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Newmont Maestro Series

Sturm und Drang: Haydn, Butler & Mozetich

November 13, 2020 7:30 PM

Otto Tausk, conductor

Haydn: Symphony No. 49

Jennifer Butler: And Birds Do Sing

Marjan Mozetich: Postcards from the Sky

Maestro Tausk pairs Haydn’s dramatic and romantic Symphony No. 49 in F minor with a contemporary answer, BC composer Jennifer Butler’s And Birds Do Sing. Butler set out to create a dark and desolate response to the challenges of the 21st century. However, following the birth of the daughter, Butler found herself drawn to the sounds of hope. Postcards From the Sky, by Marjan Mozetich, completes this emotional traversal from darkness to light.

Otto Tausk, conductor

Dutch conductor Otto Tausk is the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, now in his third season. He is also the newly announced Chief Conductor of recently formed Phion Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel. Until spring 2018, Tausk was Music Director of the Opera Theatre and Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen. He appears as a guest with such orchestras as Concertgebouworkest, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky  Orchestra, the orchestras of Perth, Tasmania, Auckland, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut in August 2018. He is a hugely respected musical personality in his native Holland, working with all its major orchestras and composers.

In the 2020/21 season, Tausk continues guesting relationships with orchestras such as Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Het Gelders Orkest, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. In Vancouver, Tausk will lead an innovative reimagined season in response to COVID-19, showcasing the orchestra with a curated series of digital performances.

In the opera pit, he will conduct Michel van der Aa’s new opera ‘Upload’, with the world premiere at Dutch National Opera, plus further appearances with the other co-commissioning parties including Oper Köln. In St. Gallen, Tausk conducted the world premiere of ‘Annas Maske’, by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti, the Swiss premiere of George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’, Korngold’s ‘Die Tote Stadt’ and other titles including ‘Don Giovanni’, ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’, ‘Eugene Onegin’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Lohengrin’ and ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’.

Tausk has recorded with the Concertgebouworkest (Luc Brewaeys, and an animated version of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’), Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen (Korngold and Diepenbrock), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Mendelssohn) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Gavin Bryars) amongst others. For the cpo label in 2011 Hans Pfitzner’s enchanting Orchesterlieder garnered international praise, not least the Classica France’s ‘Choc du mois’. His Prokofiev disc with Rosanne Philippens also received BBC Music Magazine Concerto Disc of the Month (2018).

Born in Utrecht, Otto Tausk initially studied violin and then conducting with Jonas Aleksa. Between 2004 and 2006, Tausk was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a period of study that had a profound impact on him. In 2011 Tausk was presented with the ‘De Olifant’ prize by the City of Haarlem. He received this prestigious award for his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands, in particular his extensive work with Holland Symfonia serving as Music Director 2007 to 2012. In reflecting on their work together in The Netherlands, Valery Gergiev paid particular tribute to Tausk on this occasion.

ottotausk.nl

NICHOLASWRIGHT, concertmaster/ leader
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Wright is a native of England. His engagements as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician have taken him to most of the major concert halls in Europe, Asia and North America. He has performed concertos with orchestras worldwide including the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Oman Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire spans works from Handelto premieres by composers such as Kelly-Marie Murphy and Jocelyn Morlock, whose works he recently recorded for the Naxos label. He made his solo debut with the York Guildhall Orchestra playing the Dvořák Romance, which was recorded for BBC Radio 3. His concerts and recordings have also been featured on CBC Radio (Canada) and Radio 4 (Hong Kong). As an orchestral musician, Nicholas has worked with the world’s most renowned conductors including Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev and Mstislav Rostropovich. He has performed extensively with the major chamber and symphony orchestras in London including the English Chamber and LondonPhilharmonic orchestras, and has appeared as guest concertmaster with orchestras such as the Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Concert and Ulster Orchestras. In 2003, he was appointed as the youngest member of the London Symphony Orchestra where he held the first violin sub-principal position, and in addition collaborated with film composers John Williams and Alexandre Desplat.

Asa chamber musician Nicholas regularly takes part in series such as the Mainly Mozart Festival, Ribble Valley Festival, LSO and VSO chamber players and Vancouver’s Music on Main. He has performed in venues such as LSO St Luke’s and has collaborated with many renowned artists including Martin Roscoe and Simon Wright. Prior to his appointment as concertmaster of the VSO, he was first violinist of the critically acclaimed Vancouver based Koerner Quartet.

