MusicUNB | Centre for Musical Arts | UNB

Global Site Navigation (use tab and down arrow)

Centre for Musical Arts

MusicUNB

With a balance of national and local talent, our concert series showcases innovative and exceptional chamber music performances.

Our Musician in Residence, Nadia Francavilla, has once again curated exciting programs for the Contemporary Music Festival and the Forté Series, totalling five amazing performances to blow you away.

In addition, we have evening and noon hour concerts throughout the year, all held in the beautiful and intimate Memorial Hall Auditorium.

2023 - 2024 concerts and festivals

image of joel miller performing with saxophone

Saxophonist-composer-bandleader Joel Miller continues to push boundaries of creativity and genre with his large ensemble project UNSTOPPABLE.  Launched as the opening concert of L’OFF Festival de Jazz de Montreal, his “epic fantasy” showcases an orchestra of Jazz and Classical musicians. Dan McClenaghan in All About Jazz wrote, “Miller... seems to be telling us intricate and riveting stories... bringing Walt Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia to mind.”

“Passionate and creative, melodic yet exploratory” – Sharonne Cohen, Downbeat Magazine

Saxophonist-composer Joel Miller grew up with a musical family in Sackville, New Brunswick. He got his passion for jazz music from his mother and her record collection, but his bass-playing brother Andrew, who suggested the saxophone at the dinner table one evening. Andrew said to a ten-year old Joel, “You know, the instrument that Zoot on the Muppet Show plays”. 

His dedication has been recognized with a long list of honours including a Juno award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album (Swim) and ECMA awards for his albums Swim (2012 Origin Records), Dream Cassette (2016 Origin Records) and UNSTOPPABLE (2019 Multiple Chord Music). Joel lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  

Performers

  • Joel Miller, saxophones, conductor
  • Karin Aurell, flute
  • Christy Goodwin, oboe
  • James Kalyn, clarinet
  • Richard Hornsby, clarinet
  • Jon Fisher, horn
  • Patrick Bolduc, bassoon 
  • Marie-Claude Landry, trumpet
  • Carl Phillipe Gionet, piano
  • Jason Flores, acoustic bass
  • Jon Bailey, drums

image of noel wan in front of harp

One of the oldest instruments in the world, the harp has been an instrument of warriors and poets, of villages squares and royal courts. Among its many guises is the Western concert pedal harp—a curious iteration whose aesthetic and mechanical development encapsulates centuries of cultural, social and economic upheavals in Western Europe.

When envisioning this program, I wanted to speak to a central conflict in the pedal harp’s identity: the historical feminization of the instrument and the backlash to it since the twentieth century. Widely perceived as a woman’s instrument, the harp was banished to domestic spaces and its repertoire, along with its female players, deemed not serious enough for professional stages. Only in the twentieth century did the harp gain credibility as a concert instrument, largely due to predominantly male composers and harpists who sought to scrub away its old feminine connotations.

As a performer-scholar who writes on music and feminist theory, I wanted to highlight the pedal harp’s tangled relationship with women from their perspectives. Inspired by French philosopher Helène Cixous’s idea of the “écriture féminine” (women’s writing), this program comprises pieces all written by women composers—some of whom are/were also harpists - who were inspired by the harp’s rich history, diverse musical traditions, and their own deeply personal experiences. “Écriture féminine” thus celebrates the ways in which the female body, mind, and soul has shaped and continues to shape our perceptions of this strange, beautiful, and complex instrument.

Noël Wan


Roots

Nov. 17

Join us for the first concert of the fifth Contemporary Music Festival, curated by Nadia Francavilla. This three-concert collection of contemporary music highlights some of the most celebrated women composers working today, as well as the newest contributions of Atlantic composers to Canadian contemporary music.

Now in its fifth year, the Contemporary Music Festival is curated by UNB Musician-in-Residence, Nadia Francavilla, bringing new, ground-breaking experimental music to New Brunswick audiences. This year’s theme, Rhythms and Rituals, contrasts the human hunger for familiarity with the equally human craving for disruption, while a plenitude of works for voice brings a new dimension of lyricism and storytelling to the festival stage.

