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Saman Shahi – Breathing in the Shadows

Breathing in the Shadows is the debut album from Iranian-Canadian composer, Saman Shahi, set to be released September 25, 2020 through Halifax-based label, Leaf Music. The album includes three song cycles, two of which are based on poetry by women from across the globe. The title cycle, “Breathing in the Shadows” tells stories of oppression through alienation, resistance, and self-actualization. Resonating with many communities that historically have lived through the experiences of these struggles, the poems have an inherent musicality, evocative imagery, and a powerful message of unity and hope. The poets represented in this cycle are Forough Farrokhzad (Iran), Carilda Oliver Labra (Cuba), Dora Gabe (Bulgaria), Zhai Yongming (China), and Titilope Sonuga (Nigeria). Breathing in the Shadowsfeatures Maureen Batt – Soprano and Tara Scott – Piano. This cycle was commissioned by Maureen Batt with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and premièred through the recital series Crossing Borders.

The second cycle “Orbit” is a work commissioned by tenor Fabián Arciniegas , set to the poetry of Serbian-Canadian Jelena Ćirić. Winner of the inaugural Canadian Amateur Musicians’ Association (CAMMAC) composition competition in 2019. Set within three movements, the poetry highlights the murky areas of human relationships, uncertainties and inner battles we all experience while interacting with others. “Orbit” features Fabián Arciniegas  – Tenor and Tara Scott – Piano. 

In the third song cycle “Songs of a Wandering Soul,” Saman explores his musical identity rooted in his Western Classical training, minimalism, Contemporary Art music, Progressive Rock, Jazz and Iranian traditional music.  The music leaps back and forth between these worlds much like an immigrant trying to figure out a new place to belong.  The poetry used in this cycle is drawn from Shahi’s teenage years where he was trying to navigate his new life in Canada with words in the early days of blogging. The work displaces the pulse constantly to create an inner sense of groove that changes from measure to measure. “Songs of a Wandering Soul” features Tiffany Hanus – Soprano, Saman Shahi – Piano, Peter Lutek – Woodwinds, Derek Gray – Percussion, Scott Peterson – Electric and upright bass, Natalie Wong – Violin and Cheryl Ockrant – Cello. 

‘Breathing in the Shadows’ is a collection of pieces that I have grown to embrace as some of my most authentic and honest work. I am so humbled to be surrounded by colleagues who believed in my work that enabled the coming to fruition of this album in such high quality and artistic finesse. – Saman Shahi 

Saman Shahi is an award-winning and published composer, pianist, conductor and educator based in Toronto. He’s active in classical music, new music, Iranian traditional music, rock and electronic music, and because of his constant activities in Canada and abroad he has become a sought after performer and composer. Saman’s compositions, including some of his short film scores have been performed in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. As a pianist and conductor, Saman has been an avid performer and advocate of new music in Toronto, and he regularly performs with a variety of Ensembles and musicians. Saman is an Affiliate Member of the Canadian League of Composers, Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre as well as a SOCAN member. He is also one of the founders and the executive director at the Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto, ICOT, a 7 year old art organization that bridges cultures through music and art. Saman is also an active member of the Circle music band, a rock fusion group in Toronto. He was appointed as the music director at Peterborough concert band in 2019. Saman also works as a composer-educator with the Canadian Opera Company.

Breathing in the Shadows
Release date: September 25, 2020
Pre-save/add HERE

SamanShahiMusic.com

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ALICE PING YEE HO – VENOM OF LOVE

A tale of serpent-demons and mortals entwined in forbidden romance, Venom of Love is set to be released September 18, 2020. From one of Canada’s most acclaimed composers, Alice Ping Yee Ho is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including; the 2019 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize and is a two-time Juno nominee. Written as full length dramatic music for dance in 4 acts, Venom of Love is based on “Legend of the White and Green Snakes” a Chinese tale seeped in oral tradition and finally written down during the Ming dynasty more than 600 years ago. Canadian lyric coloratura soprano Vania Chan shares the tale of love, jealousy and betrayal being the active ingredients in a story of amazing transformations and ultimate redemption. Written for electronic tape, live soprano and percussion, 7 dancers, multimedia video and lighting design, Venom of Love was originally commissioned by Toronto’s Little Pear Garden Contemporary Dance Theatre in 2014 was directed and choreographed by Emily Cheung.

