One hundred and fifty or so years in the making, Ensemble Made In Canada’s ambitious Mosa?que Project culminates in a livestreamed concert on Jan. 24 in St. Catharines, Ont. The piano quartet commissioned a suite of new works by 14 Canadian composers (including indie rocker Julie Doiron, jazzer David Braid and classical composer Ana Sokolovic), each representing a province, territory or Indigenous region of Canada.
The project was delayed when a Canada 150 grant failed to materialize, but a sprawling tour by the chamber group eventually touched this country’s corners, from Pouch Cove, N.L., to Iqaluit with performance at a house concert in Manitoba’s Snow Lake, a student residency on the grounds of the University of Western Ontario and dozens of other spots.
The finale takes place at Partridge Hall, a modern venue that is home to the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. “The hall is great technically, with a beautiful design,” says Alex Olegnowicz, who is in charge of the concert’s streaming production. “Even behind the scenes, where things like the size of the hallways give us ample room to work. It’s luxurious.”
Olegnowicz is a classical-music lover and former television producer who started his own company (Toronto-based Symmetrica) to present concerts, ballet and opera online. For the Mosa?que Project, he plans to take advantage of the venue’s high-tech bells and whistles by using colour washes to complement multiscreen video imagery, for example. “We’re not going against centuries of tradition,” says Olegnowicz, who has worked with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Orchestre Métropolitain. “We’re just bringing things into the 21st century.”
Coinciding with the concert, an album, recorded last summer at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio, will be released on Friday. More information on the Mosa?que Project can be found at ensemblemadeincanada.com.
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