Hubert Klyne Headley Celebration

Friday, November 17, 2017 • 7:00pm

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Hubert Klyne HeadleyHubert Klyne Headley (1906-1995) enjoyed enviable success as a composer, conductor and educator in the United States before settling in Canada around 1960. He would spend most of the remainder of his long life here, composing, conducting, leading the choir at Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church, and teaching music in the Vancouver, Langley, and Sunshine Coast School Districts. Klyne also spent several years in the 1970s establishing the music program at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario, and taught at Douglas College in New Westminster before his retirement.

This evening, we are thrilled to present three of Hubert Klyne Headley’s greatest chamber works. Together, they offer a fascinating insight into a searingly brilliant and largely unexplored musical mind. The program begins with a charming set of miniatures for oboe and piano, Vignettes for Ballet, inspired by ancient Chinese poetry.

The ebullient, neo-classical Septet for Woodwinds and Strings, last heard in Vancouver in 1962, is made up of themes drawn from Klyne’s mostly unperformed magnum opus, the choral symphony Prelude to Man.

Klyne’s dark-hued, solemn, almost Brahmsian Quintet for Clarinet, Strings and Piano is the most substantial work on the program. As far as is known, the piece has not been heard since its first performance in 1957.

It is not often that one has the opportunity to experience for the first time such extraordinary compositions. We hope you enjoy the concert as much as we have enjoyed rediscovering Hubert Klyne Headley’s compelling story. And above all, we hope that this concert is a first step towards Klyne’s music becoming more widely known and appreciated.


Vignettes for Ballet
(Canadian Premiere)

I. The Pool
II. Puppets
III. Cups of Jade
IV. The Spring Wind

Roger Cole, oboe; Corey Hamm, piano

Septet for Woodwinds and Strings

I. Adagio – Andante
II. Allegro non troppo
III. Adagio – Andante
IV. Risoluto

Mark McGregor, flute; Roger Cole, oboe; Liam Hockley, clarinet; Sophie Dansereau, bassoon; Joan Blackman, violin; Tegen Davidge, viola; Stefan Hintersteininger, cello

Two Archival Recordings:

from Along the Wind

A Song Cycle in Six Parts for Tenor and Piano
Poetry by Chard Powers Smith • Music by Hubert Klyne Headley
V. The Poem That Tears Can Write
recorded c.1953

Carl Zytowski, tenor; Desmond Kincaid, piano

Improvisation in C Major

Hubert Klyne Headley, piano
recording date unknown

Quintet for Clarinet, Strings, and Piano
(Canadian Premiere)

I. Passacaglia
II. Five Rhythms

Liam Hockley, clarinet; Joan Blackman, violin; Tegen Davidge, viola; Stefan Hintersteininger, cello; Corey Hamm, piano

Program Notes

Vignettes for Ballet

Composed 1950 in Santa Barbara, CA.
Duration: 13:00

According to the composer’s notes, Hubert Klyne Headley’s Vignettes for Ballet “are based upon four ancient Chinese poems composed between the second and the thirteenth centuries, and attempt to express in music the whimsy, humour, emotion, and philosophy of the delightful Chinese poems.”

The Vignettes for Ballet is one of Headley’s most light-hearted and popular works, having received several documented performances throughout the years (although the date and location of the premiere is uncertain). The work seems to have existed in some form as early as 1947, when it was reported to have been performed by the composer in one of his many solo piano recitals.

Septet for Woodwinds and Strings

Composed 1952/53 in Santa Barbara, CA.
Duration: 22:00

Hubert Klyne Headley’s Septet for Woodwinds and Strings was composed during what was evidently a blaze of inspiration between December 29th, 1952 and January 17th, 1953. According to dates on the composer’s manuscript pencil score (a fair copy does not survive, if one was ever made), the individual movements were apparently written very quickly, each within only two or three days.

The performance parts contain numerous small changes and improvements, also in pencil, no doubt made by the composer himself during rehearsals. An excellent recording made at the time shows how these changes, mostly small improvements to articulation and phrasing, but also including minor amendments to orchestration, were incorporated in the rehearsal process.

The Septet received its first performance on April 19th, 1953, at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, as part of a series of local concerts Headley had organized during his tenure at UC Santa Barbara. The program on this occasion was almost entirely dedicated to Headley’s music, and featured no fewer than six of his works, save for two selections by Maurice Ravel, to whom the ten-year-old composer had apparently once been introduced.

Performing the Septet was an all-star ensemble made up of some of the finest American and European orchestral and chamber players of the day, including Arthur Gleghorn, flute; Joseph Rizzo, oboe; Edmund Chassman, clarinet; Charles Gould, bassoon; Joachim Chassman, violin; Zoltan Kurthy, viola; and Michel Penha, cello.

