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Strongman comes to the Sault

By David Helwig
SooToday.com
Thursday, February 26, 2004

The Algoma Arts Festival has a new artistic director.

He's eminent music director Wayne Strongman and he'll be replacing Nicholas Goldschmidt, who died earlier this month.

The following statement was issued by the Algoma Arts Festival:

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Algoma Arts Festival Association names artistic director

February 25, 2004 - The Algoma Arts Festival Association, presenters of the Algoma Fall Festival formally announced the successor to impresario Nicholas Goldschmidt at their annual general meeting held at Algoma’s Water Tower Inn, Wednesday, Feburary 25, 2004.

AAFA President, Karen Montgomery-Jones introduced Wayne Strongman to members attending the AGM stating "The Association is indeed fortunate to have Wayne Strongman come to Sault Ste. Marie as our new Artistic Director.

"We are looking forward to a strong, positive working relationship with Mr. Strongman in order to refocus and reposition the festival within the community."

Mr. Strongman assumes the duties of Artistic Director for the Algoma Fall Festival, a position held by the late Dr. Goldschmidt since the festival’s inception.

One of Canada's most distinguished music directors, Mr. Strongman is a champion of Canadian writers and composers.

As founding Artistic Director of Tapestry New Opera Works in Toronto, now in its 25th season, he has commissioned and premiered over 20 new Canadian operas, including the award winning Nigredo Hotel, Elsewhereless, Iron Road, and Facing South.

He was also founding Artistic Director of the Quinte Summer Music Festival and the Bach-Elgar Choral Society in Hamilton.

Mr. Strongman’s commitment to a new practice within the operatic art form has made him a mentor to many Canadian singers.

A noted choral specialist, he has also conducted and commissioned numerous Canadian premiers for CBC.

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto; member of the Ontario Regional Council of the Canadian Music Centre; Conductor/Lecturer at McMaster University, Hamilton; the list of Mr. Strongman’s accomplishments takes pages to outline.

A detailed list of his commissioned works is available through the AAFA office.

Mr. Strongman has indicated his desire to expand the AAFA's education program, encompassing over 8,000 local students, initiated by Dr. Goldschmidt.

Nancy Aronson head of the education program for AAFA said "Wayne shares my vision of the importance of the education aspect of the Fall Festival. We have presented programs to over 250,000 students since the Festival’s inception."

Honored to succeed his friend and mentor 'Niki' as Artistic Director of the Algoma Fall Festival Mr. Strongman stated "It is a great privilege to be invited to lead one of Canada’s most outstanding Festivals. I am looking forward to working with all of the community’s cultural leaders and to programming a Festival of international caliber and excellence."

He further stated his intent to match his success in establishing Rosedale Concerts as one of the most eclectic performance venues in Toronto.

In Sault Ste. Marie to meet the new AAFA board of directors, community leaders, and promote the upcoming Fall Festival fundraiser Rita Chiarelli Blues Concert, Friday, March 12, Wayne Strongman is available for media interviews Thursday, February 26, and Friday, February 27.

Please contact the Algoma Arts Festival Association office at 949-0822; fax 949-4070; algomafallfestival@on.albn.com

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