Browsing: Classical Music

BY PAUL E. ROBINSON ON 26 JANUARY 2020 Austin, TX – Joby Talbot’s one-act opera Everest was composed in 2014, and is based on an ill-fated Mount Everest expedition in 1996 in which several climbers perished. The premiere was presented by Dallas Opera in a fully staged version. Three years later it was again performed in Dallas but this time in a semi-staged version with the orchestra on stage. It was this version that was offered last week by Austin Opera at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Among the survivors from the 1996 expedition was the journalist Jon…

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With its popular, catchy tunes, Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville is a perennial favourite comic opera. It was given a vibrant interpretation by the Canadian Opera Company, complemented by a stellar cast of both Canadian and international artists. Figaro is Seville’s famous barber and jack of all trades, who boasts special skills helping lonely hearts pursue their love interests. Count Almaviva is smitten by the young Rosina, who is strictly guarded by the old doctor Bartolo, who schemes to marry Rosina himself to claim her family fortune. Almaviva enlists Figaro’s help to woo Rosina, and after a series of…

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Newly reconstructed, the work is born again! Montreal, (Quebec), January 20, 2020 – Vivaldi’s opera Motezuma was discovered in the archives of the Berlin Sing-Akademie in 2002. The work has been restored and completed by conductor Matthias Maute, artistic director of Ensemble Caprice. The project is a collaboration between the Bach Society of Minnesota, Early Music Seattle, and Ensemble Caprice. The cast will feature artists hailing from Montreal, Mexico, and the USA. Motezuma will be presented on February 4, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. in Bourgie Hall, located at 1339 Sherbrooke St. West. An International Sensation The opera Motezuma, first performed…

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DALLAS, TX – Jaap van Zweden is gone and Fabio Luisi doesn’t take over until the 2020-2021 season, but the new man is stopping by often enough as music director designate to begin to give Dallas audiences a taste of what is to come. This past week he offered three works by American composers and a major chestnut in the form of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. All in all it was carefully-considered programming and the performances were very good. At the age of 60, Italian-born Fabio Luisi has an enormous repertoire and vast experience. But most of it is with European…

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MONTREAL, QUEBEC, January 15, 2020 — The Schulich School of Music of McGill University is pleased to announce five finalists for the second edition of the Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers. Established in 2017, this national competition recognizes works for chamber music formations with piano that show significant potential to engage audiences and become standard repertoire. Selected from over 60 Canadian applicants under the age of 35, this year’s finalists will compose new works for piano trio (violin, cello, piano) to be premiered before a live jury in September. The finalists are: Toronto-born composer Alec Hall’s work frequently engages…

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Half a century ago, in January 1970, the young Riccardo Muti gave this symphony its western Europe premiere in Rome with the RAI orchestra and the wondeful bass Ruggiero Raimondi. The performance was semi-samizdat. A score had been smuggled out of Russia, where the work was suppressed for its denunciation of Soviet antisemitism, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s text was unofficially translated into Italian. Muti, who never forgot the occasion, revisited it 16 months ago with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Although unversed in Russian ironies, his interpretation has the authority of a leader who lived through the late-Soviet era and observed the…

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Dec/Jan 2020 issue Monsters at the National Gallery! Christmas may be over, but “You better watch out” if you visit the National Gallery of Canada on January 25th, 2020. Why? Because… there be monsters. In fact, Monsters are already on display at the Gallery, in a special exhibition titled Beautiful Monsters in Early European Prints and Drawings (1450–1700), which runs until March 29th, 2020. But on January 25th, the monsters will creep off their canvasses and come to life in a one-time performance in the Gallery’s auditorium. The show features the Ottawa Baroque Consort, hosted by master storyteller David Brennan.…

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[Originally published on Dec. 6, 2014] How a performance of Mozart’s Requiem marked my musical passage By Wah Keung Chan Last Sunday (November 30, 2014), I attended conductor Iwan Edwards’s Farewell at Concerto Della Donna’s final concert at a standing room sold out St. Georges Church. It was good to see Iwan on the podium again, having sung for him with the St. Lawrence Choir and the MSO Chorus many times in the 1990s. Midway through the first half, I suddenly remembered the first time I sang with him, 25 years earlier in 1989. It was days following the December…

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This year, the world of music is celebrating the 270th anniversary of George Frideric Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks. King George II of England commissioned this work from the great composer to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, which put an end to the War of the Austrian Succession fought between the powers of continental Europe. The king asked that the work be written in military style, for wind and percussion instruments only, without strings. Handel agreed to the request, but later added parts for strings, giving a new balance to the work. Music for…

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Winter Classics Festival Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 The Orchestre symphonique de Laval is launching its Winter Classics Festival, a joyous occasion to listen to classical music in a festive setting with refreshments and activities for all. Because it coincides with the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, the composer’s great classics, such as his Fifth and Seventh Symphonies, will be played in four concerts over three days. Alain Trudel conducts, with Charles Richard-Hamelin at the piano in the “Emperor” Concerto and a hundred-strong choir in Beethoven’s Ninth. Entertainment includes yoga, fireside stories and skating, while hot chocolate, beer…

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