HAMILTON, ON –The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra announces the 2017 What Next Festival of New Music taking place in various venues throughout the city between May 23 and May 28, 2017.

HPO celebrates Canada’s sesquicentennial at this year’s What Next Festival of New Music. Festival Director Abigail Richardson-Schulte explains, “This year’s theme isn’t just music of Canada but music of a specific Canadian focus of regions, land and water, animals and folk music. This is Canadian composers portraying their Canada.”

Now in its seventh year, the What Next Festival is Hamilton’s annual new music celebration, bringing prominent and emerging Canadian composers to Hamilton audiences. Displaying the dynamic and thriving new music scene, the What Next Festival presents our community to music written by Canadian composers of today and this year’s program also pays tribute to the trailblazing composers of our past. Audiences will hear two premieres by Hamilton composers William Peltier and Liam Ritz and well-known works by renowned composers such as Marjan Mozetich, who was recently featured on the mainstage at the April 8 A Midsummer Night’s Dream concert.

This year’s festival includes a very special pre-festival launch event at the home of HPO’s Principal Clarinet Stephen Pierre. Guests will get a sneak peek of the festival in Stephen’s performance of a work for solo clarinet that was written specifically for him.


Tuesday, May 16 – Pre-Festival Launch at the home of Principal Clarinet Stephen Pierre
Tuesday, May 23 – Postcards from the Sky
Saturday, May 27 – The Furious Stomp
Sunday, May 28 –Trails of Gravity and Grace


SPECIAL EVENT: Pre-Festival Launch at the home of Principal Clarinet Stephen Pierre Tuesday, May 16 at 5:30pm Guests will experience the HPO in a unique setting as we celebrate music, the land and the natural assets of our region. Enjoy a tour of Stephen’s home and property, including his woodworking shop where clarinet reeds are made, followed by a solo performance by Stephen Pierre.

Tickets are $25. Refreshments served. Details at staginghpo.wpengine.com

Postcards from the Sky
Tuesday, May 23 at 7:30pm at First Hamilton Christian Reformed Church (181 Charlton Avenue W.)
This intimate and lush concert features some of Canada’s most beautiful works for string orchestra, conducted by William Rowson. We honour Canadian composers, both past and present as we feature works by Sir Ernest MacMillan and Marjan Mozetich.
Sir Ernest MacMillan: Two Sketches for String Orchestra, based on French Canadian Airs
John Burge: Upper Canada Fiddle Suite
Claude Vivier: Zipangu
Marjan Mozetich: Postcards from the Sky

The Furious Stomp
Saturday, May 27 at 7:30pm at the Church of St John the Evangelist (320 Charlton Avenue W.)
Experience Canada’s northeast coast and a roaring tribute to Stompin’ Tom Connors by Hamilton composer William Peltier. This concert features Principal Flute Leslie Newman with a chamber ensemble of six: flute, violin, percussion, horn, piano as well as Hamilton baritone Jeremy Ludwig. This diverse program has Leslie imitating loons, stomping on plywood, playing with throat singers on recording, and playing a jig…among other things.

John Beckwith: Four Love Songs from Canadian Folk Music Selections
Brian Current: Birefringence
William Peltier: The Futility of the Furious Stomp
Barbara Monk Feldman: The Loons of Black Sturgeon Lake
Derek Charke: Reel Variations on a Jig
Liam Ritz: Light Fragments

Trails of Gravity and Grace
Sunday, May 28 at 7:30pm at the Church of St John the Evangelist (320 Charlton Avenue W.)
The title of this concert takes its name from a work by prairie composer Allan Gordon Bell, as he shows us the flight of prairie falcons and the landscape above us. Featuring our Principal Clarinet Stephen Pierre in combination with a piano trio and wind quintet as we head to Canada’s west.

Abigail Richardson-Schulte: The Pull
Elma Miller: La nuit s’ouvre (The Night Opens)
Brent Lee: Gatineau River
Allan Gordon Bell: Trails of Gravity and Grace
Jordan Nobles: Tides
Kelly-Marie Murphy: Postcards from Home

Ticket Information
Admission to all three What Next Festival concerts is PWYC (pay what you can) at the door.

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About the HPO: The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.

Media Contacts:

Kim Varian
Manager, Marketing and Development
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 X 226

Diana Weir
Executive Director
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 X 227