Virtual Concert 52020-11-30T08:59:59-07:00



Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale

Kick off your Halloween weekend with a special virtual concert about a deal with the devil. Associate Conductor Karl Hirzer leads Calgary Phil musicians in a performance of Stravinksy's L'Histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale), based on a Russian folk tale about a soldier who gives his fiddle to the devil in exchange for wealth. The story is told by Haysam Kadri — one of Calgary's most respected theatre artists.

Learn more about the Program

Karl Hirzer Conductor
Diana Cohen
 Concertmaster, Violin
Kyle Sanborn Assistant Principal Bass
Jocelyn Colquhoun Assistant Principal Clarinet
Antoine St-Onge Principal Bassoon
Miranda Cairns Assistant Principal Trumpet
James Scott Principal Trombone
Alex Cohen Principal Timpani
Haysam Kadri Narrator

Stravinsky L’Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale)
Part I: Soldier’s March
Music to Scene 1: Airs by a Stream
Soldier’s March (Reprise)
Music to Scene 2: Pastoral
Music to Scene 3: Airs by a Stream (Reprise)
Part II: Soldier’s March (Reprise)
Royal March
The Little Concert
Three Dances (Tango-Waltz-Ragtime)
The Devil’s Dance
Little Choral
The Devil’s Song
Great Choral
Triumphal March of the Devil

From the Blog: Associate Conductor Karl Hirzer on Stravinksy
27 October 2020

Igor Stravinsky was one of the great modernist innovators of the 20th century. He was born the same year as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf (1882), and in the early 1910s he was hanging out in Paris with the likes of Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau. All of these individuals were unique artists in different fields, but they were aligned in their attempts to search for new ways to express their art forms.

Stravinsky exploded onto the scene with three big hits in the ballet world: The Firebird, Petrushka, and finally the Rite of Spring, the latter of which caused a riot at its premiere. Imagine a Parisian high society audience arriving for an evening at the ballet, expecting elegance and charm, but instead greeted with music and choreography that at times depicted the primitivism and savagery of early human tribes.

Despite the reputation brought about by this scandal, Stravinsky’s music conveys hauntingly beautiful atmospheres, occasional theatrics of slapstick humour, and a general brilliance of instrumentation to go along with the more rugged, muscular character of his style. All of these elements are brought to life with a constant feel for rhythm and dance, and an imaginative new approach to the rules of harmony.

By the end of the First World War, Stravinsky was envisioning a very different kind of musical work from the large-scale ballet scores that brought him international acclaim. Living in neutral Switzerland, he envisioned a dramatic piece of théâtre ambulant, a mobile travelling spectacle — something written for a small ensemble of musicians, with actors, dancers, and a small portable set that would be an easy troupe to move from town to town in the Swiss countryside, giving performances at town halls and community centres in small villages.

Thus L’Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) was born, “to be read, played and danced,” as the composer wrote as a subtitle on the front page of the first edition. Written by C.F. Ramuz, the text tells the story of a soldier, Joseph, homeward bound on leave from the army when he is tricked by none other than the Devil (in disguise) into trading his beloved fiddle for a mysterious book that grants the bearer vast riches by predicting the future. The story winds its way through the conflict between these two characters, exploring universal questions about whether or not material possessions can really bring us happiness.

The music is written for seven players, a high and low-register instrument in each of the instrument families: clarinet and bassoon; trumpet and trombone; violin and double bass; and percussion. Throughout the piece, the music represents the action of the story: The Soldier’s March, where the trudging of the double bass represents the footsteps of boots on gravel; The Royal March, introducing the King with its boisterous pomp of brass extroversion; The Tango, Waltz, and Ragtime, a virtuoso trio of dances showcasing the violin — Joseph in an attempt to rouse the Princess from her slumber; and the furious Devil’s Dance, as the villain’s body contorts to the frenzied music when our hero finally gains the upper hand.

Artist Bios

Canadian musician Karl Hirzer is an emerging talent on the global stage of young conductors. Honing a passionate will to collaborate with musicians and communicate with audiences, he has garnered both critical and professional acclaim as a captivating presence on the podium.

