Monday April 10, 2017 // Toronto – Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney is delighted to announce Soundstreams’ 35th season. The main stage series features five sensational shows: Northern Encounters, with music and dance from Canada and Finland performed by the Lapland Chamber Orchestra; Musik für das Ende, which is an immersive experience of iconic Québécois composer Claude Vivier’s transformative work; Tan Dun’s Water Passion after St. Matthew, a contemporary reimagining of Bach’s masterpiece; Freddy’s Tune, featuring crossgenre inspirations from the famous theme King Frederick gifted to Bach; and The Little Match Girl Passion, the provocative Pulitzer Prize-winning work by David Lang. Subscription packages for all eight shows are now on sale.

As Soundstreams enters this milestone year amid Canada’s sesquicentennial, the 2017/18 season explores both legacy and new directions. Highlights include the first fully staged performances of Claude Vivier’s Musik für das Ende (1971), one of the composer’s most underrepresented works, featuring brand new multimedia projections,
sophisticated lighting techniques, and other dramatic elements – all within an open theatre where the audience inhabits the same space as the performers. Musik für das Ende is a special project supported by the Canada Council for the Arts to mark the sesquicentennial. In addition, the season includes a staging of Vivier’s Zipangu with
stunning choreography by Cree actor, choreographer and director Michael Greyeyes as part of Soundstreams’ opening production Northern Encounters, exploring “northern identity” from multiple viewpoints.

Our Ear Candy series features three intercultural productions that present big ideas in small spaces. Electric Messiah returns for a third edition by popular demand, alongside new shows Almost Unplugged, and Beat It!

“Soundstreams started 35 years ago with a festival celebrating Igor Stravinsky’s 100th and just as he changed the course of music in the 20th century, Soundstreams’ 2017-2018 season shines a light on the movers and shakers of Canadian music in the 21st century,” says Lawrence Cherney, Soundstreams Artistic Director. “Our season touches on the generations of Canadian composers that followed Vivier right up to the present, with world premieres in a diverse range of styles and aesthetics. And we continue to put our artists on the world stage by featuring them alongside international figures like Tan Dun and David Lang. We are 35 years young and going strong!”
Main Stage Series
1. Northern Encounters, music and dance from Canada and Finland with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra – October 16, 2017 ‐ 8 PM, Koerner Hall
Soundstreams’ 35th season opens with Northern Encounters on October 16, 2017, which is a celebration of kindred northern identities. The Lapland Chamber Orchestra performs music by iconic composers from Canada and Finland, past and present, including Jean Sibelius, Harry Somers, and Claude Vivier. Doubly marking Canada’s sesquicentennial and Finland at 100, this program by Europe’s northernmost professional orchestra includes dance by powerhouse choreographer Michael Greyeyes, the world premiere of Soundstreams 35th Anniversary Fanfare, and gems by Stravinsky and Debussy.

2. Musik für das Ende, a ritual journey through life, through death, and beyond– October 27‐ November 4, 2017, Crow’s Theatre
Musik für das Ende invites audiences into a mesmerizing and utterly immersive multimedia experience featuring an intercultural vocal ensemble and actor. We proudly present the world premiere of the first staged production of this work by legendary Québécois composer Claude Vivier. Choir 21, award-winning stage director Chris Abraham, and music director John Hess collaborate to create an intimate and unforgettable ritual that symbolizes some of the dominant themes of our time: exile, immigration, and “otherness”.

3. Tan Dun’s Water Passion After Bach’s St. Matthew – March 9, 2018 ‐ 8PM, Trinity‐St. Paul’s Centre
Seventeen dramatically lit water bowls adorn the stage in this reimagining of Bach’s great masterpiece, where Tan Dun explores universal themes of birth, death, and resurrection. Using water as a sound and symbol of transition, Water Passion is a powerful narrative that explores a range of vocal styles from Mongolian overtone singing, to Peking Opera, and Bach. David Fallis conducts Choir 21 and a small instrumental ensemble with baritone and soprano soloists in this distinctly modern reworking of a timeless liturgical text.

4. Freddy’s Tune, inspirations from King Frederick’s gift to Bach – April 21, 2018 – 8PM, Trinity‐St. Paul’s Centre
In 1747, Bach paid a visit to his patron King Frederick the Great. King Freddy, a talented amateur musician, handed him a theme and challenged Bach to improvise. That theme became the basis for Bach’s masterpiece The Musical Offering. The Gryphon Trio joins forces with DJ SlowPitchSound, Cuban-born drummer Dafnis Prieto, trombonist/composer Scott Good, and Roberto Occhipinti on bass, to create a spectacular cross-genre Musical Offering. From the world premiere of a Bach remix, to a special arrangement of John Adams’ dazzling Phrygian Gates, expect an energetic evening of new compositions inspired by Bach’s timeless brilliance.

5. The Little Match Girl Passion, the provocative Pulitzer Prize‐winning work by David Lang ‐ June 6 & 7 2018 – 8PM, Crow’s Theatre
The Little Match Girl Passion is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale about a poverty-stricken young woman sent out into the cold by her father to sell matches. David Lang has created original text and music for four voices that both relays and comments upon the girl’s trials, drawing the audience into the very heart of this compelling drama, and revealing the fragile line between hope and tragedy. The program also features a world premiere by Canadian composer James Rolfe for voices and accordion.

Read the full release here