Manitoba Chamber Orchestra

Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Founded in 1972 in Winnipeg by the conductor Ruben Gurevich. In 1990 the MCOhad a core of 22 players drawn largely from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.. The orchestra's regular venues have beenYoung United Church, the Fort Garry Hotel, and Westminster United Church. Under Gurevich the orchestra presented many contemporary works, including over 100 Winnipeg premieres in its first five seasons. After a season 1981-2 of guest conductors, Simon Streatfeild was appointed music director and conductor, positions he continued to hold in 1991. In addition to its own series of five concerts, the MCO assumed in 1984 the recently disbanded CBC Winnipeg Orchestra's Candlelight Concerts series, which is broadcast nationally on CBC radio.

The orchestra's repertoire ranges from the baroque to the contemporary. Arthur Polson's Concerto for flute, strings, and percussion (1974) and Concerto for oboe, piano, and strings (1978) were commissioned by the orchestra. Works commissioned by the CBC and premiered 1984-90 by the MCO in its Candlelight series have included Alan Heard's Symphony No. 2, Alexina Louie's Piano Concerto, Robert Turner's Time for Three, Gary Kulesha's Serenade for Strings, Stephen Chatman's Song of Solomon, Donald Steven's Piece for Strings, Mark Hand's Réel mystérieux, Glenn Buhr's Danses abstraites, Norman Sherman's Garden of Love, and Chan Ka Nin's Treasured Pasture Leisure Pleasure. The orchestra appeared at the Guelph Spring Festival in 1986 and was resident ensemble there in 1989, premiering Neil Chotem's Rhapsody on a Spanish Theme (El Vito), Malcolm Forsyth's Valley of a Thousand Hills, and Gerald Bales' Rhapsody for Organ and Orchestra (all commissioned by the festival).

The orchestra has collaborated with the Winnipeg Singers (conducted by Streatfeild), the University (of Manitoba) Singers, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, and local high school choirs. Guest artists have included the BorodinQuartet, Liona Boyd, James Campbell, Corey Cerovsek, the Festival Singers, Maureen Forrester, Ofra Harnoy, Desmond Hoebig, Anton Kuerti, Joseph Macerollo, Zara Nelsova, Walter Prystawski, Quartet Canada, Robert Silverman, StevenStaryk, and Irena Welhasch. Concertmasters have been Arthur Polson 1972-87 and Gwen Hoebig 1987-90. Rita Menzies became the orchestra's manager in 1979.