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Victoria Symphony launches New Music Festival 2012

Victoria Symphony launches New Music Festival 2012

March 21, 2012
British Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Victoria, January 18, 2012: The Victoria Symphony launches its 2012 new music festival with an eclectic mix of diverse ensembles. Featuring the music of renowned British composer Gavin Bryars (who will be in attendance through the festival), these concerts promise to enlighten the most discerning music lover. From Bryars’ early iconic works The Sinking of the Titanic and Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, to his current works for opera, dance and stage, he remains an internationally respected and influential composer.

The Victoria Symphony is also proud to present two of Canada’s finest proponents of contemporary music; Montreal’s Ensemble Sixtrum and Victoria’s own Aventa Ensemble, as well as the young professionals and future advocates of new music from the University of Victoria’s SONIC LAB. Concerts run from Feb. 1 – 4 and take place at both the Phillip T Young Recital Hall (University of Victoria, MacLaurin Building) and Alix Goolden Performance Hall in Victoria, BC.

The festival kicks off on Wednesday Feb. 1st with Montreal’s spectacular Ensemble Sixtrum. The six percussionists will perform major works from composers John Cage, Claude Vivier and Iannis Xenakis. Their program includes new orchestrations of works by Canadian composer Claude Vivier, as well as classics of modern percussion repertoire, including Third Construction by John Cage and Pleiades by Iannis Xenakis.

On Thursday Feb. 2nd the University of Victoria’s SONIC LAB under the direction of Ajtony Csaba and Christopher Butterfield perform an evening of new music including Gavin Bryars’ iconic work from 1971, Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet. This work features an unknown homeless man singing a brief line of music, which gradually evolves through Bryars’ orchestral accompaniment. The work is a tribute to the homeless man’s nobility and simple faith. “Although he died before he could hear what I had done with his singing, the piece remains as an eloquent, but understated testimony to his spirit and optimism." – Gavin Bryars

With a reputation for superb performance and ambitious programming, Aventa has established itself as one of Canada’s leading contemporary music ensembles. On Friday, Feb. 3rd Aventa presents the music of Gavin Bryars alongside Canada’s Tony Genge and England’s Thomas Adès. Having long been a champion of Bryars’ work, Aventa recently recorded The Sinking of the Titanic at the Banff Centre and will present the premiere his newly commissioned opera Marilyn, Forever in January 2013. For this performance, Aventa welcomes guest artists Benjamin Butterfield, Anne Grimm and Gavin Bryars (double bass) in the composer’s Eight Irish Madrigals.

On Saturday, Feb. 4th the festival comes to a close with Bryars’ classic work from 1969, The Sinking of the Titanic. Under the direction of Victoria Symphony Music Director Tania Miller, this performance marks the 100th year anniversary of the tragedy. The concert also features Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s If Bach had been a bee-keeper, Bryars’ The Porazzi Fragment (for 21 solo strings) and Michael Oesterle’s Territio Verbalis with solo trumpet virtuoso Louis Ranger.
"... The music of Gavin Bryars falls under no category. It is mongrel, full of sensuality and wit and is deeply moving. He allows you to witness new wonders in the sounds around you by approaching them from a completely new angle. With a third ear maybe. . ." - Michael Ondaatje

Wednesday, February 1, 8 pm (Pre-concert talk 7:15pm)
Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (UVic School of Music) Admission $15/10
Sixtrum – ensemble à percussion
Claude Vivier, Aikea
John Cage, Third Construction
Claude Vivier, Pulau Dewata
Iannis Xenakis, Peaux

Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet
Thursday, February 2, 8 pm (Pre-concert talk 7:15pm)
Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (UVic School of Music) Free admission
Sonic Lab and Guests (University of Victoria New Music Ensemble)
Ajtony Csaba, Christopher Butterfield, conductors
Gavin Bryars, At Portage and Main
Gavin Bryars, Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet
Soundpainting under the direction of Ajtony Csaba

Living Toys
Friday, February 3, 8 pm (Pre-concert talk 7:15pm)
Alix Goolden Performance Hall Admission $15/10
Living Toys – Aventa Ensemble
Bill Linwood, conductor / Anne Grimm, soprano / Benjamin Butterfield, tenor
Anthony Genge, The Human Condition
Gavin Bryars, Eight Irish Madrigals
Thomas Adès, Living Toys

The Sinking of the Titanic
Saturday, February 4, 8 pm (Pre-concert talk 7:15pm)
Alix Goolden Performance Hall Admission $15/10
Victoria Symphony, Tania Miller, conductor / Louis Ranger, trumpet
Arvo Pärt, If Bach Had Been a Beekeeper
Gavin Bryars, The Porazzi Fragment
Michael Oesterle, Territio Verbalis
Gavin Bryars, The Sinking of the Titanic

See three shows for the price of two!
Call the VS box office to purchase a Festival Pass, valid for concerts on
February 1, 3, and 4. Passes are $30 for adults and $20 for seniors/students. 250.385.6515

Bethany Wilson, Director of Marketing & Sales
(250) 385-9771 ext. 233