Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Announces Full Program for 7th Annual New Music Festival, Jan 11-16, 2020.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Announces Full Program for 7th Annual New Music Festival, Jan 11-16, 2020.

At the VSO School of Music’s Pyatt Hall, Maestro Otto Tausk and members of the VSO announced the program for the 2020 VSO New Music Festival (VSONMF).

The festival, with a theme of (Re)Creation, includes a concert of concerti performed by the artists who commissioned them, Max Richter’s re-imagining of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons,remix master Nicole Lizée takes the reigns in a Carte Blanche concert with a redux version of her hit Perxploitation from last year’s festival, and Finnish clarinetist Kari Kriikku mashes together global traditions in his Bizarre Bazaar. Plus, major works by Kaija Saariaho, Insuk Chin, and Thomas Adès along with guest artists Vivianne Hagner, Vern Griffiths, Standing Wave, The Vancouver Youth Choir, the VSO School of Music’s Sinfonietta and the return of VSO Music Director Emeritus Bramwell Tovey for the closing performance.

At the launch, Tausk said, “for a lot of New Music the first performance is both its “premiere” and “dernière”. It’s written, played once or twice and then if a champion doesn’t carry it forward we don’t get a chance to discover it. For this year’s festival we decided to focus on some fantastic works already in existence from composers we greatly admire and to bring the artists who inspired their music to Vancouver to ‘re-create’ the original performances. Hence our theme of (Re-)Creation”.

The Festival runs January 11-16, 2020 at multiple venues across Vancouver. Passes are on sale now through the VSO Box Office. View the website at


Saturday January 11, 2020 | 7:30PM | Chan Centre at UBC



Nicole Lizée  Behind the Sound of Music (2014) for chamber orchestra, soundtrack, video

Unsuk Chin  Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (2001)

Kaija Saariaho  D’om le vrai sens (2010) clarinet concerto


Viviane Hagner, violin

Kari Kriikku, clarinet

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Otto Tausk, conductor

Concert Description

“sonic images of magnetic power” – The Guardian on Saariaho

Masterpieces by a trio of outstanding composers. Canadian star, Nicole Lizée, re-imagines scenes from The Sound of Music; celebrated Korean Unsuk Chin’s rhapsodic Violin Concerto brought her international acclaim; Kaija Saariaho magnificently evokes the colours and atmospheres of Finland.

Chin and Saariaho’s pieces are (re-)interpreted by the original soloists who inspired and premiered them.

Sunday January 12, 2020 | 2:00PM | Annex – 823 Seymour St.



Girl, You’re Living a Life of Crime (2001)

Carpal Tunnels (2001)

Another Living Soul (2016)

Darkness is Not Well Lit (2016)

Lynch Études (2016/arr. 2019)

Hitchcock Études (2010)

Sepulchre (2018/arr. 2019)

Keep Driving, I’m Dreaming (2017/arr. 2019)

8-Bit Urbex (2016)

Suite from Perxploitation (2018/arr. 2019)


Vern Griffiths, percussion

Otto Tausk, conductor

Andrew Crust, conductor

Concert Description

Nicole Lizée curates a concert featuring a kaleidoscopic selection from her inventive catalogue, including a (re-)arranged Perxploitation, whose sensational premiere by VSO Principal Percussionist Vern Griffiths with Maestro Tausk at VSONMF 2019 brought the crowd to their feet. Part of the VSO’s “Carte Blanche” ANNEX series.

Monday January 13, 2020 | 7:30PM | Christ Church Cathedral



Works for solo violin by Bach, Kreisler, Kuntze-Krakau, Kurtág, and Yun

Bizarre Bazaar: Folk music from Hungary, Egypt, Argentina and Portugal


Viviane Hagner, violin

Kari Kriikku, clarinet and leader

Sinfonietta and faculty of the VSO School of Music

Concert Description

“[a] hauntingly masterful display of technique and artistry” – Washington Post on Hagner

Viviane Hagner finds poetry in the new and freshness in the old in a solo violin program weaving together works from five centuries.

Kari Kriikku leads the talented members of the VSO School of Music’s Sinfonietta on a bravura global journey blending folk melodies with new sounds and voices.

Tuesday January 14, 2020 | 7:30PM | Christ Church Cathedral



Missy Mazzoli Still Life with Avalanche (2008)

Nicole Lizée The Spins (2016)

Nicole Lizée Epiphora (2016)

Olivier Messiaen, arr. Jennifer Butler Le merle noir (1952, arr. 2013)

Vulc Tadeja O SAPIENTIA (2016)

Roomful of Teeth Quizassa (2012)

Slovene Folk Melody Bog Daj, Bog Daj

Palestrina Sicut Cervus (1594)

Part Uusberg Sicut Cervus (2012)

Merrill Garbus Water Fountain (2014)

Katherina Gimon Fire (2013)


Standing Wave

Vancouver Youth Choir

Carrie Tennant, conductor

Concert Description

Standing Wave presents eclectic reflections on old themes: featuring Nicole Lizée , Missy Mazzoli, and Jennifer Butler’s (re-)imagining of Messiaen’s seminal “The Blackbird”.

The remarkable Vancouver Youth Choir juxtapose Palestrina’s Renaissance masterpiece Sicut Cervus with a setting of the same text by contemporary Estonian composer Part Uusberg. Plus — Katherina Gimon’s vibrant integration of voice and movement.

Wednesday January 15, 2020 | 7:30PM | Waterfront Theatre – Granville Island

Waltz with Bashir, Soundtrack by Max Richter


With an entrancing fusion of contemporary, classical, and post-minimalist styles, Max Richter is one of today’s most successful composers for stage and screen. Ari Folman’s Golden Globe and Academy award winning film, Waltz with Bashir, features Richter’s innovative score and won a European Film Award for best composer.


Wednesday January 15, 2020 | 7:30PM | Waterfront Theatre – Granville Island


Film Screening

Thursday, January 16 | 7:30PM | Orpheum Theatre



Thomas Ades, Luxury Suite from Powder Her Face – Suite No.2 (2017)

Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons (2017)



Nicholas Wright, violin

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Bramwell Tovey, conductor

Concert Description

“Vivaldi-goes-clubbing” – Gramophone Magazine

With virtuoso orchestration, fanciful melodies and ambitious topics, Thomas Ades’ 1995 hit opera, Powder Her Face, took the world by storm.

Max Richter (re-)casts The Four Seasons for solo violin, strings and electronics. Emeritus Maestro Tovey and VSO Concertmaster Nicholas Wright invite you to chill out to this bold and beautiful re-creation.

About the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1919, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s most active and successful performing arts institution; the largest performing arts organization west of Ontario, and the third largest symphony orchestra in the country.

The VSO performs to an annual audience of over 250,000 people and features more than 50 celebrated guest artists each season. Over 170 concerts are performed annually by the VSO in the historic Orpheum Theatre and numerous additional venues throughout the Lower Mainland. 2019-2020 marks the organization’s 101st season

Media release and images provided by Sarah Yu, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

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