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66th CONCERT SEASON 2022-2023 • The Magical Sounds of the Orchestra


Saturday, April 15, 2023 • 8pm | Regent Theatre Oshawa


A special and unique evening of Chopin’s two piano concertos performed by Aljoša Jurinić performed in their original versions for intimate chamber string ensemble • Just as Chopin himself often performed them in the salons of Paris.
Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11
Aljoša Jurinić, pianist
Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor, Op.21                                                                                                  
Aljoša Jurinić, pianist
In Memoriam
Samuel Bisson, cellist
Frédéric CHOPIN

Samuel BISSON 🍁
Frédéric CHOPIN

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ALJOŠA JURINIĆ  • biography

Hailed as “a startlingly subtle and visionary pianist” with “a rare blend of charm and mastery”, Aljoša Jurinić has established himself on the international stage at the world’s preeminent piano competitions. Best known for winning the 2012 International Robert Schumann Competition in the composer’s hometown of Zwickau, he was also a laureate at the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition and the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition, as well as a finalist at the 2015 International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. In 2019, the president of Croatia awarded him the Order of the Morning Star for out standing achievements in culture and the international promotion of his country. 

Aljoša Jurinić has appeared as a soloist and with orchestras at prominent venues, such as the Carnegie Hall, Wiener Musikverein, Salle Cortot (Paris), Gasteig (Munich),Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Osaka Symphony Hall, La Sala Verdi (Milan), BOZAR (Brussels), Lisinski Concert Hall (Zagreb), and Kolarac (Belgrade), as well as important festivals, including Serate Musicali (Milan), Chopin and His Europe (Warsaw), Chopin Festival (Nohant), From Easter to the Ascension(Tbilisi),  Kyiv Summer Music Evenings, Chopin Festival (Mariánské Lázně), International Keyboard Institute Festival (NewYork), Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Split Summer Festival, and others. During2018, he gave a series of concerts in China and the next year concert tours in both China and Japan. 

His orchestral performances include collaborations with the Warsaw Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Plauen-Zwickau Philharmonic, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, Kosovo Philharmonic, and Symphony Orchestra of the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation, under the batons of esteemed conductors such as Marin Alsop, Jacek Kaspszyk, Ivan Repušić, Thierry Fischer, Edward Gardner, Bojan Suđić, Paul Meyer, Daniel Smith, and Leoš Svárovský. 

A keen chamber musician, Aljoša Jurinić performs in duos with the world-renowned musicians Petrit Çeku (guitar) and Luka Šulić (cello), the latter collaboration earning the prestigious Orlando Award at the 70th Dubrovnik Summer Festival. His discography includes a solo album, Chopin Alive, recorded at an all-Chopin recital published under Cristoforium Art, a CD box set of highlights from the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Competition, and his performance of R. Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, at the 2012 Robert Schumann Competition. In 2020,he released an album under KNS Classical featuring live performances of R. Schumann’s Fantasy, Op. 17, and F. Chopin’s 12 Etudes, Op. 25. 

Aljoša Jurinić holds a Concert Diploma (Konzertexamen) from the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar, where he studied under Grigory Gruzman, and a Master’s Degree from the Academy of Music of the University of Zagreb, where he studied under Ruben Dalibaltayan. Other teachers who have contributed to his artistic development include Eliso Virsaladze, Noel Flores, and Jasna Reba.

SAMUEL BISSON  • biography

Originally from Ottawa, cellist Samuel Bisson is quickly distinguishing himself in Canada as a versatile soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Currently based in Toronto, he performs frequently in the GTA and has performed and toured across Canada, the US, Austria and China. He has performed with renowned Canadian piano trio, the Gryphon Trio and performs regularly as part of the Passport Duo.

Samuel currently holds the position of principal cellist with the Sneak Peek Orchestra (Toronto) and the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (Scarborough) and has appeared as principal and section cellist with the Toronto Concert Orchestra (Toronto), Ottawa Symphony Orchestra (Ottawa), Brantford Symphony Orchestra (Brantford), Ontario Philharmonic (Oshawa) and l'Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne (Montreal).

Over the years, Samuel has had the pleasure of working with many renowned cellists including Janos Starker, Roman Borys, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Paul Katz, Anthony Elliott, Paul Marleyn and Julian Armour. He has also had the privilege of playing with great chamber musicians and masters such as Pinchas Zuckerman, Mark Fewer, Jean Desmarais, Angela Hewitt and the St-Lawrence String Quartet.

Samuel has a special interest in new and unknown music and has an ease with a broad range of musical styles. He regularly performs premieres of new works and has been a guest of Toronto's New Music Festival for two years.

Beyond the boundaries of classical performance, Samuel is an active studio session musician and performer/arranger in a variety of music genres. He has been involved with projects that stylistically range from jazz and broadway to metal and electronica, and has worked and collaborated with artists such as Drake, Sarah Brightman and members of Barenaked Ladies and Our Lady Peace.

Samuel is also a composer and has had many works performed by ensembles across the country. He composed the score to the award-winning short film Nuit Blanche, as well as the soundtrack to the Mandarin language feature film Lovesick, released theatrically in China and Taiwan.

by John Green

Frédéric Chopin  (1810 - 1849)
Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor, Op.21

The Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op.21, was composed by Frédéric Chopin in Fall 1829. Chopin composed the piece prior to completing his formal education, at about 20 years. It premiered, 17 March 1830, in Warsaw, Poland, with the composer as soloist. The premiere was so successful that it was repeated five days later. It was the second of his piano concertos to be published (after the Piano Concerto No. 1), and so was designated as "No. 2", even though it was composed first.                  

