April 3, 2012
THE TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS THE HOCKEY SWEATER
Composed by Abigail Richardson
Roch Carrier, Narrator • Ken Dryden, Host
Alain Trudel, Conductor
World Première May 12 @ Roy Thomson Hall
"The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places – the school, the church and the skating rink – but our life was on the skating rink."
Roch Carrier, “The Hockey Sweater”
Published in 1979 and instantly beloved by all, Roch Carrier’s "The Hockey Sweater" is as quintessentially Canadian as the game of hockey itself. Originally published in French, the story, which is often seen as a parable about French and English relations in Canada, became an instant classic of Canadian literature.
Now, for the first time, “The Hockey Sweater” is being interpreted by a symphony orchestra by Dora award-winning composer Abigail Richardson. The world première of Richardson’s The Hockey Sweater will be hosted by famed Montréal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden and narrated by no other than the author himself, Roch Carrier.
Part of an all-Canadian programme, the concert also includes André Jutras’ Suite folklorique, John Estacio’s Borealis and Dolores Clayman’s Hockey Night in Canada.
"The Hockey Sweater" is based on a real-life experience of the young Carrier growing up in Sainte-Justine, Québec in 1946. When Carrier's cherished Montréal Canadiens hockey sweater (with Maurice Richard’s #9) wears out, his mother orders a new one from Eaton's English-language catalogue service. The young Carrier is mortified when he instead receives a sweater bearing the logo of his bitter rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs. More than humiliated in having to wear the sweater in public, Carrier goes to church where he prays for God to send moths to eat the dreaded hockey sweater.
First published in French as "Une abominable feuille d'érable sur la glace" ("An Abominable Maple Leaf on the Ice") in Carrier's “Les Enfants du bonhomme dans la lune”, the collection was translated into English by Sheila Fischman and published as “The Hockey Sweater and Other Stories”. One year later in 1980, the National Film Board of Canada, also captivated by the story, adapted "The Hockey Sweater" into the award-winning animated short film “The Sweater”, written and narrated in French and English by Carrier. The popularity of the film led to the release of “The Hockey Sweater” in 1984 as a picture book for children, featuring original art by Sheldon Cohen.
Composer Abigail Richardson was born in England and moved to Canada at the age of six. Profoundly deaf at the time, and pronounced incurable, the dry climate of Calgary restored her hearing within months. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary and a Masters and Doctorate of Music from the University of Toronto. Richardson won the first Karen Kieser Prize for Canadian Music; the Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region award; and top prize in the under-30 category at the prestigious International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. Richardson’s opera, Sanctuary Song, presented by Luminato Festival was awarded the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Opera in 2009. Abigail served as Affiliate Composer with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 2006-2009.
Roch Carrier, OC, is the best-known Québec writer in English Canada. He has served as the head of the Canada Council, he has run for Parliament, he was the National Librarian of Canada, and he is a recipient of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. An excerpt from "The Hockey Sweater" (quoted above) is featured in both official languages on the current Canadian five-dollar bill. Carrier will celebrate his 75th birthday the day after the world première of "The Hockey Sweater.”
Ken Dryden, PC, politician, lawyer, businessman, author, and six-time Stanley Cup Champion as the Montréal Canadiens’ goaltender (’71, ’73, ’76, ’77, ’79, ’79) is also a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame (inducted in 1983), and was a Liberal Member of Parliament from 2004-2011. Dryden won the Conn Smyth Trophy in 1971 as the playoffs' Most Valuable Player and then the following year he won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year. He remains the only NHL player to ever win the Conn Smythe Trophy before winning the Rookie of the Year award. Dryden is ranked #25 in The Hockey News’ list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
The commission of "The Hockey Sweater" is in celebration of the TSO presenting programs for young people for 90 years through its distinguished education and outreach initiatives. The Young People’s Concerts are created especially for children ages 5-12 and are the perfect introduction to symphonic music, offering an enhanced music education outside of school hours.
Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s major cultural institutions and is internationally recognized as a leading orchestra. Under the leadership of Music Director Peter Oundjian, the TSO is committed to innovative programming and showcases a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to performances, the TSO serves the community with one of the largest music education outreach programmes in Canada, connecting students throughout Ontario with acclaimed curriculum-based programming.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents
THE HOCKEY SWEATER
Composed by Abigail Richardson
Roch Carrier, Narrator
Ken Dryden, Host
Alain Trudel, Conductor
Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto
World Première May 12, 2012
Two Performances Only! Saturday, May 12, 2012 @ 1:30pm and 3:30pm
Tickets range from $20-$32 and can be purchased online @ tso.ca, by calling the Box Office at 416.593.4828 or in person at the TSO Customer Service Centre, 212 King Street West, 1st floor, or the
Roy Thomson Hall Box Office
Come early for a pre-concert performance in the lobby!
For more info: http://www.tso.ca/Concerts-And-Tickets/Events/2011-2012-Season/The-Hockey-Sweater.aspx
”The Hockey Sweater” is jointly commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra,
the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
TSO 90th Season Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.
TSO Young People’s Concerts Series Sponsor is Desjardins.
Media Contact for THE HOCKEY SWEATER: FLIP Publicity & Promotions Inc., 416.533.7710,
Carrie Sager, ext. 224, email@example.com • www.flip-publicity.com
Media Contact for the TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA:
Laura Quinn, Senior Manager of Communications, 416.593.7769 X232, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Morrison, Publicist, 416.593.7769 xX267,email@example.com
Media Downloads: tso.ca/media-room