York Winds | The Canadian Encyclopedia


York Winds

York Winds. Wind quintet formed in Toronto in 1972.

York Winds

York Winds. Wind quintet formed in Toronto in 1972. The founding members were Douglas Stewart, flute (b Winnipeg 6 Dec 1949, a pupil of Robert Aitken and Marcel Moyse); Lawrence Cherney, oboe; Howard Knopf, clarinet (b Sudbury, Ont, 6 Oct 1947, a pupil of Ezra Schabas, Robert Marcellus, and Stanley Drucker; James MacDonald, horn; and James McKay, bassoon (b Toronto 4 Oct 1944, a pupil of Nicholas Kilburn, Ferdinand DelNegro, and Leonard Sharrow. Knopf was replaced in 1975 by Paul Grice (b Toronto 6 Jun 1943, a pupil of Schabas, Keith Wilson, and Gervase de Peyer; he performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Haydn Orchestra, and the Melos Symphonia); MacDonald in 1978 by Harcus Hennigar (b Dartmouth, NS, 27 Oct 1952, a pupil of Eugene Rittich), and McKay in 1978 by Gerald Robinson (b Barrie, Ont, 28 May 1950, a pupil of Nicholas Kilburn, Norman Tobias, Harold Goltzer, and Loren Glickman). Cherney was replaced in 1981 by Cynthia Steljes (b circa 1961, d Toronto 29 Dec 2006), Grice in 1985 by Gwillym Williams, and Hennigar in 1987 by Robert McCosh. The ensemble ceased in 1988.

York Winds performed throughout Canada and in Europe, where it was heard over radio networks in England, Belgium, and France. It made its London and New York debuts in 1977 and spent three weeks teaching and playing in Israel in 1978. The ensemble returned to Israel and also went to Egypt to tour in 1981, and made an extensive tour to Europe in 1984. York Winds served as ensemble-in-residence at York University 1975-80, and in the same capacity at the Blue Mountain School of Music (near Collingwood, Ont) 1975-7. It appeared in recitals and concerts with William Aide, Robert Aitken, Douglas Bodle, Anton Kuerti, Judy Loman, the Orford String Quartet (in Samuel Baron's transcription of Bach's Art of Fugue), Gervase de Peyer, William Tritt, and the Cantata Singers of Ottawa.

Canadian works premiered by the York Winds include:

Brian Cherney Notturno 1974

Paul PedersenWind Quintet No. 2 1975

John Fodi Variations /II 1976

Clifford Ford Alliance for Winds 1976

Marjan Mozetich In the Air 1976

Michael Parker Cholê 1976

John Rea Reception and Offering Music 1976

Bengt Hambraeus Jeu de cinq 1977

John Hawkins Quintet 1977

David Jaeger Double Woodwind Quintet 1977

Alcides Lanza acufenos IV 1979

Robert Aitken Folia 1980

William Douglas Quintet 1980

The works by Cherney, Hambraeus, Hawkins, Jaeger, Lanza, Aitken, and Douglas were also commissioned by the York Winds.

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