Browsing: Popular Music

Leonard Cohen in Five Seasons From December 5 to 9, Leonard Cohen’s voice, music and poetry will fill the Place des Arts, ­accompanying the agile ­interpreters of the Montreal Jazz Ballets through the ­seasons that make up a ­lifetime. Drawing on the man and his work, this hour and twenty minutes of spectacle is by the same stroke an ode to Montreal. It’s a considerable adventure punctuated by challenges for one of the most internationally-renowned local dance companies. Montreal in the International Spotlight While it’s currently a work in progress, this long program will be part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary…

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DOUBLE-TAKE: Review of Opera Philadelphia’s special event, Two Queens, One Night – February 24, 2017 at the Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Be it stipulated:  mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe can do just about anything – and apparently will! That includes slapping on her Baba the Turk beard and ‘stache; strapping on – ahem – a magnificent Greek warrior cuirass and plumed helmet; and belting out just about the entire bel canto and romantic tenor songbook – plus a raft of pop and show tunes, to boot – all in raucous consort with Philadelphia’s premier drag performer, “Martha…

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CANADA OSM Pop Serie : Half Moon Run, Bruno Pelletier and Véronique DiCaire will perform with the OSM. [More infos – Radio-Canada] City of Gatineau finance the construction of artists’ co-op. [More infos – LaPresse] Three concerts in Granby for the Valentine’s Day. [More infos – LaPresse] « L’Amossois Charles Trudel, claviériste du Ben Racine Band [remporte le 1er prix] à Memphis lors de l’International Blues Challenge. » [More infos Radio-Canada] « The 2017 [Hindemith] prize, worth 20,000 Euros, goes to the Montreal-born composer Samy Moussa. Based in Paris and Berlin, Moussa, 32, was among the last proteges of Pierre Boulez.» [More infos Slippedisc]…

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I hope this is not Renée Fleming’s final record. The American soprano, in her late 50s, is closing her stage career with the voice unblemished and the memories fond. It would be a pity if her legacy on Decca was to be concluded by this album, which plays to all her weaknesses. Samuel Barber’s lyric rhapsody Knoxville: Summer of 2015 requires a rich soprano voice and a capacity to articulate James Agee’s achingly nostalgic English text. Ms Fleming has the first quality. Pronouncing the words has never been her forte. The best ears will strain here to catch more than…

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Let’s get this out of the way: singer and songwriter Lewis Furey has a style like Rufus Wainwright ­– you either like his timbre and affected singing style or you don’t. When the evening of Furey’s Brahms Lieder concert began, I have to admit that I didn’t. His sforzando word play and sporadic British-like accent sapped the melody out of the opening song Wie Melodien zieht es mir, which he translated as Just a Feeling. But after the second song, I started to forget about his voice – the 67 year old Furey doesn’t pretend to be a virtuoso – and began to…

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Greg Lake, bassist, guitarist and singer of British progressive rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer lost his fight to cancer yesterday at the age of 69. The keyboardist Keith Emerson took his own life in March 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89g1P_J40JA Sheku Kanneh-Mason was presented with the 1610 Amati cello he played at BBC Young Musician of the Year. The instrument is a permanent loan from Florian Leonhard workshop in London. Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky announced today he was withdrawing from all coming opera engagements. The 54-year-old singer who was diagnosed with brain tumor in 2015 will continue giving concerts and recitals,…

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The Toronto Symphony Orchestra avoids major deficit with a fundamental shift in focus towards more community engagement and donor relations, which respectively grew more than 20% and by 15%. More details by Musical Toronto here. Music director Teddy Abrams renewed his contract with the Louisville Orchestra for another three years until 2020. Abrams, 29, is the youngest director of a large metropolitan orchestra in the United States. In end of October, Sotheby’s didn’t manage to sell a Beethoven partition, as its authenticity was contested by ‘two experts. The owner of the partition was contacted by one of the…

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Empire of the Son Rises in Montreal The Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this January with Tetsuro Shigematsu’s poignant autobiography, Empire of the Son. This one-man tour-de-force has been a runaway smash hit since its premiere. The former CBC announcer cum playwright with a mission is desperate to forge a relationship with his ailing father Akira. Growing up in a Japanese-Canadian household, the two were emotionally distant, rarely spoke and never hugged. Conversations were nonexistent; absurdly ironic, given that both had worked as radio broadcasters. Tetsuro stages a series of at-home interviews with Akira and the bonding…

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Awards and Honours In November, the Schwarz-Bournaki Duo won first prize at the annual Boulder International Chamber Music Competition’s “Art of the Duo” in Boulder, Colorado. The competition celebrates the duo with piano, an intimate chamber genre that is often overshadowed by the string quartet and piano trio. This year, the competition received over 150 applications from 25 countries, with 22 ensembles making the semi-finals. The Schwarz-Bournaki Duo is American cellist Julian Schwarz and Canadian pianist – and native Montrealer – Marika Bournaki, who made her professional debut at age 11 with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The…

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Leonard Cohen passed away on Monday in Los Angeles at the age of 82. The Montreal writer, poet, composer and singer, is famous for his hit-song Hallelujah. He had released the album You Want it Darker a few weeks ago. The doorsteps of his home in Montreal has been decorated with flowers and candles. He was buried yesterday at the Shaar Hashomayim Cemetery on the slopes of Mount Royal beside his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Harry Grodberg, solo organist of the Moscow Philharmonic for 60 years, has died at the age of 88. He re-established the art of organ…

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