Hong Kong-born, composer Alice Ping Yee Ho is one of Canada’s most sought after composers of contemporary works. Critics have called her music dramatic and graceful, while praising its “organic flow of imagination,” “distinctly individual” style”, “colourful orchestration”, and “emotive qualities”. Influences evident in her proudly eclectic approach include Chinese folk and operatic idioms, Japanese Taiko , jazz,  pop culture, and other contemporary art forms. Her ongoing goal is to explore new musical styles that are provocative to the ears.

“Colors and tonality are two attractive resources to me: they form certain mental images that connect to audiences in a very basic way.” [AH]  

A twice JUNO Award Nominee (2015, 2018), she has an impressive discography released on the Centrediscs, Naxos, Marquis Classics, Blue Griffin, Electra, and Phoenix labels. She has four solo albums (Centrediscs/Naxos) devoted to music written for different genres: “Ming” for percussion, “Glistening Pianos” for two pianos, “The Lesson of Da Di” features her full length award winning opera, and “The Mysterious Boot” features chamber music for flute, cello, and piano. Her fifth album was recently released through Centrediscs/Naxos of her children’s opera The Monkiest King with the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. Her new project including a new opera CHINATOWN commissioned by City Opera Vancouver, on a libretto by Canadian renowned writer Madeleine Thien, opens in September, 2021 at the Vancouver Playhouse.

Ms. Ho holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition with high distinction from Indiana University and a Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Toronto. Her teachers have included John Eaton (USA), Brian Ferneyhough(Germany), and John Beckwith (Canada). ​She is a noted classical pianist and an active advocate of contemporary music. She has performed in many new music festivals, including a solo piano recital recorded by CBC Radio 2 in which she premiered Tan Dun’s solo piano work “Traces II”. She now makes her home in Toronto. https://www.alicepyho.com/

Canadian lyric coloratura soprano Vania Chan received her Master of Music in Classical Voice from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from York University, Toronto, receiving a B.F.A. with Specialized Honours in Music. Her “gently shimmering coloratura” can be heard in the recording of the Dora Award winning opera THE LESSON OF DA JI (Toronto Masque Theatre), which received a critic’s choice review in Opera News, New York. She often performs with the Rezonance Baroque Ensemble, showcasing their collaborative program “Handel’s Heroines” at the Early Music Festival in Bloomington Indiana, in Toronto, Hamilton, and at the Richmond Hill Performing Arts Centre. https://www.vaniachan.com/

Venom of Love
Digital Release only
Release date: September 18, 2020
Pre-save/add HERE

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Jaap Nico Hamburger: Piano Concerto

Jaap Nico Hamburger: Piano Concerto from celebrated composer Jaap Nico Hamburger – performed by pianist Assaff Weisman.
The recording was produced by Vancouver-based Misha Aster and the work was performed by pianist Assaff Weisman and l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal under the direction of Vincent de Kort. This dramatic concerto is full of drive, explosive energy and pathos. While reminiscent of great works by Prokofiev and Shostakovich, it is truly a unique work among Canadian piano concertos and  modern classical compositions. 






Jaap Nico Hamburger is the current 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 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 Director of City Opera Vancouver.

Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, he started his musical education at the age of 3, 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. Anticipated recordings include the release of Jaap Nico Hamburger: Chamber Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2. (November 6, 2020)

Pianist Assaff Weisman has been captivating audiences with his intensity, lyricism and communicative style since his solo debut at the age of twelve. The Greenville News observed “this piano virtuoso has facile fingers that toss off daredevil passages with ease and a mind for music that is as nimble as his fingers.” Mr. Weisman is a graduate of the Juilliard School where he studied with Herbert Stessin and where he is a member of the Evening Division piano faculty.  Prior to his studies in New York Mr. Weisman studied with Professor Victor Derevianko in Israel and was supported by scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. http://www.assaffweisman.com/

Conductor Vincent de Kort, born in the Netherlands, is very much in demand as a symphonic as well as an opera conductor. Recently he made very successful debuts at the famous Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as well as at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg (invited by Valery Gergiev). He is a regular guest at the opera houses of Dresden, Stockholm, Edinburg, Leipzig, Tokyo, Vienna, Vilnius, Tours, Luzern, Bern, Magdeburg, Johannesburg, Hawaii, Kazan. He studied with Mariss Jansons in Oslo and in St. Petersburg with the legendary Professor Ilya Musin, who was also the teacher of Valery Gergiev, and was the assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and William Christie. http://www.vincentdekort.com/ 

One of Quebec’s leading cultural ambassadors, the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal was founded in 1981 on a bold gamble: that the best way to promote symphonic music is by creating strong ties with the public. For 20 years now, the OM has grown alongside its artistic director and principal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, whose career continues to reach new heights. Their exceptional collaborative relationship has given rise to many ambitious musical projects, some of them quite daring, under the leadership of the Montreal conductor. https://orchestremetropolitain.com/en/ 

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Sea Dreams: Luminous Voices releases their 3rd recording

Calgary’s professional chamber choir Luminous Voices announces with great excitement the release of their newest CD Sea Dreams.
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 will feature 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.”

