Thursday, December 3, 2009

CMC 50th Anniversary Concert — Friday

This Friday there will be a concert that I hope you can all attend, as it will be the first time in the School of Music's history (of which I am aware) that we have an entire concert of music by composers who are from Newfoundland or who have lived here. The occasion is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Music Centre, an institution that has been at the crux of the development and dissemination of Canadian music, and, it is definitely an organization to join if you continue in composition on a professional level.

Below is the programme and programme information, FYI — Hope you can make it (and if you do, maybe let people know what you thought of it in a blog!):

CMC 50th Anniversary concert
Friday, December 5, 2009, 8 PM
D.F. Cook Recital Hall

Steppin’ Out (1996) by Clark Ross
A Suite for Flute and Piano (1980) by Clifford Crawley
  1. Andante amabile
  2. Allegretto espressivo con alcuna licenza
  3. Allegro scherzando
Three (2009) by Jim O’Leary
Slipping into madness is good for the sake of comparison (2001) by Scott Godin
Ostinati and Hymn (2009; world premiere) by Jim Duff

Ora Ensemble
Krista Vincent – piano
Vernon Regehr – cello

Nancy Case-Oates – violin
Paul Bendza – clarinet
Stephen Hynes – flute

Commissioned by the CBC in 1996, Clark Winslow Ross’ Steppin’ Out is an eclectic single-movement trio for violin, cello and piano. It is essentially lighthearted but sometimes soulful, with stylistic references to the blues, minimalism, Bach and Jimi Hendrix. Steppin’ Out features extensive use of ostinato (recurring pattern) figures, such as the repetitive thirds played at the opening by the piano, which, together with sporadic interjections by the cello, create a kind of musical humour.

Clark Winslow Ross’ compositions have been performed worldwide and across Canada. He has won awards in national competitions and has received numerous commission grants from the Canada Council, the CBC, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. Clark is Associate Professor of composition, theory, and electronic music at Memorial University of Newfoundland and is the founder and Artistic Director of the Newfound Music Festival. He has lived in St. John’s since 1992.


UK-born Clifford Crawley was educated at the University of Durham, the Royal College of Music and Trinity College, London. He also studied with Lennox Berkeley and Humphrey Searle. With a long career in all levels of music education, Crawley currently holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Queen's University, where he taught for 20 years. After ten years in Toronto, he now lives and enjoys an active musical life in St. John's, Newfoundland.


Jim O’Leary was born and raised in Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador. A percussionist by training, he studied at the University of Prince Edward Island, and completed Masters degrees in composition at the School of Music in Piteå, Sweden and at the University of Cambridge, England. O’Leary notes that his composition Three was created as one intended to be fairly accessible, explicitly avoiding any over-complexities or density in the work; “the goal was to create intimate music enabling the audience to focus on the subtle changes in scoring and the timbre of the instruments, the use of quarter tones (both melodically and harmonically), and above all the form.”

O’Leary's music has been performed by, among others: the Umeå Symphony Orchestra, the Motion ensemble, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as well as New Music Concerts, l'Orchestre de la francophonie canadienne and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He is presently a research student at Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Scott Edward Godin’s Slipping into Madness was commissioned by the East-West Quartet and was made possible with the assistance of the CBC. The title comes from the “Truisms” of New York artist Jenny Holzer, which is a series of paranoid slogans closely resembling ancient proverbs. They range from witty, to confusing, to raving mad. The piece deals with the juxtaposition of many different musical emotions, causing uneasiness of paranoia in the listener who searches for a logical progression of the musical material from beginning to end. Written immediately after the events of 9/11, the piece pays homage to Messiaen’s masterwork, Le quatuor pour le fin du temps.

Godin began his musical training on piano, completing a Bachelor of Music degree in 1993 with Helmut Brauss. Winning the Johann Strauss competition enabled Scott to study in Vienna with internationally renowned pianist Paul Badura-Skoda. He completed a Doctoral degree in musical composition with John Rea at McGill University. Scott’s music has been performed throughout Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. He was a finalist for the 1999 Gaudeamus Competition in Amsterdam, finalist in the 1999 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Young Composers' Competition, and he was awarded five prizes in SOCAN Young Composers Competitions (Canada), including Serge Garant Awards for chamber music in 1996 and 1998.


Jim Duff’s Ostinati and Hymn features interplay of four ostinati between violin, cello and piano, in an overall ABA form. Duff holds a Diploma of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary, a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music, Boston, and a Masters of Music from North Texas State University. Jim has acted as instructor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and for the past fifteen years, he has worked closely with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra as composer, arranger, and conductor for their annual Gala and Pops concerts. Several of his concert band compositions and arrangements have been published and distributed worldwide by Alfred Publishing Company and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.


Ora Ensemble is a world-class ensemble dedicated to the performance and promotion of contemporary music in Newfoundland and Labrador. The name Ora is Latin for coastline, border or boundary, encapsulating both the ensemble’s physical presence on the edge of the north Atlantic as well as the cutting edge of its artistic mandate.

Founded in 1959, the Canadian Music Centre is proud to celebrate its 50th Anniversary this year. In honour of this milestone, each region of Canada is holding concerts featuring the music of local composers who are affiliates of the CMC. Each composer on this evening’s programme has ties to Newfoundland.

The Canadian Music Centre is Canada’s only organization mandated to house, actively promote and disseminate the music of Canada’s composers within Canada and internationally. With over 700 established composer-affiliates to date, CMC makes these composers’ music accessible through an array of programs. At its core, the CMC houses a public lending library and archive totalling some 22,000+ music scores and recordings which continue to expand as composers deposit new works.