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Leaf Music and Luminous Voices Present: Fire-Flowers

(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music and Calgary’s Luminous Voices announce their new album Fire-Flowers, exploring themes of loss, grief, and hope. The album’s centrepiece is Brahms’ beloved Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) in a special collaborative arrangement for two pianos. The Requiem was first composed as a “cantata of grief,” likely inspired by the death of his Brahms’ mother in 1865 and dear friend Robert Schumann in 1856. Two new works by Canadian/American composer Zachary Wadsworth (also a chorister on the album) round out the recording; Battle-Flags, inspired by Walt Whitman’s Civil War experiences, and a setting of E. Pauline Johnson’s Fire-Flowers, a poem of optimism and renewal. The evocative purple flowers, often referred to as “fireweed” in North America, are the first signs of life after a wildfire, a beautiful, symbolic sign of hope emerging from tragedy.

Fire-Flowers was commissioned by Luminous Voices and premiered in November 2021 with the same musicians involved in this recording. Battle-Flags was commissioned by the Choral Arts Society of Washington and premiered in 2015. The recording was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, donor Patricia Grindlay and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Luminous Voices, Calgary’s professional chamber choir, was founded in 2012 by conductor and Artistic Director Timothy Shantz. Luminous Voices comprises some of the best ensemble singers in the Calgary area, collaborating with singers and musicians across North America.  The ensemble’s debut release with Leaf Music, Sea Dreams, was nominated for Classical Album of the Year – Vocal/Choral at the 2021 JUNO awards.  The group also received an exciting feature in the United States, with NPR offering a national story about the group’s innovative and COVID-friendly “car choir” performances presented at the height of the pandemic.

Featured soloists Laura Brandt (soprano), Jonathon Adams (baritone), Cheryl Emery-Karapita (piano), and Leanne Regehr (piano) collaborated to bring these pieces to life. The recording sessions took place in Calgary, at the Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University. In June of 2023. The recording sessions were produced by Jeremy Van Slyke, engineered by Zana Warner, and in-house audio editing by Haruka Nagata.

Leaf Music is an independent recording label based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, making and distributing high-quality classical music recordings by artists and composers from across Canada. Our growing catalogue of solo, orchestral, and chamber music is distributed by Naxos of America to the world’s most important music retailers, download providers, and streaming services. Leaf is also a provider of professional audio and video production, post-production services and integrated music marketing and distribution in Canada.  

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MEDIA CONTACT:  

For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please contact Peggy Walt,  peggy@leaf-music.ca (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell).

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“MESSIAH” – Ensemble Caprice, Karina Gauvin, Ensemble Vocal Arts Quebec, Matthias Maute, Jaap Nico Hamburger

Excerpts from the Handel’s Masterpiece Featuring Acclaimed Soprano Karina Gauvin

Plus New Works by Composers Jaap Nico Hamburger and Matthias Maute

Leaf Music is proud to present a new recording of highlights from Handel’s Messiah, featuring soprano Karina Gauvin and bookended by two new choral works by Montreal-based composers, Jaap Nico Hamburger and Matthias Maute. Maute also conducts Ensemble Vocal Arts-Québec and Ensemble Caprice in these vibrant new choral recordings, which will be available for purchase, download, and on all streaming platforms as of November 5, 2021.

Matthias Maute conducts Ensemble Vocal Arts-Québec and Ensemble Caprice in performances of Handel’s Messiah throughout the month of December, including Maison symphonique in Montreal (Dec 12) and Palais Montcalm in Quebec (Dec 17). See the complete schedule here

While Handel’s masterpiece has been heard and recorded often, the musicians experienced a feeling of renewal this year: “During the live recording, in an empty hall, it felt like we all were hearing this famous oratorio for the very first time,” says Maute, “After the long drought brought on by the pandemic, this first reunion of choir and orchestra in a wonderful concert hall felt like the rebirth of the spirit of music!”

