Hillary Simms, Trombone
Hillary Simms is a young dynamic trombonist from Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador. Praised as “one of the rising stars in the trombone world for her stellar playing, infectious personality and deep musicianship” (Jens Lindemann), Ms. Simms started the year 2020 by being named Stratford Symphony’s 2020 Emerging Artist and by being a co-founder of The Canadian Trombone Quartet: Canada’s first professional all female trombone quartet who had their inaugural performance this past January.
Hillary was a performing artist in the first ever Canadian Women’s Brass Conference held in Toronto and a featured guest artist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland’s “Paddi-versary Extravaganza” Trombone Event. Her accomplishments include winning the Division II Solo Competition at the American Trombone Workshop, receiving second place prize for brass at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Concours Manuvie, being a finalist in the Latzsch Trombone Festival Solo Competition and The International Trombone Festival Robert Marstellar Solo Competition as well as being named a recipient of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award.
Hillary has recently played with the Canadian Opera Company, The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and can be heard playing lead trombone on the CD “Then is Now” recorded at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity with Jens Lindemann and Matt Catingub released January 21st, 2020.
Hillary holds a Bachelors in Music Performance from McGill University, a Masters in Music Performance from Yale University and has recently completed an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School, studying with Gordon Wolfe. Hillary intends to start her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Northwestern University in the fall of 2020.
Henri Tomasi (1901-1971)
Henri Tomasi was born in Marseilles on 17 August 1901 of Corsican parents. His Mediterranean roots were the distinctive trait of both the man and the work.
In 1927 he won a Premier Second Grand Prix de Rome and a unanimous First Prize for conducting. He at once started a career as a conductor with the Concerts du Journal and also for one of France’s first radio stations, Radio-Colonial (1931). He became a member in 1932 of the contemporary music group TRITON, the Honorary Committee of which included Ravel, Roussel, Schmitt, Stravinsky, Bartok, Enesco, de Falla, Schönberg, and Richard Strauss. He abandoned his conducting career in about 1956 on account of the deafness that darkened the whole of his latter years and in order to be able to devote himself totally to composition. On 13 January 1971, while completing an a cappella arrangement of his Chants populaires de l’Ile de Corse, he died in Paris, a city that had always been a place of exile for him.
His output – about 120 opus numbers – is as abundant and diverse in the operatic and stage genres as in the symphonic domain. It was crowned, in 1952, with the Grand Prix de la Musique Française, and by the Grand Prix Musical de la Ville de Paris in 1960.
A “protean musician” according to Emile Vuillermoz, Henri Tomasi developed a language inseparable from Mediterranean civilization: sensorial, multi-coloured, a fabric of light and shade, vibrant with melodic warmth, extolling in turn the flesh and the spirit.
Hannah Kendall (born 1984)
Born in London in 1984, Hannah is currently based in New York City as a Doctoral Fellow in composition at Columbia University.
Described as “…intricately and skillfully wrought” by The Sunday Times, Hannah’s music has attracted the attentions of some of the UK’s finest groups.
Hannah's works have been broadcast on BBC Radio, on the programs 'Composer of the Week' in March 2015 and 'Hear and Now' in October 2016. In 2015, Hannah won the Women of the Future Award for Arts and Culture.
Her recent projects include a one-man chamber opera, The Knife of Dawn, which premiered at London's Roundhouse in October 2016. Based on the Guyanese/Caribbean political activist and poet Martin Carter, set to a new libretto by award-winning author Tessa McWatt, and directed by John Walton, it was described as being “dramatically intense and atmospheric, a powerful snapshot of a poet incarcerated in British Guyana” by The Stage. The Spark Catchers, an orchestral piece for Chineke! Orchestra, was premiered at the Royal Albert Hall in August 2017 as part of the BBC Proms, was described as “imaginatively intricate” by the Financial Times. Verdala for London Sinfonietta, conducted by George Benjamin at the 2018 Proms, was described as having a “strikingly original form” by the Daily Telegraph; and also Disillusioned Dreamer written for the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, was described by the San Fransisco Chronicle as “...teem[ing] with passages of brilliant instrumental colors...and harmonies boast[ing] surprising edges and a rich inner life…”.
Hannah is deeply committed to contemporary culture as a whole and often works collaboratively with artists from other art forms.
Marjan Mozetich (born 1948)
The Canadian composer, Marjan Mozetich, was born of Slovenian parentage in Gorizia, Italy in 1948 and emigrated to Canada in 1952.
He co-founded and was artistic director (1977-79) of the contemporary ensemble, ARRAYMUSIC. His works were performed by prominent new music ensembles across Canada and abroad, and have received several awards.
