Sunday May 26, 2019 - Iridescence Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis St.
New Music Concerts has enjoyed a leadership role in Toronto’s new music scene throughout its history. Founded in 1971 by internationally acclaimed Canadian musicians Robert Aitken and Norma Beecroft, NMC presented its first concert in January 1972 with guest composer/conductor Luciano Berio. Since that time most of the world’s renowned composers including John Adams, Harrison Birtwistle, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Peter Maxwell Davies, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Heinz Holliger, Maurizio Kagel, Helmut Lachenmann, Toru Takemitsu, Iannis Xenakis, Walter Zimmermann and, early in their careers, rising stars like Tan Dun, Toshio Hosokawa, Jörg Widmann and Raminta Serksnyte, have come to Toronto at NMC’s invitation. Our strong support of Canadian composers through commissions and performances and by combining them with international artists has promoted their success. A short list of some of our most notable Canadian commissions includes Claude Vivier’s Zipangu, Barbara Pentland’s Eventa, Harry Somer’s Chura Churum, John Beckwith’s Eureka, Harry Freedman’s Strands of Blue, Alexina Louie’s Sanctuary, John Weinzweig’s Prisoner of Conscience, Bruce Mather’s Ausone, Gilles Tremblay’s Triojubilus, plus Omar Daniel’s Zwei Lieder nach Rilke and Chris Paul Harman’s Amerika both of which went on to win the Jules Léger Prize.
Since its inception NMC has presented nearly 400 concerts, commissioned more than 130 Canadian and international works and performed some 700 Canadian and world premieres. As English Canada's senior contemporary music society, NMC's prime activity is producing high calibre concerts of contemporary music, but our activities have included a very broad range of presentation from contemporary classics, to electroacoustics, mixed- and multi-media presentations, sound sculpture, radiophonic works, films and music theatre (including world premiere performances of R. Murray Schafer’s Princess of the Stars on Heart Lake in 1981 and the North American premieres of John Cage’s Roaratorio at Convocation Hall and Thorkell Sigurbjornsson’s Grettir at the Betty Oliphant Theatre). Current programs reflect the ongoing concern to balance all aspects of our mandate to profile established and emerging Canadian and international composers.