Archive for Upcoming Events

May 26, 2019: A Feast of Thunder

artistic director ALEXANDER VEPRINSKIY and special guest narrator TOM ALLEN of CBC RADIO

Canada’s one-of-a-kind Shevchenko Musical Ensemble is proud to revive its most ambitious commissioned work, A Feast of Thunder, in its entirety. With original music by Morris Surdin and words by Canadian playwright George Ryga, it explores the phases of life – Birth, Youth, Adulthood and Death – in four movements. At once elegiac and intimate, modern yet melodic, it employs elements of chorale and opera and is universal while rooted firmly in archetypal Canadian themes. The first half of the concert will showcase the diversity of the Ensemble’s repertoire with songs and music from around the world.

Sunday, May 26, 3:30
Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
427 Bloor west of Spadina
$35 • $20 students +$2 Visa orders

Tom Allen of CBC
The popular radio host of CBC Music’s afternoon program “Shift” will join the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble as narrator for A Feast of Thunder. Tom brings the heart of a musician, mind of a musicologist and the voice of a broadcaster to the job. Born in Montreal, he studied at Marianapolis College and McGill before finishing degrees at Boston College and Yale. He worked as a bass trombonist in New York City and Toronto and toured with the Great Lakes Brass. He is an author, resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto and creator of a series of cabaret story-telling shows.

The Ensemble is thrilled to have such a multi-talented individual join us in our landmark revival of A Feast.

The Toronto Mandolin Orchestra has been part of Toronto’s music scene for more than 60 years. Although founded in the Ukrainian community, today both its membership and repertoire are as diverse as Toronto itself, welcoming musicians of all backgrounds performing a program of folk, classical and original Canadian music. The orchestra’s unique instrumentation sets it apart from all others. Featuring the mandolin family of instruments augmented by accordions, woodwinds and percussion, the orchestra combines the intimacy of a chamber ensemble with all the power of a symphony and appeals as much to lovers of classical music as to fans of folk and world music.

The Shevchenko Choir sprung from the Ukrainian community in 1951 as the Shevchenko Male Chorus. Its original focus was on preserving the Ukrainian choral tradition but it very soon branched out to performing the songs of Canadians of other backgrounds. Like the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra, its membership is as diverse as its repertoire. Today, the choir is comprised of both women and men and performs regularly at Trinity-St. Paul’s and other stages around the city.

Alexander Veprinskiy graduated with a Master’s degree in operatic-symphonic conducting from the Mykola Lysenko Conservatory of Lviv. Before his arrival in Canada in 1993, Alexander was principal conductor of the Music Theatre of Kirovohrad and the Kharkiv Operatic Theatre where he displayed a talent in the theatre arts. A competent and prolific choral and orchestral arranger, Alexander has brought to the Ensemble and numerous audiences, such challenging works as Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev, Thumbelina by contemporary Ukrainian composer Zhanna Kolodub, an outstanding arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for solo domra and mandolin orchestra, excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade Suite, the Peer Gynt Suite Nº 1, and more.