April 25, 2014 – Toronto, ON: ESPRIT ORCHESTRA - Canada’s leader in new orchestral music – returns to Koerner Hall on Sunday, May 25 with MYSTERIES. This concert, conducted by Founder and Music Director Alex Pauk, serves as both the finale of Esprit’s season as well as the final concert in a collaborative venture with the Royal Conservatory of Music, namely, the inaugural 21C Music Festival. The evening includes music by celebrated composers Louis Andriessen and Mark-Anthony Turnage, and the performance of newly commissioned works by Zosha Di Castri and Christopher Mayo - two young Canadian composers living and working abroad.
Born in Toronto in 1980 and currently living in London UK, Christopher Mayo is a composer of “poignant” and “persuasive” music (The Independent). His “attractive and intelligent compositional voice” (Musicworks Magazine) has brought him recognition not only in his native Canada, but also across Europe and the United States. In Mayo’s new work, Under Dark Water, combines Esprit with four outstanding singers, making possible a range of sonorities thus adding to the “mysteries” of the concert. Under Dark Water spotlights Soloists of the Elmer Iseler Singers - Gisele Kulak (soprano), Amy Dodington (mezzo-soprano), Andrea Ludwig (mezzo-soprano) and Laura McAlpine (alto).
A young and gifted Canadian composer of international importance, Zosha Di Castri was born in Calgary. She grew up in St. Albert, Alberta before moving to Montreal to complete her Bachelor of Music at McGill University; she is currently living in New York to pursue a doctorate at Columbia University. Zosha Di Castri was the recipient of the 2012 Jules-Léger Prize for new Chamber Music. Esprit is proud to spotlight Di Castri, following her appointment as inaugural New Voices composer with the San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony, and to perform her new orchestral work, entitled Serafiniana.
Esprit celebrates Louis Andriessen (who is soon turning 75), one of Europe's most eminent and influential composers, with the performance of his newest orchestral work, Mysteriën - written for the 125th Anniversary Concert of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in November 2013. "Mysteriën is flawless, mature Andriessen... ", wrote De Volkskrant. The piece profoundly reflects on the human condition, truth, love, death and our place in the cosmos. "Andriessen’s first orchestral work in 45 years is an impressive, extremely personal and complex work with numerous layers and meanings, a veritable sampling of the 74-year-old composer's musical toolbox." - NRC Handelsblad
A composer of truly international stature, Mark-Anthony Turnage is among the most relevant communicators and creators of today. His third opera, Anna Nicole, was premiered at Covent Garden in 2011 with six sold-out houses and broadcasts on television and radio. Out of Black Dust, a jazzy piece with energetic rhythms and restless meters, is inspired by Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog and uses that song’s wailing, ecstatic, twisted qualities with the same hard-driving blues element loved by British rockers.
Esprit’s 2013/14 season is sponsored by BMO Financial Group.
Commission Sponsor: The Koerner Foundation.