Aurora borealis
for orchestra

Composition Date: 1995
Duration: 00:05:10
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 2 x Flute
  • 1 x Flute
  • 2 x Oboe
  • 2 x Clarinet
  • 2 x Bassoon
  • 2 x Horn
  • 2 x Trumpet
  • 1 x Timpani
  • 1 x Unspecified bowed strings
  • 1 x Chamber orch.
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Full orchestra
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Programme Note:
The following interview conducted by Dr. Jim Hayes was published in the “Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra Curtain Call 2008/2009 Season”:
Jim Hayes: When and why were you inspired to write Aurora Borealis?
Evelyn Stroobach: I composed Aurora Borealis when I was living in the United States and wanted to compose something that was distinctly Canadian. When we think of the German baroque, composers like J.S. Bach and Handel come to mind. When we think of the French Impressionists, we think of Debussy and Ravel. But what does it mean to be a 21st century Canadian composer? How are we different from other composers from other countries/eras? So, one thing that came to mind, which is a wonderfully Canadian phenomenon, is our Northern Lights.
J.H. What is the structure of the work?
E.S. In a review published in the Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music, Volume 13, No. 1, 2007, Dr. Margaret Lucia wrote: “Aurora Borealis…is a strong, well-crafted orchestral…fanfare and is very clearly Stroobach's signature work. Prominent timpani and brass are answered by violins in an antiphonal style. The middle section is somewhat reminiscent of Bartok's Game of Pairs (the second movement of his Concerto for Orchestra) in the angular, intervallic writing for bassoon and clarinet.”
J.H. What should the audience listen for in the performance?
E.S. Aurora Borealis is written in the tradition of a Franz Liszt tone poem - a one movement programmatic work. The rhythmic motive of the sixteenth note followed by the quarter note, which is heard throughout, conveys the majesty and awe one feels when viewing the Northern Lights. The more sparsely orchestrated middle section blends the different woodwinds together with the strings, to illustrate the beautiful colours of the Northern Lights. I also deliberately used the higher pitches in many of the instruments to represent the fact that the magnificent display of the Aurora Borealis is viewed high up in the heavens.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1100 S92au
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • September 29, 2006
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (52 p.) ; 28 cm.
    52 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 104
    18 parts ([104] p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Orchestra: 2222/2200/timp, strings
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Aurora borealis for orchestra: Score
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Aurora borealis for orchestra by Evelyn Stroobach (Score)
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