Accordion Postcards mailed from the Future; Toronto to Tokyo, BBC3 to the Berlin Philharmonie.
Concert accordionist Joseph Petric made his Canadian début with the Array Music Ensemble in 1979. The first accordionist Laureate of the CBC National Radio Auditions 1980 he gave his American debut at Washington’s Kennedy Centre in 1986 to critical acclaim. The first accordionist to successfully audition for BBCRadio3, he used this as a springboard to his European debut with a BBC3 broadcast, followed by a London début at St. John’s Smith Square 1992, and subsequent European and Scandanavian tours.
By 1995 his vision attracted concurrent support of four international management offices: MGAM Toronto, NCCP London, Sarah Turner Communications Paris, and Columbia Artists New York. A champion of new creation, Joseph Petric’s commitment to commissioned works was matched only by his open embrace of Ancient music. With the generous assistance of the Canada Council Senior Artists Grant, Joseph studied period performance with period artists Colin Tilney and Boyd MacDonald 2000-2003. He has recorded for BBCRadio3, French State Radio, PBS USA, Canada’s CBC and Societe Radio Canada and NHK Japan, has toured Asia, North America, Scandanavia, Europe, the Middle East and former Soviet East Block and appeared as soloist at London’s Southbank Centre, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Seiji Ozawa Hall, Agora Festival IRCAM, Disney Centre Los Angeles, Tel Aviv Opera, the Berlin Philharmonie, and Bunka Kaikan Hall Tokyo among others.
Joseph Petric’s 251 commissions include 14 concertos, created with the generous assistance of New York’s Koussevitsky Foundation, the Laidlaw Foundation, Swedish Reikskonzerter, the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, QALC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Notable works include concertos by Peter Koprowski, Brian Current, Denis Gougeon, Omar Daniel, Norman Symonds, and Howard Skempton; complementary chamber works by Daniel Foley, Marjan Mozetich, Andrew MacDonald, Ana Sokolovic and David Mott; a unique electroacoustic canon with live electronics, video, by Peter Hatch, David Jaeger, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, Yves Daoust, Christos Hatzis and Bob Pritchard; and comprovised and improvised music such as the works of David Mott. Joseph Petric championed and commissioned the music of numerous women composers such as Norma Beecroft, Linda C Smith, Micheline Roi, Rose Bolton, Jocelyn Morlock, Pauline Oliveros and Janika Vandervelde decades before it became politically correct.
As a concerto soloist he has appeared with most major Canadian symphonies, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver CBC Radio Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Nova Scotia; abroad the BBC Orchestra London, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Concertante di Chicago, and Sweden’s Camerata Roman. International festival appearances include Siljan, London Southbank, Bournemouth, Tanglewood, Tokyo Spring, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Montreal’s MnM Festival, Festival of the Sound, and Festival Domaine Forget among others.
Joseph Petric’s discography of 32 CD titles is a postmodern document of his inclusive approaches. His recordings were nominated for a Hunter Foundation Recording Award 2003 and the CD Orbiting Garden received a JUNO nomination for Best Composition 2002 and hailed by Gramophone as a “brilliant and riveting recital”. He was co-recipient of Québec’s PRIX OPUS for Best Concert 2009, and PRIX OPUS Best Recording 2011.
Notable premieres include Peter Paul Koprowski’s Accordion Concerto with the Toronto Symphony under Jukka Pekka Saraste 1996; the American premieres of R. Murray Schafer’s La Testa d”Adriane Washington 1986, Sofia Gubajdulina’s Seven Words Chicago 1992; Thomas Addis’s Powder Her Face Boston 2003, Luciano Berio’s Accordion Sequenza at Tanglewood Festival 2000; and the premieres of Normand Forget’s chamber version of Schubert’s Winterreise at the Hohenems Schubertiade 2009, the Israeli Opera Tel Aviv 2011, and the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Series 2013.
As an artistic director he co-directed the first Canadian performance of the Complete Berio Sequenzas for the University of Toronto New Music Festival with cellist David Hetherington 2013, Toronto’s Big Squeeze Accordion Festival 1991; the Glenn Gould Studio Virtuosi Series 1994; and Carte Blanche series for Société Radio Canada in Montreal and Québec Cité in 2000 and 2004.
In 2017, Joseph Petric published The Concert Accordion –Contemporary Perspectives with Augemus Press of Germany. An artistic interrogation of the concert accordion’s first fully contextualized history, he introduced Giovanni Gagliardi’s (1888-1964) forgotten treatise Le Petit Manual de L’Accordéoniste Paris 1911 to a global readership and introduced 14 lost or forgotten concert instruments built by Italian craftsmen including two by Luigi Savoia (1902-1905), Cremona; Antonio Ranco (1908) Vercelli; Fidel Socin (1913) Bolzano; Venanzio Morino (1912) Geneva; Augusto Iorio (1907) Manhattan, Vincenzo Bernardoni (1907) Philadelphia; and Excelsior (1925-1930) Chicago. The work was described by the American Accordion Teacher’s Guild as “…a significant and meticulously researched” contribution to the field.
Recent performances included a solo concert of 8 newly commissioned works for Montreal’s Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec; the world premiere of Chiel Miejering’s concerto Tribulations of Modern Love at the Indiana School of Music; and the world premiere of Claude Vivier’s Pulau Dewata for accordion and viola. Upcoming performances include a staged version of Schubert’s Winterreise with Venezuelan choreographer Jose Navas in Canada, the USA and Europe; the premiere and CD recording of Peter Togni’s commission Living Flame of Love with Edmonton’s Pro Choro Ensemble of Edmonton; and appearances at MontréalNewMusic Festival and Wigmore Hall with tenor Christoph Prégardien.
For more details please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Petric.
Joseph’s Faves: Bernstein conducting from the piano, Mozart’s Piano Concert 453 G major, Stevie Ray Vaughn Texas Flood, Joan Osborne with the Funk Brothers and Leonard Berstein – Vienna conducting Mozart’s Dies Irae.