NEWS [PRESS RELEASES]
December 20, 2017: Murray MacLaughlan reviews Burge's Twenty-Four Preludes in International piano
In a very descriptive and glowing review, the Scottish pianist, Murray McLaughlan critiques John Burge's Twenty-Four Preludes in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of International Piano. It begins: "Ontario-born composer John Burge (b 1961) has produced a significant contribution to contemporary piano repertoire with his Twenty-Four Preludes (2011-15). Taking their cue from Chopin in their key scheme, they succeed in creating atmosphere and conviction within accessible yet pastiche-free stylistic limits." The complete review can be found on this website's page of Reviews.
November 9, 2017: The Conversation pubishes John Burge's article: "Hiring a Student Composer for the Summer."
, an online journal featuring academics writing in a more popular style, publishes a second article written by John Burge entitled, Hiring a Student Composer for the Summer. The article describes how using federal funding to hire a student composer for the summer is an innovative idea for music organizations to help support and nurture young creative talent.
October 28, 2017: The National Youth Orchestra of Canada releases a CD recording of Burge's Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag.
Relive the Nataional Youth Orchestra of Canada's Edges of Canada tour, a Canada 150 Signature Project, by ordering the 2017 NYO Canada album. The recording features a collaboration between NYO Canada and the National Youth Choir, including Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag by John Burge (NYO Canada Commissioned Composer), Ravel’s La valse and Death and Transfiguration by Strauss. Under the baton of Maestro Jonathan Darlington and choir director Dr. Timothy Shantz, this album was recorded live at the beautiful Maison symphonique in Montréal. The CD costs only $5 and includes shipping: NYOC Store
July 18, 2017: The Conversation publishes a first-hand reflection on the composition of Four seasons of the Canadian flag.
is an online journal with the byline, "Academic rigour, journalistic flair." In anticipation of the CBC webcast of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada's performance of Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag on Sunday, July 23, 2017, the publication invited John Burge to write a personal account of the inspiration and composition of the piece: Powerful Flag Painting Inspires Composer to Connect Canadian.
July 17, 2017: CBC announces live webcast of the NYOC performance of Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag.
On Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm EDT, CBC is broadcasting a live webcast of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada's concert at Maison symphonique in Montreal that features John Burge's Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag: CBC-NYOC Montreal Concert. At a later date, the NYOC will be posting a link to this video on YouTube.
July 12, 2017: Queen's Gazette story on upcoming performances of Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag.
Click on the link that follows to read the Queen's Gazette story/interview on the upcoming performances of Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in July and August and by the Kingston Sympnony later in October: Queen's Gazette–July 12, 2017
July 3, 2017: Premiere of Aquam Refectionis at the Montreal Organ Festival.
Aquam Refectionis, for choir and organ, was commissioned by the Royal Canadian College of Organists, the Northeast Region of the American Guild of Organists, and the Canadian International Organ Competition, for the 2017 Montréal Organ Festival’s opening service, held at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, and to be performed by the Choir of St. Andrew and St. Paul and organist, Jonathan Oldengarm. Scheduled for Monday, July 3rd, 2017, this service starts at 9:00 am and is free and open to the public. For more information check out: Festival d'orgue de Montréal
June 8, 2017: Two Burge Compositions recorded on the CMC Centrediscs CD: Canadian Works for Oboe and Piano
Featuring Charles Hamann, oboe, and Frédéric Lacroix, piano, this landmark two CD set contains over two hours of music for oboe and piano written by composers from across Canada over the past 70 years. The two works by John Burge included in this CD package are Sonata Breve No. 4 and Twitter Etudes No. 2 for solo oboe. The latter work was written specifically for Charles Hamann and the work's first public performance was presented at the CD release event on June 8, 2017 at the University of Ottawa. John Burge attended this event and spoke briefly about the six Twitter Etudes for oboe as shown in the photo. Sample and purchase on ITunes or obtain a copy of the CD box set from the CMC at Canadian Works for Oboe and Piano.
Charles Hamann is Principal Oboist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and this organization produced the following promotional video that features the last movement from Burge's Sonata Breve No. 4: NAC-Hamann CD
Robert Rowat at CBC Radio promoted the CD on: First Play
June 7, 2017: CBC Interview with Maxwell Newhouse and John Burge
CBC Vancouver's Early Morning Show interviewed Maxwell Newhouse in studio with John Burge joining by phone from Ontario to discuss the Chilliwack Cultural Centre's display of Max's FOUR SEASONS OF THE CANADIAN FLAG and John's musical interpretation of the work that will be performed in the summer in Nanaimo, BC by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada on August 13th: CBC-Interview-Recording
CBC also printed a web article that can be found at: CBC-Newhouse/Burge-Article
June 2, 2017: The National Youth Orchestra of Canada and Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag.
