Browsing: Canadian Music

Bruce Liu, piano Montreal native Bruce Liu, 2021 Chopin Competition Winner, jumps into the 2022-2023 concert season after a robust summer of performances, featuring appearances in Germany, Finland, France, Switzerland, Italy and Canada, to name a few. Liu finishes his summer with a performance in Poland (Aug. 26-31), under the baton of Vasily Petrenko with the Warsaw Philharmonic (Chopin Concerto No.2). He begins his fall in Norway, where he will perform a program of Rameau, Chopin, Ravel and Liszt (Sept. 2). This will be followed by two appearances in Ottawa (Sept. 8 and 9), with the National Arts Centre Orchestra…

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After surviving the second pandemic since its founding in 1898, the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto (WMCT) is going big for its 125th anniversary. Its 2022-2023 season, called “Connection and Continuity,” will celebrate the ­organization’s historical legacy. Each show in the series of five concerts will highlight one work that represents a distinct 25-year block of time. The works will be accompanied by ­explorations of their cultural backgrounds in an expansive, online program led by historian and archivist Robin Elliot, according to ­Artistic Director and cellist Simon Fryer. “We (want) to demonstrate that 125 years is a huge amount of…

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On July 31, Toronto Summer Music (TSM) presented Canadian composer Keiko Devaux’s award-winning piece “Arras,” and Klaus Simon’s chamber ensemble arrangement of Mahler 4, two works whose highly contrasting styles demonstrated the TSM Festival Orchestra’s mastery of both sound worlds in equal measure. The festival’s concert, Inspirations, featured soprano Karina Gauvin and conductor Nicolas Ellis. Arras originally premiered as the winner of the inaugural Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music in 2020, and was performed by Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. The work was composed in response to the Azrieli Commission’s “Canadian music” prompt: it comes together as an amalgamation of Devaux’s sonic…

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Body in motion Daniel Janke, piano and composition; Adele Armin, Mark Fewer, Aaron Schwebel, violin; Rory McLeod, alto; Amahl Arulanandam, Richard Armin, cello; Alan Hetherington, percussion Centrediscs, 2022 “Body in Motion is an homage to choreographers and dancers of the world. They are the hardest workers in the peforming arts. They are an inspiration.” This is what Canadian composer Daniel Janke had to say about his new Centredisques album. After Songs of Small Resistance in 2021, he has returned with three chamber music works and a solo piano work. We can only recommend this album. Listeners are charmed in the…

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Journey Through Night: Canadian Music for String Quartet Alex Toskov, Laurence Schaufele and Tanya Charles Iveniuk, violin; Samuel Bisson, cello Akashic Entertainment Recordings, 2021 The Odin Quartet’s conductor and cellist, Samuel Bisson, has an affinity for atmospheric chamber music: his work as a film-score composer has brought him onboard such projects as Yan Ma’s Up We Soar (2020) and Kacey Kox’s Finding Manny (2020). But Journey Through Night poses a different challenge for him—with no visuals to complement, Bisson must generate ambience through music alone, while also showcasing contemporary Canadian composers in an accessible way. Though this is only the…

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Found Frozen: Songs by Jeffrey Ryan Danika Lorèn, soprano; Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano; Dion Mazerolle, baritone; Steven Philcox, piano Centrediscs, 2022 The Canadian label Centrediscs specializes in contemporary music and has accustomed listeners to performances for all kinds of ensembles and instruments. Found Frozen, however, is a return to a more classical form—that of piano and voice. This collection features new songs by Canadian composer Jeffrey Ryan, gathered into cycles (except for one song), and performed by three different singers and a pianist, Steven Philcox. Like so many others, this project comes to fruition after long, pandemic-related delays. The album opens…

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Canadian Soundscapes (Live) Carmen Harris, Eeva-Maria Kopp, soprano; Guy Few, trumpet; Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, piano; Melissa Williams, violin; Okanagan Symphony Orchestra Centrediscs, 2022 The three concertos on the album Canadian Soundscapes have been plucked from the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra’s years of live performances with several guest performers. The orchestra begins with its astounding rendition of R. Murray Schafer’s The Falcon’s Trumpet, replete with a sense of urgency that makes 22 minutes feel very short. Guy Few inserts himself seamlessly into the wild cacophony of string instruments with a trumpet performance whose evoked feeling of uncertain bravery guides the listener through the…

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Following five years of research dedicated to French-Canadian composer and pianist Auguste Descarries, pianist Isabelle David’s hard work paid off with the launch of the album Souvenirs d’Auguste Descarries (2022) on May 27. This is her first solo album produced under the Leaf Music label. Of the 14 piano pieces, eight have been recorded for the first time. The album sheds light on Descarries’s unfamiliar works composed in the first half of the 20th century. Resurrected Works The Auguste Descarries journey began when David was pursuing her doctoral studies with pianist and pedagogue Jean Saulnier at Université de Montréal in…

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Mistress Moon: Canadian Edition Jennifer King, piano Leaf music, 2022 Jennifer King loves to introduce us to Canadian gems. For her latest project, she has chosen solo piano works by eight Canadian composers including Kevin Lau, Sandy Moore, Richard Gibson, Amy Brandon and Jean Coulthard. These names may not mean much to you yet, but here the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As its name suggests, Mistress Moon takes as its theme the moon, the starry night and the space beyond. It invites us to rethink our relationship with nature, to rediscover a form of ancestral…

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By Boris Brott Feb. 8, 2022 will mark the 100th birthday of my late mother, Lotte Brott, nee Goetzel. The Orchestre Classique de Montréal (OCM) has chosen to dedicate its 2021-22 season to Women of Distinction. La Scena Musicale and I have chosen to remember her as a cellist, co-founder of the orchestra, and principal administrator for its first 59 years. Tha baton of the of the OCM was passed to me in 2000 (my father remained Artistic Director sharing concerts with me until he passed in 2005 at 90 years old), I have a unique ­perspective etc… on this…

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