This year’s New Creations Festival featured three orchestral concerts – and if my memory serves me well, so did the first NCF, and so have all the rest. Where new music is concerned, the TSO seems to be saying, “We will do this much, and no more.”
I say “seem to be” because there was so much background noise – people walking around and talking (it’s a lobby, after all) – that I found the listening experience more frustrating than rewarding. I hope I’ll soon have the opportunity to hear them again, in better circumstances.
So here’s an idea for the TSO that would expand the festival, and do justice to the performers relegated to the lobby of RTH. How’s about having some more concerts in proper halls around town during the New Creations week (not scheduled to conflict with the TSO’s concerts, of course) – and enlist the services of the local new-music groups to program them?
This would require no new money, just some organizational initiative. These extra concerts would be paid for by the new-music groups themselves, most of whom present a concert or two in February or March anyway. It would be an excellent way to market and publicize the diversity of new music in Toronto.
I can only assume this is not a novel idea. Surely this has occurred to people at the TSO and within Toronto’s new-music community. And already there are hints that this kind of co-operation is in the air: during Eotvos’ current visit to Toronto, he appeared at a Soundstreams “Salon 21” event, and on Saturday he’ll conduct a program by New Music Concerts.
Why don’t the TSO and the city’s new-music presenters – Soundstreams, New Music Concerts, Arraymusic, Continuum, the Esprit Orchestra, or perhaps one of the contemporary opera companies – enter into a robust collaboration and make New Creations into something worthy of the word “festival”?
© Colin Eatock 2012