• Search Commissions

Premiere Title of Commission Composer Listen
02/11/2008 Pimooteewin: The Journey Melissa Hui Listen Close

In this acclaimed and ground-breaking work, the first oratorio ever to be written in the Cree language, Weesageechak and Misigoo bemoan the departure of the living to the land of the dead. They travel to the magic island where the Spirits of the Dead dance by the light of the moon, held up by Atheegis the Frog.

11/06/2007 An Unfinished Life Brian Cherney Listen Close

Etty Hillesum was twenty-nine when she died at Auschwitz on November 30, 1943. 'An Unfinished Life' is based on the diaries that this young Dutch Jewish woman kept from March 1941 to October 1942. Cherney transformed several brief passages of Hillesum’s own writing, including several prayers, into a form of verse, and set these for the voices.

02/12/2006 The Weaving Maiden Chan Ka Nin Listen Close

The story of the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden, a tale of two forbidden lovers who are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month over the wings of magpies, is well known in Chinese folklore. Since the Weaving Maiden is from heaven and the Cowherd is of the world below, the music embodies the division between the celestial and the earthly.

03/05/2005 The Passion of Lavinia Andronicus Omar Daniel Listen Close

Daniel’s oratorio is an exploration of that unknown Lavinia from William Shakespeare’s blood-soaked revenge tragedy Titus Andronicus. The solo vocal groups, consisting of soprano and four male singers (countertenor, two tenors, and baritone), collectively speak with Lavinia’s internal “voice” while the chorus provides external commentary and acts as the voices of those around her.

05/07/2002 The Growth of Music and the Invention of Storytelling Omar Daniel Listen Close

“This is a fable.” So begins Giller Prize-nominated author Michael Redhill’s story of an inveterate liar who is betrayed by a growth under his arm that sings whenever he utters a falsehood. It was with the elemental quality of fable in mind that Daniel approached his setting of Redhill’s text.

06/25/1996 Arc of the Covenant Milton Barnes Listen Close

Commissioned by Soundstreams to coincide with the 1996 celebration of Jerusalem’s third millennium as the capital of the Kingdom of Israel, 'Ark of the Covenant' draws its inspiration from the Old Testament. Composed in a Middle-Eastern Mediterranean style, this work is divided into four main sections bearing the subtitles: “Invocation,” “Recollections,” “Rituals and Cortege,” and “Bacchanal.”

04/26/1992 Prime Time John Weinzweig Listen Close

Intended to be seen as much as heard, Prime Time is a music-theatre work, with words assembled by the composer. Those words consist of a series of disparate messages from the news media presented in juxtaposition without heed to chronology. Moments of quiet rumination, ranging from the contemplation of hidden meanings to furtive thoughts, are interrupted by concert events.