Beethoven, The Man and His Chamber Music, Part 2

Beethoven’s life, his personality, his daily schedule, his favourite foods, and influences on his life and music will be discussed. We will examine what inspired and motivated Beethoven, leading him to create some of the most famous and popular classical music of all time. Included will be a discussion of his chamber music, including interviews with University of Toronto Music Professor Dr. Alexander Rapoport, SPO music director Ronald Royer, SPO Artist-in-Residence Dr. Lisa Tahara and pianist Alexander Panizza.

Part 2 examines Beethoven’s mid to late works. Make sure to also listen to Part 1, focusing on Beethoven’s early life and career. Excerpts from the piano sonatas are recorded by Alexander Panizza.

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Beethoven, The Man and His Chamber Music, Part 1

Beethoven’s life, his personality, his daily schedule, his favourite foods, and influences on his life and music will be discussed. We will examine what inspired and motivated Beethoven, leading him to create some of the most famous and popular classical music of all time. Included will be a discussion of his chamber music, including interviews with University of Toronto Music Professor Dr. Alexander Rapoport, SPO music director Ronald Royer, SPO concertmaster Corey Gemmell, and pianists Alexander Panizza, Emily Rho and Dr. Lisa Tahara.

Part 1 will focus on Beethoven’s early life and career, while Part 2 (November 13 release) will examine his mid to late work. Excerpts from the piano sonatas will be recorded by Alexander Panizza.

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Socially Distanced: Music for a Solo Instrument, from J.S. Bach to the Present

J.S. Bach’s compositions for solo cello and violin are milestones in the repertoire for a solo unaccompanied instrument. This episode will look at J.S. Bach’s life, his solo suites for the cello and his partitas for the violin, and his influence on other composers who have written solo works. Featuring interviews with Eric Siblin, author of J.S. Bach’s The Cello Suites (Anansi with support from the OAC and CCA), SPO concertmaster Corey Gemmell, and Canadian composer Frank Horvat, discussing his recent Music for Self-Isolation series of solo instrument works.

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Plagues, Pandemics and Musicians

How have plagues and pandemics affected musical life, musicians, and composers? This episode will focus on the European plagues from the 1300s through the 1800s, and the global 1918 and 2019 pandemics. Featuring interviews with Dr. Remi Chiu, author of Plague and Music in the Renaissance (Cambridge University Press), Katherine Carleton, Executive Director of Orchestras Canada, and conductor/composer William Rowson.

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Sharing a Passion for Music; Introduction to the SPO Great Music Podcast Series

Episode one is an introduction to the series, featuring interviews with artists from organizations involved with the podcast, including Ronald Royer (music director of the SPO), William Rowson (music director of the Stratford Symphony), Derek Spooner (executive director of Scarborough Arts), and Tamar Ilana (executive director of FabCollab).

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SPOGreatMusic Trailer Episode

Introductory episode to the all-new SPOGreatMusic podcast. Premiere episode to be released Friday September 18th, 2020.

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Composer-in-Residence 2019-2023

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh, Composer-in-Residence

The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra is honoured to have Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh continuing as our Composer-in-Residence for our2022-23 Season.

There is something vividly distinct about Daniel Mehdizadeh’s music. This Canadian composer is revered for his intricate, unpredictable and haunting works. The sound and gesture of his pieces bury themselves deep in complex imagination—participating you in an exploration of uncertain visceral implications.

His productions are a clear reflection of his intimate, vast and diverse knowledge of music. Mehdizadeh has been involved in both national and international festival series. He is regularly commissioned and holds numerous performances in Europe and North America. His works have had global exposure and have been broadcasted across Canada and US including appearance as guest composer on CBC Radio.

Mehdizadeh holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Toronto and a Master and Bachelor of Arts in Composition from the University of Ottawa. He has worked closely with conductors Ronald Royer, Simon Rivard, Jeffrey Reynolds and pianist and conductor Jean Desmarais.