“We have forged a strong artistic bond with Peter-Anthony Togni over the past 5 years,” says Timothy Shantz, Luminous Voices’ Artistic Director. “There is something very luminous about his music, reflecting inwards and outwards. Togni exploits sonorities and colours that we really enjoy producing. The compilation of works on this recording represent a variety of styles and periods of his music and celebrates his 60th year.”

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.

Luminous Voices, founded in 2012 by conductor and Artistic Director Timothy Shantz, continues to thrill audiences in Calgary and beyond through performances, recordings, and workshops. The choir has released two recordings, The Far West (2016) and Mendelssohn’s Te Deum (2015). Of The Far West, Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote “beautifully sung, as everything here is, by the aptly named Luminous Voices under Timothy Shantz.” The Far West was awarded the 2018 Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Choral Recording. The ensemble’s first recording, Mendelssohn’s Te Deum, was awarded the same recognition in 2016. Luminous Voices illuminates exceptional choral music of the past and present while supporting contemporary composers by commissioning new works. The ensemble’s vision is to encourage the advancement of choral art by providing a forum for collaboration among local and international artists in the development and presentation of choral music, as well as musical education programs.

For more information, visit www.luminousvoices.com, Facebook (LuminousVoices), Twitter (@LuminousVoices), or Instagram (@luminous_voices).

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“The Seeker” from Canadian composer Kevin Lau

May 20, 2020 (Halifax, NS) “The Seeker” from celebrated composer Kevin Lau – performed by pianist Victor Cheng, is released June 5, 2020 through Halifax, NS – based classical record label, Leaf Music.

Kevin Lau

Kevin Lau is one of Canada’s most active young composers. A prolific composer of orchestral, chamber, ballet, and film music. Described as a “self-assured voice” (Barczablog) with a “masterful control over his idiom” (Classical Music Sentinel), Kevin Lau has established himself as one of Canada’s leading young composers. Awarded the 2017 Victor Martyn Lynn-Staunton Award by the Canada Council for Outstanding Achievement, Kevin’s music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles across North America, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Major works include Le Petit Prince, commissioned by the National Ballet of Canada and choreographed by Guillaume Côté.

“The “Seeker” is an archetype—a person who pursues dramatic experiences in search of meaning, pushing the limits of his/her abilities (and skirting the edge of danger in the process) in order to find transcendence. The music is a sonic and physical exploration of the ‘daredevil’ spirit, found particularly in high-level athletes and performers. The playful, quick-footed tune that opens the piece unfolds largely without a harmonic ‘safety net’, careening through a variety of increasingly daring episodes, before returning to the opening few bars: a tranquil homecoming after a fulfilling journey. I am grateful to Victor Cheng, pianist and athlete extraordinaire, for so perfectly embodying the spirit of the “Seeker”.” – Kevin Lau

Kevin’s discography includes the JUNO-nominated “Spin Cycle” (Centrediscs), featuring the Afiara String Quartet and DJ Skratch Bastid; “Encount3rs” (Analekta) featuring the NACO; “Solo Seven” (ATMA Classique) featuring violinist Marc Djokic; “The Sounds of Our Time” (Naxos) featuring cellist Rachel Mercer, “Premieres” (Cambria Records) featuring violinist Conrad Chow and “A Dream of Dawn” (Leaf Music) premiered by the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra at Musikverein, Vienna, Austria . In addition to composing concert music, Kevin is also active as a film composer, arranger, and pianist. He has written the scores to over a dozen films, including Charles Officer’s feature documentary Invisible Essence: The Little Prince (2018), and has created arrangements for artists such as Sarah Slean, Suzie McNeil, Christos Hatzis, and groups such as the Art of Time Ensemble. He has performed many of his own works and collaborates frequently with artists such as Scott St. John (violin), Lynn Kuo (violin), and Victor Cheng (piano).

kevinlaumusic.com

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Halifax Camerata Singers release video for “Abide with Me”

Today (May 12, 2020) marks twenty-two days since the devastating attack that took the lives of twenty-two of our fellow Nova Scotians. Halifax Camerata Singers remembers, and sends our deepest condolences and love to the family and friends of the victims.

