Meet the Musician: Kristy Tucker

Cookies, hometown pride, and exploring her city: this week’s edition of Meet the Musician focuses on bassoonist Kristy Tucker!


WSO: How long have you played with the WSO?

Kristy Tucker: I’ve been with the WSO since the start of this season. I just finished my 6th week!


What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to cook and bake, it’s relaxing for me. Right now, I love cooking the winter squash, roasted vegetables, and Manitoba fish! (I’m very sad corn season is over). I’m doing my best to cook seasonally using local ingredients. It’s important to me to try and live sustainably as possible. I have however developed a dangerous addiction to browned butter cookies. I only bake a few cookies at a time, leaving the remaining batter in the fridge. When I’ve had a hard day, I just pre-heat the oven, and bam, fresh baked cookies! I originally started doing this in an attempt to limit my cookie consumption, but it has had the opposite effect. My dad is a baker, I guess it’s in my genes…

My next goal is to start brewing my own ginger beer. I’m just waiting on the fermentation airlock to arrive in the mail and I’ll be good to go. I also love playing scrabble and watching quiz shows. A friend got me into one from the UK called Only Connect. I’ve been binge watching it.


Which other orchestras have you played with?

I graduated this past May with my Master of Musical Arts degree from Yale University. This is my first professional job and I am so excited to be back in Winnipeg playing with the musicians that I looked up to growing up. It’s kind of surreal. Prior to this season, I’ve played as an extra in a few orchestras around North America, including Orchestre Classique de Montreal, the New World Symphony, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.


What’s your favourite thing about Winnipeg?

I love the food and culture in Winnipeg. We’re kind of segregated (geographically) from the rest of Canada and this has allowed us to thrive in our own little ecosystem. Of course the best part about Winnipeg for me though, is that almost my entire family is here, and that it’s home. I’m also very excited to be back in a civilized place where you’re given honey dill with your chicken fingers.


What’s your favourite kind of music to listen to?

I’m a little reluctant to admit that all of the music I listen to is classical. My favourite pieces are mostly without bassoon. Sometimes it stresses me out to hear bassoon on recordings – I start analyzing and overthinking things. I just want to enjoy the music! Current favs are Ravel’s string quartet and Debussy’s cello sonata.


What do you do with your time off?

So far in my time off, I’ve spent a lot of time showing my partner Eric (WSO bassist) around my hometown. We met at Yale and won our auditions 2 weeks apart. We are still in awe that things worked out the way they did. This past week we went to Fort Whyte Alive to go on a mini hike. He was most enamoured with the toboggan slide. I guess they don’t have those in Ohio. We also attended a Jets game and I forgot to warn him about the “true north” shout in the middle of the anthem. He was very confused.


How did you get into music?

I began piano lessons when I was 5 because my older sister hated it and my parents had already paid for the year. I began playing bassoon in high school because my high school band teacher (Jacquie Dawson, now director of bands at the University of Manitoba) asked the class if anyone wanted to switch instruments and play bassoon and I raised my hand and said, “What’s a bassoon?”

I’m not sure if she misheard me, but she responded with “Great! We’ll have someone get you set up”.


Kristy is most excited for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ In Concert. She has dressed up as Hermione for Halloween twice! 

Meet the Musician: Patty Evans

CrossFit, dogs, travelling orchestras, and more: this week’s “Meet the Musician” is based on Patricia (Patty) Evans, the WSO’s Principal Horn player!

Patty, Todd, and Baxter.

Patty’s parents are both music teachers, so she thinks they planted the idea of playing the horn in her head.


“They probably needed someone to play the horn in their bands,” laughs Patty.


Patty has a sister who is also a professional musician who freelances in upstate New York and Vermont.


In her spare time, Patty likes to hang out with her dog, Baxter, and do CrossFit.


Fun fact: Micah Heilbrunn (principal clarinet) and Emma Quackenbush (cello) go to the same gym as Patty.


“It’s fun to work out together. I think a lot of people would be surprised to find out that what we do is very physical, but playing your instrument for a few hours every day takes a toll on your body, so it’s important to keep yourself strong to prevent neck and shoulder issues.”


On top of CrossFit, Patty is planning on getting back into running with Baxter.


Patty’s position with the WSO is her first full-time permanent symphony job. Before the WSO, she played in the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida.