The National Youth Orchestra of Canada has announced the commissioning and performances of John Burge's Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag during their 2017 cross-Canada tour. An Ontario Arts Council commission with the support of the Saskatoon and Kingston Symphonies, a version of the work scored for a standard-sized orchestra was premiered by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra on May 13, 2017 (see below). Taking advantage of the large performing resources available in the NYOC, they will be playing a version of the piece that includes parts for additional wind and percussion instruments and even a celeste part. All of the 10 NYOC concerts this summer will be great to experience live but if you want to hear Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag, below is a list of the dates and cities where it will be performed:
- Stratford, ON, Thursday, July 20, 7:00 pm, at The Avondale: Tickets
- Montreal, PQ, Sunday, July 23 at 4:00 pm, at Maison Symphonique [Live Webcast]: Tickets
- Nanaimo, BC, Sunday, August 13, 2017, at 7:30 pm, at The Port Theatre: Already Sold Out
May 31, 2017: Early-bird Registration Closes for the August 26 and 27, 2017 RCM Summer-Summer in Calgary where John Burge will be a featured presenter:
John Burge will be presenting two, 90-minute sessions at the Royal Conservatory of Music's Summer-Summit in Calgary on the weekend of August 26-27, 2017. In the first session he will discuss ways to find inspiration through creativity in music, in his talk, 10 Approaches to Creativity: A Canadian Composer Works with a Snowdrift. The second session will be a lecture/performance of the entire set of Burge's Twenty-four Preludes for solo piano with the composer at the keyboard. In addition, the RCM will have many sessions ranging from pedagogy to performance practices to advice for RCM Examination preparation. More information can be found at: RCM Summer-Summit Calgary 2017 Link
May 13, 2017: World Premiere of FOUR SEASONS OF THE CANADIAN FLAG by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Eric Paetkau, conducting.
Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag, for full orchestra, is joint commission by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and The Kingston Symphony Orchestra in tribute of Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation with funding provided by the Ontario Arts Council. The work is being prepared for two different-sized orchestras with the NYOC playing a version for large Romantic orchestra in the summer of 2017 on their tour across Canada. A version for smaller orchestra will be performed in May 2017 by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and the Kingston Symphony Orchestra will perform the work in October. This work is based on the four paintings created by artist Max Newhouse in 1975 in honour of the 10th anniversary of the Canadian flag. The original renderings of the flags are each 8 feet wide and 5 feet high and Max holds the patent on the collective image. Max was kind enough to endorse Burge's musical interpretation of the paintings in four concise movements and Max even painted for John Burge a small single canvas of the four flags as shown in the photo. The representation of Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring with the appropriate physical condition of the maple leaf is simultaneously simple and profound and can be quickly appreciated by any Canadian who has enjoyed, endured and sometimes just survived, the changing seasons.
April 26 and 27, 2017: Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition Semi-final Round includes seven performances of Burge's TWITTER ETUDES NO. 1
The very first Isabel Overton-Bader Canadian Violin Competition at Queen's University's Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts commissioned John Burge to compose the required test piece for all semi-finalists to perform. Twitter Etudes No. 1 is a six-minute work that consists of six short etudes with each etude containing 140 notes for solo violin. Performers of the work are given the option of playing the six etudes in any order and it was remarkable how the semi-finalists' interpretations differed. More information about the piece and the link to the Semi-finalists' performances on YouTube can be found on the Twitter Etudes No. 1 webpage.
Information about the Violin Competition and the winners' names can be found at: Isabel Overton-Bader Violin Competition
February 10 and 12, 2017: Royal Conservatory Orchestra performs SNOWDRIFT in Toronto and Kingston.
Snowdrift, one of John Burge's most popular orchestral works, will be performed by the Royal Conservatory of Music Orchestra in Toronto and Kingston. Originally premiered by the Kingston Symphony in 1997, this concert in Kingston by a visiting orchestra is scheduled almost exactly twenty years after the first performance. Tickets and more information below:
- Royal Conservatory of Music Orchestra, Johannes Debus, conductor, Koerner Hall, Toronto, ON; Feb. 10, 2017
- Royal Conservatory of Music Orchestra, Johannes Debus, conductor, The Isabel, Kingston, ON; Feb. 12, 2017
January 11-23, 2017: World Premiere of ONE LAST NIGHT WITH MATA HARI in Kingston
In this thrilling cabaret-style musical, the notorious femme fatale and convicted traitor Mata Hari gives one final performance as she awaits her execution in the St. Lazare Prison in Paris. Performing the title role is the incomparable, Patricia O’Callaghan, who has been described as “one of the best singers ever to come out of Canada” (Vivascene). She is joined by acclaimed pianist Gregory Oh, who plays Mata Hari’s last supporter and confidant, Dr. Bizard. Burge and Walker’s original musical captures the atmosphere of a First World War era cabaret while simultaneously offering a mesmerizing dramatic drive through all the twists and turns of Mata Hari’s life. She tells her whole story: her ill-fated marriage to a Dutch Officer serving in Asia, the invention of the Mata Hari persona, her sexual conquests and her work as a spy. But she also leads us gradually to ask: is the firing squad awaiting at sunrise about to murder an innocent woman?
