Future Promises

Future soloists and future composers, a look back and a look forward as we celebrate the best of our NB cultures. This program features the return of guest conductor Genevieve Leclair, leading Camerata through some charming works of “Les six” Composers of 1920 France, and then through some of today’s descendants of this tradition. Special guest appearance of Phoebe Robertson, flute in a 70th anniversary celebration performance of Kelsey Jones’s  (SNB’s first conductor) Concerto for Strings and Flute

Program Notes

 Phoebe Robertson 

Flutist Phoebe Robertson has recently performed in such venues as Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, earning commendations for her solo, chamber, and orchestral playing. Recipient of the Grand Prize of the National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Competition at the age of 19, she has since performed in competitions and festivals across North America and Europe, earning the Harry G. Archer Award, the title of Major Artist of the Pittsburgh Concert Society, and top prizes in the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Soloist Competition and the Silberman Chamber Music Competition. Her playing has been featured on BBC Radio 3 and in records on the Linn and NYOC labels.

Ms. Robertson will be appearing as a soloist with Symphony New Brunswick for three performances in May 2021, performing Kelsey Jones’s Suite for Flute and Strings in celebration of the orchestra’s founder. Her previous appearances as soloist include performances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. An avid proponent of new music, Ms. Robertson performed a recital of new works for solo flute written for her by the members of the Tesselat International Composers’ Collective in December 2019, and recorded two premieres as a fellow of the Bowdoin International Music Festival during the summer of 2020.

Raised in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, Ms. Robertson is currently a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, studying with Linda Chesis and Robert Langevin. She has presented lecture-recitals and papers at the College Music Society Northeast Conference and the Ottawa Graduate Music Student Conference, and will present at the Canadian University Music Society Conference online in the summer of 2021. In November 2020, her research on sexuality in Greek myths as depicted in music by Debussy and Ravel was published in the Eidolon Journal of Classics. She holds a Master of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied with Lorna McGhee, and a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude from her studies with Camille Churchfield at the University of Ottawa. Her studies and professional activities are currently generously supported by the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation.

 

Geneviève Leclair, conductor

Canadian conductor Geneviève Leclair was appointed Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music in 2016. Very active with organizations across Canada, the United States and the UK, she is also a guest conductor with Northern Ballet (UK) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Conductors Guild. Highlights of the 2019-20 season will also include guest appearances with Symphony New Brunswick and Guelph Symphony.

Equally at home in the symphony, ballet and opera worlds, she was Music Director of Parkway Concert Orchestra from 2013 to 2019, as well as Assistant Conductor and Guest Conductor for Boston Ballet from 2010 to 2017.

Ms. Leclair was awarded the 2017 American Prize in Conducting, college/university division and took 2nd place in the professional orchestra division. In 2010, she was honored to receive the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Award in Orchestral Conducting.

In recent years, she has had the opportunity to guest conduct various orchestras both in Canada and the United States, including The National Ballet of Canada, Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Symphony New Hampshire, Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory Chamber and Youth Philharmonic Orchestras. Her performances have been hailed as “impeccable” (Boston Phoenix), “ravishing” and of “exemplary pacing and reading” (Hugh Fraser) while her conducting style is praised for its “verve and precision”, “confident dynamics and tempos, crisp rhythms, and crystalline phrasing creat[ing] powerful forward momentum” (Carla DeFord). Ms. Leclair holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting from Boston

University under the tutelage of Maestro David Hoose. She had previously obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in flute performance at Université de Montréal, the latter under the supervision of Mr. Denis Bluteau, former associate principal flutist of Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. She also studied choral conducting with Dr. Ann Howard Jones and perfected her art through public and private master classes led by Boris Brott, Kenneth Kiesler, Carl Topilow, Susan Hoeppner, Camille Churchfield, Lise Daoust and Jeanne Baxtresser. In November 2010, she was invited by the National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa) to attend the first edition of their Canadian Conductors Workshop.

In addition to her career as a performer and teacher, Ms. Leclair is also a published author of music literature and theory exercise books, Les Devoirs du prof Rémi / Prof. Solfa’s Workbooks, through Les Éditions École de musique Vincent-d’Indy. www.genevieveleclair.com

Arthur Honegger

Pastorale d’été, H. 31 (Summer Pastoral), is a short symphonic poem for chamber orchestra by Arthur Honegger. It was inspired by Honegger’s vacation in the Swiss alps above Bern in 1920 and lasts seven or eight minutes. Pastorale d’été was written in August 1920 at Wengen in Switzerland.

