Articles from November 2010

Harp Composition Contest for Composers – Revision

Harp Composition Contest for Composers – Revision

The Toronto Chapter of the American Harp Society has revised the rules for this composition competition. Details are as follows:

Competition is open to Ontario residents for a musical work (time length of 12-20 min.) featuring pedal harp in one of the following combinations:

  • Chamberwork of any combination 2-7 instruments featuring a harp solo
  • Voice and harp
  • Piano and harp
  • Percussion and harp

We are pleased to announce that the judges for this competition will be renowned harpists Judy Loman, Erica Goodman and Canadian composer, Glenn Buhr.  They will announce their decision in June 2011.  The first place winner will receive $2500 and a concert performance early December 2011.  The second place winner’s composition will also be performed at this concert.

  • Competition is open to all emerging composers.
  • Compositon never to have been previously performed in a  concert.
  • Compositon will have its Premiere sponsored by the Toronto Chapter of the American Harp Society at above concert.

Applicants must submit resume, $50.00 non-refundable administrative fee, three unsigned copies of score with cover letter to Vera Stern, President of the Toronto Chapter, postmarked no later than April 30, 2011.  For further information please contact Vera Stern at

April 30, 2011

Ostrava Days 2011

Ostrava Center for New Music Announces the Institute program for Ostrava Days 2011.

Ostrava Days is a working environment, not a school. With two resident orchestras – Janáček Philharmonic and Ostravská banda – the focus is on, but not limited to, working with large-scale ensembles.

It features seminars by lecturers as well as presentations by guests and resident-students. Participants interact in an informal manner and one-on-one sessions are no exception.

Approximately 35 student applications will be accepted. The student body is international and includes composers and performers from Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia.

The Festival program includes selected compositions by resident-students and works by lecturers and guests of Ostrava Days, among others.

Application form

Carola Bauckholt (Cologne), Petr Kotík (New York/Ostrava), Bernhard Lang (Vienna), Larry Polansky (Hanover, USA), Rolf Riehm (Frankfurt am Main), Frederic Rzewski (Brussels), Martin Smolka (Prague), John Tilbury (Hanover, USA), Christian Wolff (Hanover, USA)

Guests: Gordon Monahan (Kingston, Canada), Katalin Károlyi (Budapest/Paris), Thomas Buckner (New York), Daan Vandewalle (Gent), Hana Kotková (Lugano), Arne Deforce (Gent), Caspar Johannes Walter (Cologne) a other TBA.

Students will be chosen by a review of no more than 3 scores and audio samples submitted by the applicants. More information here.

The Application deadline is March 15, 2011.

Tuition: 2200 EUR / 2500 USD. Limited financial assistance is available.

March 15, 2011




VANCOUVER, CANADA - The Vancouver Chamber Choir and Grouse Records (its publishing arm) announce the release of their latest compact disc in the Canadian Composers Series:

Imagining Incense
The Choral Music of R. Murray Schafer, Vol. 3

(Grouse Records #106)

Vancouver Chamber Choir
Jon Washburn, conductor

Magic Songs
–  Three Hymns –  Rain Chant
-  Beautiful Spanish Song –  Imagining Incense
Chant for the Winter Solstice
Three Songs from The Enchanted Forest

The Vancouver Chamber Choir and R. Murray Schafer (Canada’s most outstanding contemporary composer) have a long history together, going back to 1973 when the Choir first performed and recorded one of his choral works. Since then they have given over 450 performances of 26 separate Schafer works, singing his music all over the globe.

This disc is the third in a series of three all-Schafer CDs of choral music sung by the Vancouver Chamber Choir. The first two are:

A Garden of Bells
The Choral Music of R. Murray Schafer, Vol. 1

Early choral works including Miniwanka, Epitaph for Moonlight, Snowforms, Gamelan, Sun, Fire, Felix’s Girls and A Garden of Bells.

Once on a Windy Night
The Choral Music of R. Murray Schafer, Vol. 2

Four major choral works including A Medieval Bestiary, Seventeen Haiku, Vox Naturae and Once on a Windy Night.

The new release, Imagining Incense, includes many of Schafer’s choral works from 1990 to 2005. Large or small, these are mature works marked by the richness of Schafer’s unique choral style. Often virtuosic in its requirements of the singers, the panorama of Schafer’s choral style is evident when one listens to the 20 works from four decades which are included on these three discs.

Imagining Incense is available online , at all Vancouver Chamber Choir concerts, by email , or by phoning 604-738-6822.

Jubilate! Chamber Choir Nov. 26 performance – Treasured Choruses

Favourite choruses from opera, music theatre, and more.

