Barrie Concerts & Georgian Music

Bruce Owen Memorial Concert

September 10, 2022, 7:00pm - Hiway Church

Sixth memorial


Sinfonia Toronto

Sinfonia Toronto

Acclaimed as “A World-Class Ensemble” (headline, Russelsheimer Echo, Germany), Sinfonia Toronto is one of Canada’s finest chamber orchestras. The orchestra performs its Masterpiece Series in two of Toronto’s favourite concert halls, Glenn Gould Studio - where many of its concerts have been recorded for national broadcast - and the George Weston Recital Hall at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Sinfonia Toronto consists of thirteen string virtuosos. They perform standing, in the tradition of great European chamber orchestras, blending each musician’s soloistic energy and passion into a brilliant ensemble style under Nurhan Arman’s inspired direction.

The orchestra’s repertoire includes all the major compositions for string orchestra from Baroque through classical, romantic and 20th-Century works. Sinfonia Toronto has premiered many new works, and has been recognized by the Canada Council for its commitment to performing music by Canadian composers.

Sinfonia Toronto’s first international tour in 2008 in Germany was a resounding success, resulting in reviews with headlines such as ‘’A World-Class Ensemble,’’ ‘’Sinfonia Toronto Inspires,’’ and ‘’Sinfonia Toronto Thrilled the Audience.’’ The orchestra’s two-week tour of Spain in October 2010 was greeted with calls for encores at each performance, including the thrilling four encores demanded by the audience in Barcelona.

Sinfonia Toronto is Orchestra-in-Residence of the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie, performs regularly in many other Ontario cities, and last season received several standing ovations during its Quebec debut at Montreal’s Place des Arts.

Music Director Nurhan Arman brings a wealth of international experience to the Sinfonia Toronto podium. He has appeared in Armenia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Ukraine, Turkey and throughout the United States and Canada.

Sinfonia Toronto’s many recordings are heard across Canada and beyond in a wide range of styles. Its CD of music by Mendelssohn, Khachaturian and Shostakovich is broadcast frequently on classical radio stations throughout Canada. The orchestra’s world premiere of the rediscovered Bach aria ‘Alles Mit Gott’ was recorded by Analekta and released on iTunes. The title work on the orchestra’s Marquis Classics CD of music by Canadian composer John Burge, Flanders Fields Reflections, won the 2009 JUNO Award for Best Recording of a New Classical Work. The Hollywood Flute CD, and the orchestra’s most recent CD, Premieres, were both been released by Cambria and are distributed by Naxos.

For booking inquiries please contact Margaret Chasins at

Nurhan Arman – Conductor, Sinfonia Toronto

Nurhan Arman

Maestro Arman has brought capacity crowds to their feet on three continents. Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have been unanimous in their praise. Pravda hailed Maestro Arman as a "fascinating and striking musical personality," while Prague’s Broadcast Review reported "a spirited and nobly rounded performance." Born to Armenian parents in Istanbul, he played his first violin recital at the age of 13. After arriving in the United States on a Disney Foundation scholarship, he concertized from coast to coast, appearing in major US cities and music festivals in Tanglewood, Spoleto, New York and Florida. After several seasons as a concertmaster, he began the conducting career that has taken him around the world.

In 1982 Nurhan Arman moved to Canada to accept the post of Music Director of the North Bay Symphony and the Northern Music Festival. In 1987 he was named Music Director of Symphony New Brunswick, which he swiftly built into a major regional resource. In 1993 Maestro Arman was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Yerevan Symphony in Armenia. In 1998 Maestro Arman founded Sinfonia Toronto, now considered one of Canada’s finest chamber orchestras.

