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In Memoriam: Peter Longworth

Pianist and teach Peter Longworth has died at the early age of 54. Peter graced the WMCT stage five times, beginning with the Duke Piano Trio in the 102nd season, and most recently in 2016 during the 119th season, with James Sommerville, horn, and Scott St. John, violin.

John Terauds and Norman Lebrecht have written heartfelt tributes to his contributions to Toronto musical life.

Further appreciations by colleagues, students and friends at Ludwig van Toronto.

2018 06 26

News from Vivian Fung, WMCT 2017 commissioned composer

Vivian sends her January 2019 Newsletter:

Happy New Year!  2018 was a busy year, with the premiere of my Earworms for orchestra, Shifting Landscapes for piano quartet for Ensemble Made in Canada’s Mosaique Project, and The Ice Is Talking for ice blocks and electronics commissioned by the Banff Centre. I’m also proud to have written on Motherhood and the Creative Process (According to Five Canadian Composers) which appeared in the blog Music on Main. This coming year will be as busy as the last, with a few important premieres this winter and spring, and also a trip to Cambodia this coming February to research music for a potential opera.   Read More

Vivian Fung – Bounce, premièred by James Sommerville, horn, Scott St. John, violin, and Peter Longworth, piano, on November 24, 2016.

Sommerville concert photos

“To witness such a high calibre of performance was one thing. But then to follow that with a world première of a new and challenging piece you commissioned by a composer who was also present was breathtaking.   Thank you again!

Sean Howard, concert guest

“Outstanding concert”… James Sommerville

Bounce world première – “full of suspense and mystery”.
Penelope Cookson, WMCT Artist Selection Committee member shares her views of Sommerville concert.

James Sommerville presented an outstanding concert in Walter Hall for Music in the Afternoon Nov. 24. The French horn is not often featured in recital, and this was a marvellous opportunity to hear the instrument masterfully played in an intimate setting. Sommerville was accompanied by Peter Longworth, piano, and violinist Scott St. John joined them for two of the works.

From the moment Somerville played his first notes, we knew we were in for a wonderful afternoon.

The concert opened with Villanelle by Paul Dukas, which was designed as an examination piece for the Paris Conservatory. The horn is often considered one of the hardest instruments to play, but in this first piece we were introduced to what the instrument sounds like in the hands of a master. The Villanelle was followed by three of Charles Gounod’s Six Mélodies: Larghetto, Andantino, and Andante sostenuto. Longworth and Sommerville collaborated magnificently in both these opening works.
The French horn evolved over time from the hunting horn, and has a haunting quality, often used in repertoire to suggest the hunt or to call attention in melancholic way. The third work, commissioned by the WMCT was the World Première of Bounce created by Canadian composer Vivian Fung.

Vivian Fung World Première – Nov. 24

Vivian Fung World Première – WMCT Commission

Hear the world première of Bounce a new horn Trio written by Canadian composer Vivian Fung. Inspired by Fung’s 9-month-old son Julian, it will be premièred by James Sommerville, French horn, Scott St. John, violin and Peter Longworth, piano at the Nov. 24th concert.
It’s a WMCT commission.

Meet the composer:   Vivian Fung will attend the world première.

More information about Bounce

Vivian Fung

119 James Sommerville, horn

with Scott St. John, violin; Peter Longworth, piano

NOVEMBER 24, 2016 | 1.30 PM

Review and More photos

  • Vivian Fung – Bounce –  Premiere of WMCT Commission for Horn, Violin and Piano
  • Brahms – Horn Trio Op.40
  • Dukas – Villanelle
  • Gounod – Mélodies
  • Marcel Bitsch – Variations sur une chanson française
  • Poulenc – Elegie

James Sommerville is Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 1998.  The winner of the highest prizes at the Munich, Toulon, and CBC competitions, Mr. Sommerville has pursued a solo career that has spanned 25 years, and has brought critically acclaimed appearances with major orchestras throughout North America and Europe. His disc of the Mozart Horn Concertos with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra won the JUNO Award for Best Classical Recording in Canada.

James Sommerville Website

Violinist Scott St. John, a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet from 2006-2013, continues an intense touring schedule. Maintaining an ongoing relationship with the Marlboro Music Festival, Scott plays an enormous variety of concerts across North America, including solo appearances with orchestras, recitals and chamber music.

