programming partners

Conceived by Continuum's Artistic Director Jennifer Waring, Shift has been programmed by some of Canada's top artistic voices, in collaboration with acclaimed Dutch institutions and ensembles.

Canadian Programming Partners

Continuum Contemporary Music LogoContinuum Contemporary Music presents the work of emerging Canadian composers alongside works by established national and international composers in its concert series, at festivals, on tour, over the air waves and through recordings. The Chalmers Award-winning group has generated interdisciplinary projects with celebrated Vancouver choreographer Conrad Alexandrowicz; Montreal video artist Ramona Ramlochand; and John Oswald. For l'Oreille Fine, Continuum combined new music and philosophy in concerts and a symposium wherein philosophers, poets and critics dealt with the subject of new music.

Formed in 1985, Continuum has a core ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion which is often varied and combined with electronics. The organization has commissioned and premiered over 100 new works from emerging and established Canadian composers; increasingly it commissions international composers. Continuum is active in developing new audiences, promoting art in the community, and developing the next generation of composers through public art projects, workshops across Canada and Europe, and through its Biennial International Call for Scores.

Continuum toured Canada in 1999 and Europe in 2003, and will be on tour again in the fall of 2008, with performances in Aberdeen, 's-Hertogenbosch, Amsterdam and Huddersfield. It has released two CD's on its own label, recorded one for Centrediscs and has two CD projects in the works.

Continuum is supported through grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the city of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council; the Metcalf Foundation's Strategic Initiatives programme; the SOCAN, Emerald and McLean foundations; by patrons Aurora Tewksbury Reford, Ann Southam and Christopher Des Brisay; by the accounting firm Newman & Sversky; and as well, through the generosity of many private donors.

For more information on Continuum please visit

Authors at Harbourfront Centre LogoThe world renowned Authors at Harbourfront Centre programme is home to a weekly reading series (September to June), the annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) (October) and, for younger readers, YoungIFOA (October), ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers (May) and Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (May).

Established in 1974, Authors at Harbourfront Centre's mandate is to present the world's most important and influential authors and distinctive new writers, Canadian and international, in a forum that celebrates books and writing. The programme provides Canadian authors with an internationally recognized platform on which to present their work, and fosters an awareness in its audiences of the variety and richness of writing from Canada and around the world. Since programming began, Authors at Harbourfront Centre has presented more than 5,000 authors, including 15 Nobel Laureates and countless other prize winners, on its stages.

In 1980, the fledgling IFOA became the first international literary festival in North America. At that time it presented 18 poets over 6 days. Twenty-nine years later, IFOA continues to grow. In 2008 the festival includes nearly 70 public events, featuring writers of fiction, non-fiction, travel writing, poetry, graphic novels, and books for younger readers in a series of readings, interviews, and panel discussions.

Annual special events include readings by the authors shortlisted for the three major Canadian fiction awards, the awarding of the $10,000 Harbourfront Festival Prize, and a gala benefit to support of PEN Canada.

For more information on Authors at Harbourfront Centre please visit

Images Festival LogoEstablished in 1987, the Images Festival is the largest festival in North America for experimental and independent moving image culture, showcasing the innovative edge of international contemporary media art both on and off the screen. From Super-8 and hand-tinted celluloid to the latest video art, Images has presented thousands of films and media based projects in our 21+ year history. Images is committed to an expanded concept of film and video practice: alongside film and video screenings, the festival presents groundbreaking live performances, media art installations in local galleries and new media projects by many renowned Canadian and international artists. We go out of our way and over the edge to provide Toronto with an annual extravaganza of image making. Attended by more than 30,000 people each year, Toronto’s 2nd oldest film festival is a critical forum for the independent media arts in Canada and around the world and provides artists with a supportive and professional forum in which to present their projects. Many influential media artists have been nurtured by Images' willingness to embrace new creative concepts and modes of expression in the media arts field.

The Images Festival exhibits and encourages the work of artists producing film and video outside of mainstream commercial production, distribution systems and aesthetic conventions. In addition to the international competition programs drawn from submissions to the festival, Images includes artists' retrospectives, national and regional cinema spotlights, publishing projects, touring programs and special guest-curated sections.