According to Headley’s meticulously-kept scrapbooks, a second performance was given on February 2nd, 1962, by the Vancouver Virtuosi (an ensemble consisting mainly of leading Vancouver Symphony players) at the Vancouver Public Library Auditorium, in a series coordinated by the Vancouver Chamber Music Society.

Of the Septet’s musical material, Headley writes that “this small chamber work is a ‘keyhole impression’ of a four-volume Symphonic Cycle Prelude to Man built around a great tome by Chard Powers Smith. Here is presented in verse the pageant of the modern story of Genesis.” Chard Powers Smith (1894-1977), a New England poet and writer, is not very well-known today, but his work was the source of tremendous inspiration to Hubert Klyne Headley, and the creative spark for some of his very finest music. Besides Prelude to Man (which is in essence Headley’s second symphony), he also set a selection of poems from Smith’s collection Along the Wind into a thrilling song-cycle of the same title for tenor and piano.

Quintet for Clarinet, Strings and Piano 

Composed 1957 in Seattle, WA.
Duration: 27:00

Hubert Klyne Headley’s largest and most ambitious chamber work, the Quintet for Clarinet, Strings and Piano, received its first (and only known) performance on May 15th, 1957, as the finale of a six-concert chamber music series held by Seattle’s Cornish School of the Allied Arts (where Klyne was on faculty for a time) that year. The program on this date also included works by Beethoven (the String Trio, op. 9 no. 1) and Chausson (Poème). The Quintet was dedicated to Olive Kerry, heiress to a Washington State lumber empire, and an important early benefactor of the Cornish School.

The ensemble on that occasion was made up of notable musicians from the Seattle area, including both Cornish faculty and Seattle Symphony members: Helen Louise Oles, piano; Ronald Phillips, clarinet; Byrd Elliot, violin; William Bailey, viola; and Phyllis King, cello. As with the Septet, a fine recording of that first performance has survived.

A dark-hued, solemn and intensely lyrical masterpiece, the piece is at times reminiscent of the late romanticism of Johannes Brahms, but also of Dmitri Shostakovich, who shares Headley’s birth year, and whose own Piano Quintet had appeared several years earlier in 1940. Given certain similarities in the mood and in the ensemble writing, one cannot help but wonder if Headley had somehow encountered Shostakovich’s Quintet prior to composing his own. It is possible; at least two American commercial recordings of that work already existed by the early 1950s.

Headley’s autograph score of the Quintet, if it survives at all, was not included in the substantial collection that was donated to the Canadian Music Centre’s Vancouver library in 2016. The instrumental parts, including the performers’ annotations and amendments from the Seattle performance, are the only sources that apparently remain. For the present performance, the score was reconstructed from these parts, with a significant effort made towards correcting numerous inconsistencies in articulations and dynamic markings.

Along the Wind

A Song Cycle in Six Parts for Tenor and Piano
Poems by Chard Powers Smith • Music by Hubert Klyne Headley
Composed c.1952 in Santa Barbara, CA.
Total duration: 21:00


The poem that tears can write is only this:
She was my love, and thirty, and she died.
Yet if she has no meaning left beside
My grief, what mockery desiring is!
And hope that mirrors through the blemishes
Of fact and sense a light they can not hide,
And wind and waves — great things unsatisfied —
Are seashells singing false eternities.

Out of the cold and dark the old void longed
The stars to being, and the cooling earth
Yearned hill and flower and soul and song to birth.
The will created and shall not be wronged.
My love whose love transcended man’s desires
Lives on to tempering in nobler fires.

— Chard Powers Smith; from Along the Wind, Yale University Press, 1925

All program notes by Stefan Hintersteininger (Vancouver, BC, 2016/17) unless otherwise indicated


Joan Blackman, Violin

Joan Blackman, former Associate Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony, enjoys a vibrant and varied musical life. She has performed and recorded as soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, CBC Radio Orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble and the Banff Festival Orchestra, and has played chamber music with premier groups such as the Penderecki String Quartet and the Purcell String Quartet. She has performed chamber music on Music in the Morning, Music Fest Vancouver , the Pender Harbour Music Society Concert Series, various concert series throughout BC, The Jeffrey Concerts in London, Ont., and the American String Project, which brings together concertmasters and soloists throughout North America. Joan has appeared at numerous summer festivals including the Hornby Island Festival, the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival, and the Victoria Summer Music Festival. Ms. Blackman is also the Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Vetta Chamber Music Society, a longstanding and well respected Vancouver series that celebrates its 30th anniversary this season.

Joan is also an active teacher. Though she has a small private class, many of her students have gone on to be professional musicians. She has also taught at the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen College, the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, Vancouver Academy of Music, and the VSO School of Music. Joan adjudicates at festivals throughout BC.

