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tours2009 group
Michael Pepa
, Founding Artistic Director
Lynn Kuo, violin, Chef de l'ensemble Les AMIS
Rachel Mercer, cello
Marianna Humetska, piano
Joseph Macerollo, accordion
Katarzyna (Kasia) Sadej, mezzo-soprano


Les AMIS in the media:

Canadian Electronic Music at the Mimara Museum (Les AMIS at Music Biennale Zagreb Festival 2009). Music Biennale Zagreb (Day 8)

The Canadian electronic music scene was introduced to the Croatian audience with an afternoon concert given yesterday at the Mimara Museum. Electronic music accompanied by classical instruments appeared to be a perfect combination as performed live by the Les Amis Ensemble and the programme curator, Dennis Patrick.

The Toronto-based composer and teacher, Dennis Patrick, directs the Electro-acoustic Music Studio and coordinates the annual University of Toronto New Music Festival. He composed music for several award-winning radio plays written by the Canadian authors Timothy Findley and Michael Ondaatje, including The English Patient, The Trials of Ezra Pound, In the Skin of a Lion, and Famous Last Words.

The concert opened with the quadraphonic electro-acoustic work, the moulds..., narrated by Nick Mancuso. The piece is a post 911 vignette about man and his relationship to society. It was followed by the composition Shõko no shõ - Fluctuations of the shõ which has as a structural element the eleven chords produced by the Japanese shõ; a reed mouth-organ instrument. The electro-acoustic accompaniment contains, in addition to a shõ-like sound, drums, flute, and a koto (a plucked stringed instrument) with live accordion accompaniment from Joseph Macerollo.

Philip McConnell's Melodrama and Flight follows the concept of a work that juxtaposes the live, wilful cello of Rachel Mercer with an intransigent tape. Unable to resolve their differences, a frantic chase ensues with each voice following and baiting the other, which contributes to a dynamic and lively atmosphere.

Andrew Staniland's Piano Preludes (Interludes) was performed by Marianna Humetska, while the main idea behind Karmela Tsepkolenko's Duel-Duo #11 for cello and accordion (bayan) is a competition between two musicians and two musical instruments. Each musician claims to be the best, which finally results in a variety of emotions.

A collaboration between Michael Pepa and Dennis Patrick led to the composition Squamish, whose name is adapted from the Coast Salish word 'Sko-mish', which translates to 'Strong Wind' or 'Birthplace of the Winds'. It refers to the constant wind from the Pacific Ocean.

The wind voice of the Great Spirit was played by violinist Lynn Kuo, creating a rainy atmosphere by means of bells.

The Cantus Ensemble of Zagreb reviewed by Stanley Fefferman
www.showtimemagazine.ca, June 2nd, 2008

(Sunday, June 1, 2008, Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto)

... "Add brass, trumpets and trombones to the stage, and the highlight of the concert appears: the world premiere of Michael Pepa's "ISOMORPHE" for mezzo-soprano, violin, accordion, and ensemble (2008). The soloists are outstanding. Lynn Kuo's violin is dramatic, both rousing and melancholy:

Joseph Macerollo's accordion blends beautifully into the depths of the ensemble, engaging the richly textured brass and percussion parts. The brooding tension and explosions of violence that are developed in this innovative and exciting piece of music are lulled towards the end by the crying from the heart quality of mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej's warm prayerful tones.

...."I have to say the word 'thanks' to Michael Pepa and Les Amis Concerts for their part in this soundaXis '08 concert of music that has plenty of meaning and can make you laugh."

www.showtimemagazine.ca, June 2008

 

Les AMIS Ensemble European Tour 2009:

I - PREVIEW/FUNDRAISING CONCERT , Toronto
April 14, 2009, Toronto
Canadian Electroacoustic Music

Dennis Patrick the moulds...(2002) (text written and performed by Nick Mancuso)
Dennis Patrick Shõkõ no shõ (1992)
Philip McConnell / Dennis Patrick Melodrama and Flight (2008)*
Andrew Staniland Piano Preludes (2005)
Karmella Tsepkolenko (Ukraine) Duel-Duo #11 for cello and accordion [bayan] (2005)*?
Michael Pepa / Dennis Patrick Squamish for violin and electroacoustic sound (2006)
*Preview - World Premiere at MBZ'09

II - April 20th - Pernik, Bulgaria
III - April 21st - Sofia, Bulgaria
Lynn Kuo, Violin; Rachel Mercer, Cello?
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; Raitcho Christov, Conductor

Michael Pepa / Dennis Patrick Squamish (2006)
Luigi Boccherini: Cello Concerto in Bb Major
Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in D minor
Michael Pepa: Rhapsodie des Danses Populaires (1976)

IV-VI - April 23, 2009 - Zagreb, Croatia
CANADA DAY at 25th Music Biennale Zagreb Croatian International Festival of Contemporary Music
http://www.mbz.hr/index.php?opt=news&act=blog&id=29&year=2009&lang=en Day 8

IV - 4:00 pm - Museum Mimara
Canadian Electroacoustic Music
Dennis Patrick, curator (Canada)

Dennis Patrick the moulds...(2002) (text written and performed by Nick Mancuso)
Dennis Patrick Shõkõ no shõ (1992)
Philip McConnell / Dennis Patrick Melodrama and Flight (2008)*
Andrew Staniland Piano Preludes (2005)**
Karmella Tsepkolenko (Ukraine) Duel-Duo #11 for cello and accordion [bayan] (2005)*
Michael Pepa / Dennis Patrick Squamish for violin and electroacoustic sound (2006)
*World Premiere