While sanitary restrictions necessitated a small number of singers – the ensemble has just 12 voices – this is not out of character for the work, though many are used to hearing massive musical forces for the bombastic Hallelujah chorus. Handel himself had a choir of only 16 singers at his disposal when he travelled from London to lead the first performance of his oratorio in 1742 in Dublin. “The flexibility and lightness of a12-voice choir reveals fascinating layers of the work,” comments Maute.

The new recording also includes a short dialogue between Handel and two living composers, with new choral works from the two Mécénat Musica composers in residence, Jaap Nico Hamburger’s Hope and Belief, on a Yiddish text by Isaac Leib Peretz,and Matthias Maute’s O magnum mysterium, which aims to grasp something of the elusive mystery of music. These two works set the theme for the Mécénat Musica Mini-Concerts Santé in the summer of 2020, which delivered music to thousands during lockdown, spreading the magical force of music to help get through the crisis.

Two-time JUNO Award-winning conductor, composer, recorder and flute soloist Matthias Maute has achieved an international reputation. In 2016 he was named artistic director of the Bach Society of Minnesota and in 2019 of Ensemble vocal Arts-Québec. Maute is co-artistic director of the Montreal Baroque Festival and artistic director of the Mécénat Musica Concerts Noncerto concert series and has released 20 recordings on various labels.

Maute founded Ensemble Caprice, praised by The New York Times as “imaginative, even powerful; and the playing is topflight.” Known for an innovative and adventuresome approach to an expanding musical repertoire, Ensemble Caprice has performed in 11 festivals, embarked upon its first Latin American tour, and made its third trip to China in addition to an inaugural tour in South Africa. Instigator of the Mini-Concerts Santé, Ensemble Caprice received the Opus Award for Musical Event of the Year 2020 for this project. Through 1,700 musician hires of professional singers and instrumentalists who perform with 184 classical music organizations, $464,000 were paid directly to the artists who were out of work due to COVID-19.

In 2019, Maute was named Artistic Director of Ensemble vocal Arts-Québec, a professional choir steeped in the grand tradition of choral music in Quebec. The choir’s director, Maute, received one of his two JUNO awards for his album with choir, entitled Vivaldi and His Angels, From 2021 to 2023, Ensemble Vocal Arts-Québec is embarking upon a unique project: Art Choral, the history of choral singing through six centuries.

Renowned for her performances of Baroque repertoire, Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin sings the music of the 20th and 21st-centuries with equal success. She has received many prestigious distinctions, including “Soloist of the Year,” awarded by the Communauté internationale des radios publiques de langue française, the Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Maggie Teyte Memorial Prize in London. Performing in opera and with symphony orchestras throughout the world, Gauvin boasts a discography of over 50 titles, garnering three Grammy nominations, and multiple JUNOs and Opus Prizes.

Messiah
Release Date: Nov 5, 2021
Physical/Digital Release
Stream/Download HERE

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Hank Knox | Scarlatti: Essercizi Per Gravicembalo

October 1, 2021 (Halifax) Award-winning artist and early-music musician Hank Knox is pleased to present Scarlatti: Essercizi Per Gravicembalo, released through Halifax-based record label Leaf Music. Like so many musicians, Knox found himself with a lot of time on his hands during the pandemic. He spent the past 10 months completely immersed in Domenico Scarlatti’s only authorized publication, a collection of thirty sonatas first published in 1739 in London, England.  Knox’s recording of the Essercizi Per Gravicembalo offers the listener a deep dive into Scarlatti’s richly inventive and imaginative musical world. Essercizi Per Gravicembalo, meaning “Exercises for Harpsichord,” is a virtuosic collection that has been in uninterrupted print since its publication 275 years ago. The collection was dedicated to King John V of Portugal, father of Scarlatti’s longtime pupil and patron, Queen Maria Barbara of Spain. Essercizi Per Gravicembalo was recorded by Hank Knox in April 2021 at Église St. Augustin, Mirabel, QC.

“Hank Knox reveals virtuosity, imagination and a keen sense of rhythm.”

— Musica Sett (Italy)

Hailed internationally for his “colorful, kinetic performances,” Hank Knox performs on harpsichord in concert halls, churches, museums, galleries and homes around the globe. A founding member of Montreal’s Arion Baroque Orchestra, with whom he has toured North and South America, Europe, and Japan, Knox also regularly performs and tours with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy and l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, among other groups, ensembles and orchestras. 

