Monday April 10, 2017 // Toronto – Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney is delighted to announce Soundstreams’ 35th season. The main stage series features five sensational shows: Northern Encounters, with music and dance from Canada and Finland performed by the Lapland Chamber Orchestra; Musik für das Ende, which is an immersive experience of iconic Québécois composer Claude Vivier’s transformative work; Tan Dun’s Water Passion after St. Matthew, a contemporary reimagining of Bach’s masterpiece; Freddy’s Tune, featuring cross-genre inspirations from the famous theme King Frederick gifted to Bach; and The Little Match Girl Passion, the provocative Pulitzer Prize-winning work by David Lang. Subscription packages for all eight shows are now on sale.
As Soundstreams enters this milestone year amid Canada’s sesquicentennial, the 2017/18 season explores both legacy and new directions. Highlights include the first fully staged performances of Claude Viver’s Musik für das Ende (1971), one of the composer’s most underrepresented works, featuring brand new multimedia projections, sophisticated lighting techniques, and other dramatic elements – all within an open theatre where the audience inhabits the same space as the performers. Musik für das Ende is a special project supported by the Canada Council for the Arts to mark the sesquicentennial. In addition, the season includes a staging of Vivier’s Zipangu with stunning choreography by Cree actor, choreographer and director Michael Greyeyes as part of Soundstreams’ opening production Northern Encounters, exploring “northern identity” from multiple viewpoints.
Our Ear Candy series features three intercultural productions that present big ideas in small spaces. Electric Messiah returns for a third edition by popular demand, alongside new shows Almost Unplugged, and Beat It!
Soundstreams started 35 years ago with a festival celebrating Igor Stravinsky’s 100th and just as he changed the course of music in the 20th century, Soundstreams’ 2017-2018 season shines a light on the movers and shakers of Canadian music in the 21st century, says Lawrence Cherney, Soundstreams Artistic Director. Our season touches on the generations of Canadian composers that followed Vivier right up to the present, with world premieres in a diverse range of styles and aesthetics. And we continue to put our artists on the world stage by featuring them alongside international figures like Tan Dun and David Lang. We are 35 years young and going strong!
Main Stage Series
- Northern Encounters, music and dance from Canada and Finland with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra– October 16, 2017 – 8 PM, Koerner Hall
Soundstreams’ 35th season opens with Northern Encounters on October 16, 2017, which is a celebration of kindred northern identities. The Lapland Chamber Orchestra performs music by iconic composers from Canada and Finland, past and present, including Jean Sibelius, Harry Somers, and Claude Vivier. Doubly marking Canada’s sesquicentennial and Finland at 100, this program by Europe’s northernmost professional orchestra includes dance by powerhouse choreographer Michael Greyeyes, the world premiere of Soundstreams 35th Anniversary Fanfare, and gems by Stravinsky and Debussy.
- Musik für das Ende,a ritual journey through life, through death, and beyond– October 27- November 4, 2017, Crow’s Theatre
Musik für das Ende invites audiences into a mesmerizing and utterly immersive multimedia experience featuring an intercultural vocal ensemble and actor. We proudly present the world premiere of the first staged production of this work by legendary Québécois composer Claude Vivier. Choir 21, award-winning stage director Chris Abraham, and music director John Hess collaborate to create an intimate and unforgettable ritual that symbolizes some of the dominant themes of our time: exile, immigration, and “otherness”.
- Tan Dun’s Water PassionAfter Bach’s St. Matthew – March 9, 2018 – 8PM, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
Seventeen dramatically lit water bowls adorn the stage in this reimagining of Bach’s great masterpiece, where Tan Dun explores universal themes of birth, death, and resurrection. Using water as a sound and symbol of transition, Water Passion is a powerful narrative that explores a range of vocal styles from Mongolian overtone singing, to Peking Opera, and Bach. David Fallis conducts Choir 21 and a small instrumental ensemble with baritone and soprano soloists in this distinctly modern reworking of a timeless liturgical text.