V - 5:30 pm - Museum Mimara
Penderecki Quartet; Joseph Macerollo, Accordion

Ana Sokolovic: (Canada) Blanc dominant (1998)
Katarina Curcin: (Canada) "walking away from" (2005)
Marjan Mozetich: (Canada) "Hymn of Ascension" for accordion and string quartet (2001)
?Srdjan Dedic: (Croatia) String Quartet (2009)*
Michael Pepa: (Canada) String Quartet No. 4 with timpani & chimes (1994)
*World Premiere – MBZ Commission for the Penderecki Quartet

VI - 10:00 pm - Small Concert Hall Vatroslav Lisinski
Les AMIS Ensemble; Cantus Ensemble
Sasa Britvic, Conductor

Constantine Caravassilis: (Canada) Five Sketches of Cubist Folklore (2009)**
Viktorija Cop: (Croatia) A piece for ensemble (2009)*
Marko Ruzdjak: (Croatia) Libanon, mine and yours (1985) for mezzo-soprano, reciter and two percussionists
Michael Pepa: (Canada) ISOMORPHE (2008) for voice, violin, accordion and Cantus Ensemble
*World Premiere – MBZ commission for Les AMIS Ensemble
**World Premiere - commissioned by Les AMIS Ensemble

VII - April 24th – Belgrade, Serba, Guarnerius Centre for the Arts
Les AMIS Ensemble; Penderecki Quartet

Ottorino Respighi: Il tramonto for mezzo-soprano and string quartet
Ernest Chausson: Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet

VIII -April 26th – Timisoara, Romania
Capitol Concert Hall
Presented by Banatul Philharmonic Timisoara
Les AMIS Ensemble; Penderecki Quartet

Marjan Mozetich Hymn of Ascension for accordion and string quartet (2001)
Ottorino Respighi Il tramonto for mezzo-soprano and string quartet ?
Michael Pepa: String Quartet No.4 with timpani & chimes (1994)
Ernest Chausson: Concerto for violin, piano and string quartet

IX - April 27th – Belgrade, Serbia
Svecana sala Skupstine grada
Presented by JUGOKONCERT
Penderecki Quartet; Joseph Macerollo, Accordion

Ana Sokolovic Blanc dominant (1998)
Katarina Curcin "walking away from" (2005)
Marjan Mozetich Hymn of Ascension for accordion and string quartet (2001)
Michael Pepa String Quartet No. 4 with timpani & chimes (1994)

X -April 30th –Budapest, Hungary
Keruleti Muvelodesi Kozpont
Lynn Kuo, violin; Marianna Humetska, piano;
Rajkó Band (Gypsy Orchestra)

Michael Pepa: Fantaisie bohémienne (2009)
Ede Reményi: Fly My Swallow

Les AMIS Ensemble

Les AMIS Ensemble is a group made up of some of the most talented young Canadian musicians. The ensemble performs contemporary as well as traditional chamber music. Les AMIS has always featured the brightest stars of the future. The present ensemble is graced with the most accomplished artists in Les AMIS’ twenty-six years history. A dozen musicians belong to the group and participate as the repertoire demands. 

Click on artist title to go to their web site - if available.

Katarzyna (Kasia) Sadej, Mezzo-soprano

Mezzo-soprano Katarzyna (Kasia) Sadej was born in Wroclaw, Poland. Kasia graduated summa cum laude from the University of Ottawa, earning her Bachelor of Music degree in May 2006. She recently completed her Master’s Degree in opera at the University of Toronto; she studies voice with Darryl Edwards. Her teachers in Ottawa were Ingemar Korjus and Joanne Kolomyjec.

kasiaKatarzyna’s singing calendar has most recently found her in Taipei for Stravinsky's Les Noces; Sulmona, Italy for Cherubino in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro; and Jerusalem, for the world premiere of A Call For Peace, composed by Sharbel Dalal. This summer takes her to Villecroze, France, where she will study exclusively with Dalton Baldwin and Lorraine Nubar. Kasia has already been an apprenticeship artist with Opera Lyra Ottawa, with whom she had her professional operatic debut in December 2005 as Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Credits with the University of Ottawa’s Opera Workshop include the Mozart roles of Donna Elvira, Cherubino and Second Lady.

In November 2005 she performed the national anthem at the prestigious 2005 Governor General Awards, accompanied by the National Art’s Center Orchestra. In March 2006, she won the Vivian Asfar Memorial Award for Vocal Excellence, awarded each year to one promising member of the Opera Lyra Young Artists Program (she was mentioned in Opera Canada Magazine's spring issue 2006 for winning this award). In February 2005, Kasia won the NATS competition in her category and received the Most Promising Singer Award. Kasia attended the Foliage Art Song Festival in Vermont three years in a row, and then the Academy of Nice in the summer of 2006 in France, both festivals where she studied extensively with Dalton Baldwin and Lorraine Nubar.

She has participated in masterclasses and coachings with many of the world’s top coaches, directors and singers. With the University of Toronto’s Opera Division Kasia performed the roles of Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and Giannetta in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore and the title role in Handel’s Ariodante. She performed the Mozart Requiem with the Northumberland Choir and Orchestra in historic Port Hope, Ontario, and the Messiah in December 2007 with Toronto’s Talisker Players Orchestra.

Kasia made her debut with Saskatoon Opera as Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto in July 2008 and recently became a member of Les Amis Ensemble of Toronto, for whom she premiered Michael Pepa’s ISOMORPHE in the Glenn Gould Studio in June 2008. She will reprise this piece on tour with Les AMISin April 2009. From September 2008, Kasia will also be attending the prestigious Bard College Conservatory of Music to study with Lorraine Nubar and Dawn Upshaw in New York.

