≈ 45 minutes · No intermission
Ian Cusson’s Sonata for Piano and Oboe, “The Haywain” (2020), is the second of three works by the composer (b. 1981) based on images from the late-Medieval painter, Hieronymus Bosch. The sonata unfolds in three movements, titled Dignified, Simply, and Wild, respectively. These are, as Cusson explains, “in dialogue with Bosch’s The Haywain Triptych, painted in 1516, and follow the painting’s three panels as they progress from an Edenic state to Hell with all its absurdities. The image is dominated by a giant bale of hay at the work’s centre around which crowds of people cavort under the benevolent watching eyes in the clouds above them.”
Ian Cusson (b. 1981) is a Canadian composer of art song, opera, and orchestral work. Of Métis (Georgian Bay Métis Community) and French Canadian descent, his work explores the Canadian Indigenous experience, including the history of the Métis people, the hybridity of mixed-racial identity, and the intersection of Western and Indigenous cultures.
He studied composition with Jake Heggie and Samuel Dolin and piano with James Anagnoson at the Glenn Gould School. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Chalmers Professional Development Grant, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Award, and several grants through the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.
Ian was an inaugural Carrefour Composer in Residence with the National Arts Centre Orchestra from 2017 to 2019. He is currently the Composer-in-Residence for the Canadian Opera Company for 2019 to 2021. He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the Canadian League of Composers.
He lives in Toronto with his wife and four children.