Hard Rubber Orchestra

John Korsrud

 “Their blend of serious music and hot grooves makes them a powerhouse of intelligent entertainment”  
– Francois Couture, All Music Guide

Established in 1992, the Hard Rubber New Music Society (HRNMS) is a non-profit, charitable status organization with a mandate to educate the Canadian public on and introduce a wider audience to contemporary music and multi-media art. The purposes of the Society are:  to provide a non-profit environment for the performance, production and composition of music and other disciplines i) by the presentation of music, theatre and other events, including festivals; ii) by providing instruction in music and composition through workshops and classes and iii) by the creation of new works and the development of new performance techniques in music, theatre and other disciplines;  to acquire by purchase, lease, or otherwise obtain, equipment and other chattels necessary for the aforementioned activities;  to enhance the development of the arts and cultural heritage of British Columbia and Canada.

Formed in 1990 by John Korsrud, the 18-piece Hard Rubber Orchestra (HRO) has been one of Canada’s most active and unpredictable ensembles of creative music. HRO is one of the very few orchestras in the world that combine jazz, pop, and contemporary classical into new music repertoire. HRO has released three CDs, recorded numerous CBC broadcasts, toured to Europe in 2003 and across Canada several times, and received the 2005 Alcan Arts Award – the largest arts award in Canada for creation.  They have pushed the boundaries of the concert experience, creating several large multi-media shows such as The Ice Age ice shows (2010, 2000), the arts rave Drum & Light Festival (2010, 2009, 2008), The Elvis Cantata (1996, 1994), the Alcan awarded Enter/ Exit (2005). In 2005 they produced a special for CBC television called Cantata for the King. HRO’s latest recording Crush entered the earshot!  National Jazz Chart at #1.

Since 1992, more than 70 works have been commissioned, rehearsed and premiered by the Orchestra, including works by Kenny Wheeler, Darcy James Argue, Scott Good, Giorgio Magnanensi, David Dramm, Brad Turner, Paul Dolden, Ian McDougall, Howard Bashaw, Linda Bouchard, Bradshaw Pack, Keith Hamel, Giorgio Magnanensi, Scott Good, Peter Hannan, René Lussier, Michael Blake, Jean Derome, Paul Steenhuisen, Fred Stride, Cameron Wilson, Christine Jensen and Tony Wilson.

HRO has a long history of collaboration with dance companies (Marta Marta, Kokoro Dance, Tomorrow Collective), theatre companies (Radix), filmmakers (Brian Johnson, jamie griffiths, David Rimmer), pop artists (Veda Hille, Joe Keithley, Ford Pier), taiko groups and others.

International collaborations include the commissioning of Dutch-based composer David Dramm for The Ice Age in 2010 and the presentation of Dutch ensemble, Loos. In 2009, the Society presented a concert celebrating Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. The Orchestra, with Andriessen and guest artists from Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, performed the work of the Dutch composer alongside work by Bashaw and Korsrud. In 1998, HRNMS co-produced the Festival of Vancouver New Music, Improvised Music and Musique Actuelle, at three prestigious venues in Amsterdam – the BIMhuis, the Ijsbreker and the Stedelijk. The festival featured the Orchestra, Talking Pictures, Paul Plimley, François Houle and Paul Dolden.