CURRENT EVENTS February 21, 2014

Friday, Feb. 21st: The Ambleside Orchestra will be performing MCB's "Pavane, Tango & Finale at St. David's United Church (Taylor Way & the Upper Levels Highway in West Vancouver) Time: 7:30 p.m. By donation.

Tuesday, March 4. Parkgate library, (North Vancouver) 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Michael will continue his monthly series on show business and music stories. This session will deal with the Russian composer, Stravinsky and his dealings with the Walt Disney Company.

Friday, March 14, Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, (Burrard St. & Georgia), Evocations for Quartet and Orchestra, The West Coast Symphony and Pro Novo Quartet. 8:00 pm

and same concert on Sunday, March 16th, Centennial Theater, North Vancouver, 2:00 p.m.,

Tuesday, April 1st, Parkgate Library, 12:30 to 1:30. Celebrating Rachmaninoff's birthday!

Thursday, April 3, West Vancouver Memorial Library. 10:30 to Noon, Welsh Room, "Stravinsky in Hollywood. Guest musician, violinist Dominic Woo who will perform Michael's "Canticle for an Angel" accompanied by the composer on the piano.

Saturday, April 5, Lions' Gate Sinfonia, "Remembrances" for French Horn, piano and orchestra with Brian G'froerer, horn, MCB piano, Clyde Mitchell, conductor. Also on the same program: MCB's "Gabriel Faure: In Memoriam for orchestra".

Tuesday, May 6, Parkgate Library, North Vancouver, 12:30 to 1:30 "Hollywood film music".

Thursday, May 8, West Vancouver Memorial Library. Welsh Room, 10:30 to Noon. Songs from films. Christina Lewall, soprano, guest musician MCB "He's Gone"

Saturday, May 24, Kay Meek Theater, West Vancouver, Pro-Arte Dance Gala. MCB music for Harp & Violin.

Tuesday, June 3, Parkgate Library, North Vancouver, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. the music of Dimitri Tiomkin (High Noon, The Thing, etc.)

Thursday, June 5, West Vancouver Memorial Library, the music of Dimitri Tiomkin, (High Noon, The Thing, etc.) Guest musician: Brian G'froerer, french horn. MCB "Remembrances"


Excerpts from a recent interview

How would you characterize your music?
I'm basically, an out and out Romantic! I love a good melody and rich harmony. I'm always delighted when my audiences are "touched" by my musical expressions. Many people feel a certain sad quality in my music. Perhaps this is because I love the Russian Romantics!

What is the source of your inspiration? Do you have a muse?
My music is often very pictorial. As a boy, I was very moved by poetry and painting. My film scores are mostly motivated by the visual and dramatic elements of the film.

Would you say there is anything particularly "West Coast" about your music?
Much of what I have written has been influenced by our West Coast. Good examples are my "Through the Lions' Gate" suite and my "Vancouver Variations" as well as a set of piano pieces called "Rainforest".

Are there any composers, past or present, you'd count as particularly influential on your love of music, and in the kind of music you write?
I love Rachmaninoff, Chopin, and most of the composers who are characterized as "Romantic". (But I also love the music of J.S. Bach and the later symphonies of Mozart.

What do you find particularly gratifying in writing for an orchestra?
The orchestra offers the widest range of expression for a composer. Every instrument is represented and the combining of all these "colours" can be breath-taking.

What impressions or emotions do you hope convey in the works to be performed by the Lions Gate Sinfonia?
I try to express as many human emotions as possible: Happy; Sad; Funny, Poignant. etc. After hearing my music many people have told me it makes them cry.

Not a lot of people can make a living as a composer. What advice would you have for a young, aspiring composer?
I know of no classical composer who makes a living strictly by writing classical music. Most teach in one form or another. Or they manage to get grants. I found I could make a living writing film and television scores. (But this is a very crowded and difficult area to break into -- every composer wants to do this!)

When you are not listening to your music, what are you listening to?
I love the "greats" of classical music: Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, et al. (But I also love certain kinds of jazz and pop.)

Paul Gravett

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Michael Conway Baker
Evocation Publishing Company Inc.
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