Nicholas received his training as a scholar at the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky and Rodney Friend. In addition to winning prizes at the Royal College, Nicholas has been generously supported by grants from the Martin Musical Fund, the Craxton Memorial Fund and the Royal Overseas League. This has enabled him to study with many eminent musicians including Ruggiero Ricci and Gil Shaham. Nicholas enjoys teaching and has given many masterclasses internationally. He is on the faculty of the VSO School of Music. Nicholas plays on a violin by Stefan-Peter Greiner.

“wonderfully judged with seemingly effortless projection of tone…..It was a triumph.”
The York Press

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1919, the Grammy and Juno-award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest orchestra in Canada, the largest arts organization in Western Canada, and one of the few orchestras in the world to have its own music school.

Led by Music Director Otto Tausk since 2018, the VSO performs more than 150 concerts each year, throughout Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, reaching over 270,000 people annually. On tour the VSO has performed in the United States, China, Korea and across Canada.

The orchestra presents passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Recent guest artists include Daniil Trifonov, Dawn Upshaw, James Ehnes, Adrianne Pieczonka, Gidon Kremer, Renée Fleming, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Bernadette Peters, Tan Dun, and more.

For the 2020-21 season the VSO has created the innovative streaming service TheConcertHall.ca, a virtual home for a virtual season, where more than forty performances will be released throughout the year.

“Franz Joseph Haydn, the father of the symphony, wrote a total of 106 brilliant symphonies. Amongst all those works, my absolute favorite group belong to what we call his Sturm und Drang period. The Symphony No. 49 - also called the La passione - is right in the middle of that most expressive and moving musical period. It is uncertain if the title refers to a religious context, or if it is more related to human passions and emotions. I prefer to believe this symphony speaks of both: dramatic, sweet, dancing, with refined elegance and an electrifying finale. The personal side of this symphony connects beautifully to Jennifer Butler’s work. Her piece, And Birds Do Sing, pictures not only a wonderful sound world referencing to nature and birds, but also tells a very personal and intimate story. In a way it is taking the listener from a dark and elusive beginning to a brighter and optimistic world, a journey in which we can all find inspiration in these challenging times. Finally, Marjan Mozetich’s Postcards from the Sky completes this transition. We have moved from the sometimes dark-hued nature of Haydn’s F minor symphony, to a musical depiction of the rising of the sun”

Otto Tausk

SYMPHONY NO.49 IN F MINOR “LA PASSIONE”

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN

b. Rohrau, Austria / March 31, 1732

d. Vienna Austria / May 31, 1809

The German term “Sturm und Drang” refers to a movement in literary and artistic circles that was at its peak from the late 1760s through the early 1780s. The words (commonly translated as “storm and stress”) refer to the dramatic intent of works from this period that aimed to rouse the audience with depictions of an extreme range of emotions. So, whether a painting of a tempest-tossed ship, a dramatic character motivated by revenge or greed, or a symphony firmly anchored in a heart-wrenching minor key, the creator focused on stirring the spectator’s feelings to the point of frightening them!

Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 was composed in 1768 and bares the nickname “La passione.” With the exception of the trio, each of the movements are set in F minor, a key signature that has been described as “obscure, plaintive, and funereal.” Haydn’s work is not quite that dire, but it does demonstrate a dramatic range far beyond mere courtly entertainment. The scholar H.C Robbins Landon described Symphony No. 49 as ‘unquestionably the greatest’ of seven symphonies that Haydn wrote in the style of a ‘sonata da chiesa,’ its characteristic slow opening making it suitable for performance in a church setting. The ‘passion’ nickname stems from a manuscript of the work dated 1780, causing some scholars to suggest that it may have been performed in the context of a service during the Lenten season. Whatever the case, the symphony exudes a rich religious and emotional intensity.

AND BIRDS DO SING

JENNIFER BUTLER

b. Winnipeg, Manitoba / May 11,1976

Jennifer Butler is a composer and flutist living in Vancouver, BC. Her music, described as “beautifully remote” (Vancouver Sun), “intimate” (Globe and Mail), and “disquieting” (Vancouver Observer), has been commissioned, performed, and broadcast across Canada, in the United States, Australia, and Europe. She loves working with quiet and fragile sounds, but will often juxtapose these with loud, forceful outbursts of sound. Silence, organic change, layered textures, and holding and releasing tension are important qualities in many of her compositions.

