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Winnipeg New Music Festival Announcement

  • News

WNMF is back to its full glory for 2023!

Winnipeg, MB [October 5, 2022] — After two years of shortened, hybrid festivals, the Winnipeg New Music Festival (WNMF) is back to shine in its full glory. The festival, which features world and Canadian premieres, exciting up-and-coming composers, and a unique venue, takes place from January 26 to February 3, 2023.

The lineup for the internationally renowned new music festival was unveiled at a news conference at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada on Wednesday morning.

Click on the main image above for the WNMF 2023 trailer.

Download the whole press conference HERE. (Please feel free to take clips for news and/or promotion.)

“For over 30 years, the Winnipeg New Music Festival has been a feast of expanding horizons, breaking stereotypes, and exploding creativity!” says Daniel Raiskin, Artistic Director of the festival and WSO Music Director.

“This January, our wonderful orchestra, outstanding guest artists, and featured composers will celebrate with you – our audience – an invigorating and breathtaking week of music that builds bridges into the unknown of the future – boldly and provocatively.”

Throughout its history, the WSO has played a leading role in supporting the creation of new music in Canada, most notably through its now 32-years-young Winnipeg New Music Festival. Building on this tradition of fostering the voices of the future, the WNMF Composers Institute—now in its fifth year—returns. The works of emerging talents from across the country will see their world premieres in the WNMF Showcase, “Launchpad,” on Thursday, January 26.

Renowned choreographer Sandra Laronde and Red Sky Performance will perform their striking multimedia work Adizokan for the first time in Winnipeg on Saturday, January 28. This exciting work is a collaboration between Laronde and Manitoba composer Eliot Britton that weaves together the throat-boxing of Nelson Tagoona, Indigenous dance, video, lighting, and symphony orchestra.

Sandra Laronde

“As a frequent international traveler, I take particular pleasure in presenting two of the festival’s concerts here, at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada,” says Raiskin.

“In a way, aviation and music have something important in common: both serve to connect people regardless of their social background, gender, language, and ethnicity. Once an unthinkable dream, it took truly fearless dreamers to rise into the sky. And the composers of today? They offer wings to our mind and spirit!”

For the first time ever, the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada will serve as the backdrop for two festival concerts, Music for Airports on Sunday, January 29 and Kinan Azmeh’s CityBand on Tuesday, January 31.

Music for Airports will feature the music of legendary, multi-faceted artist Brian Eno and brings together maverick Dutch bassoonist Bram van Sambeek (pictured below), WSO principals Yuri Hooker and Meredith Johnson, and the Polycoro Chamber Choir. The concert will transport audiences through a musical adventure that takes them from Eno and Metallica to Shaw and Azmeh.

World-trotter Kinan Azmeh is no stranger to WNMF audiences, having appeared on the WNMF stage both as clarinet soloist and as composer. This year, Kinan is joined by his critically acclaimed CityBand. The NYC-based quartet will occupy the Royal Aviation Museum and delight the audience with their enchanting fusion of classical, jazz, and traditional Syrian musical strains.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the WSO to host two of the concerts in their upcoming Winnipeg New Music Festival,” said Terry Slobodian, President & CEO of the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada. “The WSO has been a vibrant part of Winnipeg’s arts and culture scene for 75 years, and it’s an honour to be part of such an iconic event.”
The festival returns to the Centennial Concert Hall for the final two evenings of performances, which will feature a stunning array of acclaimed guest soloists, major Canadian orchestral composers, a tribute to the great Giya Kancheli, and a performance of Ukrainian composer Victoria Poleva’s explosive fanfare Nova.

“As just about every artist who has ever lived can attest, there is a simmering fear somewhere in our hearts that surfaces most strongly when we’re facing the blank page at the beginning of every new project: what if nothing comes? What if there is nothing new left to say?” says Haralabos [Harry] Stafylakis, Co-Curator of the festival and WSO Composer-In-Residence (pictured below). Stafylakis is teaming up with New York City pianist Jenny Lin on Saturday, January 28, to perform his Piano Concerto No. 1: Mythos, an exploration into the traditions of Greek story-telling and myth-making.

“WNMF has become my stalwart annual reminder that there is – always – a whole lot left to say, so much more ’new’ to be discovered and created, and I am so proud that our Winnipeg Symphony espouses that philosophy so deeply.”

The festival will also pay tribute to the great Bramwell Tovey, who passed away earlier this year. Audiences will be treated to the WNMF co-founder’s work Sky Chase on this same evening.

WNMF is grateful to Michael Nesbitt, the festival’s premier patron, for his ongoing generous support.

A complete lineup of the WNMF is available at WNMF 2023 passes are on sale HERE right now.

$79/adults $49/children. Individual tickets will go on sale on November 12.