“In January of 2016, I boarded a plane [to] Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,” writes Harry Stafylakis in Wednesday’s (1/16) NewMusicBox. “I was there to be announced as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s new composer-in-residence and co-curator of its Winnipeg New Music Festival (WNMF)…. I was expecting something cool but fairly low-key…. What I found was fairly mind-blowing. A week-long festival dedicated entirely to contemporary music from Canada and abroad; four full orchestral programs … enthusiastic audiences coming out to fill the 2,300-seat Centennial Concert Hall, seven days in a row…. With searing −40° weather outside…. At WNMF 2018, Philip Glass was our distinguished guest composer [and] the JACK Quartet [performed] Georg Friedrich Haas’s String Quartet No. 9 … in complete darkness in the massive concert hall…. In 2019, WNMF founder and WSO Conductor Laureate Bramwell Tovey returns to conduct the opening concert [and] Daniel Raiskin then takes over the podium in his first season as WNMF artistic director…. The incredible Roomful of Teeth [vocal ensemble] makes its WNMF debut…. Progressive metal pioneers Animals As Leaders come to the festival to give a unique performance … also joining the WSO for the band’s first ever performance with live symphony orchestra.”

Posted January 22, 2019

In photo: Norwegian musician Terje Isungset with one of the instruments he makes entirely of ice. He opened this year’s Winnipeg New Music Festival with concerts at a specially-built outdoor auditorium. Photo credit: Bjørn Furuseth/Ice music