<![CDATA[BRITISH COLUMBIA INTERNATIONAL SYMPHONY - Blog]]>Sun, 30 Jun 2024 21:05:17 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Naresh Sohal]]>Mon, 24 Jun 2024 17:47:02 GMThttp://thebcis.org/blog/naresh-sohal​Naresh Sohal (1939 - 2018) was born in Jalandhar, Punjab.  In college he acquired a harmonica and became a performer of rock and roll as well as Indian songs. His first hearing of Beethoven's 3rd symphony was transformative and in 1962 emigrated to the U.K. Although immersed in western music he maintained an interest in Indian musical culture and wrote many works reflecting his dual perspective. We are planning to perform "The Divine Song" for narrator and orchestra, premiered by the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, who commissioned it. In 1987 he was awarded a Padma Shri (order of the Lotus) by the Indian government.]]><![CDATA[Fela Sowande]]>Thu, 04 Apr 2024 16:52:15 GMThttp://thebcis.org/blog/fela-sowande​We're going to start this page as a space to present the composers whose works we will be performing. The first name we'll introduce is Olufela Obafunmilayo "Fela" Sowande (1905 - 1987). His father was a priest and he sang in the choir of the Cathedral Church of Christ. The choirmaster was Ekundayo Phillips and introduced Sowande to Bach and other European composers. At the same time he heard Yoruba music brought into the church. He later became a bandleader and played jazz. He also went to London to earn a Bachelor of Music degree and eventually became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. He was for a few years the musical director or the Nigerian Broadcasting Service.

Among his compositions (which we will be offering) is his "African Suite". Local audiences might be surprised to find it familiar as the last movement was the theme of the CBC program "Gilmour's Albums" and has been recorded by the Calgary Philharmonic.

He moved to the U.S.A. in 1968 and in his final years taught in the Dept. of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University. He died in Ravenna, Ohio, and is buried in nearby Randolph Township.]]>