He has released a number of acclaimed recordings on rare antique instruments as well as copies of historical instruments. He teaches in the Early Music program at McGill University where he conducts the McGill Baroque Orchestra. He has directed a great number of Baroque operas for Opera McGill, including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Monteverdi’s Poppea and Handel’s Agrippina, Giulio Cesare, Alcina and Rinaldo.

Hank Knox collaborates regularly with Canadian violinist, Mark Fewer. Their complete recording of the J.S Bach: Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord, BWV 1014-1019 was released on Leaf Music in 2017. The Vivaldi: Manchester Sonatas were arranged and recorded by Fewer and Knox and were released on Leaf Music in 2020. This is the first recording of the works by Canadian artists.

Website / Facebook

Hank Knox | Scarlatti: Essercizi Per Gravicembalo
Release date: Oct 1, 2021
Physical/Digital Release
Listen/Buy HERE

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VC2 Cello Duo Added to Leaf Music Roster

Leaf Music is pleased to announce that Canadian cello duo VC2 is joining the label’s roster.  

Comprised of cellists Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt, CBC Radio describes VC2 as “a tight unit, with excellent intonation and expression.” They present artistically challenging, yet accessible programs in venues ranging from intimate cabarets to Roy Thomson Hall. 

As respected cellists, they have performed as part of leading music organizations including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Soundstreams, Art of Time Ensemble, Continuum Contemporary Music, New Music Concerts, Music in the Barns, Thin Edge New Music Collective, and others.  

“We are delighted to welcome VC2 Cello Duo to our roster.  Bryan and Amahl are known for their virtuosic energy and playfulness on stage. Moreover, their growing reputation as new music champions makes them an excellent fit for Leaf Music and our shared goal of sharing top-tier Canadian artists and composers with the world. It’s a privilege for Leaf Music to work with this talented duo to present brand new music from composers Laura Sgroi, Kati Agócs, Chris Paul Harman, Vincent Ho, Youell Domenico, Jocelyn Morlock and Kelly-Marie Murphy.” Jeremy VanSlyke, owner – Leaf Music  

Leaf Music is looking forward to VC2 Cello Duo’s first project with the label set to be released in the fall of 2022.

vc2celloduo.com 

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Rosebud String Quartet added to Leaf Music Roster

August 18, 2021 (Halifax, NS) – Halifax based classical record label Leaf Music is pleased to announce that Canadian quartet Rosebud String Quartet is joining the label’s roster. Comprised of principal players from the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Orchestras of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada, the RSQ is one of Canada’s most exciting young string quartets with a unique voice and a special love for the music of Joseph Haydn.

The Rosebud String Quartet (violinists Aaron Schwebel and Sheila Jaffé, violist Keith Hamm, and cellist Leana Rutt) was formed in 2013 in Rosebud, Alberta at the inaugural Rosebud Chamber Music Festival, an annual summertime chamber music showcase in the Alberta Badlands. The RSQ performs regularly in series across Canada, including Stratford Summer Music Festival, Xenia Concerts, Stereo Live, Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre Chamber Music Series, Echo Chamber Toronto, Pocket Concerts, and Music Mondays. The quartet was recently featured in CBC Radio 2 ‘In Concert’.

The Rosebud String Quartet’s first release with Leaf Music will be in the spring of 2022. The album will feature the Franz Haydn String Quartets Op. 77, No. 1 & 2, and Mozart Viola Quintet, K. 614.The ensemble will be joined by world-renowned Canadian violist Steven Dann for the Mozart. 

