Sure bets at the box office – Bach, Beethoven – may offer security for orchestras in uncertain times, but why perform only the classics?
On Jan. 17, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra launches its inaugural New Music Festival, featuring works by contemporary composers from B.C. and beyond, including a spotlight on renowned Australian composer and violist Brett Dean.
VSO music director Bramwell Tovey, who will conduct each event, had great success launching the WSO New Music Festival in Winnipeg, which marks its 23rd edition this month. Tovey, who recently took the Canadian Opera Company to task in a Maclean's op-ed for its record on presenting new Canadian work, says featuring contemporary composers – as opposed to solely decomposers (his joke) – is necessary for the art form's evolution.
"Otherwise we're just regurgitating masterpieces from across the previous centuries."