Soundstreams Announces 2021/22 Season – Renewal & Rebirth


August 3, 2021 // Toronto, ON – Lawrence Cherney, Founding Artistic Director, Soundstreams, today announced the company’s 2021/22 season, Renewal & Rebirth, with five world premieres set to showcase the work of outstanding Canadian and international composers through innovative and multi-genre musical experiences. 

With a mix of original broadcast productions and a return to live events in 2022, the 2021/22 season includes: 

  • Garden of Vanished Pleasures, a theatrical, filmed production with new work from composers Cecilia Livingston and Donna McKevitt, drawn from the journal text of queer artist and activist Derek Jarman, devised and directed by Tim Albery; 
  • Love Songs: Claude Vivier’s balletic work Love Songs for seven singers, inspired by everything from childhood songs and nursery rhymes to his travels through Bali and Iran; additional Vivier works; and Oceano Nox, a new work by Christopher Mayo inspired by a lost work by Vivier, commissioned by Soundstreams; 
  • The return of Electric Messiah, building on last year’s celebrated film version to re-imagine the work of Handel with a uniquely Toronto twist; 
  • Percussion Theatre curated by Soundstreams New Voices artist and percussionist Noam Bierstone, to explore the world of instrumental theatre with a host of supporting artists; 
  • And the world premiere of GREYEYES / VIVIER, a production of select Vivier work set to choreography by acclaimed director and actor Michael Greyeyes, in partnership with Signal Theatre and co-produced by the National Arts Centre. 

“While the pandemic did bring a temporary end to live performance, it provoked us to develop new ways of engaging with audiences through programming on digital platforms that was never intended to be a substitute for live experience. The Garden of Vanished Pleasures, which opens the season, is a poignant metaphor for the whole season: a reminder that we must come to terms with what we have lost, at the same time as we plant hopeful seeds of rebirth and renewal.” 

 – Lawrence Cherney, Founding Artistic Director, Soundstreams 

Canada has one of the richest pools of compositional talent in the world and has within its borders among the world’s greatest interpreters of contemporary music. And yet such recognition often lags behind that accorded Canadian artists in other disciplines. Soundstreams began life in 1982 as the answer to a call: the need to host a Canadian festival celebrating the 100th birth year of legendary composer Igor Stravinsky. Ever since, both on our stages and through touring, it’s been our calling to share the work of gifted Canadian composers and performers by putting them on the national and international stage in collaboration with the best of their counterparts from around the world. 

Digital Passes for Soundstreams’ 2021/22 are available here; individual tickets will be available for each production at a later date. Visit for more information.  


September 2021
Digital Broadcast 

If modern gardening has a patron saint, it must be English artist, filmmaker, and queer rights activist Derek Jarman. As the AIDS plague took his friends one by one and he himself faced an increasingly uncertain future, he discovered his own form of hope, resilience, and solace in his garden by the sea. 

Cecilia Livingston writes deeply-felt songs of love and loss, and they chime perfectly with Donna McKevitt’s heart-aching songs that use beautiful texts drawn from Derek Jarman’s journals. Their works are intertwined in Garden of Vanished Pleasures, a fully-staged production for digital broadcast, devised and directed by Tim Albery, working with other members of the team who brought you Hell’s Fury, The Hollywood Songbook. 

Tim Albery, devisor and director
Rachael Kerr, music director and piano
Michelle Tracey, production designer
Cameron Davis, projection designer
Wesley McKenzie, lighting designer

Mireille Asselin, soprano
Lindsay McIntyre, soprano
Rebecca Cuddy, mezzo-soprano
Daniel Cabena, countertenor
Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh, viola
Amahl Arulanandam, cello 

Presented in partnership with Pinkhouse Productions. Garden of Vanished Pleasures is made possible with support from Neil and Carolyn Turnbull, The Mary-Margaret Webb Fund for Women Composers, and Steinway & Sons. 

Garden of Vanished Pleasures is part of Soundstreams’ 2021 Digital Residency at Crow’s Theatre. 

November 2021
Digital Broadcast 

Claude Vivier’s travels to Bali and the Iranian city of Shiraz in the 1970s was for him an initiation into mysticism and poetry. These travels led to an intensely personal voyage; Love Songs, for seven singers, runs the gamut from childhood songs and nursery rhymes to the deepest contemplation of our place in the universe. Upon his return to Canada, Vivier also captured his experiences through two brilliant works: Shiraz for solo piano, and the Balinese influenced Cinq chansons pour percussion. Couple these works with an evocative homage to Claude Vivier by Christopher MayoOceano Nox, and you have an evening of pure magic. 

David Fallis, music director
Vocal ensemble: Carla Huhtanen, Lindsay McIntyre, Vania Chan, Robin Dann, Bud Roach, Alex Samaras, and Keith Lam
Gregory Oh, piano
Ryan Scott, percussion 

Love Songs is made possible with generous support from Steinway & Sons. Oceano Nox was commissioned with funding from the Ontario Arts Council. 


