Bow to String, Air to Breath

January 12, 2016 Download this release in PDF format

For Immediate Release: January 12, 2016 – Toronto, ON

Esprit Orchestra Kicks Off 2016 with Bow to String, Air to Breath at Koerner Hall on January 24th

Conducted by Music Director Alex Pauk, the program features two superb guest artists: rising-star cellist Bryan Cheng (making his second appearance with Esprit) and Esprit’s principal trumpeter Robert Venables.

In a reprise of works that brought the house down for Esprit on its 2015 tour in China, the program includes R. Murray Schafer’s The Falcon’s Trumpet (with Venables as soloist) and Alexina Louie’s Imaginary Opera. The concert also features Bow to String for solo cello and chamber orchestra by Iceland’s Daníel Bjarnason and the World Premiere of Movements and Measures by Canadian Samuel Andreyev.

The Falcon’s Trumpet depicts soaring arcs of flight traced by hawks against the action of wind and clouds in magical light. The audience is surrounded by sound as the musicians are distributed in groups around the hall to recall the acoustic of Schafer’s outdoor music.

As an imagined ghost opera, Louie’s Imaginary Opera integrates the composer’s Eastern and Western approaches to music through both intense and quiet, mysterious dramatic musical events reflecting contrast and balance as in the principles of Yin and Yang.

The concert opens with the World Premiere of an Esprit-commissioned piece titled Movements and Measures by Canadian composer Samuel Andreyev, winner of the prestigious 2012 Dutilleux Prize. Along with its multi-coloured layers of orchestral sound, the piece has a strong rhythmic character organized to make the music hypnotic and unpredictable. The piece is the second part of a projected orchestral triptych with the first part having been commissioned and premiered by Esprit in 2015.

Bjarnason’s Bow to String, with Bryan Cheng as soloist, delivers a powerful emotional impact and has had tremendous success world-wide since being premiered in 2012 by the LA Phil New Music Group conducted by John Adams. Bjarnason is one of the world’s most versatile composers with a career that includes work with prominent pop artists such as Björk and Sigur Rós.


Esprit Orchestra – Bow to String, Air to Breath
Sunday January 24, 2016

Alex Pauk – conductor / Bryan Cheng – cello / Robert Venables – trumpet

Pre-concert chat moderated by composer Alexina Louie


Samuel Andreyev (Canada)Movements and Measures* (2015)
Daníel Bjarnason (Iceland)Bow to String (2010)
 solo cello and chamber orchestra version (2012)
 I. Sorrow conquers Happiness
 II. Blood to Bones
 III. Air to Breath
Alexina Louie (Canada)Imaginary Opera (2004)
 I. Prologue
 II. The River
 III. Frozen Rain
 IV. Pursuing the Dragon
R. Murray Schafer (Canada)The Falcon’s Trumpet (1995) for trumpet and orchestra

Concert Sponsor: The Max Clarkson Family Foundation
*World Premiere generously supported with funding from The Koerner Foundation

Bow to String, Air to Breath
Sunday January 24, 2016, Koerner Hall
8:00PM Concert | 7:15PM Pre-Concert Chat

Royal Conservatory of Music TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning
273 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Individual concert tickets start at: Adult $45; Senior 65+ $40; Under 30 $25; Student $18
Please call (416) 408 0208 or visit For more details:

Esprit Orchestra is Canada’s only full-sized orchestra devoted exclusively to performing and promoting new orchestral music. Esprit Orchestra gratefully acknowledges Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Foundation, Business for the Arts, SOCAN Foundation, The RBC Foundation, The Koerner Foundation, The Hal Jackman Foundation, The Mary-Margaret Webb Foundation, and The Max Clarkson Family Foundation for the their generous support.

Media Contact:
(647) 317-5924