Please note there are no door sales for the immediate future — all tickets must be purchased online or over the phone (204-783-7377). Please review our ticket and social gathering policies before ordering your tickets for, and attending, our 2021-22 concerts. All Spring Series concerts, unless otherwise indicated, occur at 7.30pm at Westminster United Church (745 Westminster at Maryland).

1-hour in-person matinee 1.00pm June 8th (incl. online) | $36 Adult | $34 Senior | $15 Under-30
Buy 7.30pm June 8th in-person ticket (incl. online) | $36 Adult | $34 Senior | $15 Under-30
Buy 7.30pm June 9th in-person ticket (incl. online) | $36 Adult | $34 Senior | $15 Under-30
• Buy June 22nd online-only ticket | $20 Household ticket

A few years back we filmed our first concert with the then-teenaged Dutch recorder player Lucie Horsch. While she was relatively little known at the time, the video went viral — earning over 200,000 hits. Today, in her early 20s, she is a leading ambassador for the recorder, which has claim to being the most beguiling classical instrument ever invented.

The Decca-signed virtuoso is the “latest big thing in recorder playing” (The Guardian) who possesses “fearsome virtuosity and superb technique” (BBC Music Magazine). About her debut CD, BBC Music Magazine writes, “This is a disc to buy, and display in years to come as the start of a distinguished career.” At the MCO, we can’t help but feel sorry for those who missed her past two concerts with us.

Nearly everyone is obliged to play the recorder in elementary school. But where most of us squawked and hooted, Horsch flutters and trills with the graceful agility of a master quickly in the making. School groups, who flocked to Lucie after the show like she was a rock-star, were as thrilled by this concert as everyone else. She is truly a performer for all ages.

The evening’s recorder program includes Kulesha’s Concerto for recorder and small orchestra and Bach’s violin and oboe concerto — where Lucie and Karl Stobbe will share the stage as the piece’s soloists. Other stellar works on the program by Haydn and Michael Oesterle.

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Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
Anne Manson, Music Director
Karl Stobbe, Concertmaster
Westminster Church in Wolseley
Wednesday & Thursday, 8 & 9 June 2022
Online presentation June 22nd thru July 6th

Anne Manson, conductor
Lucie Horsch, recorder
Karl Stobbe, violin

Johann Sebastian Bach
Concerto for Violin and Oboe in D Minor (transposed), BWV 1060

Gary Kulesha
Concerto for recorder and small orchestra

Michael Oesterle
Scènes des bois
World premiere of this arrangement, commissioned by the MCO with the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts

Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 87 in D major, Hoboken I/86

Season sponsor / CN
June 8th concert sponsors / LBL Holdings
June 8th Concertmaster sponsor / Raymond Hébert
Volunteer sponsor / MB Liquor Mart
Media sponsors / Classic 107, Golden West Radio & Winnipeg Free Press

Lucie Horsch

Sparkling 22 year-old rising star Lucie Horsch is a passionate and charismatic advocate of her instrument. Born into a family of professional musicians, Lucie began to study the recorder at the age of five. She was quickly recognized as a recorder wunderkind. A stylish baroque virtuoso, Lucie is a smart and innovative musician bringing her curiosity into approaching multiple musical genres and developing new repertoire with the same incredible talent.

In June 2020, Lucie received the prestigious ‘Dutch Music Award,’ the highest honor bestowed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to a musician working in classical music. In the 2021/22 season, Lucie was nominated by Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Cologne Philharmonie as ECHO Rising Star and as such will tour in Europe’s most prestigious halls.

In 2014, she was chosen to represent The Netherlands in the Eurovision Young Musician contest and in 2016 she was awarded the prestigious Concertgebouw Young Talent Award, in the presence of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Recent and upcoming highlights include debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Ton Koopman, Tonhalle Orchester with Jan Willem de Vriend, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under Benjamin Bayl, tours in Europe with the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Orchestra of the 18th century and in Japan with the B’Rock Orchestra. In recital, Lucie forms a duo with French lutinist Thomas Dunford. The duo is invited to perform in such venues as Wigmore Hall and Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, among others. Lucie’s festival appearances include the Rheingau Musik Festival, Budapest Spring Festival, and others.

