BU New Music Festival returns with three nights of concerts

November 10, 2022

Janelle Fung, left, and Marina Thibeault will perform a pro series concert on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

The Brandon University (BU) New Music Festival returns live and in-person, with three exciting concerts, from November 14 to 16.

The BU New Music Festival was last held in-person in 2020. The 2021 Festival was online.

“We have assembled a very talented and diverse group of artists, who are going to help us push the boundaries of music,” said Professor Megumi Masaki, the Director of the BU New Music Festival. “From world-class visiting musicians, to local talent, to the future of performance in our students, I’m very excited about the wide array of exceptional music we’ll be bringing to audiences right here on our stages.”

The Festival’s opening concert will take place on Monday, Nov. 14 at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall, featuring talented students from the School of Music. Performances will include the BU New Music Ensemble, directed by Leanne Zacharias, the Clarinet Choir, directed by Catherine Wood, and the Jazz Small Ensemble, directed by Marika Galea.

On Tuesday, Nov, 15, Janelle Fung, piano, and Marina Thibeault, viola will be featured for the BU New Music Festival’s pro series concert, also at the Lorne Watson. The celebrated duo will perform a compelling program which includes works from the classical canon by Clara Schumann, Nadia Boulanger and Rebecca Clarke, as well as contemporary compositions by Alexina Louie, Anna Pidgorna and former BU faculty member Melody McKiver. The program celebrates the great distance covered in the movement toward equality and respect for all, as well as hope to continue working toward this goal. Thibeault’s recording of this program was nominated for a JUNO Award in 2020 (program description courtesy of Virtuosi Concerts).

A woman in front of a red wall tips her head back and smiles as wind blows her hair

Megumi Masaki

The venue will shift to the Evans Theatre on Wednesday, Nov, 16 for the New Music Concert, featuring Masaki and friends. Masaki, who was recently named to the Order of Manitoba, has put together a program, TRANSFORMATION, that is a celebration of human resilience, calls to action and transformational experiences. This concert also remembers the internment and historic wrongs committed against Japanese Canadians during the Second World War and links the past with injustices of today to seek more just societies across all communities and borders. TRANSFORMATION presents four interactive and multimedia works that reimagine the piano and pianist’s artistic expression through new technologies, and transform the listener’s concert to an immersive, emotional and cinematic experience. Works by Métis composer and former BU faculty member T. Patrick Carrabré, Keith Hamel and Bob Pritchard will be featured, with all three performing live electronics and video with Masaki during the concert.

All BU New Music Festival performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. A pre-concert documentary film about TRANSFORMATION will also be shown at 6:45 pm on Wednesday, Nov 16 in the Evans Theatre.

“Megumi and our faculty have done a tremendous job coming together to plan a BU New Music Festival that is going to present highlight after highlights over three nights of inspiring performances,” said Greg Gatien, Dean of Music at BU. “The New Music Festival is always a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on contemporary and living composers and to show us how we can find new ways for music to move us and express ourselves.”

The School of Music gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Manitoba Arts Council.

Please note that is limited and that programs are subject to change. For an up-to-date listing of pro series and student performances, please visit Events.BrandonU.ca/Events/Category/Music.

Please contact the School of Music at Music@BrandonU.ca with any accessibility considerations.