AUTUMN SERENADE

Friday, November 11, 2022 8 pm

Trinity St-Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor Street West


Gems from three centuries

A heavenly new harp concerto, two brilliant soloists

and vivid melodies from Mozart and Suk still in their teens


SINFONIA TORONTO

NURHAN ARMAN Conductor

LUISA SELLO Flutist

TERESA SUEN-CAMPBELL Harpist

Program

MOZART String Quartet No. 2 orchestra version

CHAN KA NIN Harp Concerto world premiere

STAMITZ Flute Concerto in G Major

SUK Serenade


Tickets: Adult $44; Senior $37; Student $17

Program notes by Lorne Tepperman


String Quartet No. 2 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Orchestral arrangement by Nurhan Arman

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed the six string quartets numbered K. 155 to K. 160 in late 1772 and early 1773, when he was sixteen and seventeen years of age. Because they were composed in Milan while he was working on his opera Lucio Silla, they have become known as the Milanese Quartets.


Before this set, Mozart had written just one string quartet, K. 80/73 in 1770, so these six quartets are numbered from No. 2 to No. 7. They were written in a cycle of keys following the circle of fifths, perhaps as a formal learning experience imposed by father Leopold, although by this age Mozart was already composing at a level entirely comparable with his much older contemporaries. All six of the quartets in this group have only three movements rather than the four which became standard in later, more typical Classical quartets.


Harp Concerto by Chan Ka Nin (1949-)

The composer has provided the following notes:

When Harpist Teresa Suen-Campbell asked me to write a harp concerto, I was thrilled because she is a wonderful harpist, and this will be my first concerto for this beautiful instrument. I am very grateful for Maestro Nurhan Arman for his support for commissioning this project. Sinfonia Toronto has kindly performed a few of my compositions in the past years under his superb direction. As this piece was written during the pandemic (2021-22), my thoughts have been with the vulnerable people including my mother who is 94 years old. In recent years she had developed dementia. As I gradually loose my connection with her, this work will be my memory of this strong and wisewoman. At the same time, this could also be her memories of her colourful life.

The composer wishes to thank the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council for commissioning this work.


Flute Concerto in G Major, Op. 29 by Carl Stamitz (1745-1801)

Carl Stamitz was an important German composer during the early classical period, and a prominent figure in the Mannheim School, a group of 18th-century composers who had gathered in Mannheim, Germany, under the patronage of Duke Karl Theodo and the leadership of Johan Stamitz. The Mannheim School was known for innovating more expressive dynamics and tone colors than Baroque music and increasing the concerto literature for woodwinds. The outstanding Mannheim orchestra was well known throughout Europe for its virtuosity and exciting effects. Long crescendos, abrupt dynamic changes, and rapidly rising melodic figures (which some called "Mannheim rockets"), were characteristic features of Mannheim compositions. Though the Mannheim composers were eventually eclipsed by Haydn and Mozart, they contributed significantly to the development of a mature Classical style.


Carl Stamitz was the son of Johann Stamitz, the school's founder. In 1762 he played violin, viola, and viola d'amore in the court orchestra. After several years in Paris, he toured widely as a virtuoso, performing in England and The Hague, among other places. Carl was the most prolific composer in the Stamitz family. He was especially fond of the flute and wrote seven concertos and several chamber works for it. His Flute Concerto in G Major, Op. 29, written in 1780, is a staple work in the flute repertoire. Its three movements incorporate many Mannheim School elements, including great virtuosity.


Though organized like a Baroque concerto grosso in three movements, this piece presents the concerto in a new light, with the soloist taking center stage. The orchestra mainly accompanies the virtuosic solo. However, even in this secondary capacity the orchestra plays an important role, providing a gentle and bucolic backdrop for the flutist. Like the more refined works of Haydn and Mozart, the concerto is elegant and courtly, a delightful introduction to music of the Classical period.


Serenade in E flat major, Op. 6 by Josef Suk (1874-1935)

Unlike his Czech compatriots Josef Myslivecek and Jan Zach, composer and violinist Josef Suk made relatively little use of Czech folk idioms in his works, nor did he write much chamber music, even though he was the second violinist of the eminenet Czech String quartet for more than 40 years.


Antonin Dvořák considered Suk his best student at the Prague conservatory, and also a friend, and included him in family events. Suk fell in love with Dvořák’s daughter Otylka when whe was only 14 years old, but waited correctly and impatiently until they could marry in 1896 when she was 18, and in 1892 wrote this Serenade as part of his long courtship, winning her away from several other suitors. Her untimely death in 1905 was a tragic blow for Suk.


Dvořák’s influence on the Serenade is clear, but Suk’s youthful angst and longing show in this work as well as others from his student days. Here Suk mostly follows Dvořák’s urging to write “something cheerful for a change,” though not entirely. Instead of the first movement Allegro one might expect, the Serenade begins with a wistful Andante con moto. The second movement is a gentle waltz interrupted by a brief, dramatic outburst in the middle. The lyrical cello melody which opens the third movement Adagio soon builds more emotional intensity than usual in serenades. Some serious moments in the last movement Allegro giocoso echo the wistful theme of the first movement before the finale fulfills Suk’s indication that it will be “quick and playful.”

Biographies

Teresa Suen-Campbell, Harpist - Teresa Suen-Campbell's recording was praised “a well-balanced program focusing on calmness and warmth, beautifully played” by Canadian Classical Music Magazine Whole Note’s editor David Olds. Her playing was described as "angelic solo rendering" by the Financial Times and was praised as possessing "a formidable technique which shines and stuns" by the Macao Daily. Her Canadian debut with Kindred Spirits Orchestra was praised as "possessing an incredible level of concentration” by celebrated harpist Judy Loman.

