Taiko Plus!

March 20, 2018 Download this release in PDF format

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2018

Esprit Orchestra’s 35th Anniversary Season Finale


April 15, 2018 will mark the finale of Esprit Orchestra’s 35th Anniversary Season with Taiko Plus! in Koerner Hall at 8:00pm. With two World Premieres, and two Canadian Premieres of works by leading Asian composers, the 2017/18 season finale strongly reflects the dynamic artistic vision that has always been at the core of Esprit’s programming. Founding Music Director & Conductor, Alex Pauk and the orchestra will be joined by outstanding guest soloists: soprano Shannon Mercer and the Japanese taiko drumming ensemble, Nagata Shachu. The concert will be preceded at 7:15pm by an engaging pre-concert chat with the composers and a scientist from the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

The program includes Maki Ishii’s spectacular, electrifying Mono-Prism, combining Toronto’s Japanese taiko drumming ensemble, Nagata Shachu with Esprit. The title, Mono-Prism, refers to the intermingling of monochromatic sounds from the taiko drums and the prismatic tonal quality of the Western orchestra. The nearly inaudible sounds produced by the drums at the outset of Mono-Prism are intended to represent a challenge to the traditions of East Asian drumming. Western sound blends with the palpitations of nature to create a pulsing, energetic soundscape.

In keeping with the Asian threads running through the season, Esprit will give the Canadian premiere of Chinese composer Fuhong Shi’s Concentric Circles. This work is scored for large orchestra, and draws inspiration from I-Ching, an ancient Chinese treatise on divination and philosophy. The work’s careful balance between silence and sound represents the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy.

World Premieres of two new works by Canadian composers are also on this program. Chris Paul Harman’s work returns to the Esprit stage for the second season in a row with the premiere of his new piece …with silver bells and cockle shells… for soprano Shannon Mercer and orchestra. The work is infused with the delicacy and wit of nursery rhymes.

Scott Wilson’s newly commissioned multi-media work, Dark Matter, will transform scientific data from the CERN Large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest particle accelerator – into sonic representations and video projections. The audience will be immersed in evocative visualizations derived from the violent yet beautiful patterns of particle collisions, and electroacoustic orchestral interpretations of real-time data.


Sunday April 15, 2018 | Esprit Orchestra Presents: Taiko Plus!
Pre-Concert Chats Moderated by composer Alexina Louie

 Alex Pauk – conductor
Shannon Mercer – soprano
Nagata Shachu – Japanese taiko drumming ensemble

Chris Paul Harman (Canada)...with silver bells and cockle shells... (2018)**
Maki Ishii (Japan) Mono-Prism (1976)*
Fuhong Shi (China)Concentric Circles (2009)*
Scott Wilson (Canada)Dark Matter (2018)**

*Canadian Premiere
**World Premiere commissioned with generous support from the Koerner Foundation

Concert Sponsors:
Judy and Wilmot Matthews

Guest Artist Sponsors:

Royal Conservatory of Music TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning
273 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Individual concert tickets start at: Adult $40; Senior 65+ $40; Under 30 $22; Student $20
Please call (416) 408 0208 or visit espritorchestra.com

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 150, Ontario Arts Foundation, SOCAN Foundation, The Koerner Foundation, The Hal Jackman Foundation, The Mary-Margaret Webb Foundation, Timothy & Frances Price, Judy & Wilmot Matthews, and The Max Clarkson Family Foundation for their generous support.

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