Barry Shiffman, violin
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Aaron Schwebel, violin
Elissa Lee, violin
Hsin-Yun Huang, viola
Desmond Hoebig, cello
Emmanuelle Beaulieu-Bergeron, cello
Kelly Zimba, flute
Eric Abramovitz, clarinet
Philip Chiu, piano
Joel Quarrington, bass
Charles Settle, percussion
Cowell: Homage to Iran
Alexina Louie: [World Premiere]*
Sarasate: Introduction et Tarantelle, Op.43
Mendelssohn: Octet for Strings in E-flat major, Op. 20
*TSM Commission funded by the Ontario Arts Council
During the mid-1820s, the beautifully polished Octet and the magical overture to Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, heralded Mendelssohn’s graduation from prodigy to master. The Octet is true chamber music, not a symphony in disguise. Each of the eight parts is a separate and indispensable component of the whole. Its textures regularly display numerous imaginative and intricate combinations, without ever growing dense or heavy. It remained Mendelssohn’s own favourite among his youthful works.
The program also includes the world premiere performance of a piece commissioned from Alexina Louie. One of Canadaʼs most sought after composers, she has written for many of the countryʼs leading soloists, chamber ensembles, new music groups, and orchestras. Her works have become part of the standard repertoire, in particular her many compositions for piano, which are frequently performed by students and professionals alike.
Her orchestral works have received a multitude of international performances. Some of the world-class conductors who have performed Louie’s music include Sir Andrew Davis, Leonard Slatkin, Bramwell Tovey, Günther Herbig, Pinchas Zukerman, Kent Nagano, and Peter Oundjian. She has received numerous awards, including two JUNOs.