The stories in these pieces were told by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov between the years 1806 and 1810. They originated in the oral tradition of Hassidism, and were later written down by Rabbi Nachman’s chief disciple and scribe, Rabbi Nathan Sternhartz. They have been hailed as bringing Jewish literature into modernity, and were highly valued by the later Czech-Jewish novelist Franz Kafka.
Rabbi Nachman’s purpose in telling these stories, however, was not literary. Instead, for him such story-telling ” …contributes(s) to the restoration (tikkun) of this shattered world in which all mankind ﬁnds itself. The tale has the power of redemption; telling the tale is, in essence, a redemptive act.” (Dr. A. J. Band, introduction to the Paulist Press translation of the tales.)
For reasons of musical story-telling, I have chosen three of the simplest of the Rabbi’s tales. (In fact, they are all so short that they are usually left out of modern collections of the Rabbi’s stories.) My approach to the stories was to imagine them as if they were short animated ﬁlms, and to write the music accordingly. I hope I have succeeded at least as far as making them listenable, entertaining, and fun.
Three Tales of Rabbi Nachman was written for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Wind Ensemble in 2022.
For the December 3, 2022 Holiday Concert, the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing one of the three musical tales, The Turkey Prince.
THE TURKEY PRINCE
(duration: 4 minutes)
Although it was not included in the original collection of 13 Tales, The Turkey Prince has become perhaps the most popular of Rabbi Nachman’s stories, as evidenced by the many variations and commentaries now available online.
Perhaps the simplest and most direct commentary comes from Yossy Gordon on chabad.org ” Fortunately, most of us don’t suffer from turkey complexes. But here’s a question we can all ask of ourselves: Am I limiting my potential because of my self perception?”
- The Turkey;
- The Wise Doctor;
- Making Friends;
- On the Mend;
- Cured Turkey!
New Generation Musician Program:
Orchestra positions for students and emerging professionals. For the rest of the 2022-2023 season, the SPO is taking applications from string players. Participants of this program are paid to perform with the SPO, will receive mentoring, and are eligible for other possible opportunities. Please apply below, detailing your musical training and experience.
The New Generation Artists Program is made possible through the support of:
This year, the RBC Foundation became a member of the SPO family in supporting our New Generation composers and artists who participate annually in 1 of 3 streams of the New Generation program either performing as mentored emerging artists, composing for ensemble, or as part of our New Generation Film composer’s program, offered in collaboration with Sheridan College.
Call for Proposals: Composing Music for Animated Film
Deadline: Dec 15, 2023
The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is issuing a call for proposals for early career and advanced student composers wanting to write music for animated film.
Four composers will be selected to write music for animated short films created by students of world-renowned Sheridan College Bachelor of Animation program.
During the writing process, each selected applicant will be paired with an experienced film composer who acts as a mentor: helping with advice on spotting the film; choosing the synthesized instrumentation; writing the music; recording and synchronization to picture.
Participants will also be supported and advised by SPO music director Ronald Royer and will also take part in an orientation meeting to discuss the logistics of synchronizing to video.
Completed animation scores will be published on the SPO’s YouTube channel from April to July 2024.
Composers can also apply for the SPO’s New Generation Composer’s Project, writing for female voice and piano. If a composer applies for and gets accepted into both programs, they will need to choose one. Composers will not be able to participate in both programs in the same year.
- The project is open to early-career and student composers who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents, aged 18 to 35.
- The program is focused on Canada-based composers. Composers can be involved in-person or online.
- Composers are not required to have prior film scoring experience.
- Composers must be equipped with a suitable computer, scoring software such as a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) or notation software, and sample libraries or software synthesizers.
- Examples of suitable software include:
- DAW – Cubase; Logic; Digital Performer; FL Studio; Reaper;
- Notation: Sibelius, Finale, or Dorico (all with NotePerformer)
- Sample Libraries: g. Vienna Symphonic Library, Spitfire BBC Orchestra, Orchestral Tools Layers, and many others.
About the SPO New Generation Film Composer’s program:
- Animated films from graduates of the Sheridan College Animation program will be provided for scoring purposes. The films are between one and four minutes long and will be provided to participants as MP4 video files. Note that these video files cannot be used outside this program and cannot be shared with others except through the SPO’s Youtube channel.
- Scored music can include orchestral instruments (via the appropriate sample library), electronic/digital instruments, musique concrete or any other sounds deemed appropriate.
- Selected composers are expected to participate in a minimum of two mentorship meetings. Additional mentorship sessions can be arranged.
- Composers are encouraged to listen and view previously scored films on the SPO’s Youtube channel in the Animated Films Playlist.
- Completed Application Form (see below)
- CV or Resume: Attach a PDF file focusing on your composition activity, including any film-scoring related projects. Be sure to include a valid email address and other appropriate contact information.
- Two examples of your music: Recordings of two pieces must be submitted. These may be of music alone or music scored to picture.
- Live performance or MIDI recordings are both acceptable.
- Acceptable File formats are:
- MP3 recordings (audio only).
- MP4 video files (for audio and video).
- Links to streaming services such as SoundCloud for audio and Youtube for video are also acceptable. Please ensure that the link is valid for at least one month following the deadline.
Read this fantastic review of our Saturday, November 5th concert from Leslie Barcza and barczablog.com: https://barczablog.com/2022/11/06/tahara-royer-and-spo-play-schubert-and-saint-saens/.
October 31, 2022 — SPO Music Director & Conductor, Ronald Royer, along with our Sat-Nov-5 guest pianist, Dr. Lisa Tahara, were interviewed by The New Classical 96.3FM Host, Daniel Vnukowski. The interview aired at 2 pm on the 31st, but can be heard again via this link: http://classicalfm.ca/station-blog/2022/11/01/ronald-royer-and-dr-lisa-tahara-join-classical-jukebox/. An excellent interview by all!! Apologies we couldn’t give more notice prior to the interview, but it was all done quickly, thanks to the 96.3FM team. More interviews coming soon — so stay tuned!
The SPO successfully re-streamed our live concert, “Mixing It Up!”, performed on Saturday, September 24, to Facebook and YouTube on Saturday, October 29, 2022. Missed it? Don’t worry, the stream is available on our YouTube channel < https://www.youtube.com/user/SPOGreatMusic > in our 2022/2023 Playlist. It will be our featured video for at least the next two weeks. Watch it again (and again) at your convenience!