September 2011

On the Pulse


The School of Music is pleased to be sending you the first issue of e-Pulse. We have an incredibly exciting year of concerts ahead, with an impressive number of guest performances as well as the ever-inspiring faculty, ensemble and student recitals. Please take advantage of e-Pulse as your leading source for School of Music event highlights, updates, and news, not to mention fabulous ticket giveaways.

I hope you enjoy our inaugural issue of e-Pulse!

Please visit our website for a complete listing of School of Music concerts and events.


On Stage


Leading British Composer Visits UVic

'Finnissy is one of those awkward English visionaries like William Blake or John Bunyan, whose rough edges are a measure of their burning convictions.'
- Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph

 Composer Michael Finnissy, a major voice in British music, will visit the University of Victoria School of Music as an Orion Lecturer this fall.  Renowned for his broad aesthetic range, he is equally at home with complex and simple musics. Well-known as a pianist, he will give a recital of his work on Monday September 12th at 8 p.m. in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall.  On Wednesday September 14th he will present a lecture entitled 'Writing anything and everything'. Both events are free and open to the public.

In addition, Finnissy will be joining Victoria’s Aventa ensemble for their annual Composer Workshop.  Participants in this year’s workshop include UVic Alumni Anna Höstman (MMus ‘05), Mason Koenig (BMus ‘10), and Christopher Reiche (MMus ‘08), whose works can be heard in a reading session on Saturday September 10th at 2 p.m.  As well, alumnus Chedo Barone (MMus ’04) and current student Alex Jang will have works performed by Aventa in a concert that includes music by Finnissy on Sunday, September 11th at 8 p.m.  Both events will take place in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall.  Please visit Aventa’s website for further details. 


The LSQ Celebrates Its 25th Year With Friends

With 25 years under their belt, the Lafayette String Quartet uniquely holds the title as the only all-female ensemble in the world to still feature its original members.  If that wasn’t enough of an accomplishment, since forming in 1986, the Quartet has performed across Canada, the US, and internationally, won major prizes, received awards for their recordings, and have been the subject of a book.  As artists-in-residence at the School of Music for the past two decades, they still manage to maintain a rigorous touring schedule in addition to their teaching duties.

“UVic has shown a strong commitment to us,” says LSQ violinist Sharon Stanis. “I feel very fortunate to be here. Not all universities have a resident string quartet, and there's a real mentoring by having all of the string teachers in one ensemble."

 For their silver anniversary concert season, the Quartet has invited some exceptional friends to join them on stage. On Saturday, September 17th, pianist Flavio Varani will join the Quartet in performing Dvorak's Piano Quintet in A major Op. 81. And on Saturday, February 4th, violinist James Dunham and cellist Paul Katz will help form the sextet in Brahms' Sextet in G major, Op. 36. Both concerts will take place in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available from the University Centre Box Office.


Vogt's Year of Liszt

 Last spring, School of Music faculty, Bruce Vogt, launched a tribute to Franz Liszt with a CD release as well as the first of three solo piano concerts of his works to commemorate the bicentenary of the composer’s birth.  This fall, Vogt will perform the final two concerts in the series. 

Although Vogt discovered Liszt’s music later in his career, his works have since maintained a central place in his repertoire.  “Like so many other young musicians I had found it easy to dismiss his music as sensational and sometimes hollow in its virtuosity. But when I finally came to it in my early thirties, I instead found a visionary and a powerful poet.”  Vogt considers studying the works of Liszt as fundamental to achieving mastery at the piano and that, through his music, aspiring pianists reward from their “courage, imagination, range of tone and colour, and generosity of spirit.”

 For many composers music is an avenue for conveying emotions, values, spiritual quests, and life’s traumas and joys, and Vogt believes that few have done so with such honesty as Liszt.  The title of Vogt’s second concert, Exuberance of Heart and Bitterness of Heart, reflects the way in which Liszt described the change in his language from his youth and middle age to his later years.  Though these were dark years for the composer, “these late works in themselves inspire with their search for the illimitable”, explains Vogt.  The third concert, Spiritual Visions, concludes with Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude (Hymn to God in my Solitude), a powerful expression of spiritual transcendence that goes beyond religious affiliation. 

If you have yet to embrace the works of Liszt or, like Vogt, initially dismissed his music as sensational, Vogt challenges you to take another listen: “He is, it seems to me, one of the few composers who has the range of expression to more than support a full concert of his music. If anyone doubts this, let them come - I am confident they will change their minds!”

Exuberance of Heart and Bitterness of Heart: Friday, September 23rd at 8 p.m.
Spiritual Visions: Saturday, November 5th at 8 p.m.
Vogt will give a pre-concert talk at 7:30 p.m. on both dates. Concerts will take place in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall.   Tickets are $17.30 & $13.50 and are available from the University Centre Box Office.

Beyond UVic
News on School of Music Alumni


 Cassandra Miller (BMus '05) was awarded the 2011 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music from the Canada Council for the Arts for her composition, Bel Canto.  The work, composed for mezzo-soprano and two simultaneous ensembles, was premiered in May, 2010 at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montreal by Ensemble Kore.  Of Bel Canto Miller said, “A very long afternoon moment reminded me that life is warm and slow and completely full of strange potential. The piece is simply a dedication to that idea, and to the friend who made that (and many other moments) possible for me. The music exists to create a space in which the listener can make connections, see details, stop listening and start again, can come and go with the various elements of the sound.”  You can listen to Bel Canto and read the complete news release here.

Paul Beauchesne (BMus '88) is the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for Fine Arts. The award, granted to eleven leading members of UVic's Alumni community each year, recognizes professional achievements and community leadership. Beauchesne, who studied at UVic under famed tubist Eugene Dowling, is the founding member of the Beacon Hill Brass Quintet, serves as Department Head at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and is the principal tubist with the Victoria Symphony for the past seven years.


 David Cecchetto (MMus '04) received his Interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Victoria in 2010 and, upon receiving his degree, was awarded a 2010 Governor General's Gold Medal (the highest academic honour the University can bestow on a graduate student) as well as the 2011 CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award (granted by the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies to the top Canadian dissertation in the fine arts, humanities and social sciences category for 2011). Assistant Professor of New Media History and Criticism at OCAD University in Toronto, Cechetto's innovative and groundbreaking research which critiques constructions of technological posthumanism, has made a hugely influential contribution to posthumanist thought.

 Anna Atkinson, (BMus ’08) recently released her first solo album with the curious title Mooniture (a word invented by Atkinson to describe furniture made from pieces of the moon).  Referred to as a “one woman band”, Atkinson composed all of the songs, sings, and plays most of the instruments, including accordion, viola, banjo, and piano.  She performs regularly in the Toronto area, and is planning a West Coast tour this November. A sample of tunes from her album can be heard on her website.

Music Extras
Ticket Giveaways, Contests and more!

Test your knowledge (or web search abilities) for a chance to win a pair of tickets for the following School of Music events:

Bruce Vogt plays Liszt, Friday, September 23rd at 8 p.m.

  • Which of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies was frequently used in cartoons, including Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny, and The Muppet Show?

University of Victoria Orchestra, Friday, October 28th at 8 p.m.

  • Beethoven struggled to produce an appropriate overture for Fidelio.  How many versions of the 'Leonore Overture' did he compose?

To be included in a draw for a pair of tickets to either of these concerts, please send an email with your answer(s) to with Ticket Giveaway in the subject line.  Contest closes September 19th 2011!


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