Browsing: Contemporary

Contemporary,” “new,” “experimental,” “creation…” Numerous qualifiers, and yet none do more than partially describe their designated types of music. If they are so difficult to define, it is because the idea of contemporaneity itself is fleeting, as it refers to a concept that is in continuous transformation and which evades categorization. It is precisely this desire to grasp the ungraspable that drives the composers of such music, for whom musical creation constitutes a path for enlarging what is accepted as possible. Fans of contemporary music will not be left behind this fall, as numerous ensembles and organizations will offer concerts…

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PROFILE/REVIEW: of the 2018 Glimmerglass Festival Season: Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell; West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim; Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček; and The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini and Cesare Sterbini. “It’s remarkable how many important things happened in 1918,” observes Glimmerglass Festival artistic and managing director Francesca Zambello, speaking at a recent pre-show audience address in Cooperstown. “The end of World War I. The birth of Leonard Bernstein. And the premiere of this piece” – this last a reference to Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, which was…

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Montreal, the 25th of July 2018 – The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) unveils today the new face of the 2019-2020 edition of its Homage Series: Katia Makdissi-Warren. By the choice of this established composer having met the challenge, with sensitivity, of eliminating the frontiers between music of various traditions, Walter Boudreau, artistic director of the SMCQ, poses a concrete gesture in favor of the recognition of a contemporary music open to the world. “The SMCQ believes as much in the importance of recognizing the immense contribution of the ‘builders’ of contemporary music in Quebec such as Gilles…

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INTERVIEW: with renowned composer John Rutter. Mark it a red-letter day in the Canadian classical music calendar: on Friday the 13th of July, John Rutter – among the world’s most beloved and widely performed living composers – arrives in Ottawa. “I feel very much at home in Canada,” Rutter says from his home in Great Britain. “I was quite a regular visitor in past years, when I was patron of the Toronto Mendelsohn Youth Choir. But this will be my first trip to Ottawa, and I’m very much looking forward to it.” It’s a journey occasioned by the two back-to-back…

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Samuel Hasselhorn has won the 2018 voice competition! The International Queen Elisabeth Grand Prize – Queen Mathilde Prize receives 25,000€ and numerous concerts in Belgium and abroad. The prizewinners First Prize : Samuel Hasselhorn (27, baritone) Germany Second Prize : Eva Zaïcik (30, mezzo-soprano) France Third Prize : Ao Li (30, basso) China Fourth Prize : Rocío Pérez (27, soprano) Spain Fifth Prize : Héloïse Mas (30, mezzo-soprano) France Sixth Prize : Marianne Croux (27, soprano) Belgium – France  The six unranked laureates, in alphabetical order : Germán Enrique Alcántara (30, baritone) Argentina Alex DeSocio (30, baritone) USA Yuriy Hadzetskyy (26, baritone) Ukraine Sooyeon Lee (29, soprano) Korea …

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Arvo Pärt: The Symphonies (ECM New Series) Worth buying for the booklet alone. A symphonic cycle from most composers marks a stately progress from imitative beginnings to a predictive summit. Think Brahms with all that Beethoven clutter in the first symphony and those weighty Mahler anticipations in the fourth. Well, Arvo Pärt is not quite like that. His first two symphonies, written in the mid-1960s, are set in Schoenbergian twelve-tone with a polyphonic overlay, an intentional affront to Soviet rule in Estonia. The third, dated 1971, marks his conversion to Russian Orthodoxy with voices from heaven, Bach chorales and other…

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Vera Causa Opera has announced they will be performing Julijana Hajdinjak’s first opera, titled Padajuća Zvijezda in Waterloo and Cambridge on June 22nd, 2018 and June 23rd, 2018.  Set in a celestial kingdom, Padajuća Zvijezda is a tale of two lovers in a world where love has become outlawed. Love, in the kingdom is punishable by banishment to Earth — a dishonourable world lacking the beauty of the galaxy. A story of passion, justice and optimism, Padajuća Zvijezda explores the power of human emotion and how it can change the world. The new Canadian-Croatian opera is based on the…

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PREVIEW: Of “Cycles of My Being,” Carnegie Hall, April 24, 2018 – the New York premiere of a new song cycle by composer Tyshawn Sorey and poet Terrance Hayes, performed by tenor Lawrence Brownlee; and REVIEW: Of the song cycle’s earlier world premiere at Opera Philadelphia, February 20, 2018. “Cycles of My Being” – a new art song cycle about the contemporary black male experience, is a compact, provocative, movingly confessional musical experience. Created specifically for, and in collaboration with, acclaimed operatic tenor Lawrence Brownlee, the work proves to be an eloquent and lyrical disburdening of pain and alienation –…

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Grazyna Bacewicz: Quintets, quartets (Chandos) How many times have I told you not to buy a record for its cover? Well, this one justifies the purchase. The image shows the central square of a small town in Poland in the 1960s, a place where nothing ever happens yet everything is closely watched. The image has been colourised for added artificiality. It is stifling, cloying, vividly reminiscent of the oppressive dullness of Communism. The music is made to match. Bacewicz, who lived from 1909 to 1969, was a busy violinist who kept her head down and played well within the rules.…

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Montreal International Guitar Festival and Competition Again this year, the Montreal International Guitar Festival and Competition promises to be an event to follow. The program involving artists François Fowler, Jesus Serrano Huitron, Emma Rush, Roberto Fabri, Samuel Coyle, Tariq Harb, Jeffrey McFadden and Dave Pilon guarantees a rare spectacle. The festival continues its youth competition in addition to offering many master classes. Concerts start at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The musical cocktail is a mix of musicians of different nationalities. May 25-27, D.B. Clarke Theater. www.guitaremontreal.com 21C Music Festival The 21C Music Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary with…

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