Claude Vivier Retrospective
Tue Jun 27 | 7pm
Roundhouse Performance Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews
In 1983, Canada’s queerest and most cosmic composer, Claude Vivier, shockingly left this world at the age of 34, murdered by a rent boy in Paris. In this retrospective, we commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death with performances by the Standing Wave Ensemble, soprano Sarah Jo Kirsch, and pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, along with musical tributes by composers Rodney Sharman, Matthew John Knights and Gabriella Yorke. Presented in partnership with Little Chamber Music.
Many consider Claude Vivier the greatest composer Canada has yet produced. At the age of 34, he was the victim of a shocking murder by a prospective lover, leaving behind some 49 compositions in a wide range of genres, including opera, orchestral works, and chamber pieces. György Ligeti once called Vivier “the finest French composer of his generation.”
Western Canada’s foremost contemporary chamber ensemble, Standing Wave is a sextet of intrepid new music interpreters dedicated to commissioning and performing cutting-edge music from today’s most forward-thinking composers. Acclaimed internationally for their virtuosity, vision, and artistry, Standing Wave has cultivated a reputation for electrifying live performance that pushes the boundaries of what chamber music is and can be.
Sarah Jo Kirsch, soprano
An accomplished interpreter of western art music, Sarah Jo Kirsch (they/she) has performed across Canada, in Europe and West Asia as a soloist and collaborator. They have been hailed as “…one of the finest contemporary dramatic vocalists in Canada today,” (Calgary Herald) “…with the ability to get under the skin of everything she sings,” (Winnipeg Free Press). Beyond opera and oratorio, Sarah curates and produces sociopolitically relevant art song experiences of works from the last three centuries. An avid and capable interpreter of new music, they have premiered more than 30 new works for voice by Canadian composers.
Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, piano
Hailed in the press as a “keyboard virtuoso and avant-garde muse” (Georgia Straight) with the “emotional intensity” to take a piece “from notes on a page to a stunning work of art” (Victoria Times Colonist), Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa is recognized among Canada’s foremost contemporary music pianists. Selected to close the ISCM World New Music Days 2017 in Vancouver, Rachel has performed in the Netherlands, Germany, US and across Canada, with engagements including Muziekweek Gaudeamus, Music TORONTO, Music on Main, Vancouver New Music, Redshift, Western Front, Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, the Aventa Ensemble (Victoria), CONTACT contemporary music (Toronto), New Works Calgary, Groundswell New Music (Winnipeg), and Vancouver Pro Musica.