Tickets and More Information: http://www.theisabel.ca/content/one-last-night-mata-hari
Queen's Gazette Article: http://www.queensu.ca/gazette/stories/night-remember?utm_source=e-queens-gazette_faculty
Kingston Whig Standard Article: http://www.thewhig.com/2017/01/11/mata-hari-gets-one-last-night
November 20, 2016: Toronto's ORMTA Branch sets up a Composition Master Class with John Burge for Interested Budding Composers as Part of Canada Music Week.
November 4, 2016: Duo Majoya premieres the piano and organ version of Cathedral Architecture
Duo Majoya (Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger) premiere the piano and organ version of Cathedral Architecture at West End Christian Reformed Church in Edmonton, Alberta. Originally written for brass band and organ for the Hannaford Street Silver Band (2012) and then orchestrated for the Kingston Symphony (2013), this will be the final version of this work. Duo Majoya later posted a wonderful video of the premiere on Youtube: Duo Majoya - Cathedral Architecture
September 11, 2016: Complete Performance of Burge's Twenty-Four Preludes for solo piano by Mathew Walton, University of Alberta, Convocation Hall
Mathew Walton, the dedicatee of Burge's Preludes for Piano, is performed at the University of Alberta's Convocation Hall at 8:00 pm as part of Mathew's final DMA recital. A video of the complete performance can be found at Walton:Preludes.
June 10, 2016: Isabel String Quartet Inaugural Concert opens with Burge's String Quartet No. 1 on Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Queen’s University's Dan School of Drama and Music presents the inaugural concert of the Isabel Quartet on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 7:30 PM at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. The quartet members include Scott St. John, Gisèle Dalbec-Szczesniak, Sharon Wei and Wolf Tormann, all who are top professionals in their field. Tickets are available by calling (613) 533-2424 (Mon-Fri, 12:30-4:30 PM) or purchasing online at www.theisabel.ca. This concert will include the Burge String Quartet No.1, Bartok String Quartet No.3, and Schubert String Quartet No.14 in d minor, D.810, nicknamed “Death and the Maiden.”
April 28, 2016: John Burge premieres "Oscillations" for solo piano, written in honour of Dr. Arthur McDonald's Nobel Prize in Physics
John Burge was in Toronto on Thursday night, April 28, 2016 to perform the premiere performance of his solo piano piece, "Oscillations", for a select group of Queen's alumni, board of directors and the Principal, Daniel Woolf, at the Yorkville Club. "Oscillations" is the final work found in the collection Piano Reflections and was written in honour of Queen's University colleague Dr. Arthur McDonald's co-winning of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics. An article on this concert, including a video of the piece that was recorded at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, can be found at the following link: Oscillations Video
April 2, 2016: John Burge attends Junos and performs at the Classical Showcase Concert, Calgary, Alberta
John Burge will be attending the 40th Annual Juno Awards to be held in Calgary. While there he will perform "Preludes Nos. 23 and 24" (from Twenty-four Preludes) at the Classical Showcase Concert on Saturday afternoon, April 2, at Scarboro United Church, 134 Scarboro Ave. SW, Calgary.
March 16, 2016: Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Performs Two of John Burge's Most Popular String Orchestra Works in the Spring of 2016
The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra has programmed two compositions by John Burge on two up-coming concerts. Anne Manson, Music Director of the MCO, commented on this Burge emphasis by stating that she “... was struck by the strength of his work and its approachability and thought that it would be interesting for the audience to get more than one look at him during the course of the season.” On Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Scott Yoo will conduct Flanders Fields Reflections and on Thursday, June 9, 2016, Anne Manson will conduct Upper Canada Fiddle Suite. Both concerts are at Winnipeg's Westminister United Church starting at 7:30.
February 2, 2016: Juno Award Nomination
John Burge's Piano Quartet as recorded by the Ensemble Made in Canada has been nominated for the 2016 JUNO Award in the Classical Composition of the Year category. The work was commissionsd by the group in 2011 and premiered in 2012 during their tour of Alberta and BC. After numerous other performances they recorded the piece in 2014 at the Stockley Concert Hall in Parry Sound. Norbert Kraft provided wonderful support as the Recording Engineer. The CD is titled, "THE CHAMBER MUSIC OF JOHN BURGE: 2+2=4" and was released on the Canadian Music Centre's Centrediscs label. The 2016 Junos are held in Calgary this year on April 2-3. Check out the following links for more information:
- Centrediscs Information Sheet on the EMIC CD (with audio samples)
- Complete 2016 Juno Nominations
- Queen's University Press Release on JUNO Nomiation
- Canadian Music Centre Press Release on Juno Nomination
- Video Feature on Burge Nomination by Station 14 Kingston
- Purchase on ITunes
Reviews of the EMIC CD: