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Con spirito: Inside the SSO
October  2011
In This Issue
An Evening Out in Old-World Prague
Are you ready for some Dvořák?
Conductor: Ben Bolt-Martin
Coming: H.M.S. Pinafore
Fundraiser dinner

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An Evening Out in Old-World Prague

Saturday, October 15, 2011, 7:30 p.m.

Central United Church, Stratford


Conductor     Ben Bolt-Martin

Guest Reader (Dvořįk's letters)  Richard Fitzpatrick    


Antonin Dvořįk      Serenade for Winds op. 44                     

Josef Suk        Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale
                        'St.  Wenceslas' op. 35a          

Antonin Dvořįk     Serenade for Strings op. 22 

Are you ready for some Dvořįk?


Czech composer Antonin Dvořįk clearly impressed his nineteenth-century contemporaries, one of whom was Johannes Brahms. About the young (37) Dvořįk's Serenade for Winds, composed in 1878, Brahms wrote, "It would be difficult to discover a finer, more refreshing impression of really abundant and charming creative talent." The work is  rich with the spirit of Czech folk music, and a strong Mozart influence is evident as well. (Some of actor Richard Fitzpatrick's readings from Dvořįk's letters will reflect this influence.)   


About Dvořįk's Serenade for Strings, noted chamber music conductor Misha Rachlevsky said, "Just like delivering good news to someone has a positive rub-off effect on the messenger, performing Dvořįk's Serenade is really a very therapeutic endeavor for performers. There is so much 'pure goodness' in it." Both serenades suggest the gracious atmosphere of nineteenth-century chamber-music concerts in homes of the aristocracy.


Josef Suk was a student of Dvořįk and later became his son-in-law. His music shows the influence of both Dvořįk and Brahms. Suk wrote his Meditation on an Old Czech Hymn "St. Wenceslas" to "strengthen the hope in the return of power to the hands of the Czech people, after the storms of wrath are over."


Share the joy of the musicians as they perform thes Dvorak serenades and Suk meditation. Join us this Saturday evening, October 15, at 7:30 in Central United Church, Stratford.

Ben Bolt-Martin  

About the conductor: Ben Bolt-Martin

Ben Bolt-Martin is director of Instrumental Chamber Ensembles at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo. He is principal cello with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and plays with the Festival Quartet of Stratford. He is conductor of the Mississauga Youth Orchestras Concert Orchestra and the Stratford-Perth Youth Orchestra. He has recorded incidental music for numerous Stratford Festival stage productions, as well as the Shaw Festival, Grand Theatre (London, Ont.) and Walnut Theatre in Philadelphia.


Coming November 12

The Music of Gilbert and Sullivan:   

H.M.S. Pinafore in Concert

All the familiar tunes from Gilbert and Sullivan's first smash hit are in the lineup for this glittering concert, directed by longtime Stratford Festival music director Berthold Carričre. Most of the soloists are veterans of past G&S shows, and chorus members will be drawn from choirs across the Stratford community.


The cast includes Douglas Chamberlain (Sir Joseph Porter); Eileen Smith (Little Buttercup); Marion Adler (Cousin Hebe); David Dunbar (Captain Corcoran); Barbara Dunn-Prosser (Josephine); Brad Rudy (Dick Deadeye); Van Abraham (Ralph Rackstraw); Kelly Walker (boatswain).


The concert will take place at Central United Church, Stratford, at 7:30 p.m.. Saturday, Nov. 12.

SSO Annual General Meeting Oct. 30

The Annual General Meeting of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra will take place Sunday, October 30, at 5 p.m. at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Stratford. The church is at the corner of Douro and Downie streets.


The meeting is open to all persons who have an interest in the activities and plans of the orchestra.


The agenda:

1. Minutes of the 2010 AGM

2. Approval of the agenda

3. President's report

4. Treasurer's report

5. Report of the artistic advisory committee

6. Fundraising report

7. Questions from the floor

8. Proposed board for 2011-12

10. Approval of nominations.

11. Adjournment

Fundraiser dinner Oct. 29

The first in a series of SSO board-sponsored celebrity fundraiser dinners will be held Saturday, Oct. 29, at the dairy farm of David and Annemarie Murray. David is president of the SSO board of directors.


The seven-course dinner, limited to 14 people, will feature food harvested from the Murrays' and surrounding farms. Each ticket is $125 (with an $85 tax receipt) and includes wine and entertainment (well-known singer to be announced). The dinner begins at 6:30. The Murray farm is east of Mitchell.


For tickets and information, contact SSO board member Jean Hewitt (; 519-272-2726).

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George Pearson / Editor, Con Spirito