Roger Cole, Oboe

Roger Cole was appointed Principal Oboist of the Vancouver Symphony by Maestro Kazuyoshi Akiyama in 1976. At age 22 he was the youngest principal player of the VSO. Today he is the oldest principal player. From 1976-2008 he was also the principal oboist of the CBC Radio Orchestra. Mr. Cole received his early musical training in Seattle, Washington and went on to become a scholarship student at Yale University and The Juilliard School where he studied with the renowned American oboist, Robert Bloom. Mr. Cole has participated in the summer music festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, and Marlboro. He has recently taught, conducted and performed at the Marrowstone Music Festival (Bellingham, Wa.) and the PRISMA Music Festival (Powell River, BC).

He performs regularly in solo and chamber music recitals and has appeared as soloist with the VSO and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra many times. He has recorded a CD for CBC Records with his VSO colleague, pianist Linda Lee Thomas entitled “The Expressive Oboe”. Mr. Cole teaches at the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Academy of Music and the VSO School of Music He has given master class across N. America and in Asia. He also has an active oboe studio at his home in N. Vancouver. In June 2003 Mr. Cole was named Music Director and Senior Orchestra Conductor of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra. Under his guidance the VYSO has flourished and is considered one of the finest Youth Orchestras in Canada. The VYSO has performed many times along side the VSO under Maestro Bramwell Tovey. From 1998-2012 he was the principal oboist of the Carmel Bach Festival in California.

Sophie Dansereau, Bassoon

Born in Sorel-Tracy, Sophie Dansereau obtained the “Prix avec Grande Distinction à l’unanimité” in bassoon and chamber music from the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec as well as a Masters of Music from Yale University. Her main teachers are Richard Gagnon, Frank Morelli, Christopher Millard and Stéphane Lévesque.

Contrabassoonist and assistant principal bassoonist of the Vancouver Symphony and principal bassoonist of the CBC Radio Orchestra, Sophie has performed with the Auckland Philharmonic (New Zealand), the New World Symphony, the National Art Centre and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, as well as several major music festivals around the world. She has worked on several occasions with the finest conductors, such as Bramwell Tovey, Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Pinchas Zukerman, Alain Trudel, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Charles Dutoit. Sophie has been awarded many prizes in major national and international competitions and was featured as a soloist on many occasions with the APO and the VSO. A sought after bassoonist in chamber music, she is a member of the Admare Quintet. Sophie, who had received the Governor General Medal for Academic Merit in 1992, has also served on the faculty of the University of British Colombia. She is now teaching at the Vancouver Academy of Music and is the instructor for the woodwind section.

Tegen Davidge, Viola

Called “classical music’s secret weapon”, Tegen Davidge is a musician who, both on and off the stage, strives to awaken a renewed passion for the arts. She currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she is a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has performed solo and chamber music in renowned venues throughout Canada, the United States, China, and Europe. This has included solo performances with the Shanghai Opera Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) Orchestra, and the Medicine Hat College Academy Orchestra. She was recognized as the best viola performer both at the 2006 Kingsville and 2010 Corpus Christi Competitions, as well as the winner of the String Category Prize at the 2008 Canadian National Music Festival. She has performed with esteemed artists such as Roger Tapping, Jeffrey Irvine, Paul Kantor, Melissa Kraut, Seth Knopp, Michael Kannen, Maria Lambros, Bonnie Hampton, Violaine Melancon, Nathasha Brofsky, Katherine Murdock, Nicholas Mann, and Peter Frankl.

​Tegen is an artist who strives to promote positive change within society. She spent the summer of 2013 volunteering as an intern with Sistema Scotland, a program that aims to rebuild communities by teaching children teamwork and discipline through the study of orchestral music. From September 2012 until May 2014, she was a faculty member at Opportunity Music Project, a non-profit organization that gives free music lessons to New York City children from low economic backgrounds. In the October of 2013, Tegen spearheaded the “Price of Life NYC” movement at the Juilliard School, which aimed to raise awareness about human trafficking and educate students about how they can use their art to fight for justice. This movement culminated in her initiation of the “Behind Closed Doors” concert series, a fundraising concert to benefit International Justice Mission, in which 17 Juilliard artists and alumni participated. Tegen began studying the violin at the age of seven, before taking up the viola at age 14. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and recently graduated with her Masters’ degree from the Juilliard School. Her major teachers have included Michael van der Sloot, Jeffrey Irvine, Hsin-Yun Huang, and Heidi Castleman.

Corey Hamm, Piano

Pianist Corey Hamm is establishing a unique musical profile performing widely in North America and in Asia as both a soloist and as a chamber musician. His CD of Frederic Rzewski’s hour-long solo piano epic The People United Will Never Be Defeated! won Spotify’s Best Classical Recording 2014, and Best Classical Recording at the 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards. Further recording plans include the complete works for piano by Henri Dutilleux, and a CD of solo works written for him by Canadian composers. Corey Hamm has commissioned, premiered and recorded over 200 works by composers from all over the world. His most extensive collection of commissioned works includes over 60 pieces for PEP (Piano and Erhu Project). Some of these works are already released on two volumes of PEP CDs with two more to come in 2017 and 2018.