We remember the victims of the Nova Scotia Shooting April 18/19, 2020.

“Abide with Me” is part of the forthcoming ‘Solace’ album set to be released July 10, 2020.

Abide with Me (traditional / arr. Gary Ewer)
Halifax Camerata Singers
Jeff Joudrey, Artistic Director

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Recording Producer: Mark Warren
Recording Engineer: Rod Sneddon
Video Edit: Cassie Mann, Leaf Music

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Jaap Nico Hamburger added to Leaf Music Roster

April 29, 2020 (Halifax, NS) Halifax-based classical record label, Leaf Music is pleased to announce that Canadian composer Jaap Nico Hamburger is joining the label’s roster. Jaap Nico Hamburger is a Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer; President and CEO, Orange Music Inc., a Vancouver music production company; Member of the Board of Directors of City Opera Vancouver (2010-2020); and in 2019 was named Mécénat Musica’s Composer in Residence. 

A resident of Vancouver, BC, Hamburger’s compositions include symphonies, solo concertos, chamber music works, and commissions from Discovery Channel, Rex Video London UK, Turning Point Ensemble, and Dutch Television. He is a graduate from the Royal Sweelinck Academy of Music, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with a soloist degree in piano.

Jaap’s first release with Leaf Music will be his piano concerto which was recently recorded at Montréal’s Maison Symphonique with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, with pianist Assaff Weisman and conductor Vincent de Kort – set to be released July 2020 – followed by two symphonies to be released in November 2020. Additional releases for 2021 include a group of chamber works, along with his first opera Goldwasser, currently in development, which is expected to bring Canadian culture to the world stage with a highly anticipated premiere in New York in 2021-22. 

“We are delighted to welcome Jaap Nico Hamburger to our roster. He is poised to become recognized as one of the great composers of our time.  His wide palette of orchestral colours, clever use of folk song elements and driving energy are sure to delight music listeners in concert halls and streaming platforms alike in the years to come.  We are consistently impressed by Jaap Nico Hamburger’s bold and visionary approach to addressing difficult and challenging themes with hope and optimism through his music.  It’s a privilege for Leaf Music to help bring his growing repertoire to the world.” – Jeremy VanSlyke, owner – Leaf Music

jaaphamburger.com


29 avril 2020 (Halifax, N.-É.) – Leaf Music, maison de disques de musique classique d’Halifax, a le plaisir d’annoncer la signature du compositeur canadien Jaap Nico Hamburger. M. Hamburger est un compositeur agréé du Centre de musique canadienne. Il est aussi président et chef de la direction d’Orange Music Inc., entreprise de production musicale de Vancouver. Il est membre du conseil d’administration de l’Opéra de la ville de Vancouver (depuis 2010) et, en 2019, il a été nommé « compositeur en résidence » par Mécénat Musica.

M. Hamburger habite à Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique. Ses compositions comprennent des symphonies, des concertos en solo, des oeuvres de musique de chambre et des oeuvres de commande pour la chaîne de télévision Discovery, pour Rex Video London UK, pour le Turning Point Ensemble et pour la télévision néerlandaise. Il est diplômé de l’Académie royale de musique Sweelinck d’Amsterdam, aux Pays-Bas, avec un diplôme de pianiste soliste.

Le premier disque de M. Hamburger pour Leaf Music sera son concerto pour piano, qui a été récemment enregistré avec l’Orchestre métropolitain de Montréal, à la Maison symphonique de Montréal, avec le pianiste Assaff Weisman et le chef d’orchestre Vincent de Kort. La parution de ce disque est prévue pour juillet 2020. Viendront ensuite deux symphonies, en novembre 2020. D’autres parutions sont prévues en 2021, dont une série d’oeuvres de musique de chambre, ainsi que son premier opéra, intitulé Goldwasser, actuellement en cours de composition. On s’attend à ce que cet opéra donne à la culture canadienne un retentissement mondial, avec une première très attendue à New York en 2021–2022.