“I’m from a small place, so it’s kind of nice to be in the middle of nowhere [in a city like Winnipeg]. We have everything right here, so even though it’s isolated, we make our own fun.”


Patty is married to Todd, who sings in the Dirty Catfish Brass Band. He also plays the French horn and plays in the orchestra quite frequently.


“Another thing I like about Winnipeg is we were able to both move here and pursue individual paths and find careers as two musicians.”


Patty’s favourite thing about Winnipeg is the closeness of its people.


“Winnipeg has a certain vibe that’s definitely unique. The arts and culture scene, the architecture, the insane weather… I think that creates a sort of cohesion between the residents that is rare. I think bigger cities don’t have the same kind of pulse a city like Winnipeg has. Another thing I find really interesting about Winnipeg is no matter where I go in the world, I find other Winnipeggers. This woman saw my husband in Central Park and was like ‘Hey, are you in the Dirty Catfish Brass Band?!’”


“I was recently in Auckland NZ performing with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and [violinist] James Ehnes was the soloist. Even though Manitoba has such a small population, I feel like I run into people from there. It’s like we attract each other, and that’s what I was talking about with the cohesiveness.”


Patty’s favourite composer is Richard Strauss.


“His father was a famous horn player, so he wrote really well for the horn. At the time, what he was writing was so out there that it was considered unplayable. I like the way he uses the horn in his tone poems, and the writing, and the way the pieces are orchestrated. But I love Mahler too. At the end of Mahler’s second symphony with the choir, you know you’ve experienced something.”


Patty loves to do karaoke on her days off. AGIT is her favourite place, and many of the symphony players end up going there.


Patty has gotten to travel with the Montreal Symphony, doing two European tours, and got to play in Auckland for a month and a half this summer.


Patty is most looking forward to playing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto this season, which features Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony.


FUN FACT: Patty cut out coffee a few months ago after years of being a consistent coffee drinker. She also has a cat named Gus.


BACKGROUND CHECK: Patty has played with the WSO since 2002.


HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, Vermont


FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WINNIPEG: The closeness of the residents.


GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: Stand By Your Man by Tammy Wynette.

Meet the Musician: Daniel Perry

A bike ride to Kenora, volunteer hours galore, Folk Fest, and family ties to music: all of this encompasses Daniel Perry, one of the WSO double bass players. Read on to get to know Daniel a little bit better in our first installation of Meet the Musician!

“Within the WSO, it’s like a family. Everyone has a different role in it; it’s not just being the best musician,” says Daniel. “I feel like my role is to promote positive culture in the organization.”

When he isn’t playing the bass, Daniel volunteers for an organization called The Wrench, the largest and best-equipped community bike shop in western Canada. With The Wrench, he participates in the Wheels of Courage Program. This summer, Daniel organized a bike ride out to Kenora with four other WSO musicians.

“Being the guy to help people get set up so they can bike commute easily is awesome,” says Daniel. “Because a ride to Kenora is such a big goal, we had a couple people bike commuting through the year so they’d be ready for it. When the ride happened, I had more people in the orchestra tell me they wanted to get involved for when we ride out next year, so they’ll start commuting with their bikes too.”

Daniel and the other musicians split the 220 KM ride to Kenora into two days, finishing 160 KM on the first day and 60 KM on the second day.

“We stopped at [horn player] Ken McDonald’s farm for breakfast on the way out, and then [concertmaster] Gwen Hoebig hosted us the next day for lunch at her cabin. There are ways for people to feel involved and excited even if they weren’t able to ride themselves, and I think it really strengthened the sense of community in the orchestra. “

Daniel also works for the WSO’s Sistema program two times a week and says he loves it because it’s an avenue for positive social change through music. Daniel has worked for Sistema for the past four years, teaching double bass to students who otherwise wouldn’t have access to music lessons.

This summer, Daniel played in the Oregon Coast Music Festival. He’s been playing the festival every year for the past five years. On his vacation, he did the Cross Washington Mountain Bike Route.

“There’s a 2 ¼ mile train tunnel through the mountain, so it’s completely pitch black. You have to ride your bike through that for over two miles. I stopped and turned off my light to take a photo on my phone with flash but then I was like ‘I need to keep going!’ it was amazing.”

