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Soundstreams showcases the work of Canadian and international composers through innovative musical experiences.

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Lightning Round Q&A: Staff Edition

In every interview we conduct with various Soundstreams performers, conductors and composers, we always end with a “lightning round” of questions. To cap off an excellent year, we decided to do a staff edition of our lightning round! Find out what airport and concert hall were chosen by multiple people, plus our not-so-secret guilty pleasure…  Read More

Patricia Rozario to headline “Song for Athene”

Our next choral concert in April will feature the works of the late Sir John Tavener, and we are delighted to announce that Patricia Rozario will be our featured performer in Song for Athene on April 16, 2015. Rozario is extremely well-known and respected in the vocal and opera community. Her unique voice and artistry…  Read More

Lawrence Cherney honoured as Alumni of Influence

On Thursday, November 6, our Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney was named one of University College’s Alumni of Influence of 2014 (above, on left, accepting his award from Professor Donald Ainslie, Principal of University College). More than 170 alumni, students, and friends of University College gathered at Hart House 2014 for the third annual Alumni of Influence…  Read More

Emerging Composer Workshop 2015

Applications to Soundstreams’ 2015 Emerging Composer Workshop are now open! We are thrilled to share that we will be hosting two visiting international guest mentors in 2015: prominent Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and pioneering electronic-music composer Jean-Baptiste Barrière. Combined, they represent a complete spectrum of approaches between acoustic, electroacoustic, and electronic music—perfect for today’s aspiring composers who are…  Read More

Inviting all choral and vocal music lovers

A message from Artistic Director, Lawrence Cherney Our next three concerts are a glorious back-to-back celebration of choral and vocal music: Vespers on November 25 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, The Whisper Opera at The Theatre Centre, February 26 to March 1, and Song for Athene on April 16 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. Each of these…  Read More

Music and Sport

In the summer we become much more active. The weather is nice and we feel the need to get outside and move around, or attend outdoor games. I know many musicians that are avid bikers, soccer players, swimmers and ultimate Frisbee players. Not to mention our collective obsession with events like Wimbledon and the World…  Read More

Reflections from a Composer and Perpetual Tinkerer

In April the second annual Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop brought six talented composers from across Canada and abroad together in Toronto for an intensive ten-day workshop. The composers spent full days working with our international visiting guest mentor, Ye Xiaogang from China, one of Toronto’s favorite composers, Juliet Palmer, and a handful of other guests…  Read More

What to do when the lights go out

This concert was very different for Soundstreams in that it was one of the first occasions were the music was a mixture of the composed and the improvised. This style of music, coming mainly out of Jazz, but with roots in lots of other music from throughout the world, is created in the moment–through real-time…  Read More

How do you define Improvisation and Composition?

The definition between improvisation and compositions isn’t as objective as you might think. There as many definitions of the two practices as there are people practicing them. There are two ideas that commonly come up: composition uses a pre-conceived idea and improvisation is something that happens in real time. But other than these two simple…  Read More

Guest Post: Alec Hall and ‘Death in Venice’

Alec Hall, one of the participants in the 2014 Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop, discusses Death in Venice, his new work composed expressly for the workshop and gives us clues that give us context for this piece. Over the past few years, my interests have moved away from music that locates itself within traditional paradigms of…  Read More

Guest Post: André Mestre on ‘Corpo Confesso’

André Mestre is one of the 6 participants in the upcoming Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop under the direction of composers Ye Xiaogang, Juliet Palmer and the Cecilia Quartet as resident ensemble. André discusses Corpo Confesso, the work he will be working during the workshop and gives us an insight into his creative process. Ever since I…  Read More

Behind the Scenes: Juliet Palmer’s Sweat

Sweat takes place in a contemporary sweatshop, the multilingual libretto conveying the global nature of the garment industry. Departing radically from traditional opera, this piece sheds the orchestra and focuses on the musical and sonic potential of the human voice in counterpoint to the sound world of the sweatshop. Here are some thoughts from Juliet…  Read More

Creating a Hybrid Bach

When Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (or Weihnachts-Oratorium) was brought to my attention I knew that it had to be the source material. It was not only timely for the season and a beautiful piece of music, but it also has some extra-musical meaning that influenced my choice. This work is a mixture of the sacred and…  Read More

Are Orchestras in Crisis?

In his article America's Orchestras are in Crisis,  Philip Kennicott raises a number of valid issues in his critique of programming by American orchestras and others. He argues that the attempt to make the 21st century orchestra “relevant” by downplaying the importance of attentive listening in concert halls is damaging the very institution they hope…  Read More

What’s With Walt Whitman?

I guess I like working with Walt Whitman. My new work Open Road is our fifth collaboration. Soundstreams has commissioned Six Songs (2001) and When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd (2007). And before that came Four Songs (1989) and Come Lovely and Soothing Death (2000). What is it about Whitman that makes beautiful music?…  Read More

Airline Icarus, a new opera: Inspiration & History

Airline Icarus is about the intersecting thoughts of passengers aboard a commercial airplane. It explores themes of hubris mixed with technology, the forced intimacy of strangers and flying too close to the sun. Over the course of the work, the plane becomes brighter and eventually vanishes.  Composer Brian Current In September of 1983, a Korean…  Read More

Salon Thoughts: Audience and the New Development Process

In November, we will spend a week developing Juliet Palmer’s opera Sweat and in June we will present a fully staged version of Brian Current’s Airline Icarus at the Daniels Spectrum. The idea behind the Salon was to give those in attendance a sense of the process required to get a new opera or musical…  Read More

So You Think You Can Listen?

Deep Listening is a practice that is intended to heighten and expand consciousness of sound in as many dimensions of awareness and attentional dynamics as humanly possible. Pauline Oliveros from Deep Listening: A Composers’ Sound Practice Pauline Oliveros’ career spans 50 years of boundary-dissolving music making. In the '50s she was part of a circle…  Read More