The New Music Ensemble of the Glenn Gould School (Royal Conservatory)

Brian Current, director 

In its 10th year of operation, the New Music Ensemble of the Glenn Gould School performs several free concerts per season at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, the Telus Centre for the Arts and other venues.  The group is comprised of advanced students from the Glenn Gould School who are interested in contemporary music and are seeking to expand the performance of cutting-edge works.

The New Music Ensemble of the Glenn Gould School is dedicated to performing large-scale historic works from the 20th century as well as brand new pieces featuring the latest developments in international contemporary music. It is uniquely situated in the city to provide large works at a minimal cost.   The ensemble is particularly focused on works involving groups of musicians alongside interactive electronics and is working to develop this area in the future.  

World renowned composers such Georg Friedrich Haas, Philippe Leroux, Steve Mackey, Marco Stroppa and Anders Hillborg have visited for rehearsals and performances of their work. The ensemble is also dedicated to commissioning and aims to premiere at least one large-scale work per season. Past commissions include works by Christopher Mayo, Alice Ho, Brian Harman, So Jeong Ahn, Scott Good, Omar Daniel, Andrew Staniland, Robert Lemay, Dean Burry and Linda Catlin Smith.

Recent selections from our past seasons include:

Georg Friedrich Haas – In Vain

George Benjamin – At First Light

Kaija Saariaho – Graal Theatre

Gerard Grisey - Partiels

Julian Anderson (UK): The Book of Hours for 20 players, synthesizer and live electronics

Boulez - Derives II

Martin Matalon - Trame IV

Unsuk Chin - Acrostic WordPlay

Ligeti - Chamber Concerto

Martin Matalon - Las Siete Vidas de un Gato

Marco Stroppa (Italy):  élet... fogytiglan, dialogo immaginario fra un poeta e un filosofo 

Henri Pousseur -Huitieme Vue sur les jardins interdits (arr. Gonneville)

Philippe Leroux - TotalSOLo (North American premiere)

Ana Sokolovic  - Geometrie Sentimentale

Lutoslawski – Chain I

Ligeti - Melodien                                                                      

Philippe Leroux: D’Aller

Philippe Leroux: Continu(ons)

Stefan Niculescu:  Ison II

Karen Tanaka, Wave Mechanics

Akira Nishimura, Chamber Symphony No.3

Andrew Staniland, Yupana*

Webern - Symphony, op. 21

Varese - Offrandes

Varese – Deserts

Todd Machover   - Another Life

Omar Daniel – Chamber Concerto No.1*

Linda Catlin Smith – Knotted Silk

Magnus Lindberg – Marea, for orchestra

Paul Frehner – Lila, for two chamber ensembles

*World Premiere, commissioned with funds from the Ontario Arts Council 

The Amphitheatre concerts are an excellent way to introduce new audiences to contemporary music.  The house is invariably filled with lunch-hour spectators who have little experience with new works. Between the pieces there is a casual discussion about ways to approach more challenging works. It is hoped that through these concerts we can introduce new ways of thinking about music by discussing features such as texture, colour or unusual forms.  It is also hoped that the young musicians themselves will develop an appreciation for the importance of performing and commissioning new works, and that this will carry through to their future careers as orchestral, solo and chamber musicians.