Lynn Kuo, violin

Bringing warmth, sincerity, and charm to every performance, violinist Lynn Kuo has brought audiences to their feet throughout North America and Europe. Having been acclaimed for her “impeccable playing and tasteful phrasing,” Lynn has been a frequent top prize-winner in numerous Canadian competitions and has performed with such notable artists as Christoph Eschenbach, the Gryphon Trio, and Nexus.

lynn kuoLynn has appeared as soloist and chamber musician across Canada, United States, Wales, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Championing both the standard and contemporary repertoire, Lynn has also appeared as soloist with orchestras such as the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of Bulgaria, Canadian Sinfonietta, Brandon Chamber Players, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.

In demand as an interpreter of new music, Lynn has given numerous world premieres of acoustic and electroacoustic works written for her by composers in Canada and Europe. Among them are Michael Pepa, Dennis Patrick, Katarina Miljkovic, Daniel Foley, and most recently, Elizabeth Raum, who composed Phoenix for Violin and Percussion for the world premiere with Nexus.

In 2008, Lynn also gave the world premiere of a fifth Michael Pepa work, ISOMORPHE, joining the Cantus Ensemble of Croatia as featured soloist. In Spring 2009, Lynn will reprise her role as head of the Les AMIS Ensemble, embarking on a third European concert tour under the artistic direction of composer Michael Pepa.

Lynn performs on a 1904 Riccardo Antoniazzi violin and Hill bow generously on loan from Steven Pepa.

Rachel Mercer, cello

Grand prize winner of the 2001 Vriendenkrans Competition in Amsterdam, Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer made her European recital debut in the Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal. Rachel has performed as a soloist across Canada, in Europe, the Balkans, the United States, South Africa and Israel, including appearances with the Toronto Symphony, National Arts Centre, Durban, and Banff Festival orchestras. Her performances have been broadcast in Canada, Israel and in Holland where her recording of Faure's Elegie was voted into the top ten classics of Dutch Radio. She currently records for Israeli indie label EnT-T. Her debut disc "Room" of solo cello pieces, was released in April 2008.

Rachel MercerRachel was a member of the Metro String Quartet from 1994-2000, collaborating with Menahem Pressler, Shauna Rolston and Laurence Lesser. She joined the Aviv Quartet in 2002. Grand prize winner of the Melbourne and Bordeaux competitions, the quartet tours regularly on five continents, playing in halls such as the Auditorium du Louvre, Zurich Tonhalle, Wigmore Hall, the Library of Congress in Washington DC, Baxter Hall in Cape Town, St Lawrence Centre in Toronto, and at festivals such as Montpellier, Aix-en-Provence, Lockenhaus, Davos, Colmar and Oistrakh. The quartet has released cds on Naxos and Dalia Classics and celebrated its 10th anniversary with a complete Shostakovich cycle at the 2007 Verbier Festival. Recent collaborations include performances with Jorg Widmann, Boris Berman, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, James Tocco, Boris Petrushansky, Nicolas Baldeyrou and Anton Dressler. The quartet has also given masterclasses, coaching and outreach performances in the United States, Israel, South Africa and Canada, including at the University of Toronto.

Born in Edmonton, Rachel began cello studies at the age of three with Diana Nuttall. She spent formative years with Kristl Armstrong at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where she made her solo debut with the Vancouver Academy Chamber Orchestra at the age of 12. After moving to Ontario, Rachel attended the Royal Conservatory of Music and received the Gold Medal for her Associate Diploma, studying with Susan Gagnon and David Hetherington. She received a BM from the University of Toronto with Shauna Rolston, an MM with honours from the New England Conservatory with Laurence Lesser, and a solo diploma from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Dmitri Ferschtman. Rachel attended Orford, Banff, Holland Music Sessions, Ravinia, Prussia Cove, Scotiafest, Proquartet, the Juilliard Quartet Seminar and the Verbier Academy, for masterclasses with Boris Pergamenschikow, Frans Helmerson, Lynn Harrell, Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot, Gregor Horsch, Valentin Berlinsky, Valentin Erben, Henry Meyer and Walter Levin.

Currently based in Toronto, Rachel has given guest masterclasses at the University of Toronto and QuartetFest at Wilfred Laurier University, and plays as principal cellist for Via Salzburg, a chamber music series led by Mayumi Seiler. Rachel recently joined piano quartet Ensemble Made in Canada, winners of CBC Galaxie Rising Stars Award, and named among "80 women to watch" in the 80th anniversary edition of Chatelaine magazine in May 2008. She also plays duo and trio concerts with her sister, violinist Akemi Mercer. The sisters formed the Mercer Trio in 2007 (with Toca Loca pianist and Toronto Music Gallery curator Gregory Oh) and will begin a complete Haydn trio cycle for the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society in April 2009. Rachel also appears in Israel as the Shiraz Trio with her Aviv Quartet colleague, violinist Evgenia Epshtein.

Rachel plays the 1824 McConnell Nicolaus Gagliano cello generously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Marianna Humetska, piano

Pianist Marianna Humetska has performed in various cities of Canada, the United States, Europe, Ukraine and Russia. She has been featured as a soloist with the London Soloists Orchestra in England, the Russian National Orchestra, the State Symphony of Ukraine, the Royal Conservatory Orchestra and the Banff Festival Orchestra in Canada.

mariannaA native of Ukraine, Marianna Humetska began her musical studies with her mother. Her piano playing ability first attracted attention when she won top prizes at the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Moscow and the “Virtuosos of the year 2000” Competition in St. Petersburg. As a result of her success she traveled to Europe and appeared at some prestigious music festivals such as Rheingau festival in Germany, Kuhmo festival in Finland and Tibor Varga festival in Switzerland, Music Bienale Zagreb in Croatia. Her concert venues included the Great Hall and the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Steinway Hall and St.Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London, Kasinosaal in Wiesbaden, Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto and Ukrainian Institute in New York.