Neil Weisensel, Music Director
Guest artists: soprano Rachel Landrecht and tenor Philip Grant, with David Rogers at the piano.
Fri, November 26, 2010
Ryerson Church (45th and Yew in Vancouver BC)

Vancouver Chamber Choir – MAGNIFICAT! Dec 3

Vancouver Chamber Choir – MAGNIFICAT! Dec 3


A Festive 40th Anniversary Christmas

8 pm Friday, December 3, 2010

Orpheum Theatre

(601 Smith St at Seymour St, downtown Vancouver)

Vancouver Chamber Choir
Martha Guth, soprano
Chamber Choir
Alumni Chorus
Chamber Orchestra
John William Trotter, conductor
Jon Washburn, conductor

Meet composer Stephen Chatman
at a pre-concert talk at 7:00 pm

VANCOUVER, CANADA Celebrating their milestone concert season, the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Artistic Director Jon Washburn will present MAGNIFICAT! A Festive 40th Anniversary Christmas at 8pm Friday, December 3 at the Orpheum Theatre. Joining the festivities will be Martha Guth (soprano, pictured below), Pacifica Singers, the Vancouver Chamber Choir Alumni Chorus and the Vancouver Chamber Orchestra.

This is the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s gala 40th anniversary Christmas concert. One highlight will be the world premiere of Stephen Chatman’s Magnificat, written for this occasion. It’s the fifth of the Choir’s outstanding 40th anniversary commissions, composed for soprano solo, choir and orchestra.

The Choir will also sing an earlier rendition of the Magnificat text by Antonio Vivaldi and a newly revised orchestral version of Jon Washburn’s A Silver Christmas. To close the evening, the present choir will be joined by former singers of the last 40 years for a rousing carol sing.

Join in celebration of those who have given us the last four decades of wonderful music-making.

Meet composer Stephen Chatman for a pre-concert talk at 7pm.

Antonio Vivaldi – Magnificat
Jon WashburnA Silver Christmas
Stephen ChatmanMagnificat world premiere
David Willcocks – Five Carols

Tickets to MAGNIFICAT! are $19.50 – $47.50, available at Ticketmaster. Rush tickets are always available for $10 at the door one hour before the concert for youth under 26 and students (valid ID required for both). Visit to purchase online or phone 604-280-3311.

The Vancouver Chamber Choir acknowledges the generous assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, MCL Motor Cars, Jaguar, The Listel Hotel, and the Vancouver Sun.

Standing Wave Ensemble – Vintage Machines

Standing Wave Ensemble – Vintage Machines

Monday November 29, 2010, 8pm
The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver BC
$16.00 general / $12.00 students & seniors
(plus service charge)
Tickets through The Cultch box office

On November 29, 2010 at The Cultch, experience the rush at the intersection of electronic and acoustic music. Standing Wave presents an intrepid program of cutting edge chamber music by Canadian and International composers.  Montreal’s Nicole Lizée will join the ensemble on vintage electronic instruments for the premiere of her new piece Sculptress, an homage to electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.  Lizée’s piece will be preceded by a screening of Kara Blake’s Genie Award-winning documentary portrait of Delia Derbyshire, The Delian Mode.  The program will also feature far-out sounds by Missy Mazzoli and Sean Varah, including the Canadian premiere of Mazzoli’s Still Life With Avalanche, as well as Structural Integrity, a new work by the Wave’s own Vern Griffiths.  Join Standing Wave for this evening of bold new music exploration.

A-K Coope, clarinet • Rebecca Whitling, violin • Peggy Lee, cello
Allen Stiles, piano • Vern Griffiths, percussion
PLUS special guests Nicole Lizée, electronics and Christie Reside, flute

Vern Griffiths, percussion | A Month of Tuesdays

Vern Griffiths, percussion | A Month of Tuesdays

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Cellar Restaurant & Jazz Club
3611 West Broadway, Vancouver BC

Doors open at 6:30 pm
Come for a drink, or a meal!  All ages welcome.
Music starts around 8:00 pm

Vern Griffiths, percussion
Lorna McGhee, flute
Dave Harding, viola
Rebecca Whitling, violin

Works by:
Ravi Shankar
Lou Harrison
Michael Colgrass
Jeffery Cotton
Vern Griffiths

There’s no question why percussionist Vern Griffiths is one of Vancouver’s best-loved, and busiest, musicians.  Principal percussionist of the Vancouver Symphony, a member of the Music on Main All-Star Band, Turning Point Ensemble and Standing Wave, studio musician, teacher; Vern brings unparalleled technique, unwavering commitment and unsurpassable musicianship to everything he does.  Come hear him up-close-and-personal when he performs at the intimate Cellar Restaurant & Jazz Club. More info

A Month of Tuesdays brings evenings of great music to one of the city’s most intimate venues, the Cellar Restaurant & Jazz Club.

