LSM Newswire

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gryphon Trio Premieres Two New Commissions

Wave by Gary Kulesha – Inaugural Esther Gelber Fund Commission
Berliner Konzert by Paul Frehner – Commemorates the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall

Toronto, ON (October 19, 2009)…In November, Toronto’s Gryphon Trio will continue its practice of championing contemporary Canadian composers and their works when it premieres two new commissions: Wave by Gary Kulesha and Paul Frehner’s Berliner Konzert.

Wave is a 21-minute chamber symphony for soprano, violin, cello and piano by composer Gary Kulesha, based on excerpts from Virginia Woolf’s 1931 novel The Waves which follows six main characters from birth to death through a series of interior monologues. Kulesha’s chamber symphony focuses on Susan, a character for whom Woolf wrote the most astonishingly beautiful language of her career. A Gryphon Trio commission made possible through the Esther Gelber Fund, Wave will have its world premiere on Thursday, November 5th when Music TORONTO presents the Gryphon Trio with soprano Valdine Anderson in the Jane Mallett Theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (227 Front Street East).

The Esther Gelber Fund was created by sisters Nance Gelber, Patty Rubin, Judith Gelber and Sara Charney in honour of their late mother, Esther Gelber, a well-known Toronto arts supporter and philanthropist. The fund provides performers with the opportunity to select and commission a composer of their choice for a debut performance. Established in 2007, the fund is administered by the Canadian Music Centre. The CMC is Canada’s primary resource for more than 700 Canadian composers’ scores and recordings. With a mandate to actively promote its 21,000 works catalogue, the centre distributes the music within Canada and around the world. The Gryphon Trio’s commission of Gary Kulesha’s Wave is the first to be awarded and premiered through the fund.

Esther Gelber and her husband Arthur Gelber were both passionate about the visual arts, music, theatre and dance and became very active in the Toronto cultural scene with a number of organizations including COMUS Music Theatre of Canada, the National Ballet, and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

“Our mother was a major supporter of new initiatives, and wanted artists to have the chance to create and perform new work,” said Patty Rubin, the second daughter of Esther Gelber. “Torontonians are very generous in their support of the arts, and this has been particularly evident in the many ‘bricks and mortar’ campaigns that are transforming the face of the city. Through the fund, my sisters and I hope to raise awareness that commissioning work is another great option for people who are interested in supporting the arts.”

“The Trio’s production of Constantinople presented an opportunity for us to invite supporters and fans to get behind an initiative that we were very passionate about and help us get it to the finish line,” said cellist Roman Borys. “Since then we’ve had numerous commissions and touring projects funded by individuals from Canada and abroad. Funding the creation of a new piece of chamber music and gaining insight into the creative process is very rewarding; however the greatest satisfaction comes from witnessing the work’s evolution from performance to performance. We bring these pieces to life and share them with audiences everywhere we go.”

Later in November Gryphon Trio and Germany’s Württemberg Chamber Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Berliner Konzert by Canadian composer Paul Frehner to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A co-commission with Soundstreams Canada, the work will be presented as part of their 2009-2010 season on November 24th at Jane Mallett Theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Following the world premiere, Gryphon Trio and Württemberg Chamber Orchestra will perform Frehner’s piece at Dominion Chalmers Church (www.chamberfest.com) in Ottawa (November 27).

Tickets to Music TORONTO presents the Gryphon Trio with soprano Valdine Anderson on Thursday, November 5th at 8 p.m. and Soundstreams Canada’s Berliner Koncert on Tuesday, November 24th at 8 p.m. are available through the St. Lawrence Centre Box Office by calling 416-366-7723, 1-800-708-6754 or on-line at www.stlc.com.

Gryphon Trio, founded in 1993 by violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon, cellist Roman Borys and pianist Jamie Parker, is one of Canada’s pre-eminent ensembles. Based in Toronto, Gryphon Trio tours extensively throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, and has released 10 CDs on the Analekta label including the Juno award-winning Canadian Premieres, which features the work of leading Canadian composers. Gryphon Trio is strongly committed to expanding the piano trio repertoire and has commissioned and premiered over 50 works. Dedicated to pushing the boundaries of chamber music, the Trio has collaborated on numerous special projects including Christos Hatzis’ Constantinople, a groundbreaking multimedia production which was performed in Canada, the United States, and at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden in 2006. Between 2007-2009, Gryphon Trio served as interim Artistic Directors of the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. Permanent appointments were made in August 2009, with cellist Roman Borys serving as Artistic Director with Patipatanakoon and Parker acting as Artistic Advisors. The Trio members continue teaching and nurturing future generations of classical musicians and audiences, all three are Artists-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where Dr. Parker is the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance and violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon is an Assistant Professor.

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