Jennifer was the President of the council for the Canadian League of Composers from 2011-14, and was recently elected as Chair of the Advisory Council for the Canadian Music Centre, BC region. She completed a DMA (2009) in composition and a master’s degree (2002) at the University of British Columbia. She earned her bachelor’s degree (1999) in composition at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

Although born in Manitoba, Jennifer Butler grew up in Victoria, BC. And Birds Do Sing was commissioned by Tania Miller and the Victoria Symphony in 2010 and was premiered by that ensemble at the Royal Theatre in February 2011. Ms. Butler has provided the following of introduction to her composition.

“This piece begins with a deep, restrained melody played by the lowest instruments. This melody is surrounded by slowly moving dissonant clusters, which together create a dense foundation that moves steadily underneath the entire piece. This is the path for an introspective journey. Suddenly, the clarinet enters with a warning call, which echoes throughout the orchestra.

“Initially, I planned for this piece to be taken over by these opening sounds of alarm, becoming continually darker and more desolate—a pessimistic response to the many challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. However, I began composing this piece soon after giving birth to my daughter Olivia, and instead found myself pulled towards brighter and more hopeful sounds. Ten years later, it feels like we have an even greater need for hope.

“The ominous tone of the opening grows into a thick texture of overlapping melodies inspired by birdsong. Into this texture, I gradually wove short fragments from a song I wrote as part of R. Murray Schafer’s collaborative theatre project, …And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon. This melody represents unity, peace, and healing. It also became a lullaby that I would sing to Olivia. These fragments eventually grow into longer phrases, and in the end the complete melody emerges, played by the full orchestra in a joyous eight-part canon.”

https://jenniferbutlercomposer.ca/

Matthew Baird, with notes from the composer

POSTCARDS FROM THE SKY

MARJAN MOZETICH

b.Gorizia, Italy / January 7, 1948


Marjan Mozetich’s music has captured the heart of the public in a way that few other contemporary composers can match. Born in Gorizia, Italy, his family moved to Hamilton, Ontario, where he grew up from the age of four. Following studies at the University of Toronto, he spent time in Europe with the avant-garde Italian composer Luciano Berio. Around 1980, Mozetich made an abrupt change in his approach to composition and found his own voice with a style that has been variously labelled as postmodern, Romantic and minimalist. No matter how it is described, it has proven equally popular with musicians and programmers, as well as concert and radio audiences. As a radio producer myself, I was aware of the phenomenon of listeners sitting in their cars waiting for a piece to finish, to find out who wrote it– and often it was a piece by Marjan Mozetich.

From 1991 through 2018, Mozetich taught at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. His works have received three JUNO award nominations, winning in 2010 for a recording of his work for string quartet “Lament in the Trampled Garden.” He has also been honoured twice with SOCAN’s Jan V Matacek Award in recognition how often his music is heard in performance.

Mozetich’s work “Postcards from the Sky” comprises a set of three short pieces for strings. They were commissioned through the assistance of the Canada Council, and premiered by the Thirteen Strings of Ottawa conducted by Paul Andreas Mahr in April, 1996. Since that time these evocative works have become the composer’s most popular compositions, frequently performed and broadcast extensively. They were first recorded on best selling CBC Records release by the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, and have since been re-released on the Centrediscs label of the Canadian Music Centre (CMCCD 21815).

Marjan Mozetich has shared the following thoughts about each of the three movements:

Unfolding Sky is a gradual unfolding of the opening melodic theme and the rising bass arpeggio simultaneously being accompanied by a perpetual mobile pattern. The climax is akin to the burst of sunlight through the parting of clouds, or the gradual rising of the sun into its full morning glory.

Weeping Clouds musically entails a descending melodic line of a lamenting nature which is passed from one section of strings to another. Only at the very end does the line move upwards. The accompaniment consists of a constant seesawing of two notes giving an ethereal floating motion, and the descending pizzicato symbolising falling rain.

