Con Spirito: Inside the SSO

September  2012
In This Issue
Season Eight begins with Savour Stratford kick-off
Carriére and Young lead the SSO
Leith Quartet at Musical Sweets fundraiser
Cows and Classics a success

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SSO's Season Eight begins
with kick-off for Savour Stratford

The Stratford Symphony Orchestra returns to Knox Presbyterian Church Friday evening, September 21, as one of the opening events in the 2012 Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival. Will you be there?


Berthold Carrière, music director, and Barbara Young, associate music director, will share the podium for a concert that celebrates food and those who produce and prepare it, as well as the greater Stratford community, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and the arts community.


The concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., opens the SSO's eighth season and the first full season with Mr. Carrière and Ms. Young at the helm (more about them below). "It's going to be a great season and I'm delighted to be part of it," says Mr. Carrière. "We've planned a concert that has something for everyone, and it really shows off the versatility of our great orchestra. It's an event not to be missed."


Advance tickets ($35) are available at Fanfare Books and Anything Grows in Stratford and Stewart Books in St. Marys, as well as online. Tickets will also be available at the door at the same price. Season tickets ($180 for six concerts, a savings of $30) are available online (email us your name and phone number) and will also be available at the concert.

Stratford: A Musical Portrait 



The program will open with Canadian Godfrey Ridout's Fall Fair, which features an English horn and marks the bringing in of the harvest across Ontario's rural communities.


A lushly romantic cello will portray Stratford's celebrated swans as they glide across Lake Victoria as interpreted by a harp. The Swan is one of 14 movements in the musical suite The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns.


John L. Weinzweig of Toronto wrote the score for Red Ear of Corn, a ballet based on an Indian legend that gives a romantic explanation for the occasional appearance of a red ear among golden corncobs. The orchestra plays Barn Dance from that ballet.


The haunting beauty of winter is represented by Hiver, one of two symphonic poems by Ernest Bloch, Swiss-born American composer.


Hansel and Gretel, a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, was the basis for an opera of the same name, written by Engelbert Humperdinck. It tells of two children who, when lured by a witch into her candy house, hatch a plot to turn the tables on the witch. Here the SSO performs the Hansel and Gretel Overture.


Patience Overture is from the sixth of fourteen operatic collaborations between W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. A satire on the aesthetic movement of the 1870s and '80s in England, Patience had a longer run than that of H.M.S. Pinafore.


Samuel Barber's Overture to The School for Scandal helped establish the U.S. composer's national reputation. It was his first composition for full orchestra, written while he was completing his music studies in Philadephia.


As a tribute to William Shakespeare and to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, the SSO performs two movements from incidental music Felix Mendelssohn wrote for A Midsummer Night's Dream: Nocturne and Wedding March.


The concert closes with Strike Up the Band, by George and Ira Gerswhin. It's the title tune from a 1927 musical of the same name in which the U.S. declares war on Switzerland over a trivial trade issue.

Berthold Carriere
Berthold Carriére

Barbara Young

Carriére and Young lead the SSO into Season Eight  

The SSO is delighted that Berthold Carriére. a Stratford music icon, is the SSO's music director for Season Eight. Mr. Carriére was the Stratford Festival music director for more than 30 years. Joining him as SSO associate music director is Barbara Young. The two worked closely at the Festival for 13 years. They collaborated in November 2011 to produce and direct the SSO's highly successful H.M.S. Pinafore concert with an all-star cast that included many well-known Festival performers.


Mr. Carriére composed and arranged music for more than 80 Stratford Festival productions. In 1998 he took productions of Much Ado About Nothing and The Miser to New York City Centre. He wrote music for The Tempest and Twelfth Night for CBC Radio in 1999, and King Lear in 2004. The latter was presented by the Lincoln Center on Broadway. He was commissioned by the Festival in 2003 to write Music for a Midsummer's Night, which has become an annual event.


He has received numerous awards for his work. In 2001 he was named a member of the Order of Canada. In 2003 he was given the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, recognizing people who "have helped create the Canada of today."


Ms. Young has long been a champion of the arts. In the early '80s she started the instrumental and music theatre programs at the Etobicoke School of the Arts in Toronto ("I just thought there needed to be a place where artists could be free to be creative without having to prove themselves as other things all the time."). It has grown from a hundred students in the first year to one that auditions thousands.


In 1996 she joined the Festival as a music consultant to Mr. Carriére. Her role ("another set of ears" for Mr. Carriére) was to recommend ways to achieve balance in the musicians' sound, as well as to adapt and compose music for plays. She also works with the Festival education department in its Shakespeare School and Shakespeare on Wheels programs, and is a music adjudicator in high demand across Canada.


They both are excited about the potential for the SSO. "We have so many artistic people in this town," says Mr. Carriére. "It's a very important thing for Stratford to have the orchestra. I'm here to help in any way I can."

Leith Quartet to perform at Musical Sweets fundraiser 

The first Musical Sweets House Concert of the season Oct. 14 will feature the Leith Quartet and will be hosted by Michael Lejkowski and Anna Zotova at Caledonia House, their elegant bed & breakfast establishment at 20 Caledonia Street, Stratford.


The concert, scheduled from 2-4 p.m., is a fundraiser for the orchestra. Tickets are $50, which includes a glass of wine, tasty treats and, of course, the music: Haydn Quartet in G, Op. 76 #1 and Mendelssohn's Quartet #3 in D major, Op. 44.


Members of the Leith Quartet are Martha Kalyniak (viola), Rick Bond (violin), Bruce Skelton (violin) and Hector Vasquez (cello). Ms. Kalyniak is a longtime member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony viola section and a teacher at the K-W Community String School. Mr. Bond, a physics teacher, plays in the Stratford Symphony and the Waterloo Chamber Players and is concertmaster of the K-W Community Orchestra. Mr. Skelton, who is manager of the Leith Quartet, freelances in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and teaches both in private lessons and with the K-W Community String School. Mr. Vasquez, originally from Venezuela, has performed as principal cellist for the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra and the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra. He is principal cellist with the SSO.


Phone Jean Hewitt (519-272-2726) for tickets.

Cows and Classics fundraiser a big success
The SSO's annual summer fundraiser at the dairy farm of board member David Murray was a great success. Music was provided by members of the Symphony and Kiwanis Music Festival winner Thomas Murray, who was accompanied on the piano by David Murray (no relation). The sun shone and everyone enjoyed music and refreshments in a beautiful country setting.
Cows and Classics 2

Cows and Classics1

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George Pearson / Editor, Con Spirito