Meet the Toronto Symphony’s “under the radar” composers

Posted on: November 12, 2013

“House painter Marco Burak has doggedly pursued his dream of being a music composer,” writes Trish Crawford in Sunday’s (11/10) Toronto Star (Canada). “So, on Nov. 1 when the professional musicians in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra started to play his composition ‘High Strung,’ the 46-year-old says, ‘It was like a dream come true.’ He was one of three composers”—the others are Eugene Astapov and Sophie Dupuis—“whose work was chosen by Kevin Lau, associate composer of the TSO, and composer and conductor Gary Kulesha…. Fifty compositions were entered in the juried contest, says Lau, with three chosen so that each composer would have at least half an hour with the orchestra playing their work a number of times…. ‘We are trying to find composers who are under the radar,’ [said Peter Oundjian, the TSO’s artistic director]. Burak, he says, ‘has a pretty extraordinary talent. We wanted to give him a chance.’ … Most of the scores received by the TSO were from music students or those just graduated, [Kulesha] says, and they were selected in a ‘blind’ process.… Burak confirms he’s still following his dream.”

Posted November 12, 2013

Photo of Marco Burak, Sophie Dupuis, and Eugene Astapov by David Cooper / Toronto Star