In addition to recording their debut album, the ensemble has had a full slate of performances booked throughout Canada for the summer of 2021 including Toronto Summer Music Festival, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Sweetwater Music Festival, and the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Rosebud String Quartet to our roster. They are four of the top young chamber musicians in Canada and we are delighted to be part of their upcoming album.  Their musicianship and passion will continue to connect with music listeners in concert halls and streaming platforms alike in the years to come. It’s a privilege for Leaf Music to help bring their music to the world.” – Jeremy VanSlyke, owner – Leaf Music

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Rossini: 6 Sonate a Quattro

6 Sonate a Quattro are the brilliant compositions from Italian composer Gioachino Rossini, written during the summer of 1804 at the young age of 12. These works, at the time, were commonly performed by wind quartet and it wasn’t until 1954 when the original manuscripts were discovered in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. showing their original arrangement for string quartet. 
This recording of Rossini: 6 Sonate a Quattro features two of Canada’s most respected and beloved performers – Mark Fewer (violin), and Joel Quarrington (bass) – and two of North America’s rising stars – Yolanda Bruno (violin), and Julian Schwarz (cello) and was produced by JUNO award-winning producer John D.S. Adams. These performances, from November 2017, were recorded in collaboration with the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance using the newly released (2014) Critical Edition published by the Fondazione Rossini Pesaro. 


Rossini: 6 Sonate a Quattro
Release date: March 19, 2021
Listen HERE

Violinist Mark Fewer leads a multi-disciplined life in music. Violin soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader, artistic director, conductor, arranger, teacher, jazz violinist, recording artist and occasional radio host, he has performed worldwide to great critical acclaim. Described as “intrepid” (The Globe and Mail), “genre-bending” (National Post), “profound” (The WholeNote), and “freaky good”(The Gazette), he has performed around the world in halls such as Carnegie, Wigmore and Salle Pleyel, and is equally at home in recital venues such as Bartok House (Budapest) to Le Poisson Rouge (NYC) to The Forum (Taipei). His latest album, Vivaldi: Manchester Sonatas (with Hank Knox) has been streamed more than 300k times since its release in January 2020.  https://www.markfewer.com/ 

Violinist Yolanda Bruno has been praised for her “total control of her instrument with infinite variety in the sound palette” (La Presse) and was recently named on CBC’s 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30. Yolanda has performed across North America and Europe including solos with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestre Métropolitain, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the London Mozart Players. She has appeared in festivals including the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, the Ottawa Chamberfest, Toronto Summer Music Festival, the BBC Proms and the International Musicians’ Seminar Prussia Cove.  Yolanda’s performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio 2, ICI Musique as well as on BBC Radio 3. A devoted chamber musician, Yolanda has collaborated with Pinchas Zukerman, Menahem Pressler, Paul Lewis and Levon Chilingirian. https://www.yolandabruno.com/

Julian Schwarz was born to a multigenerational musical family. Heralded from a young age as a cellist destined to rank among the greatest of the 21st century, Julian’s powerful tone, effortless virtuosity, and extraordinarily large color palette are hallmarks of his style. After making his concerto debut at the age of 11 with the Seattle Symphony and his father Gerard Schwarz on the podium, he made his US touring debut with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Since being awarded first prize at the inaugural Schoenfeld International String Competition in 2013, he has led an active career as soloist. https://www.julianschwarz.com/ 

Born in Toronto, Joel Quarrington began his formal studies of the double bass when he was thirteen. Upon graduation from the University of Toronto, he was awarded the “Eaton Scholarship” as the school’s most outstanding graduate. Joel is a winner of the Geneva International Competition and the CBC Talent Competition, and has made solo appearances across Canada, the United States, Europe and China. His recording of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with Yefim Bronfman became an instant classic. He is particularly honoured to have been a part of a 1982 recording session with the legendary Glenn Gould for the soundtrack of Timothy Findley’s The Wars. Written for solo cello and bass and based on Brahms’ Intermezzi, this turned out to be the last music composed by Gould before his untimely death. https://joelquarrington.com/ 

Recording producer/engineer John D.S. Adams has been passionate about sound for 30 years. His artistic collaborations vary widely across the disciplines of recording, design and performance. As a producer/engineer Adams has worked with James Ehnes, John Cage, Neil Young, Jane Bunnett, Emanuel Ax, The Getty Center, Kevin Fox, to name a few. Many of these collaborations have resulted in multiple JUNO awards and nominations. Adams’ sound designs have been commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Blue Rider Ensemble, composer Peter Hatch, and Barishnykov’s White Oak Dance Project.
https://www.stonehousesound.com/ 

Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP) is an international center for advanced studies in performance and interpretation. Like the gifted young artists it trains, LAMP is propelled by passion and ambition. In a short time, it has emerged as one of the most innovative and exciting post-graduate music schools in Canada offering immersive instruction with the world’s most versatile and accomplished masters in disciplines like opera, strings, piano and composition. Burt Wathen is founder and artistic director of the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP). Raised in New Brunswick, he was longtime principal violist of the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Italy. While there, he developed his deep love of Rossini and befriended conductor Alberto Zedda, the world’s foremost authority on the composer. In 2014, Zedda led LAMP’s inaugural program focused on Rossini opera. http://www.lampns.ca/

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Luminous Voices Celebrates First JUNO Nomination

Halifax, NS; March 9, 2021 – Calgary based professional choir, Luminous Voices are thrilled to be nominated for a JUNO award. Announced earlier today during the official press conference, the ensemble received their first JUNO nomination for Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral for their album, Sea Dreams. This celebration is just in time for the announcement of their upcoming album, Artem Vedel, set to be released May 7, 2021 through Halifax-based label Leaf Music. 

“We are thrilled and deeply honoured to be nominated in this very special 50th anniversary year of the JUNOS!! To be recognized among other vocal/choral luminaries during this difficult COVID-19 year means the world to us.” – Dr. Timothy Shantz, Founder & Artistic Director

Sea Dreams features the work of the same title by Canadian composer Peter-Anthony Togni. “Sea Dreams” is written for double mixed choirs and two flutes and features two top Canadian flutists Sara Hahn-Scinocco and Sarah MacDonald. The piece was commissioned by Luminous Voices and Sara Hahn-Scinocco with the support from the Canada Council for the Arts and Paul and Elwyn Brown, and was premiered on February 25, 2018 at the Bella Concert Hall, Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.

“Sea Dreams is a work that reflects my relationship to the ocean and my thoughts about a journey of faith, a journey full of questions, fears, longings, hopes, dreams, and the gifts of disappointment,” says Halifax-based composer Peter-Anthony Togni. “Each choir represents a ship on the water. Getting into a boat or on a ship is a kind of leap of faith: we can only pray and trust that the journey will be successful.”

Sea Dreams also includes other works by Togni, including Totus Tuus, Requiem et Lux, Earth Voices, Psaume 98, and more. Guest artists include bass clarinetist Jeff Reilly, soprano Katie Partridge, and tenor Oliver Munar.

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“Roots” from New Brunswick quintet, Ventus Machina

Roots, the second full-length album from woodwind quintet Ventus Machina, is set to be released February 12, 2021 through Halifax-based label Leaf Music. Reflecting what has become the strong artistic voice of Ventus Machina, the music has been chosen by the ensemble to represent both their musical heritage and current musical influences. The track list includes eleven arrangements by Ventus Machina’s clarinetist James Kalyn, among them Canadian folk hits by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchel and Gordon Lightfoot, upbeat tunes by local bluegrass legend Ray Legere, and traditional songs.

Also included in the track list is a new original work by Andrew Creeggan based on Celtic tunes, where the composer uses extended instrumentation—English Horn, alto and bass flute, and bass clarinet—to add to the colours of the woodwind quintet. Guests on the album include Ray Legere, Andrew George, Joël Cormier, Christian “Kit” Goguen and the Atlantic String Machine.Ventus Machina is a New Brunswick based classical woodwind quintet that makes regular excursions into other genres, challenging its members and often surprising audiences while staying true to their classical roots. Ventus Machina’s flexible and dynamic style of performance – presenting themed programs that at once engage, entertain, and educate – has attracted and delighted audiences since the group began in 2011.  In the Weeds, the group’s first full-length CD, was released in September 2017.  It was nominated for two East Coast Music Awards and opened the door for the group to be named Classical Artist of the Year 2018 by MusicNB.