A Messenger is the revelation of a hauntingly simple melody gliding over a hypnotic accompaniment. The beauty of this enigmatic musical message briefly reflects on the infinite beyond our worldly concerns.”

www.mozetich.com

Matthew Baird, with notes from the composer

HAYDN - SYMPHONY NO. 49 IN F MINOR “LA PASSIONE”

Otto Tausk, Music Director

First Violins

Nicholas Wright, Concertmaster
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair
Timothy Steeves, Associate Concertmaster
William and Irene McEwen Chair
David Lakirovich, Assistant Concertmaster
Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair
Mary Sokol Brown
Mrs. Cheng Koon Lee Chair
Rebecca Whitling

Second Violins

Karen Gerbrecht, Acting Principal
Jeanette Bernal-Singh, Acting Associate Principal
Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair
Ashley Plaut, Acting Assistant Principal
Cassandra Bequary
Carina Vincenti

Violas

Emilie Grimes, Acting Associate Principal
Katrina Chitty
Angela Schneider
Professors Mr. and Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair
Jacob van der Sloot

Cellos

Henry Shapard, Principal
Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair
Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal
Olivia Blander
Gerhard and Ariane Bruendl Chair
Luke Kim
Dr. Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair

Basses

Dylan Palmer, Principal
David Brown
J. Warren Long

Oboes

Roger Cole, Principal
Wayne and Leslie Ann Ingram Chair
Beth Orson, Assistant Principal

Bassoons

Julia Lockhart, Principal

Horns

Oliver de Clercq, Acting Principal
Andrew Mee, Acting Associate Principal

Harpsichord

Christina Hutten *

*Extra Musician
 

BUTLER - AND BIRDS DO SING

Otto Tausk, Music Director


First Violins

David Lakirovich, AssistantConcertmaster
Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair
Jae-Won Bang
Mary Sokol Brown
Mrs.Cheng Koon Lee Chair
XueFeng Wei
RebeccaWhitling
Yi Zhou

Second Violins

Karen Gerbrecht, Acting Principal
Jeanette Bernal-Singh, ActingAssociate Principal
Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair
Cassandra Bequary
John Marcus *
Carina Vincenti
Cameron Wilson *

Violas

Andrew Brown, Acting Principal
Emilie Grimes, Acting Associate Principal
KatrinaChitty
Angela Schneider
Professors Mr. and Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair
Jacob van der Sloot

Cellos
Henry Shapard,
Principal
Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair
Charles Inkman
Luke Kim
Dr. Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair
Cristian Márkos
Tim Wyman and Susan Gabe Chair

Basses
Evan Hulbert,
Associate Principal
Noah Reitman,
Assistant Principal
Malcolm Armstrong

Flutes
Christie Reside,
Principal
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair
Rosanne Wieringa
Michael and Estelle Jacobson Chair

Oboes
Beth Orson,
Assistant Principal
KarinWalsh

Paul Moritz Chair

Clarinets
Jeanette Jonquil,
Principal
Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair
Michelle Goddard,
Acting Assistant Principal
Taryn Brodie Chair

Bassoons
Sophie Dansereau,
Assistant Principal
Gwen Seaton

Horns
Oliver de Clercq,
Acting Principal
Andrew Mee, Acting Associate Principal

Trumpets
Larry Knopp,
Principal
Vincent Vohradsky,
Neil Harcourt in memory of Frank N. Harcourt Chair

Timpani
Aaron McDonald

* Extra Musician

MOZETICH - POSTCARDS FROM THE SKY

First Violins
Nicholas Wright,
Concertmaster/ Leader
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair
Timothy Steeves,
Associate Concertmaster
William and Irene McEwen Chair
Jae-Won Bang
Mary Sokol Brown
Mrs. Cheng Koon Lee Chair
Rebecca Whitling
Yi Zhou

Second Violins
Karen Gerbrecht,
Acting Principal
Ashley Plaut, Acting Assistant Principal
Carina Vincenti
Xue Feng Wei
Kimi Hamaguchi*
Alicia Venables *

Violas
Emilie Grimes,
Acting Associate Principal
Katrina Chitty
Angela Schneider
Professors Mr. and Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair
Jacob van der Sloot

Cellos
Henry Shapard,
Principal
Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair
Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal
Luke Kim
Dr.Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair
Cristian Márkos
Tim Wyman and Susan Gabe Chair

Basses
Dylan Palmer,
Principal
J. Warren Long

*Extra Musician


Series Performances

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Sturm und Drang: Haydn, Butler & Mozetich
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Newmont Maestro Series