He has also commissioned dozens of works for The Nu:BC Collective and for Hammerhead Consort. As a founding member of Hammerhead Consort, he received the 1993 Sir Ernest Macmillan Memorial Foundation Chamber Music Award, and was winner of the 1992 National Chamber Music Competition. In recent years, Corey Hamm has, recorded and toured one of the great piano works of the last decades, Frederic Rzewski’s monumental The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (Redshift TK431). He is planning further concerts of this masterpiece, notably for Rzewski’s 80th birthday in 2018. Dr. Hamm is an award-winning Associate Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He is on the Piano Faculty of the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) at NEC in Boston. His beloved teachers include Lydia Artymiw, Marek Jablonski, Stéphane Lemelin, Ernesto Lejano, and Thelma Johannes O’Neill.

Stefan Hintersteininger, Cello

Stefan Hintersteininger is a Vancouver-based cellist, librarian, educator, composer and arranger, equally at home in a vast range of different musical styles. Stefan is a regular extra player with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and a member of Erato Ensemble, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, and a founding member of Vancouver’s cutting-edge improvising new music sextet, Ethos Collective. A new music specialist, Stefan has worked extensively with Vancouver New Music, Turning Point Ensemble and City Opera Vancouver, as well as in commercial recording studios and as guest principal cellist with the Vancouver Island and Prince George Symphonies. Stefan is increasingly becoming known as a composer, having written works for many of Vancouver’s foremost ensembles. His Concerto for Soprano Saxophone received its world premiere performances in June, 2017, with soloist Julia Nolan and the West Coast Symphony Orchestra. Further performances are planned for the WCSO’s 2018 Balkan tour.

Stefan Hintersteininger studied cello at Western Washington University with Dr. John Friesen, at the University of British Columbia with Eric Wilson, and undertook graduate studies at DePaul University in Chicago with CSO member Katinka Kleijn. As an educator, he joined the cello faculty of the Vancouver Academy of Music in 2015. Having also completed a Master’s Degree in Library Studies at UBC in 2009, Stefan presently holds the position of BC Head Librarian at the Canadian Music Centre in Vancouver.

Liam Hockley, Clarinet

Canadian clarinetist Liam Hockley is a versatile musician, equally at home in the standard classical canon as in new music, jazz, and improvisation. He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in clarinet performance at the University of British Columbia and maintains an active freelance schedule in Vancouver. In addition to the classical canon, Hockley’s repertoire encompasses major works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and his advocacy for new repertoire leads him to regular collaborations with Canadian and international composers on innovative new works. Hockley has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards including an interpretation prize at the Stockhausen-Konzert und -Kurse Kürten in 2015. Hockley holds a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, and received his Bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Victoria. His teachers have included François Houle, Cris Inguanti, Patricia Kostek, Earl Thomas, and Christian Gossart.

Mark McGregor, Flute

Mark McGregor, DMA, is presently the principal flute of Victoria’s Aventa Ensemble, the Ottawa-based Ensemble 1534, and a founding member of Vancouver’s Tiresias Duo with pianist Rachel Iwaasa. Dr. McGregor has also performed as a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and as guest principal flute of the Victoria Symphony and Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across North America, Europe, Australia, and Israel, with notable appearances at Festival Montréal-Nouvelles Musique, Music Gallery (Toronto), Vancouver New Music Festival, New Works Calgary, Athelas New Music Festival (Copenhagen), and the Internationale A•DEvantgarde-Festival (Munich).

An outspoken advocate of new music, Mark has given the premiere performances of numerous works, many written especially for him, including Anna Höstman’s flute concerto Trace the Gold Sun with the Victoria Symphony, Turmalin for solo flute by the Danish composer Anders Nordentoft, and two new works, Mercy & Mankind and Sesto Libro di Gesualdo, by the acclaimed British composer Michael Finnissy. In 2010/11 he presented new flute concertos with the Aventa Ensemble by Piotr Grella-Mozejko (for Aventa’s national tour to Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton) and James Beckwith Maxwell. A dedicated educator, Dr. McGregor has served on faculty at the UBC Summer Music Institute and the Western Canadian Amateur Musicians Society Summer Camp, and as an instructor of Baroque Performance Practice at the University of British Columbia. His own tuition includes studies with Samuel Baron, Denis Bluteau, Camille Churchfield, Margaret Crawford, Paul M. Douglas, Aurele Nicolet, and Kathleen Rudolph, as well as Baroque studies with Lisa Beznosiuk, Sonja Boon, and Wilbert Hazelzet. He holds a Concours de Musique from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, a Master of Music degree from the University of Sydney (Australia), and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of British Columbia.