Conductors and Artistic Directors
Glenn Kruspe was conductor and music director of the KWSO 1944-60. He was succeeded by Frédéric Pohl (b Strasbourg 1898, d 1979). During Pohl's term 1960-70, the 65-piece orchestra performed at the Capitol theatre and Kitchener Collegiate. Boris Brott was interim conductor for the 1970-1 season. Raffi Armenian became music director in 1971. He remained the KWSO conductor until 1993. He was succeeded by Chosei Komatsu that year, and Martin Fischer-Dieskau in 2002. In 2004, Simon Streatfeild was artistic advisor and principal guest conductor, with Brian Jackson as principal pops conductor, Daniel Warren as resident conductor, and Raffi Armenian as music director laureate.
The orchestra has welcomed many guest conductors over the years. In 1992, guest conductors included Christopher Kendall, Samuel Wong, Richard Buckley, Bernhard Gueller, Colman Pearce, Brian Jackson, Odaline de la Martinez, and Georg Hanson.
In 1972 the orchestra moved for its concerts to the Humanities Theatre at the University of Waterloo. In the early 1970s it began to program music by Canadians (eg, Applebaum, Beckwith, Somers, Schafer) and concert versions of operas (La Traviata, Carmen, La Bohème, Don Giovanni), and to present outstanding Canadian soloists (Jon Kimura Parker, Jon Vickers, Anton Kuerti). The orchestra also accompanied productions of the Centre Opera Studio (founded in Waterloo, 1977).
In 1980 the orchestra began performing in the Centre in the Square. Performing 30 concerts in its inaugural season there, the orchestra later expanded its season to more than 60 concerts, many of them heard on the CBC. Series in the 1990-1 season included Masterpiece, Pops, Seagram Sunday Serenade (the light classics), Baroque and Beyond, two series for children, and an extensive program of school concerts for more than 15,000 children annually. The orchestra presented its first free outdoor concert in the 1989-90 season. Highlights of its programming included a ten-year Mahler cycle under Armenian, and the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with Anton Kuerti in Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto.
In 1996, the orchestra featured guest performers such as Jon Kimura Parker, Quartetto Gelato, the Penderecki Quartet, and the Gryphon Trio.
The KWSO provides learning programs and presents free performances in hospitals and other facilities. In 1992, the orchestra promoted the Adopt-a-player program of school talks. In 1998, KWSO with composer-in-residence Peter Hatch performed in Kitchener's NUMUS concerts with the Elora Festival Singers and at the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound.
In the fall of 1988 the full orchestra toured for the first time, performing concerts in central and northern Ontario. It toured New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland in November 1990. In addition to tours within Canada, the KWSO toured Europe in 1984, 1986 and 1990, and South America in 1984 and 1989, where its music was defined as the "golden sounds of Canada" (Kitchener-Waterloo Record). In 1996, the orchestra toured Japan.
Many of the orchestra's early concerts have been recorded. It has also recorded over 16 CDs, including Brahms: Serenades (CBC, 1995) and Wagner: Siegfried Idyll with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble (1996). In 1997, KWSO and Japan's Ark System Corporation signed an international recording and broadcast deal, a North American first. The orchestra is heard regularly on CBC Radio. In 2002, under conductor David Alger, the KWSO recorded a concert with Angela Cheng. The CBC has recorded KWSO performing works by Jacques Hétu, Malcolm Forsyth and Phil Nimmons (1994). In 1996 a KWSO recording was the winner of the Grand Prix du Disc.
In 1995, the KWSO performed Inner Voices by Melissa Hui; this was a KWSO commission (with the Saskatoon Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra). In 1998 the KWSO, in cooperation with NUMUS and the Elora Singers, premiered a string quartet by Glenn Buhr.
The orchestra has been supported by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, the City of Kitchener and the City of Waterloo, and by individual donors and corporate sponsors. As part of a program funded by the Canada Council, Gary Kulesha was named composer-in-residence with the orchestra in 1988 for a three-year term.
See also Kitchener and Waterloo, Canadian Chamber Ensemble
Author Stanley Saunders, Barry Cole, Emily-Jane Orford
Oktoberfest Operetta: Strauss - Lehár - Kálmán. M Boucher soprano, Dubois tenor, Armenian conductor. 1984. CBC SM-5045
'Viens, Gentille Dame' Romantic Arias for Lyric Tenor. DuBois tenor, Pedrotti bar, Armenian conductor. 1987. CBC SM-5077
Mahler Kindertotenlieder; Rückert Lieder; Songs of a Wayfarer. Robbin mezzo, Armenian conductor. 1989. CBC SMCD-5098
A Night in Venice, Joanne Kolomyjec and Mark DuBois. 1994. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5126
Canadian Trumpet Concerti, works by Hetu, Forsyth, Nimmons, Guy Few, James Thompson, Dan Warren trumpet, Armenian conductor. 1994. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5130
Brahms: Serenades, Armenian conductor. 1995. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5145
Memories of Poland, Fialkowska, Armenian conductor, et al. 1995. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5140
Russian Serenade, Beaver, Komatsu conductor. 2001. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 5159
Members of the orchestra also appear on Christianity's Prayer of Peace with Walter Scholtes conductor, and the Victor Martens Singers (1982, Canadian Mosaic WW-338); and Aria - Une selection de Radio-Canada. 1997. CBC SM 5000. SMCD 97
'Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony... ' CanComp, 23, Nov 1967
Edds, Jack. 'See what the black walnut produced,' OCan, vol 4, Sep 1977
Machan, Claire. The First 40 Years (1945-1985) - The History of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra (Kitchener 1986)
"Adopt-a-player is a great success," Orchestra Canada, vol 19 no 3, Mar 1992
"Armenian's farewell season," Orchestra Canada, vol 19 no 4, Apr/May 1992
"World of Music - Musicmakers, Kitchener," Classical Music Magazine, vol 16 no 4, Sep 1993
Carter, Christine. "Symphony Highlights," Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 19 Apr 1996
Finch-Durichen, Paulin. "Japanese deal 'like magic'," Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 4 Apr 1997
"World of Music - Musicmakers, Kitchener," Classical Music Magazine, spring 1998
Poole, Elissa. "From chopsticks to Mozart," Words and Music, vol 5 no 10, Nov/Dec 1998
Everett-Green, Robert. "The conduct of an anti-maestro: What the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony didn't want was an autocratic leader," Globe and Mail, 30 May 2003
"KWSO association members to gather Feb 16," Globe and Mail, 7 Feb 2004
Links to Other Sites
The website for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Features a current concert calendar, musician profiles and more.
Centre In The Square
Based in Kitchener, Ontario, the Centre In The Square is a popular regional multi-purpose live performing arts venue. Their site offers a calendar of concerts and special events.
The website for the Elora Festival and Elora Festival Singers. Features the latest news, event calendar, a discography, many media clips, and more.
Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound
This diverse and adventurous music festival in Kitchener features electroacoustics indoors and outdoors, performance art, sound installations, sound poetry, music in alternative venues, conference activity, and interdisciplinary performance.
Browse or search this extensive site for biographies, discographies, and brief audio excerpts from recordings featuring Canadian and international classical composers and performers. Also search for details and audio clips of Canadian orchestras and other classical music groups. Subscription required to access full tracks.
Glossary: Orchestral Music
A glossary of terms associated with orchestral music. From the website for the Austin Symphony Orchestra in the US.
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