He has recorded for PBS, CBC Radio, First Edition Records, Educo Records, Radio Moscow, Polish Broadcasting, Czech Radio, KBS of Korea, TRT of Turkey, Lithuanian TV, Slovenian Radio and TV and Armenian Radio and TV. Maestro Arman has served as an adjudicator for the International Fitelberg Conducting Competition in Poland, the Canada Council Conducting Competition and the Heinz Unger Competition. He has taught conducting at New York's Brockport Festival, at the Florida Festival and in Canada at the Northern Music Festival, Orford and the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Among many orchestras conducted by Nurhan Arman are the Moscow Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Filarmonica Italiana, State Hermitage Orchestra St. Petersburg Camerata, Kharkov Philharmonic, Nordbohmische Philharmonie, Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, Bellas Artes Chamber Orchestra of Mexico City, Florence Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Orchestra Sinfonica di Lecce, Orchestra Extremadura, Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico, Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, Hungarian Philharmonic, Lithuanian Philharmonic, Volgograd Symphony, l'Orchestre Regional d'Ile de France, Bohemian Festival Orchestra, Pilsen Radio Symphony, Silesian State Philharmonic, Denver Chamber Orchestra, Armenian Philharmonic, Bucharest Philharmonic, Brasov Philharmonic, Filarmonica Moldova, Filarmonica Sibiu, Slovak Philharmonic Kosice, Orquesta da Camaro Amazonas, the Deutsches Kammerorchester in Frankfurt and at the Ljubljana Summer Music Festival, Karlsbad Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, Grand Orchestre de l'Harmonie in Brussels, Pusan Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Kitchener- Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, Saskatoon Symphony and many others.

Shen Cai , piano

Sheng Cai

Award-winning pianist Sheng Cai has embraced the keyboard tradition which epitomizes the greatness of the romantic virtuoso. His performances have touched audiences and won the praise of critics on three continents. Of his Chopin 1st piano concerto the Toronto Star intoned: "a young man with real talent... from a clear, singing tone to a subtle sense of rubato to a judicious choice of tempi... some of the same qualities embodied in Pollini's approach". Honored with a number of prizes and awards, Sheng Cai has been described as a pianist “with great confidence... lucidity, breath, color and power” by the Birmingham News.

Since his debut with the Toronto Symphony at just fifteen years old, he has enjoyed numerous engagements as guest soloist with the symphonies of Quebec, Windsor, Fort Collins and Shanghai, as well as with the Calgary Philharmonic and many others. In Canada, Sheng Cai has been invited to perform with the Sudbury and Kamloops Symphonies, and with the Winnipeg Symphony Chamber Players, among others. He has worked with such conductors as David Lockington, Keith Lockhart, Yoav Talmi, Jim Kim, Glen Fast, Robert Franz, Bruce Dunn, Guoyong Zhang and Wes Kenny.

In recital, Sheng Cai has been heard in such North American venues as Steinway Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Cleveland Play House, the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, the Alys Stephens Center in Birgmingham, CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, and other distinguished venues in Stratford, Elora, Montreal and Winnipeg. In China, he inaugurated the Ningbo Concert Hall, giving both recitals and concerto performances. As a chamber musician, Sheng Cai has collaborated with a number of fine artists, including the Enso Quartet. Many of his performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio, and he has recorded a CD for the Canadian Broadcast Company. In addition, he was invited to take part in the filming of Franz Liszt DVD of Ophra Yerushalmi.

Sheng Cai also recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio for Concertino Praga International Competition in the Czech Republic, these were released under the Canadian Broadcasting Company label.

He was top prize winner at competitions throughout his teenage years, including First Prize at the TD National Piano Competition, the Canadian Music Competition, the Toronto Music Competition, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Piano Competition, Toronto Symphony Piano Competition, and was the youngest finalist and special prize winner at the Bosendorfer International Piano Competition and the youngest finalist at Hilton Head International Piano Competition.

Born in China, Sheng Cai studied at Shanghai Conservatory of Music and was a prize winner of the National Competition in 1998. The following year, his family immigrated to Canada where he began study at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Sheng Cai earned his Bachelor of Music Degree under full scholarship at New England Conservatory in Boston. His teachers have included pianists Anton Kuerti, Russell Sherman, Hungkuan Chen and Gary Graffman.

Bruce Owen Memorial Concert

September 10, 2022, 7:00pm, Hiway Church

Bruce Owen Memorial Concert

Pianist Shen Cai playing Barber and Schubert (about 33 minutes).Nurhan Arman and Sinfonia Toronto performing Puccini and Dvorak (about 35 minutes)NOTE: No intermission.MASKING MANDATORY

Barrie Concerts Logo
VENUE: Hiway Church,
50 Anne Street North (MAP)
TIME: 7:30pm

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Georgian Music Logo
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Contact Info

Barrie Concerts & Georgian Music
P.O. Box 452 Barrie, ON L4M 4T7
Phone: (705)-436-1232. or (705)-726-1181 Email:
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