On October 25th at 1:00pm and 7:30 at The Crescent Arts Centre, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra will putting on a  concert that features two of Canada’s most respected culture melding composers. The Juno Award winning Sri-Lankan-Canadian Composer, pianist, conductor and creative advocate Dinuk Wijeratne and the tabla virtuoso, and professor at McGill’s Schulich School of Music Shawn Mativetsky.

Known for his boundary-crossing compositions and advocacy for the creative energy that is such an essential part of the musician’s experience, Dinuk Wijeratne has established himself as a composer and conductor that sees no limits.  He has studied at the Julliard School with John Corigliano, and the Royal College of Music in the UK and has amassed a number of Commissions that have been heard across Canada and the Unites States.

Percussionist, teacher and composer Shawn Mativetsky is one of Canada’s leading ambassadors of the tabla, and has actively sought to bring together the world of Indian Classical music with the traditions of Western Art Music; currently on Faculty at the Schulich School of Music at McGill. Mativetsky teaches percussion and tabla workshops across Canada and is a disciple of the tabla Guru Pandit Sharda Sahai.


The concert tomorrow night will feature the music of Bartok, Elgar and three works written by Dinuk Wijeratne, one of which was written on a joint commission from the MCO and I Musici de Montreal.

The repertoire for this concert is a wonderful mixture of various cultures and influences. The fifteen Hungarian Peasant songs of Bela Bartok will be heard, as well as Elgar’s gorgeous Serenade for strings. The music of South Asia and in particular Sri Lanka will be heard not only with three pieces by Dinuk Wijeratne, but also a piece by the Sri Lankan-American composer Koreem Roustam.  Wijeratne will be for the conductor for this program and in regards to curating it, Wijeratne goal is plain. “I’m trying to stitch together some kind of experience for the audience. There are quite a few pieces…short pieces…but they are connected to each other in very interesting ways.”

For tabla player Shawn Mativetsky the opportunity to perform with the MCO is a great deal of fun. “Really it’s this blend of the musical cultures...the western classical and the Indian classical…but it’s also more than that. The collaboration together is just so much fun, and really…I come with my tabla and I sit down…and yes the orchestra music is composed but I have a lot of freedom in my part…so it’s recognizable that it’s the same every time, but it’s also different every time. It’s never the same thing twice. I’m there with my two little drums and we see what happens. I enjoy that a lot and especially with Dinuk it’s a nice collaboration.”

This is going to be a concert not to missed; the music of South Asia, and the Middle East combined with the sounds of Hungary and England, performed by the MCO under the baton of a true revolutionary mind in the world of classical music Dinuk Wijeratne.

The Concerts take place On October 25th at 1:00pm and 7:30 at The Crescent Arts Centre. For more details visit the MCO’s website.