- Freddy’s Tune, inspirations from King Frederick’s gift to Bach– April 21, 2018 – 8PM, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
In 1747, Bach paid a visit to his patron King Frederick the Great. King Freddy, a talented amateur musician, handed him a theme and challenged Bach to improvise. That theme became the basis for Bach’s masterpiece The Musical Offering. The Gryphon Trio joins forces with DJ SlowPitchSound, Cuban-born drummer Dafnis Prieto, trombonist/composer Scott Good, and Roberto Occhipinti on bass, to create a spectacular cross-genre Musical Offering. From the world premiere of a Bach remix, to a special arrangement of John Adams’ dazzling Phrygian Gates, expect an energetic evening of new compositions inspired by Bach’s timeless brilliance.
- The Little Match Girl Passion, the provocative Pulitzer Prize-winningwork by David Lang – June 6 & 7 2018 – 8PM, Crow’s Theatre
The Little Match Girl Passion is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale about a poverty-stricken young woman sent out into the cold by her father to sell matches. David Lang has created original text and music for four voices that both relays and comments upon the girl’s trials, drawing the audience into the very heart of this compelling drama, and revealing the fragile line between hope and tragedy. The program also features a world premiere by Canadian composer James Rolfe for voices and accordion.
Ear Candy Series
- Electric Messiah, December 4, 5 & 6 2017, The Drake Underground
Electric Messiah returns to revamp Handel’s holiday classic through a plugged-in and completely immersive musical experience. Nominated for the Classical:NEXT 2017 Innovation Award.
- Almost Unplugged, February 1, 2018, Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret Space
In Almost Unplugged, trailblazing Canadian violinists Andréa Tyniec and Jesse Zubot perform a dazzling array of repertoire with and without electronics.
- Beat It!May 15, 2018, Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret Space
Beat It! features master percussionist Ryan Scott and special guests reflecting diverse genres and traditions, while also exploring the many unique expressions of rhythm and melody.
Full Season, includes all 5 main stage productions, starting at $199 (Early Bird price until May 30th).
Flex Pack, includes 3 main stage productions, starting at $144 (Early Bird price until May 30th).
Add all three Ear Candy shows to a subscription for just $60!
To subscribe, call 416-504-1282 or visit our Subscriptions page for more info.
Soundstreams continues to offer the SoundWave program for music lovers aged 35 and under, whose members enjoy $22 tickets to main stage shows. Sign up for free at https://www.soundstreams.ca/performances/soundwave/
Soundstreams Recent Recognition
The Canada Council for the Arts has selected Soundstreams from 2,225 nationwide applicants to receive a $260,000 grant from the new Chapter Program in support of Musik für das Ende. Marking the 150th anniversary of confederation, the New Chapter program provides a transformative investment to create and share this exceptional artistic work. Only 10% of applicants were successful in this one-time initiative.
In January, Soundstreams’ work also received international attention, with an award nomination from Classical:NEXT, a global arts conference focused on innovation in classical and contemporary music for Electric Messiah, a contemporary, “stripped down, surround sound electro-improv reimagining of Handel’s classic Messiah. Messiah for today’s Toronto”, is becoming a holiday tradition at Toronto’s iconic Drake Underground.
“This award aims to give international recognition to the people who are doing the most to push things forward with daring yet intelligent, effective and successful “out-of-the-box” thinking, planning and action.” – Jennifer Dautermann, Classical:NEXT Director
Soundstreams Upcoming Performance Schedule
The Music of Unsuk Chin
May 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm, Koerner Hall
Soundstreams is one of the world’s leading contemporary music companies, and the largest global presenter of new Canadian music. Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney and Executive Director Ben Dietschi are committed to showcasing the work of living and international composers with a focus on innovative thematic and experiential programming.
Soundstreams also serves a broad community of music lovers through free outreach and education programs including Salon 21, Emerging Composer Workshop, SoundWave, and SoundMakers. Salon 21 is a free monthly discovery series featuring performances, discussions, and audience participation; the Emerging Composer Workshop helps talented contemporary composers from around the world launch their careers; SoundWave provides accessible tickets to young adults; SoundMakers provides interactive learning experiences online and in the classroom.
Soundstreams acknowledges the support of: Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, TD Bank, BMO Financial Group, The Koerner Foundation, The Mary Margaret Webb Foundation, Metcalf Foundation, The RBC Emerging Artists Project, SOCAN Foundation, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Hal Jackman Foundation, The Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation, Ontario Arts Foundation, Classical 96.3 FM, The Gardiner Museum, Sovereign State, Harbord Bakery, and Steam Whistle Brewery.