Sturm und Drang: Haydn, Butler & Mozetich

November 13, 2020 7:30 PM

Otto Tausk, conductor

Haydn: Symphony No. 49

Jennifer Butler: And Birds Do Sing

Marjan Mozetich: Postcards from the Sky

Maestro Tausk pairs Haydn’s dramatic and romantic Symphony No. 49 in F minor with a contemporary answer, BC composer Jennifer Butler’s And Birds Do Sing. Butler set out to create a dark and desolate response to the challenges of the 21st century. However, following the birth of the daughter, Butler found herself drawn to the sounds of hope. Postcards From the Sky, by Marjan Mozetich, completes this emotional traversal from darkness to light.

Otto Tausk, conductor

Dutch conductor Otto Tausk is the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, now in his third season. He is also the newly announced Chief Conductor of recently formed Phion Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel. Until spring 2018, Tausk was Music Director of the Opera Theatre and Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen. He appears as a guest with such orchestras as Concertgebouworkest, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky  Orchestra, the orchestras of Perth, Tasmania, Auckland, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut in August 2018. He is a hugely respected musical personality in his native Holland, working with all its major orchestras and composers.

In the 2020/21 season, Tausk continues guesting relationships with orchestras such as Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Het Gelders Orkest, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. In Vancouver, Tausk will lead an innovative reimagined season in response to COVID-19, showcasing the orchestra with a curated series of digital performances.

In the opera pit, he will conduct Michel van der Aa’s new opera ‘Upload’, with the world premiere at Dutch National Opera, plus further appearances with the other co-commissioning parties including Oper Köln. In St. Gallen, Tausk conducted the world premiere of ‘Annas Maske’, by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti, the Swiss premiere of George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’, Korngold’s ‘Die Tote Stadt’ and other titles including ‘Don Giovanni’, ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’, ‘Eugene Onegin’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Lohengrin’ and ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’.

Tausk has recorded with the Concertgebouworkest (Luc Brewaeys, and an animated version of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’), Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen (Korngold and Diepenbrock), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Mendelssohn) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Gavin Bryars) amongst others. For the cpo label in 2011 Hans Pfitzner’s enchanting Orchesterlieder garnered international praise, not least the Classica France’s ‘Choc du mois’. His Prokofiev disc with Rosanne Philippens also received BBC Music Magazine Concerto Disc of the Month (2018).

Born in Utrecht, Otto Tausk initially studied violin and then conducting with Jonas Aleksa. Between 2004 and 2006, Tausk was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a period of study that had a profound impact on him. In 2011 Tausk was presented with the ‘De Olifant’ prize by the City of Haarlem. He received this prestigious award for his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands, in particular his extensive work with Holland Symfonia serving as Music Director 2007 to 2012. In reflecting on their work together in The Netherlands, Valery Gergiev paid particular tribute to Tausk on this occasion.

ottotausk.nl

NICHOLASWRIGHT, concertmaster/ leader
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Wright is a native of England. His engagements as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician have taken him to most of the major concert halls in Europe, Asia and North America. He has performed concertos with orchestras worldwide including the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Oman Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire spans works from Handelto premieres by composers such as Kelly-Marie Murphy and Jocelyn Morlock, whose works he recently recorded for the Naxos label. He made his solo debut with the York Guildhall Orchestra playing the Dvořák Romance, which was recorded for BBC Radio 3. His concerts and recordings have also been featured on CBC Radio (Canada) and Radio 4 (Hong Kong). As an orchestral musician, Nicholas has worked with the world’s most renowned conductors including Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev and Mstislav Rostropovich. He has performed extensively with the major chamber and symphony orchestras in London including the English Chamber and LondonPhilharmonic orchestras, and has appeared as guest concertmaster with orchestras such as the Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Concert and Ulster Orchestras. In 2003, he was appointed as the youngest member of the London Symphony Orchestra where he held the first violin sub-principal position, and in addition collaborated with film composers John Williams and Alexandre Desplat.

Asa chamber musician Nicholas regularly takes part in series such as the Mainly Mozart Festival, Ribble Valley Festival, LSO and VSO chamber players and Vancouver’s Music on Main. He has performed in venues such as LSO St Luke’s and has collaborated with many renowned artists including Martin Roscoe and Simon Wright. Prior to his appointment as concertmaster of the VSO, he was first violinist of the critically acclaimed Vancouver based Koerner Quartet.

