Browsing: Canadian Music

Canada celebrates Canada Day and the United States celebrates Independence Day this week. Enjoy the Canadian Brass playing “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” in New York last year as they launch their album “Take Flight.” Only one original member of the CB remains – tubist Chuck Daellenbach – but the spirit of the Canadian Brass lives on in their musical virtuosity and their always inventive stage presence. For more on the Canadian Brass visit their website at www.canadianbrass.com.Paul E. Robinson

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The ten-day Luminato Festival continues this week with a full slate of offerings. It opened last Friday June 14th with several important events, one of which was The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, a Robert Wilson directed piece on the performance artist. The last performance is tomorrow Monday June 17th at the Bluma Appel Theatre on Front Street. On Saturday, I attended a talk given by Wilson and Willem Dafoe at the Isabel Bader Theatre last Saturday, moderated by New York Times journalist John Rockwell. This talk, together with ones involving Joni Mitchell, Atom Egoyan, and architects Liz Diller…

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Tenor Michael Schade (r.) and baritone Luca Pisaroni (l.) at Roy Thomson Hall Duo RecitalWith the demise of the Roy Thomson Hall International Vocal Series at the end of last season, a replacement of sorts was offered to subscribers – a short series of three shows: Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, pianist Yundi Li and the duo recital of tenor Michael Schade and baritone Thomas Quasthoff. As is often the case with performing artists, expect the unexpected. Yundi postponed his recital to a date yet to be determined, and a month ago, it was announced that baritone Thomas Quasthoff…

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Canadian conductor Nathan Brock (Photo: artist website)After the challenging two-week New Creations Festival and a one-week “Spring Break” hiatus, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra returns with a week of “easy-listening” – three performances (Mar. 20 8 p.m., and Mar. 21 at 2 and 8 p.m.) of their Pops Series: A Century of Broadway. Jeff Tyzik conducts the TS forces in selections from Show Boat, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera and other Broadway hits. On Mar. 24 7:30 p.m. and Mar. 25 3 p.m., young Canadian conductor Nathan Brock is on the podium in a program of…

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Tenor Lawrence Wiliford (photo: Malcolm Taylor)Singing From the Heart: Lawrence WilifordTenor Wiliford and pianist Steven Philcox spearhead Canadian Art Song Project by Joseph K. SoFor voice lovers, one of the most significant developments this winter is the launching of the Canadian Art Song Project CASP). This initiative is spearheaded by tenor Lawrence Wiliford and pianist Steven Philcox, two very well known artists in the Canadian musical community. Wiliford is a former member of the COC Ensemble Studio and has since gone on to a highly regarded career in opera, oratorio and the recital stage. His sweet, clear, plangent lyric tenor…

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The principals of Rob Ford: The Opera taking a well deserved bow (l. to r. Conrad Siebert, Fabian Arciniegas, Eliza Johnson, Andrew Haji, Rosanna Murphy, Jamilynn Gubbe, Caitlin Wood)Rob Ford: The Opera – a Rip-roaring Cautionary Taleby Joseph SoUniversity of Toronto Faculty of Music New Music FestivalComposers: Massimo Guida, Anna Hostman, Adam Scime, Saman ShahiLibrettist: Michael Patrick AlbanoConductor: Rafael Luz Director: Erik Thor 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012MacMillan Theatre, Edward Johnson BuildingAndrew Haji (Rob Ford)Rosanne Murphy (Margaret Atwood)Fabian Arciniegas (Father)Eliza Johnson (Mother)Elizabeth Polese (Remeron)Andromahi Raptis (Paxil)Anna Sharpe (Nardil)Caitlin Wood (Homeless Woman)Conrad Siebert (Cyclist)Jamilynn Gubbe (Seagull)Jerry Springer has one. So…

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By Hannah Rahimi As part of the Montreal Bach Festival, a large audience gathered on Sunday afternoon to hear the Theatre of Early Music performing at the majestic Église Saint-Léon de Westmount. The concert opened with the ethereal voice of Daniel Taylor floating over the crowd from the back balcony of the church. He proceeded to lead the TEM choir in a series of moving choral works, beginning with a traditional Basque air, The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came, and ending with John Tavener’s The Lamb, a contemporary work that combines homophonic simplicity with exquisite moments of dissonance.Montreal-based cellist Matt Haimovitz…

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Crystal Chan Composer Malcolm Forsyth passed away in Edmonton on July 5th. He was 74 and had been battling cancer. His compositions won him three Junos, several other recognitions, and the title of the Canadian Music Council’s Composer of the Year in 1988. Forsyth was also a trombone player who performed with the Montreal, Cape Town and Edmonton symphony orchestras and taught the instrument for many years, including at the University of Alberta until his retirement nine years ago, one year before he received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and was named a member of the Order of Canada. His…

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By L.H. Tiffany HsiehIn more ways than one, no other small chamber ensemble is doing more than Toronto’s Amici to promote Canadian music and musicians.Tishis was evident, once again, in the trio’s season-opening concert at Glenn Gould Studio Oct. 17.Titled Gravity & Grace, the program began with core members Joaquin Valdepeñas (clarinet), David Hetherington (cello) and Serouj Kradjian (piano) in Canadian composer Allan Gordon Bell’s Trails of Gravity & Grace, a piece the composer wrote for the Amici combo in 2002.Valdepeñas, Hetherington and Kradjian gave the meticulously structured five-movement piece — Ascent, Cascade, Virga, Ephemera and Flight — a sophisticated reading. They brought out each spine-chilling nuance and every tonal imagination…

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Rufus Wainwright at the opening of his Prima Donna (Photo: courtesy of Luminato Festival) By Joseph K. So Wainwright/Colomine: Prima Donna Regine St. Laurent /Janis Kelly, soprano Marie / Charlotte Ellett, soprano Andre / Colin Ainsworth, tenor Philippe / Gregory Dahl, baritone Francois /Joe Bucci Sophie /Miranda Calderon Tim Albery, Stage Director Robert Houssart, Conductor Antony McDonald, Designer Thomas Hase, Lighting William Reynolds, Projection The much anticipated North American premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera, Prima Donna, had its opening last evening at the Elgin Theatre in downtown Toronto. The glitterati were out in force and and there was the obligatory…

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