LSM Newswire

Monday, February 25, 2013

Conductor/Composer Charles Cozens Makes Cuban Debut



Canada’s award-winning conductor/composer/arranger Charles Cozens is set to make his Cuban conducting debut this April.  He will be the first Canadian invited to conduct a Cuban symphony orchestra in at least 20 years.

As its first Canadian guest-conductor, he will appear with the 65-piece Villa Clara Symphony Orchestra in the provincial capital, Santa Clara, on April 10.  In a program titled La Danza (The Dance), he conducts Chabrier’s España, the FauréPavane, Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, and excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen.  The program includes two of his own compositions – Les Petites Danses Démoniques, with the orchestra’s principal clarinet as soloist, and Czardahora, for violin soloist and orchestra.  In addition, Cozens has scored a tapestry of Astor Piazzolla compositions for violin and orchestra, entitled Homage a Piazzolla. The orchestra’s concertmaster is featured as violin soloist for both Czardahoraand Homage a Piazzolla.

Cozens has sent the scores to the Canadian Embassy in Havana to print out for the orchestra as a goodwill gesture. He joins a number of other high-profile Canadian musicians in helping Cuban musicians.

Labeled “one of Canada’s premier arrangers” by the Canadian Press, Charles T. Cozens has a busy schedule on many fronts. 

On his return from Cuba, he will share the podium with Kerry Stratton when Stratton’s Grand Salon Orchestra performs April 26 in the Milton, Ontario, Town Hall, with tenor Michael Ciufo as guest artist. 

On September 28, Cozens conducts the Regina Symphony Orchestra in the first of two guest appearances in the 2013-14 season. The first concert, Broadway Today, features singers Gisele Fredette, Helena Janik and Steven Patterson.  May 3, 2014, sees him conducting I Am Andrea Menard with multi-talented Métis actor, singer/songwriter and screenwriter Andrea Menard and the RSO.  Cozens has created six orchestrations for Menard through a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.  His most recent concerts with the RSO were in November 2012, when Belgian violin virtuoso Michael Guttman premiered Cozen’s Czardahora and Celtic Fantasy; and January 2013, when the Canadian Brass were featured guests. 

As a composer, Cozens has been commissioned by the Orpheus Choir and conductor Robert Cooper to write Three Latin Dances for accordion, choir, bass and percussion in celebration of the Choir’s 50th Anniversary Gala, March 1, 2014.  He is also creating arrangements and orchestrations for soprano Zorana Sadiq, with himself performing at the piano, and Joseph Macerollo on accordion.

He will conduct the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in the premiere of arrangements and orchestrations he is creating for the Orchestra and Canadian singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega, February 7-9, 2014.

Twist, Cozens’ newly reconstituted classical/jazz chamber group (violin, clarinet, bass and himself at the piano), performs May 4, 2014 at the Newmarket Festival.

Charles Cozens was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for Canadian Music Competitions (CMC Toronto).  As well, he is currently working on a detailed book to share his substantial knowledge on the art of arranging and orchestration.

In September 2012, he served as conductor, music director and arranger for the 25th and final presentation of Fashion Cares, with such stars as Sir Elton John and Grammy Award-winning singer Janelle Monáe.  Among other pieces, he arranged and orchestrated a medley of Canadian award-winning songs, featuring some of Canada’s greatest recordingartists in a stunning performance.

Since winning won the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s 1986 National Arrangers Workshop Competition, Cozens has had his orchestral arrangements performed consistently to critical acclaim by major orchestras in North America and Europe.  He has been continuously recognized with numerous awards and nominations. Widely prolific, he has over 90 CDs to his credit as conductor, composer, arranger, pianist and producer, for such prestigious recording labels as Universal, Sony, CBC SM 5000, and Jazz Inspiration.  More information is available at



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