Thursday, May 8, 2014
Alexander Mickelthwate, music director
R. Murray Schafer: Symphony No. 1
Derek Charke: 13 Inuit Throat Song Games
Tanya Tagaq, Throat Singer
Vincent Ho: The Shaman: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra
Dame Evelyn Glennie, percussion
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Founded in 1873
Orchestra founded in 1948
The City of Winnipeg (Winnipeg has its origin in the Cree Indian name given to the lake 40 miles north, meaning “win,” muddy, and “nipee,” water), is located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, almost at the geographic center of North America. Winnipeg is 60 miles north of the boundary line between Canada and the U.S., almost midway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
When the city was incorporated there were 1,869 inhabitants and Winnipeg became the fastest growing city in North America. In 1878, steam railway connections from St. Paul, Minnesota, had reached a point just across the river from Winnipeg; and on July 1st, 1886, the first through railway train, which had left Montreal on June 28th, arrived in Winnipeg. The advent of railway connections introduced a steady stream of travel and trade as well as an influx of population that resulted in the building up of a city of standing and importance that is exceeded by only a few others in Canada. With an ethnically diverse population, Winnipeg has been characterized by slow but steady growth, is now the eighth largest city in Canada and dominates the Manitoba economy.
Today, Winnipeg is known as the “cultural capital of Canada” and has one of the most vibrant arts scenes in North America: two of the continent’s largest festival – the Winnipeg Fringe Festival and the Folk Festival; one of Canada’s oldest regional theaters (the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), and one of the oldest ballet companies in the country (Royal Winnipeg Ballet). Further, the WSO continues to serve as the musical foundation for the Manitoba Opera and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, bringing full symphonic resources to their productions.
The city continues to grow, with more than $2 billion of investment in new infrastructure and attractions, such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, designed by Antoine Predock; the Journey to Churchill polar bear exhibit at Assiniboine Park Zoo, and the return of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre.
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
With a rich and storied history, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO), currently in its 66th season, has many reasons to celebrate its considerable success: audience numbers are growing; financial results have been strong with six operating surpluses; Sistema Winnipeg is in its third season with 100 children from two inner-city schools; its diverse Education and Outreach programs reach out to more than 35,000 students; the orchestra has recently released three CDs in one season, and it continues to develop and nurture strong community and corporate partners to ensure that its legacy continues for generations to come.
While isolated in the middle of the Canadian Prairies, hundreds of miles from the nearest major United States city, the WSO exemplifies both pride and a constantly evolving sense of self. Self-preservation. Self-determination. Self-confidence. The WSO has many public programs that demonstrate its mission statement to provide exceptional musical experiences for Manitobans, while connecting with many different parts of the wider community to build a stronger organization.
The WSO premiered on December 16, 1948. It offered a five-concert subscription that was priced from $3.00-$8.00. Known today for its precedent-setting New Music Festival, now in its 23rd year, the WSO features new works from established and emerging composers from across the globe. Internationally recognized for innovative programming, the New Music Festival continues to challenge the boundaries of symphonic music. Since 1992, the Festival has presented more than 700 works by more than 300 composers, half of them Canadian and local. It has been the site of over 200 world premieres, including WSO Composer-in-Residence Vincent Ho’s The Shaman: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra (2011) which will be performed this evening. Visit the WSO at www.wso.ca
[READ MORE AT WIKIPEDIA]