Joseph Boulonge the Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Audiences today don’t know enough Joseph Bolonge, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and we need to change that because he was an important figure in music history who’s music is making a major comeback.

Chevalier de Saint-Georges was a champion fencer, classical composer, virtuoso violinist, and conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris. Born in the French colony of Guadeloupe, he was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy married planter, and Anne dite Nanon, his wife’s African slave.

His father took him to France when he was young, and he was educated there, also becoming a champion fencer. During the French Revolution, the younger Saint-Georges served as a colonel of the Légion St.-Georges, the first all-black regiment in Europe. He fought on the side of the Republic. Today the Chevalier de Saint-Georges is best remembered as the first known classical composer who was of African ancestry; he composed numerous string quartets and other instrumental music, and opera.

The Chevalier played a key role in the aristocratic life of Paris in late 1700s, with close ties to the Palace of Versailles. The Chevalier often found himself the guest at the private musicales salons of Marie Antoinette at Versailles…with Chevalier playing his violin sonatas, with the Queen accompanying on the forte-piano.

Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ music was the toast of Paris and Versailles. During the 1780s, Saint-Georges’ star continued to get brighter and brighter. His output during this time was swift – operas, concertos, sonatas – but he also shaped the music that Paris was hearing. We have Saint-Georges’ to thank for the commissioning of Haydn’s Paris Symphonies, which the Chevalier conducted upon their premieres.

Orchestra 101

Whether you’ve always loved classical music or you’re just beginning your journey exploring orchestral music, we wanted to give you a chance to learn more about orchestral music.

Making music is so much more than just being able to bring the notes off a page to life.  Have you ever wondered what it takes to pick the right bow? Does a mouthpiece make a difference for a trumpeter? How do you tune a timpani?

Trumpeter Dean McNeill sheds some light on Tartini’s incredible Concerto for Trumpet

Find out more from our Principal Oboe Erin Brophey as she breaks down how to make an oboe reed!

Isn’t it Romantic – SSO Online Class with Eric

The Romantic era produced some of the biggest orchestral works ever written.

The emotional outpouring and go-big-or-go-home attitude of the composers, combined with the ever growing size of the orchestra, was a recipe for heart-on-sleeve music pushed to its limits. This class explores some of the more famous masterpieces of the time, as well as some tasty music you might never have heard before.

 

 

Click here to view the class!


How does it work?

Before the first class, you’ll receive an email that gives you access to the 6 weeks of scheduled Zoom classes.

If you can’t participate in the live Zoom class, you’ll have access to the video of the class on our YouTube channel

Week 1 – Early Romantic

Things are starting to simmer
Music of Mendelssohn, Schumann, Berlioz, and Mayer

Week 2 – Mid-Romantic

We’re turning up the heat
Music of Brahms, Bruckner, and Bronsart

Week 3 – Late Romantic Part 1

We’re on full boil now
Music of Grieg, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Holmes

Week 4 – Late Romantic Part 2

We’re on full boil now
Music of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak

Week 5 – Post-Romantic Part 1

The lid has blown off
Music of R. Strauss, Debussy, and Coleridge-Taylor

Week 6 – Post-Romantic Part 2

The lid has blown off
Music of Sibelius and Mahler

Live Stream Tips & Tricks

So, you’ve bought your Digital Concert Stream subscription, or your one time Digital Ticket for the SSO live-streamed concert. You are settled in your favourite chair, snacks and drinks in hand and you are ready to enjoy the concert from the comfort of your own home.

But how do you watch the show? Great question! Here are some ways to watch and a few tips and tricks to help maximize your viewing experience.

Before the concert begins you will receive an email with the link to the live stream. You can click the link on any device and start watching as soon as the stream goes live at the concert start time. It will open a new window that will show either an image of the orchestra or an image from the concert you’re about to watch.

There will be a countdown in the bottom left corner of the video and it should automatically begin at the appointed time if you have the window open. If it does not begin at 7:30 push the play button. You can watch on any of your devices that have internet access, even your TV! We have some common ways to get the live stream on your TV below.

This video will be available for 24 hours!  If you aren’t able to watch at the concert start time, happen to miss the first few minutes, or even if you want to watch it again, you can do that for 24 hours.

You can press pause. Unlike real life you can pause a live stream! If you need to take a break for whatever reason you can pause or rewind the live stream when you need to. The system will keep recording and it won’t interrupt your feed if you press play five, or more, minutes later.