Marianna holds a Diploma with Honor from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto.

In 2001 Marianna Humetska moved to Canada. She has since been active as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative artist and, recently as a piano faculty member of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She was a winner of the “Galaxie” Rising Stars award from the CBC, the “Debut” Young Artist Auditions and Marusia Yaworska award from the University of Ottawa. In addition, she has appeared on CBC’s “Music Around Us” concerts and broadcasts, and the Great Artists Series at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

As a part of her teaching experience she has given master classes and has presented a workshop on Eastern European piano teaching methods at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

In addition to her performance and teaching engagements, Marianna is also very much in demand as a collaborative artist. She has collaborated with Jeffrey Solow, Joaquin Valdepenas, Shauna Rolston, Mark Skazinetsky, Ingrid Attrot, the Aviv String Quartet and the Tokai String Quartet among others.

Joseph Macerollo, accordion

Accordionist Joseph Macerollo is a consummate musician, performer, educator and organizer. As an educator, he pioneered the acceptance of the accordion at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and at Queen’s University in Kingston. He has lectured, given workshops, written articles and reviews of concerts and taught history of music, analysis, and the interpretation of joseph MACEROLLOcontemporary music courses. As an administrator, he served on the board of directors of New Music Concerts, Pro Arte Orchestra and The Classical Accordion Society of Canada Inc., as well as the Canadian Music Centre (Ontario Region), Mississauga Music Council, Mississauga Civic Centre Opera, Guelph Performing Arts Centre. He is a founding member of the International Accordion Society headquartered in Finland.

He has won numerous awards and citations, has represented Canada in two world accordion championships, received the Guelph Civic Ring in 1964 and was named Mississauga Musician of the Year in 1987 In December 2005 he was awarded a commemorative silver disc by the Russian Accordion Federation for his outstanding work in recognition of the concert accordion worldwide.
As a performer, he has appeared with major orchestras such as the Toronto Symphony, McGill Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, such major ensembles as Nexus Percussion Ensemble, Orford String Quartet, Purcell String Quartet and countless ensembles of variable combinations. He has concertized extensively throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In 1998 he joined Quartetto Gelato and continued until 2002.

He has commissioned over 200 works by Canadian composers ranging in style from traditional to theatrical where he has gained as a performer respect for the instrument in all venues.

His textbook, The Accordion Resource Manual, stands as a marvelous achievement of methodology and scholarship and is widely used internationally.

Dennis Patrick, electronics

Dennis PatrickDennis Patrick is a Toronto based composer and teacher. He is a member of the Theory and Composition Division of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto where he directs the Electroacoustic Music Studio and coordinates the Faculty’s annual January New Music Festival. He was trained in classical composition and orchestration. His teachers included John Weinzweig, Gustav Ciamaga, Godfrey Ridout, Lothar Klein, and Talivaldis Kenins. He has composed music for several award winning CBC radio dramas by Canadian authors, Timothy Findley and Michael Ondaatje including The English Patient, The Trials of Ezra Pound, In The Skin of a Lion, and Famous Last Words.


Michael Pepa, composer

Founding Artistic Director of Les AMIS

Michael PepaAs well as being the founder and artistic director of Les AMIS Concerts, Michael Pepa is the composer-in-residence of the Canadian Sinfonietta - www.canadiansinfonietta.com, a member of the Canadian League of Composers, SOCAN, and an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

Mr. Pepa has composed over 70 works for solo instruments, chamber groups and orchestra. Most have been commissioned, performed and broadcast here in Canada as well as U.S., Netherlands, France, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania. His music has been performed by international groups such as the Filarmonica “Banatul” Timisoara, Romania; Hungarian Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, Budapest; Utrecht’s Conservatorium Orchestra, Netherlands; SOUNDSTAGE CANADA at the Zagreb Biennale (’81) of Contemporary Music; CANTUS ENSEMBLE of Zagreb, Croatia. Notable international artists such as Claire Bernard, Alexandra Gutu, Jovan Kolundzija, Nada Kolundzija, and Canadian artists Scott St. John, Martin Beaver, Barry Shiffman, Lynn Kuo and Rivka Golani have included Pepa’s works on their programs. St. Lawrence Quartet commissioned two of Pepa’s four quartets and in 1996 premiered Quartet No. 4 in Paris, France.

Pepa’s recent performances include a new work for the St. Lawrence String Quartet who premiered it in Bucharest, Romania in February of 2008.

For more information, see Michael Pepa.

Penderecki String Quartet

The Penderecki String Quartet, approaching the third decade of an extraordinary career, has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of their generation. These four musicians, each originating from different countries – Poland, Canada, USA and the UK – bring their varied yet collective experience to create performances that demonstrate their “remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” (Toronto, Globe and Mail).

Penderecki String QuartetThe Quartet's performing schedule takes them annually to the great concert stages of North and South America, Europe and the Far East. Recent appearances include New York, Madrid, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, Rome, Paris, Prague, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Indiana University, Wieczory Arsenale Festival in Poland, Is Arti Festival in Lithuania, Rive-Gauche Concerti in Italy, the Festival Internacional de Musica in Venezuela, Casalmaggiore Festival and Incontri in Terra di Sienna in Italy, Musicarama Festival Hong Kong, and the Shanghai International Arts Festival. The PSQ appears extensively in Canada, giving numerous performances in all the major centres from coast to coast and participating in this country’s foremost concert series such as the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Festival of the Sound, Festival Vancouver and Music Toronto. The Penderecki Quartet collaborates regularly with eminent and diverse artists such as Martin Beaver, Atar Arad, Antonio Lysy, Luba Dubinsky, Jeremy Menuhin, James Campbell, jazz saxophonist Jane Bunnett, pipa virtuoso Ching Wong, choreographer David Earle, NY turntable artist DJ Spooky, and actor Colin Fox.

