Long-standing conductor, Professor returns to stage with University Symphony Orchestra

After a year's departure from the U of A Department of Music due to a successful battle with ovarian cancer, long-standing conductor and Professor Tanya Prochazka returns to the stage with the U

19 January 2010

After a year's departure from the U of A Department of Music due to a successful battle with ovarian cancer, long-standing conductor and Professor Tanya Prochazka returns to the stage with the University Symphony Orchestra (USO) for their final season performance at the Winspear, January 25, 2010.

"I've little want to bring light to the reason I was away from the Department of Music over the last year," explained Prochazka, "but it's exciting to, after a year's hiatus, be back to conduct the orchestra in this great performance opportunity."
One of Canada's leading cellists, Prochazka's career highlights include world premiere performances of concertos by Alfred Fisher and Malcolm Forsyth, performing string quartets in the natural concert halls of the Grand Canyon and leading a successful tour of Cuba with the U of A Academy Strings Orchestra. Prochazka has been with the Department of Music as Professor of Cello and Conductor of the University Symphony and Academy Strings Orchestras since 1998.
A unique performance showcasing the breathtaking talents of three prolific conductors, this USO performance marks an exciting opportunity for students and audience alike.
"Every performance is exciting for students in the Winspear - it is, after all, one of the world's greatest concert halls," said Prochazka, "however, this particular performance not only challenges the talents of the orchestra as a whole, but also aims to provide the audience a romantic, passionate, almost erotic experience as they travel through the music."
The evening's repertoire conjures everything from the fluid ballet choreography of Prince Igor's male and female slaves in Borodin's Polovtsian Dances, to the contrasting melodies ranging in intensity from vigorous to mellow to playful in Forsyth's Double Concerto for Viola, Cello and Orchestra, to the varying orchestral color present in Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Op. 35.
"One interesting thing to note," Prochazka continued, "is the fact Edmonton audiences have a rare opportunity to see Malcolm Forsyth conduct his own composition live on stage."
Canadian composer, Professor Emeriti and past Composer in Residence of the U of A Department of Music, Forsyth has enjoyed a distinguished career as a much-performed writer of more than 150 works. Canadian Composer of the Year (1989) and three time Juno award winner (1987, 1994 and 1998), Forsyth has had works commissioned and performed on six continents.
Forsyth's piece, Double Concerto for Viola, Cello and Orchestra, is his fourth written for multi-soloists and orchestra, and is his contribution to an ongoing project of Canadian violist, Rivka Golani, to commission and premiere new works with many different instruments. The work was originally commissioned by the Canada Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for both Golani and Prochazka.
Also conducting that evening is U of A Department of Music assistant professor Dr Angela Schroeder. Current Band Director and Winds and Percussion area coordinator, Schroeder conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Academy Winds and Percussion. A respected Alberta music education figure, Schroeder has extensive experience teaching music at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
"The whole evening will really be quite spectacular," said Prochazka. "The University Symphony Orchestra is one of the University's gems - it is home to a number of talented music students, pulls musicians from nearly every faculty on campus and also draws from the ranks of alumni. It really represents the University as a whole."
Featuring 70 players, the USO thoroughly prepares players for professional symphony orchestra life. Performing a wide range of orchestral literature from the classical period to music of the present day, the USO gives three concerts in the University's Convocation Hall each year, supports the Music Department's Opera production and gives performances in the Winspear Centre for Music.

See the USO live Monday January 25, 2010
8pm, Winspear Centre for the Arts
Tickets $20 plus service fee in advance or at the door