Esprit Orchestra Presents: SPIRA

October 13 2022 Download this release in PDF format

For Immediate Release – October 13, 2022 



Esprit Orchestra will commence their 40th Anniversary Season with a fall/winter subscription concert series at Koerner Hall on Thursday, October 27th with SPIRA, a dynamic and exhilarating program. The series will continue on November 27th with VIOLINISSIMO, a must-see evening of Canadian violin concertos performed by three of Toronto’s finest concertmasters and TAIKO LIVE! on January 25th, a riveting fusion of technology and cultures as part of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s 21C Music Festival. These programs encompass the core values of Esprit: repeat performances of commissioned Canadian music, giving the Canadian premieres of exceptional International music and presenting the great masterworks of our time. Esprit Orchestra kicks off the celebration of its 40th anniversary with an evening of music by composers Christopher Goddard, Unsuk Chin & Thomas Adès. 


Goddard’s Les tringles des sistres tintaient, first commissioned and premiered by Esprit in 2018 will captivate the audience through its bold reimagining of the fiery Bohemian song which opens the second act of Bizet’s iconic Carmen. Though deeply imbued with the opera’s spirit as many other “Carmen Fantasies” before it, Goddard’s work is distinct in it’s elaborate distortion and transformation of the “metallic lustre” of a “strange music” from a brief, charming moment to a complete and dynamic work driven by perpetual motion. The composer, on this work, said the following: “This is Carmen “through the looking glass”, where things are subjected to all manner of topsy-turvy distortions, through which their essence is not obscured, but amplified.”


Unsuk Chin, among the most daring and brilliant composers of our time, wrote Spira, A Concerto for Orchestra on a commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Receiving its Canadian Premiere with Esprit in Toronto, Spira draws its name from the “spira-mirabilis”, the scientific concept of the “growth spiral” that appears throughout nature; a snail shell is a prime example. From silence, a pair of bowed vibraphones emerge, providing rich overtones that interact and interfere intimately with the orchestra, triggering sequences that are at once rhythmic and harmonic and then immediately frenzied and dissonant; as if one is peering through a microscope at the sound’s molecular level. 

Asyla, the acclaimed work for large orchestra by UK composer Thomas Adès boldly concludes this program in an explicitly uncompromising and adventurously vivid manner. In four movements, Asyla resembles but subverts the traditional symphonic form, abandoning convention and tradition for limitless creative expression. Adès’ widely expanded orchestra is employed to tremendous effect; the percussion plays bags of assorted cutlery, a water gong and a washboard, the second movement unfolds with a haunting and unsettling melody by the seldom used bass oboe, and an upright piano tuned down a quarter tone clouds and distorts the sound world. The programmatic third movement, Ecstasio, evokes the frenzied energy of an edgy London nightclub through layers of repetitive dance-like figures that swell to a raving and thunderous cacophony.



         Thursday, October 27th, 2022

Esprit Orchestra Presents: SPIRA

8:00pm Concert | 7:15pm Pre-Concert Chat


Pre-Concert Chat moderated by composer Alexina Louie, O.C.

Alex Pauk, C.M. – Conductor


Christopher Goddard (Canada)           Les tringles des sistres tintaient** (2018)

Unsuk Chin (S.Korea/Germany)          Spira (2019)* Concerto for Orchestra

Thomas Adès (United Kingdom)              Asyla (1997)                                               

                            for large orchestra


*Canadian Premiere by Esprit Orchestra

**Originally commissioned and premiered 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, SOCAN Foundation, Ontario Arts Foundation, The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation,

The Mary-Margaret Webb Foundation, Tim & Frances Price, Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, Power Corporation of

Canada, RBC Foundation, The Max Clarkson Family Foundation, The Charles H. Ivey Foundation, The Amphion

Foundation and Anonymous for their generous support.


Media Contact:

Cameron Dube / Administration & Marketing Coordinator 

(416) 815-7887