Sinfonia Toronto Announces China Tour

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Toronto – Sinfonia Toronto announced detailed plans for its upcoming tour of China. Music Director Nurhan Arman and the orchestra will perform ten concerts in China from September 18 to October 7, 2019.  The tour is the orchestra’s fifth international tour. The orchestra has toured in Germany (2008), Spain (2010), the US (2015) and South America (2018 – Peru, Argentina and Uruguay).

Sinfonia Toronto will perform on the main concert series in each of ten cities. The first concert will take place on September 20 in Taiyuan. From there the orchestra will continue to Baotou, Erdos, Foshan, Shenzhen, Yangzhou, Jinan, Handan, Harbin and a final tour concert in Changchun. Concertmaster Xiaohan Guo will be featured as soloist in one of the most famous works of the Chinese repertoire, the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto.

Sinfonia Toronto’s China tour is supported by a grant from the Canada Council’s International Touring program.

The orchestra’s tour program will celebrate both Western and Chinese traditions. Maestro Arman has selected music by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Canadian composer Chan Ka Nin to combine with the Butterfly Lover’s Violin Concerto and chamber orchestra arrangements of Dance of Yao and Good News from Beijing to Bianzhai created especially for the tour.

While announcing the tour, Maestro Nurhan Arman noted, “Touring is a very important part of an orchestra’s life.  We love playing to our audiences in Toronto  and around Ontario, but it is also important for us to represent Toronto and Canadian music and Canadian talent in the wider world, as we will in China. We have chosen programming that will show off the skills and versatility of our musicians and display Canadian creativity.”

Sinfonia Toronto’s first 2019-2020 season concert in Toronto will open its 21st season. The teenage Austrian violin virtuoso Elisso Gogibedashvili will join Maestro Arman and Sinfonia Toronto for the PAGANINI & DVORAK concert in George Weston Recital Hall.  Details of the concert can be found at sinfoniatoronto.com

Concerts
Friday, Sept 20  Taiyuan City – Taiyuan Youth Performing Arts Center
Saturday, Sept. 21  Baotou – Baotou Grand Theater S
Sunday, Sept. 22  Erdos – Erdos Grand Theater
Tuesday, Sept. 25  Foshan – Foshan Nanhai Theater
Wednesday, Sept 26  Shenzhen – Shenzhen Longgang Culture Center
Saturday, Sept. 29  Jinan – Dezhou Qihe Theater
Sunday, Sept. 30  Handan
Tuesday, Oct. 2  Harbin
Wednesday, Oct. 3  Changchun – Changchun International Conference Center

China Tour Program
SINFONIA TORONTO / NURHAN ARMAN, Conductor
XIAOHAN GUO, Violinist
MOZART Salzburg Symphony K 138
KA NIN CHAN Salt and Vinegar
HE ZHANHAO & CHEN GANG Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade
YUAN MAO Dance of Yao
ZHENG YU & MA HONG-YEH Good News from Beijing Reaches the Frontier

MATCHING-GIFT OPPORTUNITY
Please join us in supporting this historic tour. Help us to blow Canada’s horn (we don’t have horns but we’ll do a great job). Donate at our secure CanadaHelps page by choosing the China Tour fund. Click here to donate now or contact Margaret Chasins, Director of Operations [email protected]sinfoniatoronto.com 416.499.0403

ABOUT SINFONIA TORONTO
Acclaimed as “A World-Class Orchestra” (review headline, Russelsheimer Echo, Germany), Sinfonia Toronto is one of Canada’s finest chamber orchestras. Now entering its nineteenth season, the orchestra performs its Masterpiece Series downtown at Glenn Gould Studio and in North York at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.  Sinfonia Toronto inspires Toronto students each year with its interactive ‘Concerts under Construction’ program, focused on presenting in high-needs schools.

Sinfonia Toronto consists of thirteen virtuoso strings. They perform standing, in the tradition of great European chamber orchestras, blending each musician’s soloistic energy and passion into a brilliant ensemble style under Nurhan Arman’s inspired direction.

The orchestra’s repertoire includes all the major compositions for string orchestra from the Baroque through classical, romantic and 20th-Century works. Sinfonia Toronto has premiered many new works, and has been praised by the Canada Council for its commitment to performing music by Canadian composers.

Sinfonia Toronto’s CD of music by Mendelssohn, Khachaturian and Shostakovich is broadcast frequently on Classical 96.3 and other classical stations. Their world premiere of the rediscovered Bach aria ‘Alles Mit Gott’ is available on iTunes. Flanders Fields Reflections, their Marquis Classics CD of music by John Burge, won the 2009 JUNO for Best Recording of a New Classical Work. Two additional CD’s, Hollywood Flute and Premieres (featuring Toronto violinist Conrad Chow) were both recorded by the California label Cambria and are distributed by Naxos.

