HPO’S 2017-2018 SEA­SON

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - LEONARD TURNEVICIU­S Leonard Turneviciu­s writes about clas­si­cal mu­sic for The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor. leonard­turnevi­cius@gmail.com

Va­ri­ety, they say, is the spice of life. And there’s va­ri­ety and spice aplenty with some­thing for ev­ery­one in the Hamil­ton Phil­har­monic Orches­tra’s 2017-2018 sea­son.

“Ev­ery time some­one walks into the FirstOn­tario Con­cert Hall, we want them to en­joy an evening that has a clear theme, or mes­sage, or style that they can res­onate with, and ev­ery piece on the pro­gram comes to­gether in a uni­fy­ing way,” said HPO mu­sic di­rec­tor Gemma New in con­ver­sa­tion with The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor at the con­cert hall’s mez­za­nine level on Mon­day. “So, ev­ery pro­gram here has a dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter, a dif­fer­ent coun­try. And yet, if you look in the pro­gram, the pieces are some­times very fa­mil­iar, some of them are a lit­tle bit more chal­leng­ing, or just a new ex­pe­ri­ence. Then when we look out at the en­tire sea­son, I think we looked for a bit of ev­ery­thing, so that we can reach out to as many peo­ple in Hamil­ton as we pos­si­bly can.”

The new sea­son opens on Satur­day, Sept. 23 with New lead­ing an all-Rus­sian pro­gram con­sist­ing of Niko­lai Rim­sky-Kor­sakov’s “Capric­cio Es­pag­nol,” Py­otr Ilyich Tchaikovsk­y’s “Vi­o­lin Con­certo” with Cana­dian vi­olin­ist and Los An­ge­les Phil­har­monic Orches­tra con­cert­mas­ter Martin Chal­i­four as soloist, the “Polovt­sian Dances” from Alexan­der Borodin’s opera “Prince Igor,” and Igor Stravin­sky’s 1919 “Fire­bird Suite.”

Ital­ian-born, St. Peters­burg, Rus­sia-based con­duc­tor Fabio Mas­trangelo, who clas­si­cal mu­sic fans may re­mem­ber from the Brott Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in 2013 and ear­lier, re­turns to Hamil­ton on Oct. 21 to lead a “Best of Ital­ian Opera” bill with hits by Rossini, Verdi, and Puc­cini fea­tur­ing Rus­sian so­prano Yana Kleyn and Cana­dian tenor John MacMaster.

On Nov. 11, New and the HPO ac­knowl­edge Re­mem­brance Day and Hamil­ton’s his­tory with a “Hamil­ton Re­mem­bers” con­cert. HPO com­poser-in-res­i­dence Abby Richardson-Schulte’s “Fan­fare,” a short work com­mis­sioned for Canada Mo­saic, a Canada 150 Sig­na­ture Project, will be pre­mièred. HPO prin­ci­pal trum­pet Mike Fedyshyn will be the soloist in John Esta­cio’s “Trum­pet Con­certo,” an­other Canada Mo­saic work. Af­ter in­ter­mis­sion, it’s Mozart’s ubiq­ui­tous “Re­quiem” with the Bach El­gar Choir, the Kitch­ener-based Grand Phil­har­monic Choir and soloists Shan­non Mercer, Julie Nes­ral­lah, Lawrence Wil­i­ford, and John Fan­ning.

Guest con­duc­tor Lu­cas Waldin re­turns for a Home for the Hol­i­days show on Dec. 16 with guest vo­cal­ist and Juno nom­i­nee Heather Bam­brick and the Bronze Foun­da­tion Hand­bell Choir.

The ac­ro­bats, aeri­al­ists and cirque per­form­ers of Cirque de la Sym­phonie re­turn on Jan. 20, 2018, with Daniel Bartholome­w-Poyser guest­ing on the podium.

Cana­dian su­per­star vi­o­lin vir­tu­oso James Ehnes will be the soloist in Sa­muel Bar­ber’s “Vi­o­lin Con­certo” on Feb. 17 with New lead­ing the HPO in Chris­tos Hatzis’s “Zeit­geist” and Beethoven’s “Eroica Sym­phony.”

New re­turns one month later, on March 17, for a “Gemma con­ducts Haydn” bill fea­tur­ing HPO con­cert­mas­ter Stephen Si­tarski, prin­ci­pal cello Jack Men­del­sohn, prin­ci­pal oboe Gra­ham Macken­zie, and prin­ci­pal bas­soon Eric Hall in the “Sin­fo­nia con­cer­tante” by Franz Joseph Haydn. That com­poser’s “Sym­phony no. 88” plus mu­sic by Cle­menti and Mozart round out the bill.

He’s ba-ack. Yup, New’s pre­de­ces­sor, Jamie Som­merville, comes back on Thurs­day, April 19, for Gy­orgy Ligeti’s “Con­cert Ro­manesc,” Bela Bar­tok’s “Third Pi­ano Con­certo” with soloist Con­rad Tao, and An­tonin Dvo­rak’s “New World Sym­phony.”

Long­time HPO tim­panist Jean Nor­man Iadeluca and side­kick Ernie Port­house on the snare drum take the spot­light in the pre­mière of Ron Royer’s “Dance Suite for Tim­pani, Drum Set and Orches­tra” on the sea­son-clos­ing May 12 con­cert. New also con­ducts Aaron Co­p­land’s “Rodeo,” Ar­turo Mar­quez’s “Dan­zon no. 2,” and, in a nod to Leonard Bern­stein’s cen­te­nary, the Sym­phonic Dances from “West Side Story.”

Sub­scrip­tions to the 2017-2018 Main­stage sea­son can be pur­chased in 3-,5-, 7-, or 9-con­cert pack­ages. Sub­scribers can also add the HPO’s Fam­ily con­cert tick­ets to their sub­scrip­tion pack­ages. The first of those two con­certs, Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf ” is on Oct. 14, and the second, “Pinoc­chio,” is on Feb. 3. Both take place at Mo­hawk Col­lege’s McIn­tyre Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre. Sin­gle tick­ets go on sale on July 1. And ac­cord­ing to HPO ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Diana Weir, there are no price in­creases next sea­son. That’s mu­sic to ev­ery­one’s ears. Call 905-526-7756 or visit hpo.org.


Gemma New, mu­sic di­rec­tor of the Hamil­ton Phil­har­monic Orches­tra, says the up­com­ing sea­son is de­signed to reach as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.


Heather Bam­brick will per­form with the HPO at its Home for the Hol­i­days show Dec. 16.


Vi­o­lin vir­tu­oso James Ehnes will be the soloist in Sa­muel Bar­ber’s “Vi­o­lin Con­certo” on Feb. 17.


For­mer HPO mu­sic di­rec­tor Jamie Som­merville re­turns April 19, 2018, as guest con­duc­tor.

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