Browsing: Chamber Music

The near-symbiotic relationship between Mendelssohn and his older sister, examined in my forthcoming book Genius and Anxiety, was so central to both musicians’ lives that Felix was felled by a stroke on hearing of Fanny’s death and died before the year was out. Fanny, the first to evince musical talent, was silenced by their father as she neared puberty in order not to deflect attention from her genius kid brother. In her 30s she found a publisher and began – to Felix’s chagrin – to produce chamber music. His anger abated on finding that the music was of high quality.…

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Founded in 1985, the woodwind quintet Pentaèdre has an enviable reputation. It will present a variety of concerts during the 2019-20 season. “Pentaèdre has always been a woodwind quintet, but it is, above all, a flexibly sized ensemble that showcases music for wind instruments,” said flutist Ariane Brisson, the new artistic director. “You can hear a lot of music for woodwind quintet. However, we like varying repertoire, changing ensemble size, and inviting many musicians to join us.” The season begins with Hommage à Jacques Hétu, a concert that fulfills the ensemble’s mission. On Nov. 8, Pentaèdre observes the 10th anniversary…

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Much acclaimed on the international contemporary music scene, the Quasar saxophone quartet is celebrating its milestone 25th anniversary this year. From its first concert in 1994 till now, all four members have never wavered in their commitment to the group and its dedication towards all things creative. For its current concert season, the group intends to focus more on the future than the past, with a view of renewing itself. Marie-Chantal Leclair, Quasar’s managing director and soprano player, recalls the foursome’s first outing: “We premiered four pieces that evening, and it was more than a wish for us to do…

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Clavecin en concert has come a long a way since its inception by harpsichordist Luc Beauséjour in 1994 – from harpsichord recitals in private rooms to concerts featuring chamber music, choral music and opera. On Oct. 27, Clavecin en concert, winner of two Félix Awards and eight Prix Opus, will produce the first concert of its 26th year. Here’s a look back at the founder and artistic director’s journey and a quarter century of passion for early music. The Harpsichord: From Solo to Ensemble The Clavecin en concert journey started in Luc Beauséjour’s studio in the early 1990s. Because Beauséjour…

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Victor Julien-Laferrière is an artist much in demand. In September the young French cellist toured Normandy with the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen, giving a series of concerts that included Haydn’s Concerto in D. He has also played with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, performing Variations on a Rococo Theme by Tchaikovsky. Winner of the first prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 2017 – the first edition devoted to the cello – Julien-Laferrière has also appeared in some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls. In early October he will be the guest of the Concertgebouw…

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Why did it take so long to change the name? This is my first question for Boris Brott, artistic director of what is now called the Orchestre classique de Montréal. “Well, it was a hard decision and a matter of finding the right name,” the conductor says in what he calls his Toronto office – the Library Bar of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. “Whatever we considered didn’t seem to fit until one day, our accountant said, ‘Why not call it Orchestre classique de Montréal’ and everybody said, ‘Wow, that’s the right name!’ Even unilingual anglophones will understand it!” Boris…

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Soprano Kripa Nageshwar, pianist Ruta Vaivade and clarinetist Michael Westwood always had an individual passion for chamber music. The same passion drew them together and binds them today. Their adventure as the Trio Dell’Aria took off at Toronto’s Westwood Concert Series in 2014, where they gave their first public performance. They went on exploring Baroque to contemporary music, as well as jazz, folksong and chanson. “With Ruta, we finally found our match, Kripa and I,” Michael says. “It’s now the perfect trio.” Ruta adds: “Plus, now that we get more and more chances to perform, I think there are new…

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Martin Foster, the British-born Canadian violinist who spent more than 25 years as a performer and teacher in Montreal, died on Aug. 26 in Stratford, Ontario. According to his posted obituary, the cause was cancer. A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York, Foster made his Carnegie Recital Hall debut at age 22 on Oct. 23, 1973. Raymond Ericson in the New York Times described him as “a violinist of more than ordinary gifts.” With fellow Juilliard students in 1974 he formed the American String Quartet, an ensemble that remains active. Returning to Canada in 1980, Foster served as acting concertmaster of the Orchestre…

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Banff, Alberta — The 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition ended in an unprecedented tie on Sunday afternoon. Both the Marmen Quartet from Great Britain and the Viano Quartet, with members from Canada and the US, split the prize money assigned to the first place and third place laureates, giving each group $16,500. The organizers decided to award the second-place cash prize of $12,000 to the American Callisto Quartet Because of this unusual result, the logistics of distributing some of the other perks for winning, such as the two-year residency at Southern Methodist University in Dallas worth $160,000 and multiple…

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The jurors have spoken for the penultimate time at 13th Banff International String Quartet Competition, and Sunday evening a new laureate will be sent on a rocket ship of a career boost. The First prize, which continues to grow with each iteration of the competition, is worth more than $200,000 when you figure in the $25,000 in cash, a two-year residency at Southern Methodist University ($160,000), a two-continent tour, a recording, and other career development opportunities. BISQC director Barry Shiffman says the Rolston Quartet, 2016 winners, enjoyed almost 100 engagements, with the help of the Banff Centre for Arts and…

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