In 1985 the CPO's regular performing venue became Jack Singer Concert Hall in the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts (now EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts). Bernardi is credited with raising the orchestra's artistic standards and with promoting its recognition as an artistically mature orchestra of national importance; under his direction it has broadcast extensively on CBC radio and has made its first recordings. In May 1989 it toured to Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Joliette, St Catharine's, Hamilton, Toronto, and Kitchener.
Guest conductors have included Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Raffi Armenian, John Avison, Boris Brott, Harman Haakman, Pierre Hétu, the Soviet conductor Yuri Lutsiv (on exchange with Plukker in 1961), Uri Mayer, Simon Streatfeild, and the orchestra's concertmaster (1975- ) Cenek Vrba. Guest performers have included Robert Aitken, the Canadian Brass, Claudio Arrau, Corey Cerovsek, Constance Channon-Douglass, Vancouver Cliburn, Jane Coop, Janina Fialkowska, Maureen Forrester, Judith Forst, Rivka Golani, Ida Haendel, Betty-Jean Hagen, Moshe Hammer, Angela Hewitt, Marek Jablonski, Anton Kuerti, Louise Lebrun, Louis Lortie, Lois Marshall, Allan Monk, Sandra Munn, Igor Oistrakh, Jon Kimura Parker, Itzhak Perlman, Albert Pratz, Shauna Rolston, Robert Silverman, Steven Staryk, Henryk Szeryng, Bernard Turgeon, Ronald Turini, and George Zukerman.
Among works commissioned by the orchestra are Richard Johnston's Portraits (1972, premiered 29 Jan 1973), Harry Freedman's Nocturne No. 2 (1975, premiered 24 Apr 1977), Allan Bell's Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, (1984, premiered 21 May 1986 with Tim Rawlings as soloist), R. Murray Schafer's Letters from Mignon (1986, premiered 11 Apr 1987), and William Jordan's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1988, premiered 28 Jan 1989 with Charles Foreman as soloist) and Variations for Orchestra (1990, premiered 7 Jun 1991). Other Canadian works performed by the orchestra include 1958-9, Champagne's Paysanna; 1963, Leonard Leacock's The Lonely Lake; 1975-6, Pépin's Rite du soleil noir; 1976-7, Archer's Sinfonia; 1977-8, Kenins' Violin Concerto, and Mercure's Triptyque; 1983-4, Chatman's Celebration, Beckwith's A Concert of Myths, and Schafer's Son of Heldenleben; 1987-8, Gellman's Symphony in Two Movements; 1988-9, Koprowski's Epitaph for Strings and Flute Concerto; and 1989-90 Anhalt's Sonance•Resonance (Welche Töne?) (commissioned by the CPO jointly with the TS and the MSO). The orchestra was recognized for imaginative programming of contemporary works by PRO Canada in 1981, 1982, 1987, and 1988; and by SOCAN in 1989 and 1990.
The orchestra has been managed by Gladys Deutsch 1960-3, Mrs John R. McKay in 1963, Max L. Malden 1966-70, N.N. Herrington 1970-2, Kurt Trachsel 1972-7, and Alan Graham 1977-9, succeeded by John Shaw, who retained the position in 1990. The orchestra's program magazine, Prelude, began to be published in October 1975 and continued in 1991.
Author R. Dale McIntosh, Kevin James
Mozart - Rossini - Verdi - et al. Monk bar, Bernardi conductor. 1988. CBC SMCD-5102
Schumann Symphony No. 1, No. 4. Bernardi conductor. 1987. CBC SM-5082
- Symphony No. 2, Overture Scherzo and Finale. Bernardi conductor. 1986. CBC SM-5067
- Symphony No. 3, Konzertstück. Bernardi conductor. 1988. CBC SMCD-5092
'Calgary Philharmonic on the map,' CanComp, 53, Oct 1970
Musselwhite, Bill. 'The philharmonic (in one form or another) has been around since 1928,' Calgary Herald Magazine, 12 Mar 1971
The Calgary Philharmonic History, souvenir program (Calgary 1975)
Edds, Jack. 'Calgary's indomitable link with our eastern cities: the Symphony Orchestra,' OCan, vol 4, May 1977
'The CPO Chorus increases profile,' Prelude, vol 10, 1988
Burns, David. 'Kicking the cowtown blues,' Western Report, vol 3, 24 Oct 1988
Everett-Green, Robert. 'CPO breaks new ground under Bernardi's baton,' Toronto Globe and Mail, 16 May 1989
Links to Other Sites
Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts
The website for the EpcorCentre for Performing Arts, located in the heart of Calgary's Olympic Plaza Cultural District. Features the latest news about programs and events at this multifaceted cultural facility.
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