For Immediate Release February 3, 2020

Esprit Orchestra Presents: Electric & Eclectic

 Electric & Eclectic on Wednesday February 26, 2020 will include works by two renowned composers and an emerging Canadian composer, as well as solo performances. American composer John Adams’ work Son of Chamber Symphony is a riveting score that changes meters rapidly and scurries all over the place. Also on the program is the World Premiere of James O’Callaghan’s Not non-other, and Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No. 1 for two violins, harpsichord, prepared piano and string orchestra with Marie Bérard and Stephen Sitarski as violin soloists and Stephen Clarke on harpsichord and prepared piano.

John Adams’ Son of Chamber Symphony, was premiered in 2007 and commissioned by Stanford University, Carnegie Hall, and the San Francisco Ballet. This invigorating, almost acrobatic work was composed with choreographic intent, for agile ballet dancers.

The World Premiere of Montreal-based composer James O’Callaghan’s Not non-other situates a single microphone in a concerto position in front of the orchestra, which is recorded, amplified, and manipulated electronically through a multi-channel sound system. The piece references the ‘orchestra hit’ synthesizer sample used extensively in pop music in the 1980s as its primary material, and is ultimately a personal and poetic reflection on being, the self, death, and disappearance.

Alfred Schnittke looms large in recent music history and his remarkable Concerto Grosso No.1, premiered in 1977, reveals the astounding vision and creative force of one of the greatest composers of the past century. The work, for two violins, prepared piano and string orchestra will be performed with Esprit’s Concertmaster Stephen Sitarski and Marie Bérard, Concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company orchestra as violin soloists, and Stephen Clarke as soloist on harpsichord and prepared piano. The three soloists alternate and interweave with the string orchestra throughout the piece. The composer identified three musical spheres playing off of one another, which he defines as “formulas and forms of Baroque music, free chromaticism and micro-intervals, and banal popular music which enters as it were from the outside with disruptive effect.”


Wednesday February 26, 2020
Esprit Orchestra Presents: Electric & Eclectic
8:00pm Concert | 7:15pm Pre-Concert Chat

Pre-Concert Chat moderated by composer Alexina Louie



John Adams (U.S.A)Son of Chamber Symphony (2007)
James O’Callaghan (Canada)Not non-other (2020)*
Alfred Schnittke (Russia)Concerto Grosso No.1 (1977)

Alex Pauk – conductor

Marie Bérard, violin
Stephen Sitarski, violin
Stephen Clarke, harpsichord/prepared piano
James O’Callaghan, electronics

*World Premiere commissioned by Esprit Orchestra with generous support from The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation



Royal Conservatory of Music TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning

273 Bloor Street West

Individual concert tickets start at: Adult $45; Senior 65+ $45; Under 30 $27; Student $25

Please call (416) 408 0208 or visit


Season Sponsor:


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, Azrieli Foundation, Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, SOCAN Foundation, Ontario Arts Foundation, The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation, The Mary-Margaret Webb Foundation, Timothy & Frances Price, Power Corporation of Canada, RBC Foundation, The Max Clarkson Family Foundation, The Charles H. Ivey Foundation, The Amphion Foundation, Inc., Japan Foundation, and Anonymous for their generous support.


Media Contact:

Amber Melhado / Marketing & Outreach Coordinator

(416) 815-7887