“A company specializing in daring music productions”
- THE TORONTO STAR
LAWRENCE CHERNEY, Artistic Director
Celebrating their 35th innovative season, Soundstreams is one of the world’s leading contemporary music companies, and the biggest global presenter of new Canadian music. Under the direction of Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney, the company showcases the work of living Canadian and international composers, with a focus on innovative thematic and experiential programming that provides context and contributes to the rich legacy of Canadian music at home and around the world.
In collaboration with the finest Canadian and international artists, Soundstreams presents an annual concert series in Toronto as well as national and international tours. Soundstreams also serves the larger community through our free Salon 21 series at The Gardiner Museum, composer training activities, SoundWave program for music lovers age 35 and under, and digital performance space, including concert livestreams, SoundMakers website, and video content.
On the heels of a sold-out season finale at Massey Hall featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steve Reich, Soundstreams has demonstrated time and time again its ability to make the innovative accessible, engaging broad audiences with living composers and the finest Canadian and international performers.
"At a time when music organizations everywhere are struggling with the new realities of concert and musical life, Soundstreams Canada, at 33, is getting everything right – breaking down barriers, reaching across generational, cultural and musical boundaries, sacrificing none of its artistic integrity. It’s a minor miracle." – The Globe and Mail, April 2016
This season, the company is excited to expand their activities outside of the Greater Toronto Area. Offering four unique touring programs, communities can choose the best program to suit their venue and audience taste. By weaving theatrical and storytelling elements into their shows, and providing community engagement activities, Soundstreams introduces new music to audiences in an accessible and interesting format.
Founded in 1982 by oboist Lawrence Cherney as Chamber Concerts Canada, Soundstreams has presented a variety of series over its 33-year history, including Musical Mondays at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, and Encounters at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio. Soundstreams commissions have added more than 150 works to the musical repertoire worldwide, reflecting a diverse variety of genres and cultural traditions. World premieres have included works by composers R. Murray Schafer, John Tavener, Steve Reich, Christos Hatzis, Harry Somers, Nicole Lizée, James MacMillan, James Rolfe, Melissa Hui, and Andrew Staniland, to name a few.
Projects have included festivals and conferences such as the Northern Encounters festival, University Voices, and Cool Drummings percussion festival and conference, as well as new productions such as Thomson Highway and Melissa Hui’s Cree opera Pimooteewin: The Journey (which toured Northern Ontario in 2009 and 2010), R. Murray Schafer’s Dora Award-winning site-specific opera The Children’s Crusade (produced in association with the Luminato Festival), and Brian Current’s Dora-nominated opera Airline Icarus. Soundstreams is a three-time JUNO nominee and recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Arts.
"Canada's pre-eminent new music series."
- CBC MUSIC
"At a time when music organizations everywhere are struggling with the new realities of concert and musical life, Soundstreams Canada, at 33, is getting everything right – breaking down barriers, reaching across generational, cultural and musical boundaries, sacrificing none of its artistic integrity. It’s a minor miracle."
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"Their programs are notably free of pretension and over-seriousness; their mandate to involve and inspire young musicians gives their season a sense of liveliness and fin."
- THE WHOLENOTE
"The biggest global producer of new Canadian music...a programming powerhouse."
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"Soundstreams Canada - a company specializing in daring music productions"
- THE TORONTO STAR
"Lawrence Cherney, Artistic Director of Soundstreams Canada, has a knack for finding ways to sell obscure contemporary music to Toronto audiences."
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Sultry and sensual, the music of Latin cultures urges countless couples toward dance floors around the world - and continues to exert a potent influence on other genres. Tango, Flamenco, bossa nova, fandango, afro-samba, and jazz are among the styles featured in an evening of musical "encounters". Encuentros highlights works by Latin masters Paco de Lucia, Astor Piazolla, and Hector Villa-Lobos. The program will also feature fresh interpretations of traditional songs and new Latin-inspired works by Canadian composers. The all-star lineup of musicians includes Argentinean bandoneón player Héctor Del Curto, Columbian singer María Mulata, Juno-winning pianist and composer Serouj Kradjian, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra's principal bassist Jeffrey Beecher.
The accordion, the concertina, the Argentinean bandoneón, the Russian bayan, the Chinese sheng, the Korean saenghwang: all belong to a global family of instruments whose distinctive music brings as lively a presence to the concert hall as to the organ grinder's street corner.
Acclaimed Canadian accordionist Joe Macerollo joins Canadian wunderkind Michael Bridge, Argentinean bandoneón virtuoso Héctor del Curto and others in a multi-cultural celebration of classic and contemporary "squeezebox" music accompanied by a small chamber ensemble. This program features traditional works for accordion as well as new compositions by Canadian composers Marjan Mozetich, Anna Pidgorna, R. Murray Schafer, and Ana Sokolović.
In 1987, Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint sent cross-genre shockwaves through the music community. The piece was groundbreaking and influential, and the effect is still resonating today from classical musicians to rock bands like Radiohead and to DJs worldwide.
Reich's masterwork Electric Counterpoint forms the centerpiece of this highly immersive episodic program that features music spanning from Philip Glass to traditional mbira music to live computer coding. More than just a piece of music, this concert is a journey through the work's conception and current influences experienced through the talents of three local artists: Matt Smith aka "Prince Nifty", Brandon Valdivia aka "Mas Aya", Dan Morphy and Resident DJ: SlowpitchSound.
"When you mix a uniquely talented bunch of local musicians together with a spectacular array of instruments including turntables, violin, horns, and electronics you get the best and strangest musical event you will ever see." - SlowPitch
An enchanting evening of flute virtuosi of all styles, the program features leading Canadian flutists Leslie Newman and Robert Aitken and internationally renowned flutists Marina Piccinini and Claire Chase. This thrilling program weaves together classical, jazz, traditional songs, and brand-new contemporary music.
Magic Flute features theatrical and immersive elements that highlight vignettes of musical personality and varied styles, as the musicians explore all facets of one of humankind's oldest instruments. A new work by Canadian composer Anna Hostman transports the audience into a modern pied piper myth as patrons begin the evening being "piped" into the theatre with an enchanted flute leading the way. This work embraces movement and returns throughout the evening, weaving a connecting thread through the diverse musical vignettes of the program.