After rapidly presenting how symmetries play an interesting role in nature, art, and science, François Bergeron and Jurgen Petrenko of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony will explain and illustrate how Bach uses mathematical symmetries in writing the scores for his music. This will partly be done via an interplay between a pictoral description of the symmetries of the scores, and a live rendition on the harpsichord of the result for the audience.
François Bergeron has been a professor in the Department of Mathematics of the Université du Québec à Montréal since 1984. His research area lies at the intersection of algebra and combinatorics, and he is a founding member of the research center LACIM. He has published two books, and written 60 research papers. He has also been involved in many outreach activities, such as general public talks about various mathematical subjects, interviews on radio and television, and he has inspired his film-maker brother Jean to realize the documentary Achieving the Unachievable on a work of Escher in which mathematics plays a surprising role.
Jurgen Petrenko, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) is one of Waterloo Region’s largest arts and cultural organizations. They continue to push boundaries, build community, and welcome and cultivate world-class talent in the community. Today, the KWS is one of Canada’s outstanding orchestras, presenting a diverse and rich concert season and garnering national and international attention for its artistry, musicianship and innovative programming. Its education and outreach programs serve its evolving community and a continuum of ages. The KWS continues to be the largest employer of artists and cultural workers and the most significant cultural asset for Waterloo Region.
Born in Toronto, Jurgen Petrenko has Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Toronto, studying organ with Douglas Bodle and John Tuttle, and conducting with Victor Feldbrill. For almost 18 years he worked for CBC Radio Music, as producer of programs including Choral Concert, Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, the Opera Quiz, Critic’s Choice, Take Five, and most recently as executive producer of Music and Company. He has also presented over 400 weekly "Organ Thursday" features. He joins us for the Bridges Lecture Series playing the harpsichord.
Jurgen is the co-founder and artistic director of the 100-voice Toronto Classical Singers, and has conducted dozens of major choral/orchestral works. He has adjudicated for the University of Toronto, the Elora Festival Young Performers’ Competition, and the CBC Choral Competition, and teaches a seminar on oratorio performance for graduate voice majors at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He is also in demand as an organ accompanist, and has recorded a number of CDs with choirs conducted by Noel Edison. Jurgen can be heard weekly as the titular organist of St. John’s Anglican Church in Elora, Ontario, and served as accompanist for that choir’s 2005 residences in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and Canterbury Cathedral. Jurgen was the General Manager of the prestigious Elora Festival from 2008 until 2012.
St. Jerome's University
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Arts
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Mathematics
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Science