With the support of the Canada Council we have commissioned Jeffrey Ryan to compose an extended vocal cycle based on The Whitening of the Ox (Inside the Zen Ox Pictures) by Canadian poet K.V. Skene for solo baritone voice and large chamber ensemble. The Ox Pictures is a ten-part series of images depicting the Zen Buddhist concept representing the taming of the disordered mind and the ultimate attainment of Enlightenment.

This is complemented by an Ontario Arts Council commission, Omar Daniel’s Mehetapja (Husband Killer) for three sopranos and mixed ensemble which continues the composer’s exploration of the Estonian Runo-song idiom in a less referential fashion. We are pleased that Daniel has agreed to write a new work for us, in part because the last time he did it went on to win the Jules Léger Prize. The concert will include the North American premiere of Swiss composer Thomas Kessler’s Quintet. Based on Mozart’s instrumentation of piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn (with electronics added) the work was first performed at the Salzburg Festival earlier this year.