permafrost-protected, rare silent films and newsreels, paired with archival footage, interviews, and historical photographs, get a new live score by Sigur Rós producer/collaborator Alex Somers (of Jonsi and Alex, and Riceboy Sleeps). The screening with live music takes place on Saturday, February 3 at 8:00 pm at Knox United Church ($35 advance $40 at the door). In collaboration with Jazz Winnipeg.

 

 

 

 

2018 Winnipeg New Music Festival Line Up

 

 

WNMF 1

PHILIP GLASS SYMPHONIC

Saturday, January 27 | 7:30 pm | Centennial Concert Hall

 

At this historic evening, Philip Glass and Michael Snow will present new works in person. Glass will present the Canadian premiere of his Symphony No. 11, commissioned in honour of his 80th birthday in 2017. Snow, working with Festival Curator Matthew Patton, presents his first-ever piece for orchestra. WSO Composer-in-Residence and Festival Director Harry Stafylakis presents the world premiere of A Parable for End Times for choir and orchestra, plus the evocative Family by Björk.

 

WORKS

Björk Family for strings CANADIAN PREMIERE

Michael Snow Prophecy for orchestra WORLD PREMIERE

Harry Stafylakis A Parable for End Times for choir & orchestra WORLD PREMIERE

Philip Glass Symphony No. 11 CANADIAN PREMIERE

 

ARTISTS

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor
Horizon, Johanna Hildebrand, director

 

Presented with the support of Michael Nesbitt

In supporting Michael Snow’s commission for the 2018 Winnipeg New Music Festival, Meeka Walsh and Robert Enright are acknowledging Alexander Mickelthwate’s substantial contribution to the culture of our city.

 

 

WNMF 2

PHILIP GLASS LIVE – THE COMPLETE PIANO ETUDES

Sunday, January 28 | 7:30 pm | Centennial Concert Hall

 

Philip Glass and international guest pianists Vicky Chow (USA/Canada), Jenny Lin (USA), Jónas Sen (Iceland), and Madeline Hildebrand (Winnipeg) perform The Complete Piano Etudes in this evening of master piano works for the 21st century.

 

WORKS

Philip Glass The Complete Piano Etudes (1994-2012)

 

ARTISTS

Philip Glass, piano

Jenny Lin, piano                                  Vicky Chow, piano

Jónas Sen, piano                                Madeline Hildebrand, piano

 

Produced by Pomegranate Arts 

Presented with the support of Michael Nesbitt

 

 

WNMF 3

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Monday, January 29 | 7:30 pm | Westminster United Church

 

In an eclectic concert exploring identity, politics, and spirituality, Winnipeg choirs Polycoro and Camerata Nova present excerpts from Philip Glass’ iconoclastic operas Einstein on the Beach and Akhnaten alongside choral works by celebrated Canadian and international composers. Iceland’s Jóhann Jóhannsson present the live performance world premiere of Orphic Hymn heard on his latest Deutsche Grammophon release. Intimate music by Arvo Pärt (Estonia), Andrew Balfour (Winnipeg), and Jocelyn Morlock (Vancouver) contrast with two ebullient works by Vivian Fung (USA/Canada), a new politically-charged work by former WSO Composer-in-Residence T. Patrick Carrabré (Brandon), and Ted Hearne’s (USA) musical exploration of identity, ethnicity and culture in Letter to My Father.

 

WORKS

Philip Glass Knee Play 1, from Einstein on the Beach

Vivian Fung Sanci Kuni CANADIAN PREMIERE

Andrew Balfour Selkirk Avenue

Jocelyn Morlock Absalon fili mi

Ted Hearne Letter to My Father, from Coloring Book

Philip Glass The Coronation of Akhnaten (excerpt) and The Window of Appearances, from Akhnaten

Jóhann Jóhannsson Orphic Hymn WORLD PREMIERE

  1. Patrick Carrabré Just Society WORLD PREMIERE

Arvo Pärt Nunc Dimittis

Vivian Fung Kecak Attack!  CANADIAN PREMIERE

 

ARTISTS

Camerata Nova, Mel Braun, conductor

Polycoro Chamber Choir, John Wiens, conductor

Cary Denby, piano/organ

  1. Patrick Carrabré, electronics

 

Presented with the support of Michael Nesbitt and Sandi & Ron Mielitz

 

 

 

WNMF 4

ORCHESTRAL VOICES OF THE FUTURE

Tuesday, January 30 | 7:30 pm | Centennial Concert Hall

 

