CBC Radio Orchestra

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What was the CBC Radio Orchestra ?

The CBC Radio Orchestra was last radio orchestra in existence in North America.

"The CBC also has decided to disband the CBC Radio Orchestra, the last radio orchestra in existence in North America, to free up the funding for projects."

From the CBC web site.
"There's nothing else like it! The CBC Radio Orchestra is North America's only broadcast ensemble, a legacy of the days when radio orchestras were to be found all over our continent. With an audience as diverse as the Canadian experience, we create engaging musical radio programs, commission and perform new works as well as established classics, and showcase exceptional Canadian performers and conductors. Alain Trudel las led the orchestra since the fall of 2006. Under his direction the orchestra continues to tirelessly navigate a rich and varied musical landscape, never ceasing to grow and evolve." <http://www.cbc.ca/orchestra/>

The last concert performed was on November 16, 2008 -

From the CBC web site.
"A gala farewell. The program will include four new works by outstanding young Canadian composers, the landmark Lonely Child by Claude Vivier, a work commissioned by the CBC Radio Orchestra, featuring soprano Nathalie Paulin, and Beethoven's Symphony no. 7." <http://www.cbc.ca/orchestra/>

History of CBC Radio Orchestra

"Formed in 1938, the CBC Radio Orchestra is renowned as an ensemble of passion, versatility and innovation. As North America's last remaining broadcast ensemble, we are a legacy of the days when radio orchestras were to be found all over our continent, as they still are in Europe. Unique not only in our history, we are also set apart by our programming. With an audience made up of radio listeners, rural and urban, throughout the country, we present a rich, musical tapestry that engages, stimulates and challenges our diverse patrons.

The Orchestra's mandate is to make engaging musical radio programs, commission and perform works by Canadian composers, showcase Canadian performers and conductors, and discover and expose Canadian excellence. With Principal Conductor Mario Bernardi at the helm since 1983, we've been fulfilling our mandate and then some! A mainstay of CBC Radio Two, we've branched out in recent years. We now appear regularly on CBC Radio One, and on CBC Television's flagship arts program, "Opening Night."

During our 66-year history, three conductors have stood atop the Orchestra's podium. John "Jack" Avison, the first, was a force to be reckoned with. A talented pianist and conductor, he was polished, disciplined and musically adventurous. Following his retirement in 1980, he passed the baton to acclaimed British conductor John Eliot Gardiner. Under Gardiner's direction, the orchestra focused on Baroque music, even acquiring a set of handmade Baroque bows, and became known as a leading exponent of this captivating musical genre.

In 1983, Mario Bernardi stepped onto the podium, and returned the Orchestra to its roots of performing more Canadian and contemporary music. Today, under Alain Trudel's direction, the Orchestra reflects the musical spirit of Canada." <Source: http://www.cbc.ca/orchestra/about.html>

"The CBC Radio Orchestra is one of Canada's most recorded orchestras, with over 32 CDs currently available featuring some of Canada's most talented musicians. These recordings often include the only available CD performances of certain works, and many highlight the music of talented Canadian composers. Whether drawn from core classical or contemporary repertoire, these recordings highlight our devotion to musical excellence, and our efforts in supporting Canadian soloists and composers. CBC Records are currently distributed in Canada by Universal and are available in most record stores both in Canada and internationally. They are also available online through the CBC Shop." <Source: http://www.cbc.ca/orchestra/recordings.html>