The concert Daniel is most excited for this season is Jeremy Dutcher with Orchestra on October 9. Daniel loves playing Brahms’ symphonies and was excited to play Brahms First Symphony because “Brahms has some of the best bass parts”.

Some not-symphonic artists Daniel loves to listen to are Royal Canoe, Janelle Monet, Tame Impala, and artists he discovers through going to Folk Fest.


FUN FACT: Daniel’s father, along with Jane Pulford’s and Andrew Goodlett’s fathers, played in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at the same time.

BACKGROUND CHECK: Daniel has played in the WSO since 2014, and has also played with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra in Norway and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Ohio.

HOMETOWN: Indianapolis, Indiana.

FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WINNIPEG: All of the sunshine in the winter.

GO-TO SNACK: Anything from Shawarma Khan.

2019 Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Inc. will hold its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at noon at The Richardson Conference Centre, Salon A/B, One Lombard Place (Concourse Level), Winnipeg, Manitoba.

By Order of the Board of Directors

Terry Sargeant, President & Chair

Click here to download the 2018-19 annual report.

2019 Millennium Concert Series

We can’t wait for the start of the Millennium Concert Series, starting June 4th at noon and taking place at the Millennium Centre (389 Main Street). Each concert is free of charge. Here is the complete lineup:

June 4: Chris Fensom, trumpet, Tadeusz Biernacki, piano.
June 11: Lara Ciekiewicz, vocals, Lisa Rumpel, piano
June 18: Jeremy Buzash, violin, Darryl Friesen, piano
June 25: Taylor Eiffert, clarinet and bass clarinet
July 2: Elation Pauls, violin, Micah Heilbrunn, clarinet, Madeleine Hildebrand, piano
July 9: Cello Quartet featuring Yuri Hooker, Leanna Rutt, Sean Taubner, Emma Quackenbush
July 16: Allen Harrington, saxophone, Laura Loewen, piano
July 23: Yuri Hooker, cello, Erin Propp, voice
July 30: JAGD Quartet. Gwen Hoebig, violin, David Moroz, piano, Juliana Moroz, cello, Alexander Moroz, viola
August 6: Karl Stobbe, violin

Sponsored by Telpay and Wow! Hospitality.

Meet our new assistant conductor!

We have very exciting news – we have added a third conducting position to our roster. Please give a warm welcome to Naomi Woo!

Before moving to Winnipeg, Naomi held the position of Conducting Scholar for the Cambridge University in 2017-2018. Naomi holds degrees in mathematics and philosophy from Yale College, in piano performance from the Yale School of Music and Université de Montréal, and recently completed a PhD in musicology at Cambridge University as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. We sat down to get to know Naomi a little bit better.

WSO: What’s your favourite piece you have conducted so far?

Naomi Woo: Probably Stravinsky’s Les Noces, an epic depiction of a Russian wedding celebration, including four (FOUR!) pianos, six percussionists, a choir, and four soloists.  As you can imagine, it was very loud, chaotic, and exhilarating!  I am still amazed that we managed to get all four pianos in the same room at one time…

What’s your “bucket list” piece to conduct?

So many operas especially on the bucket list… It would be a dream to conduct Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin, for example.

What’s your favourite food?

When I’m visiting family in Vancouver, definitely sushi. In England, where I live now, whatever is freshly picked from my garden!

Are you a cat or dog person?

Dog!  My family has the sweetest, friendlist puppy called Mordecai–Morty, for short: he would be mortally offended if I answered anything else.

Her first concert with the WSO will be Will’s Jams in October. You can find out more about Naomi by visiting her website at naomiwoo.com

Bravo to our retiring musicians!

This month, the WSO sends well wishes to three of our musicians who have played with us for over 30 years. Join us in thanking them for their incredibly special contributions to our stage. They have touched everyone who has had the pleasure of hearing their music. We wish them all the best in their next chapters!

Paul Nagelberg, bass

Bassist Paul Nagelberg was born in the city of New York and was raised in that area. He moved to Toronto at age 14 after the loss of his father. In Toronto he began learning the bass in his high school music program. Paul soon fell in love with classical music and knew he wanted to perform it as a career. He attended the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan School of Music, graduating with honours from the latter.

