“I bet you weren’t surprised when Winnipeg was named the 2010 Cultural Capital of Canada,” writes Gwenda Nemerofsky in last Tuesday’s (1/7) Winnipeg Free Press. “Many of us believe we should be awarded the title every year. Looking at the rest of our 2010 classical music season, the reasons for achieving this honour are clearer than ever. Here are just five picks from the many promising-looking concerts from now until June. … The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s annual New Music Festival, (Feb. 6-12), Breaking New Ground, opens with a gala concert at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6 at Centennial Concert Hall. The featured work is the world premiere of composer-in-residence Vincent Ho’s Arctic Symphony. Ho has been hard at work on this since the summer of 2008 when he hitched aboard the CCGS Amundsen, a research vessel travelling the Arctic. He toured Inuit communities, absorbed aspects of their culture and saw first-hand the effect climate change has on their way of life. … Throat singers and Arctic environment sound-files are part of the performance. … It’s been 3 1/2 years but audiences and musicians haven’t forgotten former WSO conductor Andrey Boreyko. This exceptional artist returns Feb. 19 and 20 to lead his former ensemble in an all-Russian program aptly titled Boreyko and Russian Masters.”

Posted January 13, 2010