The SSO is thrilled to present a podcast in collaboration with Saskatchewan’s very own Olivia Adams.
Olivia is a pianist, music clinician, and teacher. She holds a MA in Music and Feminist Studies from the University of Ottawa and a B.Mus. in Piano Performance from Western University. Olivia speaks and adjudicates across Canada and the US. She is a researcher on gender and music in Canadian music conservatories and is the author of the forthcoming book “Loud and Clear: Graded Piano Music by Women Composers” centering on the voices of female BIPOC composers comes out this October with Debra Wanless Music & 80 Days Publishing. She has written articles for the Canadian Music Teacher Magazine, Opus, and the book Hands On Piano. In 2020 received a Canadian Government SSHRC grant for her research on gender and race in the conservatory curriculum. Olivia works as a piano teacher and collaborative pianist in Ottawa, and a Music Director at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church. She is passionate about equity in the music studio, writing curriculum, and increasing inclusionary practices in classical music.
Olivia’s new podcast Loud and Clear, amplifies the voices of women in music. In conversation with composers, artists, and musical leaders, the podcast explores the experiences of women in all areas of music creation and production, including conducting, composing, producing, broadcasting, directing, teaching, performance, and research.
New episodes launch each Tuesday everywhere you get your podcasts.
At the current time, purchases of tickets and subscription to the streaming must be made on the ConcertStream.tv website
Live Stream Digital Ticket
For as little as $19.99 per Digital Ticket you and your household can watch the concert as it happens from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you have internet access.
When you purchase live stream access you will need to sign in to or create an account. Once your account is set up you can log in any time to see what you have access to. There will be a countdown for the upcoming live stream and you can even add a calendar reminder! You will get an email alert when the concert begins, but you can log in and get ready to view the live stream at any time. Once the live stream is complete there will be a recording available for you for 24 hours. It may take an hour or two to appear in your library.
Digital Tickets start at $19.99 and gives you access to one concert for 24 hours. You can also purchase $35 and $50 Supporter Tickets – these still get you the same 24hr streaming, but give you a way to support the SSO at this time!
For only $99.99 you can have access to all SSO live streamed concerts for the year. You will also have full access to the SSO’s concert videos on demand. This means you can watch all our concert and bonus content wherever you want, whenever you want, and as many times as you want.
Love our opening night concert and want to see it again? You could watch it every day and its all covered by your $99.99 subscription!
Have major FOMO because you missed one of the live streams? Have no fear! You can catch all our incredible concerts at a later date and it still only costs you $99.99.
You’ll be able to set up your account, with your own password, and you’ll get a confirmation email for your purchase.
Once your subscription is set up you’ll be able to login to watch videos whenever you want!
Live streamed performances are available for 24 hours – 7 days after all live streamed concerts you’ll be able to watch the concert film of that concert on demand by logging into ConcertStream.tv.
Enjoy unprecedented access to the SSO for a year!
You not only get a fantastic discount for all the live-streamed concerts by getting the SSO Streaming Subscription, but you also get the benefits of video on demand all while supporting your orchestra. How can you go wrong?
Subscriptions must be purchased on the ConcertStream.tv website – no in-app purchases are allowed at this time. But once you’re logged in on the apps, you’ll stay logged to be able to enjoy concerts whenever you want!
This past April, the SSO’s Simeon Taylor and Mark Turner had the chance to experience a world first.
The duo co-direct the live streaming of the SSO’s performances and are the creative team behind ConcertStream.tv – together they’ve filmed dozens of performances for live streaming and video-on-demand. Pairing Taylor’s background in film and Turner’s background in music, the two work in tandem to direct and capture a live performance that helps you see what they want you to hear.
When they started live streaming in fall of 2020, they didn’t dream that they’d end up flying to Sweden to experience the first ever gathering of directors of orchestral streaming…but in April they boarded a plane bound for Gothenburg and found themselves spending a week with peers from around the globe gathered together to explore the world of multi-camera orchestral filming.
Helmed by the IMZ International Music + Media Centre, the week was lead by renowned directors Peter Maniura and Kriss Russman, with Mons Per Fogelberg (head of streaming for the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra) and the GSO’s entire streaming team. After days spent learning from the best, Taylor and Turner got to sit in the director’s seat and film a performance by superstar soprano Barbara Hannigan. A thrill to film this exceptional Canadian artist alongside the Gothenburg Symphony, the week lead to incredible opportunities to learn from the best, connect with colleagues around the globe, and be part of the creation of a network that allows for the filming of orchestral performances to grow and flourish!
