Symphony New Brunswick Presents Back-to-Back Concerts

Symphony New Brunswick recognizes that we all need a break from the wintry weather and will present two fabulous concerts to bring in the spring — “Ventus Machina in Concert” and “Hammers and Strings,” a concert featuring the Saint John String Quartet with guest pianist Martin Kutnowski. These concerts in late March and early April conclude the Virtuoso Series of concerts for the season, leaving two full-symphony Bravo Concerts on the main stages of Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John throughout April and May.

Ventus Machina in Concert

The well-known woodwind quintet, Ventus Machina, will perform an exciting repertoire of works they have not yet explored in three New Brunswick cities in late March and early April. Stalwarts Karin Aurell (flute), Christie Goodwin (oboe), and Patrick Bolduc (bassoon) will be joined in this concert by Symphony New Brunswick musicians Andrew George (clarinet) and John Fisher (horn). Both hail from Saint John, and Symphony New Brunswick is delighted to welcome them to the stage for these special performances.

The program will be very diverse and will feature the works of composers from the United States, Italy, Brazil, and Hungary, across a broad span of music making: Irving Fine; Nino Rota; Heitor Villa-Lobos; György Ligeti; and Endre Szervánszky. The works of Irving Fine (1914-1962), a member of the Boston School (alongside Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein), is noted for its “unusual melodic grace” and its “elegance, style, finish, and convincing continuity.”

Nino Rota (1911-1979) is an Italian composer, pianist, and conductor best known for his film scores, which include works for Fellini, Visconti, and Zeffirelli films. In 1974 Rota won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Godfather Part II. Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) is a Brazilian composer described as “the single most significant creative figure in 20th century Brazilian art music.” He is also undeniably the best-known South American composer of all time. György Ligeti (1923-2006) is a Hungarian composer of classical music, known best for his avant-garde music in addition to the excerpts of his pieces that are part of the film score of 2001: A Space Odyssey. In fact, he was restricted by authorities of communist Hungary and only able to develop his compositional techniques and indulge his passion for new music once he had emigrated to Austria in 1956. Endre Szervánszky (1911-1977) — also a Hungarian composer — studied at the Budapest Academy of Music and has been influenced by Béla Bartok. He was honoured with the “Righteous among the Nations” award by the State of Israel to honour non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis.

SNB General Manager Jennifer Grant says, “I see a political thread running through these exciting musical selections. We are pleased to be presenting works that might not have been heard by everyone but that will be long remembered after the concert.”

Concert details or Ventus Machina in Concert are as follows:

March 26, 2017 in Saint John at the Saint John Arts Centre at 2 pm

March 30, 2017 in Fredericton at McCain Hall, St. Thomas University at 7:30 pm

April 1, 2017 in Sussex at St. Francis Xavier Church at 7:30 pm

The Saint John String Quartet Concert

The beloved Saint John String Quartet will be joined by well-known pianist, composer, and Fine Arts professor Martin Kutnowski, the celebrity who accompanied the String Quartet on their fabulous four-week South American tour this summer.

The program, called “Hammers and Strings/Marteaux et Cordes,” will be reminiscent of their tour, including many of the same fabulous pieces.

Numbers include five original works by Kutnowski as well as works by Mozart, Bloch, and Glazunov. The combination of the beautiful strings of the quartet (two violins, a viola, and a cello) and a piano may answer the debate as to whether the piano is a string instrument or a percussion instrument.

Members of the Saint John String Quartet include David Adams (violin); Danielle Sametz (violin), Christopher Buckley (viola), and Sonja Adams (Cello). Sonja Adams says the Quartet, while equally comfortable on the main stage of concert halls, loves the smaller venues for these Virtuoso concerts: “The audience is very close, so there’s an intimate feel to it and it adds something to our performance as the listener is right with us, experiencing this music. We’re playing on the same level or plane, with the audience only three feet away from us. That makes for a different kind of musical experience. It’s this feeling of closeness that makes chamber music so special.”

