PRESS RELEASE: Soundstreams announces 2016/17 season

Sensory surprises abound in Soundstreams’ 2016/17 season, announced today by Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney. The company’s 34th season reaffirms Soundstreams’ position as one of Canada and the world’s leading contemporary music companies, featuring bold thematic programs as part of two Toronto series as well as extensive artist development and outreach activities. Cherney also announced the company’s long-term commitment to playfully immersing audience members in the music presented, through an increased focus on staging, lighting, music theatre, opera, and unique venues.

Highlights include: Odditorium, acclaimed theatre director Chris Abraham’s staging of music theatre works by R. Murray Schafer; visits from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela University Choir; world premieres by rising Canadian composers Anna Höstman, Gabriel Dharmoo, Riho Esko Maimets, and Omar Daniel; our second collaboration with The Royal Conservatory of Music’s 21C Music Festival in 2017 featuring composers Unsuk Chin and Chris Paul Harman; the return of last year’s sold-out Electric Messiah and expansion of the Ear Candy series; and the fifth anniversary of the Emerging Composer Workshop.

In addition to three performances at Koerner Hall, Soundstreams will welcome audiences to
St. Paul’s Basilica, Crow’s Theatre’s brand new venue in Leslieville, The Drake Hotel, The Gardiner Museum, and Toronto Public Library branches across the city.

“This season, we will explore fresh new formats and forge seamless connections between the works on our programs,” says Lawrence Cherney, Soundstreams Artistic Director. “Whether it’s the circus barker in R. Murray Schafer’s weird and wonderful Odditorium, or the appearance of the Pied Piper in Magic Flutes, we hope audiences will find these interactions meaningful, and above all, fun! We are also looking forward to our first collaboration with the Nelson Mandela University Choir, whose exuberant performances of African and Western repertoire have never been seen in Canada before.”

Soundstreams will continue its successful 35 and under ticketing program, SoundWave, launched one year ago. Members enjoy $22 tickets to main stage concerts, special offers for Ear Candy shows, and perks such as happy hours and chats with Soundstreams artists.

Main stage Series

The 2016/17 season launches on October 12 at Koerner Hall with Magic Flutes, a playful “surround-sound” concert, where the music will spring from unexpected directions. This concert features MacArthur Genius award-winner Claire Chase (USA), Marina Piccinini (Canada/USA), Patrick Gallois (France), Robert Aitken and Leslie Newman (Canada), performing repertoire by Philip Glass, Toru Takemitsu, Claude Debussy, Harry Somers, and a world premiere by Canada’s Anna Höstman.

On November 23, 2016, Soundstreams welcomes South Africa’s Nelson Mandela University Choir for their Canadian debut. This inter-continental collaboration will see the choir performing their own arrangements of traditional Xhosa and Zulu songs, and African-American spirituals, as well as Canadian works including a world premiere by Montreal-based composer Gabriel Dharmoo. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, conducted by Kaspars Putniņš, comes to Toronto February 2, 2017 for a concert honouring the 100th year of Estonia’s independence. Repertoire includes works by their compatriot Arvo Pärt, selections from the Rachmaninov Vespers, and world premieres by Canadian/Estonian composers Riho Esko Maimets and Omar Daniel.

From March 2 to 5, 2017, Soundstreams presents acclaimed theatre director Chris Abraham’s (Crow’s Theatre, Stratford Festival) staging of musical curiosities from R. Murray Schafer’s Patria cycle. Odditorium will feature selections from The Greatest Show, Ra, and others, immersing audiences in a circus-like atmosphere, complete with host carnival barker. Finally, May brings the company’s second collaboration with The Royal Conservatory of Music’s 21C Music Festival. The Music of Unsuk Chin on May 28, 2017, pairs South Korea-born, Berlin-based composer Unsuk Chin with Canadian Chris Paul Harman, for a concert showcasing their shared affinity for transforming familiar source materials, such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with a musical language that is thrillingly modern.

Ear Candy series

Ear Candy expands to three performances in 2016/17 after its successful launch in 2015. Flute virtuoso Claire Chase brings her Density 2036 project to Toronto on October 4, featuring brand new repertoire for solo flute. December marks the return of last year’s sold-out Electric Messiah at The Drake Hotel, building upon the musical surprises and staging first workshopped in 2015. And on April 8, an all-Canadian ensemble will pay tribute to minimalist master Philip Glass for this 80th birthday with Music in Fifths. Venues for Density 2036 and Music in Fifths will be confirmed and announced in the coming months.

2016/17 Subscriptions are available now by calling the Soundstreams office at 416-504-1282 ext 102 or online at


The fifth annual Emerging Composer Workshop takes place in May 2017. Following in the footsteps of previous visiting composers R. Murray Schafer, Kaija Saariaho, and Steve Reich, the 2017 mentor composer will be Unsuk Chin. Presented in collaboration with The Royal Conservatory of Music and the Canadian Music Centre, applications for the six 2017 workshop participant slots will open in the fall of 2016.


Soundstreams is dedicated to enhancing our audience’s experience by providing context for our performances and music. Pre-concert chats with Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney and guest composers and/or artists take place before each concert. Our popular Salon 21 program is a free performance and discussion series held at The Gardiner Museum and Toronto Public Library branches across the city that welcomes more than 1,000 patrons each season. And Soundstreams’ digital performance space, comprised of concert recordings, SoundMakers website featuring samples of commissioned works, and video content, offers music lovers from across North America the opportunity to engage with and explore Canadian music for free from the comfort of their own homes. Soundstreams also offers SoundMakers workshops to middle school students, sparking the creation of student works using SoundMakers music samples.

In December 2015, Susan Worthington left Soundstreams for a new position at the National Ballet of Canada. The Soundstreams Board of Directors appointed Ben Dietschi Interim General Manager until her successor has been appointed. A national search led by Searchlight Recruitment is currently underway and the search committee, comprised of board and community members, is reviewing a shortlist of promising candidates. The incoming hire will begin on September 1, 2016.

Click here to read the full release.