Nicholas received his training as a scholar at the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky and Rodney Friend. In addition to winning prizes at the Royal College, Nicholas has been generously supported by grants from the Martin Musical Fund, the Craxton Memorial Fund and the Royal Overseas League. This has enabled him to study with many eminent musicians including Ruggiero Ricci and Gil Shaham. Nicholas enjoys teaching and has given many masterclasses internationally. He is on the faculty of the VSO School of Music. Nicholas plays on a violin by Stefan-Peter Greiner.

“wonderfully judged with seemingly effortless projection of tone…..It was a triumph.”
The York Press

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1919, the Grammy and Juno-award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest orchestra in Canada, the largest arts organization in Western Canada, and one of the few orchestras in the world to have its own music school.

Led by Music Director Otto Tausk since 2018, the VSO performs more than 150 concerts each year, throughout Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, reaching over 270,000 people annually. On tour the VSO has performed in the United States, China, Korea and across Canada.

The orchestra presents passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Recent guest artists include Daniil Trifonov, Dawn Upshaw, James Ehnes, Adrianne Pieczonka, Gidon Kremer, Renée Fleming, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Bernadette Peters, Tan Dun, and more.

For the 2020-21 season the VSO has created the innovative streaming service TheConcertHall.ca, a virtual home for a virtual season, where more than forty performances will be released throughout the year.

“Franz Joseph Haydn, the father of the symphony, wrote a total of 106 brilliant symphonies. Amongst all those works, my absolute favorite group belong to what we call his Sturm und Drang period. The Symphony No. 49 - also called the La passione - is right in the middle of that most expressive and moving musical period. It is uncertain if the title refers to a religious context, or if it is more related to human passions and emotions. I prefer to believe this symphony speaks of both: dramatic, sweet, dancing, with refined elegance and an electrifying finale. The personal side of this symphony connects beautifully to Jennifer Butler’s work. Her piece, And Birds Do Sing, pictures not only a wonderful sound world referencing to nature and birds, but also tells a very personal and intimate story. In a way it is taking the listener from a dark and elusive beginning to a brighter and optimistic world, a journey in which we can all find inspiration in these challenging times. Finally, Marjan Mozetich’s Postcards from the Sky completes this transition. We have moved from the sometimes dark-hued nature of Haydn’s F minor symphony, to a musical depiction of the rising of the sun”

Otto Tausk

SYMPHONY NO.49 IN F MINOR “LA PASSIONE”

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN

b. Rohrau, Austria / March 31, 1732

d. Vienna Austria / May 31, 1809

The German term “Sturm und Drang” refers to a movement in literary and artistic circles that was at its peak from the late 1760s through the early 1780s. The words (commonly translated as “storm and stress”) refer to the dramatic intent of works from this period that aimed to rouse the audience with depictions of an extreme range of emotions. So, whether a painting of a tempest-tossed ship, a dramatic character motivated by revenge or greed, or a symphony firmly anchored in a heart-wrenching minor key, the creator focused on stirring the spectator’s feelings to the point of frightening them!

Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 was composed in 1768 and bares the nickname “La passione.” With the exception of the trio, each of the movements are set in F minor, a key signature that has been described as “obscure, plaintive, and funereal.” Haydn’s work is not quite that dire, but it does demonstrate a dramatic range far beyond mere courtly entertainment. The scholar H.C Robbins Landon described Symphony No. 49 as ‘unquestionably the greatest’ of seven symphonies that Haydn wrote in the style of a ‘sonata da chiesa,’ its characteristic slow opening making it suitable for performance in a church setting. The ‘passion’ nickname stems from a manuscript of the work dated 1780, causing some scholars to suggest that it may have been performed in the context of a service during the Lenten season. Whatever the case, the symphony exudes a rich religious and emotional intensity.

AND BIRDS DO SING

JENNIFER BUTLER

b. Winnipeg, Manitoba / May 11,1976

Jennifer Butler is a composer and flutist living in Vancouver, BC. Her music, described as “beautifully remote” (Vancouver Sun), “intimate” (Globe and Mail), and “disquieting” (Vancouver Observer), has been commissioned, performed, and broadcast across Canada, in the United States, Australia, and Europe. She loves working with quiet and fragile sounds, but will often juxtapose these with loud, forceful outbursts of sound. Silence, organic change, layered textures, and holding and releasing tension are important qualities in many of her compositions.

