120th Season

Congratulations to Kelly-Marie Murphy

Kelly-Marie Murphy, pictured here with Artistic Director Simon Fryer, has been awarded this year’s Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. Her winning composition titled Coffee Will be Served in the Living Room, for 8 cellos, was commissioned by the WMCT, and premiered on May 3, 2018 at CelloDrama!, in Music in the Afternoon‘s 120th season.

The prize, administered by the Canada Council, was established in 1978 by the Right Honourable Jules Léger, then Governor General of Canada.

Other WMCT-commissioned composers who have won this prize are Christos Hatzis, Chris Paul Harman, and Zosha di Castri.

CelloDrama! encore: May 27 on CBC Radio 2

The final concert, from May 3 2018, in the 120th season of Music in the Afternoon was broadcast on CBC Radio 2 In Concert, Sunday May 27 (11 am – 3 pm, 94.1 in Toronto).

Enjoy these photos if you missed it!

Ariel Barnes joined Simon for the first work, a duo by Jean Barrière from 1740 Paris.  In an early one of several behind-the-scenes dramas, Ariel had been appointed solo cello of the Nürnberger Symphoniker soon after the program announcement: happily he was able to fly back from Germany to join us


After Simon conquered the virtuoso solo Capriccio per Siegfried Palm, a quartet played a gentler 20th-century piece by Jocelyn Morlock.

Tom Wiebe, above on the left in slightly more formal concert wear, rehearsed in the hockey sweater of his home-town Winnipeg Jets.

The audience in the sold-out hall was next enchanted by the famous Bach Chaconne, arranged for 4 cellists, including Minna Rose Chung from the University of Manitoba, second from left, and David Hetherington, far right.

The brand-new work was Coffee will be Served in the Living Room, a miniature symphonic poem for all 8 cellos, on an episode in the life of Jackson Pollock.  Commissioned composer Kelly-Marie Murphy bowed to a happy crowd

Finally, the piece without which a gang of 8 cellists will refuse to party. Shannon Mercer, 2006 CDA winner, and generous fundraiser for the WMCT, joined in for Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5.

Special thanks to Alice Kim, a former student of Simon’s and ultimate rescuer, stepping in to learn the music only a few days earlier, replacing a performer faced with a health crisis.

Karen Houston, also a former student of Simon’s, brought her class of cellists from Rosedale Heights School for the Arts, to join the full hall beside WMCT members and guests, and holders of the Cultural Access Pass from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

Music in the Afternoon invites New Canadians

Music in the Afternoon has just become a performing arts partner in the Cultural Access Pass (CAP) program.  CAP is available to all new Canadians over 18, following their citizenship ceremony, and lasts for one year.  It’s a year of free admission to more than 1,400 Canadian museums, art galleries, and historical sites, plus opportunities to attend concerts, dance and other events by performing arts partners right across Canada.
CAP is delivered by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), a national charity co-founded in 2006 by WMCT Patron the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.  ICC programs and projects inspire inclusion, and the practice of active citizenship, including ownership of our collective culture and spaces.