Mehdizadeh is currently based in Toronto and is the Composer-in-Residence for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2020/2021 season. Mehdizadeh has also served as Composer-in-Residence for University of Toronto and University of Toronto Schools. He has given lectures and composition workshops at UTS as well as adjudication and mentorship for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the SPO New Generation Composer Project.

Mehdizadeh’s works receive funding through commissions and private patrons, as well as institutions including the latest Ontario Arts Council studio recording grant. He has collaborated with Orchestre de la Francophonie, Winds of Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Toronto Wind Symphony, the Princeton Singers and the Ewashko Singers amongst many others. Notable world-renowned performers include Belgian flautist Marc Grauwels and Dutch theremin player Thorwald Jørgensen with multiple commissions and performances in festivals around the world.

To learn more, click the link below:

Dr. Mehdizadeh is the host of the all-new 2 “SPOGreatMusic Podcast” … now in our 2nd Season!

 

Family Holiday Concert

Wear PJs to a concert? Absolutely!

The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra is well known for its innovations in musical entertainment. The Orchestra’s family holiday concert will be no exception – children will be invited to wear their PJs, bring a pillow and a blanket and curl up for a very special performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

What makes this performance special? We’ve invited a secret Toronto personality to narrate. A prominent politician? A sports star? A media personality? You’ll have to wait to see – it’s a surprise! (Free childcare will be provided after the intermission, so parents can stay and enjoy the rest of the concert.)

Building on the excitement of the release of a new Star Wars movie for the Christmas season, the SPO will perform the main title music from the original Star Wars movie. This film score is one of the most important and influential film scores of all time and has introduced orchestra music to countless people since its initial release.

The SPO will also perform another popular film score, Alan Silvestri’s concert suite Polar Express (arranged by Brubaker), and a short engaging Canadian work from our music director called Dance for Orchestra. Filling out the program will be holiday favorites, including arrangements by Canadians Howard Cable and Chris Meyer. Youth choirs from Woburn C.I. and St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux will sing some of the holiday favourites and lead a carol sing-along.

A Family Holiday Concert
November 29, 2015, 7:30 p.m. – An early start for the kids
Salvation Army Scarborough Citadel, 2021 Lawrence Avenue East (at Warden)

Even bad can sound good

Sound confusing? The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra will make it all crystal clear at its October concert – Breaking Bad: Colourful Characters in Music. The concert is sponsored by the Rotary Club of North Scarborough.

“Bad characters” have become popular in television and film (think Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Madmen, and more). But the theme is hardly unique – classical composers have featured dark characters for a long time. The SPO’s October concert will shed some light into the darkness.

The concert will open with Mozart’s famous Don Giovanni Overture. Alexander Rapoport has been commissioned by the SPO to compose If Elvira Hadn’t Arrived in Time, Variations on Mozart’s “La ci darem la mano,” for narrator and orchestra – a humorous variation on the Don Giovanni story used in Mozart’s opera. Dr. Rapoport will be serving as the SPO’s composer-in-residence this season and is a music professor for the University of Toronto (both the Scarborough and St. George campus).

Other performances include Pablo de Sarasate’s virtuosic Carmen Fantasy for violin and orchestra (based on Bizet’s opera) featuring young violinist Artur Chakhmakhchyan. Debussy’s sensual Syrinx for solo flute will be performed by the SPO principal Lesley Duff, in commemoration of her 30th year with the orchestra. Igor Stravinsky’s ballet masterpiece, Petroushka (a puppet gone bad), is a highly descriptive work that has influenced film composers for decades.

The concert will end with music for one of the most memorable of “breaking bad” characters – Darth Vader – highlighted in John Williams’ The Imperial March from Star Wars V.

Breaking Bad: Colourful Characters in Music
October 24, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Salvation Army Scarborough Citadel, 2021 Lawrence Avenue East (at Warden)