Other Version: Orchestra
The Oxford dictionary defines exuberance as “the quality of being full of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness; ebullience.” I was excited when conductor Brian Jackson approached me with the idea of a short virtuosic overture for orchestra. After discussing what he was envisioning, I realized the word “exuberance” reflected his ideas well and could be used as the title. The process of composing this upbeat composition was a particularly enjoyable experience for me.
Exuberance starts with an introductory flourish, followed by the main theme played by a solo oboe. This theme is passed through the orchestra, often partially, but occasionally as the full theme. The music slows, becomes more serene and introduces a new theme played by a solo clarinet. After this second theme is played by the full orchestra, a short clarinet cadenza transitions the music back to the original exuberant theme and music. A final coda section leads to a triumphant brass led ending.
Commissioning and First Performances
Exuberance for Orchestra was commissioned by conductor Brian Jackson in connection with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, the Thunder Bay Symphony, and the Victoria Symphony and was supported by a Toronto Arts Council Music Creators and Composers Grant. The first performances occurred on January 13, 2011 at the River Run Centre, Guelph, and January 14 and 15, 2011, at the Centre in The Square, Kitchener, performed by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Brian Jackson, conductor. This was followed by performances by Orchestra London on Feb. 4 and 6; the Victoria Symphony on April 7, 8, 9 and 11; and the Thunder Bay on April 16, 2011, all conducted by Brian Jackson.
On Tour in China with the Ontario Festival Orchestra
The Ontario Festival Orchestra, Jerome Summers conductor, performed Exuberance in Suzhou, Yancheng, the Changshu District, Nanjing, and Hangzhou, all in the area surrounding Shanghai, China. A highlight of the tour was the New Year’s Eve concert in the Yancheng Theatre, which was also broadcast on Chinese television to millions of people in China and beyond (including Canada). Mr. Royer had the privilege to be the guest of honour for the mayor of Yancheng, sitting next to him during the concert.