Since September 2016, Hirzer has held the position of Resident, then Associate Conductor with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been guest conductor with the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Regina Symphony Orchestra, and is a regular guest conductor with the contemporary group Land’s End Ensemble. American composer John Corigliano hailed a collaboration with the latter on a performance of his song cycle, ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ stating: “Mr. Hirzer brought a combination of detailed accuracy and intense musical feeling to the work, resulting in an absolutely marvelous performance.”

In the past, Hirzer has acted as Assistant Conductor for the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. He has also worked with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and with the Gstaad Festival Orchestra as an active member of the Menuhin Festival Gstaad Conducting Academy. He was a Conducting Fellow at the 2017 Cortona Sessions for New Music. A diverse musician and collaborator, he has performed with various renowned soloists such as Evelyn Glennie, Jonathan Crow, Chris Botti, Owen Pallett, Agata Szymczewska, and many others. During the 2019/2020 season, Hirzer enjoyed taking on the additional role of Assistant Chorus Master with the Calgary Philharmonic.

An advocate of presenting new music to audiences in complement to canonical works, Hirzer’s repertoire ranges from Mozart and Haydn, to Boulez and Lachenmann. He has conducted numerous world premieres, and advocates inviting audiences to discover the full spectrum of eras, nationalities, and experiences pervading the classical and contemporary catalogues. A steadfast educator, Hirzer was recently on faculty as conductor and chamber coach at the 22nd Morningside Music Bridge program in Warsaw, Poland.

Hirzer has been taught by Guillaume Bourgogne, Alexis Hauser, Boris Brott, and Ajtony Csaba, and he has participated in masterclass sessions with Neeme Järvi, Leonid Grin, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Zsolt Nagy, and Chris Younghoon Kim.

Trained as a pianist, Hirzer holds bachelor’s (University of Victoria) and master’s (McGill University) degrees in performance, as well as an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto Diploma, obtained at age 17. His piano teachers have included Ilya Poletaev, Bruce Vogt, Michael McMahon, Walter Prossnitz, and Anne Wilson Unger. He was a winner of the Johann Strauss
Scholarship Competition, funding studies at the Mozarteum Sommerakademie in Salzburg, during which time he studied in the class of Robert Levin.

Diana CohenPraised for her “incredible flair, maturity and insight,” violinist Diana Cohen leads a multi-faceted career as a concertmaster, chamber musician, soloist, and arts administrator.  Appointed concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in 2012, she previously served as concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra while maintaining an active freelance career in New York City. She has held the same position with Charleston Symphony (with which she performed numerous works as soloist), The National Repertory Orchestra, Iris Orchestra and Red {an orchestra}, and has been guest concertmaster with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Phoenix Symphony.

She has performed regularly in concerts in New York and across the globe with the Grammy-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The International Sejong Soloists, The Knights, and as a substitute at the New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic, National Repertory Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony, Valdosta Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony and Red {an orchestra}. She was concertmaster of the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, principal second of the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and has been rotating principal of the Iris Orchestra since its inception.  Recently, Diana’s solo recital on the Dame Myra Hess Series was heard live on Chicago public radio.

As a founding member of the piano trio Trio Terzetto, Ms. Cohen has toured and recorded in cities across the United States and Canada. Trio Terzetto has been presented on chamber music series in cities including New York, Cleveland, Ann Arbor, Memphis, Charleston, Lansing, Detroit, Augusta, Charlotte, South Bend, and Asheville. They recently made their solo debut with the Lansing Symphony, performing Beethoven’s “Triple Concerto.” Trio Terzetto is committed to outreach, and often organizes these projects around their performances

A passionate chamber musician, Ms. Cohen has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, The Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, The Chamber Music Festival of Giverny, France, The Perlman Chamber Music Program, Aspen and Piccolo Spoleto as well as festivals in Maui, Dresden, Bennington, Saugatuck, Martha’s Vineyard and Gretna. She has also been a participant in The American String Project. Ms. Cohen has appeared in chamber concerts with members of the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall and has performed on faculty concerts at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  Ms. Cohen has regularly collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Cleveland, Miro and Parker Quartets, as well as with renowned artists including Mitsuko Uchida, Kim Kashkashian, Garrick Ohlsson and many others. She has also played regularly with her family; Cleveland Orchestra principal clarinetist Franklin Cohen, Alexander Cohen, principal timpanist, and her late mother, bassoonist Lynette Diers Cohen. Works have been commissioned for the Cohen family quartet. Recently, Ms. Cohen and her father released a CD of Osvoldo Golijov’s “Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind” for clarinet and string quartet.