Stylistically he has evolved over the years from avant-garde expressionism, to minimalism, to a post-modern romanticism. Throughout, his music has remained accessible while still retaining an artistic individuality and integrity. Paradoxically, since the late 80’s he has achieved an overtly ‘traditional’ and yet distinctively modern voice: a blend of the traditional, popular and the modern which has been enthusiastically received by the musical public. His works have been performed and broadcast throughout Canada and abroad, even on Canadian Airline’s ‘in flight’ music programs.
In 1996 his lush romantic work, The Passion of Angels for 2 harps & orchestra, received its world premier with the Edmonton Symphony, and Postcards from the Sky was premiered by the Thirteen Strings in Ottawa. His violin concerto, Affairs of the Heart, received a standing ovation at the premiere with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in 1997. When CBC Radio broadcast the concert performance of Mozetich’s 1997 violin concerto, Affairs of the Heart, the switchboards lit up from coast to coast. There were numerous reports of what those who work in radio sometimes call “the driveway experience”. This is where listeners are so captivated by what they are hearing that they remain in their cars listening to the end even though they've long since arrived home.
Mozetich has been teaching composition since 1991 at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where he resides. One of his most recent commissions was a cello concerto for Amanda Forsyth and the NAC Orchestra.
Duncan McDougall, Violin
Duncan McDougall is an 18-year-old violinist from Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada. He was the recipient of the Mary Jean Potter Scholarship to attend The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, where he studied with Kelly Parkins-Lindstrom and Jonathan Crow. Duncan recently began his undergraduate degree in violin performance with Martin Beaver at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, California.
As a soloist, Duncan has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Canadian Sinfonietta, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra, the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, and the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra. He has served as concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Morningside Music Bridge String Orchestra, and the Taylor Academy’s conductorless ensemble, the Academy Chamber Orchestra. In 2019, he had the opportunity to perform a solo recital at the Toronto Summer Music Festival as a part of their Shuffle Hour series.
A frequent award winner, most recently Duncan was chosen by CBC Music as one of Canada’s top 30 classical musicians under the age of 30. Duncan was a Grand Prize winner and the recipient of the Canimex Group Scholarship at the 2019 Canadian Music Competition, and a semifinalist at the 2019 OSM Manulife Competition, where he received the Orford Music Prize. Also in 2019, he was awarded the Geringas Memorial Scholarship and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Stingray Music Rising Star Award. In 2017, he was a winner of the TSYO Concerto Competition, performing as a soloist with the TSO.
As a chamber musician, Duncan’s string duo was a first prize winner at the 2019 Canadian Music Competition. He has performed in the 5 At The First Chamber Music Series, and with members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He attended the Szekely-Rolston Young Musician’s Program at the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition, working with former Juilliard String Quartet member Joel Krosnick.
Duncan has attended summer programs such as Morningside Music Bridge, Orford Music, and the Domaine Forget International Music Academy. He has performed in master classes for Miriam Fried, Andres Cardenes, Ilya Kaler, Almita Vamos, Rachel Barton Pine, Ian Swensen, William van der Sloot, Nikki Chooi, and Martin Chalifour, among others. He currently plays on a 2018 Mark Schnurr violin. In his spare time, Duncan enjoys trail running, canoeing, camping, and downhill skiing.
Violet Archer (1913-2000)
Violet Louise Archer, CM, was born in Montréal. She was a composer, teacher, pianist, organist, and percussionist. Violet Archer was widely recognized for her command of both traditional and contemporary music techniques, and for her large and diverse body of work. She composed more than 330 compositions, many of which have been performed in over 30 countries. Her Piano Concerto (1956) is considered one of the finest Canadian concertos. She was respected internationally for her dedication to bringing 20th century classical music to young audiences and for being a leader among women composers. A Member of the Order of Canada, she received the Alberta Life Achievement Award, the Canadian Music Council’s Composer of the Year Award, the Canada 125 Award and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal.
Since its debut in 1969, the National Arts Centre Orchestra has been praised for the passion and clarity of its performances, its visionary educational programs, and its prominent role in nurturing Canadian creativity. Under the leadership of Music Director Alexander Shelley, the Orchestra performs a full series of subscription concerts at the National Arts Centre each season, featuring world-class artists such as James Ehnes, Angela Hewitt, Joshua Bell, Xian Zhang, Gabriela Montero, Stewart Goodyear, Jan Lisiecki, and Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds.
Alexander Shelley began his tenure as Music Director in 2015, following Pinchas Zukerman’s 16 seasons at the helm. Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and former Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra (2009 - 2017), he has been in demand around the world, conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and Stockholm Philharmonic, among others, and maintains a regular relationship with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and the German National Youth Orchestra.