Darius Milhaud (4 September 1892 – 22 June 1974) was a French composer, conductor, and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and Brazilian music and make extensive use of polytonality. Milhaud is considered one of the key modernist composers.

 Francis Poulenc

As the only son of a prosperous manufacturer, Poulenc was expected to follow his father into the family firm, and he was not allowed to enroll at a music college. Largely self-educated musically, he studied with the pianist Ricardo Viñes , who became his mentor after the composer’s parents died. Poulenc also made the acquaintance of Erik Satie under whose tutelage he became one of a group of young composers known collectively as les Six. In his early works Poulenc became known for his high spirits and irreverence. During the 1930s a much more serious side to his nature emerged, particularly in the religious music he composed from 1936 onwards, which he alternated with his more light-hearted works.

Jones, Kelsey

(Herbert) Kelsey Jones. Composer, harpsichordist, organist, pianist, teacher, b South Norwalk, Conn, 17 Jun 1922, naturalized Canadian 1956, d Montreal 10 Oct 2004; B MUS (Mount Allison) 1945, B MUS (Toronto) 1947, D MUS (Toronto) 1951. Jones grew up in Portland, Maine, and moved to New Brunswick in 1939 and studied with Harold Hamer at Mount Alison University. He later took classes with Sir Ernest MacMillan, Healey Willan and Leo Smith at the University of Toronto and 1949-50 with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Founder (and conductor 1950-4) of the Saint John Symphony Orchestra, he also taught theory 1948-9 and conducted the student orchestra at Mount Allison University.

Performer and Teacher
Moving to Montreal, he began teaching counterpoint and fugue at McGill University in 1954. He was named professor emeritus on his retirement in 1984. Jones was harpsichordist with the McGill Chamber Orchestra and the Montreal Symphony   and  and in 1957 he co-founded the Baroque Trio of Montreal, which recorded his Sonata de Camera and Sonata da Chiesa. He and his wife, Rosabelle Jones,  performed and toured as duo piuanists in the 1950s.

Noteworthy Compositions

He also composed for the Montreal Bach Choir and the Montreal Recorder Group and, on commission, from the CBC, the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, and the  Tudor Singers of Montreal. Notable among works created for the CBC was his 1967 comic chamber opera Sam Slick (libretto by Rosabelle Jones), based on Thomas Chandler Haliburton’s The Clockmaker, or the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville (Halifax 1863). The opera was premiered 5 Sep 1967 in a broadcast performance from Halifax conducted by Ettore Mazzoleni.

 

Andrew Creeggan bio

The Canadian composer, pianist and percussionist Andrew (Andy) Creeggan is equally at home in the worlds of classical composition and pop music. A member of the wildly successful Canadian band  Barenaked Ladies from 1989 to 1995, he experienced fame early in life. Deciding that being a member of a band was not for him in the long run, he left to study composition at Montréal’s McGill University. Since then, he has recorded and performed in The Brothers Creeggan, a band formed with his brother Jim Creeggan, and released three CDs of his compositions: Andiwork I, II and III (order from Bongo Beat Records). In addition, he has composed chamber music and worked as an arranger.

Anthony Gath

Anthony is a jack-of-all-trades musician, performer, educator and composer originally from Leeds, UK and currently living in Fredericton, NB.

His music spans a variety of genres and styles, from educational music for beginner musicians through to large-scale choral and orchestral works.

When not playing, teaching or writing Anthony spends his time exploring the stunning landscapes of NB while still desperately and unsuccessfully trying to acclimate to the cold and snow!

Sasha Louis Leger

Impassioned by composition and an overall music enthusiast, Sasha is working towards a career in music for the screen. As a multi-instrumentalist, he is captivated by the sounds and creative possibilities of everything surrounding him. Currently finishing a bachelor degree in classical music composition at the Université de Moncton, his ongoing studies have given him a unique approach to modern music composition. He finds inspiration in artists like Richard Wagner, Radiohead, Philip Glass and many more. Sasha took part in the Film Scoring Academy of Europe summer program in Bulgaria, the SOCAN Scoring Retreat in Banff and was recently accepted to the master’s program at the Berklee College of Music starting in September 2020.