Robert Aitken performs at Soundstreams' Magic Fluits.Photo courtesy of Trevor Haldenby.

Soundstreams’ Magic Flutes


Stephen-R-Header(TORONTO, ON) – Soundstreams is one of the world’s leading contemporary music companies and the largest global presenter of new Canadian music. It is committed to showcasing the work of living and international composers with a focus on innovative thematic and experiential performing.

Now starting its 34th season it truly has proven itself.

On October 12, Soundstreams launched its new season with Magic Flutes at the beautiful Koerner Hall in Toronto, which has the feel of rich wood and soft browns. In fact, it strikes me as Art Deco.

What a wonderful setting for any artistic performance.

The underlying theme for the evening was the The Pied Piper of Hamlin, a story of evil, good, and retribution. As well, Ana Hõstman’s composition for flute and soprano in four movements was interspersed throughout the concert.

Leslie Newman delivered a solid performance on flute, but the soprano work by Carla Huhtanen was a bit on the abstract side; flawless in delivery, but requiring some time which to become accustomed.

In a generic sense, the highlight of the evening showcased the tremendous variances in flute composition from the dreamy, hypnotic, and mystic playing by Robert Aitken and the equally hypnotic yet terribly intense performance of Claire Chase, who made her flute sound like an entire symphony in Piece in the Shape of a Square.

Marina Piccini’s Wild Riot of the Shaman’s Dream was, at points, frantic in the style of Jimi Hendrix and Ian Anderson’s [Jethro Tull] AquaLung, and at points reassuringly traditional.

Dramatic and traditional was André Jolivet’s Suite en Concert, with a four-person percussion group accompanying Patrick Gallois on flute.

All performances were top notch and showed the tremendous range of the instrument from the sedate and hypnotic to a riotous and agitated, all in an innovative and unconventional way.

For information on the remaining  performances in the 2016/17 season check online.