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About Toronto Mandolin Orchestra:
Think chamber orchestra. With a twist! The repertoire of the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra is primarily classical and has the feel of a chamber concert group. The “twist” is the unique sound of the mandolin itself. You’ve heard mandolins used in country, bluegrass, folk and even rock, but the mandolin has just as rich a heritage as a classical instrument. Augmented by accordion, woodwinds, piano and percussion, the TMO can take on the breadth of the classical repertoire while the distinctive character of the mandolin adds a fresh perspective. Vocal and instrumental soloists bring virtuoso performances to an already polished show.
Founded in 1956, the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra, one of Canada’s oldest community performing groups, is a continuation of the proud tradition of mandolin orchestras and schools which flourished in the Ukrainian, Jewish, Russian, Macedonian, Finnish and other communities in Canada.
The orchestra’s illustrious history includes performances in such prestigious venues as Massey Hall, Ontario Place Forum, Hamilton Place, Glenn Gould Studio and National Arts Centre, concert tours across Canada, two separate tours of Ukraine, as well as commissions of new Canadian compositions, and milestone collaborations with world-class artists.
Though founded in the Ukrainian-Canadian community, the group’s membership (Ukrainian, Russian, Jewish, Italian, Yugoslavian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Dutch, English, Peruvian and more) is as ethnically diverse as its repertoire which spans classical, folk, popular and original Canadian music. The orchestra is multi-generational as well, with members from teens to octogenarians. The TMO’s unique instrumentation sets it apart from all other orchestras. Featuring the mandolin family of instruments (first and second mandolin, mandola, tenor mandolin, mandocello, mandobass), augmented by a five piece wind section and complete percussion section, the orchestra combines the intimacy of a chamber ensemble with all the power of a symphony, appealing as much to lovers of classical and baroque music as to fans of folk and world music.
About Alexander Veprinsky, Artistic Director/Conductor:
Alexander Veprinsky began his musical career in his homeland of Ukraine. He graduated from the Mykola Lysenko Conservatory of Music in Lviv and was the conductor of a number of operetta theatres and symphonies before his arrival in Canada.
He is a very competent and prolific choral and orchestral arranger. Because of the unique make-up of the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra, the entire repertoire must be arranged for those instruments and Alexander does this with great expertise. He has orchestrated such major works for the orchestra as Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for solo domra and orchestra, Scheherazade Suite by Rimsky-Korsakov, Night on Bald Mountain by M. Mussorgsky and others in addition to numerous orchestral selections and choral and solo vocal accompaniments.