The Penderecki Quartet was founded in Poland in 1986 at the urging of the pre-eminent Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The fruit of their association includes Penderecki's complete works for String Quartet on CD (United Records, England). To this day the Quartet is a devoted champion of the music of our time, and has performed a wide range of repertoire from Bach to Brahms, Bartók to Ligeti, Frank Zappa to John Oswald, as well as premiering over 100 new works from numerous composers including Brian Cherney, Linda C. Smith, Randolph Peters, Harry Freedman, Glenn Buhr, Alice Ho, Peter Hatch, Omar Daniel and Gilles Tremblay with assistance from the Canada Council, the Laidlaw Foundation, the CBC, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

Described by Fanfare Magazine as "an ensemble of formidable power and keen musical sensitivity", the Penderecki Quartet's large discography includes over 20 recordings including the chamber music repertoire of Johannes Brahms on both the Marquis and Eclectra labels, as well as a new release of the six Béla Bartók quartets under the auspices of Chamber Music in Napa Valley. The Quartet has also recorded discs for CBC, CMC, EMI, United, and Artifact labels among others.

The Penderecki String Quartet devotes much of its time to Quartetfest, an intensive Spring-term seminar held at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario where guest faculty have included the Tokyo Quartet, the Ying Quartet, and the Colorado Quartet. The Penderecki Quartet's involvement in education is a year-round commitment as they enter their 16th year as Quartet-in-Residence at Waterloo's Wilfrid Laurier University. Under the Quartet's direction, the string program has become one of the top programs in Canada, attracting an international body of students.

 

TOUR Composers and Programme Notes

Ana Sokolovic

Ana Sokolovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1968. She studied composition with Dusan Radic and with Zoran Eric. She completed a master's degree at Université de Montréal under the direction of José Evangelista. She also attended a composition workshop with Tristan Murail and Denys Boulianne in the summer of 1997. Her repertoire consists of works for orchestra, for piano, Ana Sokolovic300and several pieces of chamber music. Several works have been performed in Canada, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Belgium, Great Britain and Ukraine.

In 1995 and 1998 Ana Sokolovic was three times winner in the Competition for Young Composers of SOCAN.
In 1996, Ambient V was chosen to represent Canada at UNESCO's International Rostrum of Composers, in Paris.
In 1999, Géométie sentimentale obtained a first prize in chamber music category and Grand Prix of 13th CBC Radio National Competition for Young Composers.
In 2005 she wrote her first opera, The Midnight Court, for Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Co, which was performed at the Royal Opera House, London, England in June 2006.
In 2005, Ana Sokolovic won the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts in recognition of her exceptional talent and achievement in composition, and in 2008 won the Prix Opus Prize for a composer of the year.

Ana Sokolovic lives in Montreal and is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

Blanc dominant (1998), for string quartet, was inspired by Guido Molinari's visual world. It has eight movements and its structure is theme and variations. The theme unfolds in two parts - Part I: vertical dimension (harmonic theme) and Part II: horizontal dimension (melodic theme). Each of the seven variations brings out a musical correspondence to paintings by Molinari. . My piece is an aural tribute to Molinari's visual works.

Blanc dominant was composed for the Molinari String Quartet, with the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec.

Andrew Staniland

Andrew Staniland is a composer whose music is performed and broadcast internationally. Andrew's music has been described as AndrewStaniland"beautiful and terrifying" (New Yorker Magazine) and he has been described as a composer who "will emerge as one of the most individual voices in this country" (National Arts Centre). He holds a doctorate in composition from the University of Toronto, and has received numerous accolades, including top prizes in the SOCAN young composers competition, and the 2004 Karen Keiser Prize in Canadian Music. His music has represented Canada at both the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers and the ISCM World Music Days. He is rapidly becoming one of Canada's most in demand composers. Staniland is currently Affiliate Composer with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

This set of interludes comes mostly from a large-scale work entitled Tampobata that I wrote for singing pianist and electronics in 2005. The project was realized with the assistance of the 2004 Toronto Emerging Artist Award. The original work was a sprawling 35 minutes long, and was premiered in 2005. I have since preferred to excerpt the work, combining it with a piano solo from my trio: harp, piano, percussion (2003). The works are extremely delicate and simple – almost minimalist in approach, and can function as calm introspective moments in a concert program.

Constantine Caravassilis

Hailed as "the most important Hellenic-descent composer of his generation" (Jazz & Tzaz), commanding a "beyond the ordinary sense of musicality", Constantine Caravassilis' music is "constantly charged with emotion and energy in a profoundly individual style" (RCM). Constantine is laureate of the 4th International Composition Competition of the city of Volos, Greece, with 3 gold medals in the quartet, solo and vocal categories. His piece Apanthroposis for solo flute and tape received the first prize in the constantineCanadian Composers Category, at the 2006 Syrinx Flute Festival in Canada. He has been resident composer with the Contemporary Opera Lab (Winnipeg), Open Strings (Denmark), and with the London Song Festival in Britain. He is currently composer-in-residence with Toronto's Cantabile Chamber Singers. His compositions and arrangements appear on Marquis and have been recorded and broadcast by WGBH Radio in the U.S., CBC Radio in Canada, BBC-3 in the U.K, and TDK radio in Japan. Commissions have come from soloists, ensembles and organizations the world around. Regarded as one of the most prolific young composers in Canada, Constantine's catalogue includes seven concerti, with a plethora of chamber, orchestral, vocal/choral and electroacoustic works. His music has been performed in Germany, France, Denmark, the U.K., Russia, Greece, Turkey and Japan as well as throughout Canada and the United States