National and international tours have been a hallmark of the National Arts Centre Orchestra from the very beginning. The Orchestra has toured 95 times since its inauguration in 1969, visiting 120 cities in Canada, as well as 20 countries and 138 cities internationally. In recent years, the orchestra has undertaken performance and education tours across Canada, as well as the U.K. and China. In 2019, the Orchestra marked its 50th anniversary with a seven-city European tour that included performances and education events in England, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, and that showcased the work of six Canadian composers.
The NAC Orchestra has recorded many of the more than 80 new works commissioned since its inception, for radio and on over 40 commercial recordings. These include Angela Hewitt’s 2015 JUNO Award-winning album of Mozart Piano Concertos; the groundbreaking Life Reflected, which includes My Name is Amanda Todd by Jocelyn Morlock, winner of the 2018 JUNO for Classical Composition of the Year; and from the 2019 JUNO nominated New Worlds, Ana Sokolović’s Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes, 2019 JUNO Winner for Classical Composition of the Year.
The NAC Orchestra reaches a national and international audience through touring, recordings, and extensive educational outreach. The Orchestra performed on Parliament Hill for the 2019 Canada Day noon concert in a live broadcast for CBC Television.
Alexander Shelley succeeded Pinchas Zukerman as Music Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in September 2015. The ensemble has since been praised as “an orchestra transformed … hungry, bold, and unleashed” (Ottawa Citizen) and Alexander’s programming credited for turning the orchestra “almost overnight … into one of the more audacious orchestras in North America.” (Maclean’s magazine).
Born in London in October 1979, Alexander, the son of celebrated concert pianists, studied cello and conducting in Germany and first gained widespread attention when he was unanimously awarded first prize at the 2005 Leeds Conductors' Competition, with the press describing him as "the most exciting and gifted young conductor to have taken this highly prestigious award. His conducting technique is immaculate, everything crystal clear and a tool to his inborn musicality”. In August 2017 Alexander concluded his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Nürnberger Symphoniker, a position he held since September 2009. The partnership was hailed by press and audience alike as a golden era for the orchestra, where he transformed the ensemble’s playing, education work and international touring activities. These have included concerts in Italy, Belgium, China and a re-invitation to the Musikverein in Vienna.
In January 2015 he assumed the role of Principal Associate Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he curates an annual series of concerts at Cadogan Hall and tours both nationally and internationally.
Described as “a natural communicator both on and off the podium” (Daily Telegraph) Alexander works regularly with the leading orchestras of Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Gothenburg Symphony, Stockholm Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sao Paulo Symphony and the Melbourne and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras. This season’s collaborations include debuts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre Metropolitain Montreal, Orquesta Sinfonica de Valencia, and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; alongside returns to MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg and the Tasmanian symphony orchestras. He will also embark on an extensive tour of Europe with the National Arts Centre Orchestra performing in cities such as London, Paris, Stockholm and Copenhagen
Highlights of the previous season include debuts with the Helsinki and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestras and Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, as well as at the Aspen Festival in Colorado. Re-invitations include Konzerthausorchester Berlin, RTE National Symphony Orchestra and a return to the Tivoli Festival with the Copenhagen Philharmonic.
Alexander’s operatic engagements have included The Merry Widow and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet (Den Kongelige Opera); La Bohème (Opera Lyra/National Arts Centre), Iolanta (Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen), Così fan Tutte (Opéra National de Montpellier), The Marriage of Figaro (Opera North) in 2015 and he led a co-production of Harry Somers’ Louis Riel in 2017 with the NACO and Canadian Opera Company.
Alexander was awarded the ECHO prize in 2016 for his second Deutsche Grammophon recording, “Peter and the Wolf”, and both the ECHO and Deutsche Grunderpreis in his capacity as Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen’s “Zukunftslabor”, a visionary project of grass-roots engagement, which uses music as a source for social cohesion and integration. Through his work as Founder and Artistic Director of the Schumann Camerata and their ground-breaking “440Hz” series in Dusseldorf, and through his leadership roles in Nuremberg, Bremen and Ottawa, inspiring future generations of classical musicians and listeners has always been central to Alexander’s work. He has led the German National Youth Orchestra on several tours of Germany and works with many thousands of young people a year in outreach projects. He regularly gives informed and passionate pre- and post-concert talks on his programmes, as well as numerous interviews and podcasts on the role of classical music in society. He has a wealth of experience conducting and presenting major open-air events - in Nuremberg alone he has, over the course of nine years, hosted more than half a million people at the annual Klassik Open Air concerts - Europe’s largest classical music event.
The Music Director role is supported by Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, C.M., O.N.L., LL.D. (hc)