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Sunday, March 7, 2010

NEXUS percussion group presents World and Canadian premieres at Glenn Gould Studio

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Tickets Now on Sale!

For Immediate Release
February 17, 2010

Toronto, Ont... Canada’s percussion group NEXUS presents Tribute, a mixed program on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at Glenn Gould Studio. It includes the world premiere of R.E.member-ing by NEXUS founding member William Cahn, and the Canadian premiere of Handmade Proverbs by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.

The concert also includes performances of John Cage’s Credo in US, additional pieces by Takemitsu, as well as Remembrance and Lullaby for Esmé by NEXUS founding member Robin Engelman. The group will be joined by guest artists, pianist Midori Koga and percussionists Paul Ormandy and Ryan Scott.

The programming for Tribute was inspired by the recent retirement of NEXUS founding member Robin Engelman, due to on-going vision difficulties. During his time with NEXUS Engelman introduced the group to John Cage’s Credo in US and conducted it a number of times. He was a close friend of Toru Takemitsu from the time they met when Engelman was principal percussion in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, under Seiji Ozawa. Takemitsu invited NEXUS to tour in Japan several times, and composed their most successful concerto From me flows what you call Time. NEXUS performed the piece more than 80 times with orchestras all around the world. It will be Engelman’s arrangements of the pieces by Takemitsu that will be performed in this concert.

The opening piece Ancient Military Aires is a collection of traditional military drum beatings. The performance of this is also a tribute to Engelman as the composer and percussionist has a great interest and expertise in this historical area. He has also composed many pieces in this style (for fife and drums). He brought a great zeal to NEXUS for learning more about the tradition from which NEXUS’ instruments and techniques originate.

Robin Engelman’s arrangements of songs by Takemitsu may be heard on NEXUS’ most recent CD Wings. His piece Lullaby for Esmé is featured on the NEXUS CD Lullaby, and Remembrance is included on the NEXUS CD NEXUS Now. John Cage’s Credo in US will appear on NEXUS’ upcoming CD featuring percussion works of John Cage.

Guest Artists

Midori Koga has been a featured soloist, chamber musician and accompanist in music festivals throughout the world. She is a prize winner in several national competitions. An advocate of 20th century music, she commissions, performs and records with new music ensemble QUORUM. As a lecturer she has presented at several pedagogy conferences. She is currently an Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.

Paul Ormandy is a multi-faceted percussionist, workshop leader and facilitator with boom, a communications organization that delivers team building and performance management services to corporations. He is also Professor of Cuban Music at York University, Visiting Artist in Percussion at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and is also affiliated with The Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto. His musical experience as a percussionist includes performing in the Canadian productions of the musicals The Lion King, The Producers and The Lord of the Rings.

Ryan Scott is an acclaimed marimba and multi-percussion soloist who has performed extensively in North America, Europe, Japan, Indonesia and Africa. He is affiliated with a number of Canadian orchestras, including: the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, the Bob Becker Ensemble, and many others. He has collaborated numerous times with violist Rivka Golani, and has been a guest artist with NEXUS on several occasions. He has recorded with several Canadian record labels. During his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Toronto he had the opportunity to study with NEXUS co-founders Russell Hartenberger and Robin Engelman.


Founded in 1971, Canadian percussion group NEXUS has been at the forefront of Canadian chamber music for over three decades. NEXUS is known for the innovation and diversity of their programs, an impressive history of collaborations and commissions, their revival of 1920s novelty ragtime xylophone music, and their influential improvisatory ideas. The group has toured in both Canada and the U.S., as well as to Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Brazil, Scandinavia and Europe. They were the first Western percussion group to perform in the People’s Republic of China.

NEXUS percussion group performs Tribute on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West. General admission tickets are $10 for students, $20 for seniors and $40 for adults. They can be purchased in advance through Roy Thomson Hall’s box office, online at or by phone by calling 416-872-4255.

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