Browsing: Quebec Music

On the first anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s death, November 7, 2017, Montreal’s Musée d’art contemporain (MAC) opened a vast exposition devoted to Cohen, his work, and his work as interpreted by other artists. This expo, despite its occasional weaknesses, is certain to become the largest and most successful show in the museum’s 53-year history. It displays such a richness of Your Man to make it moving and deeply satisfying. Cohen, or rather Leonard, to use the affectionate case, spoke to a worldwide audience and was beloved on all continents, as few Montrealers have ever done. In his final years, reflecting…

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Eva Gauthier spent the summers of 1922 and 1923 in Europe, studying voice with Anna Schoen-René in Berlin, renewing her acquaintance with composers and colleagues in Paris and London, and replenishing her library with new scores. When she prepared her annual New York recital for the fall of 1923, she chose an eclectic program which not only ran the gamut of styles from Purcell and Bellini to Schoenberg and Milhaud (with several first performances included), but also featured the first appearance of popular American songs in a recital program. To accompany her in this last group she engaged the 25-year-old…

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Lucas Debargue, the enigmatic pianist whose career took off after he was placed fourth at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, performs in Quebec for the first time in two highly-anticipated concerts. The young pianist appears on December 4 at Quebec City’s Palais Montcalm and on December 9 at Montreal’s Place des Arts. Who is he? Lucas Debargue is a French pianist who has had an unusual career. In 2006, at age 16, he quit formal studies, preferring improvisation and sight-reading. In 2008 he entered Paris Diderot University to study literature. This “break” certainly influenced his playing, but he admits…

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In 1998, Theodora Stathopoulos founded the Symphony Orchestra of Montreal’s FACE School (Fine Arts Core Education). The purpose was to train young musicians via newly-minted teachers, high-level amateurs and talented students. Stathopoulos is proud to see that twenty years of sustained effort have resulted in a string section (over 70 violins, violas, cellos and double basses) composed entirely of FACE students, some as young as ten. What’s more, this season’s concertmaster is only 13! That’s the youngest in the history of the orchestra, which when it started out only had a few FACE students among its players. The creation of…

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Inaugurated in the 1960s by the congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus and of Mary, the Claude-Champagne Hall is one of Montreal’s most iconic concert venues. Some of the largest music ensembles of the city have performed in this hall, marking several generations of music. Radio-Canada also occupied the premises until the mid-1970s and in those years they recorded its Grand Concerts. Today affiliated with the University of Montreal, the Claude-Champagne Hall continues to host many classical orchestras attracted by the authenticity and acoustic quality of the venue. The hall has also become the main venue…

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Montréal, Septembre 20, 2017 – Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) begins its Homage Series with six concerts plus three “special” events focussing on José Evangelista, a composer on a remarkable path. Evangelista has marked the recent evolution of music through a singular and coherent creative approach, with a greater openness to the world.  Since 2007, alternating with the the Montreal New Music festival, the Homage Series allows for the discovery the body of work of a notable Canadian composer, with the cooperation of the cultural and educational milieu who are invited to include their works in their respective…

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Orchestre symphonique de Montréal The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) will start its season with Mahler’s Symphony no. 8, “Symphony of the Thousand,” a large-scale work gathering more than 350 instrumentalists and singers on stage (September 19 & 21). In addition, Russian music will hold a special place during the fall. Russian-born conductor Vasily Petrenko will present an all-Russian music concert in October (October 11, 14, and 15), and pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin will complete the evenings with a concerto by Prokofiev. On November 11, the St. Petersburg Mariinksy Orchestra will present a concert in Montreal under the baton of renowned…

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By now you’ve probably heard the story of André Mathieu (1929–68). A child prodigy hailed as Canada’s Mozart, Mathieu lived a tragic life and died in obscurity. It was not until the twenty-first century that many were able to experience his music, due in no small part to the tireless work of Québécois pianist-composer Alain Lefèvre. Now, in time for the 75th anniversary of the work, Lefèvre is releasing a new recording of the Piano Concerto No. 3, known commonly as the “Concerto de Québec.” The Concerto de Québec — which Lefèvre recorded himself in 2003 with Yoav Talmi and…

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Once again, the contemporary music scene in Montreal promises a season full of concerts and new music experiences. Whether as sophisticated regulars of contemporary music, fans of instrumental or mixed music, or even intrigued by the exploding scene of digital music and sound installations, Montreal’s artistic community will fulfill your desires as cosmopolitan music lovers. Here is an overview of several events to schedule on your calendar. La Société de musique contemporaine du Québec For its 52nd season, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) [Quebec Contemporary Music Society] presents a colourful program with diverse influences. This year, the…

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Jean-Philippe Sylvestre, piano; Orchestre Métropolitain; Alain Trudel, conductor ATMA Classique ACD22763, 54 min 32 s. Quebec child prodigy André Mathieu is paired with Russian giant of the piano repertoire Rachmaninov in this live recording made during the 2017 Festival Classica. There have always been comparisons between the two composers, but with the scattering of blues harmonies amid the late-Romantic language in the Concerto de Québec, you can hear the relationship between Mathieu and Gershwin as well. Mathieu had a great amount of raw talent, but was unable to refine his style; this much is made clear by the juxtaposition on…

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