Harry Somers Forum

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Event Title: Harry Somers Forum
  • Region: Ontario
  • Venue / Location: University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus
  • Time: 2:00pm
  • Price: $Free
  • Genre: --
  • External Link: www.stratfordsummermusic.ca

Harry Somers Forum

Annually, since Stratford Summer Music's inaugural season in 2001, the Harry Somers Forum has honoured its namesake by presenting a composition by Dr. Somers and by examining a topic of interest significant to the arts in the 21st century.

For 2014 the focus will be on how the world's second-oldest musical format - percusssion - has returned to the attention of composers and musicians. For centuries, with the exception of the keyboard, which most people still do not realise is a percussion instrument where the player literally strikes the keys just as drummers strike their drums, everyone forgot about music uniquely set for percussion instruments. Today, however, an interest and a specialty for percussion has returned strongly. The challenges and pleasures of composing for such a variety of instruments will thus be the subject of this year's Harry Somers Forum.

Under the direction of the distinguished Canadian broadcaster/composer/musician/producer/comentator, David Jaeger, a panel of percussionists and percussion composers will discuss where, and how, contemporary repertoire is coming alive for their particular musical genre. Panelists will include the musicians of TorQ, who are in residency at Stratford Summer Music, and the visiting European percussionist/composer, Nebojsa Zivkovic.

Harry Somers C.C. (1925-1999) was the composer of Canada’s greatest musical achievement, the opera Louis Riel, and the first Canadian composer to receive the highest level, Companion, in The Order of Canada in 1971. In addition to his scores for traditional musical performances and his chamber operas, Somers wrote music for theatre, ballet, film and tv productions. He was also a prolific broadcaster, author and advocate for Canadians to support the arts and artists of this country.

David Jaeger, CBC Radio 2 producer Two New Hours. David's commitment to new music has made available to radio audiences a full spectrum of music from around the world, with a special emphasis on Canadian music and performers. Jaeger has encouraged a generation of composers and musicians, aiding in the birth of a number of ensembles and festivals dedicated to this repertoire.