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Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Launches 2011/12 Season

 

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony announces
2011/12 season

KITCHENER – Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) Music Director Edwin Outwater announced the KWS’ 2011/12 Season at an event held at the symphony’s administrative home, the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, on February 23, 2011. The KWS season features top-tier soloists including pianists André Laplante, Nareh Arghamanyan, and Sara Davis Buechner; violinist Vadim Gluzman and guitarist Jason Vieaux; and guest conductors Tito Munoz, Julian Kuerti, John Morris Russell, and Ted Sperling. The KWS’ reputation for creative collaboration is reinforced during the 2011/12 season through Intersections projects with folk artist Basia Bulat, the Institute for Quantum Computing, and composer Nicole Lizée. Edwin Outwater’s engaging and “intrepid” (Feast of Music) programming for the 2011/12 season includes everything from a Mozart Festival to a co- commission with the Seattle Symphony by “brilliant young composer” Nico Muhly (Macleans). The KWS also welcomes back acclaimed Canadian ensembles like the Canadian Brass, Gryphon Trio, and Sultans of String. The KWS returns to the SONY Centre for several performances next season, and also introduces, by popular demand, a new Matinée Series which features the ‘Best of’ Signature and Pops concerts.

“This season will be nothing short of spectacular,” says KWS Music Director Edwin Outwater. “As our audience continues to grow, we are offering concerts that will keep them coming back. With memorable programs in all of our series, great soloists, Intersections concerts that journey into the Quantum Universe and beyond, the best Pops Series in KWS history, a beautiful Mozart festival, and a brand new Matinée Series, I'm very proud of what we have to offer in the 2011/2012 season.”    

Gala
The KWS opens its 2011/12 season on September 17, 2011 with the organization’s largest fundraising event of the year - a Gala concert featuring music and musicians close to Outwater’s heart: pianist Ian Parker – young, Canadian, and part of the Parker pianist dynasty that includes Jamie and Jon Kimura Parker – performs Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue; Canadian baritone Hugh Russell sings classic American songs, and the rising young violinist Tai Murray plays excerpts from Barber’s timeless Violin Concerto. As always, a sparkling after party at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts follows the performance.

Signature Series Highlights
The KWS’ Signature Series features world-class artists and showcases the excellence of the orchestra. Canadian virtuoso and “tour de force” (Globe and Mail) pianist André Laplante kicks off this series in September, performing Liszt’s first and second piano concertos back-to-back – an outstanding tribute to the composer’s bicentenary. After wowing the crowd in 2010 in his critically acclaimed Carmina Burana appearance, Hugh Russell returns for Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer in a concert that includes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. Violinist Vadim Gluzman, who balances “thoughtfulness and visceral power” (New York Times) joins the KWS in January for Brahms’ definitive Violin Concerto in a concert that includes Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5. Guitarist Jason Vieaux will perform Rodrigo’s famous Concierto de Aranjuez on a programme surrounded by Ravel’s Bolero and a brand new piece co-commissioned with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra by acclaimed young composer and KWS favourite Nico Muhly. The season’s Grand Finale features the KWS in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 led by Outwater. They are joined by one of Canada’s leading chamber music ensembles, the Gryphon Trio, in a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Guest Conductors
Recently appointed Music Director of l’Opéra national de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy, conductor Tito Munoz leads the orchestra in Stravinsky’s seminal Symphony in C, as well as Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Trumpet with KWS Principal Trumpet Larry Larson and Toronto-based pianist Peter Longworth. This concert will also be performed as a part of Barrie Concerts in March at Hi-Way Pentecostal Church – the KWS’ return to the series after more than 10 years. Canadian conductor Julian Kuerti, who recently concluded his tenure as Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony, will lead the KWS and multi-award-winning pianist Nareh Arghamanyan in Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto.

Pops Series Highlights
The Pops series in the 2011/12 season comprises a number of innovative and entertaining concerts, from JUNO-nominated and Canadian Folk Music Award-winning world music ensemble the Sultans of String to a Yuletide Spectacular featuring projections of Chris van Allsburg’s original illustrations and a performance of the score for The Polar Express. Both of these are led by KWS friend and recently-appointed Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, conductor John Morris Russell. World-famous national heroes the Canadian Brass join the KWS in October, and are followed by the KWS debut of Tony-award-winning director, conductor and arranger, Ted Sperling in a tribute to the best of Broadway from 1959 featuring an all-Canadian cast of singers. Other Pops concerts include a tribute to John Williams conducted by Michael Krajewski, and a concert of big band music past and present led by Hawaiian arranger, conductor and performer Matt Catingub.