The SSO is grateful to the support of SKArts for supporting Simeon Taylor’s participation in the IMZ Academy.
At the end of his 7 season, Maestro Eric Paetkau steps down from the role of Music Director. Ahead of his final concert as Music Director, Eric sat down with CEO Mark Turner for one final chance for a music talk.
Exploring the highlights, memorable moments, and special stories never told before the pair reminisce about performances spanning back to Eric’s SSO debut in 2014.
It’s a walk down memory lane and a chance acknowledge Eric’s considerable achievements at the helm of the SSO.
Eric’s last concert as Music Director is Mahler 4 on May 7th. While we hope you can join us there, we know it might not be possible to say goodbye in person. If you have a message or memory you wish to share with Eric, enter it in the form below! We will make sure he gets all your kind messages as we celebrate his incredible tenure here at the SSO.
Farewell messages and memories for Music Director Eric Paetkau
Our concert Tania Miller & Jane Coop opens with Andrew Balfour’s beautiful Pyotr’s Dream for string orchestra. Commissioned and premiered by Tafelmusik in 2019, the work is inspired by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Balfour is an accomplished artist and is also known for his beautiful choral works. It is no wonder that he composes for strings in a way that often reminds us of the human voice.
Of Cree descent, Andrew Balfour is an innovative composer/conductor/singer/sound designer with a large body of choral, instrumental, electro-acoustic and orchestral works, including Take the Indian (a vocal reflection on missing children), Empire Étrange: The Death of Louis Riel, Bawajigaywin (Vision Quest) and Manitou Sky, an orchestral tone poem. His new Indigenous opera, Mishaboozʼs Realm, was commissioned by LʼAtelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and Highlands Opera Workshop.
Andrew is also the founder and Artistic Director of the vocal group Camerata Nova, now in its 22nd year of offering a concert series in Winnipeg. With Camerata Nova, Andrew specializes in creating “concept concerts”, many with Indigenous subject matter. These innovative offerings explore a theme through an eclectic array of music, including new works, arrangements and innovative inter-genre and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Andrew has become increasingly passionate about music education and outreach, particularly on northern reserves and in inner-city Winnipeg schools where he has worked on behalf of the National Arts Centre, Camerata Nova, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and various Winnipeg school divisions.
In 2007 Andrew received the Mayor of Winnipegʼs Making a Mark Award, sponsored by the Winnipeg Arts Council to recognize the most promising midcareer artist in the City.
The SSO announces the retirement of Lahni Russell after more than three decades as Principal Cellist.
Ms. Russell earned a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music (both with High Distinction) from Indiana University studying with world-renowned cellist, Janos Starker. Post-graduation she spent two years at the Banff Centre of the Arts and was the first ‘cellist to win the Regina Concerto Competition (1987) before winning the audition for Principal Cellist in Saskatoon in 1989.
During her tenure she captivated SSO audiences with many solo concerto performances including Haydn D Major, Kabalevsky, Haydn C Major, Vivaldi and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons, and in 2018, Jocelyn Morlock’s remarkable ‘Exaudi’ with the Canadian Chamber Choir. In the wider community, Ms. Russell was a founding member of Prairie Virtuosi and the U of S Amati Quartet, she sat as first chair for the Saskatoon Opera and accompanied the Saskatoon Children’s Choir on many occasions. Across Canada, she performed as guest artist with the Calgary Philharmonic in Banff, as guest Principal Cello in Regina and in the Victoria and Vancouver Symphony sections. She was Solo cello for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet during performances in Saskatoon and Victoria and was hired for that same position on the Ballet’s tours across the U.S.
In addition to her orchestral performances, Ms. Russell teaches private lessons (in person and online), coaches string ensembles and has mentored advanced string students prior to competitions and exams.
Ms. Russell is also an accomplished luthier and bowmaker. She has provided stringed instrument and bow repair, restoration services, and appraisals to professional musicians and students province-wide and beyond. Her clients have included visiting guest artists and principal string players in professional orchestras. She has operated her own business, LJ Russell Violin and Bowmaker, since 1995. She will continue to teach and offer violin shop services.
Ms. Russell is the longest serving Principal Cellist in the SSO. To recognize her contribution to the orchestra, we are happy to bestow upon her the honorary title of Principal Cellist Emeritus. We thank Lahni for her years of service and wish her well.