Constantine is currently pursuing a doctorate on full fellowship at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, where he specializes in the fields of composition and orchestral conducting.
www.caravassilis.net

Five Sketches of Cubist Folklore belongs to a larger family of works entitled Tales from the Earth and Skies, an ongoing project constituted by a number of orchestral, chamber and solo pieces. In these five sketches I have employed analytical methods that derive from to my own Synaesthetic condition, by associating certain musical patterns, pitches and occasionally entire phrases with palettes of color. Each movement uses an original folk-like melody which is treated in a Cubist fashion. This treatment is employed so that the melodic material is presented in still and static ways, while it contributes a great deal to the loss of many of the melody's folk-like elements. The overall effect is the removal of one dimension in the music and the creation of an alternative reality, one that introduces new ways by which complexity and forward movement is achieved.

Dennis Patrick

Dennis Patrick is a Toronto based composer and teacher. DennisPatrickHe is a member of the Theory and Composition Division of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto where he directs the Electroacoustic Music Studio and coordinates the Faculty's annual January New Music Festival. He was trained in classical composition and orchestration. His teachers included John Weinzweig, Gustav Ciamaga, Godfrey Ridout, Lothar Klein, and Talivaldis Kenins. He has composed music for several award winning CBC radio dramas by Canadian authors, Timothy Findley and Michael Ondaatje including The English Patient, The Trials of Ezra Pound, In The Skin of a Lion, and Famous Last Words.

the moulds.... is a post 911 vignette about man and his relationship to society. It is a quadraphonic electroacoustic work.

Shõkõ no shõ (fluctuations of the shõ) has as a structural element, the eleven chords produced by the Japanese shõ; a reed mouth-organ instrument. The electroacoustic accompaniment contains, in addition to a shõ-like sound, drums, flute, and a koto (a plucked stringed instrument).

Katarina Curcin

Katarina Curcin sang with the Jeunesses Musicales World Youth Choir and World Chamber Choir, and earned a Bachelor of Music in her native Serbia before coming to Canada in 1999. She holds Masters and Doctorate degrees in composition from the University Katarinaof Toronto. Her composition teachers were Dusan Radic, Gary Kulesha, Chan Ka Nin and Christos Hatzis. Her orchestral works include: Above the Clouds (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Olympic commission; also performed by TSO); a Double Concerto for violin and percussion; the children's ballet suite Princess For a Day and a Cantata in nine movements Stabat Mater. She has also written a chamber opera, Anna Karenina, a song cycle based on Japanese haiku, and several chamber and electro-acoustic works. Katarina's string quartet Walking Away From… was awarded with the Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music in 2005. The quartet represented Canada at the 2006 International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. The quartet received a number of international broadcasts and it was performed by the Penderecki and Tokai String Quartet. Curcin is a recipient of the 2008 K.M. Hunter Artists Awards for music.

The string quartet Walking Away From … is a turning point in my style. I purposely walk away from traditional ways of writing and explore new techniques for strings. I walk away from precise metrical structures and at times give the players a "controlled" freedom with only timings indicated as a guide for duration. Having a free formal structure, the piece juxtaposes contrasting moods with episodes.

The title also refers to the fact that I left my country – walked away from the home where I grew up. Thinking about home, a folk tune that I used to hear there found its way into the first movement of this piece.

Karmella Tsepkolenko

Karmella Tsepkolenko was born in 1955 (Odessa, Ukraine). She graduated from Odessa State Prof. P. S. Stoljars'kyj Special Secondary Music School as a pianist (Prof. H. Buchyns'kyj, lecturer O. Pannikova) and as a composer (Prof. A. Kogan). She continued her education at the Odessa State A. V. Nezhdanova Conservatoire (now Music Academy) as a composer under Prof. O. karmellaKrasotov and as a pianist with Prof. L. Ginzburg (1979). She got her PhD at the Moscow Pedagogical Institute (with Prof. G. Tsypin). She visited composers' master-courses in Germany (Darmstadt, 1992, 1994; Bayreuth, 1993). She has been awarded diplomas and prizes at Soviet All-Union and international composers' competitions. She got creative residences, grants and scholarships from the Heinrich Böll Foundation (Germany, 1995), DAAD (Germany, 1996), Brahms-Haus Foundation (Germany, 1996), the ArtsLink scholarship from the International Renaissance Foundation (Ukraine) and National Endowment for the Arts of the USA (New York, USA, 1996), and resident grants from the Künstlerhof Schreyahn (Germany, 1998), Worpswede Künstlerhäuser (Germany, 2000), Die Höge (Germany, 2002, 2003). The International Renaissance Foundation (Ukraine), KulturKontakt Association (Austria) and Pro Helvetia (Switzerland) granted her creative and cultural projects.

She is author of more than 70 music works, most of which have been produced on 12 CDs, and recorded by radios in many countries. She is the conception author, founder and Artistic Director of the annual International Festival of Modern Art Two Days and Two Nights of New Music. She is the initiator, a founder and the Head of the Board of the International Public Organization Association New Music – the Ukrainian Section of International Society of Contemporary Music/ISCM. Professor of composition at Odessa State A. V. Nezhdanova Music Academy. Secretary of the Board of the National Ukrainian Composers' Union (since 2005). She has been awarded the B. Ljatoshyns'kyj Prize of the Ukrainian Ministry for Culture and Arts (2001). Honoured Arts Worker of Ukraine (2006).

