Browsing: Canadian Music

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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By L.H. Tiffany HsiehCanadian cellist Shauna Rolston isn’t easily replaceable. But when Soo Bae, another Canadian cellist, took her place at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio on May 14, the only cellist that mattered was the one featured on centre stage.Rolston was to give the world premiere of Canadian composer Heather Schmidt’s Cello Concerto and perform Tchaikovsky’s Nocturne for Cello and Strings. However, she couldn’t make it last minute due to personal reasons. In a revised program of Sinfonia Toronto’s final concert of the season, Bae, 33, charmed the audience with loads of wits and personality in Boccherini’s Sonata No. 6 (adagio and allegro…

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By Crystal ChanThe prolific Canadian composer Jacques Hétu passed away yesterday from cancer. He was 71. Just several days ago on January 31, Hétu received the Opus lifetime achievement award from the Conseil québécois de la musique. Hétu has also been named an Officer of the Order of Canada and of the Order of Quebec as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The composer took a brave path in his time, melding the Romantic and the Contemporary and first and foremost creating accessible works. His over 80 works have brought New Music far beyond the isolation…

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Friday, March 6, 2009 This Week in Toronto (Mar. 7 – 13) Nicole Cabell’s Debut Disc on Decca. Cabell sings a recital at Roy Thomson Hall on Sunday March 8. (Photo: Decca Records) With the weather finally warming up this weekend, it’s time to come out of hibernation and sample some of the music around town. This Saturday at the Cineplex movie houses, we have a continuation of the Met in HD season with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. This production is significant in the history of the Met Opera in more ways than one. It ushered in the Peter Gelb era…

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