Browsing: Strings

June 21, 2018, Montreal, QC – The McGill Chamber Orchestra (MCO) and Artistic Director Boris Brott are pleased to welcome Marc Djokic as the orchestra’s new concertmaster. Praised by La Presse for his “rhythmic sense and natural phrasing,” Marc Djokic is winner of the prestigious 2017-2018 Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer. A native of Halifax, Djokic is known for his powerful and virtuosic performances, as well as an engaging and down-to-earth approach that has made him an audience favourite across the country and beyond. “I’ve long been an admirer of Marc Djokic’s solo career and his expertise in chamber music,” comments…

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Averse as I am to teenage prodigies, I heard Daniel Lozakovich in a Berlin nightclub this week and had no doubt from the first touch of bow on string that he is the genuine article. Sixteen years old, raised in Stockholm by Kazak-Russian parents, he gives the impression of belonging nowhere but some deep place inside himself. Fresh from a sleepless night on a bench in Tokyo airport where his flight had been cancelled, he draws energy – as the great ones do – from an audience. No-one breathed on the dance-floor during his Bach Partita. His DG debut recording…

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In 2015, Cendrine (founder and director) and Valérie (co-founder), the two women of Despax Quartet, founded Gatineau’s Art of Music Festival. They saw this as an opportunity to venture into the world of entrepreneurship. Musicians by training, their foray into management was the result of their desire to evolve within the musical milieu. The festival offers a very complete repertoire. Comprised of mostly Western music (Renaissance, classical, Romantic, contemporary and current day), the focus is placed on chamber and sacred music. Orchestral and choral music is also highlighted during the festival, mainly through works proposed and adapted by the guest…

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The Cellist: The Legacy of Gregor Piatigorsky, a new documentary by Murray Grigor and Hamid Shams, tells the story of the Russian-Jewish-American virtuoso in a panorama of historical sounds, pictures, video, and interviews, including footage of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival’s founding director and driving force, Denis Brott. One particularly moving, never-before-seen item shows Piatigorsky playing an excerpt from Schumann’s Cello Concerto during a concert in Puerto Rico conducted by his old friend Pablo Casals. Much of the research that went into the making The Cellist was guided by Piatigorsky protégé Terry King, whose Gregor Piatigorsky: The Life and Career of…

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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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Imagine a musical experience in an environment as comfortable as your living room, where relaxation and intimacy are a part of the party. This is what is offered at Sérénité sonore, a service created by the harpist Annabelle Renzo. A McGill graduate licensed by the Fédération des Médecines Alternatives, Renzo believes strongly in linking meditation and music. “In our contemporary atheistic society,” she asks, “stripped of any religion, doesn’t music become an essential tool to access our spirituality, our core?” The setting reflects her ideas. The inviting décor includes some legacy family furniture. Adding to the personal approach are slippers…

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Mozart: Concertos (Indé Sens) The only thing that saved this release from being flung unopened into the bin was the quartet’s name and the fact that this is the first fruit of a new label. The Varian Fry Quartet, made up of young Berlin Philharmonic players, is named after an American who saved the lives of at least 2,000 Nazi refugees in the south of France, a largely unsung hero. The label is a bold French venture. But an hour of harp music with string quartet? Come on, there will be plenty of time for that in the afterlife. So…

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Deux (Alpha-Classics) I can’t remember when I last heard a violin-piano recital that was as ingenious and exhilarating as this. On the sleeve, the Franco-Hungarian programme looks a bit odd – the Poulenc sonata written for Ginette Neveu in 1943, a Dohnanyi setting of a waltz from Delibes’ Coppélia, the full-on Bartok sonata of 1922 and Ravel’s Tzigane to close. What do these pieces have in common? Check this: On April 8, 1922, Bela Bartok gave a recital in Paris with his compatriot Jelly d’Aranyi. Ravel was the page turner for Bartok and Poulenc for d’Aranyi. In the audience were…

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The innovative production company La Nef presents Udistik Orkestra, a concert showcasing the oud – the Oriental lute – and directed by composer, performer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Wells-Oberegger. The show’s organizers promise a trip across various artistic universes. Concertgoers will be exposed to different currents of Middle-Eastern music, novel rearrangements of Western masterpieces and original compositions by Udistik Orkestra that explore the overlap between Oriental and Occidental traditions, all thanks to the marvelous potentialities of the oud, ancestor of the lute. This is not the only case of cultural intermingling. Wells-Oberegger offers the example of the violin, which has become…

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Haydn: Symphonies No. 26 & 86 Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 Coro Harry Christophers, conductor Handel and Haydn Society Aisslinn Nosky, violin The British conductor Harry Christophers has his own record label, Coro, which turns out a stream of fine performances, mostly with his own group The Sixteen, and mostly unnoticed outside the shrinking pages of record magazines. Which is a pity, since some of them are very fine performances indeed. The latest release is with Christophers’ other group, the venerable Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, America’s oldest performing arts organization. It presents two Haydn works written 20 years…

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