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Stratford Summer Music’s moveable feast of concerts

Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore speaks with Stratford Summer Music Artistic Producer John Miller on the history of the festival and the upcoming season.

WHO: John Miller

WHAT: Stratford Summer Music (with a highlight on Jazz performances)

WHERE: Various locations around the Stratford Area

WHEN: Through August 27th  




ABOUT:  John Miller:

For the past 34 years John Miller has devoted his considerable energies to matters cultural by developing a specialization in Canadian arts and artists and, in particular, a keen knowledge of music by and about Canadians.

After positions in education and politics, John’s arts career began in 1980 when he accepted a position with the Stratford Festival the Marketing Department. 
From Stratford Mr. Miller moved to Toronto to become National Director of The Canadian Music Centre where, for five years, he headed a network of offices and staff who administered the nation’s support for the music of our classical and avant-garde composers and where a permanent national home for their work – Chalmers House – was built.

In 1986 he opened his own arts management company to work with such distinguished clients as the Orford String Quartet and with private philanthropic, corporate and government bodies.

From 1989-2004 Mr. Miller was Executive Director of the foundation which promotes the artistry and the ideas of Canada’s greatest cultural figure, Glenn Gould.  In this role he oversaw a world-wide network of contacts in the recording, media and performance fields where Glenn Gould’s accomplishments are still treasured.  As Executive Director he led the organisation’s projects such as The Glenn Gould Prize and its international outreach programs such as the Friends of Glenn Gould society.
After being encouraged by a 1993 invitation from the Stratford’s mayor to bring back summertime music, John’s dream came to reality with the first season of the new Stratford Summer Music in 2001. 

In its 2011 survey of North American summer music festivals, the respected British music journal, Gramophone, named Stratford Summer Music one of the top festivals on the continent and the only Canadian festival to make the distinguished designation of being in its top twelve summer music sites.
On Canada Day, 2014 the City of Stratford awarded John its ultimate honour – the naming and placing of his star at the heart of the city – where his name joins other prominent arts figures such as Glenn Gould, Loreena McKennitt and Christopher Plummer in this public recognition program

Stratford Summer Music:

Stratford Summer Music, an annual multi-week music festival that presents 100 events featuring 350+ artists, is set in indoor and outdoor venues throughout downtown Stratford, Ontario. With an artistic vision to produce, to the highest standards possible, an annual program of diverse and exciting musical performances by local, provincial, national and international artists and to provide the widest possible range of musical genres on our stages, Stratford Summer Music exposes audiences to a standard of musical excellence difficult to find outside large urban centres.

Visitors can engage in a wide range of musical experiences throughout July & August including:

  • Classical performances by organists, pianists, quartets, and orchestras, held in Stratford's historic churches
  • Lectures, demonstrations and discussions around musical genres and the influence of music on our cultural figures
  • Intimate concerts in unique settings such as The Prune Restaurant
  • World Music experienced in the beautiful setting of the riverbank, where artists from across Ontario, Canada and the world perform free concerts

Past highlights have included appearances by Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Measha Brueggergosman, Mzansi Youth Choir of South Africa, the Marionette Theatre of Vienna, Molly Johnson, R. Murray Schafer, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, The National Youth Orchestra of Canada, L'Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne, Thompson Highway, Canadian Brass, Ashley MacIsaac, the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, Tivoli Boys Guard Band, Jan Lisiecki, Chor Leoni Men's Choir of Vancouver, Elmer Iseler Singers, Cameron Carpenter, The Nathaniel Dett Choral, Jackie Richardson, Kellylee Evans, John MacLeod's Rex Hotel Orchestra, Peter Appleyard, Len Cariou, and Sylvia Tyson, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, pianists Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Simone Dinnerstein, David Jalbert and Gabriela Montero, the Vienna Boys Choir, tenor Michael Schade and accordionist Joseph Macerollo, just to name a few.

Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore is heard at 8:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays during the Jazz FM91 Arts Report. And don’t miss his arts and culture interview and entertainment magazine program, Arts Toronto, Sundays between 8-9 a.m.

To get in touch with Mark it’s

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