On Tour: Ventus Machina

Category: music 191

Symphony New Brunswick presents three performances by the Dieppe woodwind quintet as part of this season’s Virtuoso Series. 

Photo: www.ventusmachina.com

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Symphony New Brunswick’s 2017-2018 programming continues this month with a three city tour featuring performances by the Dieppe woodwind quintet, Ventus Machina. In this new performance series Meanwhile South of the Border, the group will perform a selection of works written by London, Ontario composer Bill Douglas.

“There is a lot of really interesting music for woodwind quintet south of our border and we decided to explore it further,” said the group’s bassoon player Patrick Bolduc. “The Bill Douglas piece came through my own personal interest in playing one of his works.  We thought it fit right in as while being based in the US, Douglas is actually Canadian.  We will be performing excerpts from his Suite Cantabile that highlight dance influences from around the world.”

Presented as part of SNB’s Virtuoso Series, Meanwhile South of the Border will see performances in Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton later this week.

As Bolduc explains, the evening’s program covers a wide range of music for woodwind quintets.

“David Maslanka’s Quintet No.3 is a marvel of virtuosity, contrasts and exciting sonorities,” he said. “Jan Bach’s Skizzen (meaning sketches) is a sarcastic and ironic work based on illustrations by Heinrich Kley.  The original illustrations will be projected (as it was intended by the composer). Rounding up the program is Robert Muczynski’s Quintet for Winds op.45.”

Virtuoso Series performances:

March 22 | Fredericton | McCain Hall, STU | 7:30 p.m. | View Event
March 24 | Moncton | Place Resurgo Place | 7:30 p.m. | View Event
March 25 | Saint John Arts Centre |  2 p.m. | View Event

Formed in 2011, the New Brunswick-based woodwind quintet Ventus Machina has quickly become a major player on Canada’s east coast classical music scene. Their flexible and dynamic style of performance—often presenting themed programs that at once engage, entertain, and educate—continues to attract and delight increasingly diverse audiences. Classically based and uncompromising in artistic quality, Ventus Machina makes regular excursions into other genres including jazz, opera, Latin and pop, challenging themselves and surprising their audiences.

Fall 2017 was a very busy and successful time for Ventus Machina, with tours in Ontario and to all corners of New Brunswick.  Their latest album, In the Weeds, was launched in September 2017 and is nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Classical Album of the Year. A work commissioned for Ventus Machina and recorded on the disc—Martin Kutnowski’s Tonadas y Mateadas—also received an ECMA nomination and was released in the form of an extended music video in early 2018. 

In addition to their many performances Ventus Machina presents two summer workshops each year; the week-long Wind Masters’ Workshop for students aged 12-22, and a chamber music retreat weekend for adults.  During the school year they are found actively engaging in community outreach through their own initiatives and through partnerships with Symphony New Brunswick, Resurgo Place Museum, and the Riverview Arts Center.  Individually they teach students at all levels, including at Mount Allison University and the University of Moncton.

The members of Ventus Machina are:

Karin Aurell, flute – originally from Sweden, she brings a wealth of orchestral and chamber music experience;
Christie Goodwin, oboe – hailing from Alberta, this Prairie girl has played with orchestras and chamber music groups across the country;
James Kalyn, clarinet and saxophone—renowned woodwind doubler and a professor at Mount Allison University;
Patrick Bolduc, bassoon – with a little Quebecois ‘joie de vivre’, a lot of humour, and wide-ranging performing experience, Patrick brings boundless energy to the quintet.

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