SSO Opening concert Program

SSO Opening concert Program

Join Martin for a pre concert talk at STC at 6:15


Ludwig Van Beethoven: (1810)             Egmont Overture

Larysa Kuzmenko: (2020)                      Fantasy on a Theme by                                                                                 Beethoven

Jean Sibelius : (1893)                                Karelia Suite


Christine Donkin (2011)                            3 Autumn Scenes

Edvard Grieg (1895)                                   Nordic Dances Op 63

Georges Bizet (1875)                                 Carmen Suites 1 & 2 (excerpts)


Songs and Dances Guest Conductor, Martin MacDonald



Martin MacDonald is one of Canada’s most dynamic and outstanding young conductors and has been awarded both the Heinz Unger Award and the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award for orchestral conducting. Martin has guest conducted extensively across Canada having worked with the orchestras of Toronto, National Arts Centre, Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Niagara, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. He has served as a Cover and Guest Conductor for the National Ballet of Canada for several productions, and has worked with the Minnesota Ballet, Atlantic Ballet, and Halifax Dance. Martin has recorded extensively for the CBC and for several commercial recordings. Most notably, Martin has served as Resident Conductor, Associate Conductor, and a regular guest conductor of Symphony Nova Scotia since 2008 with over 200 performances in a diverse range of programs and artists. Previously, Martin served as Associate Conductor of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and has participated in several international conducting workshops and competitions.


Martin has a Master’s in Orchestral Conducting from McGill, a Bachelor’s in Cello from Memorial, and has studied conducting with Alexis Hauser, Bernhard Gueller, Boris Brott, Michael Jinbo, Kenneth Kiesler, Gustav Meier, Jorma Panula, and Johannes Schlaefli. Martin’s conducting activities have been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Cape Breton born, Martin is the youngest of twelve children and has a diverse musical background with a strong Celtic music tradition including extensive touring and performing with members of his family throughout Europe and North America.

Martin resides in Toronto, Ontario with his wife, Kristen and their daughter, Frances.

September 2021

Larysa Kuzmenko, Fantasy on a Theme by Beethoven


Larysa Kuzmenko is a Toronto-based composer, pianist and Juno nominee. Her music has been commissioned, performed, broadcast and recorded by many outstanding musicians all over the world. She has appeared as a pianist in several countries, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, St. Lawrence Centre, England, USA, Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall and several other Canadian venues. She is currently on staff at the

University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where she teaches piano, harmony, and composition.Her works demonstrate a strong affinity towards the mainstream of classical music. She imbues her music with a strong melodic sense, and a firm rooting in traditional, albeit extended tonalprocesses. She has been award ed commissions from the Ontario Arts Council, CBC, Laidlaw

foundation, and from private commissioners. She was a composer in residence at the Memorial University in Newfoundland in 2010. Her music is published by Boosey and Hawkes, Plangere, and Frederic Harris. Her solo piano works “In Memoriam to the Victims of Chernobyl” and

“Mysterious Summer’s Night” have become standard repertoire for pianists. These pieces receive over a hundred performances a year. Her choral works “Winds” and “Stars” are performed regularly all over the world with sales of over a thousand copies a year. In 2011, Larysa received a Juno nomination for her “Piano Concerto” which was recorded on CD by well-known Ukrainian Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico. Most recently, she was

commissioned, through a grant from the Ontario Arts Council, to write a work for the Toronto Symphony’s 90th anniversary. This work, “Behold the Night” was composed for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Children’s Choir. It was extremely well received by the audience and was broadcast on CBC. Oscar winner Christopher Plummer was on the same show as the premiere of “Behold the Night”. During the after show dinner, he told the composer that “Shakespeare would have been very proud of Larysa Kuzmenko’s musical setting of the text to ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’”. Critic Colin Eatock from the Globe and Mail wrote, “The work is as charming and colourful as any film score by Danny Elfman or John Williams”.