Lag happens. If the video is choppy or isn’t lined up with the audio that could be due to your internet connection. We recommend pressing pause to let the stream load a little. If that doesn’t work, sometimes hitting the refresh button is all you need. Don’t worry about missing anything as the live stream automatically converts to a recording and is available for 24 hours from the concert start time.

If you have any issues please contact us! Sometimes email inboxes filter out messages from us so if you know you should have a link coming your way and it hasn’t arrived contact stream(at)saskatoonsymphony.org. We have someone monitoring the email before, during, and after the concert and they will get back to you as quickly as possible so that you can get back to enjoying your at home (or wherever) concert experience.

For Digital Concert Stream subscribers there is a back up link available to you on the Digital Concert Stream Page found under “My Account”. Click here to log in.

How to watch YouTube videos and live streams on your TV!

If you have a smart TV you can:

1. Open the YouTube link from the email on your device and click the save button (next to the share button on the bottom right corner) to add the video to your “watch later” playlist. When you open the YouTube app on your smart TV you will be able to find the video in your playlist and bring it up on your TV Screen. (This does require you to be signed in to your YouTube account on the device and your Smart TV.)
OR
2. Open the internet browser function on your TV and type in the private YouTube link you received in your email.

Some smart TVs will immediately recognize that you are playing a youtube video on your device and ask if you want to watch it on your TV. Every brand is different so often a quick google search will get you the answers you need!

If you have a Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire you can:

1. Open the private YouTube link on your device and cast (or airplay) the video to your TV.

You can also click the link and click “Save” when the YouTube video has opened – then go to YouTube on your TV (through Roku, FireStick, etc), and you’ll find the saved video in your Library on the ride hand side menu.

If you do not have a smart TV or aren’t sure how to add apps to your TV you can:

1. Connect your laptop to the TV screen with an HDMI cable. This will allow you to use your TV as a mirrored screen or second screen. Push play on your laptop to start the video or live stream and it will show up on your TV.

Musical Herstory

For centuries, the writers of musical textbooks (and the programmers of musical institutions) excluded women who composed.

Women have been writing and performing music for as long as men have; so how come we don’t know about very many women composers? In this class we’ll explore the socio-historical reasons behind the absence of women from textbooks while exploring their music and their lives.

With stories such as appealing to the vanity of Louis XIV in order to publish their music, or conducting from a prison cell with a toothbrush, the Herstory of Music shows the bravery and tenacity of women finding ways to create music in a world dominated by men. And the Herstory does not just live in the past – it is being made today by living and breathing women. How much has really changed?

Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

The SSO is proud to present Saskatoon composer Kendra Harder in this six week course exploring the Herstory you need to know.

Classes take place Thursday’s at 7pm (Saskatchewan time) – each class is 60 minutes.

The first class takes place on September 17th, and will be available on video to those who aren’t able to attend the class live on Zoom.

Click to Register Now


How does it work?

Before the first class, you’ll receive an email that gives you access to the 6 weeks of scheduled Zoom classes.

If you can’t participate in the live Zoom class, you’ll have access to the video of the class on our YouTube channel

Week One – History of Feminist Musicology

Composers in focus – Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre and Marianna Martines

Week Two – The Education and Socialization of Women

Composers in focus – Fanny Hensel Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann

Week Three – The Suffrage Movement and Difficulties of Being a Female Musician or Musician of Colour in the 20thCentury

Composers in focus – Dame Ethel Smyth and Florence Beatrice Price

Week Four – Living Composers – The Advancement of Music Technology and the Avant-Garde

Composers in focus – Kaija Saariaho and Sofia Gubaidulina

Week Five – Living Composers – Composers in the Neighbourhood

Canadian composers in focus – Alexina Louie and Cris Derksen

Week Six – Living Composers – Music as a Living and Interacting Entity. Plus – what else do composers do besides write music?

Composers in focus – Kaley Lane Eaton and Niloufar Nourbakhsh

SSO Performances Online

Take a chance to listen to some past performances and new online performance by the SSO and our collaborators!

We’re thrilled to bring you two brand new videos – both collaborations with amazing friends of the SSO to help kick off these summer nights!

Music for Violin and Orchestra, 2nd Movement with Timothy Chooi – premieres June 19th at 7:30pm!

Join us on Saturday, June 20th at 7:30pm to kick off summer with a performance of Vivaldi’s Summer from his Four Seasons with violinist Veronique Matthieu!

It’s spring!  The SSO was joined by Veronique Matthieu for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – take a listen to Spring!

