Browsing: Chamber Music

Canadian soprano Edith Wiens gives masterclass at University of TorontoNow that both the Canadian Opera Company and Opera Atelier have wrapped up their successful fall seasons, operatic offerings aren’t as plentiful this week. However, I can heartily recommend the masterclass given by retired Canadian soprano Edith Wiens. A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and the daughter of a Mennonite preacher, Wiens graced the international concert and opera stage for a quarter century, delighting audience with her crystalline tone and aristocratic stage presence. I had the pleasure of interviewing her two years ago in Munich, on occasion of her receiving the Opera…

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By John DelvaIn its third year, the Montreal International String Quartet Academy (MISQA) unites some of the foremost young string quartets from around the world to hone their skills through the guidance of experienced chamber musicians and concert performances. For its director, André J. Roy, the oral tradition—the sharing of knowledge between teacher and student—is one of the academy’s main focuses. This is not surprising seeing how many who have met the viola teacher highlight his affability. With prestigious faculty that includes Gerard Schultz and Günter Pichler of the Alban Berg Quartet, Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet, Paul Katz…

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By Michèle-Andrée Lanoue Erreur de type 27The ensemble Erreur de type 27, the “presence of contemporary music” in Quebec City incarnate, is collaborating with Oktoécho for a reading where theatre and music collide for the presentation of Chants du prophète. Part improvised and part written, the performance draws on the philosophical/poetic anthology Le Prophète by Khalil Gibran. This premiere from composer Katia Makdissi-Warren and playwright-director Hanna Abd El Nour will be performed at the Palais Montcalm on March 31 at 8 p.m. www.erreurdetype27.comOrchestre symphonique de QuébecTwo orchestras, from the Conservatoire de musique de Québec and the music faculty of Université…

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Kimmo Pohjonen, accordion & voice; Samuli Kosminen, string & accordion samples, programming; Kronos Quartet (David Harrington, John Sherba, violins; Hank Dutt, viola; Jeffrey Ziegler, cello) Ondine ODE 1185-2 (51 min 49 s) *** Here’s a neat lesson in brand name recognition and the advantage of a dedicated fan base. The cover of this album is dark blackish brown with red streaks. The title and artists are given in tiny letters and it is necessary to look into the booklet to establish Pohjonen’s and Kosminen’s claim to composition and arrangement of the music (a commission for Kronos). Aside from credits and…

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by Paul E. RobinsonA lingering recession is the worst of times for the arts generally and for music education specifically. Hardly a day goes by without more news of cuts to funding of orchestras, theatres, art galleries, museums and schools. The bad news, however, is often offset by good news; for example, the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto, Canada) just announced a partnership with Carnegie Hall to introduce a national system of study and assessment in the U.S. modeled after the RCM’s comprehensive and highly respected programme, and the Venezuelan movement called El Sistema has taken root in the United…

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MCGILL CHAMBER ORCHESTRAOn October 18th, Montreal’s oldest chamber orchestra presents two great romantic double concertos, featuring Swiss violinist and Université de Montréal professor Laurence Kayaleh as well as Stéphane Lemelin, a Québécois pianist with an international career. Works presented are Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto and Chausson’s Concert. Salle Claude Champagne. 514-487-5190, www.ocm-mco.orgMAISON DE LA CULTURE CÔTE-DES-NEIGESLe concert commenté Pléiades présente un panorama du répertoire contemporain pour ensemble à percussions. Dans une mise en scène de Michel G. Barette, au moyen de quatre œuvres, dont trois écrites par des compositeurs québécois, Sixtrum se propose d’initier le public aux grandes familles d’instruments à…

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By Frank CadenheadThe first concert of my week at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland was, I expect, not the highlight. While the festival program correctly listed the conductor as Paul McCreesh, the Canadian star I had hoped to see, Measha Brueggergosman, had been replaced by another star, Sophie Koch. I was not too dismayed because this French mezzo is one of the great voices you are likely to hear these days. The program was also changed and Berlioz’s “La Mort de Cléopatre” was now the same composer’s song cycle, “Les Nuits d’Eté,” to the text by Théophile Gautier. I did not…

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THEATREPhoto: Jean Francois Gratton / Une communication orangetango Pierre LebeauEt Vian ! dans la gueuleUne version modifiée d’un spectacle – à l’origine signé par le Groupe Audubon – dont on avait apprécié l’humour et la virtuosité en 1995. Le metteur en scène Carl Béchard y reprend donc sa plongée ludique dans l’univers fantaisiste de Boris Vian avec un collage de textes et de chansons parodiant l’institution militaire. Ils seront servis ici par des interprètes de première force, tels Pierre Lebeau, Sylvie Drapeau et Pascale Montpetit. Du 27 avril au 22 mai, au Théâtre du Nouveau MondeBuffet chinoisDepuis 20 ans, d’Œstrus…

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Musique / Music Canadian trumpet virtuoso Guy Few (pictured to the left) joins the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal on April 7 to perform a concerto for trumpet and orchestra by the renowned and recently deceased Jacques Hétu. Under the baton of assistant conductor Nathan Brock, the orchestra performs works that include Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 1 and Smetana’s The Moldau. 514-842-2112, www.osm.ca — Hannah Rahimi The Trio Fibonacci presents its final concert of the season on April 9 at the Chapelle Saint-Louis. Audiences can experience the wide range of compositions for string trio with a varied programme that begins with Haydn and concludes…

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By Hannah Rahimi and Kali HalapuaThe 86 year-old Menahem Pressler appeared last night at Pollack Hall before a packed house of appreciative musicians and music lovers. A generous performer, Pressler smiled throughout the evening, possessed with a twinkling energy that fueled his playing and spread throughout the audience. Well-programmed, the concert consisted of Dvorak’s Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, performed with the Cecilia String Quartet, McGill’s graduate quartet in residence, followed by Schubert’s beloved “Trout” quintet, performed with McGill faculty members, Jonathan Crow (violin), Douglas McNabney (viola), Matt Haimovitz (cello) and Ali Yazdanfar (double bass).The young Cecilia Quartet presented…

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