The Ontario Pops Orchestra and music director/conductor Carlos Bastidas are celebrating the discharge of their debut album with a live performance in Toronto on March 31. The discharge, Breaking Obstacles, spotlights Black girls within the function of featured soloists: violinists Tanya Charles Iveniuk and Yanet Campbell Secades, and bassoonist Marlene Ngalissamy.
Carlos Bastidas and Ontario Pops Orchestra
Maestro Carlos Bastidas got here to Canada from Colombia to check music. “I’ve been taking music since I used to be 11 years on the Nationwide Conservatory in Colombia,” he says. He moved to Canada to pursue his research on the College of Ottawa. “My principal instrument on the time was the bassoon. Again within the 90s, there wasn’t a conducting program.”
He started with taking part in professionally as a bassoonist in varied orchestras, whereas learning conducting as nicely. “After doing that for a few many years, [and] after seeing so many conductors, I believed, I can try this higher,” he says. “Often when folks ask me, I say I play 65 totally different devices.”
Founding the OPO has been a winding highway from its inception in 2014. “It was a journey. We began out the orchestra, and I’m type of a contemporary conductor in that I take advantage of lots of social media.” What he began with was the concept of making a neighborhood orchestra in Etobicoke. “You don’t begin with an expert orchestra,” he says. He was amazed on the response. “I obtained 345 replies from individuals who needed to play within the orchestra.”
After a sequence of auditions, the orchestra obtained began. “We’re the one pops orchestra within the GTA.” With a number of different orchestras within the GTA alone, all performing primarily customary live performance repertoire, it left a spot, he felt. “I don’t wish to do the identical factor.” That’s very true for those who’re reaching past the same old live performance viewers demographics. “Pops provides me a wider vary of programming. I can do from a Broadway present to Dvorak Symphony No. 9. For classical, I attempt to program items that persons are acquainted with.”
Whereas it was nicely obtained and rising, the Ontario Pops Orchestra as a neighborhood ensemble primarily dissolved when the pandemic hit. Carlos all the time had larger plans for the ensemble; the lockdown merely introduced the state of affairs to a head. “That’s after I bounce began the skilled orchestra,” he says of the reset. “It was a pivotal second.”
With the assistance of some sponsors and from the Toronto Musician’s Affiliation, he began to place the subsequent step into place. Through the pandemic, they performed live shows with out an viewers to file the outcomes.
“After that, it was very well obtained,” he says. “One in all our first movies — Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik — we obtained one thing like 200K hits.”
“We’re type of a distinct segment orchestra,” he provides, though that area of interest features a broader base than the same old classical music crowd. He reviews that about 1,000 folks attended their first live performance in Meridian Corridor.
Simply earlier than the pandemic, Carlos was brainstorming concepts on methods to create an inclusive venture for OPO, that includes artists who aren’t normally within the highlight. “I got here up with the concept of the recording in the course of the pandemic.”
The album Breaking Obstacles, launched digitally in late 2022, contains Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, Ok. 550, Vivaldi’s The 4 Seasons, and St. Paul’s Suite for String Orchestra, Op. 29, No. 2 by Gustav Holst on the primary disc. The second disc options Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, together with JS Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor, No. 1, BWV 1041, and Violin Sonata No. 3, BWV 1005, together with Vivaldi’s Bassoon Concerto.
Get the digital and bodily launch (double CD out there March 31) right here.
He was already acquainted with the work of bassoonist Marlene Ngalissamy. “That’s why I programmed the Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto.” Carlos notes that, together with recording the efficiency, it was videotaped as nicely. “The Vivaldi video has so many feedback,” he notes. “Individuals are being moved by it.”
Moscow born Marlene Ngalissamy got here to Canada on the age of 10, and started her research of the bassoon about three years later. She studied first on the Montreal Conservatory of Music, and has gone on to check on the Curtis Institute of music. She gained first prize on the Canadian Music Competitors in 2012. Marlene is at present principal bassoon with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, is a part of the Marlboro Music Competition in Vermont, and has carried out with main orchestras throughout Canada.
“That’s why I got here out with the concept. I invited first one soloist, then [had] the concept of asking all three.” He used a chamber group for the recording, and a collaborative method with the soloists in selecting the repertoire.
Violinist Tanya Charles Iveniuk is OPO’s Concertmaster. The native of Hamilton, Ontario, has roots in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and has carried out all through North and South America, and the Caribbean. A graduate of the UofT with a Bachelor of Music, and an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould College, she has gone on to win a number of awards. Alongside together with her work with OPO, she is the concertmaster of the Obiora Ensemble, and violinist with Ensemble du Monde (Guadeloupe), Toronto Mozart Gamers, and the Odin Quartet.
Violinist Yanet Campbell Secades is a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician who was born in Camagüey, Cuba. “She’s a good looking musician,” Carlos remarks, “a rising star.” She’s gained awards in each her native nation, (first prize at Cuba’s prestigious Unión de Artistas y Escritores Cubanos in 2015), and Canada (a prize winner on the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals’ Nationwide Competitors in 2019). With a Grasp of Music from Memorial College of Newfoundland, she is at present engaged on the Artist Diploma Program on the Glenn Gould College.
The recording formally marks the start of the orchestra’s skilled wave. Carlos says that, with their non-traditional method, new web site and social media attain, Ontario Pops attracts many viewers members who wouldn’t usually attend a classical music live performance. That’s a base he’ll proceed to construct on.
What’s subsequent for Ontario Pops Orchestra? “My objective has all the time been to take classical music into the open air, out of the stage,” says Carlos. He’d prefer to see giant scale outside live shows, free to the general public, much like these staged by many American orchestras. “I feel there’s room for that.”
The Breaking Obstacles live performance on March 31 will happen at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre. Extra data and tickets right here.
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