Missy Mazzoli: Vespers for a New Dark Age

Nov. 18

An edge-of-your-seat program of works by acclaimed New York composer Missy Mazzoli (b. 1980), known for her “apocalyptic imagination” (The New Yorker) and deemed “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out NY).

This wide-ranging collection of solo, trio and ensemble works were assembled in collaboration with the composer and first performed for her in 2022.

Performers

  • Nadia Francavilla, violin
  • Carl Philippe Gionet, piano
  • Stephen Runge, piano
  • Christina Haldane, soprano
  • Maureen Batt, soprano
  • Lisa Roy, alto
  • Norm Adams, cello
  • Andrew Miller, bass
  • Joel Cormier, percussion
  • Danielle Jones, flute
  • James Kalyn, clarinet

Imprimatur

Nov. 19

Wrapping up the 2023 Contemporary Music Festival with a spacious program of minimalist works by some of the most celebrated women composers working today: Brooklyn-based composer and saxophonist Shelley Washington (b.1991); Canadian Opera Company composer-in-residence Cecilia Livingston (b.1984), Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw (b.1982) and Guggenheim Fellow Kati Agócs (b.1975).

Performers

  • Nadia Francavilla, violin
  • Danielle Sametz, violin
  • Susan Sayle, viola
  • Norm Adams, cello
  • Christina Haldane, voice
  • Carl Gionet, piano

Maggie is 15 years old, and has been playing violin since she was four, and piano since she was five. She enjoys learning and performing music for the people around her and has a great passion which she hopes to continue into the future.

We are very excited to welcome Maggie to our stage at Mem Hall as part of the MusicUNB Noon Hour concert series.


Come enjoy the Chorale’s end or term concert in the beautiful Memorial Hall auditorium.

The UNB Chorale is comprised of students, staff, and faculty from UNB, as well as members of the larger community.

Directed by Kathrin Welte, accompanied by Thomas Gonder.


Performing a variety of pieces this year, the concert band expands its repertoire into video game music, performed alongside Hannukah and Christmas music.

Enjoy their end of term offering in the beautiful Memorial Hall auditorium. The UNB Concert Band is comprised of students, staff, and faculty from UNB, as well as members of the larger community.

Directed by Hugh Kennedy.


This concert has been postponed. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Atlantic Sinfonia, based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is one of the few professional chamber orchestras in Atlantic Canada. Operating since 2005, Sinfonia’s string orchestra and a wind octet have performed concerts in Fredericton, throughout New Brunswick, and in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Members are amongst the best classical musicians in Fredericton and the region, and Sinfonia has been an incubator for emerging musicians who have gone on to music studies and professional careers. Atlantic Sinfonia also regularly performs in the schools and has done special creative music projects in partnership with educators.

Directed by Richard Hornsby


Classical guitarist, composer and choral conductor Steven Peacock, based in Fredericton, NB, has performed as a soloist and accompanist in concert and recording engagements throughout Canada. His La libellule (Blue Milo, 2021), combining seven original works for solo guitar with baroque and 20th-century repertoire by seven other composers, is one of twelve CD releases.

Keenly interested in ensemble work, he has worked extensively with flutists Sally Wright (The Green Bushes, 2010) and (in the United Kingdom) Jane Coulcher-Stoltenberg (Encuentro, 2000); sopranos Sally Dibblee, Angela Birdsell, and Wendy Nielsen; violinists Hyung- Sun Paik (Toronto Symphony) and Nadia Francavilla (currently Musician in Residence at UNB); violist Natalia Delacroix; bassoonist Yvonne Kershaw (Canciones y Leyendas: Songs and Legends for Bassoon and Guitar, 2005); percussionist Michel Deschênes; cellist Emily Kennedy; and guitarist Gerry Van Wart. Mr. Peacock teaches music theory and guitar history at St.Thomas University, and since 2005 has been Music Director at Wilmot United Church in Fredericton.