The fable development of musical material can represent a general idea that gives the opportunity to concentrate feelings and thoughts around it. Sometimes it is only one word, for example "Duel". This word by itself can call a whole stratum of emotions ranging from comic to tragic. I have composed a series of pieces which are grounded on the idea of duel. One of them is Duel-Duo #11 for cello and accordion. The work was in 2005 composed. The main idea of this work is a competition between two musicians and two musical instruments. Each musician claims to be the best.

Marjan Mozetich

Marjan Mozetich was born in 1948 of Slovenian parentage in Gorizia, Italy. In 1952 his family emigrated to Canada where he received his formative musical training in Hamilton. In 1972 he was awarded a B.Mus. in composition from the University of Toronto and an Associateship to the Royal Conservatory of Toronto in piano performance. With the assistance of the Canada Council he Marjan Mozetichfurthered his studies in Italy and England under the supervision of Luciano Berio and Franco Donatoni. Early in his career he was active in the avant guard music circles. He was a founder and a co-artistic director of the contemporary ensemble, ARRAY.

His works were performed by prominent new music concerts across Canada and abroad, and his pieces received several awards: in particular, second prize in the prestigious 1976 International Gaudeamus Composers' Competition in Holland and first prize in the 1978 CAPAC (SOCAN)-Sir Ernest MacMillan Award. Mr. Mozetich has written compulsory pieces for the 1992 Banff String Quartet Competition and the 1995 Montreal International Music Competition for violin. In 1995 he was the honoured composer on postmodern music at the Gent Conservatory New Music Festival in Belgium where three concerts with live national broadcast featured his compositions; and in 2002 he was the special guest composer at the Regina New Music Festival. In February, 2000 the premiere of his Piano Concerto dedicated to Robertson Davies received a standing ovation and critical acclaim. In 2000 CBC Records released a second best selling CD devoted to just his works titled AFFAIRS OF THE HEART.

For more information see: www.mozetich.com

Hymn of Ascension by Marjan Mozetich was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the 1998 Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. Originally it was written for harmonium and string quartet to accompany the Dvorak Bagatelles with a similar instrumentation. This version was adopted for the use of the accordion.

Michael Pepa

As well as being the founder and artistic director of Les AMIS Concerts, Michael Pepa is the composer-in-residence of the Canadian Sinfonietta www.canadiansinfonietta.com, a member of the Canadian League of Composers, SOCAN, and an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.Mr. Pepa has composed over 80 works for solo instruments, chamber groups and Michael Pepaorchestra. Most have been commissioned, performed and broadcast in Canada as well as U.S., Netherlands, France, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania. His music has been performed by international groups such as the Filarmonica "Banatul" Timisoara, Romania; Hungarian Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, Budapest; Utrecht's Conservatorium Orchestra, Netherlands; SOUNDSTAGE CANADA at the Zagreb Biennale ('81) of Contemporary Music; CANTUS ENSEMBLE of Zagreb, Croatia. Notable international artists such as Claire Bernard, Alexandra Gutu, Jovan Kolundzija, Nada Kolundzija, and Canadian artists Scott St. John, Martin Beaver, Barry Shiffman, Lynn Kuo and Rivka Golani have included Pepa's works on their programs. St. Lawrence String Quartet commissioned two of Pepa's four quartets and in 1996 premiered Quartet No. 4 in Paris, France. Pepa's recent performances include a new work for the St. Lawrence String Quartet, who premiered it in Bucharest, Romania in February of 2008. In June of 2008, as a featured soloist, Miss Kuo premiered ISOMORPHE, along with accordionist Joseph Macerollo, mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej and Cantus Ensemble of Croatia, with its conductor Berislav Sipus.

O Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds,
Whose breath gives life (sound) to the world, hear me …
Prayer, Squamish Indians

The name Squamish is adapted from the Coast Salish word 'Sko-mish', which translates to 'Strong Wind' or 'Birthplace of the Winds'. It refers to the constant wind from the Pacific Ocean, which is funnelled up the Howe Sound, British Columbia.

The wind voice of the Great Spirit is the ictus, which gives life to the acoustical world.

String Quartet No. 4 with Timpani and Chimes was written in 1994 for the St. Lawrence String Quartet who premiered it in Paris in February 1996 at THEATRE DE LA VILLE, Theatre Municipal Populaire. In March 1995, STSQ performed it at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, marking its Canadian premiere.

The quartet was inspired after Pepa read an essay by the Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. In it Wiessel looks ahead to the trial of Klaus Barbie, known as the "Butcher of Lyons." This trial The State of France v Klaus Barbie, accused Barbie of deporting 7,500 Jews and murdering 4,000 people a half century earlier. One of the principal pieces of evidence against Barbie was an order he signed in 1944: "This morning, the Jewish children's home 'Children's Colony' at Izieu (near Lyons) has been removed. 41 children in all, aged three to 13, have been captured. Beyond that, the arrest of all the Jewish personnel has taken place, namely 10 individuals, among them five women. It was not possible to secure any money or other valuables. Transportation to Drancy will take place on 4/7/44."

"The work is dedicated to Liliane Gerenstein, an 11 year-old girl who was one of the children of Izieu. Liliane's "Letter to God" which she scrawled before she was taken away, inspired the piece. It is used in Episode IV as a prayer.

A Letter to God
It is thanks to You,
that I enjoyed a wonderful life before,
that I was spoiled,
that I had lovely things,
things that others do not have.
God?
Bring back my parents,
my poor parents,
protect them (even more than myself)
so that I may see them again as soon as
possible.
Have them come back one more time.
Oh!
I can say that I had such a good
mother,
and such a good father!
I have such faith in You
that I thank You in advance.
Liliane Gernstein
4/7/44

ISOMORPHĒ – Iso – same; Morphē – form
Isomorphism – concept of convergent evolution

In this work, it refers to secular and sacred influences on the pattern of day-to-day life.