Roots
Release date: February 12, 2021
Listen Now – leaf-music.lnk.to/LM239

ventusmachina.com


Roots, le second album du quintette à vent Ventus Machina, sera lancé le 12 février 2021 sous étiquette Leaf Music, basée à Halifax.  Représentant la vraie personnalité de Ventus Machina, la musique a été choisie par les membres de l’ensemble par qu’elle illustre à la fois leurs influences et héritages musicaux.  L’album inclut onze arrangements du clarinettiste de Ventus Machina, James Kalyn, dont des succès canadiens de Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchel et Gordon Lightfoot, des mélodies enlevantes de la légende locale bluegrass Ray Legere et des pièces traditionnelles.

L’album contient également une œuvre originale d’Andrew Creeggan, basée sur des mélodies celtes, dans laquelle le compositeur fait usage d’une instrumentation élargie – cor anglais, flûtes alto et basse et clarinette basse – pour ajouter de la couleur au quintette à vent.  Les artistes invités Ray Legere, Andrew George, Joël Cormier, Christian “Kit” Goguen et Atlantic String Machine sont également présents sur l’album.

Ventus Machina, quintette à vent de formation classique basé au Nouveau-Brunswick, fait des excursions régulières dans d’autres genres, se mettant au défi et surprenant souvent le public sans jamais sacrifier ses racines classiques.  Ses performances flexibles et dynamiques, souvent thématiques, mais toujours engageantes, divertissantes et éducatives, ont fait le plaisir du public depuis la fondation du groupe en 2011.  In the Weeds, leur premier album, lancé en septembre 2017, a reçu deux nominations aux East Coast Music Awards et ouvert la porte au groupe pour être nommé Artiste classique de l’année 2018 par MusiqueNB.

Roots
Date de lancement: 12 février 2021
Écoutez MAINTENANT – leaf-music.lnk.to/LM239

ventusmachina.com

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New Music Video from Saint John String Quartet

For over 30 years the Saint John String Quartet [SJSQ] has stood among Canada’s leading chamber music ensembles. The stylistic and energetic troupe is highly sought after for special collaborations within different musical genres – a reflection of their versatility and flexibility. From their sixth recording Canadian Hits: Unplugged, the ensemble takes us on a visual journey through Stan Rogers iconic “Northwest Passage”.

Through the depths of a lush forest canopy to the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Fundy, video director – Lauchlan Ough highlights the beauty of New Brunswick, Canada perfectly while SJSQ effortlessly serenades us with one of Canada’s best-known folk songs. The music is fittingly paired with the dramatic nature landscape filmed at Minister’s Face Nature Reserve overlooking the Kennebecasis River and the wide-open coastline of the Bay of Fundy. All being captured at dawn and dusk and creatively paralleled with the dense harmonic climaxes and expressions of the music.

WATCH AND SHARE “NORTHWEST PASSAGE” HERE

 Saint John String Quartet (violinists David Adams and Danielle Sametz, violist Christopher Buckley and cellist Sonja Adams) has stood among Canada’s leading chamber music ensembles for over 30 years. Renowned for their flexibility, SJSQ is equally comfortable collaborating with blues artists and rock superstars as with its own performances of Classical masterworks.

SJSQ performs over 125 concerts annually and serves as musicians-in-residence for Symphony New Brunswick and the University of New Brunswick. They have performed for many heads of state and at prestigious venues in Canada, the United States, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and in October 2019, South America.

Credited with numerous recordings including their sixth and most recent Canadian Hits: Unplugged. Previous albums have earned a Juno nomination (Classical Composition of the Year) and won an East Coast Music Award (Best Classical Album of the Year) and a Music NB award (Best Album of the Year). Their albums feature innovative works and under-appreciated classical gems.

Recognized for many ground-breaking achievements, including their profound contributions to musical development in New Brunswick, the SJSQ presented the first chamber music concert ever broadcast online.