Concert details for Hammers and Strings are as follows:

April 6, 2017 in Fredericton at McCain Hall, St. Thomas University at 7:30 pm

April 9, 2017 in Saint John at the Saint John Arts Centre at 2 pm

For both concerts: Students: $10; Adults: $26; Children under 12 are free

Tickets are available at the door or at the Imperial Theatre for the Saint John concerts and at the door in Fredericton and Sussex. Imperial Theatre: (506) 674-4100, or contact Symphony New Brunswick to reserve tickets: (506) 634-8379;

Andrew Patterson residency at Imago

Andrew Patterson in residence at Imago March 12-25th
Meet and Greet Thursday March 23, 5pm

During my residency at Atelier Imago, I’ll be creating a series of neo-concrete poems entitled FHOLDING PATTERNS. These text-objects invite the audience to consider language as a moveable bed, to imagine reading as a form of writing; exploring what it means to encounter language in an embodied sense. Of particular concern is how we come to hold a certain meaning, and how this meaning gently folds in light of time and effort pressing. Concluding the residency, the public will be invited to activate FHOLDING PATTERNS through touch, reflex, thought, reading and play. 

Andrew Patterson is a writer/reader/listener based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A poet interested in phenomenological approaches to language, his practice explores gesture, listening, shared experience and the cultural location of play. Andrew’s work, which spans printed matter, mixed-media installation, performance and instructional poetry, seeks a balance between the sensual and semiotic experiences of language. By locating the poetic gesture in unlikely forms and cultural spaces, communication becomes less a function of transmission and more a sharing that becomes subject. All with intention to reward and encourage curiosity.

RBC FUNDS St. Andrews Arts Council 2017 OPERA Program

The St. Andrews Arts Council has received a $5,000 donation from the RBC Foundation towards its 2017 Opera Workshop. Accepting the cheque are Jan Mulder, treasurer of the St. Andrews Arts Council and her granddaughter Jannique Slater, from Colby Blair, Branch Manager, Royal Bank of Canada, St. Stephen. The donation is part of the RBC Foundation’s ongoing Emerging Artists Project. The funds will be used to provide scholarships and help cover travel costs for some talented young Canadian opera vocalists coming to study in Saint Andrews.

Danielle Hogan’s “Painting Barcelona” and Guy Vézina’s “Signals” at Gallery 78

Danielle Hogan’s “Painting Barcelona” and Guy Vézina’s “Signals” at Gallery 78

Guy Vézina combines vistas of remote wild landscapes with abstract linear and geometric designs to show the impact of human activity, such as invisible radio frequencies, electromagnetic waves, and satellite telecommunication on the physical environment.  Making these signals visible, Vézina draws our attention to the ever changing interactions humans have with the environment.  The lines also represent messages from the land which we may have difficulty hearing due to virtual noise.

Danielle Hogan spent part of the summer of 2016 participating in an artist residency in Barcelona.  This vibrant capital of Catalonia with the fantastical landmarks of Antonio Gaudi can be visually overwhelming, so Danielle, through the practice of watercolour “slows down the ‘gulp-like’ aspect of seeing” as she struggles – unsettled and fascinated in equal parts – to take in the sights, smells, sounds and textures of each unique place.  Watercolour allows Danielle to savour the visual experiences.  The results are meditative, delicate paintings which evoke a sense of peace and wonder in those who look on.

Both exhibitions continue to Sunday, March 19

Gallery 78, 796 Queen St. (corner of Church and Queen), Fredericton
Open: Tues to Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-3pm, Sun 1-4pm or visit virtually at:

Opening Reception Saturday February 25 2:00pm to 4:00pm

In a new series of work titled “Signals” Guy Vézina combines vistas of remote wild landscapes with abstract linear and geometric designs.  This imposition of geometric line onto the landscape represents our human invading presence in such spaces as well as “signals” arising from the land and reaching out for our attention.

Danielle Hogan’s watercolours in “Painting Barcelona” represent her gleanings of the city of Barcelona from a time she spent in residency there in the summer of 2016.  For Danielle, the practice of watercolour “slows down the ‘gulp-like’ aspect of seeing” as she struggles – unsettled and fascinated in equal parts – to take in the sights, smells, sounds and textures of each unique place.  “Watercolour facilitates for me, the responsibility to savour experiences.”