For more information on the Images Festival please visit

Dutch Programming Partners

ASKO|ShönbergSince September 1, 2008, the Asko and Schönberg Ensembles have been united as Asko|Schönberg: not an ensemble, not an orchestra, but a flexible group of musicians who appear in formations of any needed size to perform the 20th- and 21st-century music of established composers, such as György Ligeti, György Kurtág, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel and Louis Andriessen; emerging composers such as Michel van der Aa, Martijn Padding and Julian Anderson; and an even younger generation, whose compositions are still wet with ink. Asko|Schönberg performs its own Contemporaries series in the Concertgebouw and has also performed as part of Proms on the IJ (at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ) as a guest of the renowned Saturday Matinee concert series, in the Holland Festival, with the Netherlands Opera and the Nationale Reisopera, on special occasions such as hall openings and jubilees, and for a series of performances for families in coordination with (youth) theater companies. Asko|Schönberg is also involved in educational projects for 7-year-olds, composition projects for graduating secondary school students and collaborations with Conservatory composition departments. Asko|Schönberg recently began the György Ligeti Academy, an initiative for advanced conservatory students who want to gain expertise in contemporary repertoire. In collaboration with the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Asko|Schönberg will open a production house in which talented, young composers will get the opportunity to give a sample of what they can do; they are also collaborating with theater companies to develop a new form of music theater. This dedicated group of versatile musicians works with chief conductor Reinbert de Leeuw and guest conductors and soloists from the Netherlands and abroad.

For more information on Asko|Schönberg please visit

Ives EnsembleThe Ives Ensemble was founded in 1986 by the Dutch pianist John Snijders and consists of a steady pool of 14 musicians. The ensemble concentrates on performances of non-conducted 20th and 21st century chamber music, in which, ever since the founding of the ensemble, the music of Charles Ives, John Cage, Morton Feldman and Stefan Wolpe has been serving as its base. A variety of composers have written especially for the Ives Ensemble including John Cage, Aldo Clementi, Walter Zimmermann, Gerald Barry, James Rolfe, Allison Cameron, Richard Ayres, Michel van der Aa and Gerhard Stäbler; the ensemble has performed at international festivals such as the Gaudeamus Music Week, the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, the Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, the Biennale Zagreb, the Aterforum Festival Ferrara, Evenings of New Music (Bratislava), Klang-Aktionen '95 (München) and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and has presented programmes in Prague, Gütersloh, Köln, Essen, Berlin, Paris (IRCAM), Granada, Sevilla, Duisburg and Barcelona. The Ives Ensemble's major productions have included For Philip Guston by Morton Feldman (1993), a one-movement piece for flute, percussion and piano lasting 4 1/2 hours; the music theatre production Cahier du Soir by Luc Ferrari (1995); a Morton Feldman retrospective by the Ives Ensemble (1997) with the first Dutch spoken performance of Words and Music by Samuel Beckett/Morton Feldman; and John Cage, Pure Coincidence: a festival in Ten Thunderclaps (2003) during which 10 works by Cage were presented in three days on six different venues.

For more information on the Ives Ensemble please visit

Muziek Centrum NederlandMuziek Centrum Nederland (MCN) is the knowledge and promotion center for the Dutch professional music world. Its mission is to propagate and enhance the position of Dutch musical life, both nationally and internationally. MCN plays a coordinating and stimulating role within the national and international music arena by supporting, communicating and initiating activities. Home to many different partners active in the music sector, MCN forms a unifying factor in the chain of supply and demand. MCN directs activities related to its primary responsibilities – promoting (nationally and internationally) current trends in Dutch music and educating the public about Dutch music – and seeks to preserve the history of Dutch music by maintaining and expanding its contemporary, jazz, and pop archives. MCN also acts as a neutral umbrella organization with an overview of the music sector, dedicated to supporting and coordinating the wide variety of musical genres. MCN's Contemporary department promotes Dutch contemporary music – composers and their works, musicians and ensembles – nationally and internationally through performances and festival appearances at home and abroad. The department presents internationally acclaimed events including the International Gaudeamus Music Week, with its composition competition for young composers, and the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition, a competition for young musicians; MCN also co-produces events such as the International Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn, Shift, and Toonzetters, the seasonal opening, in cooperation with the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ and Buma Cultuur.

Muziekgebouw ann 't IJOn the 15th of June 2005 the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ opened its doors to the public in the presence of her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands during the Holland Festival. Within striking distance of the Central Station, this spectacular new building is Amsterdam's concert hall of the 21st century, with an exciting, contemporary programme which continually forges links with other eras, styles, cultures and art forms. The Muziekgebouw shows current musical developments in the form of festivals, thematic projects, multimedia concerts and special series. It provides Amsterdam with a fully-equipped medium-sized hall for a classical repertoire which is becoming increasingly broader and more varied. The Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ has its origins in Muziekcentrum De IJsbreker, which has been a leading international centre for contemporary music for 25 years. The Muziekgebouw has two halls: a large concert hall seating 725 (standing room for 1,500) and a small foyer hall seating 100. Special features of the large concert hall are its variable acoustics, flexible auditorium arrangement and very wide stage area. The Danish firm of architects, 3xNielsen, designed this striking building, which received 100% funding from the City of Amsterdam (with a construction budget € 59 million). The Bimhuis, a centre for jazz and improvised music, is situated next to the Muziekgebouw.

For more information on the Muziekgebouw please visit