We had so many great concerts this Season – thanks again to all of you for joining us! We asked some of our musicians to reflect on the Season and their favourite concerts…which ones were yours?

Can’t wait to see everyone in the concert hall at A Taste of the CPO, which kicks off our 2014-2015 Season on September 13!

Michael Hope, Assistant Principal Bassoon

It’s hard to pick a favourite concert – because everything we play is awesome, and well…really fun too! But if I had to narrow it down to two, they would have to be:

1)Tosca In Concert – only because it was a joy to play this piece in a venue with superb acoustics (i.e. our fantastic Jack Singer Concert Hall). Normally we do  Tosca (and other operas) in the pit at the Jubilee.

2) Film Heroes: The Music of John Williams and More – We play film music all the time. But almost NEVER with a conductor who possesses Roberto Minczuk’s world-class skills. The power, textures and drama he brought to this music was rare and exhilarating for me. It changed the way I think about these pieces forever.

That’s the one thing I think I appreciate about Maestro Minczuk the most – he conducts every piece – no matter if it’s a Mahler symphony, a John Williams film score, or even The Blue Danube Waltz – as if it is a masterpiece and a great work of art. Working with him reminds me every day of how lucky and privileged I am to be a part of this business.


Matt Heller, Bass

This January, we played a concert of cinematic scores called Film Heroes: The Music of John Williams and More. Music Director Roberto Minczuk is a particular advocate of John Williams, and he can really bring those bold, colourful scores to life.

I also love John Williams, and grew up watching Star Wars, Superman and E.T. But it was the “and more” part of the programme that really impressed me. We played music by Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, and the amazing score for Ben Hur (written by Miklós Rózsa). I had never seen the film, but the music was so dramatic and powerful – with an incredibly driving energy – that several of us in the orchestra just had to watch it.

No spoilers here, but it’s quite an undertaking – it lasts just short of four hours – and we had a great time. In fact, it was the first of several movie potluck nights among musicians in the orchestra and friends: we went on to watch Casablanca, Gone With The Wind and   2001: A Space Odyssey (the subject of another great concert this season).

A concert can definitely change your life – even if you play them for a living – and most especially when you share the experience with friends. Happy summer!


Adam Zinatelli, Principal Trumpet

Mahler 5 was the highlight of this season for me. Even though I was featured as a soloist twice this year, orchestral repertoire like this is what I truly love most, and this piece in particular holds a singular place for all trumpet players.

A huge part like this is a big responsibility to play, so one approaches it with a balance of enthusiasm, respect, and pressure. It was my first chance to play the first trumpet part, and I spent much of my preparation thinking back to great performances I heard when I was younger by great players: friends, teachers, and superstars (I’m privileged that those are three intersecting sets of players!).

I am proud of how those performances went. I think I achieved most of what I set out to do. I’ve got some new good ideas for next time it comes up though, and I look forward to the challenge!