Following invitations to perform at Toronto’s newly-refurbished SONY Centre this season with the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet, among others, the KWS returns to that venue next season for performances with the acclaimed Beatles tribute group, Classical Mystery Tour in February, and the National Chinese Acrobats in May. These programmes will also be performed as a part of the Pops series at Kitchener’s Centre In The Square. The KWS also co-presents special performances of Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY at the Sony Centre and Centre In The Square in February, 2012

Baroque and Beyond Series Highlights
The 2011/12 Baroque and Beyond Series, hosted in the superb acoustic and intimate atmosphere of three local churches, is built around a cycle of Haydn symphonies: the first a collection of bird-related music around La poule conducted by KWS concertmaster and series Artistic Director Stephen Sitarski; the second with Horn Signal conducted by Matthew Jones, Music Director of the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, who also appears as recorder soloist on the program; the third concert will be led by the Resident Conductor of Quebec’s globe-trotting Les Violons du Roy, Eric Paetkau, and includes two Haydn symphonies in addition to works by Purcell and Wagner. The series finishes with a showcase of classical composers’ musical jokes, from Mozart’s Ein musikalischer Spass to Haydn’s famous Farewell Symphony.

Intersections & Premieres
Through its genre-bending Intersections series, the KWS has become “well known for their support of young composers and new music.” (SSG Music) Composers and creators now seek out opportunities to collaborate with the orchestra, as did each of the collaborators in the 2011/12 series. The KWS is thrilled to present three new and exciting Intersections concerts next season: The Polaris Prize and JUNO nominated chamber folk artist Basia Bulat will work with Edwin Outwater to craft a concert that combines folk and classical music. Bulat will also be featured as a soloist in orchestral arrangements by orchestral pop master Owen Pallett. The second Intersections sees quantum computing collide with symphonic music when the new Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo joins Outwater and the KWS to explore the confluence of culture and science. Canadian composer Nicole Lizée, who recently composed a work for the Kronos Quartet, presents a brand new piece for the orchestra – called 2012, Concerto for Power Trio and based on the trio formation of the iconic Canadian band Rush – which will be featured in a Prog Rock Intersection.

The KWS will give the world premiere of a co-commission with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra by Nico Muhly, one of the “hottest young composers in North America” (CBC),  who curated an Intersections concert in 2009.  

Mozart Festival
The KWS dedicates a full weekend to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus during the Mozart Festival, April 20-22, 2012. In a program that includes Mozart’s Prague Symphony, featured soloists include pianist Sara Davis Buechner in the Piano Concerto No. 23 and KWS concertmaster Stephen Sitarski in the Violin Concerto No.1. The second half of the festival is a unique concert arranged in the style of 19th Century Vienna: Mozart’s Linz Symphony will bookend the evening, with two movements performed at the beginning of the concert and two movements at the end, surrounding excerpts from Concerto in C major of Flute & Harp with KWS harpist Lori Gemmell and principal flute Thomas Kay, Divertimento No. 2 in D major, and overtures to The Marriage of Figaro and Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto. The Grand Philharmonic Choir also joins the KWS in Ave Verum Corpus and choruses from The Magic Flute.  

New! Matinee Series
Due to popular demand, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony offers for the first time a Matinée Series at Centre In The Square. This series of six concerts includes the ‘Best Of’ the Signature and Pops concerts and take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 pm.

Education & Outreach
The KWS’ Kinderconcerts series, tailor-made for the five-and-under set, continue in the 2011/12 season with three shows at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts. The 2010/11 season saw the start of a new partnership with Music for Young Children that resulted in pre- and post- concert activities at both the Kinder and Family concerts; this community partnership continues in the new season, in addition to the pre-concert activities offered by the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery for the Family Series. This series, now in its third season and still growing, consists of three concerts “Around” – the World, Your House, and Your Neighbourhood. John Morris Russell will conduct the first of these concerts before handing over the baton to the soon-to-be-appointed new Assistant Conductor. This new position will also take over as conductor of the KWS Youth Orchestra one of the finest in the country, made up of five ensembles and a chamber music program, all mentored by KWS musicians.

Executive Director Genevieve Twomey expressed her excitement about the season, saying, “This season highlights the KWS at its very best across all series – great entertainment and great artists performing both familiar and new repertoire at an extremely high standard. There’s never been a better time to come to the symphony!”

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High-res photos for download:

Andre Laplante

André Laplante

Basia Bulat

Basia Bulat

Canadian Brass

Canadian Brass

Gryphon Trio

Gryphon Trio

Sultans of String

Sultans of Swing

Nareh Arghamanyan

Nareh Arghamanyan

Jason Vieaux

Jason Vieaux

Institute for Quantum Computing

Institute for
Quantum Computing

Julian Kuerti

Julian Kuerti

Nicole Lizee

Nicole Lizée

Vadim Gluzman

Vadim Gluzman

Sara Davis Buechner

Sara Davis Buechner