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Con spirito: Inside the SSO

February/March  2012
In This Issue
Ronald Royer to conduct season finale
Season Eight launch in April
Getting to know the SSO: Jack Winn

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Ronald Royer

THE OTHER FIFTH: Ronald Royer   

to conduct Season Seven finale  

The Stratford Symphony Orchestra will conclude its seventh season Saturday, May 5, with Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 and his Cossack Dance, as well as a composition by Ronald Royer, who will conduct the concert. 

Mr. Royer has composed for such notables as cellist Shauna Rolston, the Gryphon Trio, St. Lawrence Quartet, and French flutist and conductor Patrick Gallois. His music has been  
Kaye Royer
performed by more than 50 orchestras around the world. In the May 5 SSO concert he will conduct his composition Echoes for Clarinet and Orchestra, featuring his wife, SSO principal clarinetist Kaye Royer. 


Tchaikovsky's Fifth, first performed in 1888, is one of his most popular works. Cossack Dance is from the opera Mazeppa and features some of Tchaikovsky's most vigorous and spirited music. 


The concert will be held at Central United Church, 194 Avondale Avenue, Stratford, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 5. Tickets ($35) are available online  and at Fanfare Books and Anything Grows (Stratford), Stewart Books (St. Marys) and Music (Sebringville).
Berthold Carriére

Gala Season Eight launch planned;

Bert Carriére named music director  

The Stratford Symphony Orchestra is planning a gala launch party to reveal its sparkling new Season Eight. Details for the  event will be released in the April issue of Con Spirito.


Longtime Stratford Festival music director Berthold Carriére will lead the SSO into the new season as music director and will conduct
the inaugural concert September 21 during the  

Barbara Young
opening of Savour Stratford. He will share the podium with Barbara Young, who worked hand-in-hand with him at the Festival for 13 years. Barbara will now be the orchestra's associate music director.


The orchestra will benefit not only from Bert's considerable composing, arranging and conducting skills, but also from his seemingly endless connections in the music theatre world. And Bert is looking forward to this new role.


"I think it's a very important thing for Stratford to have the orchestra," Bert told Con Spirito recently. "The big thing for me is to enjoy what you do. This is not an amateur orchestra. I had some professional people coming to see the Gilbert and Sullivan [the H.M.S. Pinafore concert last November] who said 'the orchestra is really good.' It sounds good because people are having fun doing it."


Barbara founded the Etobicoke School for the Arts, which began in a six-room converted elementary school in the early '80s and today auditions thousands of students who apply to attend. She now works with the Stratford Festival education department in their Shakespeare on Wheels and Shakespeare School programs.

Winn, Jack
Jack Winn

Jack Winn: Accidental bass player and structural impressionism painter 

Unwilling to be separated from his girlfriend while she was at a summer music camp, then-Grade 10 student Jack Winn, no particular fan of music, decided to follow her there. At the camp, the young lad from north Toronto met Tom Monahan, principal bass with the Toronto Symphony, who introduced Jack to the double bass, offered free lessons and ignited a new love affair. While a Grade 11 and 12 student, Jack took lessons in Monahan's University of Toronto studio, then spent a year just practicing the bass after eschewing another year of high school. "I felt I was more likely to have a job, to achieve something" by pursuing the bass rather than continuing high school [in Grade 13], Jack, a member of the SSO bass section, now recalls.


He received full scholarships at Eastman School of Music and the University of Toronto. At the age of 22 he was appointed principal bass of the Edmonton Symphony. He was principal bass with Orchestra London for 26 years. He has also performed with the Toronto Symphony and National Ballet Orchestra bass sections and as principal bass with the Hamilton Philharmonic, Kitchener Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony, Kelowna Symphony, International Symphony (Sarnia) and Stratford Symphony. He was an assistant professor of performance music at the University of Western Ontario from 1981 to 1997.


When he's not playing, Jack is likely to be pursuing his "structural impressionism" painting in his downtown Stratford studio. His work has been displayed in a number of area galleries. His favourite subjects are based on quantum mechanics and particle physics. "I read a lot about time," he says. He organized the Stratford on Avon Sherlock Holmes Society and hosts meetings in his Stratford apartment.

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George Pearson / Editor, Con Spirito