MasterWorks 1: NSO @ 60
Presented by The City Of St. John's and Come Home Year 2022
The Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra is back and celebrating its 60th Anniversary Season with a huge opening night. Featuring pianist Angela Cheng, and under the direction of Marc David, Masterworks 1 will celebrate the diamond anniversary of the NSO in fine style! Musical selections will include Newfoundland Folk Song Suite, arranged by Jim Duff; Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini by Rachmaninoff; and Symphony No. 1 by Ichmouratov. Masterworks 1 takes place at 8pm on Friday, September 23 at the Arts & Culture Centre St. John’s, and is presented by the City of St. John’s and with the support of the Provincial Government’s Come Home Year fund.
Consistently praised for her brilliant technique, tonal beauty, and superb musicianship, Canadian pianist Angela Cheng is one of her country’s national treasures. In addition to regular guest appearances with virtually every orchestra in Canada, she has performed with the symphonies of Saint Louis, Houston, Indianapolis, Colorado, Utah, San Diego and Jacksonville, as well as the philharmonic orchestras of Buffalo, Louisiana, Rhode Island, London, Israel and Minas Gerais in Brazil.
Recent performances include a debut with the Fort Worth Symphony, performing Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a Theme of Paganini,” under the baton of Robert Spano, and a return to the Vancouver Symphony, performing Ravel’s Concerto in G with Otto Tausk. Next season will include the Boulder Philharmonic, Newfoundland Symphony, Okanagan Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony, Saguenay Symphony and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.
Angela Cheng has performed recitals and concertos at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center/Washington, D.C., the 92nd Street Y/New York and Wigmore Hall in London. She appears regularly on recital series throughout the United States and Canada and has collaborated with numerous chamber ensembles including the Takács, Colorado, and Vogler quartets. North American festival performances include Banff, Chautauqua, Colorado, Great Lakes Chamber Music, Vancouver, Toronto and the Festival International de Lanaudière in Quebec.
Ms. Cheng has made several recordings for CBC, including discs of Mozart and Shostakovich concerti and a CD of four Spanish concerti with Hans Graf and the Calgary Philharmonic. In addition, an all-Chopin recital CD has been released by Universal Music Canada.
Angela Cheng has been Gold Medalist of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition, as well as the first Canadian to win the prestigious Montreal International Piano Competition. Other awards include the Canada Council’s coveted Career Development Grant and the Medal of Excellence for outstanding interpretations of Mozart from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
A native of Hong Kong, Ms. Cheng studied extensively with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University and with Sascha Gorodnitzki at The Juilliard School. She is currently on the artist faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she was honored with the 2011-12 Excellence in Teaching Award.
Jim Duff, a native of Newfoundland, holds a diploma of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary, Alberta, a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, and a Masters of Music from North Texas State University in Denton, Texas.
Jim has acted as instructor in trombone, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band Arranging, North American Popular Music and Instrumental Teaching Methods at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Other musical activities include conducting and adjudicating both locally and nationally, and clinics in arranging and concert/jazz band technique. He has served for many years as musical director, performer, composer/arranger, and sound consultant for many CBC radio and television series and specials, and has acted as leader of his own big band for concerts and numerous other occasions. For the past fifteen years, Jim has worked closely with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra as composer, arranger and conductor for their annual Gala and Pops concerts.
He has received awards from MUSICNL, Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Jim has been awarded commissions by the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, the Atlantic Arts Trio, the Memorial University String Quartet, Kenneth Knowles (associate professor/trombone, Memorial University of Newfoundland), the Avalon East District Honours Band, the Arnprior District High School Band (Ontario), the Henry Gordon Academy (Labrador), the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir, the Memorial Universtity Concert Choir, Lady Cove, Cantus Vocum, the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble, Holy Heart of Mary High School Chamber Choir, IXM Divine Ryan’s Inc. (movie), Fortis Inc. (East of Canada), Canada Winter Games (opening ceremonies), the Newfoundland Government/CBC (Soiree ’99), Cabot 500th Anniversary and CBC national radio (Sunrise Celebration). His compositions and/or arrangements have been performed by symphony orchestras and concert bands in both Canada and the United States, and several of his concert band compositions and arrangements have been published and distributed worldwide by Alfred Publishing Company and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.