At the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, at the unusual hour of 11 am, Alain Trudel gives his first performance as principal conductor of the CBC Radio Orchestra. The program, titled "The Concerto Project," features piano concertos by Mozart (No. 24), Mendelssohn (No. 2) and Ramona Luengen (a world premiere), each with a different soloist.
Trudel, a 40-year-old conductor and former trombone soloist, was named to his new post earlier this year, succeeding Mario Bernardi. He has an active guest-conducting career within Canada and abroad, notably in Tokyo and Hong Kong, and is active as a teacher of trombone and conducting. Last month he was appointed artistic director of the Orchestre symphonique de Laval (near Montreal), effective next season; he will be the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra's artistic advisor for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons; since 2004 he has been conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, a position from which he steps down in June 2008.
Founded in 1938 and sometimes known as the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the CBC Radio Orchestra has more than 30 recordings to its credit and appears regularly on CBC Radio One and Two and on the CBC television program Opening Night. Funded and operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the orchestra has a mandate "to make engaging musical radio programs, commission and perform works by Canadian composers, showcase Canadian performers and conductors, and discover and expose Canadian excellence." The orchestra's first chief conductor was John Avison, who retired in 1980; prior to Bernardi's term (1983-2006), the CBC Radio Orchestra was conducted for three years by John Eliot Gardiner.