What makes a Music on Main event at the Cellar so much fun? Top flight musicians, great music and a casual yet engaging atmosphere. Audience members order dinner and drinks before the concert or at intermission, then when the bar service stops for the performance, everyone listens with a renewed intensity. Full bar service and à la carte menu available before and after the concert and during intermission. (There will be no service during the performances).



Client:   Dennis Hassell Productions

Item:  Composing & scoring music for 10-14 songs (lyrics extant) for a youth stage musical, specifically commissioned for exclusive license (for several years, with an option to extend)  by DHP with their client, a national organization sub-licensing youth groups and schools.   A pilot project (workshop/showcase) will be produced in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in spring 2011.


A short full-length youth musical about the global village, for educational purposes through entertainment for youth,  families and communities, exclusively licensed to a national client, who will have an option to extend their exclusive license indefinitely (with annual royalty minimum guarantees).

Rock and traditional (Broadway-piano) based scores will be fully considered, however the commissioner is particularly open to including world music vibes and beats:  rap/regueton, Afro, Indo, Latino, Caribbean, (EG, hand-drums, acoustic guitars and other folk instrumentation).

As this is musical theater a variety of forms is required:  dance numbers, ballads, comic songs, anthems, love songs, etc.   Simple catchy melodies and irresistible rhythms worked for the Beatle, they can work for us.

The songs are intended to be sung by ordinary youth of high-school age, not by trained powerhouse adult vocalists, as in the cast of GLEE.
Lead sheets/chord charts are not suitable for intended productions with youth and volunteers: a fully realized piano vocal score  is required for in the commission.

A long-distance working relationship will be considered for greater NYC residents with professional credits/associations.  Arrangements for a successful LD candidate will be negotiated in the contract.

Band arrangements and orchestration fees are for the most part a separate engagement, but for non-traditional instrumentation (non-keyboard), basic arrangements for drums/guitars or other elements will be required.

The Commission includes:

  • An advance on royalties of $10,000 (Can), against a percentage of show, soundtrack and possibly CD/download royalties.
  • The Commission includes supplying sheet music (or charts for rock) of fully-realized vocal arrangements (not orchestrations except primary vocal accompaniment:  piano and/or drums, guitar, etc), and recorded rehearsal-only tracks, both at the workshop and the licensing phases.
  • The commission includes a license to permit, for a separate fee, an accompaniment soundtrack of all the music to be recorded and available for sub-licensed productions.   Lyricist & Composer’s permissions for limited use of recorded musical excerpts for promotion of productions will be included in the commission.
    • A contractual guarantee from the composer that he/she is the sole owner of their submissions and that all melodies and passages created for the project are demonstrably original and  free of claim or encumbrance regarding counter-claim or infringement of copyright.  The composer is is solely responsible for legal claims against their copyright (EG, claims the music pre-existed with another creator).

The Timeline:

  • Applications accepted until December 10  (it is advantageous to apply early).  Finalists announced Dec.15, 2010.
    • Finalists receive book & lyrics for perusal prior to interview.    Commission Winner announced early January, 2010.     First drafts of Songs completed/delivered in thirds, from Feb.1- March 1, 2011   Reh. Drafts of songs delivered in thirds in March (early rehearsals).  Workshop performances May with promo/demo recordings.  Final Version (post-workshop production) for publication delivered June 14, 2011.  Grand rights established with publication by Sept. 1, 2011.

How to Apply:

  • This commission is for music only, not lyrics, but it is musical theatre songs only, so we suggest you submit songs, not instrumental pieces, unless some excerpts are to feature your world-music chops
    • Resume & sample tracks (or links to) totaling no more than 10 minutes in length:  email web links to recordings (preferred) or attach pc-friendly file attachments, (20MB max per email),) to or post CD or USB flash to Dennis Hassell Productions, Studio Two, Six McCallum Court, Toronto ON  Canada M8Y 1M6.

Mtls will not be returned without a self-addressed stamped envelope. (U.S. applicants enclose $2 for postage if you wish return).  Unreturned mtls will be deleted/destroyed.

·        Deadline:  Dec. 10 2010.

Rising Beats on the Infinite Horizon

Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra presents

Rising Beats on the Infinite Horizon

November 28, 2010 at 8 pm
Tickets: $25 general / $15 students, seniors, VICO members, groups of 10+
Box Office: 604-251-1363 or online at
General info: 604-224-6201 or

Rhythm: it’s the heartbeat of music the world over, a powerful means of connection between different cultures and traditions. The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra explores this nexus and its vast musical potential, in the major concert event of its 2010-2011 season. Rising Beats on the Infinite Horizon features the 22-member VICO with special guest percussionists Curtis Andrews, Jonathan Bernard, Joseph “Pepe” Danza, Martin Fisk, Niel Golden, Jason Overy and Boris Sichon, and New York City-based oud player Baruch al-’Ajam. The programme includes three world premieres by acclaimed BC composers: Gypsy Chronicles commissioned from John Oliver with funding from the Canada Council, Earthy Airs by Moshe Denburg, and I Dream of Fountains (in a new arrangement for intercultural orchestra) by Joseph “Pepe” Danza. Also on the bill is Kusumamaya, a tabla concerto by Niel Golden.