Violinist Veronique Matthieu joined the SSO for a weekend of performances in October 2019.  The concert featured two sets of Four Season concertos, Vivaldi’s iconic set of seasons and Astro Piazzolla’s tango-tinged.  The Sunday afternoon performance at the Dekker Centre in North Battleford was filmed by Bamboo Shoots for SaskTel Max Local On Demand.

More videos from this concert will be added to this page soon!

The SSO’s Principal Bass Richard Carnegie and our Assistant Concertmaster Jacqueline Nutting joined forces to bring us this brilliant Beethoven Duo for our Beethoven Fest!


Anyone longing for travel? Please enjoy some photos from our various trips to London alongside the first movement of Haydn’s London Trio.

Allison married a British chap almost four years ago to the day! They enjoyed exploring the sights of London, never forgetting to stop for a proper cuppa tea!

While sitting under a tree in Hyde Park, Tom proposed to Erin. The first thing they did as an engaged couple was find a red telephone booth to call their family in Canada. Afterwards, they had the best Curry in the Baywater district of London. They both hate tea but love a good pint.

Stephanie enjoyed a fun family holiday shortly after graduating from high school. She was just old enough to have her first beer in a London pub with her dad and uncle. 2 sips was enough, they finished the pint.


Cellist John Payzant shares a beautiful work by Boismortier

Principal Oboes abound!
The SSO’s Principal Oboe Erin Brophey joins the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Oboe Tamsin Johnston for a little Mozart!

Principals Allison Miller, Erin Brophey, and Stephanie Unverricht (also known as Chicks with Sticks) clearly ain’t misbehaving during the social distancing!

The SSO’s Principal Bass Richard Carnegie shares a solo bass piece by Milton Barnes!

Our Principal Percussionist Fraser Krips brings us a chance to hear him collaborating with himself!

More collaborations on their way soon!

 

Meet the Musicians in Your Neighbourhood

On top of missing getting to make music for our audiences, we’re also missing each other!  Which was one of the reasons we launched Meet the Musicians in Your Neighbourhood.

Join us on Facebook Live on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm to catch Maestro Eric Paetkau interviewing musicians from the SSO and our musical friends in our community!

To tune in to these feeds join us at our Facebook Video page.

Each of the video interviews are live – while you watch you’re also able to ask a question and join in the chat.

Don’t have Facebook – don’t worry!  Our videos are all public, so you can still watch them even without being on Faecbook.

If you’re missed getting to watch the live interview, you can watch it anytime for the next month at our Facebook Video page

We’ve started by interviewing the members of the SSO’s Chamber Ensemble, and soon we’ll be featuring other players in the orchestra, local musicians and SSO partners and friends.

Check out the past Meet the Musicians interviews with:

flutist Allison Miller,
violinist Oxana Ossiptchouk,
oboist Erin Brophey,
clarinetist Margaret Wilson,
bassoonist Stephanie Unverricht,
trumpet Terry Heckman,
the low brass section,
our percussion section,
bassist Richard Carnegie,
horn Arlene Shiplett,
and concertmaster Michael Swan.

Throughout the month of June the SSO is featuring the vocal soloists who are lined up to perform with the SSO in the upcoming season, including:

soprano Emma Johnson,

soprano Andrea Lett,

mezzo Lisa Hornung,

tenor Spencer McKnight,

and bass Brenden Friesen,

 

Friends of the SSO

Musicians around the world are still making music, and collaborating in unique new ways during social distancing.  So we wanted to bring you a list of quarantine performances from some of the SSO’s friends – watching these videos is a good reminder of how incredibly lucky we are to have shared the stage with all these awesome people!

We’ll keep updating these performances regularly so check back for more!

Saskatoon’s own Ryan Davis brings us a performance of his new work Wildfire – and we absolutely love it!

The UofS Jazz Ensemble brings us a little sunshine to cheer you up on rainy days!

The Greystone singers, like us, lost the end of their season – but they worked together to create this great video!

 

Eileen Laverty has left our audiences speechless on a number of occasions…its not just her stunning voice, its also her ability to touch our hearts with her musicianship.  She recorded this performance during social isolation, and its perfect.

 

Our friend Thomas Yu has been using his social distancing time to reconnect with the piano on some brand new arrangements he’s putting together…is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

 

Our friend Timothy Chooi has been very busy making music from home during social distancing! Take a listen to a concert he did from his living room for the Violin Channel.

 

Tenor Spencer McKnight is an audience favourite at our performances of Handel’s Messiah.  He teamed up with the SSO’s Mark Turner to make some music during social distancing…Mark recorded the piano part in his living room in Saskatoon and sent it on to Spencer so he could record his part in his living room in Outlook!

