Founded in 2002 by its musician members, Turning Point Ensemble (TPE) is a large chamber ensemble (16 instrumentalists and conductor) with a mandate to increase the understanding and appreciation of music composed during the past hundred years. The ensemble has built a strong reputation for outstanding musicianship and linking seminal 20th century repertoire to contemporary works through thoughtful programming and innovative presentations. Uniquely and flexibly sized between a small chamber ensemble and a symphonic orchestra, TPE presentations offer a symphonic palette with a chamber music sensibility. In addition to its concerts, tours and recordings, the ensemble has regularly mounted innovative interdisciplinary productions including operas, and collaborations with dance, theatre, visual art and moving image.
Turning Point Ensemble has released four cds on the Artifact, Centrediscs, Atma Classique and Redshift Record labels. We are proud to have presented a diverse range of repertoire, commissioned and performed works by Canadian and international composers, and partnered with a number of community and cultural organizations.
In 2010, TPE was awarded the Rio Tinto Alcan Award for Music 2011 – the largest production prize for music in Canada for its presentation of FIREBIRD 2011, resulting in 4 sold out performances in March 2011 at The Cultch in Vancouver.
Other significant large-scale interdisciplinary projects include the premiere of air india [redacted] (5 performances November 2015), two major partnerships with Ballet British Columbia, and several projects with live music and moving image.
We are proud to have presented a diverse range of repertoire, commissioned and performed works by Canadian and international composers, and partnered with a number of community and cultural organizations.
The central artistic vision of the TPE is to bring to the public extraordinary music for large chamber ensemble written from the early 20th century through to present day. We draw audiences to this music through outstanding performances, and intelligent programming that creates a lively context for the music. We seek to create links from the music of earlier times to new music, to explore relationships and connections between composers and their music, to perform significant large-scale works from the Canadian and international repertoire, to collaborate with multiple art forms in extraordinary ways, and to establish meaningful long-term relationships with some of Canada’s most talented composers through commissioning and multiple performances. More recently, we have striven to establish international links and this has resulted in commissions with composers such as Jürgen Simpson (Ireland), John Hollenbeck (USA) and Dave Douglas (USA).
Turning Point Ensemble has recorded three commercially released CDs: Strange Sphere (the music of Rudolf Komorous) on the Artifact Label, Disasters of the Sun (the music of Barbara Pentland) on the Centrediscs label, and Liquid featuring music for clarinet and large chamber on the ATMA label. CBC has recorded Turning Point’s concerts on numerous occasions, with the most recent broadcast recordings of Dave Douglas’ Sand Hill and Brad Turner’s Seven Scenes from Childhood available to hear on its Concerts on Demand site. TPE recorded new music by Jordan Nobles and Jennifer Butler for John Bolton’s short film, Flame/Through Walls, and recently recorded John Braham’s restored score for a Milestone Films centenary release of Edward Curtis’ 1914 film, In the Land of The Head Hunters.
A recent highlight is our ground-breaking cultural collaboration with the Westbank First Nation in the Okanagan for an outdoor presentation ofBarbara Pentland/Dorothy Livesay’s 1954 opera, The Lake at Quails’ Gate Winery, the original homestead of Susan Allison and her family.
TPE began our association with the Air India project as early as 2010 and eventually became the principal producer and sole commissioner in the mounting of the premiere production that took place in Vancouver November 2015.This production based on the events and aftermath of Air India Flight 182 in 1985 is arguably the most significant artistic event undertaken by the Turning Point Ensemble in our ten-year history.
The powerful resonance of the bombing, the rescue efforts and the thirty-year history of care for the memorial, annual events and families impressed further upon us that this truly international production.
- THE ENSEMBLE -
EDUCATION + OUTREACH
For the past 8 years, Turning Point Ensemble, with the generous support of our funders, has been able to take our free Creating Composers music education program into schools across Metro Vancouver.
The TPE Ensemble and a professional composer team up to create new works with student composers and young creative artists ages 13-18 to give them the skills to “be a composer”.
The workshops will not only focus on creative composition in general, but will a focus on orchestration by augmenting the Turning Point ensemble with members of the local musician community and the guidance of two of BC’s most renowned composers for orchestral forces – Jeffrey Ryan and Rodney Sharman.
WHAT'S THE SCORE?
TPE members create new works with young composers that focus on orchestration; they then join forces with local musicians to create an even larger ensemble of musicians so that the participating composers can gain orchestration skills.
COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE
Remy Siu is Turning Point Ensemble’s Composer in Residence for 2015. Remy assisting with the Creating Composers programs, as well as coordinating a competition for young composers that Turning Point Ensemble will be announcing soon.
In a nutshell, our musicians and mentor composer help students develop creative ideas to write a composition in supportive learning environment that includes a dialogue with the artists, who will then interpret and perform the young composer’s work.
Music is a universal language and students can develop confidence through self-expression, regardless of economic, language, or cultural barriers. Turning Point Ensemble provides the catalyst to spark the interest in music or the arts in general.