It was premiered by Les AMIS and CANTUS ENSEMBLE on June 1, 2008 in Toronto.

Dedicated to Joso Špralja's Zadar, Croatia, ISOMORPHE (2008) expresses my fond memories of a day in Zadar. MP

Philip McConnell

Philip McConnell, the Toronto composer, was born in Coventry, England. He studied at the University of Reading, obtaining a Ph.D. in MusicologyPhilip after researching the original manuscripts of the Bruckner symphonies in Vienna. A resident of Canada since 1970, he was Artistic Director of the Canadian Sinfonietta until moving to the position of composer-in-residence with the Toronto Sinfonietta in 2003. Dr. McConnell is an Associate Composer with the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the Canadian League of Composers. His orchestral, chamber, and choral works have been performed in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2007 his "Invocation and Dance" for Viola and Piano was performed in Toronto and recorded last February in Brno, Czech Republic. His music for "Through The Roof Of My Heart It Rains" for soprano and narrator and chamber orchestra were premiered by the Toronto Sinfonietta last November at the Royal Ontario Museum

Melodrama and Flight

McConnell and Patrick were introduced to each other by Michael Pepa of LesAmis. Having never worked together before they met and listened to some representative works. They came up with the following concept: A piece that pits a live, willful instrument against an intransigent tape. Unable to resolve their differences a frantic chase ensues with each voice following and baiting the other. The pursuit could lead to a resolution, a big bang, or maybe it just fizzles away. You'll just have to wait and see.

Srdan Dedic

Srdan Dedic (Zagreb, 1965) studied composition with Stanko Horvat at the Music Academy in Zagreb, where he now teaches. He continued his studies with François-Bernard Mâchea in Strasbourg, Geerta van Keulena in Amsterdamu and Joji Yuasa in Tokyo. Since 1991 he has been working on computer programmes in the field of algorithmic composing. He received a number of important awards for his works.

"It is difficult not to feel the great responsibility when composing for a string quartet, that mighty, even charismatic ensemble, so special to composers. From all the vast possibilities it offers, I was particularly interested in that side of the string quartet that makes it the ideal ensemble for performing polyphonic textures and structures, which therefore dominate this three-movement-piece. For the sake of the distinctiveness and unity of harmonic language, I have mostly been using only a small selection of 43 possible fundamental four-part-sets. Fifteen years ago I wrote a computer program that generates and searches trough collections of thousands of chords. It became apparent this was making it possible create combinations I would never have found otherwise, because writing them down manually would have been an impossible task. According to the same principle, I have started to generate and explore combinations of scales, series, chords, rhythms and structures, previously unimaginable to me. They became the resources of material for my future works. This composition is also the result of a quest for these, in other ways unreachable and unknown, worlds of sonority." [Srdan Dedic]

Viktorija Cop

Viktorija Cop (Zagreb, 1979) graduated in composition from the Zagreb Music Academy, under Željko Brkanovic, and continued with further studies under Erich Urbanner in Austria. She obtained her master's degree under Henk Alkem in the Netherlands. She writes chamber and orchestral works, as well as electronic music; her compositions have earned her a number of awards in Croatia and abroad.

On her piece, disPLAY: "As I am working on this composition, I am considering the challenges of the, as yet unwritten (unheard), piece, meant to include the voice as an instrument. I am also considering the contents this voice should be singing. (...) I decide to have the mezzo sing a semi-fabricated "low definition" language – a text we don't always understand (because the language is foreign), or the kind that could be understood in more ways than one, at will. This would not interfere with the following of the musical contents.

It follows that the mezzo-soprano is just a secondary character, or, to rephrase it in a better way – equal to all the other instruments when their contributions to the construction of musical time are considered. The music and the contents of the "lyrics" grow and evolve together, while the composition tries to question their relationship (as well as the relationship of the composition itself to its own "inspiration" / external motivation). It is also trying to determine the right ratio of the interfusion of the mini-symbols, the meaningful and the superfluous contents that we, as an audience, can bear in a given time format."

Marko Ruždjak

Marko Ruždjak (1946) graduated from the Music Academy in Zagreb, in clarinet and composition (under Milo Cipra) and studied in Paris (Ivo Malec, Pierre Schaeffer) and Köln (Milko Kelemen). He was the editor of music publications at the Zagreb Concert Management and the manager of the Music Information Centre. He teaches music theory and composition at Music Academy in Zagreb.

"His music surprises by the 'readability' of its components (...), the readability of the impulses that make the layers of the whole grow more dense or rare. By minding the sound parameters that can actually be measured by our sense of hearing, rather than by invented measuring systems. By the careful use of details, not obsessively treated as a node of all the energies directing the growth of the musical form as a whole..." [Eva Sedak]

"The word intervention should be taken in the sense in which it is used in the visual arts: a presentation of a model (from antiquity, or of a more recent date) the original texture of which has in some way been altered by an ornamental, subjective, constructivist (destructivist) approach. The structure of the original text, that is to say the model, is given in parallels which rely upon the dualistic principle – of contradiction, affirmation and negation (breathing in and breathing out - Active? And passive?). The intervention endeavours to deepen the chasm between the two extremes, gradually bringing into play more eminent contrasts the language of concepts – the "language" of melody or, conceptual language - the "idiom" of the drum. (We may even perceive, at a given moment, an attempt to reconcile the contradictions?). I did not use the original model in its entirety, but made a (subjective, objective?) selection of textual units. I should like to particularly thank my namesake Marko Grcic, a scholar and gifted translator of Gibran's The Prophet for his rendition of the poem in the Croatian language.

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