December 2021
Digital Broadcast 

In Soundstreams’ annual reimagined take on the Messiah, Handel’s music escapes the confines of in-person venues and transforms into a full-length music video with a unique cinematic approach. Always featuring a theatrically exciting cast, and a feast of musical styles ranging from jazz to soul/hip-hop, Electric Messiah brings the past to life in a fresh way that reflects the Toronto of now. This year’s production will feature new work from composer Lieke van der Voort. 

New work from composer Lieke van der Voort was commissioned with support from SOCAN Foundation.

SPRING 2022 

Canadian percussionist Noam Bierstone is the 2021/22 Soundstreams New Voices guest curator, and Percussion Theatre is his curated concert experience exploring the fascinating concept of instrumental theatrethe music doesn’t just accompany an action, the music is the action. The theatrical nature of the works draws audiences in, while opening ears to new and fantastic sound worlds. 

Soundstreams New Voices guest curation program is supported by The Azrieli Foundation. 

Spring 2022 

A coming-together of two iconic Canadian artists, GREYEYES / VIVIER is our not-to-be-missed event of the season. Choreographer, director, and actor Michael Greyeyes creates new dance works, inspired by three works by the late Québécois composer Claude Vivier. The trilogy of works – ZipanguShiraz, and Cinq Chansons pour percussion – will be presented with dancers, and percussion and piano soloists. GREYEYES / VIVIER is a full-scale celebration of Soundstreams’ longtime collaboration with Greyeyes, and enduring investment in Vivier’s legacy. 

Jillian Peever, dancer
Louis Laberge-Côté, dancer
Claudia Moore, dancer 

In partnership with Signal Theatre and co-produced by the National Arts Centre. 



RBC Bridges Workshop for Early-Career Composers 

Digital Broadcast October 2021 

RBC Bridges, Soundstreams’ workshop for early-career composers, is an annual workshop that brings together celebrated composer mentors, a professional resident ensemble, and six carefully selected emerging composers to develop and premiere new work in a professional context. Postponed from May 2020, this edition of RBC Bridges is hosted digitally for the first time ever, convening participants and composer-mentor Sarah Kirkland Snider online to develop and produce new works for vocal ensemble. These works will be showcased in a final broadcast this fall, alongside Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Scenes From Unremembered. 

Participants: Akshaya Avril Tucker, Francisco del Pino, Tyler Eschendal, Jenny Beck, Rebecca Gray, Steven Webb 

Sarah Kirkland Snider, composer mentor
Gregory Oh, music director 

Vocal ensemble: Teresa Mahon, Katherine Hill, Andrea Ludwig, Rebecca Cuddy, Robert Busiakiewicz, Lucas Marchand, Neil Aronoff, Graham Robinson 

RBC Bridges is made possible with generous support from RBC Foundation, the Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation, and Steinway & Sons. The Bridges Showcase is presented in honour of Jim Doherty, and his timeless dedication to investing in young talent. 



Vivier Digital Residency 

Soundstreams continues to reimagine the work of Claude Vivier, with our original immersive theatrical concert Musik für das Ende being workshopped at Crow’s Theatre to be reconceived for digital broadcast. This residency will also give space to the development of GREYEYES / VIVIER, set to be on the Soundstreams Main Stage later in 2022. 

Workshops for Musik für das Ende and GREYEYES / VIVIER are part of Soundstreams’ 2021 Digital Residency at Crow’s Theatre. 

New Normal 

Set to premiere in 2023, New Normal is a collaboration between Soundstreams and Red Note Ensemble. A composer from each organization, Northern Irish composer Brian Irvine and Ukrainian-Canadian composer Anna Pidgorna, will work with the other’s ensemble, creating interleaved works which loosely interact with one another through a series of episodes weaved together through shared, but misinterpreted, objects and ideas. It will be a whimsical exploration of social isolation and strange world events which have occurred during the time of global pandemic. 

New Normal is a co-production with Red Note Ensemble. 

Exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Soundstreams workshops will be available to all Digital Pass holders. 


Soundstreams is one of the world’s leading contemporary music companies, and the largest global presenter of new Canadian music. Founder and Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney is committed to showcasing the work of Canadian and international composers, and has commissioned over 170 new works, and programmed hundreds of unique and compelling concerts including chamber music events, multi-choir spectaculars, operas, music-theatre works, and seven highly successful international festivals. Soundstreams serves a broad community of music lovers through the yearly Main Stage series, and free outreach and education programs that include Encounters, the Insider program, RBC Bridges, and SoundMakers. Years of collaboration with artists from diverse cultures have laid the groundwork for Soundstreams’ leap onto the world stage, with productions like Claude Vivier’s Musik für das Ende, the Cree- and Sámi-language Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit, and Hell’s Fury: The Hollywood Songbook enjoying international success and rave reviews through The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.

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Tim Crouch, Director, Communications, Marketing, & Operations, 

[email protected] 

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