Both exhibitions begin Friday, February 24

Gallery 78, 796 Queen St. (corner of Church and Queen), Fredericton
Open: Tues to Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-3pm, Sun 1-4pm or visit virtually at:

Symphony New Brunswick begins Sesquicentennial celebrations with new commission

As part of Symphony New Brunswick’s “New Brunswick on Show” concert from March 13-15, Christine Donkin’s new work “Hopewell Cape” will be performed by SNB musicians as part of a very exciting concert. Christine says of the piece, “Hopewell Cape was commissioned by Symphony New Brunswick and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as part ofCanada Mosaic. Thirty-eight Canadian composers across the country were invited to create brief orchestral tributes. I named my tribute in honour of the region in which its premiere will take place: the breathtaking stretch of the New Brunswick coast that features the famous Hopewell Rocks. I wanted the music to be celebratory, uplifting, and accessible to all.”

In addition to playing “Hopewell Cape” Symphony New Brunswick will present internationally-renowned horn player Ulises Aragon, from Dieppe, and the works of well-known composer Michael Miller of Fredericton.

Maestro Michael Newnham will lead the Symphony in a concert that can be described as idyllic and pastoral. This lyrical and accessible concert will charm audiences and help us all through the last days of winter. General Manager Jennifer Grant says that a highlight of the evening will be “a double bill from NB composer Michael Miller and SBN Principal Horn, Ulises Aragon, in the world premiere of Miller’s “Three Dialogues for Solo French Horn and String Orchestra.”

Also on the program will be the delightful “Siegfried’s Idyll”, written by Richard Wagner as a birthday present to his second wife, Cosima, after the birth of their son Siegfried in 1869, in addition to works for a smaller orchestra by Walton, Larsson, and Schumann. Rounding out the evening, Michael Miller’s Horn composition reminds us of family ties that are so important to us in New Brunswick. Ulises Aragon was the First Horn in the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, in Caracas, Venezuela, from 1989 to 2012 and currently serves as resident teacher at the International Horn Festival in Manizales, Colombia, held annually since 2006, in addition to his position as Principal Horn of Symphony New Brunswick.

Michael Miller, a composer, pianist, and retired professor of music, has degrees from New York University, and the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, NY. He has taught at New York University, Vassar College, and Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, where he is Professor Emeritus.

Concert details are as follows:

March 13, 2017 in Moncton at the Capitol Theatre at 7:30 pm

March 14, 2017 in Fredericton at The Playhouse at 7:30 pm

March 15, 2017 in Saint John at the Imperial Theatre at 7:30 pm

Students: $10

Adults: $42

Tickets are available at the door at the Box Offices in each city:

Moncton, Capitol Theatre (506) 856-4379,

Fredericton, The Playhouse (506) 458-8344,

Saint John, Imperial Theatre, (506) 674-4100,


This spring and fall the National Arts Centre Orchestra will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation by embarking on a national tour–the first to be led by the Orchestra’s highly acclaimed Music Director Alexander Shelley.


The Canada 150 Tour begins in Atlantic Canada from April 26 to May 7, and will feature the internationally renowned Canadian violinist James Ehnes, who will perform Eric Korngold’s Violin Concerto. Ehnes is a GRAMMY® Award and 10-time JUNO winning violinist, and is widely considered one of the world’s finest living soloists.


Repertoire will feature classical masterworks, as well as I Lost My Talk, a new work by Alberta composer John Estacio. The work is based on the poem of the same name by Mi’kmaw poet and elder Rita Joe, C.M., about her experience at Shubenacadie Residential School in Nova Scotia.


The Atlantic leg of the Canada 150 Tour includes 50 education and community engagement activities that will unite the musicians of the Orchestra with students, educators, community leaders and artists. The tour will also include a series of meaningful events that will focus on reconciliation through the arts.


“2017 is an incredible year for Canada and for all Canadians,” said Music Director Alexander Shelley. “What better way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation than by putting together a line-up of concerts and education events featuring the best artists and musicians Canada has to offer, and bringing it right to the doorsteps of Canadians all across the country.”

“Bringing exciting and original programming to Canadians across the country is part of our mandate as the National Arts Centre Orchestra,” said Managing Director Christopher Deacon. “We are delighted to be partnering with outstanding performing arts, education and community organizations across Canada on what is sure to be an exhilarating tour.”


