New Wave Reprise

March 7, 2019 Download this release in PDF format

For Immediate Release March 7, 2019


Esprit Orchestra Relaunches Popular New Wave Young Composers Festival

Spring is a time for change, rebirth, and new creations. This April, Esprit will bring back the spirit of the popular New Wave Young Composers Festival that once ran on an annual basis. New Wave Reprise, a concert of World Premieres, will take place at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre on Friday April 5, 2019 at 7pm. The concert will feature five newly commissioned works by emerging composers Eugene Astapov, Bekah Simms, Alison Yun-Fei Jiang, Quinn Jacobs, and Christina Volpini. Launching the concert, renowned Canadian composer, John Rea will deliver an engaging keynote address entitled Dialogue of the Wind and Sea: Composers Talking to Composers. Following the performance, Esprit will host a post-concert reception to give attendees a chance to mingle and network with the featured artists over beer and light fare.

Eugene Astapov’s work, Emblem, is based on the composer’s recently completed doctoral research on the origin and aesthetics of Russian music. Ancient Russian chants are intricately woven into the piece, influenced by pagan origins and church psalmody. Certain elements of the work are commonly found in the music of Russian composers. Astapov views this work as a conscious exploration of his own cultural roots.

Juno nominated composer Bekah Simms’ Foreverdark puts a new spin on the traditional cello concerto with influences from the heavy metal genre. The work uses short melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic quotations from a variety of heavy metal sources, referencing bands such as Bathory (Viking metal), Strapping Young Lad, and System of a Down. Ahmal Arulanandam, one part of the brilliant cello duo VC2, strides into Simms’ work as soloist on an amplified cello. Arulanandam’s sound is meant to be somewhat divorced and expanded from his location on stage.

Alison Yun-Fei Jiang appears for the second time this season. Her 2018 piece, River Memory was performed on Esprit’s January concert program at Koerner Hall, and her new work Temporal is her first commissioned work with Esprit. Of her new work, the composer says: “By cycling and recapitulating melodies and sounds, Temporal evokes a fragile dream-like state, where the perception of time, events and memories is fragmented.” The work brings to mind imagery of the quiet, fragile serenity of a Canadian winter night, with the glow of moonlight on the snow.

Music About Music, by Quinn Jacobs, is an exploration of expression and meaning in music, setting the chamber orchestra against pre-recorded narration. The piece uniquely circumvents the traditional relationship between creator and spectators, in which performers are required to interpret and convey the composer’s every intention. Meaning emerges through abstract rhythmic patterns and shifting textures – at times dancing around the text, at times spinning a story of its own.
The title of Christina Volpini’s new work, as within, so without, is drawn from a hermetic principle of correspondence: “As above, so below; as below, so above. As within, so without; as without, so within.” The work explores the idea of the macro existing within a microcosm, with the intention of creating a vibrant, shimmering texture.

Esprit would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council for their support in commissioning these talented young composers for our New Wave showcase program.



Esprit Orchestra Presents: New Wave Reprise
Friday April 5, 2019 |
7:00pm | Trinity St. Paul’s Centre

Keynote address by renowned composer John Rea
Dialogue of the Wind and Sea: Composers Talking to Composers

Alex Pauk – conductor
Eugene Astapov – guest conductor
Alison Yun-Fei Jiang – guest conductor
Amahl Arulanandam – cello

Eugene Astapov (Canada) Emblem (2019)**
Quinn Jacobs (Canada)Music About Music (2019)**
Bekah Simms (Canada)Foreverdark (2019)**
Christina Volpini (Canada)as within, so without (2019)**
Alison Yun-Fei Jiang (Canada)Temporal (2019)*

Reception to follow the performance.

*World Premiere commissioned by Esprit Orchestra
**World Premiere commissioned by Esprit Orchestra with generous support from Ontario Arts Council

 Concert Sponsor:



Reception Sponsor:


427 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Individual tickets: $15
Please call (416) 815-7887 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, Ontario Arts Foundation, TELUS, SOCAN Foundation, The Koerner Foundation, The Mary-Margaret Webb Foundation, The J.P. Bickell Foundation, Timothy & Frances Price, and Judy & Wilmot Matthews for their generous support.

Media Contact:
Amber Melhado / Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
(416) 815-7887