Famous Last Words

The Strata Ensemble plays the music of 2024 Guest Composer Rodney Sharman
Thursday, June 13 2024, 7:30 PM
Remai Modern
Cost of Admission at Remai Modern (By Donation)

About this Concert

In partnership with Remai Modern, the 2024 Strata Festival of New Music is proud to present guest composer Rodney Sharman. Originally from Biggar and now living in Vancouver, Mr. Sharman is one of Canada’s most performed composers. His thought-provoking, delicate chamber music will be presented by Garry Gable and Chelsea Mahan accompanied by guitar, flute, toy piano, and acoustic piano at Remai Modern’s beautiful Riverview room. Included on the program is the work Famous Last Words, a musical setting of some of history’s most famous last words from Goethe, Gertrude Stein, and longtime University of Saskatchewan composition professor Murray Adaskin, among others. Experience and discover the music of this wonderful Canadian composer.

Rodney Sharman
Raven Chacon*

Naomi Piggott Suchan: Piano, Toy Piano
Garry Gable: Bass Baritone
Chelsea Mahan: Soprano
Joey Zhuang: Flute
Walter Hoffmeister: Guitar


Thursday, June 13 2024, 7:30 PM
Remai Modern
Remai Modern, Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Rodney Sharman



When composer Rodney Sharman was 21, he vowed to make a living in music and only music.

For over 40 years, he’s kept that promise.

Rodney grew up in Biggar, SK. He taught himself to play recorder, flute and oboe, and took clarinet lessons. He wrote his first piece for orchestra at 13 and began composition lessons with Murray Adaskin in Victoria at 15.

Since then he’s become an internationally celebrated composer, winning major prizes and commissions in Canada and abroad.

He’s been resident composer for the Vancouver Symphony, the Victoria Symphony and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, mentoring young composers and supporting the work of his contemporaries.

He’s closely collaborated with choreographer James Kudelka and film director Atom Egoyan and has a PhD from the State University of New York.

Rodney relishes that transcendental experience when the ego disappears and there’s nothing but the music to let him know what to do.”

Artist Website

Raven Chacon*


Note: Raven Chacon’s piece is part of a special pre-concert experience as you enter the Remai Modern

Raven Chacon is a composer, performer and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation. As a solo artist, Chacon has exhibited, performed, or had works performed at LACMA, The Renaissance Society, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, REDCAT, Vancouver Art Gallery, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Borealis Festival, SITE Santa Fe, Chaco Canyon, Ende Tymes Festival, and The Kennedy Center. As a member of Postcommodity from 2009-2018, he co-created artworks presented at the Whitney Biennial, documenta 14, Carnegie International 57, as well as the 2-mile long land art installation Repellent Fence.

A recording artist over the span of 22 years, Chacon has appeared on more than eighty releases on various national and international labels. In 2022, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition Voiceless Mass. His 2020 Manifest Destiny opera Sweet Land, co-composed with Du Yun, received critical acclaim from The LA Times, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, and was named 2021 Opera of the Year by the Music Critics Association of North America.

Since 2004, he has mentored over 300 high school Native composers in the writing of new string quartets for the Native American Composer Apprenticeship Project (NACAP). Chacon is the recipient of the United States Artists fellowship in Music, The Creative Capital award in Visual Arts, The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation artist fellowship, the American Academy’s Berlin Prize for Music Composition, the Bemis Center’s Ree Kaneko Award, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award (2022), the Pew Fellow-in-Residence (2022), and is a 2023 MacArthur Fellow.

His solo artworks are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and National Museum of the American Indian, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Research Institute, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, and various private collections.

Artist Website