Lucie is an exclusive Decca Classics artist. Her debut CD featuring concertos and other works by Vivaldi received the 2017 Edison Klassiek Award. Her second album Baroque Journey, recorded with the Academy of Ancient Music and Thomas Dunford, featuring works by Sammartini, Bach, Marin Marais and Händel among others reached No. 1 in the UK Classical Charts and was awarded the prestigious OPUS KLASSIK prize in Germany in 2019. For Deutsche Grammophon, Lucie has mastered the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Variations on an Octatonic Scale together with cellist Kian Soltani. Also a talented pianist, she first studied with Marjes Benoist and is now in Jan Wijn’s class at the Amsterdam Conservatorium.

Gary Kulesha

Gary Kulesha is one of Canada’s most active and most visible musicians. Although principally a composer, he is active as both a pianist and a conductor, and as a teacher. His music has been commissioned, performed, and recorded by musicians and ensembles all over the world.

In 1988, Mr. Kulesha was appointed Composer In Residence with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1992, when he became the Composer in Residence with the Canadian Opera Company. In 1995, after the premiere of his first opera, Red Emma, he became the Composer Advisor to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a position he continues to hold. In 2002, he was named one of three Awards Composers with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In addition to creating several works for the ensemble and touring with them, he directed their Young Composers’ Programme for 10 years.

In 1990, Mr. Kulesha was nominated for a JUNO award for his Third Chamber Concerto. He was nominated again in 2000 for The Book of Mirrors. In 1986, he was named Composer of the Year by PROCanada, the youngest composer ever so honoured. Also in 1986, he represented Canada at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. An active supporter of young composers and performers, Mr. Kulesha was the Artistic Director of The Composers’ Orchestra from 1987 to 2004. As the Composer Advisor to the Toronto Symphony, he was one of the chief architects of the Massey Hall New Music Festival and the New Creations Festival.

Mr. Kulesha is on the full time faculty of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.

Concerto for Violin & Oboe in D Minor, BWV 1060 (transposed)
Johann Sebastian Bach

Among Bach’s responsibilities during his period in Leipzig, the final 27 years of his life, was the directorship of the Collegium Musicum. This performing group, made up of both professional and amateur musicians, gave public concerts. For these events, Bach not only wrote original works but adapted many previously existing ones. He composed the original, violin-and-oboe edition of this concerto for the Collegium Musicum. That version has been lost, but his transcription for two harpsichords survived. From it, musicologists have reconstructed what they believe to be its original scoring. The concerto’s opening and closing movements bustle with animation, while the slow middle section offers an interlude of poised, placid nobility.

Scènes des bois
Michael Oesterle

The composer has provided the following note:

Scènes des bois was written as music for a theatre piece to be paired with Stravinsky’s l’Histoire du soldat. It is in many ways an homage to Stravinsky’s masterpiece, echoing both its instrumentation and its use of the violin as the predominant voice. The instrumentation is of course irresistible, a perfect combination of basic, yet essential, elements. It is fascinating how Stravinsky was able to use the scarcity of WW1 resources in 1918 to create an electrifying soundscape bursting with energy and character. For me, the individualistic voices of these instruments provoked an immediate sense of dialogue ideal for storytelling. However, the title Scènes des bois I stole from Schumann—his Waldszenen (Forest Scenes) seemed like the perfect description of the sentiment of my piece.

Concerto for Recorder and Small Orchestra
Gary Kulesha

The composer has provided the following note:

I have been lucky enough over the years to compose music for some truly extraordinary performers. This has given me the luxury not just of some exceptional premieres, but also of having contact with the personalities of these remarkable people. There is no more stimulating experience for a composer than to work with performers of the calibre of Michala Petri.

When Barry Cole of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony first suggested that I write this piece, I resisted, being more than a little concerned about the solo instrument and its possibilities. After meeting with Michala in early 1991, and after attending some of her concerts, I became convinced.