This is fusion music on a grand scale, performed by some of Vancouver’s finest musicians on tar, zheng, erhu, santur, oud, tabla, darabuka, mrdangam, congas, frame drums, marimba, vibraphone, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and bass. Audiences at Rising Beats on the Infinite Horizon will not only hear this extraordinary instrumental combination making exciting new music, in the intimate ambience of the Historic Theatre at The Cultch, they’ll also be able to watch it happen, up close and personal. The programme will combine and contrast modern and traditional, written and improvised repertoire, showcasing the talents of Canadian composers and musicians as well as the musical cultures of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The VICO, founded in 2000, was one of the first concert orchestras in the world devoted specifically to performing new intercultural music on a grand scale. It is currently the only such professional orchestra in Canada. In the VICO, Western-trained orchestral musicians rub shoulders with performers in musical traditions from all over the world…shedding light on the musical traditions of Canada’s many cultures and the myriad bridges between them. For more information on the ensemble and its upcoming events, please visit



The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra invites applications for the above position, which is funded in part by The Canada Council for the Arts.
This position is open to Canadian citizens and landed immigrants.
A letter of application, with curriculum vitae, should be supported by no more than three music scores and recordings. The scores do not necessarily need to be orchestral works. Midi recordings are not acceptable.

Applications should arrive at the VSO office by: Friday, December 17, 2010

The applications will be reviewed by the VSO’s Music Director and Vice-President of Artistic Operations & Education. Candidates will be invited for an interview with an advisory panel consisting of the VSO’s Music Director; President & CEO; Vice-President of Artistic Operations & Education; and invited musicians of the Orchestra. All applications will be treated in confidence. The decision of the VSO will be final and binding.

The position is for a two-year period, from September 1, 2011 to August 31, 2013. There will be the possibility of a renewal for a third year. Compensation range: $35,000-$40,000 per annum.

Only successful applicants will be contacted. Should you wish to have your scores and recordings returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Applications and supporting materials should be sent to:

Vice-President, Artistic Operations & Education
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
601 Smithe Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5G1


The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra wishes to appoint a Composer-in-Residence to begin working with the Orchestra from September 2011. The Orchestra is committed to offering the successful candidate the full support and benefits of this organization. With the VSO’s ongoing commitment to contemporary music, we see an in-house creative input into what is essentially a re-creative organization, as being an integral part of the continuing progress and development of the Orchestra.

It is the policy of the VSO that the Music Director, Concertmaster and Principal players perform in each series from Kids Koncerts through to Educational, Pops, Musically Speaking, and Masterworks concerts. The successful applicant will be required to participate as a composer in many of these series.

An accessibility of style and language will be particularly useful in Kids Koncerts and Educational concerts. This does not mean writing popular tunes. Britten and Bartok both wrote successfully for children without compromising their styles. We see a considerable role for the appointee in working directly with our younger audiences in order to communicate the role of the composer.

With our adult audiences, in addition to providing works for performance, the successful candidate will be expected to encourage our audience to listen to contemporary works through pre-concert talks, and will lend support to Canadian composers.

The successful candidate will be expected to advise the Music Director and the Vice-President of Artistic Operations & Education on the suitability of other composers’ works for performance by the VSO. He/She will provide a focal point for composers wishing to send their work to the VSO for performance consideration.

The successful candidate will work closely with the Music Director and the Vice-President of Artistic Operations & Education, both as advisor and researcher, as required. In addition, he/she may be called upon to assist the Vice-President of Artistic Operations & Education with those performances requiring video production.

When required, the successful candidate will be expected to participate in pre-concert talks, lectures and seminars; and provide written material, articles, programme notes, etc. for the VSO’s house programme, Allegro. If the successful candidate is skilled as a conductor or instrumentalist, he/she may be called upon to conduct or perform where appropriate, as part of the position of Composer-in-Residence. It is not the desire of the VSO to create a situation for the successful composer to simply create new works. We are looking to benefit not only the Composer-in-Residence, but also our Orchestra and our audience. The above is intended as a summary of the opportunities which will be available to the successful candidate. The VSO Composer-in-Residence will also be expected to display initiative within the organization, in order to find the best role for himself or herself.

The Composer-in-Residence will be required to be resident in Vancouver for the duration of the residency period, and to participate in the community’s musical life where this is not detrimental to the VSO. Ultimately and principally, our Composer-in-Residence will need to speak to us through his/her music.