Ms. Cohen is Executive and Co-Artistic Director of a new chamber music festival, ChamberFest Cleveland (  She has established a festival that features the world’s most sought-after chamber musicians, and has partnered with several of the most esteemed organizations in Cleveland.

Ms. Cohen is an honors graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music where she was the recipient of the 2000 Jerome Gross Prize in violin and a winner of the Darius Milhaud competition. Her principal teachers were Donald Weilerstein, William Preucil and Paul Kantor and Joel Smirnoff.

Ms. Cohen’s solo and chamber performances have been heard on radio stations across the country. Many of her performances from the Marlboro Music Festival have been broadcast on New York’s WQXR. She can also be heard on recordings with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

In addition to her performance career, Ms. Cohen is a devoted teacher. Many of her students have won national awards. She has worked extensively in public schools and has served on the preparatory chamber music faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Kyle Sanborn began playing bass at the age of 12 in Portland, Oregon. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon and his graduate degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He studied with Tyler Abbott and Kurt Muroki, respectively. Sanborn spent his summers with the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Verbier, Switzerland, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina.

Prior to joining the Calgary Philharmonic as Assistant Principal Bassist in 2018, Sanborn was a fellow at the New World Symphony Orchestra as well as a substitute for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and Charlotte Symphony. He was also a member of the Evansville Philharmonic during his time in Indiana.

Jocelyn Colquhoun, Assistant Principal Clarinetist, has been enjoying her varied career with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 1988.

She has been known to play first, second, E flat, and bass clarinet, host concerts and even dance the tango! Originally from Sydney, N.S. and growing up in Halifax, Colquhoun graduated in 1982 from Acadia University with a bachelor of music education degree. She spent several summers as a student at the Banff School of Fine Arts, fell in love with the mountains, and played in the Canadian Chamber and National Youth Orchestras. In 1984, after receiving a master’s degree in music performance from UBC, she joined the Edmonton Symphony for four years.

A winner of the CBC radio competition and semi-finalist in the CBC Talent Competition, she was awarded an Alberta Foundation for the Arts grant to compete in an international clarinet competition in Rome in 1985.

Colquhoun has been an extra clarinetist with the Atlantic Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Vancouver Opera, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras. Happy to be living in Calgary, she is an active chamber musician and has been a member of the Mount Royal Quintet, Rosa Selvatica, and Aubade, and has often been heard on CBC.

Colquhoun has been married to her husband, local business man Alec Milne, for 27 years and has two grown children, Lachlan and Madelyne. This past winter, just in time for the lockdown, they adopted a wonderfully energetic puppy — a Sheep-a-doodle named ‘Jo’ (Josephine). Colquhoun has been busy, weather permitting, with road biking, hiking, and lots of dog walking. Lately she’s been enjoying some online exercise, dance and art classes. She continues to enjoy good food and wine with family and great friends.

Antoine St-Onge joined the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Bassoonist in June 2018 at the age of 23.

A native of Morin-Heights, Québec, he earned his Bachelor’s in Music from the Montreal Music Conservatory and then graduated from McGill University, under the guidance of Montreal Symphony Orchestra members Mathieu Harel and Stéphane Lévesque. He also spent a semester studying with Carlo Colombo at the CNSMDP in Lyon, France. Before his appointment to the Calgary Phil, St-Onge performed with the Montreal Contemporary Ensemble (ECM+), and was a substitute for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Drummondville Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre des Pays de Savoie, and Les Violons du Roy.