What is it like for a composer to hear their work live for the very first time and get instant feedback? This evening is devoted to the performance of the winning work of the 2018 Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition and the six participants of the WNMF Composers Institute. As they hear their work, they will receive suggestions from mentor composers Samy Moussa, Karen Sunabacka and WSO Composer-in-Residence Harry Stafylakis. Audience members are invited to participate in a Q&A session with all of the composers after the performance. For more information on the WNMF Composer Institute see: wnmf.ca/ci

 

WORKS

Luis Ramirez Chido CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition Winning Work WORLD PREMIERE

Leslie Opatril Whisky Jack WORLD PREMIERE

Austin Leung Prelude WORLD PREMIERE

Chia-Lin Cathy Kuo Urban Suite: Mvt. II “Loneliness” WORLD PREMIERE

Steven Webb Monuments WORLD PREMIERE

Kristen Wachniak Disjunction WORLD PREMIERE

Roydon Tse Black Waltz WORLD PREMIERE

 

ARTISTS

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor

Julian Pellicano, conductor

 

Presented with the support of Grant and Eleanor MacDougall.

 

 

WNMF 5

DARK MATTER

Wednesday, January 31 | 7:30 pm | Centennial Concert Hall

 

Along with premiere by Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, the Festival presents WSO commission #DryColdConversations by Winnipeg’s Karen Sunabacka. The new work draws inspiration from Manitobans’ impressions of winter, which were collected by the composer through conversations on Facebook, with refugees, Métis relatives, and friends.

 

WORKS

Karen Sunabacka #DryColdConversations WORLD PREMIERE

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Symphony No. 3 CANADIAN PREMIERE

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson 7 Friends WORLD PREMIERE

 

ARTISTS

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor

Prairie Voices, Geung Kroeker-Lee, director

WNMF 6

PHILIP GLASS WORLD PREMIERE

Thursday, February 1 | 7:30 pm | Centennial Concert Hall

 

WNMF teams up with JACK Quartet, whose “intense and audacious performances have been known to convert even the most conservative listeners” (The Financial Times) for a riveting evening.  One of the world’s leading string quartets specializing in music by living composers presents a cross-section of musical styles, featuring the world premiere of Philip Glass’ String Quartet No. 8, co-commissioned by the WSO and Carnegie Hall. The program also features works for string quartet by Sabrina Schroeder (Canada/UK) and Brian Ferneyhough (UK/USA), and the Canadian premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ (Austria/USA) stunningly hypnotic String Quartet No. 9, performed in total darkness.

 

WORKS

Sabrina Schroeder Slip Trains

Brian Ferneyhough Dum Transisset

Philip Glass String Quartet No. 8 WORLD PREMIERE

Georg Friedrich Haas String Quartet No. 9 CANADIAN PREMIERE

 

ARTISTS

JACK Quartet (Christopher Otto, violin; Austin Wulliman, violin; John Pickford Richards, viola; Jay Campbell, cello)

 

Presented with the support of Michael Nesbitt

 

 

WNMF 7

THE NEXT WORLD?

Friday, February 2 | 7:30 pm | Centennial Concert Hall

 

Rising star Samy Moussa comes to WNMF for the Manitoba premiere of his recent Symphony No. 1, Concordia, which, as Kent Nagano put it, “imagine[s] what a symphony in the 21st century might be.” The WSO has partnered with the Toronto Symphony to present the Manitoba premiere of WNMF alumna Cassandra Miller’s (Canada/UK) new work Round. And the JACK Quartet joins the WSO to give the Canadian premiere of Pascal Dusapin’s (France) virtuosic Hinterland for string quartet and orchestra.

 

WORKS

Cassandra Miller Round

Pascal Dusapin Quatuor VI, Hinterland, hapax for string quartet & orchestra CANADIAN PREMIERE

Samy Moussa Symphony No. 1, Concordia

 

ARTISTS

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor

JACK Quartet (Christopher Otto, violin; Austin Wulliman, violin; John Pickford Richards, viola; Jay Campbell, cello)

 

Presented with the support of Michael Nesbitt

 

 

 

TICKET INFORMATION

 

TICKETS                                                                                FESTIVAL PASSES

Regular $25 – $40 | Student $12 – $25                                   Regular $99 | Student $49

 

WSO Box Office

204 949 3999 | wso.ca | wnmf.ca

 

The WSO is integral to Winnipeg’s rich cultural life, delighting more than 225,000 audience members each year with innovative programming and musical excellence. The WSO presents educational programs for more than 40,000 students annually and tours to communities across Manitoba.

 

 

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