Monday, December 11, 2006

CMC Celebrates CENTREDISCS' 25th Anniversary!

In 1981, The Canadian Music Centre's award-winning Centrediscs label released its first recording and for the past 25 years it has remained unique among this country's recording labels through featuring only the works of Canadian composers.

During its history, Centrediscs has released 117 recordings featuring the work of over 100 composers, interpreted by a who’s who of Canadian performing talent. From humble beginnings and against considerable odds, this proudly Canadian independent label has gone on to achieve critical acclaim at home and abroad and is now distributed internationally – with total sales of over 80,000 recordings.

“These are well-produced, well-performed albums, digitally recorded, properly annotated and in most cases offering the only available version of the music at hand. Let us celebrate the initiative of a label such as Centrediscs.” William Littler, Toronto Star

Centrediscs celebrated its 25th Anniversary at Chalmers House (CMC’s National Office in Toronto) on November 25, 2006 with an event for those involved with the label over its 25 year history including composers, performers, donors and staff – past and present.

(photo of W. Beauvais, C. Petrowska Quilico,
J. Behrens and P. Nimmons by Andrea Ayotte)

The evening featured performances by William Beauvais (guitar), Christina Petrowska Quilico (piano), Robert Cram (flute), Phil Nimmons (clarinet) and Jack Behrens (piano) - all artists who have appeared on Centrediscs recordings.

More information on Centrediscs releases can be found at

Monday, July 10, 2006

...just your typical week at the CMC!

Early in June, the CMC welcomed the members of its National Board of Directors for its annual spring meetings and AGM. Representatives from across the country coverged on Chalmers House to participate in some lively debate about issues facing the CMC and its stakeholders.

It was not all work for the Board - the soundaXis Festival was taking place at the same time so many of the Directors were able to take in concerts, exhibits and lectures. The CMC contributed to this festival through its exhibit entitled Re:Sounding - Creating a New Space for Canadian Music.

This exhibit, which was launched with a public reception, featured models and drawings of a proposed new facility for the Canadian Music Centre's National Office. A place where new music performers could rehearse and hold concerts, while also providing the CMC with a greater ability to create connections between composers and the larger community through presenting workshops, lectures and other outreach activities.

A huge thank you to Paul Raff (Paul Raff Studios) and Colin Ripley (Colin Ripley Architects) for their brilliant vision of the CMC's future home. Let the fundraising begin!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Goodbye Mitch!

Friday marked the last day on the job for Mitch Kitz - the Canadian League of Composer's administrator for over ten years. The CLC office is located in our building and it has been a pleasure to have Mitch in our midst for so long.

To bid Mitch a fond farewell and to celebrate his "early retirement" - his words not mine - the CMC staff held an informal party. Hey...any excuse for cake! Just joking Mitch...

(photo from l/r - Neil Gardiner / incoming CLC Administrator, Elisbeth Bihl / CMC Executive Director, Micheline Roi / CLC Vice-President, Mitch Kitz / outgoing CLC Administrator)

New Creations Festival - Part I

Last Thursday (March 30) was the opening of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's 2nd annual New Creations Festival - which this year is guiding audience's through the world of the modern concerto.

The opening concert - Modern Soundscapes - featured the world premiere of CMC Associate Composer Jacques Hétu's Variations concertantes, Op. 74, and two Canadian premieres of American works, Melinda Wagner's Extremity of Sky (with pianist Emanuel Ax) and John Adams' The Dharma at Big Sur (with Leila Josefowicz, electric violin).

A highlight of the evening was the lobby chat during intermission with Jacques H
étu and Melinda Wagner hosted by TSO's Composer Advisor and CMC Associate Gary Kulesha.

Peter Oundjian conducted this very thrilling opening concert. It was a brilliant way to start this year Festival.

(photo of Gary Kulesha and Jacques Hetu
by John S. Gray)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Visit to CMC Amsterdam

CMC Executive Director Elisabeth Bihl found some time out of her vacation schedule last week to drop into the CMC's satellite office in Amsterdam at the Muziekgebouw - the city's newest music venue. During her quick visit, Elisabeth managed to meet with Jan Wolff (Muziekgebouw's General Director) and Henk Heuvelmans (Director, Gaudeaumus Contemporary Music Center).

We are very fortunate to have a presence in this very important world capital for contemporary music. For more information on our activities in Amsterdam visit

This staff member is more than a bit jealous and can't wait for
ANY opportunity to make a visit to the CMC's international office!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Contemporary Canadian music hits the online airwaves!

Thanks to the efforts of Richard Truhlar - CMC's Distribution Services Manager & Centrediscs Producer - contemporary Canadian music can now be heard online at radioio ( and MTM Radio (

How great was it the other day to hear works by Robert Turner, Stephen Chatman and Jean Papineau-Couture played back to back on radioio this past Monday?! When was the last time you heard that on traditional radio?

Radioio offers users the option of listening to streaming music from a number of genres including a "station" devoted entirely to classical music. When we sent samples of our Centredisc recordings they reacted so favourably that these discs were immediately added to their playlists. They've even asked for more Centredisc recordings!

MTM Radio is based out of Quebec and is dedicated to playing contemporary music with a focus on the avante garde and musique actuelle. Some of our recordings have recently made it onto their playlists as well!

Check these online radio stations out...happy listening!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Happy 93rd Birthday John Weinzweig!

As this is the first blog of The SCORE (a premiere of sorts...) it is only appropriate that it document the 93rd birthday of CMC founder John Weinzweig, which was celebrated at his residence on Saturday, March 11th.

Beyond the word founder, other words come to mind when thinking of John - creator, teacher, mentor, and visionary are only a few.

John celebrated his birthday in the company of family (including his wife Helen and his son Daniel), his friends and his colleagues. The afternoon began with performances of some of Weinzweig's chamber works provided by several talented students from Earl Haig Secondary School and concluded with a cake that I can assure you John thoroughly enjoyed.

Happy 93rd John! We owe you much.

(photo of John Weinzweig and John Beckwith by John S. Gray)