« Nous sommes ravis d’accueillir Jaap Nico Hamburger dans notre maison. Il va être reconnu comme étant un des grands compositeurs de notre époque. Sa vaste palette de couleurs orchestrales, son utilisation futée d’éléments de musique folklorique et son énergie contagieuse raviront à n’en pas douter les auditeurs des salles de concert et des plateformes de diffusion en continu dans les années à venir.
Nous sommes régulièrement impressionnés par l’approche ambitieuse et visionnaire de Jaap Nico Hamburger, qui s’attaque, dans sa musique, à des thèmes ardus et difficiles avec espoir et optimisme. C’est un privilège pour Leaf Music de pouvoir contribuer à la diffusion dans notre monde de son répertoire grandissant. » — Jeremy VanSlyke, propriétaire de Leaf Music

jaaphamburger.com

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NEW RELEASE – CHRISTINE WALEVSKA, cello – Bloch’s – “Nigun”

Leaf Music is proud to present Bael ShemNigun from celebrated cellist Christine Walevska and pianist Akimi Fukuhara. Released April 17, 2020, this is presented on the 50th anniversary of Walevska’s debut recording on the Philips Classics label of Bloch’s Schelomo, Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, with Schumann’s Cello Concerto. Upon release in 1970, the San Francisco Chronicle called it “the greatest recording in the cello catalog“. After 50 years of concertizing across the globe many times over, in 2019 Walevska went to Montreal, Canada with pianist Akimi Fukuhara to record Bloch’s Nigun with former Philips Classics producer, Martha de Francisco.  

Bloch’s Nigun is a nod to the composer’s Jewish heritage and in memoriam of his mother. “Nigun” is literally “improvisation” or “melody” carrying recognizable melodies and gestures of Jewish folk music. Nigun is the second movement from Bael Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life for Violin and Piano. 

2020 is the 100th anniversary of the independence of Poland and in celebration of this Christine played with pianist Jerzy Stryjniack in Carnegie Hall. During the month of March 2019, Walevska and Fukuhara played concerts in Japan, China and Taiwan. Following the concert in the magnificent National Theatre of Taiwan, Walevska returned to her home in New York City and flew to Argentina only two days later where she played two gala concerts opening the newly renovated Mendoza Theatre with pianist Daniel Goldstein. Together in Buenos Aires with Goldstein, she recorded a CD of Argentine compositions titled “Christine Walevska and Friends”.

To purchase any of Christine Walevska’s previous recordings including the 17 cello concertos Walevska recorded on the Philips Classics label put into a five CD Decca boxed set titled, “The Legendary Recordings of Christine Walevska” and “Goddess of the Cello”  or to find out more information, please visit www.christinewalevska.com 

CHRISTINE WALEVSKA, cello AKIMI FUKUHARA, piano

Bloch – BAEL SHEM, B.47: II.Nigun

Release date: April 17, 2020
Download or Stream here


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Charke Cormier Duo Releases “Bathymetric Terrains”


(HalifaxNS) Nova Scotia Duo Release Bathymetric Terrains
 
Nova Scotia’s 
Charke-Cormier Duo releases its latest recording, Bathymetric Terrains, at The Music Room on Saturday, February 15 at 2:00 p.m.   The album, on the Leaf Music label, is available February 14 and is distributed by Naxos of America.  Bathymetric Terrains muses on the ecology of oceans and tidal bays; bathymetry is the measurement of water depths.
 
Derek Charke (flutes) and Eugene Cormier (guitar) formed the Charke-Cormier Duo in 2014, releasing their debut recording, Ex Tempore, in 2018.  The album was nominated for the 2019 ECMA Award for Classical Album of the Year, and the composition Ex Tempore won the 2019 ECMA award for Classical Composition of the Year. The Whole Note magazine called the album “a fabulous debut!” The duo publishes their music under the Charke-Cormier Duo Collection with Doberman-Yppan in Québec. Both performers are highly accomplished musicians who are on the faculty of Acadia University’s School of Music.  
 
Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer 
Derek Charke (www.charke.com) is a JUNO and ECMA award-winning composer and flutist.  His music is eclectic – often defying categorization due to wide-ranging influences.  Dr. Charke is a professor of music at Acadia University Wolfville, where he teaches composition and music theory.  He also heads AEMS, the Acadian Electroacoustic Music Studio.   
 
Dr. Charke can see the fragile ecosystem of The Minas Basin from his home in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, including the seabed that is exposed when the tide is out twice daily: “For a while now I’ve wanted to compose something about these hidden landscapes.  The composition includes multiple flute, guitar, and voice parts.  The solo parts are performed live while the backing tracks, processing, and soundscapes are projected through speakers.  For live performances, a video of various seascapes from around Nova scotia is projected on a screen.”

