“Their blend of serious music and hot grooves makes them a powerhouse of intelligent entertainment”
– Francois Couture, All Music Guide
Formed in 1990 by John Korsrud, the 18-piece Hard Rubber Orchestra has been one of Canada’s most active and unpredictable ensembles of creative music.
For over 30 years they have collaborated with an incredibly diverse spectrum of Canadian artists. HRO has released five CDs, recorded numerous CBC broadcasts, toured across Canada several times and to Europe, 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 Prize awarded Enter/ Exit (2005). In 2005, they produced Cantata for the King, a nationally-broadcast 60-minute commercial-free for CBC Television.
HRO is one of Canada’s leading ensembles for commissioning new work. They have commissioned over fifty new works by Canadian composers from both jazz and classical fields such as Kenny Wheeler, Darcy James Argue, Brad Turner, Peggy Lee, Christine Jensen, Harry Stafylakis, Scott Good, James O’Callaghan, Marianne Trudel, Hugh Fraser, Fred Stride, Phil Dwyer, Rene Lussier and Linda Bouchard.
Upcoming works include John Hollenbeck, Lisa Miller, Jill Townsend, and Brad Turner.
Their most recent CD, Iguana, (2022) is nominated for a JUNO for Best Instrumental Album. In 2018 they released Suite for Hard Rubber Orchestra by iconic trumpeter/ composer Kenny Wheeler. Commissioned by HRO in 2013 and premiered in 2014, this would be Wheeler's last large work and features his long time collaborator, Norma Winstone.