St-Onge was featured as a soloist with the Montreal Music Conservatory and with the McGill Symphony Orchestra, in G. Rossini’s and André Jolivet’s bassoon concerto.

St-Onge has an unconditional love for animals, and the outdoors — especially biking and snowboarding. He plays on a Benson Bell bassoon made in Ontario, Canada.

Assistant Principal Trumpet player Miranda Cairns joined the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in 2016. Cairns holds an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario, where she studied with Andrew McCandless. Prior to attending the conservatory she completed an undergraduate degree at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario with Anita McAlister.

As an active freelance musician in Toronto, Cairns has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, and the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. Chamber music holds a special place in her heart and she has performed with the True North Brass Quintet, as well as the Toronto Brass Quintet. She is also no stranger to the ballet and orchestra pit, having performed with the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet company on a recent tour to Toronto.

Cairns is from Courtice, Ontario, a small community an hour east of Toronto. She began playing trumpet at the age of 11 and started private lessons when she was 15 years old. She is now happy to pass on all she has learned and enjoys teaching.

James Scott, Trombone


James Scott joined the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Trombone in 1981. That same year, he joined the Faculty of Music at the University of Calgary. As an orchestral musician, he has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montreal, and the National Ballet Orchestra. Scott has appeared as a soloist on several occasions with the Calgary Phil, and has also been a guest soloist with musical organizations around Calgary, and throughout North America. He also enjoys performing commercial music, and has been involved in musicals at the Grand and Theatre Calgary, and is a member of Prime Time Big Band.

Scott is a graduate of the Juilliard School (B. Mus., M. Mus.) where he was a scholarship student of Edward Herman, Jr. Additional studies have been pursued with Frank Crisafulli, Arnold Jacobs, and Joseph Alessi.

Alexander Cohen has been the Calgary Philharmonic’s Principal Timpanist since 2011. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he earned his bachelor’s in music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, under the guidance of Cleveland Orchestra members Paul Yancich and Richard Weiner. Before his appointment to the Calgary Phil,  Cohen was the Principal Timpanist of the West Virginia Symphony, as well as the acting Principal Timpanist of the San Diego Symphony. As a guest timpanist, he has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Marlboro Festival Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, New World Symphony, New York String Orchestra, and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen.

As a chamber musician Cohen has performed with international soloists, chamber musicians, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and has worked with such conductors as Michael Tilson-Thomas, David Robertson, Jahja Ling, David Zinman, David Atherton, and James Conlon. From a family of fine musicians, his late mother Lynette was a highly acclaimed bassoonist and pedagogue, his father Franklin was the Principal Clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra for 39 years, and his sister Diana is the Calgary Phil’s Concertmaster. Cohen is also a regular performer and founding member of ChamberFest Cleveland, an innovative and highly acclaimed international chamber music festival, begun by his sister and father in 2012. A passionate outdoorsman, he enjoys hiking, scrambling, backcountry skiing, and ski mountaineering. In 2020 Alexander completed a four-year professional training program in the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education.

Cohen plays on his custom set of Walter Light Mark XIV Timpani built by the American Drum Company in Denver and is an Evans Drumheads artist.

Haysam is an Actor, Director, and Theatre Instructor.  As the Artistic Producer of The Shakespeare Company and Program Director for Shakespeare by the Bow in Calgary, Haysam has made it a priority to establish a solid foundation for classical work in Alberta by entertaining audiences through producing and performing of classics, developing and cultivating the talents of emerging artists, and finally, focusing on student education via performances, workshops, and classes.

Virtual Concert FAQ

Our virtual concerts are free to watch, but first you have to register at

You can view the concert on any device, including smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, or a television connected to the internet. Ensure your device is fully charged, powered on or plugged-in, and double check your sound is on.

Just before the performance begins, and using your selected viewing device:

  1. Open the PDF e-tickets attached to your email.
  2. Click the link on your PDF, or enter the URL in the search/address bar or of your internet browser. The concert viewing page will open.
  3. Copy or type your Unique Access Code (the code is case sensitive) into the password box and press play.
  4. Each performance will start at 7:30PM on the date of the premiere. Enjoy the music!