Some prominent ensembles and soloists who have performed her works include, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, directed by Peter Oundjian and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra directed by Bramwell Tovey, Thunder Bay Orchestra directed by Jeoffrey Moule,Gryphon Trio, Composer’s Orchestra directed by Gary Kulesha, cellists Shauna Rolston, Kristine Bogyo, and Kaori Yamagami, pianists Anton Kuerti and Andrew Burashko, the Elmer Esler Singers, and the Elora Festival Singers just to name a few.

Ms. Kuzmenko is currently on staff at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where she teaches piano, harmony, and composition. Larysa Kuzmenko is married to Canadian composer/pianist/conductor Gary Kulesha.


Programme Note:

“Fantasy on a Theme by Beethoven” was commissioned and premiered on February 14, 2020 by the Calgary Symphony Orchestra. I was asked to write an 8 minute work, featuring the oboe, inspired by Beethoven’s
Symphony No. 1.

I chose to write a theme and 7 variations that is loosely based on the main theme of the first movement. Beethoven’s original theme is C G B C C, while my version is D Ab C D D. The theme goes through different permutations, but remains recognizable, largely because of its shape and rhythm. The work opens with the theme being presented in a fugal texture by strings alone. There are variations that feature the solo oboe, and others that feature horns, trumpets, and even timpani, which, appropriately, was first featured as a solo orchestral

instrument by Beethoven in his 9th Symphony. The biggest challenge when writing this piece was being restricted to Beethoven’s instrumentation– the orchestra in the classical era was much smaller than the contemporary orchestra. My other orchestral scores generally include trombones, bass clarinet, tuba and a variety of percussion instruments.


Christine Donkin Three Autumn Scenes

I am a Canadian composer. Although my explorations into music composition began as a solitary pursuit, I have in recent years had the honour of collaborating with a wide variety of instrumentalists, vocalists, writers, and fellow composers. I have never specialised: I compose music for students and amateurs as well as for professionals. With the passage of time, my focus is shifting from my own development to that of young people who want to express themselves creatively through music.


Christine Donkin a étudié la composition musicale à l’Université de l’Alberta et à l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique. Elle compose des œuvres chorales, pour formations de chambre et pour orchestre qui sont exécutées partout sur le continent et au-delà, y compris à des endroits aussi prestigieux que Carnegie Hall, le Conservatoire de Moscou et le National Centre for the Performing Arts de Mumbai. Elle a remporté des prix à des concours de composition nationaux et internationaux, et six éditeurs publient sa musique.

Christine est également active dans le domaine de l’éducation musicale comme compositrice, arrangeure et examinatrice. Elle a signé plusieurs volumes de musique pédagogique pour piano, violon et contrebasse, et elle a reçu la commande de plus de 70 arrangements et réalisations écrites de basse chiffrée pour les publications du Royal Conservatory of Music.


Members of the Orchestra for October 22, 2022

Concert master: Beth Schneider Gould

1st violins:   
Erica Mancuso
Cristina Masotti
Gemma Donn
Martha Kashap
Philip Kashap

2nd violins:
Melissa Schaak*
Kimlan Bell
Anne-Marie Perron-Jutras
Aaron Dent
Milas Hewson
Kathryn Martin

Joanna Millson*
Vincent Feletti
Sarah de Niverville

Yu Pei*
David Macdonald
Dick van Raadshooven
Ralf Meyer

Brittany Goldsborough
Arianna Verbree

Jack Broumpton*
Sally Lesk 
Illeana Buju
Ben Conroy

*principal player




Joey Salvalaggio
David Vanbiesbrouck (and English Horn)flutes:
Karly Schofield*
Danielle Conti (and Piccolo)clarinets:
Jessica Sigurdson*
Emerald Sunbassoons:
Eleanor Sonley
Alex Kurkefrench horns:
Maggie Niro*
Jennifer Grant
Josh Wood
Diane Chapman Hodgins


Jodi Bourcier
Tracy Mark
Peter Scherzinger

Charlotte Leonard*
Blair McNally
Catherine Valiaho

Michael Guillemette

YooYoung Park