SAINT JOHN STRING QUARTET
Follow SJSQ on FACEBOOK
WATCH AND SHARE “NORTHWEST PASSAGE”HERE

www.sjsq.ca

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Jaap Nico Hamburger: “Chamber Symphonies Nos.1&2”

In honour of Remembrance Day and the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, Canadian composer Jaap Nico Hamburgerpresents Chamber Symphonies Nos.1&2, featuring Ensemble Caprice and l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal. While confronting serious and challenging themes, these works are imbued with hope and optimism.

Jaap Nico Hamburger is the Composer in Residence with Mécénat Musica in Montréal. His compositions include commissions from Turning Point Ensemble, Ensemble Caprice, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, and an original contribution for the project ‘400 years of Dutch Keyboard Music’. He was recently commissioned by the Dutch Government and the United Nations’ International Court of Justice to compose a new concerto for harp and orchestra, to be premiered by Lavinia Meijer and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2021. Other commissions include works for Discovery Channel, and broadcasting companies in the UK and the Netherlands. He is a Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer, President and CEO, Orange Music Inc., a Vancouver music production company; and, a former member of the Board of Directors of City Opera Vancouver.

Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, he started his musical education at the age of three, and studied piano with Ruben Lifschitz, Alexandre Hrisanide and Youri Egorov. He graduated from the Royal Sweelinck Conservatorium of Music, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with a soloist degree in piano. He has lived in Canada since August 2000. This release follows the August 21, 2020 release of Jaap Nico Hamburger: Piano Concerto, on Leaf Music.

Chamber Symphony No. 1 “Remember to Forget”
Ensemble Caprice under the direction of Matthias Maute 
Produced by: Martha de Francisco 
Recorded in studio:  Église St-Augustin, Mirabel, QC  (17/11/2019 – 18/11/2019)

“Remember to Forget” is a phrase from Tenach, The Old Testament. The sentence alludes to the notion that doubt (“I should have…I could have…”), rather than being critical (“Where can I improve?”), is inherently self-destructive. We are not necessarily in control of the outcome of events, but that should not deter us from working hard and striving for the best, all toward the positives in life. “Remember to Forget” is a tone poem, using the colours and structures of sound to advance that story, inspired by the biography of György Ligeti (1923-2006).This symphony in two movements is an apostrophe to one of the great musical minds of the age. Ligeti’s own influences stretched back to the 15th century and the richness of polyphony, from folk inspirations and a drenched chromaticism through to jazz and polyrhythm of every description. His work is best known through the soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 – A Space Odyssey. This work is a metaphor of a train journey, moving from youth to catastrophe, and through survival to rebuilding, forgiveness, and ultimately to the lessons of the biblical Joseph: to live, work, build, create, and love to the best of your abilities, under all circumstances, every day. 

Chamber Symphony No. 2 “Children’s War Diaries”
 l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal under the direction of Vincent de Kort 
Produced by:Misha Aster
Recorded live at the Violins of Hope concert: Maison symphonique de Montréal (02/11/2019)

Children’s War Diaries” Five diaries of teenagers who were murdered during the Second World War inspired this piece. These children did not survive, but their diaries did. Twenty years after reading these diaries, composer Jaap Hamburger’s 89-year-old mother, Jannie Moffie-Bolle, published her autobiography “Een hemel zonder vogels” (“A sky without birds”). She too was a teenager at the outbreak of the Nazi war in Europe.  The book, among other things, describes her experiences in multiple Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau. In 2010, Jaap travelled with her to Israel on the occasion of the presentation of her book at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem. The architecture of the Children’s Memorial at Yad Vashem is uniquely sobering. It memorializes 1.5 million murdered children, approximately 95% of all Jewish children ages 0-18 years old in occupied Europe. This staggering number is what led Raphael Lemkin to introduce the term “genocide” in his 1944 landmark publication, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. When Jaap – overwhelmed by the starkness of the Children’s Memorial – had left the building and stepped into the blazing Jerusalem sunlight, the contours of a new symphonic work came to mind, virtually complete. The composer went home and wrote it down. “Children’s War Diaries” is a symphony for chamber orchestra in five short movements.

Jaap Nico Hamburger: Chamber Symphonies Nos.1&2
Release date: Nov 6, 2020
Listen Now HERE

JaapHamburger.com