See a trailer video here:  


 
The album was produced, engineered and mastered at Derek Charke’s studio in Wolfville, NS and at AEMS, the Acadian Electroacoustic Music Studio (sponsored by CFI-JELF, and the NS Research and Innovation Trust), with additional mastering by Jeremy VanSlyke.  
 
This project is funded in part by Arts Nova Scotia and Acadia University.
 
This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters. Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia’s Charke-Cormier Duo is releasing a new album, Bathymetric Terrains, at The Music Room on February 15 at 2:00 p.m.  This recording features flutes and guitar, and relates to the fragile ecosystems of the Minas Basin.  Bathymetry is the measurement of water depths.

The CD features music written for the Duo by composer Derek Charke, who is a professor of music at Acadia University.  In seven movements, the music references flowing water, the various levels of the ocean and explores the imagery of the ocean through rhythm and melody.

That’s the Charke-Cormier Duo, launching their new recording, Bathymetric Terrains at the Music Room on Saturday, February 15 at 2:00 p.m.  The event is free and all are welcome.

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Mark Fewer, violin Hank Knox, harpsichord // VIVALDI Manchester Sonatas

Exceptional Duo Becomes First Canadian Artists to Record Exquisite Sonatas Unearthed from a Manchester, UK Library in 1973.

“I’d be glad to hear these gentlemen play anything … they make me want to hear whatever else they want to do. The
ensemble and intonation are perfect …” – American Record Guide


Leaf Music is proud to present a new recording of Vivaldi’s Manchester Sonatas featuring violinist Mark Fewer and harpsichordist Hank Knox. This is the first Canadian recording of the “Manchester” sonatas of Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741), a masterful collection of 12 works brought to light only in 1973. A follow up to their acclaimed 2018 recording of the Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord by J.S. Bach, this new recording from Fewer and Knox is available as of January 17, 2020.
These remarkable sonatas changed a great many hands over the centuries. When Cardinal Ottoboni – a patron of Vivaldi’s – died in 1740, a large number of manuscripts from his private collection were purchased by English classical scholar Edward Holdsworth. These manuscripts were then passed on to Charles Jennens, librettist of Handel’s Messiah. The scores came into the possession of several more collectors before coming to auction at Sotheby’s in London in 1918 and were acquired by renowned musicologist Newman Flower. When Flower died in 1964, his musical holdings were purchased by the Manchester Public Library, attracting the international attention of scholars and the media alike; Flower’s reputation as an eminent Handel scholar implied that important revelations concerning the musical giant were forthcoming.
However, a nearly exclusive focus on Handel resulted in the neglect of some of the other manuscripts, including these sonatas by Vivaldi which, despite being housed in Manchester’s Henry Watson Music Library from 1965 onward, were only discovered by British musicologist Michael Talbot in 1973.
The 12 “Manchester” sonatas, heard on the new album as arranged and recorded by Fewer and Knox in January 2019 at Eglise St. Augustin in Mirabel, Quebec, represent a high point of Vivaldi’s chamber music. The violin part offers complex compound melodies while the bass focuses primarily on its harmonic role, with both instruments free to improvise on the written score. Gramophone calls the sonatas “music of great beauty and vitality which will delight most if not all lovers of the late baroque.”
Known for his exceptional versatility, violinist Mark Fewer has been described as “intrepid” (The Globe and Mail) and “profound” (The WholeNote). His musical diet includes performances from the early baroque to the avantgarde, performing worldwide in famous halls such as Wigmore, Carnegie, and Pleyel, to smaller venues such as Le Poisson Rouge (NY), Bartok House (Budapest), and The Forum (Taipei). As a soloist, he has performed with the symphonies of Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Quebec, San Francisco and Melbourne, as well as with groups such as the Fodens-Richardson Brass Band (UK), the Zapp Quartet (Amsterdam), and as a featured guest with Stevie Wonder and his band. He was a founding member of the Duke Piano Trio, has been a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players for over 15 years, and was violinist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Stanford University. Artistic Director of the SweetWater Music Festival for 16 years, Fewer was appointed Artistic Director of Stratford Summer Music in 2019. A Juno and Prix Opus winner, he is currently Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Toronto.
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 and has also directed a great number of baroque operas.

Download or stream Vivaldi Manchester Sonatas here