Under the artistic direction of Dr. Greg Caisley, the Postmodern Camerata sought living, breathing Canadian composers to commission new chamber music for what promises to be a truly unique musical celebration entitled ‘Canada’ as the final mainstage production of the PMC’s 2016/17 concert season. ‘Canada’ is an ode to the creation and performance of new Canadian music in anticipation of Canada’s 150th birthday. Composers Rita Ueda, John Cole, and Thomas Beckman were chosen, in part, because of their broad range of backgrounds and experience as a reflection of the diversity of Canadian culture.
The event will be hosted at the Annex in Vancouver on May 27th and 28th. Discards (2003), a chamber piece by Canadian composer Jeffrey Ryan, set to the words of the late poet Carol Burdick, will be performed along side the world première of Ueda’s cantata entitled Debris (2017), the world première of the instrumental composition Two Pieces After Joseph Cornell (2017) by Cole, and the world première of Pandora’s Clock (2017) by Beckman.  The PMC has invited renowned Canadian lyric poet and violinist Jan Zwicky to present a reading of her poetry, connecting to and augmenting the interplay among music, language, and Canadian heritage. The programme promises to treat the audience to a spectacular array of sounds throughout the evening, that reflect the plurality and depth of each composer’s piece. 

Rita Ueda

Rita Ueda immigrated to Canada from Japan as a child. She brings with her the experience of Japanese-Canadian culture and history that she explores through the form of her musical compositions. The piece she and librettist Rodney Robertson have written is based on Debris, a documentary film about Pete Clarkson by John Bolton.




John Cole

John Cole, a Canadian composer now based in Japan, takes the traditional elements of music and means of producing them, and breathes new life into the scores and the performances, inspired by American artist Joseph Cornell, and 20th century composers Igor Stravinsky and Conlon Nancarrow.


Thomas Beckman

Thomas Beckman, a young and up-and-coming composer native to British Columbia, has composed his first concert piece, a work of chamber music for instruments and voices entitled Pandora’s Clock,  “inspired by the global status-quo.”



This collaboration provided a unique opportunity for members of the PMC to work directly with celebrated composers, in order to realize the dimensions and nuances of their new works. In planning this concert the PMC is aiming to provide an opportunity for Canadian composers to write original music for chamber ensembles to perform, and for audiences to hear living music. Each composer conveys influences of Canadian heritage, highlighting the fact that the creation of music is a continuously evolving artistic process.
These concerts are made possible with the generous support from the Vancouver Civic Theatres, and the SOCAN Foundation. Thank you!