Of all the world’s great composers no other than Frederic Chopin wrote such an abundance of music for a solo instrument—169 compositions exclusively for pianoforte. Even in a small remaining handful, including his two piano concertos, the piano still played a dominate role. In comparison, Beethoven’s piano works often reflected an orchestral structure. In much of Schubert’s piano works, there is an underlying sense of the human voice. The genial and intimate music of Chopin bears in mind but one instrument—the piano. And to this end his compositions were revolutionary. He found in the piano dynamic harmonies never before realized.            

By the age of six Chopin had mastered the piano; his talent was extraordinary and inherent. At 19 he was already recognized in both his native Poland and many other venues he had toured as a concert pianist.  In 1829 he set out for England by way of Paris “searching for a fortuitous career.” However, Paris greeted him with such enthusiastic praise that he got no further. Here he found Robert Schumann who provided a “universal endorsement of him as a genius.”            

Here also he met the cigar-smoking French novelist George Sand, a woman who moved in the privileged and influential circles of Paris—an environment Chopin openly embraced and where he believed he belonged. Their relationship was long and tempestuous ending with Sand’s notable absence at Chopin’s funeral.            

Their endearing popularity of both Chopin’s piano concertos cannot be questioned, perhaps best embodied in Franz Liszt’s comment after hearing the No. 2 in F minor: “...of ideal perfection, its expression radiant with light, now full of tender pathos.” 

Samuel Bisson  (1984 - )
In Memoriam

Award-winning Canadian composer and cellist Samuel Bisson and has had many works performed by ensembles across the nation. He composed the score to the prized short film Nuit Blanche, as well as the sound track to the Mandarin language feature film Lovesick, released theatrically in China and Taiwan. Beyond the boundaries of classical performance, Samuel is an active performer/arranger in a variety of music genres. He has been involved with projects that stylistically range from jazz and Broadway to metal and electronica, and has collaborated with artists such as Drake, Sarah Brightman and members of Bare naked Ladies and Our Lady Peace.

The highly inspirational “In Memoriam” was originally written for string quartet and was dedicated to a close friend of Mr. Bisson’s in homage to the passing away of her brother. The work bares the indication: ‘“To Dian, in the memory of her brother.” It has been reworked for string orchestra during the winter of 2023, for which it is receiving its first performance here, in its new guise. This performance is appropriately dedicated to the victims of the terrible pandemic that has afflicted all Canadians in the past three years. Of note is the fact that the composer will be part of this performance as cellist- we are proud to count the talented Mr. Bisson as a member of Ontario Philharmonic.   

Frédéric Chopin  (1810 - 1849)
Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11    

The Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, was written by Frédéric Chopin in 1830, at 20 years old. It was first performed on11 October 1830, at the Teatr Narodowy (the National Theatre), Warsaw Poland, with the composer as soloist, during one of his "farewell” concerts before leaving Poland for France.

Although it was the second to be composed, it was the first of Chopin's two piano concertos to be published, and was therefore given the designation of Piano Concerto "No. 1" at the time of publication. It was actually written immediately after the premiere of what was later published as Piano Concerto in F minor.

The premiere was "a resounding success.... a full house." according to the Kurier Warszawski. The performance was followed by "thunderous applause."

Seven weeks later, in Paris, following the political outbreaks in Poland, Chopin made his French debut of the concerto at Salle Pleyel where it was enthusiastically received. François-Joseph Fétis wrote in La Revue musicale," There is spirit in these melodies, there is fantasy in these passages, and everywhere there is originality."

The great Robert Schumann reviewed Chopin's concerti in 1836 for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, stating that "Chopin introduces the spirit of Beethoven into the concert hall" with these pieces.

Young, dashing and already famous, Chopin was completely at ease in the company of a Parisian aristocracy that offered him total acceptance. Both Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Liszt applauded his talents publicly, and after changing his name from the Polish Fryderyk to Frédéric, his transition to becoming French was all-embracing.

Historically, there have been numerous criticisms and opinions about his concerto. The most common of these is that the orchestral support is nothing more than just that, simple accompaniment for the dominant piano. Virtuosic pianist and composer Johann Hummel went so far as to suggest “the openings of his Piano Concerto in A minor and the Chopin E minor concertos are too close to be coincidental". Conversely, other scholars suggest that the orchestration has been clearly and consciously crafted to fit the solo instrument.

The concerto’s four-minute first movement introduction recalls some Beethovenian suspense before the dominant piano enters. What follows is the ineffable melodic purity that can only be Chopin.

The second movement Romanze introduces an atmosphere of lyric meditation, as in one of the composer’s nocturnes. Chopin described the music as “resting on a beloved landscape that calls up in one’s soul beautiful memories, for instance, a fine moonlit spring night”.

The third and final movement encompasses one of Chopin’s cherished passions—the Polish dance—high energy, foot-stomping rhythms. The concerto’s overall effect is that of beauty wherein the piano is a prevailing form from beginning to end.