Thursday, June 3, 2021 8 pm. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. West

At current attendance levels this concert has sold-out.

To view livestream on June 3, 8:00 pm      

To view the concert anytime from June 4 to July 2

Maestro Arman conducts Sinfonia Toronto in a program of virtuoso works by three brilliant composers: Josef Suk’s romantic Serenade, the world premiere of Vania Angelova’s Polyphonic Miniatures and a rare instrumental masterpiece by Verdi.

ANGELOVA  Polyphonic Miniatures world premiere
SUK Serenade
VERDI Sinfonia for Strings

Program Notes
Polyphonic Miniatures - World Premiere        Vania Angelova   (born 1954)
Composer, pianist and conductor Vania Angelova obtained a doctorate in composition at the University of Montreal after completing a masters in piano with Professor Regina Horowitz, sister of the great Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz, as well as a masters in composition with Professor Igor Kovach in the former USSR. 

Angelova’s oeuvre includes compositions for symphony and chamber orchestras, a wide range of chamber music, two oratorios, several orchestral suites, a capella and orchestral-accompaniment arrangements of ancient and modern choir music. Her works have been performed in Canada, Eastern and Western Europe. She has composed music for seven movies.

Polyphonic Miniatures is Angelova’s most recent suite for string orchestra. This evening’s premiere will be Sinfonia Toronto’s second performance of her work, following a warm reception for another suite in a previous season, her dramatic Pagan Dances.

Serenade in E Flat Major, Op. 6 by Josef Suk (1874-1935)                          
Unlike his mentor Antonin Dvorak and his Czech compatriots Josef Myslivecek and Jan Zach, violinist and composer Josef Suk made little use of Czech folk idioms in his music. Nor did he write very much chamber music, even though he was the second violinist of the renowned Czech String Quartet for more than 40 years.

Dvorak considered Suk the best of all his Prague Conservatory students and also a friend, including him in family events. Suk fell in love with Dvorak’s daughter Otylka when she was only 14 years old, and wrote his Serenade as he began his formal courtship of her in 1892. Some music historians have speculated that the work’s four beautifully lyrical movements were intended as a portrait of his intended. They married in 1896, but Otylka’s tragically early death in 1905 was a great blow to Suk, and perhaps a reason he never fulfilled his entire potential as a composer.

The Serenade’s first movement is in traditional ABA form, knit together by cross-referencing themes as is typical of the Romantic era. The second movement is a graceful and delicate waltz, while the third is one of the most beautiful movements in the string orchestra repertoire, full of sweet passion. The movement ends with a lovely duo for two solo violins, perhaps representing Josef and Otylka themselves. The Serenade’s finale was clearly inspired by Suk’s prospective father-in-law; it is one of the times Suk did write a memorable folk-like melody.  Its catchy rhythms dash to the end with all the youthful ardor of an eloquent young man in love.

Sinfonia Toronto now in its 22nd season, has toured twice in Europe, in the US, South America and China, receiving glowing reviews. It has released four CD’s, including a JUNO Award winner, and performs in many Ontario cities. Its extensive repertoire includes all the major string orchestra works of the 18th through 21st centuries, and it has premiered many new works. Under the baton of Nurhan Arman the orchestra’s performances present outstanding international guest artists and prominent Canadian musicians.  

Maestro Nurhan Arman has conducted throughout Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and the US, returning regularly to many orchestras in Europe. Among the orchestras Maestro Arman has conducted are the Moscow Philharmonic, Deutsches Kammerorchester Frankfurt, Filarmonica Italiana, St. Petersburg State Hermitage Orchestra, Orchestre Regional d’Ile de France, Hungarian Symphony, Arpeggione Kammerorchester, Milano Classica and Belgrade Philharmonic.

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