Sonic Boom Music Festival

March 22-25, 2018

Thursday, March 22 & Friday, March 23: Mixed Ensemble concerts


Saturday, March 24: Michael Park & Mixed Ensembles in concert

Sunday, March 25: The Nu:BC Collective in concert

Sunday, March 25: Masterclass with Owen Underhill


Individual concert tickets: $20 (general), $15 (students/seniors/artists)

Festival Pass to all 4 concerts: $50


Presented by Vancouver ProMusica, the Sonic Boom Music Festival is an exciting multi-day celebration of contemporary classical (new) music by BC composers. Now in its 31st year, the festival presents four evenings of inspired concerts along with a Student Composer Master Class. The festival spotlights a BC Composer in Residence, a Featured Artist and an Ensemble in Residence along with a talented mix of ensembles of one to four players performing dozens of new works by emerging and established West Coast composers. This year’s concerts will be presented in the acoustic excellence of Pyatt Hall and the Orpheum Annex

Sonic Boom’s 2018 featured Artist is renowned pianist Michael Park, the Composer in Residence is the preeminent composer and conductor Owen Underhill, and the Ensemble in Residence is the critically acclaimed The Nu:BC Collective. Biographical information on each of these virtuoso artists and group can be found below.

The festival schedule is as follows:

Thursday March 22: Mixed Ensemble concerts, Pyatt Hall, 7:30pm

The  Festival kicks off with a concert featuring a wide variety of music for ensembles comprised of one to four players performing on a range of instruments: from trombone to tárogató. The evening is an exciting showcase of some of our finest musicians performing music from BC’s most talented composers. Some composers featured include Cindy Gong, Rafael Brisebois, Qinglin Bruce Bai, Zhimin Yu, Craig Day, and others. Their music will be performed by Corey Hamm (piano), Jason Hall (tárogató), Lan Tun (erhu), and Nicole Li (gaochu), baritone voices, and others. For the full evening program of composers, musicians and repertoire, click HERE.


Friday, March 23: Mixed Ensemble concerts, Pyatt Hall, 7:30pm

Sonic Boom continues with a second extraordinary night of mixed ensembles. Composers featured include Jeremy O’Neill, Nadia Schibli, Brian Fremlin, Howard Dai, Cheryl Olvera, and Erica Regegr, among others. Musicians include AK Coope (clarinet), Katie Rife (percussion), Adrian Pang (cello) and Mark McGregor (flute). For the full evening program of composers, musicians and repertoire, click HERE.


Saturday, March 24: Featured Artist Michael Park is joined by Mixed Ensembles in concert, Pyatt Hall, 7:30pm

Renowned pianist Michael Park performs in the first half of the festival’s third concert. He plays works by acclaimed composers Róisín Adams, Angelique Po, Kristy Farkas, Nolan Krell and Goushi H.K. Yonekura. After the intermission, eclectic mixed ensembles of one to four players take the stage, performing on a range of instruments from harp and voice to percussion, pipa and erhu. For the full evening program of composers, musicians and repertoire, click HERE


Sunday, March 25: Ensemble in Residence The Nu:BC Collective in concert, Orpheum Annex, 7:30pm

Flutist Paolo Bortolussi, cellist Eric Wilson and pianist Corey Hamm are joined for the 2018 Sonic Boom Festival by David Gillham (violin), Tawnya Popoff (viola), Mark Beaty (bass), and Liam Hockley (clarinet). o ignored

This celebrated gathering will perform a range of works from their vast repertoire of commissioned and other works in a special evening of music



Sunday, March 25: Student Composers master class with Composer in Residence, Owen Underhill at the Martha Lou Henley classroom (VSO School of Music)


For ticket and detailed festival information, go to:





Composer-in-Residence: OWEN

Owen Underhill is a Vancouver-based composer, conductor, artistic director and faculty member at Simon Fraser University.

As a composer, Underhill writes for diverse combinations including orchestra, voice and choir, a wide variety of chamber music, and music for dance. His music has many different expressions and has been described as dense and interesting, colourful, lyrical in inspiration, exuberant and witty, subtle, and thoughtful. His compositions are on several recordings, and his Canzone di Petra received the Outstanding Classical Composition award at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards.

As a conductor, Underhill is a member, and current Artistic Director, of the Turning Point Ensemble, one of Canada’s most distinctive and accomplished large-size chamber ensembles. Underhill has been especially active in contemporary music and music of the early twentieth century and has conducted over 250 premieres by Canadian and international composers.  With Turning Point Ensemble, he has recorded six discs including Thirst, nominated for Best Classical Recording at the 2016 Western Canadian Music Awards

In 2017, the B.C. Region of the Canadian Music Centre presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary contributions to Canadian music.


Ensemble-in-Residence: The Nu: BC COLLECTIVE

The Nu: BC Collective encompasses the talents of flutist Paolo Bortolussi, cellist Eric Wilson and pianist Corey Hamm; joined for the 2018 Sonic Boom Festival by David Gillham (violin), Tawnya Popoff (viola), Mark Beaty (bass), and Liam Hockley (clarinet).

Nu:BC has performed over 35 critically acclaimed concerts across Canada, the US, and in Taiwan. They have commissioned and premiered dozens of works by outstanding Canadian composers Michael Oesterle, Keith Hamel, Dorothy Chang, Ana Sokolovic, Aaron Gervais, Gabriel Dharmoo, Edward Top, Brian Cherney,  and Chris Paul Harman, amongst others. Their programs have featured these works alongside works by influential international composers including Kaija Saariaho, Gerard Grisey, Shulamit Ran, Gyorgy Ligeti, Chen Yi, Frederic Rzewski, Jesper Nordin, Gyorgy Kurtag, Arvo Pärt, George Crumb, John Adams, Nikolai Kapustin, and Jacob ter Veldhuis.


Featured Artist: MICHAEL PARK

Michael Park is a pianist and composer with a keen interest in speech, humour, and improvisation. His aim is to give audiences an experience beyond the realm of traditional concert going

For more than a decade, Michael has collaborated with dancers, choreographers, and companies including Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Ballet BC. Taking inspiration from the movement style at hand, Michael has developed a fluency in improvisation that has been praised by dancers and teachers alike

Michael is a passionate champion of new music. He’s performed dozens a of B.C. premieres as resident pianist with Vancouver’s Erato Ensemble, and supported the creation of more than 70 world premieres as founder and co-director of Art Song Lab, an innovative program that teams composers, poets, and world-class performers.

Michael’s own compositions have been performed in Vancouver at the Queer Arts Festival, Music on Main, Songfire Festival of Song, the VSO’s Jean Coulthard Reading Session, and Sonic Boom Music Festival. His music has also been performed across North America, with notable premieres in Winnipeg, Boston, and New York.


Media Contact: Gwen Kallioi, 604-215-2345,

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