Fredericton-based classical guitarist Gerry Van Wart studied under Ako Ito and Henri Dorigny at the Conservatoire de Nice, from which he graduated with a Premier Prix and was also awarded a Grand Prix deVirtuosité by the jury of the Gil Craven Concours National de Musique. He also holds an ARCT in Guitar Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music inToronto.

He has been associated with Les jeunesses musicales for many years as a student, teacher and performer, has performed widely as a soloist and chamber musician, and frequently collaborates with guitarist Steven Peacock, with whom he has released Pavane in 2019, Luminosa in 2013, Milonga in 2003 and El Elegante: Dances for Two Guitars (music by Bartok, de Falla, Granados and Nardelli) in1997. His self-titled CD of solo works by Bach, Ponce, Bogdanovic, Milton Barnes and Richard Gibson appeared in 2007. Mr.Van Wart maintains a busy private teaching and soccer-playing schedule.


Get tickets

The French women composers featured in this concert worked in the Impressionist tradition of Debussy and Ravel. Prolific composers, with more than 300 pieces performed throughout the early 20th century, they were still eclipsed by their male counterparts.

Nadia Francavilla (violin), Karin Aurell (flute), Carl Philipe Gionet (piano) and guests present a revival of these important but overlooked works, including Louise Farrenc’s quintet for piano and strings, and Mel Bonis’ suite op. 59 for flute, violin, and piano.

Performers

  • Nadia Francavilla, violin
  • Mark Kleyn, viola
  • Emily Kennedy, cello
  • Andrew Miller, bass
  • Karin Aurell, flute
  • Carl Philip Gionet, piano

Get tickets

Nadia Francavilla and Julien Leblanc present George Enescu’s (1881-1955) Sonata No. 2 in F minor for violin and piano (1899) Complementing this well-loved and romantic work, a new piece by the up-and-coming Romanian composer Elexandra Cherciu (b. 1983), as well as Karol Szymanowski’s Mythes and Mel Bonis’ Femmes De Légendes.

Performers

  • Nadia Francavilla, violin
  • Julien Leblanc, piano

Come enjoy the Chorale’s end or term concert in the beautiful Memorial Hall auditorium.

The UNB Chorale is comprised of students, staff, and faculty from UNB, as well as members of the larger community.

Directed by Kathrin Welte, accompanied by Thomas Gonder.


Performing a variety of pieces, enjoy their end of term offering in the beautiful Memorial Hall auditorium.

The UNB Concert Band is comprised of students, staff, and faculty from UNB, as well as members of the larger community.

Directed by Hugh Kennedy.


 

Ticket prices

Regular $30
Students $15
Family pass or date night (two adults + any children) $50


Regular $120
Student $75


Regular $10
Each concert student $5
Each concert festival pass regular $20
Festival pass student $10



Get tickets

Support MusicUNB

Our work to provide accessible, high-quality music has been made possible in large part by our donors and patrons, for whom we are deeply grateful. If you’re able, please consider contributing to our efforts. Please note, you will receive a tax receipt for your donation

Donate now

A message from Richard Hornsby, Director

Richard Hornsby

For decades, UNB has provided the university and the broader community with quality concerts by both regional and other Canadian artists. We typically use our acoustically fine, Memorial Hall on the UNB campus.

Experiencing live classical music can be a revelation. An opportunity to get up close to the musicians provides an experience where you can feel the musical vibrations, here the rosin as the bow moves across the strings of a violin and be fascinated at the facial expressions and other forms of communication that musicians use in order to be in perfect synchronicity.

All this can be experienced by participating in the "MusicUNB" concerts in our intimate and acoustically fine Memorial Hall, on the UNB campus. We bring in the finest musical artists from the area and region and sprinkle them with some visiting artists from farther afield to provide quality concerts at reasonable ticket prices.

The concerts cover a large variety of styles and eras. There is something for everyone. Join us as a pass holder (best deal) or a single ticket buyer. Come be entertained and inspired.