New generation of talents

University of Toronto New Music Festival UTNMF

By Zolen Georgievska – Special to The Canadian National News – Polonez News Canada

TORONTO – UTNMF is an international festival of contemporary music presented annually by the University of Toronto Faculty of Music.

This year UTNMF was held from January 27 – February 4 AD 2024

The opening night took place @ the Metropolitan United Church, performed by University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Felipe Luzuriaga and Uri Mayer. It was followed by a lineup of amazing concerts held at the Walter Hall, at the U of T Faculty of Music.

Photo by: Zolen Georgievska – Special to The Canadian National News – Polonez News Canada

A highlight of this year’s edition of the UTNMF was the attendance of guest Canadian composer, Marjan Mozetich as the Roger D. Moore Distinguished visitor in composition. There was a screening of a film about his life and work, “Affairs of the Heart” as well as his Composition Masterclasses I & II. Works by Mozetich were featured throughout the festival, including the world premiere of his West-East, a commission from the festival for the Bridge and Wolak duo, with Michael Bridge, accordion and Kornel Wolak, clarinet.

Norbert Palej, Associate Professor of Composition, artistic Director and Festival Coordinator also offered a new work, his String Quartet No. 3, performed by the Penderecki String Quartet.

Asked to comment on the success of this year’s festival, Palej said. “The 2024 edition of the UTNMF was perhaps its most successful one yet. We hosted world-class artists and presented so many amazing new works and several world premieres. Our featured guest composer was one of Canada’s greatest: Marjan Mozetich, but many more made an appearance, including John Burge, Wendy Lee, Abigail Richardson-Schulte, Kotoka Suzuki. We had a great audience presence at all events, which is so encouraging to see as we regenerate from the difficult past few years.”

Photo by Zolen Georgievska – Special to The Canadian National News – Polonez News Canada

As for Palej’s feelings about the 2024 highlights, he said, “It is hard to point out specific highlights, since there were so many special events. I might mention the Gryphon Trio concert, the Penderecki Quartet with Joseph Petric, as well as the Bridge & Wolak duo sharing the stage with Bedford Trio. Having Marjan with us for a whole week was a highlight in itself, as he is such a great musician and teacher.”

Palej said he was pleased with the growth of the festival, and he is looking forward for many more to come.

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