October 27, 2018
Knox United Church, Parksville. Concert at 7 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm.
The John Avison Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Peter Dala, is a polished and highly respected professional ensemble, proudly carrying the name of long-time conductor and music guru, John Avison (1915-1983). This Vancouver-based orchestra had its origin in radio.
For 70 years, from 1938 until 2008 the Canadian Broadcast Corporation maintained a recording and broadcast orchestra at its Vancouver studios. For its final fifteen years, the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra stood as the last remaining radio orchestra anywhere in North America. The orchestra was founded in the early days of Canadian broadcasting by John Patrick Avison who remained its conductor until 1980. In its heyday in the 60’s and 70’s, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra broadcast as many as 39 hour long concerts each season. Avison, who was known equally as a pianist and accompanist for visiting artists, dedicated much of his conducting career to the performance of contemporary works by leading Canadian composers. Many important 20th century works were written especially for the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra. Honours bestowed upon Mr. Avison include the Canada Music Citation, the Order of Canada and the Canadian Music Council Medal.
In recent seasons, the orchestra has been re-established as the John Avison Chamber Orchestra, featuring key players of the Vancouver free-lance musical community. It is dedicated to the faithful rendition of the great orchestra repertoire which John Avison first cultivated in Vancouver, and to accompanying numerous visiting guest artists.
Susan Platts is a British-born Canadian mezzo-soprano who has performed with highly regarded orchestras and conductors in Europe and North America, taking her to many stages including Covent Garden, Teatro di San Carlo, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Centre and the National Arts Centre. She has worked with esteemed conductors such as Leon Botstein, Sir Andrew Davis, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Itzhak Perlman, Bramwell Tovey and Pinchas Zuckerman.
Ms. Platts has performed in operas by Mozart (Die Zauberflote), John Adams (Nixon in China), Britten (Albert Herrin), Wagner (Das Rheingold) and Bernstein (A Quiet Place). On the concert stage, she recently performed works by Mahler, Shore, Handel and Elgar.
In 2004, Ms. Platts was selected by world-renowned soprano Jessye Norman to be her protégéé and continues as her mentor.
Ms. Platts was on a recent Naxos release of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (chamber version) with JoAnn Falletta conducting. She has also recorded the full version of Das Lied von der Erde for Fontec Records with Gary Bertini, conducting the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, as awell as a CD of art songs with pianist Dalton Baldwin, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Smithsonian Chamber Players and Santa Fe Pro Musica for Dorian Records, Brahms Zwei Gesänge with Steven Dann and Lambert Orkis, and a solo disc of Lieder by Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms on the ATMA label.
“Her voice is startlingly attractive from top to bottom, with a sure and strong upper register descending like honey to the yeasty depths of a contralto. A voice like this – there are not many – is such a pleasure to hear…radiantly persuasive…”
“Presenting The Next Maureen Forrester”
“The whole package is there: a rich voice that instantly makes you sit up and listen.
…a wide vocal range that includes a thrilling low register… an intuitive feel for poetry and musicality of words… a commanding and yet utterly unaffected stage presence…”
Enjoy listening to Susan Platts – use this video link
Canadian tenor Benjamin Butterfield began singing in school choirs and now performs onstage around the world. After graduating from McGill University he received grants to continue his studies in London, Philadelphia, New York and Italy. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria and performs nationally and internationally. The San Francisco Examiner has described him as “…a master of [Bach] literature…” Regarded as a “musically arresting presence” by the San Francisco Chronicle, he is in demand for concert, opera and recital.
In a career spanning thirty years, Mr. Butterfield has been recognized for his performances throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand. Highlights have included tours with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert as well as with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre. On the operatic stage he has toured with the Welsh National Opera, New York City Opera, Canterbury Opera in New Zealand and with Canada’s Opera Atelier. He has performed with Tafelmusik and Les Violons du Roy as well as with The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and American Bach Soloists in San Francisco and has worked with Jonathan Miller at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, performed with the Dave Brubeck Quartet at the Montreal Jazz Festival, presented Britten’s War Requiem with the London Philharmonia Chorus in Thessalonika and has shared the stage with film actress Isabella Rosselini at the San Carlo in Naples, later touring with that company to the ancient amphitheater of Epidaurus in Greece.
Mr. Butterfield has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic, Le Capitole in Toulouse, the Carmel Bach Festival in California as well as participating in the St. Matthew Passion at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan under Seiji Ozawa. He has also performed in the symphony halls of Dallas, Houston, Detroit, San Diego, Boston and San Francisco as well as at the Sheldonian Hall Oxford, Kings College Chapel Cambridge, for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre in London, Millenium Park Chicago, the National Cathedral in Washington as well as Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and at the Royal Court Opera in the Palace of Versailles.
A prolific recording artist, he has recorded for Analekta, Dorian, CBC Records, Koch International and Timpani (France). He has also been featured in Messiah on ZDF at the Handel-Festspiele Halle with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert and on CBC Radio as a guest host for This is my Music. Recently Mr. Butterfield recorded the St. John Passion with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem (Analekta), the Rhien transcription of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde for Yellow Barn and a sixth CD of Ukrainian Art Song for the Ukrainian Art Song Project in Toronto.
enjoy listening to an interview with Benjamin Butterfield (click on the video) or listen to a sample in MP3 format using this link