Friday March 25 2022, 7:30 PM

Opening Spotlight with Holly

Central United Church
Friday 25 March – 7:30 PM

$35 ($30 advance, email, Students $10 at the door.


Holly Mathieson

James Sommerville



Marianna Martines: Sinfonia in C Major
Kati Agócs: Concerto for Horn
W.A. Mozart: Concerto for Horn No. 1
L.V. Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

Musique Royale is delighted to welcome Symphony Nova Scotia back to Lunenburg for “Opening Spotlight with Holly”. Under the direction of award-winning music director Holly Mathieson, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s irresistably rhythmical Symphony No. 7 that was coined ‘apotheosis of the dance’ by Richard Wagner. Principal hornist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Sommerville, will feature to perform Mozart’s Concerto for Horn No. 1, and the striking Concerto for Horn by Kati Agócs, whose music is known for its “generous lyricism” (New York Times) and who is considered “one of the brightest stars in her generation of composers” (Audiophile Audition). Join Musique Royale at Central United Church on Friday March 25th, at 7:30 pm for the long awaited return of Symphony Nova Scotia to Lunenburg!

About the Artists

Holly Mathieson

New Zealand-born Holly Mathieson is an award-winning conductor, regularly working with opera houses, ballet companies, and orchestras in Europe, Australasia, and North America. She is the Music Director of Symphony Nova Scotia and Co-Artistic Director of the Nevis Ensemble with Jon Hargreaves. She frequently records for BBC Radio, and her first major commercial recording with Decca, a collaboration with Isata Kanneh-Mason and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, reached No. 1 on the U.K. classical charts. Her work has seen her travel to nearly every continent on the planet, and perform for audiences spanning from the British Royal Family and Europe’s political elites to Scotland’s homeless and refugee communities. In addition to her conducting work, Holly is on the Board of Directors for the London-based opera company formidAbility, an opera company pioneering the commissioning and producing of opera with accessibility at the foundation of the creative process.

A passionate communicator with crystalline technique and a collaborative approach, Holly has won plaudits in all forms of music direction from opera, ballet, and family concerts to full-scale symphonic programmes. In recent seasons, she conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, most of the BBC Orchestras, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In the theatre, she has worked with Opera North, Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera, and English Touring Opera. Recording and broadcasting credits include the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and Opera North.

2018 saw the inaugural tour of the innovative Nevis Ensemble, of which she is Co-Artistic Director with husband Jon Hargreaves, a project founded on the maxim that “music is for everyone, everywhere”, and aims to take music out of the concert hall and into isolated and marginalized communities. In two years, the orchestra has given 170 free performances to around 25,500 people all across Scotland, from farming communities in the Scottish Borders to the summit of Ben Nevis in the Highlands, and including the most comprehensive tour of the Outer Hebrides by an orchestra, which even saw the ensemble perform on Hirta, in the remote archipelago of St. Kilda.

She held several significant early career positions, including the Leverhulme Fellowship in Conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Assistant Conductor of both the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras, and Resident Conductor within the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland. Prior to that, she was chosen as one of only four young conductors from around the world to participate in the Interaktion Dirigentenwerkstatt des Kritischen Orchesters with players from the Berlin Philharmonic and other top-tiered German orchestras. She enjoyed a critically acclaimed London debut with Opera Holland Park as part of the 2015 Christine Collins Young Artist Programme, and was a conducting fellow at Dartington International Summer School and Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Prizewinner in 2013. She holds a PhD in Music Iconography, during which she was awarded the global Sylff Fellowship, and in 2016, Zonta New Zealand named her one of New Zealand’s Top 50 Women of Achievement.

She currently splits her time between Scotland and Canada. When she’s not conducting, she writes about the classical music industry, software engineering, and digital technology in her blog, Scordatura; contributes to industry podcasts, panels, and columns; and works as a consultant for inclusive programming and community-embedded project design for music organisations. She completed a PhD in Music Iconography in 2010; is an alumna of the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship, Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship, and the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship; and in 2016, Zonta New Zealand named her one of New Zealand’s Top 50 Women of Achievement.

James Sommerville

James Sommerville became principal horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1998, occupying the Helen Sagoff Slosberg/Edna S. Kalman Chair. As principal horn, he is also a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Mr. Sommerville is also music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Winner of the highest prizes at the Munich, Toulon, and CBC competitions, he has pursued a solo career spanning thirty years and has made critically acclaimed appearances with major orchestras throughout North America and Europe. His disc of the Mozart horn concertos with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra won the JUNO Award for Best Classical Recording in Canada. Other award-winning CBC recordings include Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings and Britten’s Canticle. He has recorded chamber music for Deutsche Grammophon, Telarc, CBC, Summit, Marquis, and BSO Classics. Mr. Sommerville has been a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, and Symphony Nova Scotia, and was acting solo horn of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He has toured and recorded extensively as an orchestral player, is heard regularly on the CBC network, and has recorded all of the standard solo horn repertoire for broadcast. As a guest artist and faculty member, he has performed at chamber music festivals worldwide. Solo performances have included the world premiere of Christos Hatzis’s Winter Solstice; the North American premiere of Ligeti’s Hamburg Concerto with the BSO; John Williams’s Horn Concerto; the world premiere of Elliott Carter’s Horn Concerto, commissioned for him by the BSO; and the world premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s Sign of the Leviathan, a TMC 75th-anniversary commission, with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Mr. Sommerville has himself commissioned and premiered a great deal of music by young composers, including works ranging from solo horn to full orchestra. Other solo appearances with the BSO have included Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto No. 1, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, Timpani, Percussion, and String Orchestra, Mozart’s Horn Concertos 1 and 2 (the latter on forty-eight hours’ notice with Bernard Haitink conducting), Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat for winds, K.297b. As a conductor, Mr. Sommerville has appeared with many professional orchestras and ensembles throughout Canada and the U.S.

Symphony Nova Scotia

Symphony Nova Scotia is truly Nova Scotia’s orchestra. With a home base in Halifax and performances across the province, Symphony Nova Scotia reaches more than 50,000 Nova Scotians of all ages each year with some of the most innovative concerts and educational offerings in the country. Though Symphony Nova Scotia had its origins with the Halifax Symphony (1897-1908, 1955-1968), the Halifax Sinfoniette (1947-1955), and the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (1968-1984), the orchestra as we know it began in 1983 with only 13 full-time musicians.

Today, Symphony Nova Scotia is the largest employer in Nova Scotia’s cultural community, employing 37 musicians and ten administrative staff, along with over 150 contracted artistic, production, and technical personnel. Its talented team has won many awards, including four East Coast Music Awards for classical music.

The orchestra has repeatedly been praised for its versatility and flexibility, performing everything from baroque to pops to jazz with equal finesse. International music veteran Howard Cable calls Symphony Nova Scotia “the most versatile orchestra in Canada,” and the Chronicle Herald says, “They can play it all: Beethoven, Shostakovich, Hatzis and Current, as well as Tommy Dorsey, Scott Macmillan, Rose Cousins, Buck 65 and Natalie MacMaster. We are, in this province, exceedingly fortunate to have them.”

Symphony Nova Scotia also places a high priority on community engagement and corporate social responsibility. Its education programs reach over 15,000 elementary, junior, and senior high school students each year – students who may not otherwise have access to symphonic music. The Symphony also conducts many accessible community programs, including pre-concert chats, performances in local public libraries, and free community concerts.

Symphony Nova Scotia continues to present Nova Scotia’s music to Nova Scotia’s people. From baroque to classical to pop, Celtic, rock, and folk, Symphony Nova Scotia brings you the music you love right here at home.