I realized that, despite the fact that the recorder has been associated almost exclusively with Baroque music, it is in fact quite an interesting sounding instrument for contemporary music. There is a quality almost like a Japanese shakuhachi’s in its sound, and I admire this. I chose to write a work which, while it contains some subliminal suggestions of Baroque concertos is totally contemporary. I counterpoint the solo with both the harpsichord, its traditional partner, and with a marimba, a genuinely contemporary instrument.

The first movement is a passacaglia, with the theme first stated by the basses and cellos after a cadenza-like introduction from the recorder. This theme is always present through this very dark movement, which builds to a climax, and then skulks away.

The second movement is quite lyrical, and features the alto, or treble, recorder. A build-up leads to a passage for very high violins and recorder alone, which in turn leads to a free exchange between the recorder and harpsichord over a throbbing repeated note in the violas, not unlike the slow movements of some of Vivaldi’s recorder concertos.

The finale begins with great energy, which it sustains throughout. The repeated sixteenth-note figure which the violins begin immediately is present almost throughout the entire movement, which is a kind of moto perpetuo. A climax leads to an extended cadenza for the solo recorder, which includes some singing into the instrument while playing. This leads into the final section of the piece, a ghostly flickering of the opening material, the moto perpetuo, and some references to traditional Baroque concertos. The work ends softly.

This concerto was premiered by Michala Petri on February 5, 1992, with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Simon Streatfeild. Petri performed it here again in March 2010 with Anne Manson conducting.

Symphony No. 86 in D Major
Joseph Haydn

During Haydn’s first 30 years as director of music to the aristocratic Esterházy family (1761-1790), he remained a virtual prisoner (and most decidedly a servant rather than a resident artist) on their lavish estates, in and around Vienna. Although his initial arrangement with them forbade his composing for others patrons or organizations, his music became known anyway, from quite early on. It did so largely through pirated copies (often of poor quality). So lofty did his continent-wide reputation become that numerous inferior works by other composers were published under his name.

The new contract that he entered into in 1779 finally gave him permission to accept commissions from outside sources. Perhaps his employer, Prince Nicolaus, came to realize that having so renowned an artist in his retinue could only enhance his own reputation. Taken together, all these factors made Haydn the most revered and popular composer in Europe.

One city where he became exceptionally popular was Paris, where his symphonies were performed as early as the 1760s. The Concert de la Loge Olympique was the city’s most prestigious orchestra. It was also one of the largest in Europe. In 1785, the orchestra commissioned six new symphonies from Haydn. Reflecting his reputation, the officers of the Loge offered him five times their usual fee. He composed the pieces which have become known as symphonies 83, 85 and 87 in 1785; Nos. 82, 84 and 86 followed over the next year. Premiered to great acclaim during the Loge’s 1787 concert season, under the direction of the Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, they have been known ever since as his ‘Paris’ symphonies.

The opportunity to have new works performed in a major centre by a first-rank orchestra inspired Haydn to compose his finest symphonies to date. They earned such acclaim that they were quickly programmed by a rival Paris group, the Concert Spirituel. The Italian musician Luigi Cherubini, destined to become one of the greatest operatic composers of the early nineteenth century, performed as a violinist in the Loge Olympique premieres of the ‘Paris’ symphonies. He commented that the orchestra adored the new works and performed them with enormous enthusiasm. They display a consistently high quality, but one quite unfair reason why three of them have proven more popular than the others is their acquisition of nicknames: ‘The Bear’ (No. 82), ‘The Hen’ (No. 83), and ‘The Queen of France’ (No. 85).

The first movement of No. 86 begins with an imposing introduction in slow tempo. It hints at major festivities to come, and naturally Haydn does not disappoint. The slow movement is virtually Romantic in character: eloquent, unorthodox, almost improvised in character. Next comes the longest and most elaborate Minuet in any of the “Paris” Symphonies. The outer panels veer ingeniously from cheerful to clouded modes virtually from one bar to the next. The central Trio section is a jovial country dance. The Finale is one of Haydn’s raciest, truly a comic opera without words.