Sinfonia Toronto has concertized throughout Ontario. It has performed on the Barrie Concert Series every season since 2001, and was the annual Orchestra in Residence for Barrie’s Colours of Music Festival until the festival ceased operations. It has played on regional concert association series in Brockville, Gravenhurst, Lindsay, Peterborough, Port Hope, Sarnia and Welland-Port Colbourne and at Queens University, and is the only ensemble of any kind ever to be offered a regular annual engagement on the Algoma Conservatory Concert Series in Sault Ste-Marie. The orchestra has also performed in Montreal’s Place des Arts and returned to Montreal in October 2017.

The orchestra has been active in international touring. In April 2015 Sinfonia Toronto made its first trip to the US. The orchestra’s 2008 tour in Germany generated review headlines such as ‘’Sinfonia Toronto Inspires,’’ and ‘’Sinfonia Toronto Thrilled the Audience,’’ and their two-week tour of Spain in 2010 was greeted with calls for encores at each performance, including a record-setting four encores in Barcelona. In April 2018 it toured in Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay, where every performance received standing ovations, demands for multiple encores, requests to return and reviews such as one in the Buenos Aires Musical Tribune that hailed the orchestra’s Mozart Divertimento and the famous Dvorak Serenade as “definitive performances.”

Sinfonia Toronto is supported by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

ABOUT XIAOHAN GUO, VIOLINIST
Born in Shenyang, China, Xiaohan Guo began her  violin studies at the age of six, winning many awards in youth competitions, and entering the Shenyang Conservatory at the age of 13. In 1998 she enrolled in the Shanghai Conservatory, majoring in violin. She received first prize in the 2001 Mozart Violin Concerto Competition, resulting in an invitation to perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 with the Shanghai Youth Symphony. Upon graduation she joined the Shanghai Broadcast Symphony Orchestra. Since moving to Canada in 2004, Xiaohan has completed her Master’s and Doctorate at l’Université de Montreal, joined Sinfonia Toronto, appeared as soloist with Sinfonia Toronto, I Musici di Montreal and Montreal’s Orchestre Nouvelle Gènération, and returns to China regularly for concert tours.

ABOUT NURHAN ARMAN
Distinguished Canadian-Armenian conductor Nurhan Arman has appeared to critical acclaim in twenty-four countries, including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Ukraine and throughout the US and Canada.

In recent seasons Maestro Arman has guest-conducted the Witold Lutoslawski Chamber Philharmonic (Poland), Kammerorchester Arpeggione (Austria), Orchester der Nordharzer (Germany), Orquestra Clássica da Madeira and directed several tours with I Pomeriggi Musicali Milano (Italy).  Among many other orchestras he has conducted are the Moscow Philharmonic, State Hermitage Orchestra St. Petersburg, Belgrade Philharmonic, Deutsches Kammerorchester, Orchestre Regional d’Ile de France, Florence Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra da Camera Milano Classica, Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, Hungarian Philharmonic, Lithuanian Philharmonic, Filarmonica Moldova, Pilsen Radio Symphony, Bucharest Philharmonic and in Canada the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, RCM Orchestra and Saskatoon Symphony.

Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have been unanimous in their praise. Pravda hailed Maestro Arman as a “fascinating and striking musical personality,” while the Broadcast Review in Prague reported “a spirited and nobly rounded performance.”

Born to Armenian parents in Istanbul, he played his first violin recital at the age of 13. After arriving in the United States on a Disney Foundation scholarship, he concertized from coast to coast, appearing in major US cities as well as at prestigious music festivals in Tanglewood, Spoleto, New York and Florida. After several seasons of leading US orchestras as concertmaster, he began a conducting career that has taken him all over the world.

In 1982 Nurhan Arman moved to Canada to accept the post of Music Director of the North Bay Symphony and the Northern Music Festival. In 1987 he was named Music Director of Symphony New Brunswick which he swiftly built into a major regional resource. In March of 1993 Maestro Arman was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Yerevan Symphony in Armenia. In 1998 Maestro Arman founded Sinfonia Toronto, now considered one of Canada’s finest chamber orchestras.

Maestro Arman records regularly for CBC Radio. Internationally, he has recorded for First Edition Records, Educo Records, Radio Moscow, Polish Broadcasting, Czech Radio, KBS of Korea, TRT of Turkey, Lithuanian TV, Slovenian Radio and TV, Armenian Radio and TV, and PBS in the US.

Maestro Arman has served as an adjudicator on many prominent panels, including the International Fitelberg Conducting Competition in Poland, the Canada Council Conducting Competition and the Heinz Unger Competition. He has taught conducting at New York’s Brockport Festival, at the Florida Festival, and in Canada at his own Northern Music Festival as well as the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Among the major artists with whom Nurhan Arman has collaborated are André Laplante, Alexander Ghindin, Maria Kliegel, Measha Bruegergosman, Anton Kuerti, Janina Fialkowska, Corey Cerovsek, Lara St. John, Rivka Golani, Yuli Turovsky, Andrea Bacchetti, Aline Kutan and many others.

In 2019-20 season Maestro Arman continues with Sinfonia Toronto in Canada and leads the orchestra’s China tour. His upcoming guest conducting engagements include Italy’s San Remo Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Soloists in London, England.  —

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