Soundstreams Unveils 2023-24 Season

By Chris Ruel

Soundstreams, a leading global contemporary music company promoting new Canadian music, has announced its 2023-24 season. The organization’s focus is innovative thematic and experiential programming, serving a broad community of music lovers.

“Our post-pandemic world has made it easier to ‘stay home’ on a grand scale. Wonderful as that can sometimes be, we’re wired to have collective experiences, to have a shared humanity. There’s something primordial about experiencing deeply-felt emotions with others, whether it be profound sadness or profound joy, and everything in between. Great music can inspire those feelings – it may happen rarely – but when it does, it’s truly nourishment for the soul. That’s the impetus behind every Soundstreams note you’ll hear next season!” said Lawrence Cherney, Founding Artistic Director, Soundstreams, in an official press statement.

Here’s what awaits audiences in the coming season.

First up is “The Bright Divide,” featuring Morton Feldman’s “Rothko Chapel,” a musical dialogue with Mark Rothko’s paintings, composed for the chapel’s opening in Houston, Texas.

Feldman’s score, featuring solo viola, timpani, and choir, converses with 14 of Rothko’s paintings, honoring The Chapel’s mission to highlight our common humanity and inspire dignity and respect.

Responding to Feldman’s piece and Rothko’s art, the world premiere of “mark” by Canadian composer Cecilia Livingston explores tensions in Rothko’s works. These two immersive, contemplative pieces feature Soundstreams’ Choir 21 with conductor David Fallis and violist Steven Dann.

Performance Date: Nov. 10 & 11, 2023, at TD Music Hall

“Electric Messiah” will usher in the holiday season with a reimagining of Handel’s masterpiece that riffs on some of the composer’s gorgeous arias and choruses but is universal in appeal, probing as it does compelling themes of love, betrayal, joy, and redemption. The performance changes each year by mixing diverse influences, from jazz to hip-hop and gospel.

Performance Date:  Dec. 14-17, 2023, at Theatre Passe Muraille

The world-renowned Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, led by Tõnu Kaljuste, returns to Toronto to perform a repertoire of spiritual compositions. The program features beloved pieces by Arvo Pärt, including “Magnificat,” “Nunc Dimittis,” “Dopo la Vittoria,” and “Kanon Pokajanen.” In addition, they will present works by Palestrina. Canadian composer Omar Daniel will premiere a thought-provoking piece that offers a unique perspective on life and death.

Performance Date: Feb. 3, 2024