Abigail Richardson-Schulte: The Corner House (Premiere, TSM Commission funded by the Ontario Arts Council)
Jonathan Crow*, Katya Poplyansky, Damon Taheri, Francesca McNeeley
Fauré: Piano Quintet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 89
Andrew Wan*, Julia Mirzoev, Cassia Drake, Timothy Paek, Ana Manastireanu
Mendelssohn: Octet in E flat Major, Op. 20
Brian Manker*, Samuel Park, Steve Sang Koh, Sarah Yang, Heng-Han Hou, Maxime Despax, Julia Swain, John Belk
*TSM Academy Artist Mentor
On July 28th 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, an event that would be the catalyst for the international conflict of WWI. 104 years later, we reflect on the impact of this conflict through the lens of Canadian composer, Sir Ernest MacMillan, and his wartime experience as a prisoner at the Ruhleben camp in Germany. At this camp, MacMillan was a member of an arts club known as the Corner House, and Canadian composer Abigail Richardson-Schulte has written a quartet based on his time there. The piece starts with MacMillan’s rather positive and inspiring artistic experience in Germany right before and as war broke out (movement 1). This movement is inspired by Wagner (as MacMillan was at the Bayreuth Festival) and MacMillan’s own string quartet which he was writing at the time. From there, the work follows his unusual circumstances of being tried, jailed and sent to solitary confinement (movement 2) for being an enemy alien. Then, we follow him to the Ruhleben camp (movement 3) with over 4000 men of English, American, Australian, and Canadian descent who just happened to be in Germany when war broke out and were sent to this camp for the duration of the war. Even though circumstances were difficult, the men made the best of their lives and mounted tremendous musical productions among other endeavours. MacMillan even earned his Doctorate from the University of Oxford while in the camp. This is a unique opportunity to hear the world premiere of this work, and it will be complemented by a performance of Faure’s mystic Piano Quintet before ending with Mendelssohn’s triumphant Octet.
Learn more about the 2018 Academy Fellows here.