The video will be available starting at 7:30PM on the day of the concert premiere, and then will remain available for 30 days. If your video doesn’t start right at 7:30PM, you may need to refresh your web browser or click the link again — don’t worry, the concert will start from the beginning when you hit play, so even if you’re late, you won’t miss anything.

For the optimal listening experience, we recommend listening through high-quality headphones or stream through your home stereo. Our video was captured in High Definition (1080p) and will look great on any screen you choose — to watch the concert in full-screen mode, click the four arrows in the bottom right-hand corner of the video to maximize your screen.

Here are some articles we think you might find helpful for setup:

These concerts are about 60 minutes, although each performance will be different.

Don’t worry! The video will be available for 30 days starting at 7:30PM on the day of the concert premiere. You can watch the performance as many times as you’d like using your concert link and access code. After 30 days, the video will no longer be available.

Yes, you can register at anytime within 30 days of the concert premiere.

It’s easy! You can register online at First, choose the concert you want to watch and follow the prompts. You can continue to select other upcoming concerts, one at a time, by clicking the titles in the basket. Then click the Checkout button and enter your email.

If you have an account with us, you’ll be asked for your password (if you can’t remember it, just click Forgotten Password? and we’ll email you a link to reset it). If you don’t have an existing account, you can provide your name and a password to create one.

At this stage, you can choose to set a password, or continue without setting a password. Once you’ve confirmed your order, check your email. You should receive an order confirmation followed by an email with your e-tickets attached as a PDF. Your e-ticket has the link and the Unique Access Code you’ll need to watch the concert.

If you have any problems registering, please contact us at [email protected] and we’re happy to help. We’re also available by phone on weekdays from 9AM to 5PM and concert days from 6PM to 8PM at 403.571.0849.

If you’re watching together on one device, you only need to register one person.

Yes, if you prefer to register by phone, you can call our Box Office at 403.571.0849 (Monday to Friday 9AM to 5PM and concert days from 6PM to 8PM) and our sales team will be happy to help you. You’ll need to provide an email address so they can send you an e-ticket, which will include the link for the concert and the Unique Access Code you need to watch it.

You do need to register for each concert you want to watch because every concert will have its own concert link and Unique Access Code.

Yes, absolutely! You can register for as many virtual concerts as you want. During the registration process, once you’ve selected the number of tickets you want for an individual concert, a list of the other available concerts will be visible — simply click the title of the next concert you want to watch, then repeat the process until they’re all in your basket. You will receive a separate e-ticket with a different link and Unique Access Code for each concert. Keep in mind that the performances will be available for 30 days starting at the listed date and time of the premiere.

Check your email junk and/or spam folder. If it’s not there, login to your account at Under Details, click the e-tickets link and from there you can download the ticket for the concert link and Unique Access Code.

If you’re still having problems, contact us at [email protected] and we’re happy to help. We’re also available by phone on weekdays from 9AM to 5PM and concert days from 6PM to 8PM at 403.571.0849.

These concerts are part of our new fall series running from October to December 2020 and were specifically created to provide an online viewing experience during this period when we aren’t able to have a live audience in our concert hall. The performances will premiere online, and then they will be available to view on our website for 30 days. The concerts on our All Access page are from our archive of live-stream recordings in previous seasons.

For the health and safety of our musicians, staff, and the public, we are carefully following the COVID-19 guidelines set out by Alberta Health Services. At this time indoor gatherings of more than 50 people are not allowed, and provincial and municipal protocols require everyone to physically distance and wear masks. We have 66 full-time musicians in our Orchestra, and live concerts also involve several people behind the scenes to monitor the sound, move equipment, assist the artists, etc. As a result, it is not feasible to invite a live audience into the concert hall at this time.

Although you only see our musicians onscreen during the performance, we also have a small production crew and a few camera operators who help make sure the concert and the video recording process runs smoothly. Everybody wears masks to help protect each other and to comply with city bylaws. In future concerts involving wind and brass instruments, some musicians will remove their masks when it’s time to play.

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