Pianist Peter Longworth performs as soloist and chamber musician in major venues around the world and with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Fairbanks Symphony, and the Vancouver Symphony. Peter is a founding member of the Duke Piano Trio and regularly collaborates with many of today’s finest instrumentalists.

Tuning Your Mind pre-concert lecture – Nov. 24, 12:15 pm, Walter Hall

Ryan McClelland
University of Toronto professor of Music Theory
Acting Dean, Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs
Topic: “On Convention and Memory in Brahms’s Horn Trio”

More information about Ryan McClelland

Concert sponsor: WMCT Foundation


Each season the WMCT commissions a new chamber work from a Canadian composer for performance during that season’s Music in the Afternoon concerts series. Most scores are available at the Canadian Music Centre.
Fjóla Evans – Moss, premièred by the Aizuri Quartet with Bryan Holt, cello, on February 23, 2023

WMCT commissions:

  • Fjóla Evans – Moss, premièred by the Aizuri Quartet with Bryan Holt, cello, on February 23, 2023
  • Allan Gordon Bell – Solastalgia, premièred by Cameron Crozman, cello, and Philip Chiu, piano, on March 31, 2022
  • Russell Hartenberger – Eagles, premièred by Beverley Johnston, Aiyun Huang, Russell Hartenberger, and Randall Chaves Camacho, percussion, on November 11, 2021
  • Anna Pidgorna – Lekking Birds, premièred by Kornel Wolak, clarinet, Michael Bridge, accordion, and Amahl Arulanandam, cello, on November 12, 2020
  • Kelly-Marie Murphy – Coffee will be Served in the Living Room, for eight cellos, was premièred at “CelloDrama!” on May 3, 2018, and won the 2020 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music.
  • Vivian Fung – Bounce, premièred by James Sommerville, horn, Scott St. John, violin, and Peter Longworth, piano, on November 24, 2016.
  • Zosha di Castri – Near Mute Force, premièred at “Dannthology”, by Steven Dann, viola, and friends and family on April 7, 2016.
  • Christopher Mayo – Twentieth Century Ikon, premièred by Ensemble Made in Canada, on May 7, 2015
  • Christos Hatzis – Atonement, premièred by Yegor Dyachkov, cello, and Jean Saulnier, piano, on March 20, 2014
  • John Estacio – Song cycle Away and Awake in the Night, premièred by James Ehnes, violin, Russell Braun, baritone, and Carolyn Maule, piano, May 2, 2013
  • Chris Paul Harman – Sonatine, premièred by Robert Aitken, flute, and Simon Fryer, cello, October 27,  2011
  • Timothy Corlis – Raven and the first Men,  for clarinet, strings, and images, premièred by James Campbell, clarinet, and the New Zealand String Quartet, October 14,  2010
  • Glenn Buhr – String quartet no. 4 (2010), premièred by the Penderecki String Quartet, March 25, 2010
  • Larysa Kuzmenko – Fantasy for cello, premièred by Kaori Yamagami, November 20, 2008
  • Stewart Goodyear – Dogged By Hell Hounds (a tribute to bluesman Robert Johnson), premièred by Stewart Goodyear, piano, December 6, 2007
  • Barbara Croall – Bigiiwe (She is Coming Home), premièred by Marion Newman, mezzo-soprano, and Gregory Oh, piano, April 26, 2007
  • Alexander Rapoport – Variationen ohne Worte, premièred by Meredith Hall, soprano, and Bernard Farley, guitar, April 20, 2006
  • Chan Ka Nin – Rhythm of Life, premièred by Sonia Chan, piano, February 3, 2005
  • Donald Coakley – Fanfare for a Festive Anniversary, commissioned for the WMCT’s gala Centennial Celebration Concert, performed in the lobby of the George Weston Recital Hall by Chris Howells, trumpet and leader, Shawn Moody, trumpet, Toni Carlucci, trumpet, Allistar Gaskin, trombone, and Douglas Gibson, trombone, on May 24, 1998
  • Jacques Hétu – Fantaisie for piano, Op. 59, imposed work for the 1997 Career Development Award competition, premièred by Jeanie Chung on November 27, 1997
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