Browsing: Classical

Zhan Hong Xiao On Radio-Canada’s Virtuose By Olivier Gentil  “For me, music is the highest form of communication, the highest form of language.” This 17-year-old piano prodigy came to Quebec’s attention when he appeared on Radio-Canada’s Virtuose, broadcast last spring and hosted by Gregory Charles. At the end of the show he played the fourth movement of the Piano Concerto in E flat by Liszt. “I only entered by chance, because my prof told me about it,” he recalls. “I was surprised to be selected!” And he doesn’t regret it in the least. “There was nothing to worry about, it…

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“FEAST OF VOICES” Beethoven-Bruckner: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor Op. 13 “Pathétique” (lst movement) Vaughan Williams: Flos Campi Mahler-Britten: Symphony No. 3 (2nd movement) Bruckner: Te Deum Bruce Williams, viola Julia Taylor, soprano Claudia Chapa, mezzo-soprano Brian Yeakley, tenor Charles Evans, baritone Chorus Austin (Ryan Heller, director) Austin Symphony/Peter Bay Long Center for the Performing Arts Austin, TX October 7, 2017 In his opening remarks, conductor Peter Bay informed the audience that they were about to hear only the second performance ever of Anton Bruckner’s orchestration of the first movement of Beethoven’s “Pathétique” Sonata, making this a U.S.…

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Noa Wildschut, Mozart Yoram Ish-Hurwitz, Gordan Nikolić, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra Warner I’m about to break an iron rule and review a kid playing the violin. And, no, I haven’t given in to peer pressure, though there has been plenty of it from the London agency that signed her at 15, and the record label that followed up. The kid’s 16 now, old enough to take a bit of criticism and interesting enough to warrant adult consideration. Noa Wildschut first appeared on Dutch television at six years old and at the Concertgebouw a year later. The child of two string players…

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A Handel mash-up and an international co-production comprise AtG’s most expansive season to date TORONTO – Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) returns in its eighth season with BOUND, a pastiche workshop of new interpretations of Handel’s music, and a groundbreaking new production of Berlioz’s arrangement of Glück’s Orphée. AtG’s acclaimed #OperaPub nights return as a monthly fixture at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club, and the company collaborates with Canadian baroque-pop artist Kyrie Kristmanson at the Alliance Française in Toronto. In addition, AtG enters its second season as company-in-residence at the Canadian Opera Company (COC). This December, Artistic Director Joel Ivany and Music Director…

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PREVIEW: of the world premiere of Cerise Lim Jacobs’ new opera REV. 23 (music by Julian Wachner), at Boston’s John Hancock Hall – September 29 at 7:30 p.m.; September 30 at 7:30 p.m.; and October 1 at 3 p.m. Boston-based librettist and myth-maker Cerise Lim Jacobs has an imagination that literally knows no bounds, as amply demonstrated by her newest work, the opera REV. 23, which is set to premiere in Boston this weekend and take audiences on an adventure beyond the End-of-Days. Revving for Take-Off The title, REV. 23, is a shorthand formation designating a chapter of the Bible…

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When Pierre Boulez became music director of the New York Philharmonic in the 1970s, he refused to conduct Mozart, inserting Haydn instead. It did no good for Haydn. The Mozart lovers deserted in droves, while the cerebral types that Boulez hoped to attract were dismayed to find just as much frivolity in Papa Haydn as in the trivial Amadeus. Haydn’s reputation has taken years to recover. The instant appeal of this recording is that it contains not just two well-known Haydn concertos but three extra pieces that complement and contextualise them. The second benefit is that Steven Isserlis’s performance with…

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*Very limited seats remaining!* September 14, 2017, Montreal, QC – The MCO, under its Artistic Director Boris Brott, opens its 78th season with Revolution, an eclectic evening of music from the 60s and 70s, including Shostakovich, The Beatles, and Frank Zappa, in conjunction with the Montreal Museum of Fine Art’s boisterous current exhibition, “You Say You Want a Revolution.” The MCO performs a new work based on songs from the iconic Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, in newly-minted arrangements by François Vallières. Infamous Canadian fiddler Ashley Maclsaac will then join the MCO to transport the public into his eccentric sonorities.…

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Montréal, Tuesday, September 12, 2017 – The CMIM (Concours musical international de Montréal) is extremely pleased to announce that pianist and composer Alain Lefèvre will act as honorary patron of its annual event. Attracting some of the world’s most promising young singers, pianists and violinists, the CMIM’s next edition will be held from May 27 to June 7 and is dedicated to Voice. A world-renowned virtuoso pianist, Alain Lefèvre has performed in over forty countries in prestigious venues and with the world’s leading conductors and symphony orchestras. He has won numerous prizes, amongst them a Juno, an Opus and ten…

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“Weil and his [Tafelmusik] players convince us that Beethoven can sound as radical in the 21st century as he must have done in the 19th” — Gramophone Magazine Toronto, September 7, 2017 – Tafelmusik is thrilled to present its recordings of the complete Beethoven symphonies, six CDs packaged in a striking box set. Recorded under the direction of guest conductor Bruno Weil over a twelve-year period, Tafelmusik’s cycle marks the first time a North American orchestra has recorded all nine Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. Tafelmusik’s complete Beethoven symphonies will be released on CD on the Tafelmusik Media label starting September…

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No label generates such a buzz around new releases as the quirky Munich-based ECM which, after 48 years of high output, still manages to produce the unexpected, and at high quality. To find the senescent music of CPE Bach in a series that specialises in living composers is surprise enough. To hear him played on an esoteric Tangent piano is altogether a delight. The shortlived Tangent piano, mostly built by August Späth in the mid-to-late 18th century, allows an artist to express a personal sound – according to the Russian pianist, Alexei Lyubimov. Certainly, the sound on this recording is unlike…

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