An advocate of contemporary music, Teresa has collaborated with many composers and has commissioned two concertos and two solo works for the harp to date. She has recently premiered and recorded a new work for harp and electronics by renowned composer Alice Ho. She has also performed under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy and has shared the stage with renowned artists such as Kathleen Battle, Placido Domingo, Skaila Kanga and Dame Evelyn Glennie.

As a soloist, Teresa has performed with the Toronto Concert Orchestra, Kindred Spirits Orchestra, Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Strings and SAR Philharmonic. She has also been invited to many international music festivals/conferences, such as American Harp Society Summer Institute (2015), Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (2015), and the Hong Kong Arts Festival (2009).

An enthusiastic and dedicated educator, Teresa is currently Harp Faculty at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Prior to this appointment, she taught harp at Carleton University and was Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She also coached harpists at Macau Youth Symphony Orchestra and was harp instructor at Northwestern University.

An avid music scholar, Dr Suen-Campbell’s journal article was published by the American Harp Journal. In recent years, she also arranged and performed piano music of Beethoven, Schumann and traditional Chinese music for solo harp, the latter of which was critically reviewed by Harp Column Magazine.

Dr. Suen-Campbell has also been invited to be an adjudicator for various competitions, including the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival and the First Harp Competition in Hong Kong. Her students have obtained top prizes in both local and international festivals, exams and competitions.

Teresa is the first harpist from China to acquire a Doctor of Music degree in harp performance. She studied at Northwestern University in Chicago with Professor Elizabeth Cifani, former principal harpist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is the recipient of a number of honors and awards, including the Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship from Asian Cultural Council, Brevard Music Festival Scholarship and the C.F. Hu Postgraduate Memorial Scholarship.

She began her piano lessons at the tender age of 5, and started studying the harp at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts at 15. She later graduated with first-class honors in music from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Enthused to serve the harp and music community in Canada, Dr. Suen-Campbell was the President of the Ontario Chapter (formerly Toronto Chapter) of American Harp Society from 2018-2020. She also served as the Board of Director at the Oakville Arts Council from 2018-2019 and is currently a member of the Grants Review Committee of OAC.

In the summer of 2022, Teresa is going to to lecture and perform at the World Harp Congress in Cardiff, United Kingdom through a highly selective process. She will also be performing a recital at the Toronto Summer Music Festival. She is currently residing in the Greater Toronto Area.

Luisa Sello, Flutist - Ambassador of Music and of Italian Culture, Luisa Sello is one of the most surprising personalities of contemporary art, an elegant flautist and one of the most applauded interpreters of cultured music.

Immediately distinguished for her phrasing and quality of sound she began a concert career. She has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician throughout all Europe, the United States, South America, Russian and Asian countries. Luisa Sello has been guest of the Wiener Symphoniker, the Miami Great Symphony Orchestra and the Salzburger Krammerorchester.

She has collaborated with the Orchestra of the “Teatro alla Scala” in Milan directed by Riccardo Muti. She maintains a vigorous concert schedule and in recent seasons she has performed regularly throughout the midwest, as well as in Italy, Scotland, Thailand and China. She has plaied beside Bruno Canino, Alirio Diaz, Trevor Pinnock, Edgar Guggeis, il Nuovo Quartetto Italiano, lo Jess Trio Wien.

Beside being a visiting professor at University of Music in Vienna, she joined the Faculty of Music in Trieste where she is currently a tenured associate professor. She also is invited to give master calsses at the Universities of Koln/Aachen, Moscow, Madrid, Miami, Tallin, Zagreb, Peking, Shanghai and Buenos Aires.

In addition to her teaching duties Luisa is the artistic director of the "Amici della Musica Association in Italy (Udine), has won many literary poetry prizes and has published essays on the relationship between music and literature.

Luisa Sello completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Italy and Paris where she studied flute, Contemporary and Baroque performance practice. She has studied in Paris with Raymond Guiot “very musical, superb sound”, at the “Accademia Chigiana” with Severino Gazzelloni “magnificent interpretive sensibility and excellent sound”, and at the “Académie Internationale” of Nice with Alain Marion. She has graduated also in “Languages” and in “Modern Literature”. She records for Stradivarius, one of the most famous companies in Europe. Luisa Sello plays on Miyazawa flutes.

Sinfonia Toronto now in its 24th season, has toured twice in Europe, in the US, South America and China, receiving glowing reviews. It has released four CD’s, including a JUNO Award winner, and performs in many Ontario cities. Its extensive repertoire includes all the major string orchestra works of the 18th through 21st centuries, and it has premiered many new works. Under the baton of Nurhan Arman the orchestra’s performances present outstanding international guest artists and prominent Canadian musicians.


Maestro Nurhan Arman has conducted throughout Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and the US, returning regularly to many orchestras in Europe. Among the orchestras Maestro Arman has conducted are the Moscow Philharmonic, Deutsches Kammerorchester Frankfurt, Filarmonica Italiana, St. Petersburg State Hermitage Orchestra, Orchestre Regional d’Ile de France, Hungarian Symphony, Arpeggione Kammerorchester, Milano Classica and Belgrade Philharmonic.


Sinfonia Toronto respectfully acknowledges that we work in the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee peoples