“Our education activities are tailored to the specific needs of the communities we visit,” said Geneviève Cimon, Director of Music Education and Community Engagement. “We want to give students the opportunity to celebrate their unique cultures and perspectives through the transformative power of music.”


“Four Plus One” Equals Five

Symphony New Brunswick presents the renowned Saint John String Quartet and Principal Bass player Andrew Miller, giving audiences an unusual quintet performance in “Four Plus One.” They will be performing this unique concert in Moncton, Saint John, and Sussex between Feb. 18 and Feb. 25.

One of the pieces they will be playing is Dvorak’s Quintet, op 77, written in 1875. Andrew Miller recalls that they haven’t played this together for over 20 years: “The last time we played this, back in the nascent days of the world-wide-web, it was one of the first-ever concerts to be live-streamed on the Internet. Fellows from the phone company had to run cable down the street into the venue as conventional phone lines couldn’t handle much bandwidth.”

Symphony New Brunswick Concertmaster and Quartet principal violinist David Adams adds: “With the addition of a bass to a string quartet the sound changes, giving a full-body tonal palette. The string quartet’s roles change so that the inner voices and cello are not only adding to the larger harmonic structure but also taking on more melodic material.”

Also on the program is “Dynamus for String Quintet” written by Canadian Juno-winning composer Allan Gordon Bell in 1980 and the Haydn String Quartet, op 20 no. 4 — a comical and witty string quartet with a melancholy second movement in a beautiful theme and variation form.

Concert details are as follows:

February 18, 2017 in Moncton at Resurgo Place at 7:30 pm

February 19, 2017 in Saint John at the Saint John Arts Centre at 2:00 pm

February 25, 2017 in Sussex at St. Francis Xavier at 7:30 pm

Students: $10

Adults: $26

A Classic Comes Alive SJTC Focuses on Student Outreach, Touring Of Mice and Men

Tickets on sale in all locations February 1st, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK – After two years of successful education outreach touring, the Saint John Theatre Company (SJTC) is planning to offer another curriculum relevant program to schools in Southern NB during the months of March & April 2017.  The company is pleased to be touring its Main Stage production of the John Steinbeck classic novel, Of Mice and Men.

As part of the tour, performances will be offered in Sussex, Saint John, St Stephen and Fredericton. A public evening performance as well as daytime student performances will be offered in each location. Student outreach is the focus as the company continues its ‘SJTC Theatre On the Road’ (SJTC TOR) initiative which is designed to offer engaging theatrical experiences to NB students at no charge to schools. The company will be reaching out to area High Schools to extend an invitation to the show.

The play was chosen as part of the company’s ‘TD Classics for the Classroom’ program which aspires to bring literature to life for youth in the region by selecting curriculum relevant works that are read in the classroom and then presented on stage. “‘Classics for the Classroom’ has been a vital part of SJTC programming for many years, and we value the opportunity that TD is giving us to share the program with even more students,”adds Stephen Tobias, Artistic Director, SJTC. “In bringing these works to life for our student audiences, we are supporting the work of educators throughout our region, we are helping to enhance literacy skills and fostering a love of literature in our youth, we are helping to develop the next generation of theatre-makers and theatre attendees.”

Of Mice and Men touring dates and locations:

Sussex Regional High School – public performance March 16 at 7:30pm – tickets available at Stuart’s Gifts, by visiting or calling 1-888-311-9090. Student performances March 16 & 17at 10am.

Imperial Theatre – public performances March 22-25 – for tickets call Imperial Theatre box office at 506-674-4100 or visit: Student performances March 21 & 22 at 10am.

St Stephen High School – public performance March 29 – tickets available at Morris Music, by visiting or calling 1-888-311-9090. Student performances March 29 & 30 at 9:20am.

The Fredericton Playhouse – public performance April 3 – for tickets call Playhouse box office at 506-458-8344 or visit: . Student performance April 3 at 10am.

Support for Of Mice and Men has been provided by TD, Canaport, BMO, The Province of NB, NB Children’s Foundation, The Pannell Family Foundation, The MacMurray Foundation, The McCain Foundation, and Anglophone South School District.

Media inquiries: Lise Driscoll, Marketing & Communications, SJTC / 506-652-7582 ext 226