Jennifer was the President of the council for the Canadian League of Composers from 2011-14, and was recently elected as Chair of the Advisory Council for the Canadian Music Centre, BC region. She completed a DMA (2009) in composition and a master’s degree (2002) at the University of British Columbia. She earned her bachelor’s degree (1999) in composition at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

Although born in Manitoba, Jennifer Butler grew up in Victoria, BC. And Birds Do Sing was commissioned by Tania Miller and the Victoria Symphony in 2010 and was premiered by that ensemble at the Royal Theatre in February 2011. Ms. Butler has provided the following of introduction to her composition.

“This piece begins with a deep, restrained melody played by the lowest instruments. This melody is surrounded by slowly moving dissonant clusters, which together create a dense foundation that moves steadily underneath the entire piece. This is the path for an introspective journey. Suddenly, the clarinet enters with a warning call, which echoes throughout the orchestra.

“Initially, I planned for this piece to be taken over by these opening sounds of alarm, becoming continually darker and more desolate—a pessimistic response to the many challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. However, I began composing this piece soon after giving birth to my daughter Olivia, and instead found myself pulled towards brighter and more hopeful sounds. Ten years later, it feels like we have an even greater need for hope.

“The ominous tone of the opening grows into a thick texture of overlapping melodies inspired by birdsong. Into this texture, I gradually wove short fragments from a song I wrote as part of R. Murray Schafer’s collaborative theatre project, …And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon. This melody represents unity, peace, and healing. It also became a lullaby that I would sing to Olivia. These fragments eventually grow into longer phrases, and in the end the complete melody emerges, played by the full orchestra in a joyous eight-part canon.”

https://jenniferbutlercomposer.ca/

Matthew Baird, with notes from the composer

POSTCARDS FROM THE SKY

MARJAN MOZETICH

b.Gorizia, Italy / January 7, 1948


Marjan Mozetich’s music has captured the heart of the public in a way that few other contemporary composers can match. Born in Gorizia, Italy, his family moved to Hamilton, Ontario, where he grew up from the age of four. Following studies at the University of Toronto, he spent time in Europe with the avant-garde Italian composer Luciano Berio. Around 1980, Mozetich made an abrupt change in his approach to composition and found his own voice with a style that has been variously labelled as postmodern, Romantic and minimalist. No matter how it is described, it has proven equally popular with musicians and programmers, as well as concert and radio audiences. As a radio producer myself, I was aware of the phenomenon of listeners sitting in their cars waiting for a piece to finish, to find out who wrote it– and often it was a piece by Marjan Mozetich.

From 1991 through 2018, Mozetich taught at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. His works have received three JUNO award nominations, winning in 2010 for a recording of his work for string quartet “Lament in the Trampled Garden.” He has also been honoured twice with SOCAN’s Jan V Matacek Award in recognition how often his music is heard in performance.

Mozetich’s work “Postcards from the Sky” comprises a set of three short pieces for strings. They were commissioned through the assistance of the Canada Council, and premiered by the Thirteen Strings of Ottawa conducted by Paul Andreas Mahr in April, 1996. Since that time these evocative works have become the composer’s most popular compositions, frequently performed and broadcast extensively. They were first recorded on best selling CBC Records release by the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, and have since been re-released on the Centrediscs label of the Canadian Music Centre (CMCCD 21815).

Marjan Mozetich has shared the following thoughts about each of the three movements:

Unfolding Sky is a gradual unfolding of the opening melodic theme and the rising bass arpeggio simultaneously being accompanied by a perpetual mobile pattern. The climax is akin to the burst of sunlight through the parting of clouds, or the gradual rising of the sun into its full morning glory.

Weeping Clouds musically entails a descending melodic line of a lamenting nature which is passed from one section of strings to another. Only at the very end does the line move upwards. The accompaniment consists of a constant seesawing of two notes giving an ethereal floating motion, and the descending pizzicato symbolising falling rain.