 

Accent…oh Accent! Our first concert effected due to the pandemic was our show with Accent, so we miss them the most.  They’ve been making some fun quarantine collaborations reminding us how much music can mean!

 

As the weeks of distancing go on, we were thrilled to see Thomas Yu share this beautiful performance!

Keep checking in as we’ll be posting more videos from friends!

Beat Beethoven Virtual Fun Run

WOW! Thank you to everyone who took part in our Virtual Beat Beethoven!

Over the course of the week, we had nearly 200 people participate in this walk/bike/run. We want to send a special thank you to the people who joined us from Columbia, Guatemala, and Scotland!

Although the run is done – you can still give it a go and enjoy getting active to this incredible music. 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, so its a great time to soak in his music any way you can.

 

Beat Beethoven – Don Cochrane

1: Pick your distance/music – playlists below!

2: Set up your running app – like Strava, Runkeeper, MapMyRun, etc

When it comes time for your Beat Beethoven run, press start on your chosen playlist and then press start on your app to keep track of your distance and time. You can keep track of distance or steps, that’s up to you! When you have completed the run/walk/bike stop your app and pause the playlist to see if you Beat Beethoven!

3: After your run share it with us! #SSOBeatBeethoven

Each Beat Beethoven run/walk/bike you do from May 24 – May 30 can be used to enter the draw for a prize pack from Brainsport. Upload a screenshot of your run time and where you stopped on your Beat Beethoven Playlist for your entry. Feel free to send us a Beat Beethoven selfie too!

Upload your photos to enter the draw!
Click here to upload photos

You can also post a picture/story on social media with #SSOBeatBeethoven. We will share them on our social media. 

PLAYLISTS

A true passionate spirit – just like Beethoven! A brisk 5km with one of the most iconic pieces of music ever written.

Run to his epic 5th symphony (about 30 mins):
IDAGIO
SPOTIFY
APPLE MUSIC

You’re looking for the ultimate inspiring run – feel the joy of Beethoven 9! Feel the thrill of getting closer to your goal as the choir comes in with one of the most powerful moments in all of music.

Run to Beethoven’s Choral Symphony (about 60 mins):
IDAGIO
Spotify
Apple Music

Time to explore nature on your bike – take a ride with Beethoven and his Pastoral Symphony! Hear the birds, watch the clouds, and soak in one of Beethoven’s most beautiful pieces of music.

Bike to Beethoven’s Symphony 6 (about 40 mins):
IDAGIO
Spotify
Apple Music

Don’t worry, it’s not all about the distance – take a chance to go for a great walk and explore these great Beethoven playlists!

Playlists to enjoy:
IDAGIO
Spotify
Apple Music

From Bach To Bartok Online Class

From Bach to Bartok – with Music Director Eric Paetkau

Free online class for SSO subscribers – if you’re not a subscriber but would like to give the class a try email us at classes@saskatoonsymphony.org

Take a fascinating journey through some of the greatest symphonic music ever written. From Bach to Beethoven to Brahms to Bartok, we’ll dive into the works of famous composers and look at them from a conductor’s perspective. There will be musical excerpts, juicy stories, and lots of Q&A.  Join me for a fun, fact-filled exploration of classical music’s masterworks and get a behinds-the-scenes look at what makes this music great.

-Eric Paetkau

Classes take place Fridays at 11am – videos of each class will be available to subscribers until June 30th.

Week 1, April 17. Baroque orchestral works – Bach, Handel, and more,
Week 2, April 24. Classical symphonies – Mozart, Haydn, and more,
Week 3, May 1. Beethoven Fest  1 – overview of the Beethoven Symphonies 1-5
Week 4, May 8. Beethoven Fest 2 – overview of the Beethoven Symphonies 6-9
Week 5, May 15. Early romantic symphonies – Mendelssohn, Schumann, and more,
Week 6, May 22. Later romantic symphonies – Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and more,
Week 7, May 29. Early 20th Century symphonic works – Strauss, Mahler, Sibelius, and more,
Week 8, June 5. Other 20th Century symphonic works – Bartok, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and beyond

The classes take place live on Zoom – its an easy to use online program that lets you join the class.

Classes are reserved for subscribers – to get access to the recorded classes email us at classes@saskatoonsymphony.org

You DO NOT need to have an account with Zoom to join the class – watch the video below to learn more about how to use Zoom for this class.