Beyond the Gates

The latest news from School of Music faculty

Pianist Terence Dawson.

Pianist Terence Dawson.

This past autumn Terence Dawson, Chair of the Keyboard Division, continued his tour of Rzewski’s De Profundis, giving performances and masterclasses at the Universities of Calgary and Lethbridge. He also performed Jonathan Dove’s “The Passing of the Year” with Phoenix Chamber Choir (conducted by UBC’s Dr. Graeme Langager) in the autumn, and the music of Jean Coulthard with School of Music alumna Robyn Dreidger Klassen as part of the Canadian Music Centre’s Murray Adaskin Salon Concert Series in February 2017.

In October, sessional instructor Heidi Krutzen won a Western Canadian Music Award (Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year) as part of Coloir, her duo with Ariel Barnes. In 2016 they released Maxwell Muhly & Couloir on Ravello Records to great acclaim. Congratulations, Heidi!

In December, Drs. Jonathan Girard and Stephen Chatman helped to make a lifelong wish come true for Peter Louw, an 83-year-old former teacher and UBC alumnus. Louw, who emigrated from South Africa in the 1960s to escape Apartheid, is a lover of classical music and his dream from boyhood was to conduct an orchestra. Drs. Girard and Chatman worked with the Wish of a Lifetime Canada and Chartwell Retirement Residences to make Peter’s wish come true, and CBC News: The National was there to capture the moment as Peter conducted ‘O Canada’ with UBC Symphony Orchestra.

Peter described his experience: "I looked around and smiled at them, they smiled at me...I lifted my right hand up and started pointing at the percussion side and gave them the sign, and they started making a noise. That was the moment you see, to suddenly say start and they start—magical.  I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is wonderful!’" 

Watch the short documentary:


In January, the Vancouver Island Symphony premiered Dr. Chatman’s Concertino for Horn and String Orchestra at the Port Theatre, Nanaimo. Read a review of the concert in Vancouver Island Today.

Also in January, School of Music ensemble-in-residence Turning Point Ensemble was awarded a “Center of Excellence” citation from the Canadian Music Centre (CMC). Says Sean Bickerton, BC director of the CMC: "Turning Point Ensemble is one of the most extraordinary ensembles performing today. Their standard of performance is outstanding, at a truly international level!"

Turning Point — whose members have included UBC faculty Jeremy Berkman (trombone), Brenda Fedoruk (flute), Vern Griffiths (percussion), Benjamin Kinsman (horn), Heidi Krutzen (harp), Ingrid Chiang (bassoon), François Houle (clarinet), and Jim Littleford (trumpet) — has also been nominated for a Juno Award (Classical Composition of the Year) for their recording of Ana Sokolović’s “And I need a room to receive five thousand people with raised glasses…or…what a glorious day, the birds are singing ‘halleluia.’” [LINK: ] Read our feature interview with Jeremy Berkman on music entrepreneurship. Turning Point’s next performance happens at the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society’s Vancouver International Jazz Festival in late June.

Composer Dorothy Chang.

Composer Dorothy Chang.

Dr. Dorothy Chang was SOCAN Foundation Composer-in-Residence of the Acadia New Music Festival (Nova Scotia) in February, and Composer-in-Residence with Vancouver Pro Musica’s Sonic Boom Music Festival in March. Also in March, her new composition, Bagatelles, received its world premiere at the “In Praise of Women” concert by Vetta Chamber Music, while “Invisible Distance,” her cello concerto, was performed by Ariel Barnes and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra (with conductor Tania Miller) as part of the orchestra’s new music festival.

Sessional lecturer James Palmer will present a talk, titled “Who’s Feeling Crooked Now? ‘Progressive Bluegrass’ in the Metric Disruptions of Punch Brothers,” at the upcoming West Coast Conference of Music Theory and Analysis in Victoria, B.C., April 21st to 23rd.