July 16, 2009

Atlantic Sinfonia launches music history book

Atlantic Sinfonia, Fredericton’s own professional chamber ensemble, has just released a new publication tracing the development of music in Fredericton and the province.

“A Musical Legacy: A Celebration of Fredericton and New Brunswick Composers” is a companion guide to the series of musical legacy concerts presented by Atlantic Sinfonia as part of the city of Fredericton’s Cultural Capitals of Canada initiative.

“Fredericton has a rich history of music making, stretching back over two centuries,” said the book’s editor Richard Hornsby. “From the earliest days of settlement to the present day, it has been the home of a number of talented composers who have contributed to both Fredericton’s and the nation’s musical heritage. We wanted to tell the story of our musical past, especially that of the western tradition of art music that waves of European immigrants and Loyalist settlers brought with them to their new home.”

The book traces the development of music in the region and profiles several notable composers, such as Bishop John Medley, Alexander Ewing, Robin Bayley, Janis Kalnins, and Michael R. Miller. The publication is illustrated with historic images from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the New Brunswick Museum and the Public Archives of New Brunswick.

Atlantic Sinfonia and a specially formed choir presented the first of the legacy concert series on July 1 at Christ Church Cathedral, where the commemorative companion guide was launched. The concert series continues in October and November and will feature exclusively the music of local and provincial composers.

The project’s artistic director is Richard Hornsby, Director of Music at UNB, and Choral Directors are Dr. Willis Noble, Music Director of Christ Church Cathedral and Björn Runefors, Director of the Fredericton Choral Society and the UNB Conservatory of Music.

“A Musical Legacy: A Celebration of Fredericton and New Brunswick Composers” can be purchased through Westminster Books on King Street, University of New Brunswick Bookstores in Fredericton and Saint John or through Atlantic Sinfonia’s website, www.atlanticsinfonia.ca.