Paul played principal bass in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for two summers. He moved to Winnipeg to accept a position with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 1978. Since coming to Winnipeg, he has regularly played with both Musik Barock Ensemble and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Paul’s freelance work in Winnipeg has included the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra, in-school concerts with the Canadian Education Ensembles (Keystone String Quartet), Rainbow Stage and private teaching. He has spent summers with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Great Music West Orchestra (Utah) and the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra.

Paul’s WSO career highlight remains the orchestra’s first Carnegie Hall performance in 1979. There have been countless other exciting concerts, but that one was uniquely thrilling to participate in during his very first WSO season. The best thing, though, about Paul’s many years with the WSO was meeting his wife Carolyn (WSO cellist) and having a wonderful family with her.

Carolyn Nagelberg, cello

Carolyn Nagelberg, cellist, was born in North Carolina and grew up in Midland, Michigan. She has been a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra since 1972 and an active player with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra since 1973. Over the years she has performed with many musical groups in Winnipeg, including Musikbarock, GroundSwell, Aurora Musicale and Music Inter Alia. Her summer activities have included the Rainbow Stage Orchestra (Winnipeg), the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra (Boulder) and the Great Music West Festival Orchestra (Bear Lake, Utah).

She received a Bachelor of Music degree with honours from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1965. Before coming to Winnipeg, she was a member of several orchestras: the Toledo Orchestra (Ohio), the Richmond and Norfolk Symphonies (Virginia), the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.) and the St. Paul Opera Orchestra (Minnesota), among others.

Her husband Paul is a bass player in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Meeting Paul was a key highlight of her life; they have a wonderful extended family including 4 sons, 3 daughters-in-law and 3 granddaughters. They all are the delight and focus of her life. Carolyn and Paul feel that Winnipeg is a terrific place to raise a family.

Professionally, the highlight of her career has been the opportunity, as a member of the musical community in Winnipeg, to play a huge amount of music of every style with valued colleagues who share the goal of working together as a team. She especially enjoys the “Outreach” work done by the WSO (Music in Health Care). Outstanding highlights have been many;  it is difficult to prioritize. Carolyn feels that the years with Andrey Boreyko were very special and inspiring. She says,” Whatever repertoire was being played, he brought focus and emotion to the podium. He introduced us to beautiful and expressive contemporary music by composers like Kancheli and Silvestrov, and also had deep insights into the more standard works. Even very popular ‘chestnuts’ such as “Night on Bald Mountain” were given amazing new life by Boreyko. We all looked forward to going to rehearsals and performances with him.” Her long career has been very interesting and rewarding. She feels very lucky and happy to be here.


Fred Liessens, percussion

It’s been Fred’s life dream come true to be able to play music for a living and he is extremely grateful to have had that opportunity performing with the WSO for 38 seasons. Over the many years he has enjoyed bringing so many brilliant compositions to life for the audience, with some of his favorites being Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Firebird, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Mahler’s symphonies and Gershwin’s American in Paris and Porgy & Bess.

Most memorable was the first trip the WSO took to Churchill Manitoba, and performing the Car Horn Concerto in a ‘Jaguar’ on a Portage & Main stage. Fred loved working with the ‘Prince of Pops’ Erich Kunzel and of course the ever-popular performances of Ravel’s Bolero.

He looks forward to enjoying the coming years working on personal music projects, playing with small groups, and practicing piano. Whatever Fred does, it will always be music.

5 reasons why you need to see Verdi’s Requiem this weekend

Verdi’s Requiem is a masterpiece of the genre filled with goosebump-worthy movements. The superstars of opera have long loved this piece, as has audiences everywhere.  And here’s why…

It’s a truly epic work.

 Often described as a “conductor’s dream come true”, Verdi’s Requiem tells a complex, dramatic story. You will probably recognize the Dies Irae, because it’s been used countless times in everything from beer commercials to movie trailers.


It’s truly an epic piece of music to hear…and see!

The Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Festival Chorus and the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir join the WSO to perform with our full symphony orchestra and four soloists, only adding to the “epic” factor. There will be over 200 people on the Centennial Concert Hall’s stage for each performance.

 It’s an opera, but not.

Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem is often referred to as an “opera in disguise” because of its high-drama and intensity. Verdi was a man of the theatre, and you can tell in this piece. He infused the Requiem with all of the resources and inspiration found in his greatest operas. Some other pieces you might recognize by Verdi are the operas La Traviata, Falstaff, and Aida.

