Magnificent Roots

2023 – for string orchestra – 7:30


World Premiere: Oct 21, 2023, George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto, Canada
Sinfonia Toronto

The modal finale was a good platform for the warm Sinfonia Toronto style. – Arthur Kaptainis, Ludwig van Toronto

Programme Notes

When Sinfonia Toronto’s Music Director, Nurhan Arman, approached me to compose a concert overture in celebration of their 25th anniversary season, I immediately thought about how it would be fitting to base the composition on something positive and triumphant in the history of this wonderful city I am happy to call my home. Toronto is blessed to have had many citizens who have made a positive impact on our world. But I also considered the wonderful flora and fauna of the city. I happened to come across a story about Toronto’s oldest tree, an approximately 250-year-old red oak which is located in the backyard of a house located at 76 Coral Gable Dr. This was beautiful fate that brought me to this tree as it happens to also be located in the North York section of the city, just as is one of the venues (the George Weston Recital Hall) that Sinfonia Toronto calls home.

Composing Magnificent Roots has prompted me to think about how celebrating remarkable nature is similar to celebrating amazing human achievement. After all, we are all living things in this city. Just as esteemed Torontonians have contributed so much to the lives of their fellow citizens, so does a tree like this Historic Red Oak, as it has provided sanctuary, protection, clean air, and heightened spirituality to those who has passed its way for centuries, despite being threatened by that very species it helped and nurtured. I feel we should pay homage and celebrate this tree’s achievements just as much as any humans who have graced this city, not only because of what it has contributed in the past, but all that it will contribute to our collective future.

It is an honour to use the composition of Magnificent Roots to also celebrate this special anniversary for a special and important Toronto cultural institution.

– Frank Horvat

Magnificent Roots Sections:
1. The Tree Grows
2. The Tree Towers Above All
3. The Tree Provides Peace and Sanctuary to Passers-By
4. The Tree Faces Hardships
5. The Tree Overcomes, Survives and Thrives.

Commissioned by Sinfonia Toronto with the financial support of the SOCAN Foundation and private patrons.

SOCAN Foundation