It’s hard to believe that I’m enjoying my seventh season as Music Director of the SSO. I’ve had so many unforgettable experiences and memorable moments over the years. Not only has the organization as a whole been incredible (the musicians, Mark Turner and the whole staff, the Board) but the welcome and warmth Karen and I received from the audience, the city, and the community has been special. And that’s why it’s not easy to say that I’ve decided to move on from the SSO at the end of this season and hand over the musical reins of this wonderful orchestra
I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished as an organization over the years and how we’ve been an innovative force in the Canadian music scene. Some highlights have been the many Saskatchewan and Canadian musicians and music we’ve featured, our growing presence in the community, and simply daring to try new things and making them work. Part of this is creative momentum and I strongly believe new ideas and fresh perspectives are paramount to artistic growth. That’s why I’m very excited in passing the torch to new musical leaders and seeing how they contribute to the future of the SSO.
We’ve already been seeing fresh faces on the podium in the last year and I’m delighted to see many more this coming season. I’m making this announcement now to ensure a smooth transition and for everyone (orchestra, audience, and community) to experience what great things are in store for the orchestra moving forward. Thanks to all of the hard work from everyone involved, the SSO is in a prime position for an exciting future.
But I’m not done yet! I’m excited for the Brahms Requiem this month and then officially saying goodbye in May. I look forward to my last season and continuing to experience not only this great orchestra but the wonderful city of Saskatoon and its incredibly warm and inviting people.
Thank you Saskatoon and see you soon!
With styles ranging from R&B to classical, Nia’s soulful and eclectic music is a great fit for commercials, television and film. Her gospel singing background in church contributed to her love for music at a young age, having written her first song at the age of five. Nia has a Bachelor of Music degree in theory and composition and a Master of Music degree in composition. She is a composer of opera, instrumental music, and writes for artists and herself.
We’re thrilled to be performing the Canadian premiere of her new work “Chrysalis Extended” as part of our Swan Lake performance on February 26th.
Take time to watch her video talk about this incredible new work!
Infinitely charming and seemingly unable to age, Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme is the closest he ever came to writing a full solo work (concerto) for cello and orchestra. Inspired by the elegance and grace of Mozart, the Variations show how brilliant Tchaikovsky could be when he turned his pen to the classical style…but rococo? Not so much!
Rococo was a period of art between the Baroque era and the Classical era. Rococo style is elegant and refreshing – Tchaikovsky wrote his own theme, it wasn’t Rococo after all!
The piece is made up of a brand new theme and eight variations. Tchaikovsky wrote an original theme in a style that meant Rococo to him; the orchestra creates the mood, the horn hands it off to the cello, and they all share the elegant theme repeated four times, allowing the cello to lead us into the variations…
The variations each show us something unique:
Var 1 – Tempo della Theme (same speed as the theme) is full of triplets, lively and graceful!
Var 2 – Tempo della Theme is a dialogue between orchestra and soloist and the statement of the theme has had its rhythms manipulated to make it feel much more lively and brazen, refusing to resolve.
Var 3 – Andante (at a walking speed) is sad. It’s melancholy restatement of the theme is the only time the composer gives us the the music in a minor key.
Var 4 – Allegro vivo (fast, full of life!) warms us up taking us from the previous D minor to sunny sensuous return A major. This is one of the most difficult passages in the piece for the soloist as its filled with constant fast note runs. It’s blazingly fast and ends with a graceful use of a rocket theme (the music literally goes up like a rocket!)
Var 5 – Andante grazioso (walking gracefully) is where Tchaikovsky moves the beat around on us. He’s mixing up where we feel the downbeat and gives us a stunning trill from the cello!
Var 6 – Andante takes that cello trill and hands the main theme off to the flute. When the soloist finally “falls” from the trill to a low E, the orchestra takes over with the joyous theme again. The soloist is given a cadenza (solo virtuosic phrase) that leads us into C major, something that feels so distant and foreign but comfortable all at once.
Var 7 – Andante sostenuto feel contemplative in the warmth of C major as it slowly winds its way toward E major – its Tchaikovsky giving us a hint that we’re heading home before long! There’s a meditative hopefulness here that seems to ask and answer a question, and E major gives us a perfect way to prepare for the return of the home key in…
Var 8 – e Coda: Allegro moderato con anima (Moderately fast with movement) has the cello gracefully bringing us home to A Major. It’s one big crescendo that leaps from fortissimo to piano only to be joined by the orchestra again. Joyful, full of light, buoyant, full of running scales to get us into the Coda that finally gives us the full drama that Tchaikovsky is so known for. This elegant journey comes to a glorious end…one that Mozart would have been proud of!
The SSO is thrilled to have Regina-born cellist Jonathan Craig Penner making his SSO debut with the Variations on a Rococo Theme as part of our Swan Lake concert February 26th.