It was written in memory of his friend…Italy’s leading patriot (next to Verdi himself)

It was written for Alessandro Manzoni, poet, playwright and novelist and close friend to Verdi. It is said that Verdi was so upset after his friend’s death, he couldn’t go to the funeral. Five years later, he completed his Requiem alone and was a massive hit upon premiering.

It’s an all-season work.

While requiem masses are often religious in nature, Verdi’s is about patriotism and humanism in memory of Manzoni rather than religious testament. We will have an insert in the program so everyone knows what the choir is singing about!

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, a team of wonderful soloists and a superb choir tackle Verdi’s Requiem this weekend.

This experience will leave you elevated and truly inspired! Book your tickets over the phone by calling 204 949 3999 or online.

Prepare for the concert by listening to our Spotify playlist.

WNMF 2019 Roundup

The 2019 Winnipeg New Music Festival brought the best of the new music world to the heart of the continent. Featuring world premieres from Vivian Fung, Andrew Balfour, and Harry Stafylakis to name a few; performances from Animals As Leaders and Roomful of Teeth, and with Pēteris Vasks as our distinguished guest composer, this festival was one to remember.

The 2019 Winnipeg New Music Festival brought the best of the new music world to the heart of the continent. Featuring world premieres from Vivian Fung, Andrew Balfour, and Harry Stafylakis to name a few; performances from Animals As Leaders and Roomful of Teeth, and with Pēteris Vasks as our distinguished guest composer, this festival was one to remember.

Check out a few of our favourite photos from this year’s WNMF. All photos by Matt Duboff.

WNMF Special Event: Glacial Time

Terje Insungset
Terje Insungset
Maria Skranes and Terje Insungset

WNMF1: Bramwell Tovey: Legacy

Bramwell Tovey
WSO Principal Cellist Yuri Hooker and Bramwell Tovey
Bramwell Tovey and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra


WNMF2: collectif9 + Architek Percussion – My Backyard, Somewhere

collectif9 + Architek Percussion
collectif9 + Architek Percussion
collectif9 + Architek Percussion


WNMF3: Orchestral Voices of the Future

WNMF 2019 Composers Institute Participants with the 2019 Mentor Composers
Maestro Daniel Raiskin with Scott Ross-Molyneux, winner of the Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as lead by WSO Resident Conductor Julian Pellicano


WNMF4: Animals As Leaders

Javier Reyes of Animals As Leaders
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders
Matt Garstka of Animals As Leaders
Animals As Leaders


WNMF5: Daniel Raiskin: New Visions

Distinguished Guest Composer Pēteris Vasks with Maestro Daniel Raiskin
WSO Principal Timpanist Mike Kemp
Animals As Leaders with the WSO
From left: Maestro Daniel Raiskin, WSO Composer-in-Residence & WNMF Co-Curator Harry Stafylakis, Animals As Leaders and the WSO

WNMF6: Roomful of Teeth

Roomful of Teeth Artistic Director Brad Wells with Maestro Daniel Raiskin
Roomful of Teeth
Roomful of Teeth


WNMF7: Cosmic Time

Maestro Daniel Raiskin with the WSO
Maestro Daniel Raiskin
WSO Composer-in-Residence and WNMF Co-Curator Harry Stafylakis
Composer Caroline Shaw and Harry Stafylakis

The Silence Between podcast

Introducing the WSO’s new podcast: The Silence Between. Hosted by WSO assistant principal violist Elise Lavallée, The Silence Between will feature casual conversations with WSO musicians, guest artists and composers about symphonic music, life and everything in between.

Introducing the WSO’s new podcast The Silence Between. Hosted by WSO assistant principal violist Elise Lavallée, The Silence Between will feature casual conversations with WSO musicians, guest artists and composers about symphonic music, life and everything in between. The Silence Between is available on iTunes/Apple and Google Play.

Episode 2 (Jan 26, 2019): Harry Stafylakis
Elise chats with the WSO’s composer-in-residence and WNMF co-curator about composing, the WNMF and answers questions in a new segment “have you/would you.”

Episode 1 (Jan 19, 2019): Daniel Raiskin & WNMF preview
In the debut episode, Music Director Daniel Raiskin speaks about his conducting career and previews the 2019 Winnipeg New Music Festival.

The Silence Between is created in association with Past Bedtime Studio.