A Messenger is the revelation of a hauntingly simple melody gliding over a hypnotic accompaniment. The beauty of this enigmatic musical message briefly reflects on the infinite beyond our worldly concerns.”

www.mozetich.com

Matthew Baird, with notes from the composer

HAYDN - SYMPHONY NO. 49 IN F MINOR “LA PASSIONE”

Otto Tausk, Music Director

First Violins

Nicholas Wright, Concertmaster
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair
Timothy Steeves, Associate Concertmaster
William and Irene McEwen Chair
David Lakirovich, Assistant Concertmaster
Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair
Mary Sokol Brown
Mrs. Cheng Koon Lee Chair
Rebecca Whitling

Second Violins

Karen Gerbrecht, Acting Principal
Jeanette Bernal-Singh, Acting Associate Principal
Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair
Ashley Plaut, Acting Assistant Principal
Cassandra Bequary
Carina Vincenti

Violas

Emilie Grimes, Acting Associate Principal
Katrina Chitty
Angela Schneider
Professors Mr. and Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair
Jacob van der Sloot

Cellos

Henry Shapard, Principal
Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair
Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal
Olivia Blander
Gerhard and Ariane Bruendl Chair
Luke Kim
Dr. Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair

Basses

Dylan Palmer, Principal
David Brown
J. Warren Long

Oboes

Roger Cole, Principal
Wayne and Leslie Ann Ingram Chair
Beth Orson, Assistant Principal

Bassoons

Julia Lockhart, Principal

Horns

Oliver de Clercq, Acting Principal
Andrew Mee, Acting Associate Principal

Harpsichord

Christina Hutten *

*Extra Musician
 

BUTLER - AND BIRDS DO SING

Otto Tausk, Music Director


First Violins

David Lakirovich, AssistantConcertmaster
Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair
Jae-Won Bang
Mary Sokol Brown
Mrs.Cheng Koon Lee Chair
XueFeng Wei
RebeccaWhitling
Yi Zhou

Second Violins

Karen Gerbrecht, Acting Principal
Jeanette Bernal-Singh, ActingAssociate Principal
Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair
Cassandra Bequary
John Marcus *
Carina Vincenti
Cameron Wilson *

Violas

Andrew Brown, Acting Principal
Emilie Grimes, Acting Associate Principal
KatrinaChitty
Angela Schneider
Professors Mr. and Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair
Jacob van der Sloot

Cellos
Henry Shapard,
Principal
Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair
Charles Inkman
Luke Kim
Dr. Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair
Cristian Márkos
Tim Wyman and Susan Gabe Chair

Basses
Evan Hulbert,
Associate Principal
Noah Reitman,
Assistant Principal
Malcolm Armstrong

Flutes
Christie Reside,
Principal
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair
Rosanne Wieringa
Michael and Estelle Jacobson Chair

Oboes
Beth Orson,
Assistant Principal
KarinWalsh

Paul Moritz Chair

Clarinets
Jeanette Jonquil,
Principal
Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair
Michelle Goddard,
Acting Assistant Principal
Taryn Brodie Chair

Bassoons
Sophie Dansereau,
Assistant Principal
Gwen Seaton

Horns
Oliver de Clercq,
Acting Principal
Andrew Mee, Acting Associate Principal

Trumpets
Larry Knopp,
Principal
Vincent Vohradsky,
Neil Harcourt in memory of Frank N. Harcourt Chair

Timpani
Aaron McDonald

* Extra Musician

MOZETICH - POSTCARDS FROM THE SKY

First Violins
Nicholas Wright,
Concertmaster/ Leader
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair
Timothy Steeves,
Associate Concertmaster
William and Irene McEwen Chair
Jae-Won Bang
Mary Sokol Brown
Mrs. Cheng Koon Lee Chair
Rebecca Whitling
Yi Zhou

Second Violins
Karen Gerbrecht,
Acting Principal
Ashley Plaut, Acting Assistant Principal
Carina Vincenti
Xue Feng Wei
Kimi Hamaguchi*
Alicia Venables *

Violas
Emilie Grimes,
Acting Associate Principal
Katrina Chitty
Angela Schneider
Professors Mr. and Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair
Jacob van der Sloot

Cellos
Henry Shapard,
Principal
Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair
Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal
Luke Kim
Dr.Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair
Cristian Márkos
Tim Wyman and Susan Gabe Chair

Basses
Dylan Palmer,
Principal
J. Warren Long

*Extra Musician


Series Performances

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Pictures at an Exhibition
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Sturm und Drang: Haydn, Butler & Mozetich
More series performances to be announced.
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